Posted on October 18, 2007,

September Software NPDs: Halo 3 Sells a Whole Lot

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There was never any doubt Halo 3 would do well, and that it would top the list of games sold in September – September 25 release date or not. Despite having a short period of time to sell, you could look at these numbers and mistake them for annual numbers – Halo 3 sold an astonishing 3.3 million units. That’s a number Dr. Evil would be proud of.

Here are the software numbers for September:

  1. Halo 3 (Xbox 360) – 3.3 million
  2. Wii Play w/ remote (Wii) – 282,000
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS) – 224,000
  4. Madden NFL 08 (PlayStation 2) – 205,000
  5. Skate (Xbox 360) – 175,000
  6. Madden NFL 08 (Xbox 360) – 173,000
  7. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii) – 167,000
  8. BioShock (Xbox 360) – 150,000
  9. Brain Age 2 (Nintendo DS) – 141,000
  10. Heavenly Sword (PlayStation 3) – 139,000

As you can see, everything not named Halo 3 pretty much struggled during September, although half of the games on this list weren’t even released in September.

Wii Play unsurprisingly continues to be a hot seller, and considering more than 500k Wii systems were sold in September, it isn’t surprising to see those new owners wanted a second Wiimote to go along with the system. The three other Nintendo platform games that made the list are all Nintendo-published. Note to third parties: Step it up on Wii.

Madden on PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 swapped places from August, with the PlayStation 2 version now being the bigger seller. This is where you’ll see the huge install base of the PS2 kick in, as there are tens of millions of PlayStation 2 owners who still don’t own Madden 08. The Xbox 360 isn’t even owned by tens of millions in this country.

Skate will be hard to judge until we get the numbers back on the new Tony Hawk, which I suspect will murder the 175k sold by Skate. But for a new IP, that’s a fairly respectable number.

Heavenly Sword truly had a disappointing showing. With no Warhawk or Lair to be seen, it’s the lone PlayStation 3 title to make the list with its 139k units sold. While the game received a rather mixed reception by critics, it certainly seemed like a great time for the PlayStation 3 to have a showcase game release. But as I said with the hardware, it’s quite possible those potential buyers were swept up into the Halo 3 hysteria. That number doesn’t bode well for games like Stranglehold for PS3 which continue to get pushed back further and further – if a borderline triple-A title can’t sell well in a month with no other real significant PS3 releases, how could a multiplatform game do well on the system with the smallest install base?

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