Videogame hardware and software sales in the U.S. increased significantly in 2007 over the previous year, according to the latest figures released by the NPD Group.

NPD numbers for the month of December brought the year-end hardware and software sales total to $18 billion, according to a GamesIndustry report, a 43 percent leap over the previous year’s total of $12.5 billion. Nintendo led the charge with the DS handheld, with total year sales of 8.5 million units, followed by the Wii, which sold 6.29 million units in 2007. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was next with 4.62 million units sold, while Sony brought up the rear with 3.92 million PlayStation 2 consoles, 3.82 million PSP handhelds and 2.56 million PlayStation 3 systems sold over the year.

On the software side, the top ten best-selling games in the U.S. for 2007 were:

  1. Halo 3 (360) – 4.82 million
  2. Wii Play w/ remote (Wii) – 4.12 million
  3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360) – 3.04 million
  4. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2) – 2.72 million
  5. Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) – 2.52 million
  6. Pokemon Diamond (DS) – 2.48 million
  7. Madden NFL 08 (PS2) – 1.90 million
  8. Guitar Hero 2 (PS2) – 1.89 million
  9. Assassin’s Creed (360) – 1.87 million
  10. Mario Party 8 (Wii) – 1.82 million

“Each category under the videogames industry umbrella reached their own “personal bests” in terms of annual sales,” Gamasutra quoted NPD analyst Anita Frazier as saying. “While I wouldn’t count on similar growth in 2008, I would expect to see 2008 increase over 2007, with more growth [proportionately] coming from software sales. While we will continue to see strong hardware sales, particularly if prices come down again, the spotlight now turns from hardware to software.”

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