US 2009 game retail sales total $19.66 billion - NPD

Modern Warfare 2, Sims 3 top sellers as domestic physical game hardware, software, and accessory sales slip 8 percent; PC software slides 23 percent to $538 million; DS sells 11M, Wii hits 9.6M.


Last week, Famitsu publisher Enterbrain revealed that the Japan game industry contracted 6.9 percent in 2009, generating ¥542.6 billion ($5.91 billion) in revenue for the year. A day later, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association said that UK industry figures experienced an even bigger slump in 2009, plummeting 18 percent from a year prior to £3.311 billion ($5.3 billion).

Modern Warfare 2 on the Xbox 360 was the best-selling non-PC game of the year…
Modern Warfare 2 on the Xbox 360 was the best-selling non-PC game of the year…

Today, The NPD Group issued its 2009 report for US retail sales, and as with the other primary regions, the figures were substantially off from last year's mark. US non-PC hardware, software, and accessory sales came in at $19.66 billion for the year, down 8 percent from the $21.4 billion the industry brought in during 2008.

"When we started the last decade, video game industry sales, including PC games, totaled $7.98 billion in 2000," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said of the industry's performance. "In 10 years, the industry has changed dramatically in many ways, but most importantly it was grown over those years by more than 250 percent at retail alone. Considering there are many new sources of revenue including subscriptions and digital distribution, industry growth is even more impressive."

Portable hardware was the only segment to see growth in 2009, rising 6 percent from 2008 levels. Total console hardware sales slipped 13 percent during the year. According to NPD figures from the past 12 months, the DS topped hardware sales with 11,185,400 units in the US in 2009, while the Wii shifted 9,594,000 units. The Xbox 360 sold 4,770,700 units on the year, just edging out the PS3's 4,334,500 unit haul. The PSP followed with 2,495,900 units and Sony's workhorse PlayStation 2 sold 1,799,900 systems.

In sum, PC, console, and portable software earned $10.5 billion in 2009, down 11 percent from the $11.7 billion brought in during 2008. Both portable and console software sales slid 10 percent on the year. On its own, US PC software sales fell 23 percent to $538 million. Notably, the NPD Group does not track software distributed through non-brick-and-mortar retail channels such as digital distribution.

Though NPD did not provide specific sales figures for individual titles, the stat-tracking firm did list the top 10 PC and non-PC game performers during the year. Topping the non-PC game chart was the Xbox 360 edition of Activision's record-setting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, with the PlayStation 3 edition scoring an eighth-place finish. Combined, the console versions of the billion-dollar game sold 8.82 million units in the US at retail in November and December.

…while The Sims 3 took the PC charts.
…while The Sims 3 took the PC charts.

The only other non-Nintendo title was Microsoft's Halo 3: ODST for the Xbox 360, which placed ninth. Otherwise, Wii software dominated the non-PC chart, as Wii Sports Resort, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Fit, and Wii Fit Plus rounded out the top five. (To date, New Super Mario Bros. Wii has sold 4.21 million units domestically.) Mario Kart Wii came in at sixth, with 2008 top-performer Wii Play finishing seventh. Pokemon Platinum for the DS rounded out the non-PC chart in 10th.

EA and Activision dominated the PC sales charts, with The Sims 3 passing World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King to earn the top-seller spot in 2009. EA's The Sims 2 Double Deluxe placed third, with Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Battle Chest, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the original World of Warcraft following. The Sims 3: World Adventures, Spore, and Dragon Age: Origins, all from EA, finished in the respective seventh, eighth, and ninth places, and Sega's Empire: Total War rounded out the chart in 10th.

Top-Selling Hardware - 2009
DS: 11,185,400
Wii: 9,594,000
Xbox 360: 4,770,700
PS3: 4,334,500
PSP: 2,495,900
PS2: 1,799,900

2009 Console and Portable Game Software
1) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360) - Activision
2) Wii Sports Resort (Wii) - Nintendo
3) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) - Nintendo
4) Wii Fit with Balance Board (Wii) - Nintendo
5) Wii Fit Plus (Wii) - Nintendo
6) Mario Kart Wii (Wii) - Nintendo
7) Wii Play with Wii Remote (Wii) - Nintendo
8) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3) - Activision
9) Halo 3: ODST (360) - Microsoft
10) Pokemon Platinum (DS) - Nintendo

2009 PC Game Software
1) The Sims 3 - Electronic Arts
2) World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King - Blizzard
3) The Sims 2 Double Deluxe - Electronic Arts
4) World of Warcraft: Battle Chest - Blizzard
5) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Activision
6) World of Warcraft - Blizzard
7) The Sims 3: World Adventures - Electronic Arts
8) Spore - Electronic Arts
9) Dragon Age: Origins - Electronic Arts
10) Empire: Total War - Sega

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Avatar image for sman3579

Nintendo killed the others

Avatar image for PS3_MidwestKing

microsoft only has one console up there and still holding it's own, against Sony and Nintendo multiple consoles, microsoft has good marking, other then that seems every console did good this year congratulations

Avatar image for Peach100

I think it's funny how there are so many Wii games on that list. @camokool23: I don't think all the Wii games are crap. There are some fun Wii games out there. New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, Wii Sports Resort just to name a few. But, of course, that's just my personal opinion. Everyone is different.

