back to article Wii still king in US

US sales of the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 all declined last month, but the Nintendo console remained head and shoulders above its rivals, according to the latest market analysis. Console movement watcher NPD found that, during March, US consumers bought 262,000 Xbox 360s and 257,000 PS3s. But the following month, sales …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    But only because I've finally been able to buy a Wii, and have not bought a PS3 or XBox.

    I might buy a PS3 some day, when I've got nothing better to do with $500, or whatever it is that a PS3 costs -- way too much in my opinion.

    I'll never buy an XBox. Seeing as how Brother Bill is paying cash to use his search engine, maybe when the day comes that he pays me to play on an XBox, I'll get one, and then install Linux on it.

  2. Aron A Aardvark

    Breaking news: Sony to stop production of PS3

    is not a headline I'm expecting to see but the top brass at Sony must think they've spooged $Bns on a turkey.

    The Wii continues to outsell its rivals on a 3:1 ratio. Now let's hear some 'splainin' by the Sony faithful 'bout how their beloved device is going to be Console King "any day now".

    Perhaps European gamers have had enough of subsidising the north America market by buying this overpriced toy-box.

  3. MarmiteToast
    Thumb Down

    And I thought they were dumb when they elected George W. Bush

    but buying the Wii en masse?

    I'll get my asbestos covered coat, thank you gents.

  4. Eponymous Cowherd


    Wot, no fanboi rants?

  5. Tom
    Thumb Down

    I'd love to see the figures

    on how many people continue to use their Wii for more than a month after purchase.

    This from a Wii owner by the way (whose Wii is gathering dust - it's crap!).

  6. Anonymous Coward

    It has been said before

    about the lower number of games per Wii and it's strange control system not really lending itself to certain games - 1st Person shooters spring to mind but the console is just fun, thats it I play it more than my PS2 (not even bothered with the PS3 yet)

  7. Steve Barnes

    Re: Breaking news: Sony to stop production of PS3

    "the top brass at Sony must think they've spooged $Bns on a turkey."

    Seeing as PS3 sales were only 900 behind the 360 and it's been out for a year less, how is that the case? it's selling very well now, particularly in Europe, and seeing as MGS4 comes out next month, I'm pretty sure it's hardware sales (and especially it's software sales) are about to go to new strengths...

  8. Matt

    Come on

    It's been said many times before the Wii has cleverly created a niche for itself. It's not a competitor for the PS3 or XBox 360.

    It's nearest competitor is probably the PS2.

    I could play some of my console games on a PC but none of them would run on a Wii. That doesn't mean the Wii is rubbish, it just doesn't support the kind of games I like or do some of the other media streaming/Blu-ray stuff I want to do.

  9. Highlander

    @Aron A

    There are three major gaming markets, Japan, Europe, and North America. Other territories such as Australia have significant sales as well, but I rarely see numbers attributed to them (though recently Australia was mentioned as a strong territory for Sony).

    Either way, the Wii is beating up on both Microsoft and Sony. It's continuing sales are remarkable. However, the Wii is a different animal to the 360/PS3, it's not really in the same race. Which may be why it's doing so well. Then again I'd put it up against the PS2 which is similar in capability and has 145 million units sold.

    Returning to the PS3 and 360, aka the HD gaming market...

    The PS3 launched anything from a year to 16 months later than the 360, yet it's already ahead of the 360 in terms of total units sold in both Europe and Japan. Worldwide monthly sales show the PS3 has a significant lead in terms of new units being sold, over the 360. Only in North America and to a lesser extend in the UK, does the Xbox 360 lead the way. Yet that position of 'leadership' is only a factor in two of the three major markets. Yes the US market for games is large, but so are Japan and Europe. Ultimately gaming is bigger than the US market, and with PS3 on course to eclipse the 360's worldwide sales possibly this year, but probably next, it's not likely that production will cease, nor is it likely that the Sony 'top brass' will do anything except sit and watch the cash flow across their books as the Playstation brand continues to be profitable.

    One thing that is educational to do is to look at the total brand position. Look at Sony Playstation, that's PSP, PS2 and PS3 sales, plus all the games and accessories. Wii competes against both the PS2 and PS3, not simply the PS3. Wii is not an HD devices, so it's not in direct competition with the PS3. The PS2 is cheap and cheerful, but doesn't have the integrated motion capture the Wii has, but is otherwise similar in terms of capability. Wii competes against the Playstation brand , not just one console or the other. Nintendo DS and Sony PSP compete directly. Both are doing very well, the PSP has recently been outselling the DS in Japan, though the DS still leads elsewhere. In any event, both handhelds have healthy sales.

