Canada posts record year for gaming

Great White North's C$933 million industry-wide sales jump 22 percent over the previous year; NHL 07 tops sales charts.

Last week the industry-tracking NPD Group released its US retail sales figures for 2006, showing record revenues for non-PC gaming hardware, software, and accessories. The industry fared similarly well north of the border, according to Canadian Press reports on NPD Group's Canadian retail tallies.

"It was a beauty year for gaming, eh?"

For 2006, Canadian stores sold a record C$933 million ($796 million) on gaming, up 22 percent from 2005's C$765 million ($652 million) take. On the hardware side, the Nintendo DS topped all systems with sales of 374,000 units, followed by the PlayStation 2 (327,000 systems sold) and the Xbox 360 (252,000 systems sold). Of the newly released systems, Nintendo sold 84,000 Wiis, while Sony moved 45,000 PS3s. The Wii nearly doubled the PS3's total units sold, but Sony's system beat Nintendo's offering in December sales as both products bumped up against supply constraints.

As for games, the cultural differences between the US and Canada were reflected in the sales charts. According to the Canadian Press report, the best-selling game of the year in Canada was Electronic Arts' NHL 07 on the PS2 instead of the US chart-topper Madden NFL 07 for the PS2. New Super Mario Bros. on the DS and Gears of War on the Xbox 360 took second and third place on both charts, but the Canadian top 10 sported some prior years' releases, like Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2, as well as Super Mario 64 DS.

Combining the NPD data with current population projections, Canadians spent C$28.27 ($24.10) per capita on gaming in 2006, while the average American spent $41.50 on gaming for the year.

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Discussion

148 comments
X_Box_Killer
X_Box_Killer

onderful game development crews in the world. Like Ubisoft Montreal, EA Blackbox i would hardly call EA a "wonderful" company. The only game I' ve enjoyed of theirs in the last 15 years is LoTR: Third Age on my Cube. When you look back, they've put out alot of crap over the years. Oh and btw, I say "aboot" and "eh" alot myself. :-p

thorsen-ink
thorsen-ink

Uh, the guy who wrote this article is from Ontario. Apparently our posters from the north forgot the Canadians' famous sense of humor.

vanhalendlrband
vanhalendlrband

Its funny how americans think our country ,which has a larger land mass then theirs, all has the same accent all across. Just funny thought. And yea i'd be more impressed if 2K7 was up there, but i guarantee you that NHL by EA Sports has been the number one selling game in Canada since it first came out in 91. Too bad we're buying a game that takes hand me downs from the previous years madden as its highlights. I switched to 2K from EA in 2002 after i got sick of EA's constant detour to arcade style hockey. It was always about sim in '96 but they alienated me big time by 2002.

metroid_dragon
metroid_dragon

I'm in Canada as well, and I say both madden and NHL EA games suck, however I'd still much rather play an NHL game. Now if you'll excuse me, Warioware calls.

stewart24
stewart24

Hey Im up here in Canada to and heck Im Madden all the way, I get hockey when its in the blow out bin.

wonkisjones
wonkisjones

No wonder videogames are raising up! would it be the same in my country someday soon? =?

firefruze
firefruze

YEAH GO CANADA!!! but seriously NHL 07 was the top seller? There must be more to those stats. Or maybe I have to face that I am part of the minority that could care less about professional hockey.

HammerBro88
HammerBro88

As a Canadian, I am disgusted that EA crap topped the bestsellers list.

vgkid7
vgkid7

Hir0_N i stronlgy agree with u. I am a canadian aswell (Ottawa). And i luv soccer but every single damn canadian loves hockey (stupid sport)

datniccah187
datniccah187

Big year for gaming, do it up, the more money that goes into the industry, the better games that will come out for our enjoyment.

Frags-o-Plenty
Frags-o-Plenty

The Americans wouldn't be saying we're horrible if Jean Cretien was still in power. That guy could scare the crap out of anyone and anything. But yeah, that you GS for that completely unbiased picture describing all of Canada. Thanks. Really.

dQuarters
dQuarters

NHL 07!?! They made that ish up just to pick on us. And if it's actually true, stop buying into that damned EA franchise. Full of crappy new gimmiks every year, and no true improvements worth the money. And 2K is just way better for hockey. And fellow hosiers ... Support your local Ubisoft and Bioware this year. Oh, and Sillicon Knights too (if they ever release another game).

Hir0_N
Hir0_N

Canada sucks so much at Futbol(soccer). And pretty much every other sports except Hockey. This is coming from a Canadian. Not by blood though.

fahad2mail
fahad2mail

hehe. its happening all over the world.

HighlyToxic
HighlyToxic

When are they going to make Grand Theft Auto: Winnipeg???? Now that is a GTA game I would almost pay to play. I can just see it now, tearing away from the cops and just when you think you have made a clean getaway you hit the mother of all potholes. ------ Think about it: After you pull off a job at the beer store, you dogsled-jack a ride, and lead your team of huskies through the wood, battling the RCMP and timberwolves, until you make your way to your crib of an igloo. Instant classic.

mhder
mhder

What canada should get is A DS curling game. I have the one from Japan and it's great both as a game and as a teaching tool. Curling is big in Canada and I can't believe no one has picked up on it.

