Software Top 20: What's Old Is New
The top 20 software titles for the month of February 2009 are shown below. Regular readers will recognize several returning titles.
Nintendo's Wii Fit again took the #1 spot on the chart while the other Wii regulars – Wii Play and Mario Kart – took #4 and #6, respectively. If sales of these titles continue through April (and there is no immediate reason to suspect otherwise) they will have all three remained in the top 10 together for a full year.
Furthermore, February marks the first month of what may be Wii Play's third year in the regular top 10 charts.
The other big story in the top 20 this month is the strong showing by the Xbox 360 software lineup. Not only did the Xbox 360 version of Capcom's Street Fighter IV take the #2 spot for the month with 446,000 units (about 43,000 units ahead of its PlayStation 3 counterpart), but the system landed a total of nine titles in the top 20.
Along with recent hits like Call of Duty: World at War, Left 4 Dead, and Fallout 3, one of the system's biggest games, Halo 3, returned to the top 20 for the first time in many months.
Leading the software for Sony's PlayStation 3 this month was the long-awaited Killzone 2, which sold a big 323,000 units for only two days on the market.
The only other Sony-system games appearing in the top 20 were Street Fighter IV (#3) and Call of Duty: World at War (#16). No PlayStation 2 nor PlayStation Portable software reached into the top 20 in February 2009.
Older software appearing in the top 20 isn't new, but it does appear that it is becoming more common. Take Mario Kart for the Nintendo DS, which just made its fourth consecutive appearance in the top 20, while New Super Mario Bros. (also for the Nintendo DS) made its second return. Seven titles in the February 2009 top 20 are older than 9 months.
What to make of this trend? It would appear that robust hardware sales – originally on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS, but now also on the Xbox 360 – are increasing sales of popular titles, even when those titles are quite old.
It seems likely that the top 20 in the coming months will continue to contain the regular Wii titles, a version of Guitar Hero: World Tour (probably also for the Wii), and at least one version of Call of Duty: World at War.