NPD Reveals 2008's Best Selling Console Games

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)

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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.

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