American video games sales were up 9 per cent in August (compared with the same month last year) with sales of gaming hardware, software, and accessories totalling a cool $1.08 billion

NPD Group noted that software sales were up 13 per cent and hardware sales were up 3 per cent. So much for the so-called 'summer lull' then!

While critics are quick to point out that this is the smallest monthly sales increase in over two years, it is still a considerable increase, boosted by the recent Xbox 360 price cut (with the Xbox 360 Arcade now costing a mere $199) and the launches of blockbuster titles such as the latest in the ever-popular Madden series, with Madden NFL 09 having sold over a million units on Xbox 360, 643,000 units on PS3 and 424,500 on PlayStation 2.

Wii still storms ahead

Microsoft sold 195,200 Xbox 360s versus 185,400 PS3 consoles in the US in August, while the Nintendo Wii still storms ahead of both, having sold 453,000 units through the same month.

Nintendo's DS sold 518,300 units in the US in August compared to 253,000 units Sony's PlayStation Portable.