The latest NPD video game hardware and software sales for the U.S. have debuted, with overall sales up 28% to $3.7 billion, but game sales up just 5% to $1.7 billion in December 2006 - and hardware sales up a gigantic 59% to $1.6 billion.
According to the official hardware statistics released this afternoon, the PlayStation 2 continued to be a popular platform at retail, selling 1.4 million units for the month (37.1 million to date in the U.S.). The Xbox 360 also impressed, selling 1.1 million in December (with 4.5 million lifetime to date), while the Wii sold 604,200 units for the month, putting its total North American number sold at 1.1 million units.
Elsewhere, the severely supply-constricted PlayStation 3 was found to have sold through 490,700 units for the period, with 687,300 units sold since its launch in November - no doubt somewhat of a disappointment for console creator Sony.
As was the case in November, it was the handheld market that truly stood out in December, with the Nintendo DS topping all platforms in sales with 1.6 million units sold (9.2 million lifetime), ahead of the still impressive 953,200 PSP units sold during the month (6.7 million lifetime). Nintendo's aging Game Boy Advance handheld continued to put in a good showing for the holiday rush, resulting in 850,700 units sold for the period (35.1 million lifetime).
[UPDATE 10:30am PST] The NPD Group has sent a correction to its top 10 best all platform software sellers for the month of December.
December's monthly top all-platform seller was Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 07, with 1.9 million unit sales, followed by the combined Wii and Gamecube results for Zelda, at 1.5 million. Activision's Call of Duty 3 and THQ's Cars came in third and fourth, at 1.1 million and 874k respectively, followed by another Electronic Arts hit, with Need for Speed: Carbon at 871k units sold.
Looking to the entirety of 2006, it was EA's Madden NFL 07 that proved to be the overall winner with 2.8 million units sold, while New Super Mario Bros. ranked second with 2 million units. The newly popular Gears of Wars was the third most sold title for the year with 1.8 million units sold, an impressive feat considering the game's November release date.
Other data released by NPD this afternoon includes specific accessory numbers sold in December, the most popular of while was Microsoft's official Xbox 360 wireless controller, which sold 832,800 units during the month. The Wii remote ranked second with 646,700 units sold, ahead of its companion nunchuck, which sold 497,100 units in December. The PlayStation 3's Sixaxis controller came in slightly behind its competitors with just 336,000 units sold for the month.