With Wii and DS, Nintendo owns 2007

The Tiger Woods of game companies.


Farhad Manjoo
January 18, 2008 9:34PM (UTC)

The research firm the NPD Group's December video game sales figures are out, and quel surprise, they show Nintendo at the top of the charts. And now that we have the December figures we can paint a picture of 2007 in full, and, dag yo, there goes Nintendo again.

Nintendo sold 6.29 million Wiis in 2007 -- the best-selling home console of the year. As a comparison, Microsoft put out 4.62 million XBox 360s, while Sony sold 3.97 million PlayStation 2s and 2.56 million PlayStation 3s. (NPD analysts speculate that folks are buying PS2s as a substitute for the Wii, which is perpetually oversold.)

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With the DS, Nintendo also topped the handheld game market. The company sold 8.5 million units. Sony sold 3.82 million units of its handheld, the PSP.

December was a blowout for everyone, perhaps the best month in the game industry ever. Revenues for hardware and software across the industry reached $4.82 billion for the month; for the year, sales were at $17.9 billion, 43 percent ahead of sales in 2006.

With Nintendo firmly in the lead, the real fight these days is for the No. 2 spot, with the PS3 making a good effort to unseat the 360.

Sony was in a distant place for much of the year, but after slashing the price of its device it saw huge gains in sales. In December, the company sold nearly 800,000 PS3s -- a very handsome sum.

Trouble is, the XBox's sales also spiked in the holiday season. Microsoft moved 1.26 million units in December, enough for a comfortable second place. Nintendo sold 1.35 million Wiis in December.

"Halo 3," for the 360, was the best-selling game of 2007, selling 4.82 million copies. Also in the Top 10: "Call of Duty 4," for the 360; the PS2 versions of "Guitar Hero" 2 and 3; and, for the Wii, "Wii Play," "Super Mario Galaxy" and "Mario Party 8."

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Isn't it funny about the Wii -- nobody can get one, but everyone's buying one? A good problem to have.

NPD December: $18 Billion Year For Game Industry [Game | Life]


Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

MORE FROM Farhad Manjoo

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