With official NPD Group numbers for December - the make-or-break month for the year - just around the corner, one analyst thinks that the astronomical sales of Nintendo's Wii and DS platforms may well have saved Christmas for the rest of the gaming industry.
Jesse Divnich, an analyst for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, said that he expected a year-over-year growth in holiday software sales of approximately 14%, a massive portion of which was due to the astronomical popularity of both the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS.
While every single system - excluding the PSP - is expected to post double-digit year-to-year growth in software sales, Divnich says that it might not have been possible for the industry as a whole without the DS and Wii acting as a spearhead of sorts. Combined, the two systems account for over 50 percent of all gaming software sold during the month of December: "Without these sales, the industry would have likely felt the full wrath of the recession."
For Divnich, there's no question as to why the House of Mario was able to bulldoze such a path. "We believe their simple-to-use design, cheaper and wider variety of software titles, and the 'hot effect' [already] in place on both systems all played a role in driving both the Wii and the DS to the top of their segments."
With these sorts of numbers, Divnich can draw only one conclusion:
"Simply put, Nintendo saved Christmas."