Xbox 360, Wii Sales Climb in October, Fable 2 Leads

The games industry grew another 18 points year-over-year in the opening beats of the critical fourth quarter, according to NPD. Nothing's recession-proof, but the games industry seems to be weathering Wall Street's slings and arrows with a durable Kevlar-grade coating. According to NPD's Anita Frazier, "With 10-months under its belt, the video games industry is still poised to top $22B in annual sales in 2008."

It's not all good news, though, as NPD says sales results were mixed in October. "The console portion of the market made significant gains at 26% across hardware, software and accessories, while the portable side of the market stalled, declining 14%," said Fraizier, but added that the portable segment of the market is still up 7% year-to-date.

October Hardware

803k - Wii (+14%)

491k - Nintendo DS (-9%)

371k - Xbox 360 (+6%)

193k - PSP (-19%)

190k - PlayStation 3 (-18%)

136k - PlayStation 2 (-22%)

- Nintendo finally got the wrench out of its supply machine, allowing the Wii to rise 14 points over September's numbers and enjoy "its best sales month outside of last November and December," according to NPD's Frazier.

- The 360's price drop is probably still the major factor here, helping Microsoft maintain and even move slightly ahead of September's numbers. Fable 2's sales (see below) may also be contributing, given its hypothetical crossover appeal.

- The PS3 dropped in units sales from 232k in September. That's not a glaring misstep, but it's probably more disappointing in light of its critically lauded "breakout" platformer LittleBigPlanet, which came out on October 27th in North America and had nearly a full week to chart. Sony and NPD's take: The PS3's up 57% year-over-year.

- I read a piece at MCV earlier about some "industry leaders" who claim the "PS2 is dead." I guess it all depends on what you mean by dead these days. In terms of reliable new growth sales? Maybe. We're still talking an install base of 140 million worldwide and a secondary (used) market that is absolutely flourishing.

October Software

790k - Fable 2 (360)

487k - Wii Fit (Wii)

375k - Fallout 3 (360)

290k - Mario Kart (Wii)

282k - Wii Play (Wii)

270k - Saints Row 2 (360)

231k - SOCOM (PS3)

215k - LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

202k - NBA 2K9 (360)

193k - Dead Space (360)

- Console software sales saw their greatest percentage gain year-over-year of any category, according to NPD's Frazier.

- Lots of variety in the top 10 list this month. Half the games above are rated "M" for Mature, while the other half are rated "E" for Everyone.

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