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[Update 2/12/10: Added Top 20 console software sales chart]
It's Mario's world, we just live it in. That's the lesson to be learned from the recently released January 2010 NPD console video game sales data. Following a blockbuster December, the Big N continues to cash in at retail in both console and software sales. Leading the way was the company's cornerstone title, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which we expect to see making appearances in the top ten for the rest of the year. Nintendo racked up four of the ten best selling titles, with Wii Fit Plus, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Sports Resort selling impressive numbers.
There was good news for other companies as well, like beleaguered giant Electronic Arts, which had strong debuts with Mass Effect 2 and Army of Two: The 40th Day coming in at numbers two and eight, respectively. Though it was released on January 26, Mass Effect 2 managed to shift 572,100 units before the end of January on its way to double platinum status.
Spots nine and ten were taken up by some under-the-radar hits: Ubisoft's wildly successful Just Dance and the debut of THQ's apocalyptic action/adventure Darksiders, which despite being a new property and a low-profile marketing campaign shifted 171,200 units. Oh, and there was also a little game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 that managed to grab the fourth and seventh spot and squeak out a combined 585,700 in sales on 360 and PS3.
On the hardware side, Nintendo whooped the competition, holding down the top two spots with the Wii and DS, which sold 465,000 and 422,000 units respectively. Microsoft reclaimed the number three spot by selling 322,000 Xbox 360s, while Sony drifted back into fourth place with 276,900 PS3 units sold. Sony's other hardware continued to hang in there, with the PSP selling 100,100 units and the ancient PS2 still managing 41,600 units.
For an industry already feeling the effects of the economic downturn, there was cause for concern in January. Overall, total software sales for January 2010 came to $1.17 billion, down 13 percent as compared to the same quarter in 2009. Hardware sales totaled $353.7 million, off 21 percent from last year's mark.
While we don't have actually data on the number of units sold for places 11-20, it is interesting to see that a couple of new franchises did manage to make the charts in January: Sony's online military shooter MAG (released late in the month on the 26th) and Sega's superb Japanese action title Bayonetta (which released on the 5th). Also, Sony's God of War I & II Collection (released back in November) managed a reappearance on the charts, indicating the high level of interest in Sony's upcoming God of War III. And, apparently, there are still humans on Earth that don't already own Mario Kart DS and Wii Play.
NPD Console Software Sales, January 2010
1 New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) -- 656,700 units sold
2 Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360) -- 572,100 units sold
3 Wii Fit Plus (w/Balance Board) (Wii) -- 555,700 units sold
4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360) -- 326,700 units sold
5 Mario Kart Wii (w/Wheel) (Wii) -- 310,900 units sold
6 Wii Sports Resort (w/Wii Motion Plus) (Wii) -- 297,600 units sold
7 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3) -- 259,00 units sold
8 Army of Two: The 40th Day (Xbox 360) -- 246,500 units sold
9 Just Dance (Wii) -- 191,900 units sold
10 Darksiders (Xbox 360) -- 171,200 units sold
NPD Console Hardware Sales, January 2010
1 Wii -- 465,800 units sold
2 Nintendo DS -- 422,200 units sold
3 Xbox 360 -- 332,800 units sold
4 PlayStation 3 -- 276,900 units sold
5 PSP -- 100,100 units sold
6 PlayStation 2 -- 41,600 units sold
NPD Top 20 Console Software Sales Chart, January 2010 (no unit numbers)
1 New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
2 Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)
3 Wii Fit Plus (w/Balance Board) (Wii)
4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
5 Mario Kart Wii (w/Wheel) (Wii)
6 Wii Sports Resort (w/Wii Motion Plus) (Wii)
7 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3)
8 Army of Two: The 40th Day (Xbox 360)
9 Just Dance (Wii)
10 Darksiders (Xbox 360)
11 Army of Two: The 40th Day (PS3)
12 Wii Play (w/Remote) (Wii)
13 MAG (PS3)
14 Darksiders (PS3)
15 EA Sports Active (Wii)
16 Mario Kart DS (NIntendo DS)
17 Bayonetta (Xbox 360)
18 New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo DS)
19 Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (Nintendo DS)
20 God of War I & II Collection (PS3)
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.