Avatar image for camokool23

pa... i own a wii there great but as peope say wii games are crap.....TRUE But they are the leading gaming money making doofs -when you get ps3 and 360 saying "our games are better than yours! we only do this to make money!!!" -wii"well we show people what true gamings about!" then the people say "wii's allright but ill move on." So ps3 and 360 can stuff 'em selfs with WII!

Avatar image for djtim_3000

Its a shame (and also very odd) that NPD only count bricks and mortar sales for PC. I know a lot of gamers who still like to play on their PC's as much as a console (we are mid-20's and can easily afford decent PC's and to buy games) but we buy ALL our games either from an online retailer or via STEAM, IMPULSE or GOG. Based on my very small sample I'd say the PC game figures are possibly only 1/4 - 1/3 of total PC game sales if that.

Avatar image for Trogeton

@BloodMist Delusional HA it's the truth if you know your stuff then you can see what I mean.. you are the delusional one.. well maybe not you, but just about all pc gamers are.. alot of them don't even by games.. they cheat and lie to get them.. downloading them for free and crap like that.. I know what Im talking about, but the truth does hurt and always will. So face it @ who ever I have @ life get 1 save the back talk

Avatar image for Shardz7

Of course, this is just weighing the bloated crap they sell in the stores and not from the Indie sites who are doing quite well overall. Perhaps one of these days the corporates will realize that their goals contradict what gamers really want - longevity, quality, originality and value - something we aren't seeing with the corporate piggies who are complaining about seeing $3.6 billion in yearly revenue.

Avatar image for andymack3940

spore, now there's a pathetic game punching above its weight

Avatar image for andymack3940

the sims? what the what? to much WOW getting bought as well!

Avatar image for trw534

cool modern warfare 2 is on top

Avatar image for BloodMist

@Trogeton You're a dilusional fanboy, plain and simple

Avatar image for velocityu

I hate and love nintendo!!! I hate them because they dominate the charts with crap stuff. Yet I have to love them because they are reaching more people who were nongamers that will grow up and want hardcore games which means... the industry continues to thrive and we get more and better games. Nintendo I hate you... .....................but thanks

Avatar image for jedikevin2

I really hope anyone isn't trying to make any judgments positive or negative of the PC by looking at NPD figures that cannot judge any of the download services such as steam, direct2drive. As stated, It is still really nice to still see such a huge sell on the Pc side of physical cd/dvd sales side. Have to say PC looking pretty normal if you contemplate how many PC games are bought through the online services. Just keep some perspective before applauding or criticizing based on this report. Ps3 is looking very good and if anything has equal to the 360 in sales if remembering that the 360 is a year older then the 360. Still much more potential for the ps3 but it is sad to see loss in system services to gain in its numbers. Dumbing down the system was a great financial move but its still a bit sad to see. People can criticize the wii and hold onto some angry mindesets but you cannot dismiss the numbers. If people would stay objective you will find very enjoyable games on the system with a couple very good exclusives to come soon. The system has done well and even though many shovelware games have been brought out there still have been some very nice games. It really reminds me oh the late years of the Ps2 when people complained alot on shovelware and missed on some very good hidden gems. Gamers in general have grown to accustomed to what people tell them to get. Many good Wii games come out with no fanfare and trickle away from the mindset from people. This year though it seems we will finally get a couple non - nintendo exclusives that have gotten some fanfare around it such as Red Steel 2 , Tatsunoko vs Capcom, and NBA jam.

Avatar image for eoj

I am amazed that Nintendo still sales well. They never get any of the big budget games and yet the Wii sold over 9 million last year. I guess Nintendo deciding not to go HD and keeping the Wii at a low price was a good idea. I would never buy an Wii because there is nothing on the Wii that interest me other than Mario. I would only buy DS for its learning Japanese software. I have to give Nintendo props, I thought the Wii would a very distance fourth among the gaming platforms by now.

