back to article Wii named fastest-selling console in UK history

Nintendo has yet another reason to crack open the bubbly. Its Wii console has been named the fastest-selling games console in UK history by an independent sales tracking firm. However, in Japan, its lead over the PS3 is narrowing. Analyst Chart Track claimed the Wii has notched up UK sales of more than 1m units, just 38 weeks …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS3 vs XBox360 sales?

    So if PS3 is catching up in Japan, is it now outselling the XBox360 worldwide?

    What's the last 4 weeks XBox360 sales been like? Did the elite give it a boost or not?

  2. Konstantinos

    Innovative and.. = sales ?

    and price!

    Wii is cheap, end of story, you can buy it, and send it off the window if you dont like it. On the other hand, buy a ps3/xbox360 and if you regret it you wont have much of a choice since they are quite expensive for a not-so-sure desicion.

  3. Matt

    Apples and pears.

    I don't really understand why people continue to compare the PS3 and Xbox360 with the Wii. They are not the same thing. The Wii is not a next generation console, it's a nicely packaged current generation console with fun controllers. It doesn't really add that much in technology over a PS2.

    That's not to say it's bad, but the point of the Wii is that they've created a market for a cheaper games console which doesn't have the technology of it's bigger brothers.

    So, well done Nintendo, but please try and compare apples with apples!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not according to Blockbuster....

    I sent an eMail to Blockbuster asking why, considering that the Wii has a vastly greater market penetration than the PS3, they offer PS3 games for hire, but not Wii games. I got the following reply...

    "Unfortunately, Blockbuster does not currently stock this format in any of our stores. We are currently working with Nintendo to understand the range possibilities of the format and hope to make it available to rent in our stores in the near future."

    Anyone like to guess what "understand the range possibilities of the format" actually means?

    I take it to mean that the Blockbuster believe that the Wii won't be around long enough to make it worth their while, or there is some problem in getting permission from Nintendo to offer Wii software for hire.

  5. Luke Wells

    Wii's success

    I think Nintendo are proving that well written "unique" games are winning over seeing the same games re-released with "better" graphics.

    The 3rd Gen consoles don't offer anything new really.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Apples and pears.

    lolol. It's console vs. console, it doesn't matter if it's not using the latest whizz-bang technology - in fact, it makes it worse for MS and Sony, that they are getting beat by something that isn't using the latest technology - prooving that it is gameplay that matters above all, not the fact that spotty teenagers get more realistic women rendered on screen to drool over - Decent gameplay and having a life counts more, I'd rather have a Wii and a real woman thanks :)

  7. Mel Collins

    Coxes and Granny Smiths

    How do you define a console generation? Personally I do it on a chronological basis, in which consoles released in a similar era define a generation. Thus the Wii is very much in the current generation with the 360 and PS3. It seems that many people, however, want to define a console generation solely in terms of pixel pushing capability.

    If we instead mark console releases by increases in innovation, it could be argued that the 360 and PS3 are soooo last generation.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misleading comment about the relative sales

    "However, in Japan, its lead over the PS3 is narrowing."

    This simply isn't true based on the figures in this actual article, what is actually true is that the rate at which the wii's lead over the ps3 is increasing is reducing, the wii is still outselling the ps3 just by a smaller margin.

  9. Mr P E Dant

    Apples, Pears and Oranges

    The PS3 and Xbox 360 aren't the same, so by Matt's logic it's not fair to compare sales of those two either.

    The point is, of the currently marketed games consoles, the Wii is selling best. And, it is achieving this feat even though it has less processing power than the other two rivals.

    I've long been of the opinion - probably since I had a PS2 - that games don't really benefit from increased processing power. Yes, the graphics look more realistic, but if the gameplay is crap, so what? A first person shooter on the Xbox, PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, is still just a first person shooter - might as well just play it on the box you already have. The nice graphics soon get boring, it's the gameplay that really counts. That's where the Wii is strong, innovative gameplay that can be enjoyed by a group of people actually socialising in First Life. The Wii is successful because Nintendo have managed to broaden the game playing demographic, whereas the Xbox 360, PS3 and Gaming PCs are left fighting over the "hardcore" gamers.

