NPD: Fable II hits 1.2M in US, MGS4 goes platinum

Final 2008 sales figures paint mixed picture for PS3, 360 exclusives, as Resistance 2, Little Big Planet score 600K while Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts unscrews only 140K.

by

When industry research firm the NPD Group released its final 2008 sales figures earlier this month, the US software best-seller list was topped by four Wii titles. The remote-bundled Wii Play was the top title of the year with 5.28 million units, followed by Mario Kart Wii (5.0 million units), the balance-board-accompanied Wii Fit (4.53 million units), and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (4.17 million units). In fact, according to recent NPD data analysis by industry site Gamasutra, 49 percent of all games sold in the US last year were for a Nintendo console.

The Wii's domination of the software charts pushed almost every exclusive for another console out of the top 10 list. The sole exception was Gears of War 2 for the Xbox 360. The sequel to Epic Games' highly regarded Blockbuster sold just over 2.31 million copies, thanks to rave reviews, a dedicated fan base, and Microsoft's massive marketing machine.

Though Gears 2's success was no surprise, given the steady drumbeat of sales-milestones announcements, it was less clear how Xbox 360 exclusives outside the top 10 fared. NPD provided final 2008 US sales figures to GameSpot for two 360-only titles from Microsoft's internal studio system: Lionhead's Fable II and Rare's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. The difference between the two was striking: The former RPG sold 1.2 million units, while the latter eked out a mere 140,000 units in US sales (a fact that isn't stopping Banjo-Tooie from hitting Xbox Live in April). According to the story mentioned above, 360 and original Xbox games made up 19 percent of US software sales in 2008.

The year's top PlayStation 3 exclusive didn't quite match Gears 2, a fact to be expected given the console's smaller installed base and its one fewer year on the market. Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, GameSpot's 2008 Game of the Year, was the biggest exclusive for Sony's platform, racking up over 1 million in domestic sales. In June, Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Kaz Hirai said the game had sold 3 million units worldwide in the two weeks after its release. Some 500,000 copies of MGS4 sold in Japan during its debut week, while 775,000 units were bought during its first 18 days on the US market.

Unfortunately for Sony, its first-party PS3 exclusives didn't fare quite as well. Despite substantial hype and solid reviews, Media Molecule's quirky platformer Little Big Planet sold only 611,000 units in the US--just less than half its global 1.3 million total. Insomniac's Resistance 2, which wowed critics as much as rival Gears 2, sold only about 600,000 units in the US. Sony game sales--including the PS3, PSP, and still-strong PlayStation 2--made up 32 percent of last year's software sales, according to Gamasutra's NPD breakdown.

Discussion

460 comments
DeckardLee
DeckardLee

I love it when ignorant people talk about what can and what can't be done with technology that they don't understand :D

qou
qou

Makes sense if you think about it. The wii has a larger fan-base than any of the other consoles. It has little kids and teenagers as well as adults.

arbsetbse6
arbsetbse6

jtthegame316- Dude it's been said a million times, the reason(s) that MGS4 will never come to the 360 have nothing to do with the disc space. Lost Odyseey was 2 discs and it would take maybe 3 or 4 for MGS4 to be on the 360. Granted the game would have to be housed in a special type of game box that I just don't see being made for the 360. But mainly there's two HUGE reasons as to why it won't ever come to the 360. One, Hideo Kojima, the creator and rights owner to all the Metal Gears to this point. He said he will NEVER ever let it go to 360, ever. Ok so thats one. Two is that it wouldn't actually run on 360. The 360 processors can't operate the Octocamo in the game. The processors aren't capable of handling it, would heat up too much, cause warping, and bam! Red ring of death. So just do me a favor, don't start spouting that "PS3 fanboys" are protecting this title, it's main halt is the technology. Besides I don't take anyone's comments seriously who even mention the word "fanboy". It's such an irrelevant term that just expresses the commenters pure ignorance and lack of debating skills towards a valid point in an argument This is pure lies!? The reason MGS uses so much space, is because the audio is completely uncompressed. They used that much space up on purpose. Oh and Xbox wouldn't melt and RROD it could run MGS, if it was made for the Xbox. I'm not a Xbox fanboy, I like both consoles. I just hate people spewing out lies and false information.

rav44
rav44

PIZZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Xz310
Xz310

most wii games arn't very good.

