Video Game Sales Grow 6% in March

Video game sales rise 6% in March, led by Nintendo.
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(Video game sales article updated with GameStop upgrade.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Video game sales grew 6% in March, following two months of double-digit declines.

According to the NPD Group, sales hit $1.52 billion, boosted by

Nintendo's

gaming systems, new "Pokemon" games and

Sony's

(SNE) - Get Report

God of War III

.

Software sales jumped 10% to $875.3 million, significantly better than the 3% gain analysts predicted. Hardware sales, however, fell 4% to $440.5 million, as prices of consoles were down 16% compared with last year.

Nintendo's Wii continued to be the best-seller, with 557,500 units purchased.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

sold 338,400 units of its Xbox 360, while Sony's PlayStation 3 saw 313,900 units purchased.

The video industry has been receiving some upbeat news. On Thursday,

Activision Blizzard

(ATVI) - Get Report

upped its full-year earnings, citing strong demand for games like

World of Warcraft

and

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

.

The company now expects to earn 72 cents a share for the year, up from its prior forecast of 70 cents.

Shares of Activision are rising 1.6% to $11.85 in morning trading.

GameStop

(GME) - Get Report

was also upgraded to buy at BB&T Capital. Shares of the video game retailer are gaining 2.1% to $24.94 in morning trading, even as the rest of the retail sector takes a hit.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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