    I bought a Wii instead of a PS3 or Xbox 360 because it has gameplay that differs from anything I can do on my PS2 or PC plus I can enjoy it with friends and family. And, it's a lot cheaper than the rival options.

  10. Terry Ellis

    3rd gen??

    I thought we were on about the 7th or 8th 'generation'...

    It will be interesting to see what happens to sales over time. As I understand it, it is not until a console has been around for a while and the pricepoint starts to tumble that sales start to pick up. I wonder how much the prices will fall relative to each other in afew years time when the bulk of the sales may be made.

  11. Joe Cooper

    High tech console

    The Wii is definately a current generation console.

    Historically the winner has always been the console that pushes less pixels. This is normal, even though it's a bit counter intuitive to computer nerds.

    The Playstation beat the N64, for example. The Playstation boasted a 30mhz, 32-bit MIPS R3k and for RAM it had a stick of chewing gum soldered to the mainboard. The N64, it's competitor, had a 90mhz, 64-bit MIPS R4k with several megs of RAMBUS memory on a 500mhz bus, with trilinear mipmapping interpolation AND anti-fucking-aliasing. Meanwhile the Saturn was a pimped out multiprocessor system.

    Playstation won.

    Moving to the next generation, we have the Playstation 2 which, unlike the Nintendo 64 from 5 years prior, didn't have anti-aliasing and apparently didn't even have basic texture filtering. If it does, it's not used. Both it's competitors outclassed it technologically in every way except the X-Box's somewhat slower CPU.

    Playstation 2 wins by a wide, wide margin.

    Anybody see a pattern???

    Go look up the Neo Geo. $600 game console, kicked the Super Nintendo's ass all around graphically with 15-bit color, dual processors, 330 megs of ram, 1 gigabit cartridges, and is OLDER than the SNES.

    I played Samurai Showdown III on the Neo Geo (1990) and on the Playstation (1995) and there was no competition, the 5-years-older Neo Geo kicked the Playstation's ass so fucking hard in every way it was a joke. That's how fucking awesome and ahead of it's time the Neo Geo was.

    And the Super Nintendo won.

    Now everyone is shocked and surprised at the Wii? Everyone is acting like it's such a shock and revelation that nobody gives a flying fuck about tech specs??? Christ on a cracker...

  12. Stephen Lindsay

    Why's the Wii selling so fast with so few good games?

    I mean seriously, you have Res Evil 4, The Zelda game and then your down to playing mini games, why would any serious gamer spend money on the platfom?

  13. tony

    Re: Blockbuster

    Why no rentals, because most* of the catalogue is made up of mini games that 1 weekend a few mates and beers will see the end of

    "i had such fun blowing up that balloon / flipping pancakes, i'm going to drop 40 notes on buying it outright"

    (*most does not mean all)

  14. JP

    Wasn't it Reagan

    that was the first Prez to quote the deficit to the third (or fourth?!?) derivative?

    Greatly paraphrased: The rate at which the deficit is increasing, is decreasing.

    This is like that. The rate at which the Wii is outselling the PS3 is decreasing. But it's still substantially outselling the PS3. Total units sold must put the Wii at about 3:1 or more, even in Japan.

  15. Acidbass


    If the base variable is the number of units sold (or equivalently the difference in unit sales between the two) then the rate at which the deficit in/decreases is the first derivative, and the relative change in that rate is then the second derivative.

    This is just about meaningful to non-maths people, because you can make the analogy with acceleration, but the third derivative? Reagan really was a joker. We think Dubya is the worst they've ever had, but we forget there've been others like him. Maybe not quite so utterly gormless in appearance but still.

    Just my \frac{d}{dp} (p^2) worth.

  16. Luke Wells

    What defines a console generation?

    Some interesting points above.

    What does actually define a console generation?

    How is the ps3/xbox 360 3rd generation?

