NPD: NCAA Football sacks July

EA's collegiate pigskin sim scores top honors as 41 percent spike in total software sales push US industry to $1.2 billion in revenue for the month.

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Gaming industry analysts have been having a tough time getting a read on monthly sales figures, but for the month of July, it looks like at least a few are getting a hang of the volatile jumps in year-over-year revenue climbs. With its monthly sales report for the month of July out today, the NPD Group revealed that, once again, the industry outpaced 2007 by double digit figures, rising 28 percent in total hardware, software, and accessory sales to $1.2 billion for the month.

Though it was a comparatively light month for new releases at retail, software still accounted for the largest chunk of that haul and hit quite close to analysts' estimations. For July, software spiked 41 percent compared to the same time a year ago, amounting to $591 million in sales.

With perennial chart topper Madden NFL out in August, the first of EA's annual gridiron volleys--NCAA Football 09--slotted into the first and fifth positions of the US sales chart, with the Xbox 360 edition outpacing the PlayStation 3 version, 397,600 units to 242,500. Namco Bandai's Soulcalibur IV also found more footing on Microsoft's console compared to its competitor, with 218,900 units of the well-reviewed fighter slashing to the 360 compared to 155,800 on the PS3.

Save for Take-Two's Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution eking out a 10th place finish on the 360 with 147,600 units sold, the remainder of the month's top 10 belonged to games for Nintendo's platforms. Meanwhile, Wii Fit proved to have legs enough to land a second-place finish with 369,600 units, and Activision's Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS took the bronze with 309,700 units. Surprisingly, Konami's PS3-exclusive critical darling Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots dropped out of the top 10 entirely in its second month on the market, after having easily secured the top slot in June.

While Microsoft roundly thumped Sony in software sales, it was the PlayStation 3 that once again outpaced its most adversarial competitor in July. Despite Microsoft slashing $50 from its midline Xbox 360 Pro, Sony's PlayStation 3's cross-SKU sales amounted to 224,900 units, a step above the 360's 204,800 systems. Nestled in between the two, Sony's PlayStation Portable sold 221,700 units.

As has become de rigueur from NPD sales stats, Nintendo's hardware took top honors, with the DS topping out at 608,400 systems and the Wii dropping 111,000 units under last month's total to a decidedly less nefarious 555,000 units.

US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - JULY 2008
Software: $591.1M (+41%)
Hardware: $446.9M (+17%)
Accessories: $149.1M (+19%)
Total Games: $1.19B (+28%)

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - JULY 2008
Nintendo DS--608,400
Wii--555,000
PlayStation 3--224,900
PlayStation Portable--221,700
Xbox 360--204,800
PlayStation 2--155,500

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE - JULY 2008
Title / Publisher / Release Date / Units*
1) NCAA Football 09 (Xbox 360) / Electronic Arts / 397,600
2) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (WII) / Nintendo / 369,600
3) Guitar Hero On Tour (DS) / Activision / 309,700
4) Wii Play w/ Remote (WII) / Nintendo / 284,000
5) NCAA Football 09 (PS3) / Electronic Arts / 242,500
6) Soulcalibur IV (Xbox 360) / Namco Bandai / 218,900
7) Mario Kart Wii w/ Wheel (WII) / Nintendo / 174,500
8) Rock Band Special Edition Bundle (WII) / MTV Games and Electronic Arts / 165,800
9) Soulcalibur IV (PS3) / Namco Bandai / 155,800
10) Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution (Xbox 360) / Take-Two / 147,600

* Figures include Collector's Editions and non-hardware bundles.

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