Rousing Debut for Wii

The Nintendo console trounces Sony's PS3 in the first days both were on sale in the U.S.
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The video-game sector appears to be off to a strong start this holiday season as industry sales including hardware, software and accessories reached $1.7 billion in November.

The results, tallied by market research firm

NPD Group

, are of particular interest because last month saw the introduction of two big consoles,

Sony's

(SNE) - Get Report

PlayStation 3 and

Nintendo's

Wii.

Round one in the battle has gone to the Wii, which sold 476,000 units in the month, while Sony's PS3 sold just 197,000 units in the U.S., NPD said. Pricing may have had something to do with it -- the Wii retails for $250, whereas the PS3 is sold as a $499 standard model and a $599 upgraded version.

NPD tracked sales from Oct. 25 to Nov. 26, receiving 60% of its data from U.S. retailers and projecting the rest. NPD doesn't get figures from the biggest retailer,

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

.

The PS3 went on sale Nov. 17, and the Wii followed two days later.

Meanwhile,

Microsoft's

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Xbox 360, which has been available since November 2005, beat both last month, selling 511,000 units and taking its total to 3.8 million.

Sony's older PlayStation 2 outsold all of the current-generation consoles, clocking sales of 664,000 units last month. Leading the pack though was a handheld game system, the Nintendo DS, with 918,000 units. With that, the DS has reached an installed base of 8.1 million.

Video game software sales were up to $804 million, and hardware sales, including both consoles and portable hardware, rose to $771 million.

Among games,

Gears of War

for Microsoft's 360,

Final Fantasy XII

for the PS2 and

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

for Wii emerged as the top games for the month.

Gears of War

, made by Epic Games, sold 1 million units in November, raking in $61.5 million, NPD said.

Final Fantasy XII

from developer Square Enix made $49 million, followed by Nintendo's latest

Legend of Zelda

title at $20.2 million.