If the recent wave of retailer results is leaving you uninspired, take heart in knowing that GameStop (NYSE:GME) reports next week. The small-box video game specialist has soundly beaten analyst estimates in each of the past six quarters. The streak should continue; the early word is that the latest quarter will be another winner.

Industry watcher NPD Group is reporting that the video game industry posted a sharp 28% spike in sales last month, compared with last year's showing. The strong showing is the result of a 17% gain in hardware sales and a robust 41% increase in software. The breakdown is noteworthy because retailer margins are higher on the video game software than the devices that play them.

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) led the way with NCAA Football 09. That's not really a surprise because EA owns the month with its college football franchise. Last year's installment moved 633,000 copies in July, according to NPD Group. This year's version is only doing marginally better at 640,100 units. Naturally, this means that the rest of the list is really blowing away last year's results.

Nintendo's Wii Fit, with 369,600 copies, is next. The popular Nintendo fitness program is pricier than more conventional titles, coming with its own balance board controller. In other words, on a dollar basis, Wii Fit would have sacked the college football game. Nintendo scored three of the best-selling titles for the month.

Another notable player is Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO). Grand Theft Auto IV may have faded from the best-seller list, but Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution squeezed into the 10th spot in July. It is just one more reason why EA will have a hard time wresting away Take-Two in its drawn-out tender offer. Take-Two is no one-trick pony, apparently.

On the hardware front, Nintendo is still the runaway champ. It moved 555,000 Wii consoles last month, and another 608,400 of its portable DS systems. Sony (NYSE:SNE) follows, with each of its PS3 console and PSP handheld systems outselling Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox 360.

Add it up and it's just one more reason to believe in the "staycation" theory. Folks are staying closer to home this summer, and they apparently have no problem spending money to make that time at home more enjoyable.

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It's no wonder that David Gardner recommended Take-Two Interactive to Rule Breakers subscribers several months ago. Electronic Arts, GameStop, and Nintendo are Stock Advisor selections. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. To test-drive any of the newsletter services, we'll give you the keys for free 30-day trials. 

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has played a few of the Grand Theft Auto games, though he's never been much of a carjacker. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.