U.S. video game sales — including hardware and software — jumped 34 percent in February to hit $1.33 billion, even with two top-selling consoles in short supply, according to data from market researcher NPD Group.
Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 have been in such high demand stores are having a hard time keeping them in stock. Microsoft spokesman David Dennis said the company moved up shipments during the holidays and hasn’t been able to catch up since.
He added ”we should be in good shape” by the time ”Grand Theft Auto IV,” the highly anticipated latest installment of the Rockstar Games franchise, hits store shelves April 29.
The game, which will be available on the Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3, is expected to boost sales of both consoles. Pre-orders have been better than expected, according to its publisher, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.
Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan, expects the game to sell about 9 million units during the company’s fiscal year, which ends in October. Roughly 6 million of this, he added, will be to Xbox 360 owners. (link)