Microsoft was counting on Halo 3 to spike sales of the Xbox 360, and that's exactly what happened upon the game's release last month, if the just-released Canadian NPD September sales figures are anything to go by.
After Xbox 360 hardware sales brought up the rear in July following Sony's price cut on the PlayStation 3, Microsoft's console has roared back to the head of the pack. The 360's Canadian sales of more than 51,000 systems in September even surpassed Nintendo's one-two chart-topping punch of the Wii and DS, which moved nearly 43,000 and 45,000 units, respectively. Furthermore, the PlayStation 3 bounced back from a down August with sales of nearly 16,000 units, which pushed it to roughly the same level of sales it saw following the price cut. Rounding out the field, the PlayStation Portable delivered sales of 22,000, whereas the PlayStation 2 could finally be losing some of its steam, considering that it turned in sales of a little over 16,000 for the month.
As expected, Halo 3 was the best-selling game of the month, with the standard edition selling nearly 135,000 copies, more than twice that of the next best-selling game. Interestingly enough, the C$149.99 ($153) Legendary Edition package of Halo 3, which included a replica Master Chief helmet, managed to sell 27,000 copies, which beat out the 25,000 sold of the C$79.99 ($82) Limited Edition version of the game. The standard edition Halo 3 costs C$69.99 ($72).
Halo 3 wasn't the only new hit of the month. As one might expect in Wayne Gretzky's homeland, Electronic Arts' NHL 08 also had a strong debut, with the Xbox 360 version's 54,000 sold making it the second-best-selling game of the month. The PS2 edition of the game came in third with 42,000, whereas the PS3 version netted nearly 21,000 sales. Nintendo's frequent bestseller Wii Play was relegated to a fifth-place finish with a little less than 25,000 copies sold.
Overall, the Canadian game industry posted September sales of C$129.7 million ($133.1 million), nearly double those of last September's C$66.2 million ($67.9 million). Hardware was responsible for C$56.3 million ($57.8 million) in sales, a 156 percent spike, with games up 60 percent to C$59.5 million ($61 million). Accessories also performed well, doubling last September's sales of C$6.9 million ($7.1 million) to bring in almost C$13.9 million ($14.3 million) for the month.