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Nintendo Dominates 2008 Console Game Sales

First-party Wii games occupy the first four slots on NPD's list.

Your best-selling game of 2008!
According to the fine folks at Shacknews, here is the NPD Group's list of the ten best selling console games of 2008.
  1. Wii Play (Nintendo, Wii) - 5.28 million
  2. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo, Wii) - 5 million
  3. Wii Fit (Nintendo, Wii) - 4.53 million
  4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo, Wii) - 4.17 million
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, Xbox 360) - 3.29 million
  6. Call of Duty: World at War (Treyarch, Xbox 360) - 2.75 million
  7. Gears of War 2 (Epic, Xbox 360) - 2.31 million
  8. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, PS3) - 1.89 million
  9. Madden NFL 09 (EA Tiburon, Xbox 360) - 1.87 million
  10. Mario Kart DS (Nintendo, DS) - 1.65 million
These numbers combine collector's editions and regular packaging together as one. Also keep in mind that Wii Play comes with a Wii Remote, making it a sound choice for new Wii owners looking for an additional Remote. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. If the world just happens to be way, way into Wii Play, I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night. It's not awful or anything, but... well, it's hardly good enough to sell that many copies on quality alone. But that's probably not a surprise to many of you, as Wii Play has been at or near the top of the monthly charts all along.

Regardless of pack-in Remotes and such, it's easy to see that Nintendo absolutely crushed every other game on the shelves, taking the first four slots on the list for Wii products, including the currently hard-to-find exercise thingy, Wii Fit. The non-Nintendo releases on the list don't seem like much of a surprise, either, with sequels to known franchises making up the rest of the list.

How many of these ten games do you own? Which unsung game do you wish more people saw last year?
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
Your best-selling game of 2008!
According to the fine folks at Shacknews, here is the NPD Group's list of the ten best selling console games of 2008.
  1. Wii Play (Nintendo, Wii) - 5.28 million
  2. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo, Wii) - 5 million
  3. Wii Fit (Nintendo, Wii) - 4.53 million
  4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Nintendo, Wii) - 4.17 million
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, Xbox 360) - 3.29 million
  6. Call of Duty: World at War (Treyarch, Xbox 360) - 2.75 million
  7. Gears of War 2 (Epic, Xbox 360) - 2.31 million
  8. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar North, PS3) - 1.89 million
  9. Madden NFL 09 (EA Tiburon, Xbox 360) - 1.87 million
  10. Mario Kart DS (Nintendo, DS) - 1.65 million
These numbers combine collector's editions and regular packaging together as one. Also keep in mind that Wii Play comes with a Wii Remote, making it a sound choice for new Wii owners looking for an additional Remote. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. If the world just happens to be way, way into Wii Play, I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night. It's not awful or anything, but... well, it's hardly good enough to sell that many copies on quality alone. But that's probably not a surprise to many of you, as Wii Play has been at or near the top of the monthly charts all along.

Regardless of pack-in Remotes and such, it's easy to see that Nintendo absolutely crushed every other game on the shelves, taking the first four slots on the list for Wii products, including the currently hard-to-find exercise thingy, Wii Fit. The non-Nintendo releases on the list don't seem like much of a surprise, either, with sequels to known franchises making up the rest of the list.

How many of these ten games do you own? Which unsung game do you wish more people saw last year?
Staff
Edited by Shinryu

I own two of those 10 games : Gears 2 and SSBM....

Im quite shocked that Fifa and Pro Evo arnt in there somewhere....although maybe its just north american sales.

Posted by FallopianTube

Thats just so disapointing

Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud

When these numbers come out it's crazy how Nintendo dominates and how little I think of them as a company now.  I know we'd be labeled more hardcore gamers and Nintendo isn't for us anymore, but it's still a shock every time.

Posted by OmegaPirate

Wow, thats a lot of money on games tho!!! keep the industry afloat!!!

