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Activision Plays Mean 'Guitar'

Its 'Guitar Hero III' video game blows away the October sales charts.



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has a winner on its hands.

The company's latest video game,

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

sold more than 1.4 million copies sold within a week of its Oct. 28 release, helping its various console versions to four of the top 10 spots on the monthly video games sales charts, according to research firm NPD.

"Very few games sell in excess of 1 million units in their first month in market, but

Guitar Hero III

did that easily," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "Since it has broad appeal, it's also the type of game that should continue to do very well throughout the holidays."

Guitar Hero III



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console ranked second among all games sold (383,200 copies) for the period Oct. 10-Nov. 3, followed by the version for


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Wii (286,300 copies). The version for


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PlayStation 2 version came in fourth on the charts (271,100 copies).

Any of its individual versions, however, was technically outranked by Microsoft's monster hit

Halo 3

, which sold 433,800 copies last month.

Halo 3

, released on Sept. 25, sold a whopping 3.3 million copies within the first 12 days.

Electronic Arts


also found a spot on the charts. It came in ninth with its game

FIFA Soccer 08

for the PS2.


Legend of Zelda: Plantom Hourglass

game for the DS ranked fifth on the charts, while its

Brain Age 2

game grabbed the 10th spot.

For the year to date, the top five sellers have been Microsoft's

Halo 3

, EA's

Madden NFL 08

, Activision's

Guitar Hero 2

, followed by Nintendo's

Wii Play

and its version of

Pokemon Diamond


Among hardware systems, Nintendo remained strong, selling 519,000 Wiis in October, compared with 501,000 the previous month, said NPD. Microsoft sold 366,000 Xbox 360s, compared with 527,800 in September, indicating Halo 3's power to move Xbox 360 consoles may be weakening.

Sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 seemed to hold up as the company sold 121,000 PS3s, up from 119,4000 systems during September. Sony recently offered a $100 price cut for its 80-gigabyte model but the impact of that will be seen only in sales data released next month, said NPD.

Sony's older PlayStation 2 console showed signs of slowing down, after holding its own for months against the newer devices. Sony sold 184,000 PS2s in October, down from 215,000 PS2s the month before.

Overall industry sales, including hardware, software and accessories, grew 73% to touch $1.1 billion during the month, compared with $643.3 million a year earlier. Since the beginning of the year, the video-game industry has raked in $10.5 billion compared with $7 billion in 2006.

Software sales for consoles jumped 45% to $412.5 million in October, up from $283.3 million in the same period one year ago.

Sony sold 286,000 handheld PlayStation Portables, compared with 284,500 in September, while rival Nintendo's version, the DS, sold 458,000 systems, compared with 495,800 a month ago.

Sales of video game accessories were up 94% from a year ago to $67 million.