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Video Game Console Sales Surge 200% in September

Activision's 'Destiny' was the month's top-selling title

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One continue to fly off retailers’ shelves, with sales for all gaming consoles increasing 200% in September, according to research group NPD.

Activision’s “Destiny” was the best-selling game of the month, followed by Electronic Arts’ “Madden NFL ’15,” “FIFA 15,” Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros.” and Warner Bros.’ “Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor” rounding out the top five.

Overall, the games biz was up 2% to $1.1 billion during the month, and that was largely driven by hardware — including portable devices — which saw gains of 136% to $432.7 million. Of consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One accounted for over 85% of sales, the highest percentage seen in a single month since the devices launched in November 2013.

New software sales — including console, portable and PC titles — fell 35% to $501.6 million.

The decline in software sales can be attributed to the blockbuster launch of Take-Two and Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V.”

Still “Destiny” is the largest launch of the year, in terms of unit sales, NPD says, although it declined to provide specific numbers. It also is the best launch of all time for a new game not based on an established franchise.

“It is important to note that September 2013 was the best performing September on record for new physical video game software sales, driven by the launch of ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’ therefore making for difficult comparisons for this September to last,” said NPD Group’s Liam Callahan.

“Demonstrating the size of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’s’ success last year, the total units across the top 10 games this September totaled only 59% of the top 10 games last year,” Callahan added.

Year-to-date through September, revenue from new hardware, software and accessories is up 7% as the games biz heads into the fall, when publishers generate a majority of their revenue.

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