Xz310
Xz310

Screw wii and ps3/sony. Fable II!

snooker8th
snooker8th

These US sales figures are fairly meaningless. US seems like the only region that is strongly supporting the 360 anymore, im guessing due to the patriotism of it all. Sony and Nintendo are making much larger gains by selling in-house games. 360 has sold a lot of systems in the past year or so, but only by pricing their console down and losing margins. I think sooner or later mgs4 will come to 360 though even if it is a watered down version. maybe towards the end of 09. It is a very good game that everyone should be able to play. LBP and R2 are both very good games. After playing a fair bit of Resistance 2 online i havent really gone back to another shooter except for COD5.. Platformers are far from dead though, you just need to avoid bad ones like Banjo and Sonic Unleashed!!

Lexaeus775
Lexaeus775

man, shoot mgs4 shud'v been platinum b4 new years...

cybergooch
cybergooch

I'm actually surprised to hear that MSG4 has only just now broken the 1 million copy mark. It was definitely the pinnacle title for the PS3 last year and was sure it was an automatic purchase for PS3 owners. I'm still trying to understand part of what FSUJD524 wrote: "The 360 processors can't operate the Octocamo in the game. The processors aren't capable of handling it, would heat up too much, cause warping, and bam! Red ring of death. " So...are you saying that the 360 isn't CAPABLE of running MGS4? I disagree; the game is not WRITTEN to operate on the 360. Konami did a great job working the Cell processors to render beautiful artwork on the screen, but they could of done the same thing on the 360...if they chose to do so. BTW, the Cell processor is just a slightly modified RISC processor, the core version being that of the one found in the 360 (the similarities practicly make them brother and sister.) Sony's only advantage is the Blu-Ray tech that allows for massive storage...and nothing else. As a matter of fact, if you look around a bit, I'm sure you will find article after article that shows the 360 ACTUALLY has better detail rendering the the PS3. Maybe, just maybe, the video cards are the true battleground and MS lucked out by NOT getting an nVidia chipset this go around.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

and yet nearly everyone on here says that Wii games dont sell.

thekey
thekey

guile_charlie For your information I only have a PS3 now. And if a system doesn't have great games and it doesn't sell well you won't be able to enjoy it for long. so sales are inportant. Atleast to me they are...

FSUJD524
FSUJD524

jtthegame316- Dude it's been said a million times, the reason(s) that MGS4 will never come to the 360 have nothing to do with the disc space. Lost Odyseey was 2 discs and it would take maybe 3 or 4 for MGS4 to be on the 360. Granted the game would have to be housed in a special type of game box that I just don't see being made for the 360. But mainly there's two HUGE reasons as to why it won't ever come to the 360. One, Hideo Kojima, the creator and rights owner to all the Metal Gears to this point. He said he will NEVER ever let it go to 360, ever. Ok so thats one. Two is that it wouldn't actually run on 360. The 360 processors can't operate the Octocamo in the game. The processors aren't capable of handling it, would heat up too much, cause warping, and bam! Red ring of death. So just do me a favor, don't start spouting that "PS3 fanboys" are protecting this title, it's main halt is the technology. Besides I don't take anyone's comments seriously who even mention the word "fanboy". It's such an irrelevant term that just expresses the commenters pure ignorance and lack of debating skills towards a valid point in an argument. Learn your facts my friend.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

just think how much more sales metal gear 4 will make when konami remember they are a third party and put it on 360. ps 3 fanboys don't start with your multi disk crap because when it comes down to it a good game is a good game no matter how many disks it spans and it would not take them no more than 4 anyway maybe less.

rmoorevtps3
rmoorevtps3

rnk99999- I know the PS3 hardware costs have gone down. They were somewhere around $800 to make around launch, now they cost Sony like $440. Just as Sony is about to break even with regard to production hardware costs and their sales price they are not going to drop the price of the PS3. Not for a long time. Why would they start taking $100 dollar losses just as they are about to make some profit? The thing is a lot of people don't realize not all consumers are like those in the US. Sony is a Japanese based company as you know. In Japan people are still playing the crap out of their PS2s. The market was not ready for the PS3 when it came out, plain and simple. The technology was too much, thus the insane prices. Sony knows that in the coming years everyone will want their product tho. If not next year, then the next year. If not then, then the next year. People act like this whole "console war" is a week to week, month to month battle. I know the companies involved are not naive enough to think so.

King_Jeremy_77
King_Jeremy_77

All anybody wants to do anymore is buy the Wii. I love the Wii, but damn, all 3 consoles are great. It's either the Wii, or everyone's playing some sort of shooter.

