US market posts annual gain in February

The US video games market managed to reverse a run of losses in February by posting year-on-year growth of three per cent.

In total the sector was worth $1.36bn in the period thanks mainly to a ten per cent jump in hardware sales that NPD says was driven by strong sales of 250GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundles – though all three home consoles posted year-on-year gains.

The total value of the hardware market reached $466.9m. Accessories, the category into which Kinect is placed, were up 22 per cent at $256.9m.

This was enough to offset the five per cent dip seen in the software market, which hit a value of $601.4m, though NPD says that "new physical sales within the video games industry were up four per cent driven by a unit sales increase of console hardware, console software and console accessories".

"The best-selling hardware system of the month was the Xbox 360 which had its biggest non-holiday (November/December) sales month ever, surpassing September 2007 when Halo 3 launched," NPD analyst Anita Frazier stated.

"The 250GB system bundled with the Kinect sensor was one of the drivers of the increase in average selling price among console hardware. All three console systems realised a unit sales increase over last February.

"All hardware systems realised a unit sales increase over January 2011."

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