Posted by heavymtlhead

I'm surprised GTA IV didn't sell zillions like everyone thought. At least none of the games on the list are absolute garbage.

Posted by Endogene

Ha mario kart DS is still in the TOP 10 and it is a 2005 game, guess it really is an evergreen title.

Posted by Fr0Br0

Guess a lot of women went out shopping this year.

Posted by Shinryu

Also interesting to note that the Xbox360 version of GTA4 almost doubled the sales of the PS3 version...

Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud

Good point about GTA Shinryu.  It's interesting to think how GTA and the PS3 would have done if the series remained Sony exclusive.

Edited by Endogene
never mind (i am invisible)
Posted by pepper

....How did Fallout 3 sell 4.8 million copies if it didn't even crack the top 10 here in America? I call bullshit on that one.

Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud

I really don't think that's true.  Games like GTA cause people to buy consoles.  I bought a PS3  to play MGS4 and I bought an Xbox to play Halo.  Sure, there's more there that keeps you using the system.  In the PS3's case the Blu-ray was also a big factor for me but that one game can sway people.

Posted by McQuinn

That's kinda pitiful.  Wii fit isn't even a game

Posted by DBZ_Fanatic

McQuinn is online 
on Jan. 15, 2009
That's kinda pitiful.  Wii fit isn't even a game

what are you saying!!!!! it is a game, and its one of the most expensive games ever and yet it still trumps the 360's best
Posted by MattyFTM

No surprise there then.

Moderator Online
Posted by RHCPfan24

Screw Wii Play. I don't care if it comes with a remote or not, it is just sad that the #1 selling game of the year is a crappy minigame collection that lacks imagination. /end rant

Anyway, I like that GTA IV is on the list on both platforms, a very admirable feat.  Still, Nintendo did dominate this year....again.
Posted by StaticFalconar

And here we are thinking its only a race between PS3 and 360....... How foolish we have been.

Posted by Shinryu
StaticFalconar said:
"And here we are thinking its only a race between PS3 and 360....... How foolish we have been."
Nobody really thinks that. It's just that Nintendo has become uncatchable so the only real race is between PS3 and 360 for second place.
Posted by dtran1212
Posted by Claude

I still play Mario Kart Wii and always find a race online with 8-12 people.

Posted by worknman
And here we are thinking its only a race between PS3 and 360....... How foolish we have been.


Here you're comparing apples and oranges, since the Wii doesn't really compete with the 360 & PS3. The people that are out buying mini game collections on the Wii aren't the same ones who would've otherwise picked up a copy of Fallout 3. Completely different audience.

Posted by JoelTGM

The Wii sucks.  I don't respect Nintendo, all they do is come up with gimmicks and win money from the casual crowd.  They don't push the technology forward at all.  I'd take a 360 controller over a wiimote or nunchuck anyday, and the DS is full of games that use the touch screen not because it's better but beacause it's there.  They have money a lot of money and they make a lot of shit.

Posted by Optiow

well that blows.

How does nintendo do it eh?
It just is not right.

Posted by Tearhead

I own three of these games: SSBB, GTA 4 and CoD: WaW.

Edited by Microshock

Wait! Didn't metal gear solid 4 sell like 3. something million? What the hell is with this chart? I call complete and total bullshit on this , there are many games that sold way more than 1.65 million like Mario Kart DS this year.

No one else thinks this chart is missing many games? Even Fallout 3 or Left 4 Dead had to sell more than 1.65 million

Edited by AndrewB

When this generation of consoles launched, I could totally understand the Wii dominating the competition. The concept of motion controls was fresh, and the untapped potential left me wondering just what cool ideas they could come up with for games built around that control scheme. The console was also the cheapest by far.

