Giant Bomb News

95 Comments

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+
95 Comments
  • 95 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by Arkthemaniac

Wii Play costs 10 dollars. Of course it sells so well.

Mario Kart being so high up is very surprising, though, especially since it surpassed Brawl.
Posted by MasturbatingBear

Cool list except. Mario Kart DS? That is fucking crazy. I didn't think Wii Play would sell that much. However much I disagree with the people talking shit about the wii I agree with them about Wii play. Wii Fit earned its spot though. I rarely have people to play with but I still have tons of fun with the Wii. I play Brawl solo cause of all its collection stuff. Same with Mario Kart Wii. Its a real shame fallout 3 isn't on this list. And I thought Gears 2 would have more. Well happy to see that only 1 ps3 game made it on here, at number 9, a non exclusive, and selling about half as much as its superior 360 counterpart.

Posted by Hamst3r

I own none of those games. :D

Posted by SuperMario128

WHOO, GO NINTENDO! I'm not surprised at all that Wii Play was the top seller. Wii remote = $40, Wii Play (game+remote) = $50. It's kind of a no brainer purchase...especially if you havent been informed that the mini games suck.

LOL Mario Kart DS at #10!

Edited by Linkyshinks

MK Wii was designed to sell that much, everything about it screams evergreen, and for everyone. Nintendo was always going to come out top in the software sales, and this in what many are considering a bad year for the company in terms of it's software output.

I have 9 of those games.

I wish more people played No More Heroes.

Posted by E_rock
zityz said:
"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."

This. 

Besides that, I'm surprised by the rest of the Nintendo rankings.  I guess I shouldn't be though.   Casual market>>us
Posted by Chytynous

I've got half of that list: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii, SSBB, GTA IV, and Mario Kart DS. I don't play any of them!

Posted by Shadow

....dammit I hate the entire casual family gamer demographic

Posted by War77Machine

I hate the Wii with it's family fun and child games, for us hardcore gamers that console is a let down compared to the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

Posted by Broken

Seems the only one on that list I dont own is Madden Nfl, and there are many reasons for that.
I guess there aint too many surprises in that list be interesting to see the next 10 in the list,
maybe Fallout and dead space deserve some props.

Posted by WorkingTavo
War77Machine :
I hate the Wii with it's family fun and child games, for us hardcore gamers that console is a let down compared to the Xbox 360 and the PS3.

Shadow :
....dammit I hate the entire casual family gamer demographic

I'm with you guys; damn Wii screwing up our gaming environment.
Posted by BODDAH

Wow, the Wii dominates. Not surprising.

Posted by MjHealy

 Great I own 6 of these games. Seriously, Mario Kart DS? People say Wii games don't sell as well as the hardware, well apprently not.

Posted by Scooper

I've got Mario Kart DS on that list and don't really want any of the others on that list. I don't even want Mario Kart DS.

Posted by marcio1986

Amasing how Nintendo cheated so many people by giving the same crap has the Gamecube had to offer but with that new controller and the concept of family fun.
Man the dude that had this idea is a genius.
If only he used his powers for good instead of evil...

Posted by Kraznor

I own six of these, though I regret picking up Smash Bros and, to a lesser extent, Wii Fit. I no longer play either at all. Glad GTA IV and Gears 2 made the list, they deserve to be there. I don't know, this list is pretty depressing overall.

Posted by ManlyBeast

Human race fails again.

Posted by sofakingcool

haha sony! none of  your amazing exclusives seems to have made it on the list.... I wonder what the list would look like if it excluded NONtendo stuff?

Posted by Snail

Grand Theft Auto IV only in 5th?

Posted by Jared

I'm really glad to see World at War do so well, this should tell the "WW2 games are old and shouldn't be made" people that yes they can when you go a new route.

Posted by TwoOneFive

i hope wii sales never surpass ps2 sales because it would just be sad to me. not because i love the ps2 or anything, but because ps2 had so many great fucking games, and wii has a bunch of shit for the most part. 

