back to article Nintendo Wii US sales 3x PS3, Xbox 360

Nintendo's Wii has once again outsold the combined total of PlayStation 3s and the Xbox 360s purchased in the US last month. So show the latest figures from local market watcher NPD. Its numbers reveal that some 675,000 Wiis were bought in May, compared to just 208,700 PS3s and 186,600 Xbox 360s. US Console Sales 2008 NPD US …


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  1. Mark

    But the PS3 is so good for so many reasons!!!

    Why does nobody want to play with me?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So XBox360 is 3rd now?

    Well OK, when I say now, I mean ignoring the time it was 3rd and PS2 was thrashing it.

    Perhaps the ISO will declare the XBox360 the standard console now? Perhaps Icahn will sue Nintendo?

  3. Kirsteen Fraser

    Not a big surprise

    Anyone who would be interested in buying GTAIV will have already bought either console in advance (I would) and it will be the same for RE5 next year. Both companies need to try harder the wii is popular because its more social and people to non-traditional gamers and families. And trying to play Wii play after the pub is always a laugh

  4. Anonymous Coward

    MGS4 is out now...

    And that is the reason that I and numerous other people that I know have finally gone out and got the PS3 (and a HD TV and god knows what else - bankruptcy looms...).

    I suspect that PS3 sales will pick up this month for that reason alone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS3 doing well.

    Wii is not really comparable to the PS3 and 360, as it's a more mainstream demographic.

    In the 360's strongest terirorry, PS3 has won 3/5 of the 3 months by a decent margin, and lost by a hair on the other 2, so 2008, US only, todate, PS3 has shifted 90,000 more units.

    Of course outside the US, PS3 is killing the 360. As for GTA IV software sales, well duh.. PS3 userbase is 4.5m in the US, and 9m 360's so sofware sales of double is to be expected. If you look at the numbers, proportionally, more PS3 owners bought GTA IV and 360 owners.

  6. Matt

    one statistic never shown...

    Id love to know the usage of the 3 consoles after initial purchase...

    Im a 'grown up (30+)' and out of all the people I know, there is a fair number of each console... X-boxes seem to get the most use, mainly playing games, the PS3's play a much smaller number of games less often (but between us we have a nice BD library to share) and the wii's get hardly any use after the initial novelty...

    Im wondering if this is the general trend??

    I also asked my dad if the current Nintendo adverts made him want to rush out and buy a Wii/DS and nope... still no interest! so are they kids toys?? or is nintendo reaching the 'even older' demographic?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the fanboi wars begin

    Form an orderly queue first

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just another thought

    I'm seeing a pattern, Nintendo will just keep releasing novelty Wii products to keep the Wii's shipping.

    First came the Wii with it's novelty controllers. Queue people rushing to buy because they want to play games interactively, rather than 2 hands on a gamepad.

    Then came multiplayer interactive party games. Queue Wii purchase rush of older generation wanting to liven up their dinner evenings with a bit of interactive fun consigning the Trivial Pursuit to life on the top shelf.

    Then we had the Wii fit. Queue all the fatties wanting to excercise by gaming rushing out to buy.

    Next will be "The Force Unleashed". Everyone that has any interest in technology, SciFi, or computer games will be rushing out to get this, cos (provided Lucas Arts get the controls right) everyone's has dreamed about handling a light sabre. Whenever I give my sons toy sabre to anyone they immediately start waving it around humming loudly. People will see the demo's in the Game shop and see people standing round the Wii box watching the chap waving the remote around while he dismembers several hundred virtual storm troopers, then they'll look at the empty Xbox and PS console with their gamepads hanging down. Queue more Wii sales.

    In another 4 months another product will come out with more novelty value and people will flock to buy consoles just to play it. Anyone any idea's what it will be? Strap-on ankle sensors for some Kick Boxing game maybe.

  9. David

    When will it end

    Surely its getting to the stage where everyone in the world has a wii and there will be no-one left to buy them!

  10. jai

    re: MGS4 is out now...

    the same issue with GTA4 will apply though

    i think the majority of people likely to buy a console on the strength of one title are also likely to be big enough gaming fans to have bought the PS3 already over the past year. I don't think we'll see a surge in sales just for the MGS4

  11. Sooty

    surely by now

    Almost everyone who ever was going to buy a 360 has already bought one! The only market left should be parents buying them for their kids, and i wouldn't imagine an 18+ game causing a massive increase in that market.

