NPD: Wii Fit sells record 777,000 in January

US gaming industry sales climb 13 percent to $1.33 billion, led by Nintendo's fitness trainer; Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty, World Tour, Skate 2 among other top sellers.

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Earlier today, the US Commerce Department delivered the semi-shocking news that total retail sales for January rose 1 percent, defying a six-month decline in growth and marking the biggest overall retail gains in 14 months. Of course, that percentage climb paled in comparison to the US gaming industry. Reporting on US software, hardware, and accessory sales today, the NPD Group revealed that industry revenues stood at $1.33 billion for January, a 13 percent climb from a year prior.

That's a lot of post-holiday squats...

Falling in line with analysts' expectations, US software sales amounted to $676.6 million in January, a 10 percent increase over last January's $614.7 million haul. And as expected, Nintendo's Wii Fit absolutely clobbered the competition. The Balance Board-equipped fitness training game sold 777,000 units for the month, a figure that sets a new record for the most single-SKU sales in January.

All said, Nintendo once again dominated the software sales charts, having produced half of the top 10 games for the month. Perennial best-seller Wii Play with Remote posted an additional 415,000 units in January, securing it the second slot on the chart. Also a top seller last year, Mario Kart Wii scored the third position with 292,000 units. New Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart DS, both for Nintendo's portable, landed in eighth and ninth positions, respectively, with sales of 135,000 and 132,000 units.

As for games that weren't exclusive to Nintendo's systems, the Valve-published, Electronic Arts-distributed Left 4 Dead for the Xbox 360 scored the top position, placing fourth with 243,000 units sold. Activision's Call of Duty: World at War followed at a close fifth, selling 235,000 units. EA and Activision battled it out for the sixth and seventh slots as well, with Guitar Hero World Tour on the Wii edging out Skate 2 on the Xbox 360, 199,000 units to 155,000. EA's Lord of the Rings: Conquest achieved sales of 113,000 units on the Xbox 360, rounding out the 10th slot in this month's chart.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier provided some color on the software sales, saying that the presence of catalog hits in the best-seller charts bodes well for continued industry growth in 2009. "Only two of the top 10 games this month were new releases," said Frazier. "The continued strength of games that have been in the market for some time clues us in to just how many new consumers are coming into the industry. This broadening of the audience for gaming will help buoy the industry through these tough economic times, provided they have enough compelling content to keep them interested."

Sales for Sony's console totaled 203,200 units on the month, a 25 percent year-over-year decline from the 269,000 units Sony sold in January 2008. Sales of the aging PlayStation 2 continued to dwindle, selling 101,200 units on the month, while the PSP sold 172,300 units in January.

Nintendo's Wii, on the other hand, greatly upped its performance from last year, taking top billing during the month with 679,200 units sold. The DS, too, turned in a stellar month, adding to its 96.22 million global lifetime sales with another 510,800 systems. After spiking during the holiday rush, Microsoft's Xbox 360 sold 309,000 systems on the month.

US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - JANUARY 2009
Software: $676.6M (+10%)
Hardware: $445.4M (+17%)
Accessories: $209.8M (+11%)
Total Games: $1.33B (13%)

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - JANUARY 2009
Wii: 679,200
Nintendo DS: 510,800
Xbox 360: 309,000
PlayStation 3: 203,200
PlayStation Portable: 172,300
PlayStation 2: 101,200

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE - JANUARY 2009
Title / Publisher / Units*
1) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (Wi) / Nintendo / 777,000
2) Wii Play w/ Remote (Wii) / Nintendo / 415,000
3) Mario Kart Wii w/ Wheel (Wii) / Nintendo / 292,000
4) Left 4 Dead (360) / Electronic Arts / 243,000
5) Call of Duty: World at War (360) / Activision Blizzard / 235,000
6) Skate 2 (360) / Electronic Arts / 199,000
7) Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii) / Activision Blizzard / 155,000
8) New Super Mario Bros. (DS) / Nintendo / 135,000
9) Mario Kart DS (DS) / Nintendo / 132,000
10) Lord of the Rings: Conquest (360) / Electronic Arts / 113,000

* Figures include Collector's Editions and non-hardware bundles.

