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Exclusive: NPD Software Top 20 Reveals Nintendo Catalog Strength

Exclusive: NPD Software Top 20 Reveals Nintendo Catalog Strength Exclusive

February 13, 2009 | By Matt Matthews

February 13, 2009 | By Matt Matthews
More: Console/PC, Exclusive

Newly-released sales data from the NPD Group shows American consumers purchasing several older software titles for Nintendo platforms in large numbers.

Specifically, the top 20 selling titles from last January included games across five years, from 2005 to 2009.

When the top 10 software list was released yesterday, NPD Analyst Anita Frazier observed that "only two of the top 10 games for the month were new releases". She suggested that consumers new to the industry were lifting sales of older titles.

The Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS appear to be the primary drivers of this sales trend. Three Wii titles took the top three spots: Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Mario Kart. Two of these titles are from the first half of 2008 (Wii Fit and Mario Kart) and the other, Wii Play, launched in February 2007 and has remained on the top 10 list since its debut.

Other older Wii titles can be found in the top 20, however. Both Guitar Hero: World Tour (#7) and Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum (#14) launched on the Wii in October 2008. Another pair for the Wii, Link's Crossbow Training (#15) and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (#20) launched almost a year earlier in November 2007.

In fact, the newest Wii titles in the top 20 were My Fitness Coach (#16), which launched in December 2008, and Call of Duty: World at War (#19), which launched in November 2008. Two Nintendo DS titles placed in the top 10: New Super Mario Bros. at #8 and Mario Kart DS at #9. These are also quite old, by industry standards, as they launched in May 2006 and November 2005, respectively.

While Nintendo platforms claimed 11 slots in the top 20, the Xbox 360 took nine and the PlayStation 3 only one. The only two new titles in the top 20 this month were on Microsoft's console: Skate 2 at #6 and Lord of the Rings: Conquest at #10. All other Xbox 360 titles were from 2008: Call of Duty: World at War at #5, Gears of War 2 at #12, Fallout 3 at #13, Rock Band 2 at #17 and Guitar Hero: World Tour at #18.

For comparison to the older software that is charting for the Wii, the oldest game in the top 20 for the Xbox 360 in January 2009 was Rock Band 2, which launched exclusively on that platform in September 2008. The lone PlayStation 3 title in the top 20 was Call of Duty: World at War which fell just below the top 10 at #11.

No PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, nor Game Boy Advance titles placed in the top 20 in January 2009.

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