    The PS3 has not reached that point yet, but will still have the same issues, most adults who are going to get one, already will, and GTA4 really shouldn't impact the market for consoles owned by kids (it will to some degree, but it shouldn't)

    the wii focusses on including as many people as possible, the wiifit will have targeted a group of people who would never normally get a console and so get a sales boost.

  12. Kevin Gordon

    PS3 beckons...

    we have a Wii in our family. Its very good for the kids and family time.

    but I am about to get a PS3 for blue ray, and cos I want PTA IV and Race Driver: Grid for my 36 year old self. me, me, me!

    I think a lot of people who have bought Wii's have kids, and finding the money and justification for a PS3 may be a problem.

    definitely not an box 360 for me, due to the noise, rrod issues, and no blue ray playback!

  13. Busted
    Paris Hilton

    Oh lets dismiss the Wii as a Novelty Console

    Deary me to all the PS3/360 owners posting on this please just get over it your consoles lost and neither Sony,MS or Nintendo really care what you or I think. To dismiss the Wii as a novelty that soon wears off proves you don't own one. RE4, MK, MG, Metroid need I continue.....

    I've played consoles since Atari's ET days and quiet frankly I was bored with the whole scene luckly Nintendo got it right this time and it's injected some much needed fun into the console scene again.

    Too the hardcore gamers going on about adult games sorry but all PS3/360 offers is what I've had on my PC for years except with a console I've to suffer a naff control method to play those adult games.

    Paris cause she's hardcore too.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: one statistic never shown...

    The 360 gets the most usage from me with the Wii getting second most usage. Generally I only use the PS3 when there's an exclusive out for it, otherwise I always buy the 360 version because it's usually better (DMC4 and Burnout Paradise are the only two I can remember that ran better on PS3) and because the 360's online is much better.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm just amazed that over a million americans went out and bought a console last month.

  16. Jack Ketch


    Hopefully the next development will be around 'desktop VR with head tracking' (do a search for the term in the quotes if you're interested).

    That would really take first person gaming to the next level, and should be possible with existing (Wii) hardware.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Correct me if I'm wrong, Jaowon, but you say that like innovation is a bad thing! "Nintendo will just keep releasing novelty Wii products to keep the Wii's shipping" - as opposed to doing what? Sure, they could actually develop some more games, or at least use each Wii product for more than one game, but it seems a shame to stifle the development of products that can make use of such an innovative method of interaction purely because they may be perceived as a "novelty" or fad. What do you think they should be doing?

  18. jai

    re: Just another thought

    "In another 4 months another product will come out with more novelty value. Anyone any idea's what it will be? Strap-on...."

    i wondered where you were going there with that comment!!

  19. Tom Adair


    The jump in Wii sales wouldn't have anything to do with a supply increase, would it? In the UK, the 'Wii in stock' signs started appearing over the last few months, and staying in shop windows.

  20. Roger Barrett

    I have a Wii

    I'm 30 and currently playing Zelda - Twighlight Princess and having a great time, Metroid Primie is another great title, Endless Oceans is unique and quite enjoyable, Mario Kart is fantastic, and Super Smash Bros is on the way!

    As soon as I saw the article I was expecting someone to have made the comment that the Wii is only a novelty console and it wont last, but its not there! maybe because the "novetly" factor of this machine is that they continually innovate, like Jaowon has said ( not sure if you were tying to imply that it was a good thing or not!)

    The new Alone in the Dark looks amazing on the Wii, and the controls seem quite interactive, using the controllers for everything from hot wiring a car to dual gun firing - although will this be a bad influence on todays youth and lead to another Tanya Brown investigation, who knows?


    Wii works via word of play, not advert

    I've owned almost every console ever made, (not the PS3 yet, but probably will sooner or later).

    IMO the Wii is the first console that has transcended the youngish man demographic. My parents have one, their friends have one, my sister has one, all indirectly because we bought one. The adverts don't seem to draw any interest, but playing the games does.

    As for the usage, the Wii gets the most usage out of my friends aside from youngish men :-)

  22. Adam Pocock


    I bought a Wii on launch night in the UK, and after about 3 months of constant usage it got left to show to people when they came round or when there was a party on. Every so often I'd boot it up again for a quick blast of tennis, or something, but it didn't get played much. The arrival of Mario Galaxy changed that though, it put a decent game on the machine which takes time and effort to play. Though admittedly when I'd finished it I left the Wii again till Mario Kart came out (might be because I was too poor to buy more games).