Posted by cspiffo

@Snail,

If you add up both 360 and PS3 sales GTA IV sold over 5 Mill. units.

Very impressive numbers by Nintendo.

Edited by JoshLarson

@ everyone grouping the GTAIV numbers:

Yeah, if  you really want to fudge the numbers then one could say that your 5 million plus GTAIV was absolutely crushed by WiiSports, which sold around 8 million copies this year (one with every Wii).

So the moral of the story is don't be a douchebag and try to massage the numbers to fit your narrow view of how the list should look. Accept the list how it is and don't try to push your agenda on others.

Posted by cspiffo

@JoshLarson,

You make no sense.  The PS3 and 360 version of GTA IV are essentially the same game coming from the same studio published by the same publisher.  Meaning the money is all going to the same place.  The fact is GTA IV sold like gangbusters much like the rest of the games on this list.  I also don't consider Wii Play a "game" sale.  People are not buying that solely for the game.

You should ask yourself why you have such narrow views on how this List should look.  This is just one consulting firm compiling store sales data.  They aren't actually analysing anything.

Posted by lordofultima

Here's the thing, who cares. Not me! Wii Fit could sell 57 million copies and I wouldn't really care.

Posted by CitizenKane

Doesn't really surprise me come to think of it.

Posted by bludst0ne

Color me casual but I happened to enjoy many of the games that came out for Wii. I don't understand why so called "Hardcore" gamers harbour the disdain they do for a company that is only bringing more people into the fold of gamedom. And don't give me any nonsense about how they are just casual fools who wouldn't know good if it slapped 'em upside the head. That may be but are you only ever given instant credibility in an industry if you jump right in having all encompassing knowledge of whats what?

How many people jump into Pop Warner football running counters and traps in a zone blocking scheme? How many peoples' first movies were Apocalypse Now, Seven Samurai, or Citizen Kane? When you build your first computer are you really concerned with the multipliers on your processor that dictate your ability overclock your ram or what kind of CAS latency said ram has? Did you start putting together corsairs in glass bottles when you got into building models?

No

The truth is we all started somewhere. We saw a kid with the ball and we all chased him  in a group en masse without much concern for man coverage or zone. We were happy with An American Tail, Jungle Book, and Toy Story as the movies we watched over and over again. You wanted to make sure you attached the mainboard to your case correctly. And we all started with legos.

If my point hasn't been made clear I will elucidate more succinctly. It can only be beneficial to have more gamers, be they "hardcore" or "casual" since even if there is a greater saturation of the persona non gratas they will be allowed to grow into the industry and come to appreciate even more the reasons why so many of us enjoy it.

I know it's cute and clever and fashionable to hate everything about the Wii,  but to be honest, in my own experience some of the best times I've had while gaming have been whilst doing a three hour marathon playing Wii tennis, playing Warioware till the early morning and even getting subtly insulted by the Wii fit software.

I'm not going to say that any of the Wii games save for perhaps Brawl were in my top GOTY list but undeniably good times were had while playing Nintendo's console.

Isn't that the bottom line in gaming?

Posted by defector

I've played several Wii games, and they were just ho-hum. Wii Play? Fun for a night, but that is it.

Posted by Shinryu
MjHealy said:
" Great I own 6 of these games. Seriously, Mario Kart DS? People say Wii games don't sell as well as the hardware, well apprently not.

"
Nope, People say Wii THIRD PARTY games dont sell as well, and they're correct in saying so.
Posted by duxup

I own 3 of the top 10, but damn Nintendo must be rolling in it.

Posted by Raven10

To the people saying "Where is Fallout 3," remember that these are sales for individual consoles. If Fallout 3 sould 1.5 million for each system (PS3, 360, PC) it would equal 4.5 million but not be on the chart. Same with Left 4 Dead. It sold 3 million between two systems. So theoretically it could have sold 1.5 million for each and not have made it on the list. In addition the figures publishers give usually are world sales, and Fallout is very popular in Europe as are other games not on this list.

