Halo 3 spurs Xbox 360 sales

Microsoft's hotly awaited Halo 3 game helped Xbox 360 sales nearly double in September, according to NPD Group Canada.

Halo 3 spurred sales of the Xbox 360 in Canada in September, with Microsoft selling nearly twice as many video consoles as it did in August, according to NPD Group Canada.

Microsoft sold 51,000 Xbox 360 consoles in September, up from 26,700 in August, the electronics tracking agency reported Wednesday.

The 360 was the top-selling video game console in September, displacing Nintendo's Wii, which has been on top since April.

The 360 now has 39 per cent of the Canadian market, followed by the Wii at 33 per cent. Sony's Playstation 2 is in third with 13 per cent, followed by the company's struggling Playstation 3 at 12 per cent.

Although there is no way to directly attribute the sales boost to the hotly awaited Halo 3 title, there "is little doubt" the game helped move consoles, NPD Group Canada director Darrel Ryce said.

Halo 3 was also the top selling title for the month selling more than 134,500 copies, which was "not surprising" even given its Sept. 25 release date, Ryce said.

Two additional versions of the game - collector's and legendary editions - sold an additional 27,250 and 25,000 copies, placing fourth and six in sales respectively.

Electronic Arts' NHL 08 for the 360 and the PS2 took the second and third spots, respectively, in sales for September.

Microsoft is heavily banking on Halo 3, the latest installment of its flagship science-fiction shooter franchise, to sell 360 consoles going into the holiday season.