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HolidayBuyer's Guide

U.S. video game sales show continued strength

Nintendo's Wii and DS help the industry skirt the economic downturn, with hardware and software sales last month up 13 percent year over year. (From Reuters)

U.S. sales of video game hardware and software rose 13 percent in January from a year earlier, led by Nintendo's Wii console and DS handheld, according to market researcher NPD.

The results presented more evidence that even in the middle of a brutal economic downturn, U.S. consumers are willing to spend on video games.

Total industry sales in the month climbed to $1.33 billion, NPD said this week.

Video game software sales rose 10 percent to $676.6 million for the month, while hardware sales surged 17 percent to $445.4 million. Sales of accessories grew 11 percent to $209.8 million.

The Wii continued to be a hit with consumers, selling nearly 680,000 units, while the DS handheld system sold more than 510,000 units.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 sold 309,000 units in the month, while Sony's PlayStation 3 sold 203,000.

Nintendo also had the three biggest-selling games of the month, Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Mario Kart Wii. Electronic Arts' Left 4 Dead and Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: World at War rounded out the top five.