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NPD October: GTA 5, Pokémon drive US retail to third consecutive growth month

The NPD's October report of US new game sales showed overall growth for the third month in a row, thanks to strong performances from Grand Theft Auto 5 and Pokémon X & Y.

Overall industry spend reached $791.1 million at US retailers, up 5% year-on-year.

Software saw the largest increase of all sectors, with a 10% year-on-year jump to $495.1 million. GTA 5 was a major part of this thanks to almost 1.1 million sales, but the NPD Group said portable software sales - Pokémon X & Y, in other words - was responsible for thew majority of that 10% jump.

In hardware, sales dropped 8% year-on-year to $171.7 million. There was some good news, though - portables saw their first year-on-year increase since the Vita's launch in February 2012, and the 3DS was the best-selling hardware for the sixth month in a row.

Beyond portables, Xbox 360 was the best-selling home console with 166,000 units sold, reclaiming its position from Sony, which pipped it last month to break the platform's 32 month streak.

Accessories increased by just 1%. Over the past few years this sector has noted considerable growth at the release of new Skylanders games, and with Disney Infinity also available had been expected to perform more vigorously. However, it's worth remembering that year-on-year accessories growth now has to contend with previous Skylanders spikes, meaning results will be less dramatic.

All in all it was a positive month, and with the launch of next-gen consoles this month, we're expecting upticks in all categories.

"Growth in video game software sales over the last few months has reversed negative year-to-date trends caused by declines seen earlier in the year with video game software sales currently flat to last year. With the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, we hope to see positive trends over November and December which would lead to an increase in software sales for the year," NPD Group's Liam Callahan said.


For the first time in quite a while the chart was dominated by new releases. Of the top ten bestselling games this month, only two - GTA 5 and NBA 2K14 - were not new releases.

  1. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  2. Pokémon X (3DS)
  3. Pokémon Y (3DS)
  4. Battlefield 4 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  5. Batman: Arkham Origins (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  6. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag (PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  7. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  8. Skylanders Swap Force (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  9. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (3DS, PC, PS3, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  10. WWE 2K14 (PS3, Xbox 360)

As ever, the NPD Group's monthly report applies to traditional, new sales only, and does not include microtransactions, DLC, downloadable sales, online sales, trade-ins, rentals and mobile, which represent increasingly significant proportions of total industry spend, which reached an estimated $1.3 billion in total during October.

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