NPD numbers for March 2008 show a phenomenal jump over the same period in 2007 as Nintendo continues to put the boots to the competition.

Total industry sales hit $1.7 billion for the month, an increase of 57 percent, driven by a 63 percent leap in software sales to $945.6 million. Nintendo’s hit Super Smash Bros. Brawl led the way with 2.7 million units sold, while Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 from Ubisoft sold over 752,000 units for the XBox 360 and EA’s Army of Two broke 830,000 unit sales on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Nintendo also dominated hardware sales for the month, which increased 46 percent to a total of $551.3 million. The Wii was the top-selling console for the month, with 721,000 units sold, while the DS handheld was a near second with 698,000. Sony’s PSP pulled in third with 297,000 units sold, followed by the Xbox 360 at 262,000, the PlayStation 3 at 257,000 and the PlayStation 2, still hanging tough with 216,000 units sold in March.

Describing the month’s sales as “pretty incredible,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier told GameDaily, “Another record-breaking year seems to be a no-brainer at this point. Thinking of all the stellar games yet to come, it certainly is going to be another exciting year to watch.”

While she agreed that the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl helped boost sales of the Wii, she added that interest in the system itself remains high. “I think there has also been (and probably continues to be) considerable pent-up consumer demand, and with greater supply available at retail, some of that is now being satisfied,” she said. “I think a similar scenario is true for the DS. Even without a game in the top ten, DS sales were robust. This seems to be the result of greater inventory available to satisfy that pent-up demand, combined with increased retail promotional activity.”

The top ten selling games in March according to NPD Group data:

  1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Wii – 2.7 million
  2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2* – Xbox 360 – 752,300
  3. Army of Two – Xbox 360 – 606,100
  4. Wii Play with remote – Wii – 409,800
  5. God of War: Chains of Olympus – PSP – 340,500
  6. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – PSP – 301,600
  7. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock – Wii – 264,100
  8. Major League Baseball 2K8 – Xbox 360 – 237,100
  9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare* – Xbox 360 – 237,000
  10. Army of Two – PlayStation 3 – 224,900

(* indicates inclusion of Collector’s, Limited, Legendary and Bundle editions)

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