Games for Sony's PlayStation 2 console held eight of the top 20 sales spots and represented five of the 10 best-selling titles over that period, according to market researcher NPD Intelect.
The top-selling game for the first half of December was "Grand Theft Auto 3," published by Take-Two Interactive Software for the PS2. "GTA 3" has been a smash hit despite controversy over its violence.
Three of the four Xbox titles that were among the top-selling games in November did not make the early December list. The only Xbox title to carry over was the futuristic war game "Halo," published by Microsoft.
NPD said seven new game titles entered its top 20 best-seller list for the period of Dec. 2 to Dec. 15, compared with the last reporting period, which was the full month of November.
Of the top 20 selling games for the first half of December, eight were PS2 titles, four were games for Sony's earlier PlayStation console, four titles were for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance handheld device and two were games for Nintendo's GameCube.
One game each for Nintendo's Game Boy Color and Microsoft's Xbox made the list.
The Xbox and GameCube were both launched in mid-November. Game Boy Advance came out in June. The PS2 was launched in November 2000. Game Boy Color came out in January 1999. The original PlayStation console was launched in September 1995.
Among the most noteworthy changes in the December list was the disappearance of November's No. 3 title, "Luigi's Mansion," for the GameCube. The only other November top 20 GameCube title, "Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II," also disappeared from the list of early December top-sellers.
Two new GameCube games replaced them in December: "Super Smash Bros. Melee" and "Pikmin," both published by Nintendo. They were also the only games released in December to make the list.
Among the independent publishers, Electronic Arts had five titles on the list, Activision had three titles and THQ had two games.
NPD tracks game sales in terms of units, based on a selective survey of retailers.