Nintendo Continues Hardware Kill Streak In Slow April

The Wii and Nintendo DS killed the competition in the United States last month, partly because the other hardware makers didn't put up much of a fight. It was, bluntly, an ugly month for video game sales.

The Nintendo DS, with a little help from those lovable Pokemon, easily dominated the NPD Group's sales chart, with more than 440,000 new Nintendo handhelds sold to U.S. consumers. The Wii came in second, another quarter million-plus motion controlled consoles in the wild.

The battle between the PS3 and Xbox 360 was close, with Microsoft pulling ahead by a few thousand units. Both consoles were up year-over-year, but that's the best news we got. Oh, the whole thing is just kind of a downer. Here are the numbers.

  • Nintendo DS - 440,800
  • Wii - 277,200
  • Xbox 360 - 185,000
  • PlayStation 3 - 180,800
  • PSP - 65,500
  • PlayStation 2 - ???

That amounts to $249.3 million USD spent on hardware in April, down a scary 37% from the year prior. Ick. Who's to blame for the decline?

"The portable side of the industry contributed more than its fair share to the industry decline," notes Anita Frazier, quotable NPD analyst. "The portable business across hardware, software and accessories accounted for 25% of total industry dollar sales in April but declines in portable sales compared to April '09 accounted for 61% of the total industry decrease."

"Of the platforms that declined versus year ago, the NDS accounts for 71% of the decline. Keep in mind that the NDS sold over 1 million units last April. Even with the decline, the DS was the best-selling hardware system for the month," Frazier says. "Among the platforms that increased over last year, the PS3 and the Xbox 360, the PS3 accounted for 84% of the total unit sales increase."

"The NDS is approaching the PS2 as the best-selling hardware system of all time, and by October or November of this year, it should meet or exceed the install base of the PS2." Noteworthy is that the NPD Groups is no longer providing public PlayStation 2 sales data, resulting in more use of the question mark key.