The slumping economy may have led to studio closures and layoffs, but the video game industry actually fared well in 2008, totaling around $21.33 billion in sales of gaming hardware, software, and accessories during the year. That's up 19 percent from the nearly $18 billion brought in over 2007.
Te big winner here was of course Nintendo. The company managed to sell 10.17 million Wii game consoles in the United States alone versus around 4.74 million Xbox 360s and 3.55 PS3 consoles and took the top four slots in game units sold in 2008 as well. Among their best-selling titles was Wii Play, which comes bundled with a Wii Remote controller, coming in first place at 5.28 million, followed by Mario Kart, Wii Fit and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
To put that into perspective, Microsofts Halo 3 for the Xbox 360 topped the list in 2007 with 4.82 million copies sold and Wii Play was the runner-up with 4.12 million. Nintendo also controlled the handheld market, selling nearly 10 million of its $130 DS game systems.
On the PC front game sales werent so hot, at least from a retail perspective. PC video game software sales totaled only $701 million in 2008, down 14 percent from a year earlier, but many in the industry argue that the market is actually quite healthy and that it's definitely evolving to a more online market. The NPD Group recently started paying more attention to online revenue, but sadly this data does not include that.