Here's the list of games that get played the most per user on the Wii that we track once a month. Subtle changes this time. Very subtle.
The order of the games hasn't changed. There's no leapfrogging, though there is still that nasty traffic jam in the mid 40-hours section. (Click the chart to enlarge it if you can't see it that well.)
You may notice that the rate of increased playtime has slowed for most of the games, likely due both to the messiness of having had to skip an October date — because the Wii stats weren't being counted properly by Nintendo then — and due, as I noticed a year ago, to the fact that playing-time growth slows around this time of year.
This is the time of year, after all, when many new people start playing the games that are being tracked. New users usually drag average playing times down, which is one of the reasons it remains remarkable that Wii Sports has an average per-user playing time of 37 hours, 50 minutes.
Despite the lack of major changes this month, it does still look like Animal Crossing and Call of Duty: World at War have a lot of momentum.
If you're wondering about some key newcomers, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is already at 9 hours, 47 minutes, per user. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex is at 17 hours, 22 minutes, per user. Let's see how those numbers hold up once more people share their data with the Nintendo Channel.
And for fun... Rune Factory Frontier vs. Rock Band 2? Which one is going to win?
Where's all this from? (AKA an explanation of the above chart for stat junkies only): In a move somewhat surprising for the generally secretive company, Nintendo makes all of this data public. Any Wii owner can download the Nintendo Channel to their Wii and begin browsing for games. Any game that has been played enough times has usage stats listed for it, contributed by anyone who chose to share their data with the channel. The sample size that the channel tracks is pretty good, though it is obviously biased toward users who hook up a Wii to the Internet. We calculate that sample size by looking at Wii Sports usage numbers, which show that more than 85 million sessions of that game have been played by Nintendo Channel users as of December 1 (up 3 million in the last month), for an average of 30.1 sessions per player. That divides to more than 2.8 million Wii Sports users whose gaming has been tracked by the channel. Since almost all Wii Sports owners in North America would be Wii users, we will venture that as many as 2.8 million people are contributing stats. That is up from the 2.7 million people when these numbers were run for November 1. (October 09 data is not included on the chart due to a problem with Nintendo's data reporting in the previous month.)