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NPD: Behind The Numbers, September 2008
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NPD: Behind The Numbers, September 2008

October 20, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 5 Next

September's Top 20 Games

In Thursday's release to the press, the NPD Group provided the top 10 software titles, ranked by unit sales. Below is the extended top 20 chart provided to Gamasutra, with the caveat that NPD does not generally provide unit sales for games outside of the top 10.

September 2008 Top 20

As expected, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed from LucasArts was the top seller for the month, leading on the Xbox 360 with 610,000 copies.

Three other versions made the top 20: the PS3 version (#5 and 325,000 copies), the Wii version (#9 and 223,000 copies), and the PS2 version (#14 and over 100,000 copies, according to notes from Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan).

With the Nintendo DS and PSP versions below 100,000, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed probably sold around 1.4 million copies during its launch month.

A now common trio of Nintendo Wii exclusives populated the top 10: Wii Fit (five months on the chart, sales of 2.3 million copies), Mario Kart (six months, 3.1 million copies), and Wii Play (20 months, 2.7 million YTD and 6.9 million LTD).

Wii Fit sales accelerated again in September, up from 98 thousand copies per week to nearly 104 thousand copies a week. Mario Kart for the Wii has sold one copy for every two Wii systems sold in the past quarter, the kind of recurring role that Wii Play has held for over a year and a half.

The software release of Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 in mid-September sold well enough to reach #3 on the chart, with sales of 363,000 units. (The hardware bundles will go on sale this weekend, on 19 October.)

The Xbox 360 version of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, developed by Pandemic and published by Electronic Arts, appeared at #6 on the chart after moving 297,000 copies. (The PS3 version sold somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 copies and ranked #16 for the month.)

Finally, last month's hit game, Madden NFL 09, took three spots in the top 20 for September: the Xbox 360 version at #8, the PS2 version at #10, and the PS3 version at #11.

Warner Interactive's LEGO Batman was available for 12 days during NPD's September period, and three versions ranked in the top 20. The PS2 was the lead version at #12, and the Wii and Xbox 360 versions ranked #18 and #19 respectively for the month.

Given Mr. Pachter's comments that eighteen titles sold more than 100,000 units, we can say that the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of LEGO Batman had sales over 100,000 each, while the Xbox 360 was probably just below 100,000.

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Richard Cody
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I think Sony wants to establish Uncharted as a popular brand for them and as a showcase of the system it makes a lot of sense. And it got solid ratings, anyone who's buying PS3 who takes a quick look at its scores will be satisfied.

Halo is a major release it threw everything off it sold multi-millions of copies and it's exclusive to 360. PS3 had Warhawk and Wii had launched Metroid Prime 3 at the end of August.

I definitely think it's just the month. There's a lot of high profile releases this month and then it's also important to factor in XBLA, PSN, and WiiShop sales because for people like me, that's where all my money is going.

John Palamarchuk
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Microsoft seems to be firesaling the Xbox 360 off. Anyone else sense desperation?

Just last week Dell was selling the 360 arcade version holiday bundle which includes 5 XBLA games (good XBLA games too, not trash), with Madden 09 for the massive price of $199. If you factor in all those games that puts the 360 cheaper than the PS2.

Simon Carless
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Or, John, it might be that they can break even at those hardware sale prices nowadays, thanks to cost cutting and economies of scale, so they want to aggressively increase their installed base. (Has anyone seen estimates for Xbox 360 hardware costs recently?)

Mike Lopez
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Where is the NPD data from the last economic slowdown during 2000/2001 (admittedly smaller scale than the current economic beating)?

Why is there any surprise there is no VG sales correlation with the economy when the same has been true in the past? I would not expect that to change now or when the current slowdown turns into a full blown recession.