Despite rising unemployment, plummeting consumer confidence and scarcer credit, the video-game industry in Canada is booming, according to market research group NPD.
Canadians spent a record $2.09 billion on video-game consoles, games and accessories, and year-over year growth was 23 per cent, NPD said in figures released Friday.
Nintendo Wii dominated the console market, taking 44.1 per cent of sales, with Microsoft Xbox in second at 25.5 per cent and Sony's PlayStation 3 at 21.7 per cent.
"We believe the Wii has really hit a great price point in the market," Matthew Tattle, account manager at NPD, told CBC News. "It's really expanded the user base. It's gone beyond the traditional gamer market."
The console — featuring a motion-sensitive controller— has garnered rave reviews for its usability and retails for $279.99.
While both Xbox and PlayStation 3 offer higher-quality graphics, they are considerably pricier. The PlayStation 3 can cost as much as $520, while the Xbox 360 can sell for up to $400.
Overall, 1.9 million consoles were sold in Canada over the year. Nintendo also led the way again among the 1.2 million portable consoles sold in Canada, as the Nintendo DS took 76.5 per cent of sales, with Sony PSP accounting for the rest.
The top-selling game was Electronic Arts's Rockband, which beat out Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 4. These were followed by two Wii games: Mariokart, complete with a driving wheel, and the Wii Fit.