The January 2009 NPD Preview

by Jacob Mazel, posted on 08 February 2009 / 10,210 Views

Jacob Mazel


NPD will report USA videogame sale figures for the four weeks ending January 31, 2009 on February 12, 2009 at 6:30 PM EST. Vgchartz data for the Americas, covering the same period of time is already available. After a banner December to end 2008, Vgchartz data shows that 2009 is off to a strong start for the videogame industry. Nintendo’s third quarter financial results included a slide with Nintendo’s internal sales estimates. In that slide Wii sales through January 24 were up roughly 100% from 2008, and DS sales were up significantly as well. Vgchartz data shows similar trending, with Wii figures for January close to the amazing non-holiday level last seen in October 2008 when Wii sold 800,000 units according to NPD USA data. To estimate what NPD will report for January 2009 USA figures, multiply the Americas figures below by 0.9.













































Note that in January 2008, NPD reported that 1.5m videogame machines were sold in the USA, with none of the six primary machines (Wii, DS, PS3, PS2, PSP, 360) seeing sales below 200,000 or above 300,000 units. For January 2009, we expect a radically different situation. We expect that NPD to report that Nintendo sold 1.3m Wii & DS machines, Sony sold 570,000 PS3, PS2, and PSP machines, and Microsoft sold 340,000 Xbox 360s. In terms of hardware sales, this would represent an impressive ~50% year over year growth in hardware sales on equal pricing for five of the six platforms. Sony’s share of this growth has shrunk though, with negative total platform sales in the move from January 2008 to January 2009 even as the market has grown overall. PS2, PSP, and PS3 combined to sell over 760,000 units in January 2008 in the USA according to NPD, but that figure should be ~200,000 units lower in January 2009.


Software sales for the start of 2009 look strong as well. Nintendo continues to lead the way. Five of the top ten titles for the month were published by Nintendo directly, and two third party games also charted for Nintendo’s systems. The remaining three spots were split between the Xbox 360 and PS3, with Call of Duty: World at War charting in the top ten for both systems, and Gears of War 2 charting for Xbox 360. As always, multiply the total in the Americas column by 0.9 to estimate what NPD will report for USA totals.





Americas Sales


Wii Fit





Wii Play





Mario Kart Wii





Call of Duty: World at War





Gears of War 2





Call of Duty: World at War





Rockband 2





Mario Kart DS





New Super Mario Brothers





Guitar Hero: World Tour





It is worth noting that quite a few games outside the top ten also sold over 100,000 units this month, showing that software sales are not becoming ‘top heavy’ due to the recession.


Contact Vgchartz at

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Dgc1808 (on 14 February 2009)

Go PS3

Mr Khan (on 12 February 2009)

Wii continues its explosive year-over-year growth. Madness. Nigh on a million in January in a recession. What can stop it?

Squilliam (on 12 February 2009)

Aprox 190k people were willing to pay $300-400 for an Xbox 360 inspite of an alternative which was $100-200 cheaper. :-)

City17 (on 12 February 2009)

We'll just have to see about that when the time comes...

obamanian (on 12 February 2009)

360 is still outselling PS3 by far, the 8 million gap will be like 12 million by 2009 end

Ps3Fanboy (on 11 February 2009)

Why are people buying xbox 360 cause its hardware sucks.

Vanadium2k8 (on 10 February 2009)

1/4 million is not politically correct because it makes PS3 sales sound good. Now 243k on the other hand sounds very average.

Vanadium2k8 (on 10 February 2009)

Nevertheless, 50% of software was sold by Nintendo - pre-Japan level domination begins, the tides are turning etc.

RTTECH82 (on 10 February 2009)

Dude, I'll skip groceries before I miss a good game release! RT

peanut1972 (on 09 February 2009)

Good to see the Wii doing so well. I have all three consoles, and my Xbox 360, and Ps3 collect a lot of dust, but the Wii gets played daily.

Snozzle (on 09 February 2009)

1/4 million people were willing to spend $400 or even $500 on Sony's big black machine. Too bad they cost Sony $600 to to make.

chanskie (on 09 February 2009)

Every week the chart are look so damn familiar, Wii sport, wii play, wii fit...........don't wii have anymore other games??? Wii is so boring, until kids come around home.....

coolestguyever (on 09 February 2009)

Contrary to popular belief PS3 is doing quite well. 1/4 million people were willing to spend $400 or even $500 on Sony's big black machine.

iFlower7 (on 09 February 2009)

Wii seems to be widely overtracked. I would say something between 550k-650k but hey, Nintendo may surprise us.