Avatar image for Trogeton

PC isn't dominating ANYTHING.. the console games will ALWAYS be #1 pc gaming really isn't that great at least with consoles you don't have to worry about getting cheated in online as much pc gaming is like what 80+ % cheaters.. whats the point.. how bout play a console and play a game by the rules Oh for the people who keep saying that the 360 has SOO many sales lets not forget that the 360 also was released a full YEAR or so a head, and the ps3 is catching up on console and game sales.. now if the ps3 was release a year ahead of the 360 I can guarantee that the 360 could NEVER catch up.. I mean look ps2 is the ONLY las gen console alive and still has a growing library of games.. sony owns either way not just video games but tv, dvd players, sterios, and lots more.. so suck on that little nintendo aint got anything on sony now with these specs lets compare quality and quantity NOTE: I have a 360 and ps2 had a wii sold it 9 months ago too many lame games so no fanboyism here think of another come back

Avatar image for SteelBamboo

few points to make... #1 yes ideologically PC should always be better then console, the main problem with PC is they are all individuals, no 2 are the same because a PC is usually customized to each owner (i.e. programs, apps, hardware), so there will always be more glitches and problems to solve. #3 yes Wii sucks, but the Wii was only intended for families with kids and casual gamers, such as the girlfriend who only plays video games because her boyfriend does (hence the Wii fit games). Unless things change the gaming industry is headed into its dark ages. Basically things needs to revert back to the way they were in 99-03. Back when quality of gameplay was the #1 goal, and not, "screw the bugs, how can we make the most money off of it." Greed has taken, once great companies such as Relic and EA, and turned them into the money grubbing whores of virtual reality.

Avatar image for brian6671

The thing most people don't seem to understand is that the U.S. isn't the only country in the world. The PS3 sells nearly 1 million more units per year worldwide.

Avatar image for RussianRAGE

PC will always DOMINATE consoles ideologically. Remember that. Consoles are for fools who's wallets are not devoted to spending a generous amount of money for a REAL gaming experience. My toaster's integrated GPU can outperform a Ps3 MY GODDAMN TOASTER! CAN PS3 MAKE TOAST? I DONT F***ING THINK SO! QWERTY 4 LIFE.

Avatar image for 03240978

Now I know why I have waited over 5 years for a new release of a PC Battlefield game--kiddy console sales have KILLED my only source of PC gaming entertainment! Thanks for NOTHING.

Avatar image for Flint247

*sigh* People are still being fanboys and wanting their console to win over others... v_v

Avatar image for taylormadederek

@ BloodMist Amen..........this year will be better.....last year was a growing in maturing.

Avatar image for bluepuppy82

"dodds85 Posted Jan 15, 2010 10:40 am ET ps3 will out sell xbox this year." You PS3 fanboys have been saying the same thing each year. Yet, it seems that the Xbox 360 always ends up on top of the PS3 each year. I'm sure the results of 2010 will be the same. Oh, by the way, the Wii is just crap. Period. I can't believe that this half A$$ piece of crap console is number one. Thanks to all Grandmothers and Grandfathers for buying this thing. Now we have to forward to Xbox 360.5 and PS3.5. The Console race of the future. Thanks Nintendo.

Avatar image for UnknownForm

Still, $19.66 in revenue is more than what I and most people commenting on this article earn in a lifetime, so I feel lucky for those devs(lol)! :p

Avatar image for BaLLz_ON_FiRE

What was that movie called again... mhm oh yea. PlayStation 3... XBOX says HEY THERE !!! :lol:. Remenber sales don't matter only when they matter... WTF ?!

Avatar image for sman3579

Nintendo must have listened to that song "In Da Club" by 50 Cent and took the lyric, "Go ahead switch your style up and if they hate then let um hate and watch the money pile up", to heart. :P

Avatar image for tehepicpwnzor

Notice how every Nintendo game that made the list is rated E. I want to cry.

Avatar image for jedikevin2

@OmegaVader Again for reference. Don't pay attention to the PC numbers at all. PC market has moved far over to downloading games on steam, direct to drive etc etc. Considering the NPD cannot get numbers to download games, its hard to look at PC numbers with kinda legitimacy. If anything its good to see that number is still so high on pure cd/dvd bought pc games. Pc sales gotta look pretty good if considering all the downloaded bought games.

Avatar image for Commdraco

The only reason the PC sales for CoD:MW2 are so horrible is because they made the PC version just like the 360 and the PS3. I know many people that did not buy it just for the reason.

Avatar image for Phantom_2

i find fanboy comments funny :D

Avatar image for fillup0

How the Wii still continues to sell even though the PS3 and 360 is pushing to make their software and firmware better while Nintendo watches the money roll in, is beyond me.

Avatar image for edant79

"I have NOT bought a Wii"! Nothing against Nintendo, I just like the idea of being the only one left in the US who can make such a claim.