Discussion

275 comments
monlosez
monlosez

Sony is last in everywhere. They really need price drop.

gameking5000
gameking5000

Wii fit was released first before My fitness coach. Before Wii fit there weren't any fitness programs but after wii fit's release there are now a few fitness programs. So Wii fit is the most original, the other programs get the advantage of using wii fit as a benchmark to work on, then they almost improve it. But Wii fit sells the best nevertheless

DPhunkT
DPhunkT

I like the technology behind it, but it really doesn't do much, you can burn more calories with a bargin bin aerobic dvd.

Pices
Pices

@pim3d basic Gimmicks can be good, every gimmick isn't necessarily a bad thing.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@gameking5000 - Wii Fit isn't a tool for exercising. It is a gimmick, clever marketed. Now if a person wanted a genuine tool for exercising then they should buy My Fitness Coach. I own both and MFC is everything that Wii Fit should have been. Read my reviews of both for more details.

gameking5000
gameking5000

Have you tried it? I have it and it has well made me get off the computer. Wii Fit is a tool for execising, so it doesn't affect what you eat. It also gives you very handy tips.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Ouch, not a good start for Sony at all. I don't see how a price drop will help it make up such ground and it sure won't affect the software sales. Thou, I do expect to see at least one PS3 title in the top 10 next month since parents are done buying Wii games till next xmas.

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

Nobody is going to become fit by using Wii Fit. Once these fatties realize that then sales would drop. They're better off using that money to buy a good pair of running shoes. But then again fat people are fat because they are too stupid and lazy to realize that the key to losing weight is eating right and exercising not some stupid gimmick.

Depresso
Depresso

It is not really surprising see the PS3 sales drop a staggering 72% from the December period since the console costs twice the basic 360, which incidentally it's still selling twice as much. However the reality is that people are thinking carefully about spending their money and those japs at Sony should realise it and adapt before it's too late.

Penalty_of_Hero
Penalty_of_Hero

I didn't think that this would sell that much, but it just proves that people really like Wii. I have a Wii and a balance board my selves. I personally think that there's way too little game for it worth playing. Wii Fit was ok, but I thought that they could have had more "levels" and difficulty on every game. Also they should have had more "fitness" and "step up" games, this since the Wii board is just like a step up board.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

To add to the conversation below. For as long as I have played video games I have found the advancement of graphics to be a source of real excitement. Remember the "wows" that you exclaimed when you saw the transition from Super Mario Bros to Suoer Mario World, then the same again to Super Mario 64. Then when we saw how realistic Resident Evil 4 on the Gamecube was. One of the problems that I have with the Wii is that it doesn't have that wow factor that we felt like with the above gaming advancements. Super Mario Galaxy was beautiful but the graphics weren't really all that different from Super Mario Sunshine. Yes the content was way better but not the graphics. As Microsoft has proven with its low priced 360, the Wii could easily have adopted High Definition without changing the price a great deal. I just wish Nintendo had done so that we could be wowed by it.

Arkady_Husky
Arkady_Husky

Nintendo probably won't release the technical specifications of the 'Hollywood' because the Wii's core demographic - children, teenage girls and old-aged pensioners - neither know nor care what a GPU is. However, the Xbox can render up to 1080i whereas the Wii can only render up to 576i, so there's also the possibility that the 'Hollywood' is just simply weaker than a sedated kitten. This, in combination with the fact that Nintendo frequently employs the 'videogaming is about fun, not nice graphics!' (to which I'd say: Why can't it be both?) would lead me to believe it is more a case of the latter. The Wii is technically obsolete, firmly 'last gen'. That is an objective fact. The question is to what extent. I think I was being generous when I said it was comparable to the Xbox. I think I was being unfair to the Xbox.

Pices
Pices

@gameling5000 I've been saying these stuff since SOMEONE said that that the Wii is equal to the XBOX, which is not.

gameking5000
gameking5000

About the Wii's Processor. The thing is that not many people would consider it or they don't understand it. On any console.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

What on Earth are you both talking about?

phase4illini
phase4illini

Yes, I understand that the PowerPC proc is present in the Hollywood as well, but the system's overall computational speed is still going to be limited by the 729 MHz core proc. And seeing as Ninty and IBM will not release the Hollywood's clock speeds, its impossible to do anything other than speculate as to whether or not the Wii's GPU has a leg up on the Xbox's (outside of the 24 MB integrated RAM).

