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US video game sales up 37% in May

Video-game sales in the United States, led by Take-Two Interactive Software's “Grand Theft Audio 4,” increased 37% in May from a year earlier to $1.12 billion dollars.

Consumers purchased 1.31 million copies of the game last month, the New York-based market research firm NPD Group Inc said Thursday, while video-game hardware sales rose 34%, led by Nintendo Co.'s Wii.

During the month, Nintendo sold 675,000 Wiis, Sony Corp sold 209,000 PlayStation 3 machines and Microsoft sold 187,000 Xbox 360 consoles.

Both Microsoft and Sony earlier said sales of GTA 4 would likely translate into a surge of consoles sales but the numbers for May didn't bear out that notion.

“The continued success of GTA 4 is not translating into big hardware sales for either the PS3 or the 360 but there may yet be a lift in June due to gift giving for Father's Day and graduations,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in the report.

To date, the US video games industry has generated $6.6 billion in sales, topping total 2007 annual revenue, NPD said, noting the industry is on pace to see revenue in the $21 billion to $23 billion range in 2008.

The Wii from Nintendo, which has benefited from hit games such as the Wii Fit exercise title, and Nintendo's DS have garnered the top two spots in hardware sales for the fourth consecutive month, NPD said. (Xinhua)