In a bit of news that comes as a surprise this late in the current generation's lifecycle, console sales jumped up over February in the US, according to NPD.
Hardware sales were up 10% overall, with all three home consoles seeing their numbers go up, while the only lagging sector was the handheld market, which saw a 27% drop over last year. Of course, with the 3DS so soon to hit North American shores, this comes as a surprise to no one.
Meanwhile, software sales were down, as expected. The top three games by sales were Black Ops, followed by Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and Just Dance 2.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier said points cards made up 22 percent of accessory sales in February -- about $57 million, a 52 percent increase from a year earlier.
Since these NPD numbers do not track downloaded games, yet points cards saw such a jump, it would be interesting to find out how including sales of downloaded games would alter the news on software sales.
Regardless, since this is near the end of the traditional console lifespan for the big three, and since this time of year is typically dry for console makers anyway, these numbers have to be encouraging for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.