Thornscar
Thornscar

To bad PS3 couldn't copy the success of the PS2.

cspiffo
cspiffo

Poor Banjo. People need to wake up and start buying good original games instead of stale sequels all the time. I'm actually kind of impressed with LBPs numbers. I sort of knew it wouldn't draw in what Sony was expecting. It did well enough though for MM to continue support of the title which is a very good thing. People! Buy Banjo. It truely is a great game.

rnk99999
rnk99999

rmoorevtps3 That was just my point! They need more then what is out there for me to spend more than 199.99 for that system. And you are right no game system (wii is the exception) sells for a profit out of the gate. However as tech ages and production gets cheaper and a successful piece of hardware will begin to profit (case in point when ps2 hit 199 they were making money off the hardware but that same hardware at 299 was a loss leader.) Not saying I will not spend more then 199 for a system if there is enough value ( must haves in gaming terms) for my taste. I paid 349.99 for my xbox. So my point being that if you think that production cost have not changed for the better for sony since launch you are crazy, and if sony wants to survive in a tough economy a further reduction is going to be needed to drive hardware sales as the small amount of exclusives they have right now is not enough for most to "have to have" the PS3. In the end for all gaming platforms software is truly where the money is and PS3 will never top the charts on a regular basis while having the least amount of hardware out there, and third party software developlers will continue to jump ship on exclusives as they want to turn as many copies as they can and you dont sell the most copies on the least sold system. What I meant by microsoft was smart was they took a gamble and began taking a larger hit on hardware inorder to get more units in peoples homes as this will turn into $$ from a software standpoint. That all being said I am sure I will get one as I have loved all my PS systems and I did get my PS2 at launch, just not enough there yet to make me feel like I need this and my xbox.

TheArcade
TheArcade

@Terran499: Thanks for the info on UT3. Just so I can show some of my PS3 buddies can you send me a link so I can pass it along to them as well? Now on with the 360 I didn't even know they were making a Gears 3 (In 2010 even? Talk about MS having a staying plan.) so thanks for that tid bit of info. Halo 3 Recon may very well be an expansion but to me it will be well worth the 8-9 hours. It's DLC that can be obtained over XBL but there will also be a disc version available at retail. More than half of my XBL friends list is getting it and my list is maxed out at 99. As far as other games goes I'd say there are plentiful amounts of titles to look forward to. Me personally; King of Fighters '98 UM (with online play and Achievements), Banjo-Tooie, Ninja Blade, GTA 4: The Lost and Damned (another expansion but again well worth my time), Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Fallout 3 (exclusive DLC), Ninety-Nine Nights 2, Alan Wake, Halo Wars, Project Forza 3, and maybe Metal Slug 7. I told you I had alot on my plate. I just wish some of these would come out sooner. Any who I personally think that the 360 has a solid release list headed into 2009. Please note that 3 of these games aren't so much exclusive as the definitive gaming experience will be on Xbox 360.

rmoorevtps3
rmoorevtps3

rnk99999- you're gona be waiting a long time for a $199 PS3. Sony sells the hardware at a loss, doesn't that tell you the value in the hardware? Sony gets all their hardware at wholesale costs for mass producing and they still sell their system at a loss at 400 and 500 dollars. How many companies sell products they make for less than the price they make it for? The PS3 is one of the best possible buys a consumer can make.

guardofdead
guardofdead

man_alive Posted Jan 29, 2009 5:05 am GMT the PS3 is slowly getting to a criticle mass of games where it might make sense to buy one, especially since the best games will all be deeply discounted soon. but i think i'll wait until it's under $300 and ships with at least a 4x blu ray drive. it wouldn't need to do all the preinstalls if it could just read the data off the disc faster. ____________________________ blu-ray dosent read slow.... dont be arrogent, it can achieve faster data transfer while spinning at a lower rate, this is where people mess things up and turn it around..... the install is to help the loading times to make them faster and such, and other technical things

man_alive
man_alive

the PS3 is slowly getting to a criticle mass of games where it might make sense to buy one, especially since the best games will all be deeply discounted soon. but i think i'll wait until it's under $300 and ships with at least a 4x blu ray drive. it wouldn't need to do all the preinstalls if it could just read the data off the disc faster.

man_alive
man_alive

i'm glad nintendo is making money. i hope they invest it in a games that are more than just ports of old franchises and crappy crappy crappy games bundled with hardware. i'd love to buy a new Wii game. i haven't turned the thing on in a month at least.

