NPD: May sell-through spikes skyward

Sith scores with gamers as May heats up hotter than expected; $319M at retail tops previous May's tally by 30 percent.

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Pokémon Emerald and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith led console sales to a notable plateau last month, according to NPD Funworld.

According to NPD, May '05 sales of $319 million spent on console game software was up 30 percent over the same month a year ago. Sequentially, however, software sales were off about $23 million, from April's $342 million.

The top-selling console games of the month were Pokémon Emerald, which sold more than 882,000 games on the GBA (netting some $24 million at retail), according to NPD, and Revenge of the Sith, which sold 490,000 on the PlayStation 2 and 378,000 on the Xbox during the month.

Other top sellers for the month (games selling more than 100,000 units) included Midnight Club III: DUB Edition and Lego Star Wars, both for the PS2, and Forza Motorsport for the Xbox.

According to one analyst's memo this morning, the top 10 games in May '05 captured 34 percent of all dollar sales and 26 percent of unit sales, versus 23 percent and 15 percent, respectively, during May 2004.

Cumulative software sales on the console front through May of this year are $1.97 billion. That compares with year-to-date retail sales through May '04 of $1.70 billion.

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