The Wii is Back
According to The NPD Group (via Wired), Nintendo moved 3.81 million Wii consoles in North America last month. That's 1.66 million more units than December 2008, and the record for most consoles sold in a single month. No surprise, then, that the games industry had a record month overall, besting December 2008 by 4 percent.
When you compare those sales with the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, which by any other standard had a good month, it's just embarrassing. The Wii sold almost three times as many units last month as either of the other two consoles.
Nintendo had just as bountiful a month on the software side. The top-selling games of December were New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2.82 million), followed by Wii Fit Plus (2.41 million), followed by Wii Sports Resort (1.79 million). Only then came the blockbuster Modern Warfare 2 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, selling 1.63 million and 1.12 million units, respectively. A couple months ago, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich predicted that the new Mario game's lifetime sales would eventually surpass those of Modern Warfare 2. He's on track to be dead-on.
A couple other things to note:
-To date, Wii Sports Resort has sold over 4.5 million units. That means there are at least that many homes with an accuracy-boosting Wii MotionPlus attachment, and probably more when you consider other pack-in games such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10. That bodes well for more titles that support the peripheral down the road, especially when the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 introduce their own motion control devices this year.
-Third-party Wii titles are nowhere to be found in the top 10, as has been the case since The Beatles: Rock Band debuted in September. That's got to be frustrating for publishers, and could be a problem for gamers if third-party support wanes - provided they ever get tired of Mario, Zelda and the sight of their own Mii characters.