Tricia Duryee

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Microsoft’s Kinect Drives Industry-Wide Gains in November

The Xbox 360 was the best-selling console for the month of November, jumping 68 percent compared to the same month last year, according to NPD Group.

The report released today is limited to trends that occur at physical retail locations, but from that vantage point, the Xbox 360 platform accounted for more than 40 percent of total industry sales. NPD analyst Anita Frazier reasoned the gains were driven by the successful launch of Microsoft’s Kinect, the Nintendo Wii-like motion detecting game accessory that works with the Xbox. The Kinect led Xbox 360 accessories to account for 60 percent of that category’s dollar sales.

Microsoft started selling Kinect halfway into November, and after only 15 days Microsoft said it had sold 2.5 million.

In general, NPD says the gains made last month, due to Microsoft’s successes and holiday discounts, were good enough to offset the majority of declines that occurred in 2010. “We expect a big jump in sales in November due to seasonality and the influence of holiday, but the change this November over October is bigger across most platforms than it was last November,” Fraizer said.

Last month, total game sales, including videogame hardware, like consoles and portables, plus software and accessories, were estimated to total nearly $3 billion, an 8 percent increase over November 2009. Now, sales for the year to date are only off last year’s $14.7 billion by 5 percent, providing hope that 2010 can end the year flat at $18.8 billion to $19.6 billion.

Other top performers included the Nintendo DS, which was boosted by new red and white designs, and Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops game.

Photo Credit: Microsoft.