U.S. video-game sales increased 41 percent in May, led for a second month by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO)'s ``Grand Theft Auto IV.''
Consumers purchased 1.31 million copies of the game at U.S. stores last month, Port Washington, New York-based researcher NPD Group Inc. said today in an e-mailed statement. Video-game hardware sales rose 34 percent, led by Nintendo Co.'s Wii.
``Grand Theft Auto IV'' may generate more than $1 billion in sales by the end of this year, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said in a June 10 note to investors. Take-Two said last week that consumers had purchased 8.5 million units worldwide from the April 29 release through May 31.
``The U.S. video-games industry has generated $6.6 billion in sales so far this year, which exceeds total 1997 annual revenues,'' NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in an e-mailed statement. ``The industry is on pace to achieve revenues in the $21 billion to $23 billion range for 2008.''
Sales of games, hardware, software and accessories increased 37 percent to $1.12 billion from $816.3 million, NPD said.
The success of ``Grand Theft Auto IV'' isn't ``translating into big hardware sales for either the PS3 or the 360,'' Frazier said. Father's Day and graduation gift-giving may change that, she said.
Nintendo's ``Wii Fit'' was the month's third-best selling title with 687,700 copies purchased, NPD said. The game measures players' fitness, including weight and body-mass index, during activities that include simulated skiing, yoga and push-ups. Exercises are performed on a floor pad that connects wirelessly to the console.
``Wii Fit'' is available only for the Nintendo console. ``Grand Theft Auto IV'' was released in versions for Xbox 360 console and PlayStation 3.
New York-based Take-Two is resisting a hostile, $2 billion takeover attempt by Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), the largest publisher of video games. Electronic Arts' $25.74-a-share tender expires June 16.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, gained $1.12 to $28.24 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. U.S.-traded shares of Tokyo-based Sony fell 1 cent to $47.82 on the New York Stock Exchange. Nintendo rose 500 yen to 57,000 yen in Osaka.