Monday, January 16, 2006

Handhelds Drive Record Game Sales in '05

Next Generation writes that according to the NPD Group, "U.S. game retail sales hit a record $10.5 billion in 2005 thanks to strong sales of handheld hardware, software and accessories."

A report from NPD found that "software for the GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS and Sony PSP reached $1.4 billion, a 42 percent increase over 2004. (PSP and DS software sales were virtually non-points in 2004, as the DS didn't launch until November 2004 and PSP in March 2005.) GameBoy Advance software captured an astonishing 52 percent of total handheld sales."

NPD analyst Anita Frazier said, "The real story for 2005 was the incredible expansion of portable gaming. The GBA continued to realize stellar sales, and the introduction of the (Nintendo) DS and PSP to the market brought older gamers to the portable format."

In a San Jose Mercury News article, Nintendo said "two-thirds of its Game Boy consumers and 50 percent of its DS consumers are under 18" and 20 percent of DS consumers are female too mostly due to the success of Nintendogs.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier noted "there were no Mature titles (recommended for 17 and older) on the list of top-selling games this year. Last year, the M-rated ``Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'' and ``Halo 2'' ranked 1 and 2."

Frazier attributed the strength of the Game Boy Advance to kids continuing to "come into the market, while sales of the dual-screen DS and PlayStation Portable reflect interest from teens and young adults."