And you thought the November NPD sales were "up". In Australia, video games sales for the month were up an astounding 39%, courtesy of a multi-billion dollar handout from the federal government.
See, to try and stave off the kind of financial crisis currently affecting the US and Europe, the Australian government dished out AUD$10.4 billion in the form of cash handouts to families. For every kid a family had, you got AUD$1000. The point being that a large injection of cash money before Christmas would encourage spending, which would in turn prop up the economy.
Looks like it worked. At least it worked for the video game industry. Wii sales more than doubled over the same time last year, while anecdotal retail reports indicate the 360 saw a similar upsurge in demand.