The statistics are in and apparently it was a Nintendo Christmas. Approximately 1.4 million of the Wii console systems found their way down chimneys in December, according to a report by the NPD Group. About 2.5 million DS also were purchased. The accomplishment allowed the entire video gaming industry to over $17.9 billion in sales, 43% higher than last year. Microsoft sold nearly 1.3 million Xbox 360s and Sony managed to sell about 800,000 PS3s. As for games statistics, “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” and “Call of Duty 4” each sold over 2 million copies in December alone.
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December’s NPD final numbers have been released, and the video game industry as a whole did remarkably well, selling over $3.7 billion during the final month of the year. According to a GameDaily report, this puts industry growth year-over-year at 27.8%. In hardware, the biggest seller overall was the Nintendo DS, moving over 1.6 million handhelds. This was followed by Sony’s “last-generation” console, the PS2, which sold an amazing 1.4 million consoles sold.
For the current generation of consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 lead the pack at 1.1 million sold through December, followed by Nintendo’s Wii with 604,200 sold and Sony at 490,700. Supply constraints clearly impacted both Nintendo and Sony for their next generation offerings; Nintendo’s worldwide launch stretched console supply impossibly thin, and production issues kept Sony from pushing as many consoles to market as they would have liked. Microsoft has to be happy with their totals, maintaining their lead in the face of new competition, and the continued success of the PS2 helps take the sting out of Sony’s meager PS3 launch.
On the software side, Microsoft’s Gears of War continued to sell well and moved more than 815 thousand units, and clearly helped drive sales of the Xbox 360. Guitar Hero II was a huge seller for the Playstation 2, and the combined sales of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii and Gamecube moved over one million sold; Zelda for the Wii continued to have a huge attach rate with Wii console buyers, selling 519,200 units against more than 600,000 consoles.
Overall, each of the three console manufacturers has something to brag about for the month of December, and while the relative sales are interesting now, this is just the beginning of the next console war; most analysts are predicting that the holiday season for 2007 will be when consumers will see how the competition really shakes up.
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