But look at the Wii now. Assuming you can actually find one (still, two years later, having supply issues), you've got a scant selection of top-notch games to choose from, some of which are simply ports from a previous generation. Some of the more elaborate and interesting games (Wii Fit, in particular) will be just as hard to come by, as they are experiencing the same shortage of stock as the console itself. To top it off, the thing still costs just as much as when it launched; and since it was turning a profit from day one, you can only imagine how low the price should be right now.

You can buy a 360 arcade for less, and a "true" 360 for a little more (or about the same, if you can shop around and wait for a decent sale). Now, the 360 is still selling pretty well, but you would think that at a lower cost it would be the front-runner console of this, the first "HD" generation. I would include the PS3 in all of this, but the pricing is the key point here, and the PS3 is still a tad too much at this time.

So it just baffles me why the Wii remains so popular. I don't hate the console; I own one myself, and play it often when there are people around to play with (it really is more of a multiplayer machine); but it just doesn't seem to me like the Wii deserves to be in the spot that it's in.


Oh, and out of that 10, I own Wii Play (god... god how I wish I didn't...) GTA IV, COD4, Gears 2, and Mario Kart DS (which I am honestly shocked made it so far up in that list, despite the game being excellent). I'd like to see the same list with multi-console consolidation, to see how much each of these games *really* sold.

Posted by Moon

nintendo not only the best selling console maker... also the best selling game developer.

Posted by Shinryu
Microshock said:
"Wait! Didn't metal gear solid 4 sell like 3. something million? What the hell is with this chart? I call complete and total bullshit on this , there are many games that sold way more than 1.65 million like Mario Kart DS this year.

No one else thinks this chart is missing many games? Even Fallout 3 or Left 4 Dead had to sell more than 1.65 million"
Yes MGS4 did sell 3.? million. WORLDWIDE, this is a list of North American sales hence the lack of Fifa 09 and Pro Evo which both sold a hell of a lot more than 1.6mil.
Posted by Cheapoz

GTA IV goes to #2 with 5.18 million if you combine the 360 and PS3 sales. That's pretty damn impressive.

Posted by SmugDarkLoser
Edited by anamanaman

Makes sense to me. Kids play a lot of games. Super Smash Bros Brawl is perfect for kids since it has endless replay value and at least encourages a tad bit of social interaction. Wii Fit is retarded, but whatever works.

At least I find comfort in knowing that GTA IV combined (360+PS3) beats out everyone with 5+ million copies. And no, Wii Play *does not* count. Unless you want to start counting XBox 360 and PS3 controller sales on the list
Posted by zityz

Im surprised mario Kart wii sold more than brawl, Mk Wii was okay...but compared to the others in the series ( GCN one included) I just didn't think it stacked in the fun factor department.

Wii play is basically a wiimote with some shiity minigames that are far worse ( duckhunt excluded) than wii sports. Basically the Wii sold an extra 5.28Mil wiimotes.

I would say Im surprised at the lack of MGS4 but NA maybe more 360 country, kinda disapointing, I myself dont have a ps3 yet ( hopefully this year) but thats a bummer it didnt make the list.

Posted by niall077

oh god..... Please tell me Giant Bomb isnt doing NPDs now.

Posted by goodwood

This proves what has been said about third party devs not going to the Wii. only Nintendo first party games are making these kind of lists while Microsoft game studios and PS3 first games are not on here. First party games for 360 and PS3 are good and I believe Microsoft and Sony support third party devs better than Nintendo. Devs know they have a better chance with their games on the 360 and PS3 to make a profit.

Also I believe some of you are either quoting SHIPPED unit numbers or worldwide sales while this list is US only SALES.

Posted by JohnDudebro

So, the best-selling actual game of 2009 is Smash Bros.

I can live with that.
Posted by DavidSnakes

This is why I have a stone cold heart.  Wii Play, which is a complete shitstorm, outsold GTA4, one of the best games ever made.  It least GTA managed great numbers regardless

Edited by megalowho

Mario Kart DS? Amazing.


