U.S. Video-Game Industry Sales Increase 8% on Consoles

U.S. sales of video-game products rose 8 percent in August as shipments of new-generation consoles more than doubled, outweighing a decline in software. Sony Corp. said its player led for an eighth straight month.

Hardware sales, including Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, rose to $196.2 million last month from $90.8 million a year earlier, researcher NPD Group Inc. said in an e-mailed statement. Revenue from software, excluding titles for personal computers, shrank 21 percent to $231.6 million. Total sales were $561.3 million, up from $521.1 million.

“Explosive hardware growth” was driven by eighth-generation consoles, Liam Callahan, an NPD analyst, said in the statement. “When lining up sales of PS4 and Xbox One after 10 months on the market, the combined PS4 and Xbox One hardware sales are greater by over 70 percent compared to their predecessors.”

Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, introduced in November and featuring sharper graphics and more online features, have rekindled demand among consumers who have been attracted to free-to-play digital games on mobile devices. Software sales are projected to gain in the coming months as publishers bring out more titles for the new machines.

In August, declines in sales of games for older consoles weren’t offset by shipments of titles for the Xbox One and PS4, Callahan said. Madden NFL 15, from Electronic Arts Inc., introduced Aug. 26, was the top-selling game in the month, NPD said.

Shares of Sony added 2.8 percent to 2,163 yen at 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo and Nintendo Co. lost 0.2 percent to 11,995 yen. Microsoft gained 0.3 percent in New York yesterday.

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