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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 17, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Nintendo declares victory in March video game sales

I assume NPD will be out with its monthly U.S. game industry figures later this afternoon. For now, Nintendo has chimed in early with an e-mail crowing about its sales in March: More than 720,000 Wiis sold, “representing the highest monthly sales total outside of” November and December, the holiday sales period.

Updated with the full NPD report after the jump.

Nintendo says that it had the top hardware and the best-selling game in March with “Super Smash Bros. Brawl”.

Recall that in February, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said the Wii’s U.S. customer base will exceed the Xbox 360’s “probably in the first half” of this year. Through February, Nintendo had sold almost 8.1 million Wiis in the U.S., trailing Xbox 360 sales by about 1.5 million, according to NPD Group data. Sony’s PlayStation 3 had sold 3.8 million units.

I’ll update this post with the full report from NPD when I see it.

Update, 3:50: NPD just released its March U.S. video game sales data.

Here’s how the big three consoles fared:

Sony PlayStation 3: 257,000; life to date: 4,056,800

Microsoft Xbox 360: 262,000; life to date: 9,896,600

Nintendo Wii: 721,000; life to date: 8,807,000

Remember, of course, that the Xbox 360 has been on the market a year longer than the other two.

NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier, in emailed comments with the report, said the game industry is showing no signs of a struggling U.S. economy.

“Year-to-date growth is a rock-solid 27 percent through March 2008,” Frazier wrote. “Across hardware, software, and accessories, the Wii contributed the most to total industry sales, representing 31 percent of total industry dollars for the month.”

She added, “‘Super Smash Brothers Brawl’ sold to 31% of the Wii install base and in just a few weeks has already become one of the best-selling games of all time.”

Supply constraints continued to weigh on Microsoft’s March figures, but the company had resolved the issue by month’s end.

April will be a critical month for Sony and Microsoft as the biggest title of the year, “Grand Theft Auto IV” is due to launch April 29.

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