Wii-ing all over the competition


23 Jul 2008

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Since its release in December 2006, the Wii console from Nintendo has won hearts and wallets as the casual gaming weapon of choice amongst toddlers, pensioners and everyone in between but up until now the Xbox 360 had still reigned supreme in terms of sales in the US market.

However, the NPD analyst group found that in the month of May Wii sales in the US had hit 675,100 units, in comparison to 208,700 for the Sony PlayStation 3 and 186,600 for the Microsoft Xbox 360, pointing to a steadily growing base of Wii gamers.

But NPD does estimate that there are 10.27 million Xbox consoles in use in the US, in comparison to 10.2 million Wiis – a near draw.

Games site VGChartz.com claims that on a global level the Wii already outsells its competitors: with figures gleaned from games sales, the site figures that while the Wii has sold over 14 million consoles, the Xbox and PlayStation 3 have sold roughly 5.5 million each.

In Europ,e the figures from VGChartz look different: while 4.2 million Wii units were shifted in the past year, almost the same number of Playstation 3 consoles were also sold, while Microfsft sold 1.8 million units. However, this situation is most likely due in part to the high penetration of the Xbox 360 in Europe already.

Peter Moore, ex-president at Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division and now head of EA Sports gaming, did not waste any time sharing what his predictions were in the war of the consoles.

Speaking with the Financial Times, Moore said: “It looks to me as if the Wii is going to have at least half the installed base of the overall industry and the Xbox 360 and PS3 are going to fight over the balance, based on the run-rates we’re seeing.”

By Marie Boran