    Sony was derided for continuing to sell the PS2, yet if you consider that the Wii is not an HD gaming device, it's a wise move to continue selling PS2s. Microsoft has only one device in the market, and it's an HD gaming device. When PS3 overtakes the 360 in global units sold, which it will, it's going to be very hard for Microsoft to continue talking up their success story when that success is likely to be confined to the US HD game market. In fact if you look at Playstation units sold (PS2 + PS3) Sony has been wiping the floor with Microsoft since Xbox 360 launched. Throw in the PSP and it looks even worse. When you consider Nintendo's total hardware sales against Sony's it looks far closer than it does if you consider only PS3 and Wii.

    The trouble with most people and gaming journalists is that they have a very narrow focus. Widen the view, and the picture changes considerably.

    Sony's big challenge is to catch the migration of users from their PS2s. Sales are beginning to decline for the PS2 now, it's time that they did something to move more PS3s into the hands of PS2 owners. A price cut would appear to be the best course of action.

  10. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Hmmm , I would hazard a guess now that the WiiFit footpad is being sold , it has reversed the trend after seeing a demo at a shopping centre all the electronic stores within had been cleaned out in less then a day and were constantly ordering in replacement stock with the bulk of the offenders were adults last seen carrying the units with a glint in their eye !

    Still with the maker pushing out approximately 1.8 million units world wide a month in sales , it does not bode well for the so called bigger competition !

    But don't gaming console sales normally start to wind down from March onwards until around about late October or early November when they usually pick up again for Christmas sales !

    Choices , as always the customer has the last word !

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "This from a Wii owner by the way (whose Wii is gathering dust - it's crap!)."

    Why don't you sell it then? Now would seem to be a good time!

    Paris - 'cos even she'd figure out the solution.

  12. Kye Macdonald

    I bought Wii Fit.... and realities of economics

    I have owned a Wii since they first came out and it gets a little bit of play - not heaps. It tends to come out at parties and the like with Mario Olympics and rayman rabbits etc. For that it is absolutely fantastic. PS3 and 360 just don't appeal to me as I have a good PC. Yes you have to keep upgrading it but that just means when I upgrade mine my wife, in-laws, sister etc get upgrades for theirs...

    Now I bought Wii fit 10 days ago... And I've used it every day... It's surprisingly good and fun. I actually hurt a bit at the moment just from playing it. I think they have really hit the mark with that program. There are a couple of things I would change but they are very minor.

    In the end PS3 and the Xbox 360 are direct competitors to the Wii for exactly the same reason that going to the circus is a direct competitor to going to the movies. In the case of the movies you have a limited entertainment budget. If you go to the circus you don't go to the movies. If you buy a Wii and it costs you $400 (AUS deal cost atm) then that will come out of the same budget you might have potentially spent on a PS3 or 360. If you're wealthy enough to buy both it doesn't change the basic economics of this - buying a Wii will REDUCE your spend on PS3 related items - ergo Wii is a direct competitor to the PS3 / 360 irrespective of whether you think they are aiming at different segments they are aiming at the same dollar budget and that is all that counts.

  13. Levente Szileszky
    Black Helicopters


    "However, the Wii is a different animal to the 360/PS3, it's not really in the same race. (...) Returning to the PS3 and 360, aka the HD gaming market..."

    Oh PLEAHHHHHSE. This is the MOST PATHETIC false explanation and for some reason it keeps coming back, despite the fact it's such a completely ridiculous idea. What do you think, why NPD measures it? Because everybody in the business KNOWS it's exactly the same market.

    C'mon, let's face it: Wii beats the crap out of your "HD" consoles, period.


    The big trick is that it's NOT "HD" or whatever buzzword ignorant console fans love to throw around - because it's WAY MORE FUNNY, it's CHEAP and it isn't a HUGE, UGLY mofo console like your "HD" consoles etc etc.

    If someone really wants top-notch graphics there's the PC and nothing else - your "HD" consoles are inherently always behind PC graphics (perhaps the first week of their release but at that point there's no game to take advantage of its 15 minutes of fame.)

    The fact that it's not even HD helped a lot: it was able to convince hardcore PC users like me to buy it - and my Wii still gets our attention, 4-5 times a month which, BTW, currently exactly the same as my PC gaming...

    Oh and I bought it on the day when it was released here (NYC) and doesn't really have more than 5-6 games I think but looking forward to buy the WiiFit... wehy? Because I'm *sure* it's fun, that's why.

  14. wim

    wii becoming problem

    for the japanese television stations.

    More and more families spend time together playing wii instead of watching TV. Wich is easy to understand most TV programs are aimed at a specific public (cooking shows will not interest kids and anime does not interests adults) so the wii is the ideal thing around here to get your family do something together.