    Surely that makes the xbox/ps2 2nd generation

    Thus the ps1/saturn/n64 would be third generation.

    Where do the old consoles fit in?

    snes/megadrive = 0 generation?

    nes/mastersystem -1st generation ?

    collecovision / videopack -2nd generation ?

    system F -10th generation?

  17. Tony Peters

    Wii for WAGS

    Stephen Lindsay hit the nail right on the head, why is it so popular when it's catalogue is so severely limited?

    My theories on this are

    a) The price, parents can get one for their kid to keep them happy without remortgaging the house

    b) The ladies like it! A couple/family are much more likely to get a console in the front room if both partners want it.

    My g/f actually bought me a Wii for christmas and the only 2 games I really played were Zelda and Resident Evil (both now sold though). I'll probably get that keep fit thing when it's released but other than that, I'll just rent games from Lovefilm.

    I got a PS3 yesterday and it's features far outweight the Wii (if you have a HD TV). The cost actually narrows when you take into consideration the PS3 plays Blu-ray (and DVDs). The cost would actually be about the same if I was to get a £130 internal Blu-Ray for my media centre PC and the same sort of deal with the Wii as I did for the PS3 (3 movies, 2 games, extra controller and HDMI cable)!

  18. Matthew

    Console gens

    I think it's the 3rd generation of 3D consoles.

    So 3rd = 360/PS3, 2nd PS2/Xbox/Cube & 1st PS1/Dreamcast/N64 etc.

    Don't think the Saturn was technically 3D.

  19. Mr P E Dant

    Serious Gamers...

    S Lindsay, that's the whole point. The Wii isn't being bought by "Serious Gamers" that's why it's selling so well, it's being bought by normal people.

    And, maybe the reason there's a bigger rental market for Xbox & PS3 games is that the Wii games are cheaper. Just take a look at any new cross-platform release - PS3 £39.99, Xbox 360 £39.99, same title on Wii - £29.99.

  20. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    Games, games, games ...

    It doesn't matter how much überspecs the box has, the games are what ultimately lead the battle. The N64 went down in flames because Nintendo was stubborn on using cartridges, which alienated the big players; and because of a feud with SquareSoft, Final Fantasy 7 was made for the PlayStation instead.

    Cue gamers buying PSX en masse.

    Though it wasn't only Squaresoft; Capcom, SNK, Konami and others released their games on the Playstation, ensuring that the console would cover a lot of the gaming market. Even when I just don't dig the Final Fanasy games, well, I did get the Resident Evil series, Metal Gear Solid and others. And for a lower price than N64 games, too. Also, as someone else remarked, some of these games were not even "bleeding-edge graphics": FF7 was impressive for its FMV's, but the game itself used pre-rendered shots, similar to Resident Evil. Xenogears used sprites that looked like Playmobile toys for the characters! Castlevania SOTN was basically a souped-up side-scroller reminiscent of the SNES Super Metroid; the list goes on and on.

    While I root for the PS3, I have to admit that the Wii Dragonball Z fighting game was much more friendly to use than *any* fighting game: I no longer have to learn awkard movements (double backwards circle, while pressing 6 buttons with both hands and my nose). For the first time in 15 YEARS I was able to 0wn most of my opponents, who rely on controller movements dating "that fighter game" so popular in the early-90's... you know, the one about street fighting? ;)

  21. Joe Cooper


    As for generations, these are 7th generation consoles.

    The 6th was the PS2, X-Box and Gamecube, as well as the Dreamcast which came out a *little* earlier and was outspeced, but the hardware was in the same class roughly and provided the same feature set.

    The '64, PSX and Saturn were in the 5th generation. The SNES and Genesis in the 4th.

    And it goes back further, but all that's before my time.

  22. Julien Levi

    so few good games...

    I enjoy games like Resident Evil and Zelda, but they games would take me the best part of a year to complete with the free time I have available to play video games.

    More often than not I play games which are most fun for 10-15 minutes at a timem such as wii sports or warioware. I think many wii owners are in my situation, the 4 or 5 good wii games are plenty to last us a year or two, so current the lack of AAA titles isn't a worry.

