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GTA IV was the top game of April, though Nintendo ruled all once again in hardware

Lately, the NPD monthly console sales figures all start off the same way with Nintendo on top. The figures for April are no exception, with the Wii and DS planted solidly in first and second place.

The Wii sold a stunning 714,000 units, almost matching the 721,000 it did in March. On top of the still strong-selling Super Smash Bros. Brawl, April also had the release of Mario Kart Wii to add to the Nintendo mascot-fuelled software frenzy. The upcoming release of Wii Fit will only boost Wii sales even higher, if such a thing were possible.

“Wii sales were buoyed in part by the strong launch of Mario Kart Wii, which sold more than 1.1 million units,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s EVP of sales and marketing. “Our belief in appealing to a broad, diverse audience of players continues to resonate with consumers, and we look forward to continuing our outreach to an expanded audience with the launch of Wii Fit next week.”

The DS sold 414,000 handhelds, well behind the 698,000 units it did in the month prior, but still well ahead of all the competitors.

Sony’s handheld took up third place once again with 192,000 sold – strange for a month where no PSP game appeared on the top ten best-selling games.

Surprisingly, Grand Theft Auto IV’s release at the end of the month didn’t seem to stir high-definition console sales as much as most were expecting. Both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sold roughly the same number of hardware.

Microsoft’s console was just ever so slightly ahead with 188,000 Xbox 360s sold, while the PlayStation 3 was right next to it with 187,100 sold. Both consoles sold fewer units than it did in the previous month, when the Xbox 360 at 262,000 units and PlayStation 3 selling 257,000.

Despite the slowing sales, Sony seemed pleased by the sales improvement over a year ago. “Clearly, the tremendous legacy of Grand Theft Auto on PlayStation, combined with the blockbuster launch of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue packed a one-two punch with consumers at retail this month. The proof is in the numbers and, in April, PlayStation 3 hardware sales experienced a 127% increase over April of last year,” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of SCEA.

The PlayStation 2 was still alive with 124,400 sold, but also down from 216,000 units in March.

Without a doubt the biggest game of April, despite being released the last few days of the month, was Grand Theft Auto IV for the Xbox 360 with 1.85 million copies sold. Mario Kart Wii took second place with an impressive 1.12 million. PlayStation 3 owners also bought 1 million of Grand Theft Auto IV to push that version to third place.



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Not surprised
By aeroxander on 5/16/2008 11:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
360 has a higher install base in the US so its going to sell more. I know its been said in the posts already. The other thing is, I really don't see this being the game that will sell PS3's its on both the 360 and PS3. The game that could buoy PS3 sales would be MGS4 and GT5. Exclusives that make you want to get the system. Microsoft has Halo and GW series (I'm just posting those games that have massive hype, I mean the kind of hype that billy goes to his parents and demands a system less he goes and mad tantrum rampage...) GTA had that hype but was on both systems, PS3 desperately needs MGS4, GT5, Killzone and possibly a FF game to really push the want for a PS3, right now in my opinion they don't have a game that I would make me desperately want to get a PS3 (but I already have one)

I wonder if we're seeing HD saturation at this point. The thing with the xbox and ps2 was that you didn't need a new tv. And like was said, with the current economic rumblings going on, I just don't see huge sales. Microsoft may have just gotten it right with the early launch, not because of a better game console (don't worry I'm not flaming I do actually want a 360 so I can play GW and Halo) but because of the economics. I see parents starting to buckle down not go out and spend lots of money.




RE: Not surprised
By afkrotch on 5/16/2008 12:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The other thing is, I really don't see this being the game that will sell PS3's its on both the 360 and PS3. The game that could buoy PS3 sales would be MGS4 and GT5. Exclusives that make you want to get the system.


Exclusives aren't the only thing that sells a system.

There are many ppl out there who want to buy a 360 or buy a PS3 and don't even think about the competition, regardless of it's exclusives. They simply need a game, feature, etc that is enough to push them over into a purchase.

I have a couple of friends who are just like that. They won't touch a 360. It could have the greatest exclusive title that revolutionizes the way we game, and they wouldn't bat an eye at it. One has already purchased the PS3 and the other is just sitting back waiting for Final Fantasy to come out, before they make the purchase.

If some game that he was really into released before Final Fantasy, he'd make the purchase. As of now, he's just waiting for that one title.

GTAIV could have been that title that pushed users to a purchase.


RE: Not surprised
By joemoedee on 5/16/2008 12:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wonder if we're seeing HD saturation at this point. The thing with the xbox and ps2 was that you didn't need a new tv. And like was said, with the current economic rumblings going on, I just don't see huge sales. Microsoft may have just gotten it right with the early launch, not because of a better game console (don't worry I'm not flaming I do actually want a 360 so I can play GW and Halo) but because of the economics. I see parents starting to buckle down not go out and spend lots of money.