Avatar image for flowjo69

oh and to all of you actually thinking that ps3 wont outsell 360 this year think again i can bet ps3 will have outsold the 360 by august september around there, i own both consoles im not being biased i like them both but im not just basing it on software but the actual hardware will appeal much more to people this year as hdtvs will be cheaper and blurays are slowly going down in price as well plus all the sony 3d tv talk the console will pass microsoft this year there isnt really anything microsoft can do its out of date compared to ps3 right out of the box. im thinking microsoft will announce a new console this year or next im sure they will have a new box by 2011 or very early 2012 not so sure what sony will do seeing that they have so many first party devs they could just keep puming out awesome titles one after another every year microsoft knows they are slowly losing the whole appeal of live and very few first party games . i do think pc will make a small comeback next year especially with the hardcore crowd seeing how both MS and sony are chasing the casual scene so how will it effect the hardcore games that their whole entire user base as of now want to play , still think MS and sony should make a console together they are trying to get the best of eachother but neither of them will go away so partner up and watch how your sales kill nintendo completely

Avatar image for sleepnsurf

Ah ha hush that fuss PS3 move to the back of the bus

Avatar image for Hvac0120

Price drops for all 3 consoles right before the holiday season likely played a role in the sales numbers slipping. The "problem" with this is that investors want to see year-over-year increases. You can imagine how that affects the gaming consumers. [url=<< LINK REMOVED >>]My Console is Better Than Yours![/url] _

Avatar image for flowjo69

since ps3 price cut and ps3 slim the ps3 has been outselling 360 week over week and not by a small margin either pretty much everyone who has a 360 will end up buying a ps3 but i cant say the same for the ps3 only owners 360 just doesnt have enough to offer out of the box and ps3 still has more exclusives coming out with higher review scores

Avatar image for payne6705

@thegamer21 I did in fact read it but what I meant by that comment is the video game industry made billions even in a recession its pretty amazing really what other industry only laid off a small amount of emnployees

Avatar image for Jawehawk-DK

And somehow this kind of news just feed the fanboys...

Avatar image for thegamer21

@payne6705 If there isn't a recession, then why are there reports of sells being down anywhere from 6.9% to 18% worldwide??? I love it when people don't read stuff.

Avatar image for george999819

Most people considered the 360's 2009 lackluster compared to past years, and called 2009 the Year of the PS3, but the 360 STILL outsold the PS3! Imagine what the 360 will dish out next year when it has a stellar lineup, and Natal on the horizon.

Avatar image for Flint247

Wow, Nintendo sure knows how to stay strong after like 2 decades. o.o And it's amazing how PS2 is still going strong as well for nearly 10 years! o.o

Avatar image for OmegaVader

PC wouldve had a better year had developers and publishers not abandoned it so.

Avatar image for quiksilver38

the sims is always in the top selling becuase it appeals to anyone who likes video games and its a game that is sold world-wide. violent games like MW2 only appeal to certain cultures and gamers but the Sims appeals to every culture and age group. the Sims series has sold hundreds of millions of units worldwide.

Avatar image for Sonicplys

Man, Nintendo is whopping Sony and Microsoft's butts. Wii really are the best.

Avatar image for StanleyL

@tevic This data doesn't belong to GameSpot, it belongs to The NPD Group. If you have a problem with the numbers they release for public availability, take it up with them.

Avatar image for tevic

As I said earlier, please give us the total $ software sales per console. The "top 10 best selling games" is a nearly useless indicator to compare consoles. Gamespot, grow up and stop relaying confusion-inducing information. Actually, I think the top $ swoftware seller is the 360, then the PS3. That's a totally different picture, isn't it ?

Avatar image for BloodMist

Numbers don't really matter when overall game quality is the worst it's ever been.Yeah, i mean with "hardcore" games, or whatever you wanna call em.

Avatar image for payne6705

recession? I don't see one in the video games section

Avatar image for ricardo-sene

Japan: $5.91 billion UK: $5.3 billion US: $19.66 billion

Avatar image for RitterXplode

Too bad we can't get a hold on digital sales numbers. It'll help a lot on how the PC stands in front of the consoles. We, PC gamers are in danger of exctinction... In the past, I feel gaming was more about great games instead of just mass consuming. Even tho modern games are good, in general, I can't feel disappointed regarding the best selling games. Shooters, Mmorpgs, and Sims. All of them designed for mass consuming. It's great that Dragon Age and Total War are among them. Too bad they're 9th and 10th. And on consoles, it shows just how successful the Wii is.

Avatar image for ricardo-sene

wow!!! Wii sold more than the sum of 360 with PS3 Too bad that almost all the games I really care are on 360 and PS3