Kinect helps GameStop reap record holiday sales

GameStop posted a healthy gain in sales during the holiday season and saw online sales explode in the nine-week period ending on January 1.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

GameStop raked in record revenue during the holiday-shopping season, the retailer announced today.

During a nine-week period that ended January 1, GameStop generated $3.02 billion in revenue, up 5.4 percent compared with 2009. The company saw a 100 percent revenue gain through GameStop.com, compared with the same period in 2009. The company's gift card sales in December were up 32 percent as well, it reported.

The sales figures "exceeded" its expectations, the company noted.

The video game retailer stopped short of announcing individual product sales, but noted that overall hardware revenue was up 7.4 percent during the holiday period, thanks in most part to Microsoft's Kinect.

New software sales rose 3.3 percent year over year "driven by strong sell through" of Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 titles, such as Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

The PlayStation Move, Sony's answer to the Nintendo Wii Remote and the Microsoft Kinect helped lead accessories sales, while World of Warcraft: Cataclysm drove PC game sales, GameStop reported. Combined, those products helped the company's "other" category grow 15.9 percent year over year.

GameStop isn't the only company that enjoyed stronger-than-expected sales during the holiday season.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced at its CES 2011 keynote that it sold 8 million Kinect units in the first 60 days of availability, an impressive number considering Microsoft originally anticipated selling 5 million Kinect units through 2010.