March 2012 NPD: Mass Effect 3 and Xbox 360 assume control

Mass Effect 3 is back in the news, but this time without the words “ending”, “corrupt save”, or “petition” cramping its style. Today, sales analyst group NPD named BioWare’s sequel the best-selling game in March, adding it sold nearly double the amount Mass Effect 2 did in its debut month.

Capcom’s Resident Evil spin-off also fared well, as did a number of 2012’s newest sports titles. Root for your favorite in the full list below:

1. Mass Effect 3 (BioWare) – 360/PS3/PC

2. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Capcom) – 360/PS3

3. MLB 12: The Show (SCE) – PS3/Vita 

4. NBA 2K12 (EA) – All

5. SSX (EA) – 360/PS3

6. Street Fighter x Tekken (Capcom) – 360/PS3 

7. Mario Party 9 (Nd Cube) – Wii 

8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward) – 360/PS3/Wii/PC 
9. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations (CyberConnect2)- 360/PS3 

10. Major League Baseball 2K12 (Visual Concepts) – All

Mass Effect 3’s launch success is bittersweet, as it arrives alongside stats that show an overall 25% decline in industry sales from this time last year. Drilling down, NPD pinned the poor performance on a 26% year-over-year drop in software sales and a whopping 35% year-over-year dip for hardware sales.

“While it was a disappointing month, and first quarter, for new physical retail sales of video games hardware, software and accessories, it wasn’t entirely unexpected given guidance we’ve seen from several sources,” reported NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

On a positive note – well, for Microsoft fans – the Xbox 360 celebrated its 15th consecutive month as the bestselling console with over 371,000 units moved between the reporting period. Meanwhile, although Nintendo’s Kid Icarus failed to place in the top 10 list, Frazier said the 3DS title performed well in another context, noting, “In a list of the top 10 SKUs for the month, as opposed to top titles as listed, 3DS Kids Icarus: Uprising would have been among the top selling individual SKUs for the month of March.”

As for Sony, a lacklustre month appears to have had little effect on the company’s spirit. SCEA Sr. Director of Corporate Communications noted the PS Vita is still growing, adding, “We look forward to furthering the PS Vita momentum with upcoming blockbuster titles like Mortal Kombat and Resistance: Burning Skies, and apps including Skype.”

We do too. Here’s hoping Sony’s PS Vita can help break the industry’s slump.

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