Following the trend seen in
and shunning the falls
, the North American video games market grew to record levels in 2008, hitting a total value of $21.33bn according to data from US body NPD.
The figure represents an increase of 19 per cent year-on-year. The numbers are impressive considering the slowing global economy, but growth has diminished considerably compared to last year, where 2007 bettered the year before by 43 per cent.
While industry growth has not continued at the blistering pace we saw during the second and third quarters, December's nine per cent increase over last December brings the year in 19 per cent ahead of last year, and sets a new record for total industry sales,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier stated.
The annual 2008 software charts saw Nintendo steal the show, claiming the top four best selling titles – Wii Play (5.28m units), Mario Kart Wii (5m), Wii Fit (4.53m) and Super Smash Bros Brawl (4.17m).
Fifth place was occupied by the Xbox 360 version of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV, which sold 4.17m units. In comparison, the PS3 version of the game was the eighth best selling game of the year with unit sales of 1.89m.
Other strong performers included Call of Duty: World at War on Xbox 360 (2.75m), Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 2 (2.31), Madden NFL 09, again on Xbox 360 (1.87m) and Mario Kart DS (1.65m).