New sales figures from market research firm NPD show the Nintendo Wii was the top-selling video game console for the month of February, moving 335,000 units during the month. Those sales figures also make it the only console system to have outsold Sony’s now-obsolete PlayStation 2, which moved 295,000 units during the month.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 came in third place—or, second-place amongst so-called next-generation consoles—having sold 228,000 units. Sony managed to move 127,000 PlayStation 3 systems.
Overall, NPD’s figures show surprising strength for the console business: historically, February is a rather dull month for video game (and home electronics) sales, as holidy and post-holiday buying fervor has calmed down and manufacturers and publishers generally don’t release many new products or titles which might serve to drive sales. However, NPD found that video game console sales were up 53 percent compared to February of 2006; although NPD’s figures for 2007 will necessarily be higher than 2006 because they counted an additional week in 2007’s figures, the overall increase is still significant.
“We’re gratified that the explosive appeal of Wii, in terms of both new players and new ways to play, has created unprecedented demand, substantially beyond supply,” said Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime, in a statement. “But we also understand that there are hundreds of thousands of consumers still waiting to get their hands on the system so we continue to both ship more units to retail every week and work non-stop to build capacity.”
Nintendo’s DS handheld continues to dominate the portable gaming arena, moving 485,000 units during the month. Combined, the Nintendo DS and WIi accounted for 54 percent of all video game hardware sales in February. Nintendo also landed three titles in the top ten game sellers for the month, with Wii Play,Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves being ranked the second, fourth, and ninth best sellers, respectively. Microsoft Xbox 360 titles also racked up impressive sales numbers, with newcoming Crackdown moving 427,000 copies to claim the top slot, with Gears of War,Lost Planet, and NBA Street Homecourt also making the top ten.
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