Retail sales of video-game consoles, software, and accessories climbed to a record $10.5 billion in 2005, an increase of 6 percent over the $9.9 billion sold in 2004. The record-setting year (2005) exceeded the previous record set in 2002 of $10.3 billion, according to a recently released report from the NPD Group that compiled the data from sales at some two-thirds of U.S. stores.
Portable-gaming devices such as the Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) drove sales, accounting for some $1.4 billion in software buys. Although sales for portable-gaming hardware, software, and accessories for Nintendo DS and Sony PSP were significant and helped push the industry to its record-breaking year, it was Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance that ruled in 2005.
According to the NPD Group, GBA was the “backbone of the portable market.” Software sales for Gameboy Advance accounted for 64 percent of total portable software units sold and some 52 percent of total portable software dollar sales.
“The real story for 2005 was the incredible expansion of portable gaming,” said Anita Frazier, an NPD analyst. “The [Gameboy Advance] continued to realize stellar sales, and the introduction of the [Nintendo] DS and [Sony] PSP to the market brought older gamers to the portable format.”
A separate NPD Group report found that more than 360,000 Xbox consoles had been sold in the U.S. since the device came on the market in November. Microsoft has said in previous statements that its goal is for Xbox sales to reach between 4.5 million and 5.5 million units by the end of June 2006.
“The introduction of the Xbox 360 was a defining moment for the industry in 2005,” Frazier said. “However, it goes without saying that the full impact of next-generation consoles on the consumer market won’t unfold until later this year when Sony’s and Nintendo’s video-game consoles hit U.S. retail shelves.”
The report also included a ranking of the top video-game titles. Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 06 for PlayStation 2 came out in the lead, followed by Nintendo’s Pokemon Emerald for GameBoy Advance, Sony’s Gran Turismo 4 for PlayStation 2, Madden NFL 06 for Xbox, and Electronic Arts’
NCAA Football 06 for PlayStation 2.