Mr. sickVisionz (on 09 February 2009)

Looks like another month of 360 and PS3 owners refusing to acknowledge any genre other than shooters.

Fernando (on 09 February 2009)

" ... just wait until Killzone 2..." And after Killzone 2 is released, and the hardware stay the same, we will hear... "but, but... it was because the recesion... just wait until God of War 3... " =p

Soriku (on 09 February 2009)

Heh, NPD already? So fast :P Wow, Wii domination right there. It's insane. Also, cry at PS2. Looking at 360 sales then Wii sales makes 360 sales look really unimpressive lol.

Spoon! (on 09 February 2009)

Wii fit is indeed a beast... now I just hope that the American's who bought it will use it faithfully so they can shed the title of fattest country in the world.

Kenology (on 09 February 2009)

NPD preview already? Damn, I guess it is about that time... It's funny how quickly NPD seems to be released when you're not waiting in anticipation like you would in November or December.

Hyruken (on 09 February 2009)

Hardware sales for the same month in 2008 Wii = 274k So that is an increase of 622k, pretty damn amazing! 360 = 230k. So that is an increase of 149k, an increase of 65%, awesome. DS = 251k. So thats an increase of 373k, an increase of almost 150%, amazing! PS3 = 269k. So thats a decrease of 26k. Not so good. I also think the PS3 numbers will be lower then what VGC have simply because the % drop from week to week over January has not been in line with the drops all the other formats had which is around 25%. The PS3 drops were about 6% so if the numbers are wrong and the PS3 drop is actually in line with the 25% all the others had could mean the numbers are anything from 1k to 50k out. If the numbers turn out to be spot on or a few k out VGC will deserve some mad respect. Not all bad though for Sony PSP = 230k. So that is an increase of 40k, an increase of 17%, very good! And finally the PS2 = 264k. So thats a decrease of 144k, down 54%, very bad but was going to happen eventually wasen't it.

halogamer1989 (on 09 February 2009)

I foresee the end of PS2's reign. So shall it be...

Games fanboy (on 09 February 2009)

Wait for killzone 2 ..... If the ps3 sales dont get boosted with such an awesome exclusive. So do i not know wath could help it out ??

brendin24 (on 09 February 2009)

why are ps3 people buying w@W, it sucks

Tyrannical (on 09 February 2009)

Last january the PS3 got a boost when Blu-Ray won over HD-DVD. It doesn't have that this time around.

alera (on 09 February 2009)

More horrid numbers for Sony. You know its bad when people downplay figues and the ps3 is STILL last by 20% market share. Not good news from Europe either. Fall price cuts and some good marketing and software releases have firmly but the 360 back on top over here as well. Wii has taken the ps 1 / ps2 mantle as the mainstream contest this gen. Ninty winsthis generation very easiliy. Question is who will get the wooden spoon ? Not looking good for Sony at all at the moment.... At this point in time it looks like Sony will get one more chance to try and get there hardwar right in the next generation. Lets hope they do a better job than Sega did with the Dreamcast or they could well share their fate.

JaggedSac (on 09 February 2009)

Pachter is estimating 275,000 360s, 225,000 PS3s, and 550,000 Wiis.

shams (on 09 February 2009)

Ninty + Activision is a dangerous combination - 80% of the top#10, and all top#5. WiiFit will be the 2nd biggest seller of the year. WiiSports Resort will be #1, by a country mile. (talking worldwide sales, probably US as well). Mario Kart will start to slow down soon I think...

TheSource (on 09 February 2009)

Week one is the week Nintendo always ships more product to Japan but this year they didn't have as much demand in Japan or severe shortages in the USA so supply dramatically increase. The last week apparently was influenced by tax/stimulus package rebates across the board

alfredofroylan (on 09 February 2009)

The PS2 is fading away... Goodbye king.

Grampy (on 09 February 2009)

Reading these numbers I get the following for Wii sales as % HD sales: week 1 =60%, week 2 = 109% (approximately the percentage we are used to seeing where Wii sales = XBox360 + PS3), week 3 = 195% and week 4=175% Am I missing something? WTF happened between week 2 and week 3 and double WTF happened between week1 and week 3?

FreeTalkLive (on 08 February 2009)

Wii Sports, Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Mario Kart Wii may all make it into the VGChartz top 5 this year. All of those except Wii Sports should be in the NPD top 5.

solracbrit (on 08 February 2009)

WOW Wii Fit. If it sould that much, it could be the best selling game this year...No game could compite with that advantage...

Passenger57 (on 08 February 2009)

Wow at Wii, Go 360!