NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – While Microsoft's Xbox 360 is one of the hottest gadgets of the holiday season, the rest of the video game industry isn't faring well.
The Xbox 360, which is largely sold out across the country, sold 325,902 units in November. Some major retailers, including Best Buy, have confirmed they will begin selling additional units Dec. 18. Suffering from the success of the Xbox 360 were the PlayStation 2 (which saw a 23 percent year-over-year sales decline) and the original Microsoft (Research) Xbox, whose sales plummeted 75 percent from the 2004 numbers. (Xbox sales were boosted last November, though, due to the launch of "Halo 2.")
Total software sales in November were down 18 percent over the 2004 figures, coming in at $696 million, according to analysts quoting data from The NPD Group. While discouraging to investors, the drop was better than predicted. Sales for all of 2005 remain 3 percent below last year's pace.
Sales of Sony's PSP (PlayStation Portable) handheld console were up 173 percent from the prior month, but remained weaker than expected, perhaps due to stronger software sales for the Nintendo DS.
"Consumers unable to find Xbox 360 hardware did not purchase as many current-generation software titles as expected," said Colin Sebastian of Thomas Weisel Partners.
Electronic Arts (Research)' "Madden 2006" and "Need for Speed: Most Wanted" and LucasArts' "Star Wars: Battlefront II" were the month's top selling titles. Activision's (Research) "Call of Duty II" led the Xbox 360 games, with nearly 8 out of 10 buyers picking up a copy when they bought the console.
December, thus far, appears to have been a sluggish month for video game sales as well, however analysts expect the industry to follow last year's trend, when spending picked up dramatically in the days leading up to Christmas.
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