Nintendo Continues U.S. Hardware Dominance, Industry Hit Hard In MarchS

Nintendo hardware continued to move in excess of over one million units a month in March, but the video game industry saw a severe drop in spending year-over-year, resulting in a 17% drop in revenue.

Nintendo's Wii and DS platforms held strong as the best and second-best selling hardware in March, moving a combined 1.16 million-plus units last month. That's a drop from March 2008, when Nintendo hardware racked up 1.42 million in total Wii and DS sales, boosted by the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which shifted 2.7 million copies that month.

Hardware sales were down across the board for Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, month-to-month. Year-over-year, however, the Xbox 360 actually saw an uptick in sales, moving 330,000 consoles last month as opposed to 262,000 during March of last year.

Here's how the U.S. console war went down in March, with the NPD Group reporting sales from 3/1/09 to 4/4/09.

  • Wii - 601,000
  • Nintendo DS - 563,000
  • Xbox 360 - 330,000
  • PlayStation 3 - 218,000
  • PSP - 168,000
  • PlayStation 2 - 112,000

NPD analyst Anita Frazier commented on the down month.

"If there was one area that surprised me this month, it was hardware sales," Frazier said. "While it's not unusual for March hardware sales to be lower than February, I thought we'd see higher unit sales on most platforms. The Xbox 360 was the only platform to achieve a year-over-year unit sales increase."

She also adds that the PlayStation 2, which saw a price drop on April 1 in the United States, should be reflected in April's sales.

"The PS2 price decrease occurred on April 1, so this month included only 4 days of sales as the new retail price. We would expect to see an increase in PS2 hardware sell-through in the April data."