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Video game industry posts record November sales

Thanks to the Kinect motion controller and games like Call of Duty: Black Ops, the industry sees its best-ever November, besting the same month in 2008 by about $30 million. Overall, the industry posted sales of $2.99 billion.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read

The video game industry posted its best-ever November sales on the strength of Microsoft's Kinect motion controller and games like Call of Duty: Black Ops.

That was the report from industry analyst, The NPD Group, which puts out monthly tallies for total video game software and hardware sales. According to NPD analyst Anita Frazier, the video game business was good for $2.99 billion in November, up 8 percent from $2.76 billion a year earlier, and about $30 million more than the previous record November in 2008.

According to Frazier, every category of the business was up for the month except portable hardware and software. And Microsoft's Xbox 360--likely on the strength of its brand-new Kinect, saw a sales boost of 68 percent from a year earlier. Microsoft said that it sold 2.5 million Kinects in just 25 days, and 1.37 million Xboxes.

In its own release, Microsoft touted its sixth-straight monthly win in the head-to-head-to-head battle for console supremacy between its Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. In addition, Microsoft's cited NPD's numbers in saying that four of the top-10 titles at retail for the month were for the Xbox platform: Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fable III, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and Halo: Reach. All told, NPD said, 40 percent of all video game dollars spent in November were spent on Xbox 360 games, hardware, or accessories.

For its part, Nintendo said it sold 1.2 million Wiis, as well as 1.5 million Nintendo DS units.

In its own release, Sony pointed out that sales of PS3s were up 112 percent from a month earlier--not surprising, given that November is the kick-off month for holiday purchasing--and that the console saw a 5 percent year-over-year boost from last November.

On the software side, Call of Duty: Black Ops quickly raced to 8.7 million units sold, becoming in less than a month, the 7th-best selling game of all time.

Update (Thursday, 8:10 p.m. PST): This story now includes comment from Sony.