With Activision and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launching this week, one of 2009's biggest games -- if not the biggest -- is now on retail shelves.
But there's another game of 2009 that will be going up against Modern Warfare 2 in the form of Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Analyst Jesse Divnich with research firm Electronic Entertainment Design and Research said that in terms of lifetime sales, Mario's next romp will ultimately beat out the high-profile shooter.
"EEDAR feels comfortable to make the prediction that the New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Wii will be one of the top titles this holiday season," he wrote in a preview to NPD U.S. sales results. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is due on November 15.
"While in the short-term the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 may surpass New Super Mario Bros., in the long-term New Super Mario Bros. will easily become the best selling title released in 2009 with expected lifetime sales exceeding 15 million units worldwide."
Divnich elaborated in an email to Gamasutra, "It is a good possibility that New Super Mario Bros. could outsell Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and all of its versions throughout its lifetime."
He added, "However, that is only because there are yearly Call of Duty titles and Modern Warfare 2 sales will begin to decline as we approach next yearís Call of Duty. A title like New Super Mario Bros. is a style of game that only comes along once every four years and gives it incredible legs on retail shelves."
Nintendo has shown just how "evergreen" its titles can be with games like New Super Mario Bros. on DS, Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit. Life to date sales of New Super Mario Bros., released in 2006, stand at around 20 million units.
Modern Warfare 2 will be no slouch, however. Its 2007 predecessor, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, had sold 13 million units across PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC as of May this year.
Divnich also noted the lower-profile yet critically successful Atlus game Demon's Souls for PS3, a game that has performed well despite its relative obscurity. He said the core RPG is expected to sell "well above 100,000 units in October, and can very well surpass 250,000 units by the end of the year, in North America, on the PlayStation 3, which is a tremendous accomplishment."
In all he expects Sony and Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for PS3 to top October's NPD U.S. video game sales charts, and he expects the Wii to reclaim the top hardware position from PS3. NPD's results are expected this Thursday.