Microsoft XBox Gains to Buck U.S. Video Game Industry Drop

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Xbox 360 was the top-selling video-game console in the U.S. last month, bucking a software-led decline that saw industry sales slump 10 percent.

Consumers purchased 507,000 Xbox 360 game consoles in June, said Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft in an e-mailed statement today, citing industry tracker NPD Group Inc. A year ago, Microsoft sold 451,700 units.

The company since 2005 has sold 48 percent of all current- generation consoles in the U.S., it said.

Sony Corp. (6758), the Tokyo-based maker of the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Portable, did not reveal its hardware sales numbers. The exclusive PlayStation 3 title “inFamous 2” was its best-selling game during the month, Patrick Seybold, Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

A light slate of new game software and Nintendo Co.’s aging Wii console contributed to a 10 percent decline in overall retail sales of $1.03 billion in June, Port Washington, New York-based NPD said in an e-mailed statement. The figure doesn’t include digital sales of games.

Industry hardware sales dropped 9 percent to $366.6 million, and software declined 12 percent to $469.5 million, NPD reported.

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo did not release sales numbers for its 3DS handheld, which lets users play 3-D games without the need for special glasses, or the Nintendo Wii home console. The company today began letting 3DS users stream Netflix movies and TV episodes to the device.

Nintendo said in June it was prepping a successor to its Wii for release in 2012. The Kyoto, Japan-based company has said it wants to revive home console sales by adding the ability to play games and watch content in high-definition and a new tablet-like controller.

“We continue to believe that Nintendo’s HD console is arriving two years late, given recent momentum for PS3, Xbox 360, and their respective peripherals,” Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, wrote in a report July 1. He rates the shares “neutral.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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