Posted by MacGyver

damn i got to say nintendo kicked ass and took names in 08, but GTA made a pretty penny as well. Back to the whole Wii fit thing that shuffle board game is kinda fun but that's about it but my little 7 year old niece LOVES that game so maybe that might be part of it success? i just don't know.

Posted by bryce13950

how is Mario Kart DS still on this list?

Posted by Kowalski

When will this stop? If Nintendo doesn't start putting out real games soon I'm gonna have to start hurting myself. Wii play? Come on!!

Posted by granderojo
Raven10 said:
"To the people saying "Where is Fallout 3," remember that these are sales for individual consoles. If Fallout 3 sould 1.5 million for each system (PS3, 360, PC) it would equal 4.5 million but not be on the chart. Same with Left 4 Dead. It sold 3 million between two systems. So theoretically it could have sold 1.5 million for each and not have made it on the list. In addition the figures publishers give usually are world sales, and Fallout is very popular in Europe as are other games not on this list."
While this is all true, it took them hundreds of hours to write the code for those games.  Those hours cost them millions to make the game.

All those Wii games took a fraction to make, and sold much better and had much less overhead.

It shows you the direction the industry is starting to shift, less AAA games and more cheap games.
Edited by Claude

The top twenty has two surprising ones at 19 and 20.





































Third party got a little love in December for the Wii and that's not counting Guitar Hero: World Tour.
Posted by cosmothehound

honestly fucking wii is a joke besides a few games.


360 and ps3 shared titles are consistently good and ps3 and 360 have at least 5 amazing games per year. while wii has 1 or 2 tops.

Posted by TekZero

The list doesn't surprise me.  However, I only own 1 game on that list.  GTA 4

Posted by mariomaster12

I got Mario Kart DS for christmas and I have mario kart wii and Brawl

Posted by VaultBoy
thabigred said:
"It shows you the direction the industry is starting to shift, less AAA games and more cheap games."
Really? Are there fewer great games on the PS3 and 360? Is the PS3 and 360 being flooded with cheap games? Are there a bunch of cheap games on the horizon for either the PS3 or 360?

Even if there's been a dip in the number of AAA games being released (which I'm doubting), it'd be due to the development time and resources required to produce one. Better graphics, better AI, better physics, bigger worlds, and all the other improvements that can be implemented due to better hardware don't come for free. It makes sense that the length of time it takes to produce a great game is only going to increase. However as the cash flow into the games industry increases, there should be more developers (or development teams) making games. So, we shouldn't see a dip in the number of quality games and may see an increase.

Nintendo isn't taking money away from the "hardcore" developers. Instead, the majority of revenue is from an untapped resource which brings more money to the gaming industry. The only real change is which console is being inundated with shovelware.  Last generation the PS2 had a large volume of shovelware, but the PS2 doesn't have the negative stigma (from "hardcore" gamers) that the Wii does so we heard very little about it.

It's "cool" to hate the Wii. So, objectivity is thrown out the window in order to conform with the masses. You don't have to like the Wii, the games on the system may not be appealing to you. But, statements like how the Wii is destroying the gaming industry are mass hysteria brought on by fanboy propaganda combined with many gamers' refusal/inability to reason.
Posted by masternater27

I wish professor layton or the world ends with you were up there.

Edited by headcase

Wii Play doesn't really count since it's free with remotes (which cost Nintendo about $2.50 to make btw).

I'm really happy to see Brawl and Kart up there, gives Nintendo (and other companies) incentive to keep the good games comin'. The non-Nintendo games on there are worthy too, and Madden is about as far down the list as one could hope.

