The results for March video game sales in the US are in: Mass Effect 3 won! And by quite a distance.
BioWare's trilogy-ending space RPG sold double what Mass Effect 2 managed during its opening month of January 2010, number-cruncher NPD revealed.
Remember, however, that Mass Effect 2 launched on two machines, PC and Xbox 360, and Mass Effect 3 launched on three: PC, PS3, Xbox 360.
The Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 3 enjoyed the diplodocus' share of US sales. Microsoft US bigwig Aaron Greenberg tweeted that Mass Effect 3 sold 943,000 copies on Xbox 360 in March, and "outsold the PS3 version 4:1".
Use that ratio to extrapolate a combined PS3 and Xbox 360 total of 1.18 million Mass Effect 3 sales. But it's a rough estimate, and excludes any PC sales.
The rest of the software top 10 is unremarkable and listed below.
The best selling home console for the 15th month - and best selling piece of video game hardware overall for the past eight months - was Xbox 360.
But PS3 wasn't far behind.
Microsoft revealed that, during March, Xbox 360 sold 371,000 units. This apparently represents 42 per cent of the PS3/Wii/Xbox 360 monthly market-share pie.
Nintendo US told IGN that Wii sold 175,000 units last month.
"The PS Vita ecosystem continues to grow with impressive hardware, software, and peripherals sales among big-box retailers, smaller retail shops and digital."Sony, after revealing no Vita numbers
Pump those numbers into a simple equation and, as one NeoGAF member calculated, PS3 must have sold around 337,000 units.
Nintendo revealed that 3DS sold 225,000 units.
Sony, however, revealed no numbers for PlayStation Vita, and nor did NPD allude to them. Their absence was spun by Sony's PR like this:
"Nearly two months after hitting the North American market, the PS Vita ecosystem continues to grow with impressive hardware, software, and peripherals sales among big-box retailers, smaller retail shops and digital," commented Dan Race, senior director of corporate communications at Sony America.
"We are seeing strong digital downloads across the board, including full digital-only purchases and extremely high conversion rates for digital demos to full game purchases with titles such as Unit 13, which showcases PS Vita's unique 3G and shooter capabilities.
"We look forward to furthering the PS Vita momentum with upcoming blockbuster titles like Mortal Kombat and Resistance: Burning Skies, and apps including Skype."
Nintendo shared the "noteworthy milestones" of seventh place Mario Party 9 selling 230,000 units, and 3DS games Kid Icarus Uprising, Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land selling 135,000, 118,000 and 100,000 units respectively.
A triumphant Microsoft let its impressive figures do the PR. One interesting tidbit buried in a reactionary press release revealed that total hours spent on Xbox Live globally rose 30 per cent year on year.
The US video game charts for March, as counted by NPD (and with special thanks to NeoGAF):
- Mass Effect 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) - ~1.18 million excluding PC
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (PS3, Xbox 360) - 582,000
- MLB 12: The Show (PS3, Vita)
- NBA 2K12 (PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360)
- SSX (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Mario Party 9 (Wii) - 230,000
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Major League Baseball 2K12 (DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Xbox 360)
- Xbox 360 - 371,000 (-14.3 per cent)
- PlayStation 3 - ~337,000 (-7.7 per cent)
- 3DS - 225,000 (-43.8 per cent)
- Wii - 175,000 (-39.7 per cent)