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NPD Releases 2004 Sales Figures

The NPD Group has released its report on the 2004 retail performance of the video game industry, showing a relatively buoyant, if not sparkling market. Compared to 2003's...
The NPD Group has released its report on the 2004 retail performance of the video game industry, showing a relatively buoyant, if not sparkling market. Compared to 2003's results, 2004 saw a miniscule decline of less than 1 percent in revenue -- $9.9 billion as opposed to 2003's $10 billion -- but a 4 percent rise in combined hardware and software units sold. Significant dollar sales growth came in the areas of console games (7 percent), portable games (11 percent) and portable hardware (10 percent). The introduction of the new Nintendo DS, as well as the relative cheapness of older Game Boy Advance models likely helps account for the high increase in portable hardware sales, and this year's launch of the PSP could mean another year of high portable hardware sales. Total software sales, fueled by the avalanche of high-quality titles in the 2004 holiday season, rose above the $6.2 billion mark, an increase of 8 percent over 2003. But the reason for the slight hardware downturn was the result of the now-familiar console shortage, a cause of woe for several major electronics retailers, as well as decreased prices for the now-aging current console hardware. Console hardware sales decreased 27 percent in dollar sales and 16 percent in unit sales, though again, portable hardware was on the rise by 10 percent, from 2003's $751 million to $828 million in 2004.

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