Take out Wii Play, and the only non-sequel on the list is Wii Fit, the game that no one wants to see up there. Take that, originality!
Posted by Shadow2K6
VaultBoy said:
"thabigred said:
"It shows you the direction the industry is starting to shift, less AAA games and more cheap games."
Really? Are there fewer great games on the PS3 and 360? Is the PS3 and 360 being flooded with cheap games? Are there a bunch of cheap games on the horizon for either the PS3 or 360?

Even if there's been a dip in the number of AAA games being released (which I'm doubting), it'd be due to the development time and resources required to produce one. Better graphics, better AI, better physics, bigger worlds, and all the other improvements that can be implemented due to better hardware don't come for free. It makes sense that the length of time it takes to produce a great game is only going to increase. However as the cash flow into the games industry increases, there should be more developers (or development teams) making games. So, we shouldn't see a dip in the number of quality games and may see an increase.

Nintendo isn't taking money away from the "hardcore" developers. Instead, the majority of revenue is from an untapped resource which brings more money to the gaming industry. The only real change is which console is being inundated with shovelware.  Last generation the PS2 had a large volume of shovelware, but the PS2 doesn't have the negative stigma (from "hardcore" gamers) that the Wii does so we heard very little about it.

It's "cool" to hate the Wii. So, objectivity is thrown out the window in order to conform with the masses. You don't have to like the Wii, the games on the system may not be appealing to you. But, statements like how the Wii is destroying the gaming industry are mass hysteria brought on by fanboy propaganda combined with many gamers' refusal/inability to reason."


Wii had one AAA in 2008.  ONE.  SSBB which didn't even sell as much as Mario Kart rehash, Wii Fit (non-game) and a controller bundled with a mediocre mini-game complication.  PS3 and 360 had multiple AAAs in 2008.  Yeah the Wii isn't hurting the industry as far as PS3 and 360 go but its hurting itself with gaming quality.  Seriously though, the fact that Nintendo is releasing so many casual games though first-party is pathethic.  Everyone knows these type of gamers buy 1-2 games a year tops.

Also the reason that everyone hates the Wii is not because "its cool".  Its because they are focusing way too much on this non-gamer/casual demographic when if it wasn't for core gamers Nintendo would have been dead a long time ago.
Posted by Media_Master

Mario Kart DS

Posted by granderojo
VaultBoy said:
"thabigred said:
"It shows you the direction the industry is starting to shift, less AAA games and more cheap games."
Really? Are there fewer great games on the PS3 and 360? Is the PS3 and 360 being flooded with cheap games? Are there a bunch of cheap games on the horizon for either the PS3 or 360?

Even if there's been a dip in the number of AAA games being released (which I'm doubting), it'd be due to the development time and resources required to produce one. Better graphics, better AI, better physics, bigger worlds, and all the other improvements that can be implemented due to better hardware don't come for free. It makes sense that the length of time it takes to produce a great game is only going to increase. However as the cash flow into the games industry increases, there should be more developers (or development teams) making games. So, we shouldn't see a dip in the number of quality games and may see an increase.

Nintendo isn't taking money away from the "hardcore" developers. Instead, the majority of revenue is from an untapped resource which brings more money to the gaming industry. The only real change is which console is being inundated with shovelware.  Last generation the PS2 had a large volume of shovelware, but the PS2 doesn't have the negative stigma (from "hardcore" gamers) that the Wii does so we heard very little about it.

It's "cool" to hate the Wii. So, objectivity is thrown out the window in order to conform with the masses. You don't have to like the Wii, the games on the system may not be appealing to you. But, statements like how the Wii is destroying the gaming industry are mass hysteria brought on by fanboy propaganda combined with many gamers' refusal/inability to reason."
No look at the overall quality of next gen console games and compare them to 2008, 2008 you have tons of devs cutting projects and scaling back games.  People like to say the Wii carved it's own market, and that is just not true.  This is the first group of year that the weakest of the consoles is the market leader, the Wii is setting a trend for devs to cut back on making amazing quality games.