More amazing is who shows up at No. 3: the PlayStation 2. Also: sales data for Professor Layton, No More Heroes, Advance Wars and Dragon Quest Swords.
Two months into 2008 and Nintendo hasn't lost any steam. And just think: Super Smash Bros. Brawl just came out to fan the flames even more. Brawl's release will figure into things next month, but for now, here's what happened in February.
February 2008 U.S. Hardware Sales
Nintendo DS – 587.6k
Wii – 432k
PlayStation 2 – 351.8k
PlayStation 3 – 280.8k
Xbox 360 – 254.6k
PlayStation Portable – 243.1k
Unlike the close race that we saw last month, February 2008 has a clear winner in terms of hardware units sold: Nintendo. Compared to February 2007, Nintendo improved their Wii sales by 97,000 units and their DS sales by 102,700 units.
The rise in Wii sales and shipments could potentially signal increased capacity on Nintendo's part to manufacture the system that has been practically sold out in many parts of the globe ever since its launch almost 15 months ago. The company is allegedly manufacturing 1.8 million Wiis a month for the worldwide market. Alternatively, it could simply mean that Nintendo saved up large quantities of the Wii in order to get ready for the launch of their blockbuster title, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and these numbers are merely indicative of Nintendo's saving hardware for the game's release.
Either way, the data suggests that March will also see very substantial Wii sales. In 2007, March Wii sales were at a relatively depressed 259k, perhaps due to Nintendo's having met their shipment estimates before their fiscal year ended March 31. By April 2007, the Wii had rebounded to 360k units sold that month.
Altogether, Nintendo has sold just over a million hardware units combined in February. Additionally, a Nintendo says Wii February accessory sales were at 1.7 million units, more than any other console, and DS accessory sales for the month at 1.2 million units.
For the other consoles, the PlayStation 2 surprised just about everyone with its third place performance last month, outselling the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. It achieved this by selling 87,800 units more this month than in January while the other two consoles made smaller gains. The PS2 still hasn't officially hit $99, so it may remain a powerful seller for further into 2008 than most anticipated.
In total, the industry combined for hardware sales of $481 million, making February 2008 the second highest selling hardware sales month outside of November and December. The only month that exceeds these sales totals is September 2007, the launch of Halo 3 for the Xbox 360.
2008 Year-to-Date U.S. Hardware Sales
Nintendo DS – 861.6k
Wii – 683k
PlayStation 2 – 615.8k
PlayStation 3 – 549.8k
Xbox 360 – 484.6k
PlayStation Portable – 473.1k
Approximate Lifetime-to-Date U.S. Hardware Sales
PlayStation 2 – 41.6 million
Nintendo DS – 18.4 million
PlayStation Portable – 10.9 million
Xbox 360 – 9.6 million
Wii – 8.0 million
PlayStation 3 – 3.8 million
NPD's Software data for last month also offers some interesting insights, with new titles debuting for the Xbox 360 and the PS3.
February 2008 U.S. Top Ten Software Sales
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360) – 296.2K
Devil May Cry 4 (Xbox 360) – 4 295.2K
Wii Play w/Remote (Wii) – 289.7K
Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) – 233.5K
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) – 222.9K
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (DS) – 205.6K
Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360) – 203.6K
Turok (Xbox 360) – 197.7K
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2) – 183.8K
Rock Band (Xbox 360) –161.8K
February 2008 U.S. Additional Software Sales
Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village (DS) – 91k
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (DS) – 50.3k
No More Heroes (Wii) – 37k
Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (Wii) – 15k
No new significant Wii or DS games made it into the top ten charts this month. Wii Play is now just over a year old and has incredible sales legs, charting month after month to build up its approximately 4.7 million units in total U.S. sales so far. Sega recently announced that combined sales of its Olympic Games pairing of Mario and Sonic have climbed over five million, so it's not surprise to see the game charting here. The game sold more units in February than it did in January due to the fact that it had an entire month to sell this time.
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has also exhibited staying power: despite a lack of downloadable content on the Wii, sound issues that caused Activision to institute a disc replacement program, and a lack of separately-sold guitar controllers, it has climbed to 1.7 million copies on the Wii alone. The Guitar Hero III games have sold approximately eight million copies across all platforms by now.
NPD data for several games beyond the top ten was released by sales prediction site The simExchange. These numbers give Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village a respectable start at 91,000 units sold. Titles aimed at expanded audiences, like Nintendo's own Brain Age games, tend to continue selling in later months due to word of mouth, so if Professor Layton exhibits this trend it can meet with the same sales success it achieved in Japan after its release in that market last year.
No More Heroes reportedly sold another 37,000 units, which combined with the 65,000 from January puts the Grasshopper Interactive title at about 102,000 sold in the U.S. This may seem low, but it compares very favorably to other Grasshopper Interactive titles like the critically-acclaimed-but-commercially-ignored Killer 7. Advance Wars: Days of Ruin for the DS sold 50,300 units in February, so combined with the 81,000 units it sold last month, the hardcore strategy title is over 130,000 units lifetime. Finally Square Enix's Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors opened to a disappointing 15,000 units after a more than seven month span between its Japanese and American releases.
For the other consoles, the Xbox 360 release of Call of Duty 4 managed to maintain a hold on the top spot despite four new games hitting the list. The PS3 version of Devil May Cry 4 managed to keep pace with the Xbox 360 version of the game despite the PS3's lower installed base. Lost Odyssey for the Xbox 360 sold over 200,000 units, doing more for the Xbox 360 RPG scene than Mistwalker Studio's earlier RPG, Blue Dragon. Lost Odyssey managed to beat out the First-Person Shooter Turok, also for the Xbox 360.
Additionally, the continued strength of last year releases Rock Band (Xbox 360) and Guitar Hero III (Wii and PS2) shows the power of music-based rhythm games at retail. This is even more impressive considering Guitar Hero III typically costs between $90 and $100 at retail, and Rock band costs even more with a $160 price tag.
Just as with hardware sales for this month, software sales set a record. February software sales came in at $667.8 million, which is a 47% increase over the same period last year, or over $200 million more. In a traditionally slow period, the industry has managed to generate more software sales than any other month in history outside of November and December.