Pices
Pices

@ phase4illini Well, it seems you're right. *thumbs up* And by the way, the Wii's Power PC Processor is used in a Hollywood Processor. So, the Wii can do more than 723 MhZ.

razgriz_101
razgriz_101

@Pices any hardware blog bout the wii or even wiki has the power specs of the wii's processing elements.Maybe rather than waiting for proof you go dig around for some information yourself? most people know i mean im pretty sure at when it was shown off it was said to be the around the same power as an old Xbox.

Pices
Pices

phase4illini Show me your proof! ;)

phase4illini
phase4illini

Actually Pices, comparing the technical specs of both systems and their hardware reveal many similarlies. The Wii's "Broadway" processor may be, in essence, newer and stronger, but it cannot process beyond it's imposed 729 MHz limitations while the Xbox's Coppermine is regulated at 733 MHz. Both have identically-sized L2 caches. Core memory is identical, at 64 MBs of RAM. The Wii's GPU does have an extra 24 MB of memory but it is integrated with the Wii's core memory group. The Wii benefits from newer mm process, and newer, smaller components, but while it is considered a 64-bit machine, it is limited to a 32-bit integer processing, where as the Xbox is capable of a 64-bit integer. Of course, none of this means anything if the devs cannot program for the system, and like the Xbox, the PS2, and the Wii, further developments allow for the full exploitation of each system's potential.

Pices
Pices

Arcade Husky You're wrong again. The X-Box used a Pendium 3 processor while the Wii uses a Power Custom PC Processor. The Power Custom PC Processor is 3 times more powerful than the Pendium 3 Processor. So, the Wii is stronger than the X-Box (the strongest last-gen console)

gameking5000
gameking5000

Wii Fit shouldn't go regarded a "game". It shouldn't be rated like a "game". It shouldn't be treated like a "game". It's a fitness program that everyone buys to get fit.

phase4illini
phase4illini

Maxsteel, with any luck, if companies move towards catering to the casual crowd, the casual crowd will learn the difference between shovelware and real production values. On the other hand, the "casual" music crowd still buys into crap-tastic American Idol nonsense, so maybe we should all be worried.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

Where are the casual games in the Top 10? Wii play can't really be counted as a game as people buy it just for the remote. I own 8 of the Top 10 games and I'm not a casual gamer. 9 if you have to count Wii play. I would of owned all 10 but cant stand skateboarding games.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

maitron
maitron

to maxsteel86, companies won't move towards casual gaming completely, they will still make great games ex, gta4, metal gear and resident evil 5. Companies other than nintendo have had very limited success in casual games because nintendo doen't give them the support they need. Nintendo develops and supports its own games and these have been the huge hits for the wii. Also, casual games aren't as effective when developed for the 360 and ps3 due to the control schemes, so companies will still make normal games for these two consoles. Also, the games released for wii can only be released for wii because of the control scheme, while normal games can be released for ps3, 360 and pc which if added the whole sales for all three consoles would be closer to wii games sales. still not beat them, but at least look closer. I like the wii, its just there is so many bad games out for it.... oh well as long as nintendo keeps making good games and doesn't run out of ideas

Arkady_Husky
Arkady_Husky

'well you are disgrace to the unit, look at your self, your out,' Say what? '.........The Wii is stronger than the GC' Nominally. But the Wii is closer in performance to the Xbox of the 6th generation era than it is to the PS3 or Xbox 360 of the 7th generation era. In fact, I'd say the Wii is roughly comparable to the Xbox (CPU and GPU clocks are both in the same ballpark; Wii has slightly more RAM), a console which was released in 2001. The point is that it belongs firmly in the last generation in terms of technical specification.

