Video games could have $18 billion year in U.S., thanks to Halo 3, Wii

October 18, 2007: 9:15 PM ET
Halo 3
Master Chief image: Microsoft

Leave it to Master Chief to save the day. U.S. video game console sales more than doubled in September compared to the year before, and it had everything to do with Halo 3, the game in which he's the star.

According to data from NPD Group, Americans purchased 1.37 million game consoles last month, up from 613,500 a year ago. The most popular machine, selling 527,800 units, was Microsoft's Xbox 360, the only one that can play Microsoft's (MSFT) Halo game. A close second was Nintendo's Wii, at 501,000 units.

And those numbers tell only part of the story. Sony (SNE) sold 119,400 PlayStation 3s, and 215,000 PlayStation 2s, for a combined 334,400 units. And though portable game systems weren't included in the overall console tally, Sony's revamped PlayStation Portable sold 284,500 units, making it the month's most popular Sony system.

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Overall, it was an even stronger month for the video game business than analysts expected – and that's brightening the prospects for the year as a whole.

"Although we've been confident for many months now that the industry was poised to realize its best year ever in terms of revenue, the results in recent months makes me even more bullish," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "I believe the U.S. video games industry will realize somewhere in the range of $17 billion to $18 billion for the year."

Below, software and hardware numbers from NPD:

Source: NPD Group

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Source: NPD Group

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Source: NPD Group
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