JQuizzle757
JQuizzle757

Rare needs to listen to their fans and they do not want a game were you make cars and race and do challenges with them!!! N64 007 would be nice if Nintendo would just sell the rights!!! I also find it funny they compare Resistance2 and Gears2 well when you have 3 times the install base what to do think sales will looks like!!

captainwonton
captainwonton

wow a shocker there with little big planet and metal gear solid i thought they were going to sell really really well, but i guess it depends on the console and people keeps buying the damn wii, yeah i know it is innovative but nintendo keeps slapping harcore gamers in the face, 360 couldve done better but i guess its exclusives were not as amazing as expected, i loved them, but not everyone did, oh and last but not least banjo kazooie, amazing game, innovative, yet simple, now i know getting comfortable with the new car creation thing was tough for old school fans of banjo kazooie, but for me it was enough just to pley the first world to really appreciate the fantastic premise of the game, but im still expecting a game from rare that yet again become the most memorable experience ever, well given their record(goldeneye 007, perfect dark, donkey kong country series, banjo kazooie, conkers bad fur day/live and reloaded)

chikkkenbutt
chikkkenbutt

And thankyou 2 accessbboy! god! would everyone just chill? the ps3 and nintendo both came out around the same time. and it takes time for developers to really get used to the console, just be easy and give the damn consoles a break! the ps3 is in its 2nd year of a 10 year lifespan.... please, just chill.

Loucetios
Loucetios

bat725 ummmmm Bioshock, Gears, left 4 Dead, COD2 are all multiplat, bioshock is for ps3 & pc while the rest were also on the PC, in the case of COD2 & left 4 dead & bioshock, released at the same time on the PC as the 360 version, in case you didn't know Bioshock started as a PC game so its main platform is technically PC

chikkkenbutt
chikkkenbutt

THANK YOU rmoorevtps3. thank you. can we get a comparison based on proportions? yes, the ps3 has a much smaller install base than the 360. can we see how the ps3's sales fare in proportion to the 360's? to really make sense of these numbers? and yes, back to rmoorevtps3, can all just give the ps3 a little more time? seriously, can we really give home a year to really get up and running? can we really give the ps3 a year or 2 to get out more exclusives (FF vs 13, GOW3, etc etc)? thank you.

rnk99999
rnk99999

I don't really feel bad for sony. I do feel bad for all the people that are being laid off due to the 2 billion $ loss that they posted for the year. MGS and LBP do look fantastic, but not enough for me and most people out there to fork out that kind of money that system. Microsoft was smart they are taking the hit on the hardware and making it up in software. All of you should know that the exclusives for the PS3 esp in the US ( and that IS all that matters for us because that is where we all live and game) will be less and less if the publishers are not turning enough product. I love my xbox and right now I don't feel that I am missing anything big by not having a PS3. I am not looking to bash PS3 I am sure I will get one when it hits199.00. And as far as nintendo..Right now nobody is going to hang with Wii sales figures. You cannot deny Nintendo hit it big with this one by finding a way to bring the non gamer in to the world of gaming. And I do love my wii as well. nothing more fun when you have people over to have a few beers and while playing wii sports, or wario ware, or rayman. The more drunk you get the more fun it is. And hell it is kinda cool to play some of my old NES favs without having to blow in the game and battle the blinking red light!!

rmoorevtps3
rmoorevtps3

littlebigplanet has sold just dandy. Since when did going "Platinum" signify a disappointment? 1.3m X $60 = $78 million. That was made in 3 months. It probably cost them $10-15 million to make the game. Media Molecule sits back and laughs at these articles.

rmoorevtps3
rmoorevtps3

god of war didn't come out for ps2 until 4.5 years into its life, just like many great games that came out for the ps2. There are plenty of great games out to play now. PS3 just turned 2. the games will come and will make you happy they used blu-ray as their medium. patience is a virtue.

bat725
bat725

I'll probably rent LBP, I just think I might have outgrown platformers. Same goes for Banjo Kazooie. I rented Ratchet & Clank, and didn't beat it cuz I lost interest. I'm actually thinking about putting Killzone 2 on reserve at Gamestop so I can get the free demo. I have no hate for the PS3, I just think that Sony was over-confident from their previous success, and as a result, released an over-priced console. If I wanted a blu-ray player, I would have bought a blu-ray player, don't try to shove it down my throat so you can win your little war over HD-DVD. Now give me some f'in awesome games! MGS4 and Uncharted were great, but now I'm tapping my veins, Sony! Same goes out to Nintendo. Where the hell are the games?

