2007: a record year for video game sales

We knew 2006 would be a record year when the NPD numbers for November came in and the video game industry had already surpassed its 2006 revenues. But now we know just how big it was.

NPD is reporting that the industry generated $17.94 billion in U.S. sales last year, a 43 percent increase over 2006’s $12.53 billion, the previous record.

The biggest increase was in, surprise, hardware, where the gangbuster sales of the Nintendo Wii and DS, along with solid numbers from the Xbox 360 and the late charging PlayStation 3 helped lift revenue numbers to $7.04 billion, a 54 percent increase over 2006.

Software sales, led by the year’s top title Halo 3, hit $8.64 billion, a 34 percent increase over the previous year.

In the final tally of console hardware, the Wii sold 6.29 million units, followed by the Xbox 360 (4.62 million), the PlayStation 2 (3.97 million) and the PlayStation 3 (2.56 million.) The Wii continued its hot streak selling 1.35 million units in December followed closely by the Xbox 360 (1.26 million). While the PS3 still lagged behind in December with 797,600 consoles sold, it’s had a huge turnaround since October, when it sold just 121,000 units. That’s a 658 percent jump.

The Nintendo DS was actually the best selling piece of hardware with 8.5 million sold in 2007 including a whopping 2.47 million in December. The rival PlayStation Portable sold 4.82 million units in 2007 including 1.06 million last month.

The top selling game of 2007 was again Halo 3, with 4.82 million units sold. Guitar Hero, however, was the best selling franchise for 2007, racking up $820 million in U.S. retail sales between its various Guitar Hero 2 and Guitar Hero III games. That’s the most any franchise has ever made in one year.


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