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Handheld sector leads 23 per cent rise in US videogame sales for Q1

The launch of the PlayStation Portable and continued strong sales of the Nintendo DS led an incredibly strong first quarter for the US videogames market, according to the latest figures from NPD Funworld.

The launch of the PlayStation Portable and continued strong sales of the Nintendo DS led an incredibly strong first quarter for the US videogames market, according to the latest figures from NPD Funworld.

The data, covering the three months leading up to March 31st, shows that overall retail sales of videogames goods rose by 23 per cent compared with the previous year, with the handheld hardware market unsurprisingly recording a huge rise of 162 per cent.

In total, around 1.9 million handheld consoles were sold during the first three months of the year, with the PlayStation Portable accounting for 0.6 million of those, while sales of Nintendo's DS continued to show impressive numbers.

Console software also saw a major boost during the period, however, thanks to the launch of key titles such as Gran Turismo 4 and Resident Evil 4, and in fact the console software market tipped over the $1 billion mark for the quarter as a whole.

All in all, the figures mark an impressive start for a year which many analysts have pegged as a quiet one for the industry, with the spectre of a transition period looming over the market as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft prepare their next-gen consoles.

However, others have suggested that the PSP and DS could help the games industry to weather the predicted decline in interest in current-generation consoles this year, allowing the market to maintain similar levels of growth to previous years.

Author
Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.