Nintendo and Microsoft were the main beneficiaries of
– but Sony's PS3 continues to suffer a decline in sales, surely putting more pressure ion the firm to drop the price of the machine in March.
Total North American hardware sales in January saw a sales hike of 17 per cent compared to the same month 2008 – again, astonishing considering that all consoles have progressed significantly further into their lifecycles.
Nintendo lead the way with sales of 679,000 Wii consoles, an increase of 148 per cent, and 511,000 DS units, which represents an increase of 99 per cent.
There were also gains for Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 console saw total sales of 309,000 for the month – up 33 per cent on the same month in 2008.
However, there was bad news for Sony, whose PS3 saw a 25 per cent annual decrease in sales, shifting 202,000 units. The PSP also suffered a decline, falling 25 per cent to 172,000 units.
Wii Fit, Wii Play and Mario Kart were the software champions, selling 777,000, 415,000 and 292,000 units respectively. In total, software sales climbed ten per cent to reach $676.6m.
NPD”s Anita Frazier said of the numbers: At this point in the console lifecycle, we would expect to see a greater percentage of total industry sales generated by software sales, but the continued strength in hardware sales is changing that scenario a bit.
This will have a long-term positive impact on the industry as the user base expands. Software sales still increased 10 percent over last January, indicating that continued strong hardware sales are not occurring at the expense of software sales.”