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Football Scores EA Top Spot

<I>NCAA Football 08</I>'s July success pushes Activision out of the No. 1 video-game spot.

Video-games publisher

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

regained its top spot on the monthly video games chart in July with its football game, even as

Sony

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saw its $100 price cut for the PlayStation 3 console pay off.

Sony sold 159,000 PS3s in July, compared with 98,469

the month before, according to data from market research firm

The NPD Group

. The company lowered the price of the PS3 to $499 on July 8.

Sony's success coincided with Electronic Arts' comeback on the charts.

Electronic Arts, which had lost the top spot to rival

Activision

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in June, ruled the July charts with its

NCAA Football 08

game for

Microsoft's

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Xbox 360 consoles.

Activision came in second with its

Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s

game for Sony's PlayStation 2.

NCAA Football 08

from EA for the Xbox 360 sold 397,000 copies, while Activision sold 339,000 copies of its

Guitar Hero

game for the PS2.

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Despite the summer slowdown, video games sales -- hardware, software and accessories -- continued to get the attention of consumers. Overall video-game industry sales rose 77% to $925.7 million in July, compared with $675.6 million the same month year-before.

In the year to date, industry sales are up 43% to $7 billion from the same period in 2006.

"At this pace, the industry is on track to ring up $16 billion to $18 billion for the year," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst for The NPD Group.

Hardware sales rose 77% during the month to $380.8 million and totaled $2.7 billion for the year. Console hardware sales soared 140.7% in July to $286 million, compared with $111.8 million the year before.

Nintendo's

Wii showed no signs of slowing down, with 425,000 systems sold during the month. Consumers bought 222,000 Sony PS2s and 170,000 Microsoft Xbox 360s.

The Madden Effect

Software sales were up 11% to $419.2 million during the month and touched $3.3 billion for the year. Sales of game accessories were up 51% in July to $125.4 million.

"July is typically one of the slower months for the video-game industry, falling between June and the related Father's Day, and graduation gift occasions -- and before

Madden

month," said Frazier.

Madden

football, one of EA's biggest sports-related titles, released last week.

EA's other football game,

NCAA Football 08

, for the Xbox 360 ruled the charts, while the PS2 version came in fourth with 236,000 copies sold. The PS3 version of the game ranked sold 156,000 copies and ranked sixth on the charts.

Rival Activision's

Guitar Hero

game ranked second, while the

Transformers

game for the PS2 came in ninth with 138,000 copies sold in the month. The company's

Guitar Hero 2

game for the Xbox 360 sold 108,000 copies and came in 10th.

Nintendo's

Wii Play

game sold 278,000 units and came in third on the charts, while the company's

Wii Mario Party 8

title sold 177,000 copies and ranked fifth.

Portable game hardware sales declined 1% during July to $94.9 million. Nintendo DS sold 405,000 systems, while Sony sold 214,000 PlayStation Portables.