Depresso
Depresso

It is not really surprising see the PS3 sales drop a staggering 72% from the December period since the console costs twice the basic 360, which incidentally it's still selling twice as much. However the reality is that people are thinking carefully about spending their money and those japs at Sony should realise it and adapt before it's too late.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

there is nothing wrong with the wii it is good it is just the xbox 360 is better. the wii controller is good the problem with the wii is all the stupid novlety crap like wii fit how ever games like house of the dead overkill, resident evil chronicals, resident evil 4 and manhunt 2 are the good things about the wii

maxsteel86
maxsteel86

I'd just like to say, I dont like the wii, I hate it. Here's my reason, understand it and then feel free to judge me. The Wii is going to kill off gamers like me. I come home from work, I sit down with my console and I like to press buttons to control my characters in a game. By changing the entire control scheme so that its more 'active', my play style is completely ruined. The best game I ever played and enjoyed was probably Resident Evil 3 on the PS1, excellent story, great atmosphere etc now I dont want to play that with the Wii controller, it just doesn't work for me. Another point, everyone will see the profit in casual games now. They'll cater for them and probably forget about people like me cos we're fewer, thus less profitable. If all the games of the future follow the Wii, you can say goodbye to the gems I like such as Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid etc. Take a look at the Wii's game development costs, you'll see its nowhere near as high as stuff like Halo and MGS. Hence its all pure profit. That's where the rest of the industry will go: casual games. And folks, that's why I hate the Wii. Its killing off console gaming for me... What do you think of my view? Feel free to discuss, I'd like to hear your opinions

Pices
Pices

Arkade Husky .........The Wii is stronger than the GC

xdeiri
xdeiri

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Arkady_Husky
Arkady_Husky

Can somebody who hasn't owned anything made by Sony since the PS1 and who holds the PS3 in nearly as much contempt as the Wii really be labelled a 'sony fanboy'?Oh, wait - my dad owns a Bravia, and I've watched some tee-vee on it on more than one occasion: guilty as charged. I am perfectly calm though. I'm merely expressing my opinion that the Wii is a turd. Is that okay with you comrade? Well alright then.

xdeiri
xdeiri

Arkady_Husky wow dude, your are the most dangerous sony fanboy i ever met, calm down its just a console not the world war 3.

Arkady_Husky
Arkady_Husky

Nintendo, I don't respect your Gamecube-in-a-new-dress-and-a-quirky-control-system or any of the ugly-looking, tedious, derivative games you fart onto it, and I consider your half-arsed contribution to the 7th generation era of videogames consoles a personal insult, but I do respect the fact that you're making barrow-loads of money. Here's to pre-pubescent teenage girls, old-aged pensioners and people who haven't played, seen or heard of videogames since 1991 a.k.a your core demographic. I used to run daily to keep fit. Now I can do it by sitting on a piece of plastic in front of my TV whilst staring at graphics that would've been acceptable in 2003 and being bored silly. Huzzah!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

As much as I may diss the Wii because of its crap selection of games being released since Brawl, I have just read the review of HOTD Overkill and am very pleased that this game has received a nice high review score. Of course there is no way I am paying 30 quid for a short on rails shooter. I will definitely buy it once the price drops.

Pices
Pices

@ Shayde Shadow You're absolutely right, I couldn't agree with you more

xdeiri
xdeiri

any one saying wii dosent have hardcore games, is just a blind parrot,

Shayde_Shadow
Shayde_Shadow

It's amazing how many of you so called 'Hard Core' gamers are acting like complete douches. A true hard core gamer doesn't need to like another console, but they can at least show some respect toward it. Anyway, 2009 is the year of the Wii. With games like Madworld ( Made by Platinum Games), The Conduit (Using the Quantum3 engine to deliver awsome graphics), Monster Hunter 3 (Thats right, the Wii got it, not Playstation), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers and Dragon Quest X (Instead of FF:XIII we get these two gems). These are only a few Third Party titles. And so far 9 new titles from Nintendo, including Sin and Punishment 2, Punch-Out!!, and Pikmin 3. The Wii is a legitimate console, with enough games for the hardcore fan. None of these titles are shovelwere, most of them are proven franchises. Some things, like Wii Fit are produced for people who haven't played games before, or don't normally play games, this is why it's selling so well.

xdeiri
xdeiri

hey 777000 that is my locker number, notice that no titles for any of sonys consoles

