NPD: $1.4 billion of PC gaming in 2005

Industry research group releases new estimate of US market that includes subscriptions, casual game sites, and digital distribution--as well as retail.

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In a new report this week, the NPD Group pegged the US PC gaming industry's 2005 take at $1.4 billion, according to Reuters. If that doesn't seem to match up with previously released NPD numbers pegging the 2005 US PC gaming market at $953 million, that's because the old number only took into account sales from boxed, retail versions of games.

The new NPD estimate includes roughly $292 million in subscriptions to specific PC games (an amount split between about 1.4 million paid subscribers), $52 million from casual gaming Web sites such as Electronic Arts' Pogo.com, and $42 million in digital downloads from outlets such as Valve Software's Steam service.

When the research group originally released its figures for the 2005 PC industry back in January, it noted the deficiency of its existing system of accounting for total PC sales. While the company's figures showed a decline in retail sales, its feedback from consumers indicated that playing PC games was actually on the rise.

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