Nintendo Dominates December 2009 NPD Video Game Sales Charts

It doesn't take a press release to see Nintendo's crushing dominance of the December NPD video game sales charts. Having one, though, does bring to light that their victory was so decisive that in a year when hardware sales were down, they set an all-time single-month sales record with 3.8 million Wii's sold. They didn't let up on the handheld front either, selling an impressive 3.31 million DS.

In comparison, while the 1.36 million PS3's sold during December gave Sony a marginal lead over the 1.31 million Xbox 360's of rival Microsoft, the gulf between either of them and Nintendo renders it a moral victory at best. And while it has built a foundation in its installed base, the new Go model hasn't stimulated the PSP with sales down 35.8% year over year. Against Nintendo's handheld powerhouse and the continuing charge of the iPhone in mobile gaming, PSP's situation continues to get more precarious.

December 2009 Hardware Sales:

  1. Nintendo Wii: 3.81 million
  2. Nintendo DS: 3.31 million
  3. PlayStation 3: 1.36 million
  4. Xbox 360: 1.31 million
  5. PSP: 654,700
  6. PlayStation 2: 333,200

On the software side, Nintendo first-party titles cleaned up on the Wii. For next-gen game publishers, Modern Warfare 2 will standout for just managing to beat out top finisher New Super Mario Bros Wii when both PS3 and 360 version sales are combined. NPD analyst Anita Frazier noted, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has become the fourth best-selling game of all time. In fact, 3 of the top 10 games of all time are Call of Duty games." The argument for developing a platform exclusive title in 2010 will be a hard one to win without significant commitment from the platform holder. Even then the allure of the broader market will be hard to pass up. But if you have to go one way or the other, 360 continues to show its ability to sell publisher's games with the strong numbers posted by Assassin's Creed and Left 4 Dead 2.

December 2009 Software Sales:

  1. New Super Mario Bros. (Wii): 2.82 million
  2. Wii Fit Plus (Wii): 2.41 million
  3. Wii Sports Resort w/Motion Plus (Wii): 1.79 million
  4. CoD Modern Warfare 2 (360): 1.62 million
  5. CoD Modern Warfare 2 (PS3): 1.12 million
  6. Wii Play w/Remote (Wii): 1.01 million
  7. Mario Kart w/Wheel (Wii): 936,100
  8. Assassin's Creed 2 (360): 783,100
  9. Left 4 Dead 2 (360): 728,500
  10. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS): 656,700

[thank you to the NPD Group for sharing this overview of their complete report each month]