Pices
Pices

@ moose knuckler Well, you can stop being pessimistic for starters.

adultgamer77
adultgamer77

No surprise that Wii Fit sold that many copies in January. This is the time of the month that everyone have their resolutions off loosing weight and/or living a healthy lifestyle. I go to the gym daily and I've noticed that in January there were more people compared to November & December combined. I think some people are missing the point of Wii Fit. It is used as a catapolt to get you jump started in living a healthy lifestyle. Think about it...you start Wii Fit, feel better because you're getting a little physical activity, then as human nature kicks in we want to do better. At that point you may join a gym or start a more riguous* workout. That's the way I see it, am I wrong or have a some sort of valid point?

phase4illini
phase4illini

sirzepp, I'd like to see links to such "empirical data" if you can produce it. So far I've seen nothing in my readings that could convince me that it is not largely ineffective, with a relatively low fitness ceiling. I personally never said that I didn't enjoy using it, but from an exercise physiology standpoint, it simply doesn't have the range necessary for true fitness growth.

sirzepp
sirzepp

I'm not 'fitness professional', but my wife is a doctor and fully endorses the Wii Fit so far. She's got a patient who is using it to get back into shape(and seeing significant weight loss), and we both use it every day. Both of our BMIs are in the 'normal' range, and we are pretty active people. Plus, I travel for my career, and taking the Fit guarantees a decent workout no matter how crappy the hotel gym is. There is plenty of empirical data that shows the Wii Fit CAN be an effective fitness tool. As with anything in health...it has to be a part of a healthy lifestyle...but we, at least, find it to be more fun than a normal aerobic or anaerobic work out. That fact that we find it enjoyable makes it more effective FOR US...plenty of people don't enjoy using it...and it won't ever be effective for those people. As far as the Wii globally, it HAS gotten more people gaming. My wife was never a 'gamer' either. I bought all three consoles...much to her chagrin...and the Wii is her favorite by far. It's a significant step forward in video games. While I LOVE my PS3 and 360...and I would say I have 'more' fun on them, but having the Wii and playing stupid little tennis games with my wife is a lot of fun too.

trw534
trw534

world at war is a great game

Harerazer
Harerazer

@MartinCaillou I can't see where in my comments I present myself as a fanboy but from your overall response I'm not mad. Halo is not like Bioshock, Halo is (and has always been) the benchmark for all sci-fi shooters. CoD/MoH and other "real world" shooters cannot be straight up compared. Howandsoever, they are all shooters and therefore get compared in the group. Is that clear enough? I personally haven't enjoyed playing any shooters since Quake and Unreal on my PS2 and Dreamcast. Mostly because of the cheezers online who take all of the fun out of games by using exploits over skill (and I'm gonna take a blind guess and say that you fall into that category). I'd rather play a split screen game and come in last everytime knowing that I just wasn't good enough than play some guy who can walk on air or squeeze outside of the playing field (see, I do play CoD!) to get good scores. I'm simply stating that this all be kept in perspective. Just because you or I don't like something isn't going to change any facts about it. If Wii Fit sold in record breaking numbers ever since launch then how long can you keep your head in the sand and say it's a "fad"? How long do you continually try to justify proven success with "it's just because..."? I purchase games (way more than you do, I'll bet) for everyone in my family regardless of whether I personally will play or enjoy them. That doesn't mean I'm going to label something as bad just because it doesn't cater to me. I own a PS3 and a Wii but not a 360. There just isn't enough in the XBox library to warrant my purchasing it. There never has been. That doesn't mean it's bad, it simply means it doesn't appeal to me. I can't name 5 games that don't have "Halo" in their names that are exclusive to Xbox that are worth my money. To be fair, most of my PS3 games are also multiplatform. The Wii is the ONLY next gen system that has quality exclusives IMO. It has a ton of games I don't like but every system does. If your average gamer owns 24 games (an avg of two purchased per month) then when I look at my game library I know I'm way past that. When I speak about something, I know at I'm talking about. I talk about the PS3 and Wii and stuff I know about. I do not critique the XBox. When someone who owns something reviews it for me then I have to take that with some sort of respect. When a million non-owners talk smack about the competition then it really doesn't mean much...to intelligent people.