March NPD: Wii, Smash Bros. on top, software sales surge

If this is how Nintendo does before the predicted Wii Fit-exacerbated shortages, we're a little scared for what the future will hold. As predicted, Nintendo dominated the March NPD sales report, selling over 720,000 Wiis and 698,000 DS units. The DS and Wii represented 58 percent of hardware sales for March, leapfrogging over one another to swap positions from the February numbers.

Further down the list, the Xbox 360 regained an extremely slight sales lead over the PS3, mainly due to a slight dip in Sony's system sales. We predict the systems will likely continue trading slight leads like a couple of fading horses in the home stretch of a marathon-length race, until one inevitably dies just short of the finish line. And speaking of dead horses, the perpetual PS2 finally showed some signs of weakening this month, plummeting down nearly 63 percent from February's sales.

- Wii: 721K 289K (40%)
- DS: 698K 110.4K (15.8%) [Update: Fixed typo in growth number]
- PSP: 297K 53.9K (18.1%)
- Xbox 360: 262K 7.4K (2.8%)
- PS3: 257K 23.8K (9.3%)
- PS2: 216K 135.8K (62.9%)

Software sales also met predictions in rising 57 percent to $1.7 billion for the month. Super Smash Bros. rode a wave of hype to a ridiculous 2.7 million sales -- that's more than last month's top ten combined. Shooters had a good month, with the Xbox 360's Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 and Army of Two rounding out the top three for the month (the PS3 version of Army of Two also showed up in tenth place) while Wii Play, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty 4 continued their seemingly endless runs on the top ten. The PSP also made a couple of relatively rare appearances in the top ten, with the God of War and Final Fantasy brands finally making people interested in UMDs again.

March Software
1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) - 2.7 million
2. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Xbox 360) - 752.3K*
3. Army of Two (Xbox 360) - 606.1K
4. Wii Play w/ remote (Wii) - 409.8K
5. God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP) - 340.5K
6. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP) - 301.6K
7. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) - 264.1K
8. Major League Baseball 2K8 (Xbox 360) - 237.1K
9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Xbox 360) - 237K*
10. Army of Two (PS3) - 224.9K

* - Includes bundles and special editions

This article was originally published on Joystiq.