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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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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
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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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