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NPD September: GTA 5 drives retail to first spike since January

GTA 5 ensured retail sales in the US trended upwards for the first time in nine months, according to the latest report from the NPD Group.

Total industry spend climbed 27% year-on-year to $1.079 billion, the first time retail has seen an uptick in sales since January this year.

Sector by sector, software sales increased by 40% year-on-year if you include PC, and looking at console and portable software only, jumped a whopping 52% year-on-year to over $754 million.

Accessories also hiked slightly by 2%; given the launch of Disney Infinity, we expected something a little more dramatic, but perhaps we'll see more of an upswing in next month's report when the new Skylanders game comes into play

Hardware dropped 13% to $183.2 million, but that's to be expected so close to a generational transition. It's worth noting that Nintendo saw a huge increase in Wii U sales, and that the 3DS topped hardware for the fifth consecutive month as the best-selling platform.

The PlayStation 3 outsold the Xbox 360 and Wii U to become the best-selling home console of September, ending the Xbox 360's 32 month winning streak. Sony is yet to issue press releases on the matter, the the GTA 5 PS3 bundle is likely to have been a contributing factor.

Microsoft confirmed the Xbox 360 reached 80 million console sold worldwide, and said it maintains its lead as the best-selling console in the US in 2013 with 1.6 million units sold. September saw total Xbox 360 software sales reach a record-breaking high of $401.2 million - outselling rival platforms with five of the top ten software chart positions.


It's no surprise that Grand Theft Auto 5 took top slot given its record-breaking sales performance, but sales of the game also accounted for 50% of total spend during the month. Although GTA 5 broke the franchise's records for opening month sales, the NPD didn't say it took out a record for highest opening month, suggesting Activision's Call of Duty series still holds sway in this regard.

Both PS3 and Xbox 360 charted one exclusive, with Minecraft's tenacious sales quite the phenomenon in itself. Sports games are clearly the flavour of the month, but Diablo 3 certainly isn't doing badly, and Saints Row 4 managed to hold on even with the release of its Rockstar rival.

Here's the full software chart:

  1. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  2. Madden 25 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  3. NBA 2K14 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  4. Diablo 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  5. FIFA 14 (PS3, Vita Xbox 360)
  6. Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX (PS3)
  7. Disney Infinity (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  8. NHL 14 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  9. Minecraft (Xbox 360)
  10. Saints Row 4 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

The NPD Group tracks only new retail sales, and as such does not account for sectors like digital distribution, DLC, online retailers, used game sales and microtransactions, all of which account for an increasingly significant swathe of the games industry's total revenue.

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