NPD: Nintendo Drives '08 Industry Sales Past $21 Billion

As people flocked to stores buying Wiis, they also bought Wii Play, which became the best selling title in '08. Five of the top 10 games for the year were from Nintendo.

by James Brightman on Thursday, January 15, 2009

NPD: Nintendo Drives '08 Industry Sales Past $21 Billion

GameDaily BIZ has received the NPD video game sales data for December and the 2008 calendar year. As most were expecting, 2008 was indeed another record shattering year for the U.S. video game industry. Total sales in December were up nine percent to $5.29 billion, which drove full-year sales to $21.33 billion (up 19 percent from 2007).

Video game hardware was up just two percent in December, totaling $1.88 billion, bringing total 2008 hardware sales to $7.81 billion (up 11 percent). Software sales drove December, climbing 15 percent to $2.75 billion, ultimately bringing total software sales for the year to $10.96 billion (a sizable 26 percent jump from '07). Accessories also grew eight percent in December to $662 million, finishing up 14 percent for the year at $2.57 billion.

There can be no doubt that Nintendo was the driving force in 2008, both from a hardware and software perspective. In December, the Wii sold 2.15 million additional units and the DS sold a whopping 3.04 million units. Microsoft's Xbox 360 had a respectable showing with 1.44 million sold. Sony's PSP also fared decently with 1.02 million units sold. Finally, the PS3 trailed with just 726K units sold and the PS2 was at the bottom with 410K.

Nintendo's Wii Play was the top selling game of December and all of 2008. This comes as little surprise considering that it's been in the top 10 every month and provides new Wii owners with an additional Wii Remote. For the full year, Wii games occupied the top four slots. The only game that even came close to Nintendo's sales level was GTA IV, which finished 2008 with 3.29 million sold on Xbox 360 and 1.89 million on PS3.

Below you will find two charts, one for the top selling games of December and another for the top selling games of 2008, both ranked by units.

Top 10 Games of December 2008

1. Wii Play w/ remote - Wii – Nintendo – 1.46 million
2. Call of Duty: World at War - Xbox 360 – Activision – 1.33 million*
3. Wii Fit w/ balance board – Wii – Nintendo – 999K
4. Mario Kart Wii w/ wheel – Wii – Nintendo – 979K
5. Guitar Hero: World Tour - Wii – Activision – 850K*
6. Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 – Microsoft – 745K*
7. Left 4 Dead - Xbox 360 – Electronic Arts – 629K
8. Mario Kart - DS – Nintendo – 540K
9. Call of Duty: World at War - PS3 – Activision – 533K
10. Animal Crossing: City Folk - Wii – Nintendo – 497K*

* Includes Collector's, Limited, Legendary, and Bundled Editions

Top 10 Games of Calendar Year 2008

1. Wii Play w/ remote - Wii – Nintendo – 5.28 million
2. Mario Kart Wii w/ wheel – Wii – Nintendo – 5.00 million
3. Wii Fit w/ balance board – Wii – Nintendo – 4.53 million
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Wii – Nintendo – 4.17 million
5. Grand Theft Auto IV - Xbox 360 – Take-Two – 3.29 million*
6. Call of Duty: World at War - Xbox 360 – Activision – 2.75 million*
7. Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 – Microsoft – 2.31 million*
8. Grand Theft Auto IV - PS3 – Take-Two – 1.89 million*
9. Madden NFL '09 - Xbox 360 – Electronic Arts – 1.87 million*
10. Mario Kart - DS – Nintendo – 1.65 million

* Includes Collector's, Limited, Legendary, and Bundled Editions


Next page: We chat with NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier

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