Nintendo Fuels Record Year for Games

Dennis Faas's picture

A few years ago, we used to joke that world video game sales exceeded the Canadian defense budget. Although the latter has raised slightly since that time (from under $10 billion to over $12 billion and counting), the sale of video games has absolutely skyrocketed. According to statistics from research firm NPD Group, video games had a record year in 2007, with sales reaching an astonishing $17.9 billion.

By comparison, those numbers are up 43 per cent from 2006, a year marked by Microsoft's early start on the next generation of video game consoles. Sony and Nintendo launched their PlayStation 3 and Wii later that year, but shortages prevented sales from reaching mind-numbing 2007 totals. With a full year of competition between the big three next-gen consoles now behind us, the financial boon is now very evident.

DS Dominates

And yet, it wasn't the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or even Wii that dominated the video game market last year. No, it was Nintendo's tiny little DS, or Dual Screen, that garnered the most attention. The DS sold 8.5 million times last year, more than the 7.4 million Wiis, 4.6 million Xbox 360s, and 2.6 million PS3s. The DS' success helped to raise portable game device sales by 19 per cent, reaching $1.9 billion alone. Sony contributed 3.8 million of its PSPs to the portable market, a surprising number given the PlayStation Portable's weak gaming library. (Source:

Mario returns to the throne

All in all, it was a fantastic year for Nintendo. With Christmas 2006 defined by Wii treasure hunts, 2007 expectedly carried on a holiday-like mood as consumers desperately searched for the tiny white console. Although its graphics technology is light years behind the competition from Sony and Microsoft, casual and 'non-gamers' swept up a system identified by its unique motion-sensitive gameplay. With that in mind, buyers all over the world -- from Australia to Japan to Canada to the good 'ol US of A -- once again crowned the Big N #1 after a decade-long hiatus. (Source:

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