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

just too bad they don't like to let american's into the country

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

No kidding Canada loves NHL. I luv and admire Canada for its Rock music and some of the most wonderful game development crews in the world. Like Ubisoft Montreal, EA Blackbox Canada, Relic and of course Bioware.

scrapking
scrapking

Why no CFL game from either EA or 2K though? Australia gets Aussie Rugby and Australian auto race games (among others) unique to their country, and they're a smaller market than Canada, in addition to games like Cricket that do see limited release elsewhere. Interest in the CFL has risen dramatically over the last 7 to 8 years, with games on TSN rising from about 150K viewers to a nearly half-million viewers per game and games shown on CBC enjoying even better ratings still. There would be some import interest in the U.S. where games are telecast on some cable stations, in addition to interest from the friends, family, and fans of American players playing in the CFL. Making a CFL game would involve a relatively inexpensive licence for a publisher to acquire and modelling 8 rosters and stadiums. If you were to build it off an existing engine (Maddens or the old 2K5 engine perhaps) you'd merely have to modify the rules somewhat and do up those 8 rosters and stadiums. Given the Grey Cup gets 5-6 million viewers each year, I have real trouble believing a CFL game built off a cost-effective conversion of an existing gridiron game engine couldn't sell enough copies to be quite profitable, and it makes at least as much sense to me as the Australian-only sports games that get released every year.

mhder
mhder

I only used "eh" a couple of times after hearing americans "tell us" that's what we say. Well I think "eh" is a lot better than "y'all."

Superstrokey
Superstrokey

im a canuck born and raised and i say eh all the time. ITs just so useful, better than dropping the f bomb all the time... well maybe.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I've yet to ever hear anyone say Aboot unless they are saying it like that on purpose. But I use Eh, just not often, and usually without noticing it. But yeah, I can see gaming being huge up here with all the freakin snow all winter long (except this one) so what else are we suposed to do while couped inside?

Chainblast
Chainblast

I say eh, but it's generally when I want someone to repeat something. Or something. Those figures on hardware sales need some more explaining 'case every store I went into (and I went into a lot) has about twice as many Wii's as PS3's and no one has any...still. Something fishy here.

yodariquo
yodariquo

How about GTA: Greater Toronto Area? It's GTA: GTA!

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

HighlyToxic Beavers, back bacon, gaming. What a great country! When are they going to make Grand Theft Auto: Winnipeg???? Now that is a GTA game I would almost pay to play. I can just see it now, tearing away from the cops and just when you think you have made a clean getaway you hit the mother of all potholes.

HighlyToxic
HighlyToxic

Beavers, back bacon, gaming. What a great country! When are they going to make Grand Theft Auto: Winnipeg????

Purvis11
Purvis11

I am a proud Canadian. If Americans love to think we say eh, let em believe. I'm just proud we have lower crime rates, free health care, and a higher education level and standard compared to America.

Mar044
Mar044

yup we canadians rock, i thought I didn't say eh but i do.

brant_almighty
brant_almighty

Me work Hard five days a week, sweeping garbage from the street. Come home not one book to read, not 'nuff pictures for me see. Sit right down in favorite chair, wearing only underwear. Favorite night is Saturday night, 'cause me can watch hockey fights. Me like hockey! it annoys me so much when ignorant people know next to nothing about culture outside of their own country, and for those who seem to think that Canada only recently began to get into the gaming industry would be wrong. Finally, i have never said eh, or aboot. Nor have i heard anyone else say it. Ever.

sonic_spark
sonic_spark

We don't say "eh" at all here out west, that is definitely used in eastern Canada. In Vancouver finding PS3's not so difficult.. finding Wii's is virtually impossible.

DaCloudz
DaCloudz

Haha i'm Canadian and I actually say "Eh?" A lot, its kinda funny, and my brother just got me saying aboot =P im a stereotypical Canadian =D (I am central, go Manitoba eh?) Anyways, wait... are these the full year sales? ... thats actually sad if it is. Cuz i know atleast 100 people who have bought a 360 that are Canadian, I thought it was popular, and go DS and PS2! I got both of them this winter cuz (my ps2) broke and I was interested in the DS.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Yep, we Canadians love our hockey and we love getting blockbusters a year after they came out. :D

mccoy2k4
mccoy2k4

In regards to all of the below comments, Wii's have not been staying on the shelves since launch, and I've counted nine 60GB PS3s in the one Walmart here in Saskatoon. Saskatchewan could be one of the "have" provinces as well, provided our provincial government would get their act together with our natural resources (oil, uranium, potash, diamonds, etc.). And it is definitely southern Ontario that is generating a lot of that cash, as a good percentage of the Can. pop lives there. But Alberta is definitely driving a lot of the economy because of oil and their lower taxes for companies.

jasongm
jasongm

I'm also Canadian, and i never heard anyone say "Eh", I think people out west say this alot, ive never heard that here where i am (Montreal).

yodariquo
yodariquo

Mackenzie Brothers :lol: That combined with NHL '07 topping the charts does little for the typical Candian image. Then again, I own three NHL Games XD

PuffstaJones
PuffstaJones

Funniest picture EVER. Well I'm canadian and I'm suprised random old games like GTA and gran turismo 4 made the top sellers. Watever. Also, in reponse to other comments, I've yet to meet a canadian who sais aboot and ey. Although rumor has it those crazy newphies do, but I have no idea.

linkdarkside
linkdarkside

lol first USA then australia and now canada

lithus
lithus

NHL 07 tops sales charts in Canada...there's a shocker eh.

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

We love our hockey up here. I bought NHL 07 for 360 cause its fun. Nuff said. I don't complain about the other games people buy. Buy what you want. It's called freedom. Enjoy it and respect it.

cjnwo4life
cjnwo4life

I was always wondering what the gaming makeup in canada was last year. Now we know. Not surprised that the hockey game was number just like I am not surprised madden was number 1 here.

Grant_gillis
Grant_gillis

WOot, go Canada. Its easy to belive that game sales were crazy, i bought a 360 this year, a DS, probly close to 20 games, and a psp. oh and by the way, Alberta equals pwnage