Analysts: Video Game Sales Up 13% in Feb

U.S. sales of video games rose 13 percent in February, analysts said Friday, driven by the release of the hotly anticipated driving game "Gran Turismo 4 (search)" and continued strength of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (search)."

Citing data from the NPD Group (search), analyst said "GT4" from Sony Corp. was the best seller for the month, followed by Electronic Arts Inc.'s (ERTS) "NBA Street Vol. 3" and "San Andreas" from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (TTWO).

Analysts also cited evidence that hardware shortages were starting to ease and retailers had a better supply of consoles and handhelds. Retailers suffered during the last year-end holiday shopping season because of shortages particularly of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

The PS2 easily outsold both the Xbox and the GameCube in February and moved past 1 million units for the year to date.

More broadly, analysts expect industry sales to be flat to up 5 percent in 2005, as the industry transitions from the current generation of consoles to a new set of hardware over the next 24 months.