I remember browsing around a Best Buy in early December and watching a clueless mom take advice from an equally clueless salesguy on buying the Wii. He suggested Mario Kart for the kids (it comes with a wheel, extra gift!), Wii Play (it comes with a controller, so the kids don't fight over one!) and Wii Fit (it's the cool new thing! And yeah it comes with some extra shit too!). This mom was far from the only person that left the store with that combination or something extremely similar that day.

I wanted to interrupt and shove copies of Mario Galaxy and Boom Blox into her hands, but I knew deep down that as much as it killed me seeing that "bundle" sell so well live and in person, for all I know her family might really love all of those products and have a great time with them. And as long as it doesn't affect development of the games I want to play and industry innovation, then that can't be a bad thing. Can it? (Does it?)
Posted by WilliamRLBaker

Its really sad how bad its gonna be when the video game secter crashes cause of nintendo.

Posted by Chicken008

@pepper, this is a console only list.

Posted by bartholomew999

Didn't Pachter tell Ryan, somewhat smugly I might add, that Wii-Fit was the top selling game of the year?

Posted by TripMasterMunky

Super Mario Galaxy isn't even getting up there. One of the few Wii games I enjoyed.

As far as what I own: Gears 2, GTA4.  I used to own Super Smash Brawl and Mario Kart DS, but uh, I sorta sold both my DS and Wii.

Posted by erinfizz

I have Mario Kart Wii and DS (which came with my swank, red Mario Kart DS fat 3 years ago...), Brawl and WiiFit. I'm sorry? um.

Y'all know that lots of games are bought for kids, right? GTAIV might be awesome, but it is certainly not for 8 year olds.

Posted by GIVEMEREPLAY

I sang it then, I sing it now, and I will sing it forever: the Wii is an entertaining party favor. Once. Nothing more.

Edited by SpaceInsomniac
Jeff said:
How many of these ten games do you own? Which unsung game do you wish more people saw last year?
Owned: Brawl, GTA IV, World at War, Gears 2.

Unsung game: I'd say Burnout Paradise or Fable 2.  They're great pick-up-and-play type games that even the non-hardcore types can get into, and they deserved to do a lot better than MarioKart 6 or whatever, much less garbage like Wii fit.

On another note, I wonder how far down that list you'd have to go in order to hit a 3rd party Wii title.
Posted by Det1

PS3'S GOT NO GAM...ok no.
I wonder how many of those people who purchased brawl feel about the nintendo wii's share of games in this list.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Wow, Mario Kart DS is still up there. Then again, this proves that Nintendo's strategy of selling to the non gaming public with a bunch of mediocre minigame collections is working.

Posted by Lunchbox1up

Poor sony. so much for the "year of the ps3"

Posted by clarke0

The combined multiplatform sales of GTA IV is 5.18 million. Wii Play isn't a game at all, it is just a package to sell a controller for a little more profit. So GTA is the best selling game this year in my book.

Posted by ddensel

Ah yes, the "fad" continues. When where the people supposed to see the light and move on to the "real" consoles? A year ago?

The Wii simply appeals to the most people. The ones that want pick-up and playability and not devote 50 hours to a single game. Being a casual party console is just as legitimate as catering to hardcore gamers. A video game is a video game, but not everybody wants the same thing out of them.

Think about it terms of other electronics, more people want a cheapo CD player rather than the Audiophile stereo system, and most buy the $50 DVD player to simply watch DVDs, and not necessarily care about watching the latest Blu-Rays in 1080p in 7.1 surround sound.  Games like Madden and Guitar Hero sell well on the Wii as well, I'll be willing to bet that Nintendo is taking significant casual marketshare away from Sony, the same people that made the Playstation a success.

I think in the end, whichever console maker gets the down the right combo of Casual/Hardcore buyers will be in the best position. Sony and Microsoft can fight over the hardcore market and become the Marantz and Denon of the video game industry, Nintendo can be Vizio and go after the big money.

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