Mario's powered up Nintendo's sales

As part of a monthly routine that is so vitally important for developers, publishers and the big three console manufactures, U.S. market research firm NPD has released its latest software sales figures for the region, covering 29th July to 25th August. While the news for the industry as a whole is grim reading, a decline in game sales of 9% compared to the same period last year, Nintendo has enjoyed a positive month as reward for some major releases.

The top 10 biggest selling games of the month include New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. That's an impressive showing as these are the only single system titles in the list, with Nintendo issuing a press release confirming total sales of 240,000 for Mario's latest, and 180,000 units sold of Kingdom Hearts 3D. In terms of the big picture, Nintendo has stated that software sales increased by 68% compared to July, while 3DS hardware sales — no doubt combining the original and XL model — rose by 36%. Scott Moffitt, 3DS man at E3 and NoA's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing, said the following.

Software sells hardware, and no one sells either quite like Mario. In addition to helping New Super Mario Bros. 2 get off to a great start, Nintendo 3DS XL is driving increased interest in titles such as Kid Icarus: Uprising, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Mario Kart 7. These games have been on the market for more than six months but provide a completely new experience on the larger screens. Combine these titles with the upcoming Paper Mario: Sticker Star and a robust list of third-party games, and Nintendo 3DS is poised to be high on holiday wish lists this year.

Happy times for Nintendo of America, and we'll see whether the good form carries over into September.