  23. Sampler

    Apples and Oranges? Coke and Pepsi more like...

    All very reminiscent of my high school business classes. Coke and Pepsi were tete-a-tete for years competing with each other and getting a percentage here and there on each other but overall growth was almost flatline.

    Queue some bright spark at Coke going, one can only image, "fuck it". Instead of competing with their main perceived rivals in the market, they ignored them and attempted to diverse into other markets - instead of selling Coke to people wanting to buy a soda, they started marketing it to people who wanted a drink full-stop. Broadening there market and sales went through the roof.

    I see the same here, Nintendo have decided not to fight with Sony/MS over the relatively small "gamer" market but decided to target whole segments of the population altogether. Thus increasing the baseline of potential customers.

    And hey look, it seems to be working. Now excuse me, all this market analysis has made me thirsty....

  24. John Watts

    Latest Generation?

    Surely the Wii is the latest generation?

    The others might have better graphics but they don't have the Wii's controller. That's the next generation; as Daniel Ballado-Torres mentioned there's no longer any need to faff about with poxy little buttons (which I've never been able to do). With a Wii you can just pick up the controller and play a game. That's next generation.

    Not to mention the Miis - having (recognizable) cartoon versions of your friends turn up in a game you're playing is great (note how you don't need a gazillion pixels to recognize someone).

    The Wii is the latest generation even if the graphics aren't the best out there.

  25. Sam Millner

    @MATT Apples and pears? Hardly

    The importance of Wii, and the reason its selling so well is BECAUSE its not just using new technology! PS3 and XBOX 360 were games consoles for gamers, extensions on the PS2 and XBOX, with faster gorier better graphics and quality games etc.

    I think nintendo realised they needed something new. Their games aimed at 12-15 year olds weren't selling. Their doing it with the DS, advertising all this "keep your brain active mumbo jumbo" and created a console that people see (although as you say, not technologically that far ahead) as one step closer to VR, and is very affordable, its actually cheaper in actual money that a SNES was (SNES premiered at £200 new originally).

    I think Nintendo have been incredibly clever in the way they've marketed it, advertised it and their choice of controller at the multi purpose device which can act as anything, and I think that Sony and MS will have to think similarly to succeed.

    By the way, please don't let my opinon bother you anyone, I'm only 17, if you think I'm full of crap, blame it on the school system or "parents these days" I'm not worth ranting at.

  26. matt fellows

    Serious Gamers...???

    Oh please, serious gamers don't buy the Wii. That is crap. I am a serious gamer, and i bought a wii, and there are good gmaes for it! (sure, not many great games) but they will come, and the PS3 has the same problem.

    I hate this "serious" "hardcore" gamer rubbish, just because you play as ps3 or 360 doesn't make you hardcore, i have been a gamer all my life, allways true to nintendo and have racked up more hours than i would like to imagine.

    So shove that in your pie hole. so going back to the original article, Go Nintendo! well done!

  27. AndyB

    One step closer to VR

    I think Sam Millner has hit the nail on the head. Although the Wii's CPU/GPU performance is little different to the original XBox and PS2, its controller is truly revolutionary.

    It allows the player to interact with the game much more intimately than with the 'traditional' controllers of the PS3 and 360. Saying the Wii isn't 'next generation' based on its graphics performance is a LOT less credible than saying the PS3 isn't next generation because its controller is little different to the original Playstation's "dual shock" controller of 10 years ago.

  28. Andrew Moore

    The Next Generation of Game Play

    I've stayed out of buying consoles because I find that game play these days has totally stagnated. Everything seems to be a generic FPS or martial arts/combat or Sports sim with the only thing to differentiate them is the quality of graphics and sound. The Wii however introduces a totally new way of interacting with the game environment and what's more it's fun and group orientated. Me and my 5 year old daughter are currently addicted to Boogie.

    Is it Next Gen??? Absolutely.

