You don't sell almost four million units of hardware without pushing an equally impressive amount of software and December 2009's sales data from the NPD Group doesn't contradict that a bit. Nintendo was the big winner in software sales last month, with the company that Mario built absolutely dominating five of the ten best-selling positions, including the highest three. Here are the numbers:
- Wii -- New Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 2.82M
- Wii -- Wii Fit Plus, Nintendo, 2.41M
- Wii -- Wii Sports Resort w/ MotionPlus, Nintendo, 1.79M
- 360 -- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision, 1.68M
- PS3 -- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision, 1.12M
- Wii -- Wii Play w/ remote, Nintendo, 1.01M
- Wii -- Mario Kart w/ wheel, Nintendo, 936,100
- 360 -- Assassin's Creed II, Ubisoft, 783,100
- 360 -- Left 4 Dead 2, Electronic Arts, 728,500
- DS -- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Nintendo, 656,700
I wonder how many people bought Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story unaware that it's an RPG, not a brand-new platformer starring the jumping duo. Just seems a little suspicious to me. But there's no doubt about New Super Mario Bros. Wii, however; that's just a game people wanted.
"The best-selling game of the month was New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which also captures the third spot on the annual top 10 list for 2009," said NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier in comments sent alongside the release of the numbers. "6 of the top 10 games totaling 20.8 million units for the year were on the Wii platform as compared to 4 last year at 19 million units."
It's good news for software as a whole, but there's a notable absence of anything from a first-party that isn't Nintendo. Both Sony and Microsoft have no presence on the holiday sales charts from their internal studios, albeit Uncharted 2: Among Thieves appears to continue selling at a steady pace. In Microsoft's case, however, the company actively admitted their big bet for Xbox 360 in 2009 was the success of Modern Warfare 2. That bet appears to have paid off for them and Sony.