NPD Reveals 2008's Best Selling Console Games

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Marking another record year for the United States video game sales, research firm NPD Group reports that 2008 saw the console market grow by 19% to $21.33 billion.

As for why studios are undergoing closures and layoffs following a record-breaking year, NPD analyst Anita Frazier explained that "this is not a case of the rising tide lifting all boats...increases are not being enjoyed equally by all manufacturers and publishers."

2008's best-selling console games at U.S. retailers were:

  1. Wii Play (Nintendo, Wii) - 5.28 million units
  2. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo, Wii) - 5 million units
  3. Wii Fit (Nintendo, Wii) - 4.53 million units
  4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo, Wii) - 4.17 million units
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, Xbox 360) - 3.29 million units*
  6. Call of Duty: World at War (Treyarch, Xbox 360) - 2.75 million units*
  7. Gears of War 2 (Epic, Xbox 360) - 2.31 million units*
  8. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, PS3) - 1.89 million units*
  9. Madden NFL 09 (EA Tiburon, Xbox 360) - 1.87 million units
  10. Mario Kart DS (Nintendo, DS) - 1.65 million units

(*includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

NPD broke down the year's total $21.33 billion revenue as follows:

  • Console Software - $10.96 billion (up 26% over 2007)
  • Console Hardware - $7.81 billion (up 11% over 2007)
  • Console Accessories - $2.57 billion (up 14% over 2007)

From The Chatty

  • reply
    January 15, 2009 3:59 PM

    Why is it that Wii Play counts as sales but other titles bundled with hardware do not?

    • reply
      January 15, 2009 4:01 PM

      In this instance, hardware refers to consoles themselves. Wii Play's extra remote is considered and accessory.

    • reply
      January 15, 2009 4:28 PM

      Also Wii Play wasn't bundled with the Wii console in the US. We got Wii Sports whereas I think it was Japan or Europe that got Wii Play bundled in with the console.