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U.S. Video Game Sales Up 23 Percent

First quarter U.S. video game sales rose 23% over the same period a year ago, to $2.2 billion, while total unit sales climbed 18% to 63 million units, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group. The figures include sales of video game consoles and handhelds, in addition to game software for these platforms. Portable game hardware showed the most growth, rising 162% to $293 million -- fueled by the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP -- while console hardware and software saw more modest gains of 8% and 7%, respectively. Total console software sales exceeded $1 billion. "While we expected to see impressive sales in the portable categories, the fact that all categories saw positive sales growth in terms of both dollars and units is a real testament to the broadening appeal of video games as a form of entertainment," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. The ten top-selling game titles for the first three months of 2005 included Sony's Gran Turismo 4 in the top spot, Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Capcom's Resident Evil 4 and LucasArts' Mercenaries.

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