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NPD: Xbox 360 Soars as Hardware Sales Jump, But Software Sales Dip 8% in July

IndustryGamers has just received the July NPD video game sales data, and as was predicted, software sales were down again, dipping eight percent to $403.3 million. Hardware, however, driven in part by the Xbox 360 slim and price reductions on older 360 models, climbed 12 percent to $313.8 million. As a result, total industry sales were down just one percent in July, reaching $846.5 million. Year-to-date, total game industry sales in the U.S. are now at $7.51 billion, which is behind 2009's pace by eight percent.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier pointed out, however, that none of these sales figures include PC game sales and the huge impact of Blizzard's StarCraft II.  "While video game retail sales show a very slight decline versus last July, we have to consider the success of Starcraft II this month which helped the PC games category to realize a 103% increase in dollars over last July.  PC Games and video game industry sales combined for an increase of 4% in revenues as compared to July '09," she said.

On the hardware front, Microsoft really impressed. The Xbox 360 outsold all consoles and it even outsold the Nintendo DS, which has been typically beating out all platforms in NPD's monthly sales. The 360 sold 443.5K units, followed by the DS with 398.4K units and the Wii with 253.9K units. The PS3 trailed with 214.5K units sold, and the PSP occupied the rear with just 84K units sold. 

"The PS3 and the Xbox 360 platforms both saw significant increases over July'09," noted Frazier. "In fact, Xbox 360 was the top-selling hardware platform for the month, driven by sales of the new slim format SKU.  It's the first time since September '07 (Halo 3 launch) that the 360 was the top-selling hardware platform."

As for software, EA Sports' college football title cleaned up the charts. That said, if you factor in PC game sales, StarCraft II wins easily. "The top selling video game for the month, combining platforms, was NCAA Football 11 at 692K units.  Achieving even better results this month was Starcraft II (PC), which sold 721K units at retail in July," said Frazier.

Here is the top 10 list of best-selling games (by units) from NPD: