August NPD: Madden and Wii on top, but not together

While August yields some noteworthy NPD data in terms of hardware sales, the games populating the top twenty spots in the software chart provide the most interesting commentary. Before we get to that, however, we should gaze at the gargantuan pile of cash that represents the U.S. game industry. GameDaily BIZ reports that total sales climbed to $993 million dollars, a 46% increase over the same month last year, with hardware sales alone reaching $302 million.

Nintendo's Wii once again sold the most units, followed by the DS and a now cheaper Xbox 360. Microsoft had best hope the jump in sales extends to more of a protracted hover, as it seems the PS3 has already come down to Earth following its July "clearance sale."
  • Nintendo Wii: 403.6K (4 million total)
  • Nintendo DS: 383.3K (12.7 million total)
  • Microsoft Xbox 360: 276.7K (6.3 million)
  • Sony PlayStation 2: 202K (39.1 million total)
  • Sony PSP: 151.2K (8.3 million total)
  • Sony PlayStation 3: 130.6K (1.75 million total)

EA's 2008 release of Madden absolutely dominated software sales, with the Xbox 360 version falling just over 100,000 units shy of selling one million copies. However, the massively popular franchise fared the worst on the most popular console, with the Wii version of Madden bested by both the PlayStation 3 and original Xbox. This state of affairs must lead to some frustration in the halls of a third-party publisher like EA, so desperate to reach out to the Wii's alluring install base yet unable to grasp it.

Two of August's most anticipated games, BioShock and Metroid Prime 3, made strong debuts, with the former aquatic title shifting nearly half a million units. Similarly, Samus fared well in the final week of August, though it's uncertain if she'll stay in the top ten during the course of September. Either way, you can be sure that Metroid Prime 3's overall performance is being closely eyed and considered by Nintendo.

1. Madden NFL 08 (Xbox 360) -- 896.6K
2. Madden NFL 08 (PS2) -- 643.6K
3. BioShock (Xbox 360) -- 490.9K
4. Madden NFL 08 (PS3) -- 336.2K
5. Wii Play/ w remote (Wii) -- 256.8K
6. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii) -- 218.1K
7. Mario Strikers Charged (Wii) -- 147.4K
8. Guitar Hero 2 w/guitar (PS2) -- 145.4K
9. Mario Party 8 (Wii) -- 138.3K
10. Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s (PS2) -- 127.1K
11. Madden NFL 08 (Xbox)
12. Madden NFL 08 (Wii)
13. Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day (DS)
14. Two Worlds (Xbox 360)
15. Pokémon Diamond (DS)
16. High School Musical: Making the Cut (DS)
17. Guitar Hero 2 w/guitar (360)
18. Madden NFL 08 (PSP)
19. Pokémon Pearl (DS)
20. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (Xbox 360)

This article was originally published on Joystiq.