Despite slouching sales numbers for November, which left many analysts predicting a slow year overall, 2005 turned out to be a record year for videogame sales, according to The NPD Group.
As reported today by CNN Money, videogame software and hardware sales (not including PC) totaled $10.5 billion in 2005, six percent above $9.9 billion in 2004. Perhaps surprising for a transitional year when gamers prepared for a new console generation, 2005 also set a new record for sales, breaking 2002's $10.2 billion mark.
It's true that the dearth of Xbox 360 hardware hurt sales, and consumers apparently didn't want to take a last-generation substitute: Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube software figures dropped 12% from last year.
However, portable gaming scurried in to pick up the slack. Software sales for Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and the PSP reached $1.4 billion -- a hefty 42% jump over 2004. Portable hardware sales rose 96%, and the Game Boy Advance dominated with 52% of portable sales.
"The introduction of the Xbox 360 was a defining moment for the industry in 2005. However, it goes without saying that the full impact of next generation consoles on the consumer market won't unfold until later this year when Sony and Nintendo's video game consoles hit U.S. retail shelves," said Anita Frazier of The NPD Group.
Finally, The NPD Group revealed the Top 10 bestselling titles for 2005:
1. Madden NFL 2006 (PS2) Electronic Arts
2. Pokemon Emerald (GBA) Nintendo
3. Gran Turismo 4 (PS2) Sony Computer Entertainment
4. Madden NFL 2006 (Xbox) Electronic Arts
5. NCAA Football 06 (PS2) Electronic Arts
6. Star Wars: Battlefront II (PS2) LucasArts
7. MVP Baseball 2005 (PS2) Electronic Arts
8. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (PS2) LucasArts
9. NBA Live 06 (PS2) Electronic Arts
10. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (PS2) Eidos