Bigger systems don't equal bigger sales
Video game industry shows 53 percent growth

Consumers continue to snatch up Nintendo’s new console at a torrid pace, keeping the Wii at the top of the sales chart, ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Market research firm NPD Group reports that consumers bought 335,000 Wii consoles, while Xbox 360 sold 228,000 units, followed by PlayStation 3 with 127,000.

The surprising success of the Wii is attributed to two main factors: mass-market appeal and affordable pricing. “You're getting non-traditional gamers who are more than willing to spend $300 to get a system and use it,” said Darrel Ryce, director of technology and entertainment for the NPD Group, to the Canadian Press. “I think that's the key difference here. The PlayStation 3, with its price point, is really geared towards the traditional gamer who has no problem spending that kind of money to get into a system.”

Sales of the three newest consoles dipped compared to January, when consumers bought 436,000 Wii, 294,000 Xbox 360, and 244,000 PS3.

“We're gratified that the explosive appeal of Wii, in terms of both new players and new ways to play, has created unprecedented demand, substantially beyond supply,” says Reggie Fils-Aime, president, Nintendo of America. “But we also understand that there are hundreds of thousands of consumers still waiting to get their hands on the system so we continue to both ship more units to retail every week and work non-stop to build capacity.”

The Nintendo DS is the only video game system to experience a sales boost over last month’s figures, selling 485,000 units -- up from 239,000 during January -- propelling it to be the top system for February.

The PlayStation 2 continues to be a strong seller, likely because of its price point and unbeatable library, with 295,000 units -- nearly the same as its previous month’s sales but down from the amazing 1.4 million during the holiday month. PSP also fell to 176,000 from 211,000.

While Microsoft’s console was not at the top for hardware, it lead the software list with five of the top 10 games best sellers. “The 360 is doing very well,” said Ryce. “They have some top titles in the market as well.”

 Crackdown was the number one seller for February with 427,000 units. Gears of War, MLB 2K7, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and NBA Street Homecourt occupied the latter half of the top 10. With an apparent shortage of Wii controllers, Wii Remote-bundled Wii Play was the second best seller with 371,000 sold.

While gaming fanboys will trade flames to no end, Ryce believes that all three consoles are exhibiting healthy numbers. “All three new console systems are doing well, holding their own and definitely selling product,” he said.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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