Global video game sales data for 2009 has been released after co-operation between three leading market research companies. The Top Global Markets Report shows that Nintendo games dominate the worldwide chart but Activision's blockbuster Modern Warfare 2 sold more in the USA than any of Nintendo's offerings did internationally.

The best selling games in Japan were Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS), Friend Collection (DS), New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and the Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver remake (DS), which all sold over 2 million copies.

Final Fantasy XIII sold over 1 million on the PlayStation 3, despite being released close to the end of the year in December. Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus also shifted more than 1 million each.

In the UK, hardware sales were hit hard by a 67% decrease in PlayStation 2 purchases. Though the console is 10 years old, it's been a firm favourite up until now. Sony has a tough job on its hands to make up for the PS2's eventual but inevitable decline.

However, the Nintendo DS, particularly the DS Lite did very well in the UK. The DS' games also proved popular, with Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (known as Brain Age in North America), Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, Mario Kart DS, and New Super Mario remaining bouyant. It was games in the Professor Layton series that triumphed, with the Pandora's Box (aka the Diabolical Box) and the Curious Village games both featuring in the UK's top 5 DS games of 2009.

It was also in 2009 that the DS became the UK's best selling console of all time, with total unit sales passing 10.5 million in a country of a 61 million population.

Software sales in the US still have a massive impact on global figures, making up 50% to 60% of global software sales. In the case of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, sales in the USA were an astonishing 75% of the global total.

Globally, then, it was Modern Warfare 2 that trumped allcomers after selling 11.86million copies globally. Domestic sales of 8.82million in the US were more than Wii Sports Resort's worldwide tally (though Modern Warfare 2 was available on three platforms rather than one - Xbox 360, PS3, and PC).

Sales everywhere were down in comparison to 2008, but Japan suffered the smallest decline, in part due to a healthy second half of 2009. Overall, It only lost 5% in console software sales and a measly 1% in handheld game sales. Shoppers in the US bought 7% less console games and 8% less handheld games. In the UK, gamers focused their funds on home consoles, which saw a drop of 6% in sales whereas handheld software dropped by 25%.

For comparison, the 2008 Top Global Market Report's best sellers were Mario Kart Wii (8.94 million), Wii Fit (8.31m), Grand Theft Auto IV (7.29m), Super Smash Bros. Brawl (6.32m), and Call of Duty: World at War (5.89m). So 2009 was a great year for Call of Duty publishers Activision, a fair year for Nintendo, but not so good for everyone else.

2009's Top 5 Video Game Titles
1) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (11.86 million global sales / 8.82 million in the USA)
2) Wii Sports Resort (7.57m / 4.54m)
3) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (7.41m / 4.23m)
4) Wii Fit Plus (5.8m / 3.53m)
5) Wii Fit (5.44m / 3.6m)

Source: The Top Global Market Report 2009 by the NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track Ltd., and Enterbrain, Inc.