Justin Lee On January 23, 2007 at 9:49 am

Considering the fact that you can not find a Wii without camping out when a delivery arrives, it is no surprise that Nintendo had amazing holiday sales.

Canadians really got into the game this holiday season. Recently released independent sales figures from The NPD Group, Inc. affirm a red-hot launch for Nintendo’s new Wii video game system and reveal the Nintendo DS as the best-selling video game device of the year.

Nintendo’s hardware charge was driven by the November 19 launch of its highly-anticipated Wii. The next-generation home entertainment system, which features an innovative, motion-sensitive controller that mimics the action on the screen, has proven a hit with players of all ages and levels of experience. In the 44 days between launch and year’s end, Canadian consumers purchased every Wii console available at retail at a rate of more than one system per minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to NPD Group, Inc. figures.

“Tens of thousands of Canadians are already enjoying the unique entertainment provided by Wii, and demand for the system remains incredibly high,” says Ron Bertram, vice president and general manager, Nintendo of Canada Ltd. “We are committed to ensuring continued delivery of units to retailers nationwide so everyone can see for themselves what all the buzz is about.”

Wii consoles weren’t the only Nintendo products Canadians were buying. To complement the included Wii Sports game, each purchase in November and December was augmented with an average of 2.5 video games from a library of 30 titles at launch – the most popular of which was The Legend of Zelda®: Twilight Princess.

Within the portable segment, Nintendo’s popular DS earned the distinction of the best selling video game system in 2006 with sales of more than 370,000 units. Sales of the dual screen and intuitive, pick-up-and-play stylus-based system were driven, in large part, by a stellar software library that included New Super Mario Bros.® and Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, both of which were among the top-10 best sellers of the year.

All told, sales of software across all platforms in the key November/December holiday period increased 22 per cent in 2006 over 2005, while Nintendo accounted for almost half of all video game hardware systems sold in Canada throughout the same timeframe.

Momentum behind Wii and DS is poised to continue unabated with retail debuts of WarioWare: Smooth Moves, and Wii Play for Wii, and Diddy Kong Racing and WarioWare DS: Master of Disguise for DS through the first quarter of 2007.

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