Despite a slowing economy, sales of U.S. video games and hardware soared 18 percent from the same month a year ago, according to data released Thursday by market researcher NPD Group.
Hardware sales were up 5 percent to $494.7 million, led by Nintendo's Wii game console. Wii held onto the top spot by selling 803,000 units in October, up from 687,000 in September. The Wii, which has been plagued by shortages, has sold more than 13 million units since its release in November 2006.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 held onto the No. 2 spot by selling 371,000 units, a 7 percent increase over September following a price cut that month. Sony's PlayStation 3 came in third with 190,000 units sold, an 18.2 percent increase over the prior month.
Software sales were up 35 percent to $696.8 million, led by Microsoft's Fable II, which sold 790,000 units. Second place went to Nintendo's exercise game Wii Fit, which sold 487,000 copies.
Meanwhile, sales of portable video games were down 14 percent.
The video game industry faces a tough holiday shopping season, following aby retailer Circuit City and a from rival Best Buy.