April has been a very kind month. In the UK we get glorious weather, in the US they get an excellent performance from video games at retail.
The latest NPD numbers show that the month was 20 per cent up on the same period in 2010, reaching a total value of $961.2m. This now means that year-to-date the US market is up on 2010 by two per cent.
Though some of the gains can be accounted for by the different timing of the Easter holiday, NPD says that even without this boost the numbers would still be significantly up.
Total hardware sales grew 12 per cent to $279.9m. Microsoft claimed victory in the console race, selling 297k Xbox 360 consoles – that's a staggering 60 per cent year-on-year increase.
Xbox 360 has now been the best selling US console for ten of the last 11 months, and it's the best seller of 2011 so far and of the last 12 months.
Sony also reported year-on-year rises, with overall PlayStation hardware and software sales up 13 per cent. PS3 games were up 40 per cent. It will be interesting to see if this performance can be repeated next month.
Though no concrete numbers have been released, Nintendo's DS outsold its newer cousin the 3DS despite the fact that 3DS was on sale throughout the entire month.
Software claimed 24 per cent year-on-year at $533.6m. Though PSP games sales suffered an annual decline, other key platform all saw rises.
Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat were the standout performers, with Warner's fighter selling 900k copies in total. It is likely that is has since passed the 1m unit sales mark.
Other strong sellers included LEGO Star Wars III, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, Crysis 2, Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience.