US sales of the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 all declined last month, but the Nintendo console remained head and shoulders above its rivals, according to the latest market analysis.
Console movement watcher NPD found that, during March, US consumers bought 262,000 Xbox 360s and 257,000 PS3s. But the following month, sales of both had dropped, leaving the arch-rivals almost neck-and-neck. During April, the Microsoft sold 188,000 Xbox 360s to Sony's 187,100 PS3s - down 28.2 per cent and 27.2 per cent, respectively.
The Wii’s sales also dropped between March and April, but only from 721,000 units to 714,200 - a fall of less than one percentage point. As a result, the Wii not only outsold the combined sales of all other stationary consoles during April but also increased its lead.
The humble PS2, sales of which fell by 91,600 units between March and April, still managed to rack-up 124,400 sales in April. This was the lowest figure for any non-portable console.
According to NPD, the Wii’s US success is a mixture of plentiful supplies heading into US stores and a strong selection of games - such as Wii Fit, which has only just become available in the country.
NPD estimated that total games industry sales reached $1.23bn during April – an increase of 47 per cent on the same period in 2007.
Unsurprisingly, Grand Theft Auto IV was the most popular title in the US during April – selling 1.85m copies for the Xbox 360 and another 1m for the PS3. Mario Kart for the Wii sandwiched itself between the two as the second most popular title overall, with sales of 1.12m units.