jyrexx
jyrexx

Too bad about LBP...if you're not playing you're missing out. Its really fun and a good change of pace from all of my favorite shooters like Left4Dead, COD, Halo. The stuff people have greated online is amazing...

rmoorevtps3
rmoorevtps3

bat725- cough....Killzone 2.....cough...sneeze

a7xfan7
a7xfan7

Personally, PS3 does not currently seem appealing to me, considering its price. If it were cheaper I would probably buy one just for MGS 4. The thing that attracts me more to 360 is the online community, better selection of online games(just my opinion), and the price. These are all things Sony should focus on if they want to do better in this economy. Not everyone can afford to dish out that much money for a game system anymore, they have to realize that.

bat725
bat725

Sony should have saved MGS4 for the holidays. 360 has beaten PS3 with exclusive AAA titles that are realeased during the holidays. COD2 in 2005, Gears in 2006, Halo 3, Mass Effect & Bioshock in 2007, and now Gears 2 and Left 4 Dead in 2008. This year, PS3 has LBP and R2, but platformers are a dying breed, and Resistance can't compete with Gears. R1 was an above-average FPS, at best, but I haven't played R2 yet, so we'll see. I have no interest in LBP, whatsoever.

Tombackman_5
Tombackman_5

MGS4 rocks! I just hope the PS3 can get the lead out, they can't rely on 1 good exclusive per year!

Accessbboy
Accessbboy

And Metal Gear Solid was Game of the year!!!!

Accessbboy
Accessbboy

man im tired of every article i read someone tries to hate on the ps3? for crying out loud, and im also tired of those people who write a huge paragraph of an article explaining what system is better, Ps3 Entertainment system, xbox360 gaming system. cost 100 more cuz of bluray the future of High Deff all you guys gonna end up getting it like all you guys who used to say I would never get a dvd player!, U fools you will End up with one

bat725
bat725

SPANNER-MAN You hit it on the money. This is what Sony gets for being so arrogant, and the arrogant PS3 owners are feeling the sting, as they pretend that sales numbers don't matter, and try to hype 1st party titles that aren't really that stellar (exception MGS4: Kojima, you rule!) Of course, I own all 3 systems ( I am a hardcore gamer after all), but its hilarious that Sony is in 3rd place this go round. They deserve it for releasing an over-priced console that has the same graphics as the 360, sometimes worse...cough...Fallout 3...Madden...cough...cough.

squidracerX
squidracerX

PS3 did really well when you look at it world wide, for some reason they are only looking at domestic?? Little Big Planet sold as much as Fable 2 overall, (just not all in the US); but if Japan released an article about domestic sales for Japan it would look like Fable sold nothing while LBP sold 710k. So SONY overall is selling more games over its platfroms worldwide, and software is where the $$ is!!

beekayjay
beekayjay

Ket87 nailed it. The PS3 is doing poorly for no other reason other than the fact that the Sony executive level majorly screwed up in managing its development, marketing, launch and the training of its first party developers and holding them accountable to reasonable production schedules. Here are the myths: The PS3 is inferior technology. The PS3 has no games. The PS3 has no killer exclusives. Utter bullsh*t on all three counts and I welcome the thirteen year olds to try to argue in favour of these lies.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

I'd like a list without the Wii games to know what I missed playing in 2008. STILL have to get my hands on Gears - I know that's one.

Dark_sageX
Dark_sageX

and here comes the xbots bashing at the ps3 on ANY oppertunity they get, seriously just get damn life! no one cares about behind the scene details like sales or processors! they see and if they like they buy..FINISHED!

flybaba
flybaba

Looking only the first 10 does not give the complete view of software sales. There are dozens of game titles selling a million copy and only very few are Wii titles. So there are two facts. The first is that Nintendo sells mostly Nintendo hardware-bundled products and not very much third party games. The second is that most casual players are satisfied with the basic Nintendo catalogue and don't buy much other games.

rgame1
rgame1

lol, wii games beating these so called "hardcore" games.

Disciple_Gamer
Disciple_Gamer

Be prepare to not see earth shattering sales figures for Killzone 2. MGS4 had massive hype only sold 1 million by the end on the year in the US.

maverick_76
maverick_76

the problem with bundling accessories when the accessories for your system are so high priced you would almost certainly have to take a loss on that extra item. Nintendo uses more reasonably priced items, other than the Wii balance board, to good use, so even though they lose some money it is less than what Sony and M$ would lose if they tried putting a controller in with one of their games.