Retail sales of U.S. video games hardware, software and accessories rose 21 percent in the first six months of the year, as the popularity of handheld devices offset a decline in aging game consoles, a study said.
The video games industry, which has been rocked this month by concerns over sexual content in one of its most popular titles — Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," saw sales rise to over $4.1 billion in the period, from $3.4 billion in 2004, research firm NPD Group said in a report. Overall unit sales rose 11 percent.
NPD said the gains were buoyed by the introduction of new portable handheld game devices, including Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s DS dual-screen machine. Overall, portable game hardware sales rose 181 percent over a year ago, the study said.
Sales of console hardware, such as Sony's PlayStation 2, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox, fell 6 percent.
Retail revenue from games for the personal computer fell 10.5 percent in the first half of the year.
Sony Corp's "Gran Turismo 4" racing game sold the most units in the period, followed by Nintendo's "Pokemon Emerald" and Electronic Arts Inc.'s "MVP Baseball 2005."