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March NPD: 3DS launch-o-rama

by Alice O'Connor, Apr 15, 2011 11:45am PDT

Market research firm has issued its latest monthly retail-only sales report, covering February 27 through April 2--the first since the Nintendo 3DS handheld launched in March. As ever, console manufacturers have come out of the woodwork to support the report with figures and marketing spin.

Nintendo relays that the 3DS sold "just shy of 400,000 units" in the US within its first seven days of sale after launching on March 27. This falls slightly short of the regular Nintendo DS models, which combined sold 460,000 units.

NPD points out that the 3DS managed around 100,000 units fewer than the Nintendo DS sold in a similar launch period, though the higher price means the 3DS came out on top in terms of revenue generated.

The 3DS and DS sales lead to the best-selling March in US history for Nintendo's portable hardware business, the company said. The best selling March, eh? A laudable accomplishment, to be sure.

The Nintendo 3DS also shifted more software units than the DS managed in its first month, in spite of selling fewer handhelds. Of all the 3DS launch titles, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition sold the most, but not enough to break into the multi-platform top 10.

Nintendo also boasted of Pokemon White and Pokemon Black topping the multi-platform chart, with sales of 1.3 million and 1.1 million units respectively.

Microsoft's own boast was that the Xbox 360 was once again the best-selling console of the month, selling 430,000 units--an increase of 28% year over year. Apparently, this is "the largest growth of any current generation console on the market."

Sony, for its part, claims that the PlayStation 3 has now shipped over 50 million units worldwide, and the PlayStation Move has shipped more than 8 million units.

NPD notes that the total consumer spend is essentially the same as it was during this period last year, with a rise in digital products making up for a slight decline in retail physical antiquities. While NPD's data has grown increasingly less complete as digital distribution, downloadable content, subscription fees and other models have spread throughout video games, the firm recognises this shortcoming and plans to report digital sales too. Perhaps to this end, NPD recently acquired a firm specialising in tracking digital entertainment.

Onto the retail chart, where Homefront was the best-selling non-Pokemon game, Dragon Age II did well, Cod Blops hung tough, and Crysis 2 put in a respectable showing. Here's the list:





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