According to the NPD Group, the February numbers are in, and industry representatives are all smiles.

The U.S. statistics point to significant growth over February of 2006, with games sales up almost 28%, jumping from the $345 million posted a year ago to $441 million. And of course, thanks to the recent console launches, hardware sales nearly doubled to $402 million. And if we take accessory sales into account, the total growth is over 53%: from $639 million to nearly $1 billion ($978 million).

As usual, the Nintendo DS led the pack in terms of hardware sales, moving 485,000 units in February. The Wii took a solid second with 335,000, then came the PS2 at 295,000, the Xbox 360 at 228,000, the PSP at 176,000, and the PS3 brought up the rear with 127,000. This comes as no surprise, with the most anticipated titles for the system still unreleased, and the PS2 still running hot with the likes of Final Fantasy XII and God of War II lighting up the twilight days of Sony's old console.

As for games, the 360's Crackdown claimed the top spot in February (it sold 427,000 copies in February), while other big-name titles like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess , Guitar Hero II bundle, Diddy Kong Racing , and Lost Planet made the top 10 list. In the end, more growth for the industry = good news, plain and simple.

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