The NPD Group {link no longer active} has reported video game retail and online sales for the month of October, one of the biggest months leading into the forthcoming holiday season, and the numbers are looking strong.

Industry analyst Liam Callahan reported, “Overall sales across physical software, hardware and accessories experienced a modest two percent growth in October 2015 compared to October 2014. This was driven entirely by accessory sales, which grew by 18 percent, or just under $30MM.”

Callahan further noted that hardware “sales were flat from October 2014 to October 2015, with sales totaling $270.3MM. Cones sales were up three percent as portables declined 27 percent due to difficult comparisons to October 2014 sales.

“Console hardware sales increase by three percent over October 2014. This was due entirely to 8th generation console hardware sales, which rose by 12 percent to offset the 66 percent decrease in hardware sales for 7th generation consoles (like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360),” he continued.

“Bundles were the primary way consumers were purchasing hardware this month, as bundles represented 96 percent of unit sales in October 2015, up from 53 percent in October 2014.” This includes recently announced bundles like Sony’s custom Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Star Wars: Battlefront packages, as well as Microsoft’s various bundles, ranging from Halo 5: Guardians to a triple pack featuring Ori and the Blind Forest, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

Meanwhile video game sales dropped by three percent over the previous year, but titles like Halo 5: Guardians, managed to thrive, despite a five percent decrease in new title launches. Super Mario Maker, one of Nintendo’s bigger holiday hits for the season, also managed to stay quite relevant, even though it launched in September.

The report also notes how the return of the music & rhythm genre, marked by Rock Band 4 and Guitar Hero Live, made significant impact. “Rock Band 4 ranked 10th, and Guitar Hero Live ranked 11th (based on units sold). However, the ranking changes to 4th and 6th, respectively, when ranking on dollars,” said Callahan.

Accessories also played a big part in sales numbers for October. “Video game accessory sales rose 18 percent in October 2015, with sales driven by point/subscription cards, gamepads and headsets/headphones,” he said. “Video game point/subscription cards had a particularly large increase in sales, up 38 percent from October 2014, making this the best October for video game point/subscription on record.” This indicates that a lot of people are turning to digital purchases on their system, either with specific online-only releases or full titles in digital form.

“Gamepad sales increased by 29 percent year-over-year, which was due to a 163 percent increase in Xbox One sales with the release of the Xbox One Elite Controller,” he noted. The $149-priced controller has been sold out at retailers since its release, making it a hot commodity for the holiday season.

The top ten sellers in physical form for the month break down as follows:

  1. Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)
  2. NBA 2K16 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (Xbox One, PlayStation 4)
  4. Madden NFL 16 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
  5. WWE 2K16 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
  6. FIFA 16 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
  7. Destiny: The Taken King (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
  8. Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U)
  9. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PlayStation 4)
  10. Rock Band 4 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4)

Sports games are still among the top sellers, but Halo 5 proved to be a dominant champion yet again, based on its record-setting launch numbers, producing the highest numbers for the series to date.

November is likely to tell a different story. Both Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Bethesda’s Fallout 4 have produced record launch numbers, ranging around $550 million and $750 million, respectively. That could easily put a dent in Halo 5’s numbers, especially considering both titles are multi-platform, where Halo is Xbox One exclusive. There are other titles that could factor in as well, like Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Microsoft’s own Rise of the Tomb Raider and EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront, which is gaining tremendous buzz leading into its release next week.