October was another disappointing month for the video game industry, though help is on the way.

Industry watcher NPD Group reported metrics for October, with industry sales slipping 4% to $1.03 billion. Hardware sales fell a problematic 26%, raining on a modest 6% uptick in software and a more robust 18% spike in accessories.

This may be the first time in five months that game titles inch higher, but keep in mind that this is a year-over-year gauge. Software gains don't look so hot when you recall that overall industry sales plunged a steep 19% last October. In other words, sector sales are 22% below where they were two years ago.

It's clearly telling that the best-selling title for the month was Take-Two Interactive's (Nasdaq: TTWO) NBA 2k11. Remember all of the hype around Electronic Arts' (Nasdaq: ERTS) Medal of Honor? It had to settle for bronze.

November should provide a welcome break for an industry that has been slipping and sliding since early last year.

Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Kinect hit the market earlier this month, and the $150 Xbox 360 add-on sold a million units in its first 10 days on the market. A week after Kinect's debut, Activision Blizzard's (Nasdaq: ATVI) record-setting release of Call of Duty: Black Ops moved $360 million on its first day.

Tack on the Kinect-related games and consumers who may have been waiting for the latest Call of Duty installment to upgrade their consoles and it's highly likely that NPD's mid-December report for the month of November is going to be a blowout.

We'll get an early glimpse when leading specialty retailer GameStop (NYSE: GME) reports. Since retail markups are more generous on the software side than on the hardware end, even October was probably a positive one for the game sellers. If November's early success bleeds into December, this could be the blockbuster holiday quarter that investors have been waiting on for nearly two years.

A lot can change between now and then, but at least the gaming industry is finally moving in the right direction where -- and when -- it matters the most.

Are you buying video game stocks these days? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. Take-Two Interactive Software is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing covered calls on GameStop. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Take-Two Interactive Software. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will admit to still playing video games, though finding time is the rub. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.