April was a very good month for the video game industry, with sales up 20 percent compared to a year earlier.
According to industry analyst The NPD Group, total U.S. video game industry sales came in at $961.2 million in April, up 20 percent from $802.4 million in April 2010.
Software led the way, NPD reported, with sales up 26 percent from a year earlier. In a release accompanying the firm's monthly report, analyst Anita Frazier pointed out that April was the first month since November of last year that video game software saw jumps in both dollars and units sold.
On the hardware side, Microsoft's Xbox 360 led the way in April, with 297,000 consoles sold in April. Microsoft said in a statement that the Xbox has been the best-selling console--over Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii--for 10 of the last 11 months. As well, Microsoft said that Xbox sales are up 60 percent year-over-year, no doubt driven by the success of its Kinect motion controller. The company also said that the total number of games released with Kinect compatibility will triple by year's end.
For its part, Sony said in its own statement that PS3 sales were up 13 percent year-over-year, with software sales up 40 percent in the same time frame. It also addressed the recent hacking problems its PlayStation Network has had. "[We] appreciate the support we've received from our partners, retailers, and customers since the criminal attack," Sony said in the statement. "We hope to have services restored as soon as we can."