Nintendo tops April video game console sales

Wii maker said its console was the top seller during April, despite GTA IV coming out only on Xbox and PlayStation 3.

Update at 3:30 p.m. PDT: This post has been modified to reflect the public release by NPD of its April video game industry sales figures.

Nintendo's Wii was the best-selling next-generation video game console in April, research firm NPD Group said Thursday afternoon.

Nintendo had earlier put out its own release citing NPD's numbers.

According to NPD, the Wii outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 in April. The Wii sold 714,000 Wiis during the month, bringing its total sales in the United States since the Wii's launch in late 2006 to 9.5 million units.

NPD said that Microsoft sold 188,000 Xbox 360s in April, while Sony moved 187,100 PlayStation 3s.

For its part, Microsoft on Wednesday said it had reached the 10 million mark for total Xbox 360s sold in the U.S., making the Xbox 360 the first next-gen console to reach that number. Microsoft argued that that's a milestone that historically has been met by the eventual winner of each console generation.

The fact that the Wii came out on top in April is notable given that the industry's biggest event last month was the April 29 launch of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

While it's true that the game was only out for two days last month, it seemed as though it had driven significant sales of both the Xbox and the PS3.

Still, NPD said that GTA IV took two of the three top slots for software sales, with the Xbox version moving 1.85 million copies, and the PS3 version selling 1 million units.

In its own release, Nintendo touted its success with its own games during April, according to the NPD numbers.

Its Mario Kart Wii was the second best-selling game of all during the month, with 1.12 million copies sold. Overall, 6 of the top 10 best-selling games during April were Wii games.

NPD also pointed out that both the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP outsold the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The DS sold 414,800 units, and the PSP sold 192,700.

Overall, NPD's research indicates that the video game industry is doing well. It said that there was a total of $1.23 billion in game sales in April, a 47 percent increase over the $839 million sold a year earlier. Similarly, hardware sales were up 26 percent, from $339 million in April 2007 to $426 million in April 2008.

Note: On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando, Fla., and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up, both now and during the trip, with what I'm doing on Twitter.

 

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