Nintendo Wii: Top Console in January

New sales numbers from market research firm NPD show that the Nintendo Wii was far and away the top-selling video game console during January 2007, moving some 436,000 units during the month. However, the rest of the pack was comparatively tight, with Sony’s long-standing PlayStation 2 claiming the number two spot with 299,000 units sold, while Microsoft’s Xbox 360 landed the number three position with 294,000 units sold and Sony’s much-touted but still-pricey PlayStation 3 finding itself in fourth place with 244,000 units.

NPD’s sales data represent about two thirds of U.S. retail sales during the month, and projects the rest of the market’s activity based on consumer sampling. The biggest omissions from NPD’s samples are individual, non-chain businesses and (gulp) Wal-Mart.

Overall sales of video game hardware and software were estimated at $1.3 billion during January, with game sales leaping up more than 50 percent to $549 million—once people get their new consoles, it seems they tend to buy new games. (However, the 50 percent jump compared to a year ago should be taken with a grain of salt: neither the Wii nor PS3 were available a year ago, and NPd is tallying this January as five weeks, whereas January 2006 was made up of four weeks.)

For the month, Capcom’s Lost Planet: Extreme Condition for the Xbox 360 came in tops, with 329,000 copies sold during the month. Other Xbox 360 titles in the top 10 sellers included Gears of War and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas at third and ninth, respectively. Guitar Hero 2 was the second best-selling game in the month, while Wii games WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess claimed the number four and five positions. The only PlayStation 3 title to crack the top ten was Resistance: Fall of Man at number 8.

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