    Now that Mario Kart is out though its on every day, playing online.

    Its just the Wii games (with some exceptions) are designed for quick blasts, you need to either keep playing with different people or get more games to keep up the level of usage. The software is starting to come through better now though as the developers react to the success of the console.


    The Force?

    Can't see any Star Wars stuff attracting anyone other than the same people who usually buy games anyway.

  24. Chika


    Why does this surprise me? So many carping on about the Wii being a "novelty". But then we are talking about games consoles, which could be considered as novelty anyway. As far as it goes, if Nintendo have hit the right formula by ditching an old, staid interface and gone for something that gets people playing, perhaps the competition needs to rethink its own strategy rather than moaning about it.

  25. MysteryMeat
    Gates Horns

    Not surprising...

    Having owned an XBox 360 Elite, I can say it doesn't surprise me that the Wii is outselling the PS3 and Xbox combined.

    I bought my Xbox primarily for games, but also because I wanted a media player which could play back a large collection of mpeg4 and other formats. Within the first few months I found I couldn't copy files to the HD or play back basic MPEG files, and the lack of any HiDef disc player, and lack of simple SMB or NFS support sealed the Xbox's fate. The Xbox is pretty much just for the people who would have bought games for the PC but can't be bothered stuffing around with installing them ie hardcore gamers, and in my mind is pretty much dead in the water, barring a killer app or hardware addition to make it a 'must have' console.

    The PS3 on the other hand looks slightly more attractive than the Wii and Xbox, given it has BlueRay support and allows open file transfers + supports a whole bunch of media codecs (linux support also sounds great). The only drawback is the price, ie the people who'd buy a PS3 would also be likely to buy a BlueRay player, and given it's slow start in terms of features hasn't really caught on as well as I would have expected.

    The Wii on the other hand is what your average consumer wants - a budget priced console with a whole bunch of groovy addons to make it fun for the whole family (the Apple of the console world). While it doesn't have the HiDef support, media codecs or open hardware of the PS3, it's not geared as hardcore gaming-wise as the other consoles to scare off the novice user, and the games are priced in a more reasonable range than the Xbox or PS3

    In short, if you have kids or older rellies then get a Wii, otherwise for a decent all-rounder with HiDef support go PS3. Microsoft really screwed up by not including a HiDef disc player from the get-go, and as a result they really have no where to go except bring out a new console, where as the PS3 is good for another few years, and the Wii is manufactured cheaply enough that they can afford to bring out a new version with BlueRay support.

    If Apple and Nintendo got together to build a console would it be called the iWii?

    Bill Gates because Microsoft just isn't the same without him.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Why buy now??

    Surely the length of time the 360 has been out pretty much everyone who wants one has one by now and as the PS3 came out later so is on the same cycle but a bit further behind.

    Therefore no single game is really that likely to effect sales that much, particularly for the PS3 which is still to expensive to be considered an impulse buy to get one for a single game. £330 for (PS3 + MSG) to play one game is a bit much in anyones books.

    All the graphs tell us is that adults with disposable incomes who have grown up as gamers buy 360s and PS3s, EVERYONE buys Wiis even if they aren't really gamers. End of discussion really.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MGS4 surge

    Seeing a large surge in PS3 ownership at work in the last 2 months, with GTA IV and MGS4. Previously there were about 10 or so PS3 owners at work, I knew of, now there are about 30 or so, many of them x-botch360 owners sick of constantly returning their console for repair..

  28. Matthew

    Game sales?

    Given that the manufacturers are supposed to make a loss on the hardware and make it back on software sales which console is making the most money? The Wii is popular with parents buying the machine for their kids but I doubt it's as popular with folk who buy games machines for themselves and it's those people who have the larger library of games.

  29. paul

    All about the TV

    When the wii launched , I didn't have a big HD TV. So no point buying a PS3 or 360. The wii looked like a laugh so I bought it.

    I expect most people who dont have HDTVs buy wiis. This as the numbers show - is a lot lot of people. The price of the wii also comes into it.

    In essence , consoles are cheap - big 1080p HDTVs are not.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    careful you almost included game sales stats in there - don't want to get bogged down giving the figures that actually link to real earnings.

