Lauren Goode, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

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Strong Christmas Not Enough to Save 2009 for Videogame Industry

The videogame industry eked out strong December sales, with higher prices of portable devices overcoming a decline in sales for all other categories, according to a new report from The NDP Group.

Overall, sales for the year were down eight percent, with revenues of close to $19.66 billion compared with $21.4 billion in 2008.

Nintendo held gaming court as it took three of the top ten best-selling game spots. The top-selling game in December 2009 was New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo Wii, with 2.82 million units sold, followed by Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort with Wii Motion.

Runner-up was Activision’s (ATVI) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which sold 1.63 million units for Xbox 360, and 1.12 million copies for PS3. The game set all-time sales records in November 2009 when it raked in $310 million on its first day of sales in the U.S. and U.K., garnering the game its current spot as the fourth best-selling of all time.

Analysts had hoped that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 might help the industry post a mild gain after a dismal October report. Instead, the November 2009 NDP report said videogame console and game sales combined dropped 7.6 percent from a year-ago to $2.69 billion.

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