REDMOND, Wash., January 15, 2009– Before 2008, no video game system had ever been purchased by ten million Americans in a single year. But according to independent sales data released today by the NPD Group, the Wii™ console from Nintendo did just that, even during these economic times, with 2008 unit sales of 10.17 million. The Nintendo DS™ portable handheld system came in a close second, with 2008 unit sales of 9.95 million. Each of them broke the previous yearly unit sales record set in 2007 by Nintendo DS with sales of 8.52 million.
Consequently, Wii represented 55% of all next generation home console sales in 2008, while Nintendo DS claimed 72% of all portable system sales in 2008.
"Our type of entertainment has now moved to the point where there is no longer a question that if you offer consumers an expanded definition of what a video game can be, and deliver that idea with quality and affordability in mind, millions of new people will start playing video games," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales&Marketing. "Concepts like Wii Fit, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band never would have seemed feasible just a few years ago, and now they're driving growth for the entire industry."
NPD data released for December and all of 2008 also included the following:
• The industry's top 4 selling games of 2008 were: Wii Play™ at No. 1, Mario Kart™ Wii at No. 2, Wii Fit™ at No.3, and Super Smash Brothers™ Brawl, at No. 4
• Industry annual revenues jumped 19% in 2008 over 2007, and Nintendo products were responsible for 99% of those additional retail dollars.
• Nintendo DS set another industry record for system sales in any month, with 3.04 million units sold in December.
• Wii broke its own monthly record, set in December 2007, by selling 2.14 million units last month.
• In December, Nintendo titles filled 20 of the top 30 spots on the best-seller list. Six games made for Nintendo systems placed in the top 10, including Wii Music™ for Wii (No. 9), which has now sold 865,000 units following its launch in October 2008, and Mario Kart DS for the Nintendo DS (No. 7), which has sold a total of 4.3 million units 38 months after launch.
• Activision's Guitar Hero® III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero® World Tour, and MTV Games/EA's* Rock Band Special Edition Bundle all sold more units on Nintendo platforms than any other platforms in 2008.
• More 3rd party units were sold for Wii than any other home consoles in December for the 2nd consecutive month.
• For the year, more than 132 million games were sold in America for play on Nintendo systems.
For more information about Nintendo, visit www.Nintendo.com.
* Rock Band is published by MTV Games and Electronic Arts serves as the distributor