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Wii Is the Champion

Nintendo's hot game console continued scorching sales in April.

Nintendo's

(NTDOY)

Wii continued to trounce

Sony's

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PlayStation 3 last month, selling 360,000 of the popular video game devices in the U.S. -- compared with sales of 82,000 PS3s.

According to April data released by research firm NPD,

Microsoft

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sold 174,000 Xbox 360s, which launched in 2005, a year ahead its rivals, down from 199,000 devices in March.

"Typically, April is a lighter month than March," said Molly O'Donnell, group manager in Microsoft's entertainment and devices division. "Our sales were fueled mostly by the Elite version of the console, and that one helped us a lot." Microsoft released Elite, a black Xbox 360 console with matte finish and higher capacity hard drive, last month.

The games industry, including hardware, software and accessories, grew 20% to $836.8 million in April compared with the same time last year, said NPD.

Sony's earlier-generation PlayStation 2 console continued to sell well, with sales of 194,000 devices last month, though that figure was much lower than the 280,000 units sold in March.

Sales of video game consoles increased 56% to $234.9 million.

Nintendo ruled the software game charts too, with the top four games belonging to the company.

Games for its handheld console, the Nintendo DS, took the top two spots, followed by two games for the Wii.

Pokemon Diamond Version

for the DS topped the software charts with 1.04 million games sold in April, followed by

Pokemon Pearl Version

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for the DS at 712,000 games.

Super Paper Mario

for the Wii came in third with 352,000 games sold in April, followed by

Wii Play With Remote

at 249,000 games. Both are made by Nintendo.

Among independent game publishers,

Activision

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scored with four games in the top 10. Activision's

Guitar Hero II

for the Xbox 360 and PS3 ranked fifth and sixth on the charts with 197,000 units and 142,000 units sold respectively.

With just one day of sales counted, the company's

Spiderman 3

game had sales of 117,000 games on the Xbox 360 console and 105,000 games on the PS2.

None of the other publishers, including market leader

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

, had any games in the top 10.

Overall, software sales for consoles declined 19% to $248.3 million.