NPD: Canadian game sales up 28 percent in April

Industry-tracking group reports good jump over previous year in north-of-the-border software sales while hardware sales more than double.

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While sales-chart fanatics sweat out the wait for the NPD Group's US game industry retail sales figures for April, the Canadian arm of the research firm has released its own totals for the month.

According to the NPD Group's figures, Canadian software sales were up more than 28 percent over April 2006, for a total of more than C$37.1 million ($33.8 million). Driven by the latest generation of consoles, hardware sales more than doubled, up 130 percent to C$34.2 million ($31.1 million). Combined with accessory sales, the overall game industry took in C$80.7 million ($73.4 million) at Canadian retailers for the month, a 64 percent bump over the year before.

Nintendo had a particularly good month, with the Wii outselling all hardware with more than 42,100 units sold. Following closely behind was the DS, with 34,900 systems sold. The rest of the hardware field lagged significantly behind, with the PlayStation 2 (18,000), Xbox 360 (12,800), and PlayStation Portable (12,100) rounding out the top five. The PlayStation 3 delivered 7,200 sales, edged out by the Game Boy Advance and its 7,900 units sold.

Nintendo also fared well on the game charts, delivering the top four best-selling games of the month with Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Pearl, Wii Play, and Super Paper Mario, in that order. While Diamond and Pearl for the DS are fundamentally the same game, consumers expressed a preference for the former--it outsold its counterpart 48,000 to 37,200 for the month. Sony's God of War II for the PlayStation 2 broke Nintendo's run on the charts with a fifth-place finish and 11,600 copies sold.

Finally, Nintendo topped the accessories sales charts as well, with the Wii Remote, Nunchuk controller, and Wii Points Card being the three best-selling peripherals of the month. They were followed by the Xbox 360 wireless controller and the PlayStation 2 8MB memory card, respectively.

The NPD Group's US retail figures are expected to be released later today.

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