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 Mario Kart Wii  2008's Best-Seller As UK Market Thrives, Japan Declines

Mario Kart Wii 2008's Best-Seller As UK Market Thrives, Japan Declines Exclusive

February 2, 2009 | By David Jenkins

Nintendo's Mario Kart Wii was 2008 best-selling game among sales from the U.S., Japan and the UK -- the three markets collectively saw 11 percent software growth over the year, reaching 409.9 million units sold.

Using data from The NPD Group, Enterbrain and GfK Chart-Track, the latest Top Global Markets integrated report puts global sales of Mario Kart Wii at 8.94 million units, with 5 million sales in the U.S., 2 million in Japan and 1.94 million in the UK.

The full list of the top five global sellers of 2008 are as follows:

1. Mario Kart Wii: 8,940,000 units (U.S.: 5,000,000, UK: 1,940,000, Japan: 2,000,000)
2. Wii Fit: 8,310,000 units (U.S.: 4,560,000, UK: 1,610,000, Japan: 2,150,000)
3. Grand Theft Auto IV: 7,290,000 units (U.S.: 5,180,000, UK: 1,850,000, Japan: 256,000)
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl: 6,320,000 units (U.S.: 4,170,000, UK: 404,000, Japan: 1,750,000)
5. Call of Duty: World at War: 5,890,000 units (U.S.: 4,460,000, UK: 1,430,000, Japan: N/A)

Overall, the U.S. and UK saw 15 and 26 percent increases, respectively. As previously reported the Japanese software market continued to decrease, down by 13 percent on 2007.

The overall fall is attributable largely to the decline in the PlayStation 2 market, and slightly-reduced sales of Nintendo DS. Meanwhile, Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sales all saw positive growth in Japan in 2008.

The majority of growth in the U.S. software market also came from home console sales, which were up by 22 percent.

By comparison, portable software sales rose by only 2 percent. The overall 15 percent increase saw a total of 268.4 million unit sales, almost 36 million more than 2007.

In the UK, the pattern was much the same -- home console sales increased 38 percent, but portable sales were only up by 6 percent.

2008 marked the first occasion where the UK market exceeded Japan in terms of unit sales, although Japan still took second place based purely on revenue.

"In fact, UK console video game software units are more than double what was achieved in 2003, which just shows how fast the UK market has been growing," says GfK Chart-Track's Dorian Bloch.

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