Each month the NPD Group releases data about sales in the
U.S. video game industry, including a closely watched list of the top 10 selling
software titles. Unfortunately for market data mavens, the top 10 provides only
a tiny window into the larger market.
When dozens of games are released each
month across no fewer than six console and handheld platforms, there simply
aren't enough data points to see how games are selling on each platform.
However, in coordination with the NPD Group, Gamasutra has
exclusive data on the top 5 titles for each of the current-generation consoles.
While these are simply additional small windows on the market and not the type
of broad view that a top 100 or even top 20 might provide, they do help
illuminate what kind of software is selling on which platforms.
Here are the top five selling titles for the year on the
PlayStation 3, through the end of August 2008.
Note that this ranking does not include collector's
editions and software bundled with hardware. Therefore, the Metal Gear Solid 4
ranking does not count the Collector's Edition, nor does it count copies
bundled with 80GB PlayStation 3 units.
Seeing Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4 at the
top of the listing is not a huge surprise. The former moved 1.4 million copies
(including the Collector's Edition) in its first two months, and Kojima's
latest opus moved around a million in its first month when hardware bundled
copies were counted.
These two games were heavily promoted and were considered
system sellers, although only MGS4 can probably claim that moniker with any
Meanwhile, we now know that the PS3 version of Call of
Duty 4 had enough sales after Christmas 2007 to put it somewhere north of
600,000 copies for this year. (The NPD Group did not release unit sales data to
us for these titles, so rough estimates will have to suffice.)
power of Call of Duty 4 is simply amazing, and Activision will be fortunate to
score again this year with Call of Duty 5.
The last entry in the list, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue is a
bit of a surprise, at least to us. We had thought it probable that Devil May
Cry 4 would have beaten out GT5P, but these figures suggest otherwise.
Depending on how well GT5P has sold through the PlayStation Store, it is possible
that it has sold more copies (via retail and download combined) than the PS3
version of Madden.