Madden, Saints Row IV, Disney Infinity push year-over-year sales up for the first time since November of 2011. It’s been a difficult year for US retail game sales, but the industry-tracking NPD Group’s August sales figures offer room for a bit of optimism heading into the key holiday sales season. Even with hardware sales stagnating due to upcoming next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony, gains in new software and accessory sales were enough to push the industry’s total haul for the month up 1 percent to $521 million. Even though the month’s best seller, EA’s Madden NFL 25, was actually down in sales year-over-year, a strong lineup of blockbusters without analogous releases in August 2012 helped drive software sales up 21 percent to $305 million. It was also the first month since November 2011 to see a year-over-year increase in retail game software sales.