    This is becoming a real problem for TV stations as they have seen their ratings drop over the last year or so.

    xbox 360 in Japan is dead in the market. They don't have a marketing budget, titles are way behind and mostly not aimed at the Japanese market. PC gaming is non existant in Japan except for online rpg's in internet cafes so that leaves you with the choice of PS3 if you want to do some "hardcore" gaming. I ll guess the moment they have some decent titles out on PS3 it will really take of.

    I don't care too much about it anymore. Gaming stopped after Sega quited the hardware market anyway.

  15. Andy Worth

    @Kye Macdonald

    "Now I bought Wii fit 10 days ago... And I've used it every day... It's surprisingly good and fun. I actually hurt a bit at the moment just from playing it."

    Well that just goes to show how much you should be getting some real exercise rather than buggering about with a console tbh. It's just another novelty, rather like the Wii itself, which everyone plays with like mad just after they get it, before getting bored and leaving it gathering dust. You even admit yourself that your own console rarely gets used, at least until you got the Wii Fit.

    Such behaviour is typical of almost everyone I know who owns a Wii. Of course the initial novelty value meant that it got played to death, but since then the usage has fallen to almost nothing. the Wii Fit revives the novelty value a little but I don't reckon most of these will be in use for more than a month before the boredom factor kicks in again. Kudos to Nintendo as they have evidently created a product which is ideal for the "non-gaming majority", but I don't think you can compare the product with the more hardcore "gamers" consoles like the 360 and PS3, at least not on a capability basis.

    Your argument at the end of your post is irrelevant. It's almost as irrelevant as saying "If I have to spend more on petrol I can spend less on my PS3/xbox/Wii, ergo cars are a direct competitor". I know very few people who would have a specific budget for console gaming, or for "going to the movies/theatre/circus". Whatever people have left after paying for food, rent/mortgage, fuel, bills (i.e. the things that they have no choice but to spend on) leaves them with their "spare" budget.

    After this point, whether they choose to spend it on going out, DVD's, games, sex toys or whatever is ALL in direct competition with one another. Console makers try to persuade people to stay in and play their games in the same manner that cinemas would try and persuade you to go out and watch a film, or pubs to go there and get pissed. So with the Wii Fit, they try to persuade people that it is more fun and just as good exercise as going to a real gym or having a kick about with your mates. So does that mean that the Wii Fit should be compared directly with sales of sports equipment?

    No, of course it doesn't. It's not even like I disagree with the sentiment that Wii sales should be compared with other consoles, as they should imho, but that argument was just so fundamentally flawed that it showed the same sort of understanding of real life financial budgets that I have become used to seeing from politicians (i.e. very little).

  16. paul
    Gates Horns


    The Wii is a direct competitor to the xbox and ps3 - regardless of what MS say (when trying to explain why they are not #1).


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Wow no mark!!

    I reckon he's changed his name on the reg or finally realised he backed the wrong console!

  18. Iain

    @Aron A Aardvark

    PS3 US price = $400 UK price = £300

    Sony exchange rate $1 = 75p

    Wii US price = $250 UK price = £180

    Nintendo exchange rate $1 = 72p

    360 US price = $350 UK price = £200

    Microsoft exchange rate $1 = 57p

    Yes, Sony are just ripping off the UK _SO_ much more than Nintendo do...

    Having just run those numbers, though, I've got to think competing with the PS3 is hurting MS in Europe.

  19. Liam


    oh i see, more bollocks news and anti sony bullshit.

    @ obvious - you can run linux on the ps3.. probably a lot cheaper than you can buy a linux box for eh?

    @ Aron A Aardvark - yes Wiis sell more. but, once you get it home and realise its shite (like me and everyone else i know who has a wii) it just gets left gathering dust. meanwhile the ps3 owners are buying lots more titles for their proper consoles. - as mentioned by tom above!

    sony make their money via games not the consoles.

    comparing a wii to an xbox/ps3 is like comparing a ferrari to a 3 wheeled trike... 'oooh its novel isnt it' - until you realise it LOOKS aweful, sounds flat (stereo only) and the controllers are actually crap at doing most things with.

    btw - the mrs has told me we shouldnt sell the wii - even though its not been used since xmas :(

    @ Levente Szileszky - wrong. the last thing most people wanna do when they get home is play on a pc game. why would i? i have a lovely comfy couch, a 42" HD TV, very good surround sound setup. also due to the many issues with PC gaming they are ok for mouse / keyboard games (i prefer FPS to be honest on the pc but anything else is rubbish on a pc). games like pro evo football (soccer my ass! bloody yanks!) require decent controllers (all buttons used frequently during games)

    @ wim - "I ll guess the moment they have some decent titles out on PS3 it will really take of" + f :)

    erm... drakes fortune, metal gear solid, assassins creed and GTA IV to name a few :)

    i really cannot think of any good games ive played on the wii. most rented games got one play then we thought, 'sod this ill put the ps3 on' :) wii sports was fun until you realise that all the controls are screwed. any decent tennis player realises that the controls simply dont work on the wii.