Well, you don't need an HDTV to play either system. When I owned my 360, I had it running on SDTV and there was still a marked improvement over 6th gen graphics at the lower SD resolution. (And the last two homes I went to that had HDTVs did not have any sort of HD signal going to their sets. As someone stuck on SDTV, that bothers me, but that's another rant) Obviously, it improves the experience, but I don't think that's holding people back.

Price is, still. Games are more expensive ($59.99 new releases, typically vs $49.99), controllers more expensive ($49.99 vs ~$29.99), and consoles are way more expensive than 6th generation. The prices I paid for my current consoles:

PS1 = $249.99
Dreamcast = $199.99
Gamecube = $149.99
Xbox = $199.99

It's a hard to swallow paying so much more for a 360 or a PS3. Obviously lots of people have hopped on board, but clearly a lower price point would increase market saturation exponentially.

However, I think we'll see a bump in sales of all of the consoles here over the next few weeks in the US due people beginning to receive their "Stimulus" checks.


RE: Not surprised
By aeroxander on 5/16/2008 1:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, its definitely a high price to pay, but wouldn't also the fact that your paying so much and not fully enjoying it also be a detriment. With the PS2, even when it was expensive I was still enjoying the full experience without having to get a new TV. A lot of emphasis is being put on the PS3 and XBOX360 as being HD systems, by both Sony and Microsoft so I wonder if its affecting some sales, i.e. if someone is still playing ps2 and buying ps2 is it because they haven't made the leap to HD, therefore why get a PS3 when I don't have HD.


RE: Not surprised
By joemoedee on 5/16/2008 2:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Agreed, its definitely a high price to pay, but wouldn't also the fact that your paying so much and not fully enjoying it also be a detriment. With the PS2, even when it was expensive I was still enjoying the full experience without having to get a new TV.


I agree with that, to get the full experience you have to shell out for the HDTV, which even adds more to the price of admission. There is the graphical improvement with SDTV, but its not nearly as substantial. Considering the current HDTV market is somewhere around 20% in the US... (Completely presumptive there, last numbers had it at 13.7% in Nov 07 from Nielson) The lack of HDTVs could be considered a preventive factor for those looking at the 360/PS3.

I guess it comes down to this for most non-adopters, myself included...

Am I going to have $X amount more fun on the 360/PS3 versus what I can do with my current system (Xbox) or a PS2? For some yes, for others, not yet.

Neither system are really in the impulse buy price range yet. (Which seems to be in the $199-$249 range, considering how the Wii sells, and how consoles have sold historically) Until they get there, I think we'll see somewhat level sales numbers.


RE: Not surprised
By Hiawa23 on 5/16/2008 4:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think what some of you are forgetting with the 360, is you don't have to buy an HDTV, you can connect it directly to the same monitor you use for your PC, & all PC monitors or atleast current ones are mere HDTVs.


RE: Not surprised
By soloman02 on 5/16/2008 4:11:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However, I think we'll see a bump in sales of all of the consoles here over the next few weeks in the US due people beginning to receive their "Stimulus" checks.


No you won't actually. Most people are going to use their checks on things they need like gas or food, or to pay down their credit cards, loans, etc. The cost of living has gone up substantially over the period of a few months. Here is NH regular unleaded is $3.73 a gallon and is only going up, not to mention that heating oil is above $4 a gallon. Most of the people who are getting the checks are putting it towards the basics. My parents are putting this check towards buying pellets since they are buying a pellet stove to reduce our consumption of heating oil to running the hot water heater. A large majority of people will be spending their checks on things like this, not new consoles or TV's.


RE: Not surprised
By Hiawa23 on 5/16/2008 4:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
No you won't actually. Most people are going to use their checks on things they need like gas or food, or to pay down their credit cards, loans, etc. The cost of living has gone up substantially over the period of a few months. Here is NH regular unleaded is $3.73 a gallon and is only going up, not to mention that heating oil is above $4 a gallon. Most of the people who are getting the checks are putting it towards the basics. My parents are putting this check towards buying pellets since they are buying a pellet stove to reduce our consumption of heating oil to running the hot water heater. A large majority of people will be spending their checks on things like this, not new consoles or TV's.

that's exactly what I did. Used the check for bills, I already own the 360 PS3 Wii. Al those checks are going to stimulate are bills/debt but there are alot of my friends that are saying the hell with it buying everything they wanted with the money which will be deducted from you taxes next year, so it aint free money.


RE: Not surprised
By joemoedee on 5/17/2008 10:52:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No you won't actually. Most people are going to use their checks on things they need like gas or food, or to pay down their credit cards, loans, etc. The cost of living has gone up substantially over the period of a few months. Here is NH regular unleaded is $3.73 a gallon and is only going up


Whereas I, and many others on DT, will use it for bills/debt/gas/food/etc, I can almost assure you there are many Americans that won't and will spend their money on unnecessary items, in fact, that's what good old Uncle Sam wants you to do. (IE: a video game console, HDTV, Botox, etc.) This is why a LOT of folks are in the situation they are in to begin with, but that's a whole different rant there. ;p


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