Nintendo's triumphant claims of sales success in recent months have been confirmed by the latest US charts, which show Mario Kart: Double Dash as the best-selling game for the month of November.
The game took the top spot ahead of big hitters from Electronic Arts and Square Enix, with Medal of Honor Rising Sun at number two and eagerly anticipated RPG Final Fantasy X-2 at number three.
The highest ranked Xbox title is at number four in the chart - with the Grand Theft Auto Double Pack proving hugely successful on the console. Take Two will no doubt be hoping that that success can be replicated by the pack when it launches in Europe in early January.
The success of Mario Kart is interesting because of the contrast it provides with the performance of the title here in the UK. Although the game certainly sold well, it never really troubled EA's dominance of the top of the charts, and has been languishing in the mid-teens in the UK chart for some weeks now.
Conventional wisdom has always suggested that the GameCube's weakest territory was the USA, because of the strength of Microsoft's Xbox in that region - but this latest chart, combined with the fact that the GameCube has consistently outsold the Xbox in the USA since its price cut, suggest that in fact it's right here in the UK that Nintendo is struggling most.
The NPD figures suggest that at the end of November, the installed base of GameCube in the USA was 5.7 million units, compared with 6.67 million units of Xbox - a significant gap, but one which had closed significantly compared with previous estimates.
The PS2 and Game Boy Advance, of course, are in a league of their own. The PS2 installed base in the USA has shot past 20 million units (now at around 20.3 million), while the GBA is sitting at 17.6 million units, and is the fastest-selling console in the USA at the moment.
|1.||GC||Mario Kart: Double Dash!||Nintendo|
|2.||PS2||Medal of Honor: Rising Sun||EA|
|3.||PS2||Final Fantasy X-2||Square Enix|
|4.||XBX||Grand Theft Auto Double Pack||Take Two|
|5.||PS2||SOCOM II: NAVY SEALs||Sony|
|6.||PS2||Need for Speed Underground||EA|
|7.||PS2||Tony Hawk Underground||Activision|
|8.||PS2||True Crime: Streets of LA||Activision|
|9.||GBA||Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3||Nintendo|
|10.||PS2||Madden NFL 2004||EA|
|11.||PS2||WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain||THQ|
|12.||PS2||Lord of the Rings: Return of the King||EA|
|13.||GC||Mario Party 5||Nintendo|
|14.||XBX||True Crime: Streets of LA||Activision|
|15.||GBA||Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Card||Konami|
|17.||PS2||NBA Live 2004||EA|
|18.||GBA||Frogger's Adventures: Temple of the Frog||Konami|
|22.||PS2||Eye Toy: Play||Sony|
|23.||XBX||Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3||Ubisoft|
|24.||GBA||Mario & Luigi Saga||Nintendo|
|25.||PS2||Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando||Sony|
Based on data from NPD Funworld.