  29. Lloyd


    I'm not allowed a PS3 or X-Box 360, my wife will only let me have a wii because she likes the games on it.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Serious Gamers

    I'm a serious gamer, I've played PC games since bloody Batman and Robin on the Amstrad came out, had a cigarette with some very well known professional gamers, and spent hours on Counter-Strike. I think that makes me a hardcore gamer. However for stuff like that I'll play my PC. I got a Wii from my fiancee for my birthday, and if I just want to wind down I'll play half an hour of boxing, or Tiger Woods. Yes, there are a lot of minigame games out there that I don't really want to spend 40 quid on, but it's a great console, and perfect for a laugh to unwind, or as a way of spending a night in with mates. It sells because it's fun, nothing else. My soon-to-be family-in-law has all played our Wii, as have my parents. You play 'hardcore' games for the adrenaline rush, you play the Wii for a laugh and something that anyone can pick up.

  31. J Thompson

    Why the Wii is winning

    Firstly, this who thing about what generation the Wii is, it's definitely latest generation. The term 'generation' was only bandied about with games consoles when the PS2 and XBOX were on their way. The PlayStation had created a massive and major new market for gaming, with less tech savvy people knowing about it - gaming became cool, and everyone was anxious to see what was coming next, so the term 'next gen consoles' came about.

    Nintendo have always been out of sync with XBOX and PlayStation lifecycle, hence the Wii's excuse for not competing like-for-like with them. The Wii was initially called Revolution (a name which holds true I think), but I believe they wanted to distance it away from any 360/Revolution comparisons and opt for a distinct group or family orientated image (Wii as in we and ii as in two people standing beside one another). The Wii has attracted new buyers with it's controllers, and has therefore not needed to be much more powerful than a Gamecube (my Mum doesn't care about specular effects or shadow detail because the Wii is the first games system she's had any fun on). It's priced right in the 'I played on one at a party last week and now I'm going to impulse-buy' price bracket too, which PS3 isn't.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've got a PS3 and I like it. I happen to like great graphics and sound. That might make me shallow, but hey, thats what I like.

    Although I'm an ex hardcore PC gamer, Ive taking a liking to siting in front of TV playing a game on the console once a week. But thats where the PS3 disappoints. Soooo many of the games being released on the console are really better suited to PCs. And the games a repeatitive (how many Tom Clancy games?)

    And that is where the Wiii is great. The Wiii hardware is cheap and consequently the display quality is poor but Nintendo have created a lot of fun games. That seems more in the spirit of what a console should be.

    I was considering getting a Wiii when I started looking at how I use the PS3 for gaming and I noticed something interesting.

    Putting asside the time i spend playing GT4 (awating GT5 with great anticipation), I found that I probably spent a lot of my PS3 time playing the downloadable 1.99 - 4.99 games.

    There are a bunch of shoot'e'm ups which make a lot of noise and lots of explosions where you can play multiplayer allowing my son and I to play together. There isnt any point in going into deep analysis of these games, they frankly shallow but fun, really in the spirit of console. Not saying they are as inventive as the Wiii. Some games like Teken and Blast Factor we regularly go back too. So the instant "fun" element isnt actually lost in the PS3. I think ive bought around 6 games online for less 25 quid in total, so not breaking the bank.

    I think Sony are trying to think out of the box and because of this, there is a good chance that some great and inventive things will come out. Games like Flow and Rub'o'duck are different in their gameplay (not recommending them however). On the PS3 there is some geniunely creative games comming out like LittleBigPlanet which frankly needs the horsepower of a PS3. (Do check the videos, it really looks fun)

    So yes the PS3 is pricey. But I can use it to play some serious games (like Grand Turismo) and am starting to find instant gratification games that I can play with my son. I also use it to watch Blue-Ray films and use it like a music jukebox.

    And thats the problem with the Wiii, they produced instant gratification game machine but I wonder how many Wiii will still be in use 1 year after purchase?

    Is the Wiii like the Swingball set of 21st century?

    (Yours faithfully, a closet PS3 owner)

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