January NPD: Industry up 13% over Jan. '08, handhelds down 80% from Dec.


With the 2008 holiday season behind us, this month's NPD sales data brings with it figures showing the inevitable -- and dramatic -- decline in hardware sold for the month of January '09. For instance, last December the Nintendo DS was the top-selling platform, with 3.04 million units moved that month alone. This month? 511K were sold. (It was still the second best selling hardware after the Wii.)

In the battle to decide who's going to play second fiddle to Nintendo, 360 continues to lead PS3 in sales, but the gap isn't nearly as wide as last month (roughly 106K versus December's 714K). Handheld saw the most significant drop-off in sales, with DS and PSP declining 82% and 83%, respectively.

Software-wise, there are only three platforms -- and companies -- to look at this month. Those would be the Wii, DS and 360 on the hardware representing the hardware on the backs of which EA, Activision and Nintendo rode to software sales success. EA's two most recent major releases, Skate 2 and Lord of the Rings: Conquest, both made it into the top 10.

Fun Fact: Three of this month's top games have something in common other than their publishers: they all have "Mario" in the title and they're all a bit ... dated. Mario Kart DS hit in 2005, New Super Mario Bros. in 2006 and Mario Kart Wii in April of last year. That's-a some lasting power!

-Wii: 679K1.47m (-68%)
-DS: 511K2.5m (-82%)
-Xbox 360: 309K1.1m (-76%)
-PS3: 203K523K (-72%)
-PSP: 172K848K (-83%)
-PS2: 101K309K (-75%)

Check out the software sales chart after the break.

Top 10 Games of January 2009

1. Wii Fit w/ balance board - Nintendo - 777K
2. Wii Play w/ remote - Nintendo - 415K
3. Mario Kart Wii w/ wheel - Nintendo - 292K
4. Left 4 Dead - Electronic Arts - 243K
5. Call of Duty: World of War - Activision - 235K*
6. Skate 2 - Electronic Arts - 199K
7. Guitar Hero World Tour - Activision - 155K*
8. New Super Mario Bros. - Nintendo - 135K
9. Mario Kart DS - Nintendo - 132K
10. Lord of the Rings: Conquest - Electronic Arts - 113K
* Includes Collector's, Limited and Bundled Editions

This article was originally published on Joystiq.