Crackdown sales surge, Microsoft expands game network

Crackdown sales surge, Microsoft expands game network

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Wags who said they were going to buy the "Halo 3 demo disc" – otherwise known as the Realtime Worlds' Xbox 360 game Crackdown – put their money where their mouth is in February, pushing the science-fiction action game to the No. 2 spot on the Canadian sales charts.

Market research firm NPD Group Canada's video game service found Nintendo's Wii at the top of the heap – in software and hardware unit sales – in February, while Gears of War for the Xbox 360 continued to sell strongly, taking ninth place on the software list.

Top selling video games for February 2007
  1. Play W/ Remote (Nintendo Of Canada - Wii)
  2. Crackdown (Microsoft - Xbox 360)
  3. Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo Of Canada - Nintendo DS)
  4. Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo Of Canada - Wii)
  5. New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo Of Canada - Nintendo DS)
  6. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (Capcom USA - Xbox 360)
  7. Warioware: Smooth Moves (Nintendo Of Canada- Wii)
  8. Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo Of Canada - Gamecube)
  9. Gears Of War (Microsoft - Xbox 360)
  10. Guitar Hero 2 with Guitar (Red Octane / Activision - PlayStation 2)
  11. NHL 07 (Electronic Arts - PlayStation 2)
  12. Final Fantasy VI Advance (Nintendo Of Canada - GameBoy Advance)
  13. Mario Kart (Nintendo Of Canada - Nintendo DS)
  14. NHL 07 (Electronic Arts - Xbox 360)
  15. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas (Ubisoft - Xbox 360)
  16. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (Sony Computer Entertainment - PSP)
  17. Sonic And The Secret Rings (Sega Of America - Wii)
  18. Final Fantasy III (Square Enix Inc./ EA - Nintendo DS)
  19. Rayman Raving Rabbids (Ubisoft - Wii)
  20. Resistance: Fall Of Man (Sony Computer Entertainment - PlayStation 3)

A total of 112,000 video game systems – consoles and handheld – were sold in Canada in February, up 81 per cent over a year ago. The sum total hardware sales came to $27.6 million, up 108 per cent over a year ago when Canadians shelled out $13.3 million.

Some 35 per cent of hardware sold was handheld units, which accounted for 23 per cent of revenues.

The video game industry as a whole in Canada has posted revenues totaling $152 million in 2007, up 61 per cent over last year.

The hardware rankings by unit sales:

  1. Nintendo Wii
  2. Sony PlayStation 2
  3. Nintendo DS handheld
  4. Microsoft Xbox 360
  5. Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld
  6. Nintendo GameBoy Advance handheld
  7. Sony PlayStation 3

Meanwhile, Microsoft announced today that it is delivering on the promise it made at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, Calif., last year: It will open its Xbox Live video game network to Windows-based personal computers starting May 8.

The expansion will link console gamers to PC gamers through the unified online service in which they'll be able to use a single identity (or "gamertag") and contacts list across both types of machines.

The launch title for Games for Windows Live? The most recent instalment of Microsoft's killer app, of course: Halo 2.