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NPD Top 20 Proves Animal Crossing's Appeal, Shows Fable II's Slide

The NPD Group has revealed the entire Top 20 U.S. console game chart for November 2008 to Gamasutra, showing the weakness in PS3 software sales, the enduring popularity of Guitar Hero -- and putting an end to debate on whether Animal Crossing: C
On Thursday, the NPD Group included the top 10 selling U.S. console game titles for November 2008 in its monthly report, and now Gamasutra has obtained an extended top 20 list -- showing continued software dominance for Nintendo platforms. Combined, the Nintendo DS and Wii accounted for nine spots in the top 20, while the Xbox 360 claimed seven. Sony's PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 each had two titles in the top 20. Nintendo's Animal Crossing: City Folk ranked 11th for the month, just behind Wii Music, which is known to have sold 297,000 units in November. At 12th, Bethesda's Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360 fell from its October debut in the number 3 spot. Interestingly, Rock Band for the Wii -- the original game, not the sequel -- came in at number 13. Demand may have been driven by deep retailer discounts during November intended to clear stock before the launch of the Wii version of Rock Band 2 in December. Rock Band's primary competition, Activision Blizzard's Guitar Hero: World Tour, took three spots in the top 20. The Wii version was 7th with 475,000 units in November while the Xbox 360 version ranked 15th and the PlayStation 2 version reached 17th. Two Nintendo DS games made the top 20: Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia at #14 and Mario Kart at #16. The latter is particularly interesting, given that it launched three years ago in November 2005. THQ's popular wrestling series continued to deliver on Sony's PlayStation 2, with WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2009 placing 18th for the month. Two Xbox 360 games round out the top 20. First, Microsoft's own Fable II dropped from the number one spot the month before down to 19th in November. According to Microsoft, the title sold 184,000 units in November and currently stands at just under a million units since its launch. Finally the Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 09 from Electronic Arts ranked 20th. Here's the full U.S. game sales list for November 2008 -- note that PC titles are ranked by NPD on a separate list, and so neither they, nor Wrath of the Lich King's 1.4 million units sold in November, are represented here: Gamasutra will be publishing a full NPD analysis, including lots more trends and details, on Monday.

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