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U.S.: Sale of Blu-ray-Equipped PS3 Nearly Doubles in May-June

Thanks mostly to one major video game title, according to the NPD Group, American sales of video-game products (both hardware and software) including the PlayStation 3 console with Blu-ray Disc drive grew by 53 percent between June of 2007 and June 2008. The PS3 alone nearly doubled its sales between May and June 2008.

One big game seller, “Metal Gear Solid 4,” from Konami, was instrumental in that dramatic one-month increase in the number of PS3 game consoles sold, said NPD, a market researcher. (“Metal Gear” can only be used with a PS3 console.)

All PS3 units are built with internal Blu-ray drives, so the more game consoles are sold, the wider the base of potential Blu-ray users (even though Blu-ray may not be the determining factor in why many gamers buy PS3 consoles). American PS3 unit sales climbed 94 percent in June (405,500) from the previous month (208,700).

This compares with 219,800 Xbox 360 consoles from Microsoft sold in June (a nearly 18 percent increase from May) and 660,000 Wii consoles sold (a slight decrease from May). Neither Xbox nor Wii come with a Blu-ray drive, although Xbox 360 users can buy a Blu-ray add-on, if desired.