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NPD: Platform-Specific May Charts Exhibit Consumer Trends

NPD: Platform-Specific May Charts Exhibit Consumer Trends

June 15, 2009 | By Kris Graft

June 15, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Last Thursday, NPD Group released May's top 20 U.S. software titles by unit sales across all platforms. But individual NPD platform charts obtained by Gamasutra,more clearly exhibit the kinds of games that people are buying for their respective consoles.


The top 10 chart for the industry-leading Nintendo Wii, for example, includes games such as Nintendo's Wii Fit, Electronic Arts' EA Sports Active, and Ubisoft's Gold's Gym Cardio Workout and My Fitness Coach.

Along with the success of exer-games on the Wii, we can see from top-sellers like Mario Kart, Punch-Out!!! and Link's Crossbow Training that games with a heavy, well-executed emphasis on the console's motion control capabilities manage to be quite successful.

In addition, half of the Wii games are first party, while third parties EA, Ubisoft, Lucasarts, and Activision Blizzard split the remainder of the slots.

Below are the U.S. retail sales for Nintendo Wii software, as provided by the NPD Group:


Xbox 360

Xbox 360 laid claim to the top-selling SKU during the month, with THQ's UFC 2009: Undisputed selling 679,600 units. One common thread on the Xbox 360 is the prevalence of multiplatform games, which typically sell better than on rival PlayStation 3.

The lone first party exclusive game is Halo 3 from September 2007.


PlayStation 3

Like Xbox 360, the PS3's top game for May was THQ's UFC 2009, although the PS3 version sold about half of its Xbox 360 counterpart with 334,400 units sold. The PS3 also played host to three first party titles: Infamous, MLB 09: The Show, and Killzone 2.


PlayStation 2

PlayStation 2's mass market appeal is apparent in its top 10 games for May. Licensed fare such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Lego Indiana Jones made the roster alongside two Guitar Hero games.

The newest game on the list was Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2, a decidedly core-focused game brought over from Japan for a niche yet loyal market.



March's Pokemon Platinum, which sold 168,900 during May alone, was the top selling DS game during the month. The two most conspicuous DS trends are the prevalence of first party games and the coexistence of both new and older games. Games from 2004 all the way through to 2009 made the list, backing up Nintendo's belief that it's in the business of creating "evergreen" titles that have extraordinarily long legs.

Mass market-friendly Majesco squeezed in two "Mama" games into the list as well, impressive considering the dominance of Nintendo titles.



Sony's PSP hasn't been known as a big software mover, although the new digital distribution-focused PSPgo hopes to at least change how PSP gamers get their software. Activision Blizzard's X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit number one in May on the PSP-specific chart, while four Sony first party games made the list.

One of those games was Patapon 2, PSP's number three game for the month. Sony released the game in digital form only, as opposed to UMD, and was available to buy at retail only as a voucher. PSP owners could also download the game via the online PS Store. (The figures below do not include PS Store sales.)


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