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2005 U.S. Video Game Sales Record

Propped up by a strong portable games market that offset declines in the console market, U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories grew 6 percent in 2005 to a record $10.5 billion, according to sales data published by market research firm NPD Group.

Game titles for handheld consoles generated more than $1 billion for the second year in a row, while console game title sales saw a 12 percent decline from 2004. Sales of handheld console hardware were up 96 percent in 2005 -- fueled by the release of the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS -- while Nintendo's Game Boy Advance continued to lead the segment, with 64 percent of handheld game sales.

"The real story for 2005 was the incredible expansion of portable gaming. The GBA continued to realize stellar sales, and the introduction of the DS and PSP to the market brought older gamers to the portable format," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. Strong handheld hardware sales were offset by a 3 percent decline in the sales of PlayStation, Xbox and GameCube consoles.

The top five console/handheld game titles of 2005, ranked by units sold, were "Madden NFL 06" for PlayStation 2 (Electronic Arts); "Pokemon Emerald" for Game Boy Advance (Nintendo); "Gran Turismo 4" for PlayStation 2 (Sony Computer Entertainment); "Madden NFL 06" for Xbox (Electronic Arts); and "NCAA Football 06" for PlayStation 2 (Electronic Arts). Separately, NPD announced that U.S. PC game sales were down 14 percent in 2005, to $953 million. The top-selling PC games of 2005 included Vivendi's "World of Warcraft"; Electronic Arts' "The Sims 2"; and NCsoft's "Guild Wars."

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