January 11, 2007 - The NPD Group has just released sales data for December 2006, and there are a whole lot of surprises. Several PS2 games made the list, accompanied by plenty of DS and Xbox 360 games. Unfortunately for Sony, PS3 games are noticeably absent from the top ten, yet again.

Leading the pack at number one last month was Gears of War for the Xbox 360. This surprised no one, as the popularity of that game continues to skyrocket. What was surprising, however, was that Guitar Hero II, in its second month on store shelves, was outsold by Gears of War by only the tiniest of margins. The PS2 version of Madden NFL 07 continues its dominance at number three. Of course, the biggest shocker of all was that the Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was actually outsold by the GameCube version. Despite the fact that the GameCube has a much larger userbase, pretty much everyone assumed that fans had already moved on to the Wii. Overall, the numbers revealed that the US videogame industry has reached an all-time high at $12.5 billion, easily destroying last year's record of $10.5 billion.

The NPD Group also released the list of the best-selling hardware for December, and it sure did contain some bombshells. The Nintendo DS continued is ascendancy to the upper echelons of handheld dominance, selling 1.6 million units in December alone with a life-to-date of 9.2 million units. The DS was closely followed by the PlayStation 2, which sold a whopping 1.4 million units, making its life-to-date total an awe-inspiring 37.1 million units. The Xbox 360 had a comfortable month with 1.1 million units sold. Fourth place was astonishingly enough snagged by the PlayStation Portable, which, despite having no games in the top ten, sold a hefty 953.2 thousand units. Another shocker was the continued strong sales of the GameBoy Advance, which totaled 850.7 thousand units. Limited supply of the two newest systems kept either from breaking into the top five with 604.2 thousand units and 490.7 thousand units sold for the Wii and PS3 respectively.

Here are the overall top 10 best-selling videogames for December 2006:

  1. Gears of War - Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
  2. Guitar Hero 2 Bundle- PS2 (Activision)
  3. Madden NFL 07 - PS2 (Electronic Arts)
  4. Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess - GCN (Nintendo)
  5. Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Wii (Nintendo)
  6. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2007 - PS2 (THQ)
  7. New Super Mario Bros. - NDS (Nintendo)
  8. Call of Duty 3 - Xbox 360 (Activision)
  9. Yoshi's Island 2 - NDS (Nintendo)
  10. Call of Duty 3 - PS2 (Activision)

Now, here are the overall top 10 best-selling videogames for the entirety of 2006:

  1. Madden NFL 07 - PS2 (Electronic Arts)
  2. New Super Mario Bros. - NDS (Nintendo)
  3. Gears of War - Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
  4. Kingdom Hearts II - PS2 (Square Enix)
  5. Guitar Hero 2 Bundle- PS2 (Activision)
  6. Final Fantasy XII - PS2 (Square Enix)
  7. Brain Age: Train Your Brain - NDS (Nintendo)
  8. Madden NFL 07 - Xbox 360 (Electronic Arts)
  9. Tom Clancy's GRAW - Xbox 360 (UbiSoft)
  10. NCAA Football 07 - PS2 (Electronic Arts)