  20. Jacob
    Paris Hilton

    dust gathering

    Just to add on to this every growing conversation. the whole argument of " my wii is gatering dust, it's just a novelty etc." is another very poor argument.

    Consoles in general are novelty. infact ANYTHING for amusement is just novelty. If you don't buy new games for your consoles they will be gatering dust because once you played the games through and figured everything out it will become boring to play it again in a short time span. You may pick it up again for a short while a few month down the line but not as regular as when you first got it.

    This goes for the Wii, XBOX, PS3, your girlfriend/boyfriend and even Paris Hilton

    Unless you get something new or added on it will be less amusing to play/use.

    That's why on the console market they bring out new games, new gadgets or in Paris's case, do something embarassing in public.

  21. Liam

    @ jacob

    "Just to add on to this every growing conversation. the whole argument of " my wii is gatering dust, it's just a novelty etc." is another very poor argument."

    erm.... nope..

    lots of people i know are playing their xboxes/ps3 regularly, wheras they all dont use their wii due to the novelty wearing off and the games being dissapointing. i have played pro evo soccer on the ps3 way more than i played anything on the wii. also the ps3 is used for playing music, dvds and b.ray - whereas the wii is just a novelty games console

    nintendo did something very clever. they created a novelty item that seemed cheap so lots of us bought it. since the initial 'how novel' couple of weeks everyone i know has a white odd shaped dust collector. in terms of bang for bucks the ps3 has been LOADS better value than this little gimmicky toy.

  22. Iain

    Really, Liam?

    I found the new Pro Wiivo to be far more exciting and "next gen" with its point 'n' shoot controls than the slightly increased rez of the PS3 release. It might feel like a gimmick for the first 30 minutes, but it swiftly allows you to organise really clever runs and passes that just aren't possible on earlier versions.

  23. Highlander

    @ Levente

    You can disregard the difference between the HD and Sd gaming markets if you like. However that's rather like saying that the PC gaming market and console gaming market are the same - they aren't. It's pretty basic marketing to understand that there are different market segments in virtually every sector of consumer purchase. In console gaming (which is different from PC gaming) there are at least three segments. Handhelds, High definition and Strandard definition.

    Wii competes with PS3 and 360 in the sense that it is competing for entertainment dollars (or pounds, francs, marks, yen, etc...). Fine. However it is not a direct competitor for either of them. It can't. It cannot do HD games at all. The absolute majority of 360/PS3 games are HD. Sony has two video game consoles for sale right now, an HD one and an SD one. The PS2 is not in direct competition with the Wii either because it's a little less powerful and doesn't have the innovative motion control that Wii has. That said it has a monster install base and monster library and more than a few innovative controllers of it's own.

    NPD are simply looking at the gaming sector as a whole. If you delve into the demographics of who's buying what, and look at the demographics of HD TV and HD video you can immediately see that there is a definite difference in markets between PS3/360 and the Wii. None of that means that the Wii is poor, bad, or some how not a success. Of course it is, a huge one, but there are definitely two console gaming markets there. There is a degree of overlap, but still two distinct market segments.

    That's why I don't believe that you can directly compare Wii sales against 360 or PS3. You can, however, directly compare 360 and PS3.

  24. Matthew Grove

    I think folks are missing the point

    The wii appeals to the other half of the market - women ... remember them? Bet most of the posters on this page are men.

    Although there are notable exceptions, most women aren't terribly enthralled by the latest graphics hardware or ultraviolent FPS. For us men who are, the difference between PC / Xbox / PS3 may be of interest ... for the fair sex, there is really only one option.

    Ditto for parties / older folks (many of whom seem to enjoy the Wii).

    Nintendo has cornered the market for everyone but young male FPS players. Which is why I'd reckon a lot of the posters on this page aren't impressed by it - it's not aimed at you, lads. It's aimed at your other half.

  25. Liam

    @ Iain

    hmm i must admit that the TV advert looks interesting for Evo on the wii....

    my problem is that the remote just isnt that accurate for me (i.e the cursor moves around even when the controller isnt moving - such as on a table) i also find it hard to accurately increase small movements - dodgy arm i think :( )... might get it rented for a weekend to see. i might even then start using the wii again :) i could even use it upstairs and leave the mrs to neighbours etc :)

    btw - my mrs loves the ps3 so that kisses goodbye to all the misconception about women and consoles. although she is only 23 (10 years my younger) so from a different generation almost :)

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