While all the market surveys show North Americans cutting back on their year-end holiday shopping expenditures and, in many cases, pooling their gift dollars on one big gift the whole family can enjoy, one traditional gift-giving favourite is actually selling better than last year.

A survey by market research firm NPD Group reveals that U.S. computer game hardware and software sales in November topped (US)$3 billion, an increase of 10 per cent over the same period last year.

NPD specifically cited strong Black Friday (the day after U.S. Thanksgiving) sales of the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft (MS) game consoles and the newly-released game title, Gears of War 2 for the increase.

How does that translate to actual units sold? MS moved some 836,000 Xboxes in November and Sony sold 378,too Playstation 3s. But Nintendo really cashed in, selling more than 2 million Wii consoles.

The Wii was so popular, in fact, that it was sold out in many online and retail stores immediately Black Friday. But, as TLP reported earlier this week, mega-retailer Wal Mart came to the rescue, releasing ‘tens of thousands’ of Wiis for sale.

Joining Gears of War 2 among the top ten game titles in November: Call of Duty: World at War, Left 4 Dead and the Wi-specific Wii Play and Wii Fit packages.

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