    But no we keep reporting on what everyone know becouse it's obvious,

    Wii sells the most becouse it has the widest target audience with the lowest price tag.

    PS3 sells best in Japan, XBox360 sells best in Europe and the States.

    Could you tell us what games on what consoles and at what prices have been sold? That is what we don't know.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @everyone who @ Jaowon

    @Jack Ketch

    Yup, I spotted that video a while ago on Youtube, hopefully they'll come up with something, probably not tho. People don't like devices on their head. Even if it is just a battery and a pair of IR LED's.

    @ The others wondering if I was being positive or negative

    To me the constant novelty factor has been a good thing, it's kept me playing on the thing, meaning I'm getting value for money from it. The Wii is the only new console I've ever purchased (The only other console I ever bought was a second hand PS1 for 50 quid with a dance mat and DS Euromix 6 years ago, which I still have).

    I've also started buying 6 quid GameCube games from the local cash generator shop, which has an entire wall full of GC games that Wii owners snap up as soon as they come in. Again more novelty in the way of the additional games it also emulates. My 6 year old son loves the original Nintendo Super Mario that was downloaded onto it for about 3 quid. It's just one novelty after another that is making it popular, keeping it at the top of the charts, and keeping it leaving store shelves in droves. Novelty = Entertainment

    I bought the HD cables for it. The 480p 60Hz makes a world of difference.

  32. Michael

    @ AC

    >>>Wii is not really comparable to the PS3 and 360, as it's a more mainstream demographic.

    And whose fault is it that Sony and MS didn't market to a broader demographic?? Oh yeah, their own. Of course it's still comparable. Nintendo chose to target a broader demographic, Nintendo moved (and continues to move) more units, Nintendo wins.

    Wii: 1

    360/PS3: 0

    Using your logic, I could say "PS3 is not really comparable to the 360 because it's targeted at Final Fantasy players, whereas the 360 is targeted at Halo players", or " because it's made by a Japanese company, rather than an American one" or "because it's black while the 360 is white" The reality is that on balance 360 and PS3 fanboys (of the sort that post in online forums) are elitists that can't bear the fact that a "lesser" console is whooping their console's ass. The insolent peasants!!!

    Oh, and just in case you forgot, Nintendo makes a profit on the sale of the console.

    Wii: 2

    360/PS3: -1

  33. Highlander

    Oh! That's a tad unexpected

    Not the Wii lead, that is a given. As someone in this discussion already pointed out there are far more SDTVs out there so it's logical that more Wii (and PS2 strangely enough) systems will be sold compare to the HD gaming market.

    Wii Fit is a great device, from a sales and marketing point of view. Personally I think the commercials make it look worse than it is. In the commercials there is a visual lag between the player movement and on screen movement, and everyone looks...well....stiff. They are rooted to the spot. Not sure just how much physical conditioning is possible with your feet planted on the balance board.

    Anyway, the unexpected is the PS3 leading the Xbox360 in US sales in May. That annoying analyst Patcher had forecast that the 360 would lead in sales in May. The folks at Microsoft had claimed that GTA4 was driving sales of the 360 and that they were outselling PS3. Sony said little about it all. So, it's unexpected that the PS3 holds a sales lead over the 360 in the HD game console market.

    Oh, one last point to the fanbois masses, especially the Wii fanbois. The video game market is HUGE. When it was a smaller market there was less segmentation, for example home consoles and hand helds. Now though the market has grown and grown and other segmentations are happening. A natural segmentation between HD gaming and SD gaming has developed. Obviously the Wii is spanking every other device regardless of market segment.

    This is actually a great thing. Many of the consumers purchasing Wii consoles are more casual gamers or new gamers. While many of these gamers may never look beyond the Wii, some will, and this will drive more people to the HD consoles - PS3 and 360. That doesn't mean that those gamers would drop the Wii in favor of something else, it's more that those gamers would extend their gaming to other devices. Just as people don't switch from their home console to a hand held, or vice versa. Multiple gaming devices can be complementary to each other.

    However looking at each segment;

    PSP is doing well in the hand held market. It's even outselling DS in Japan. Which is remarkable considering that Japan has previously shown a huge prefernce for the DS.

    Wii is dominating the SD market with the rapidly aging, and yet very cheap PS2 still holding surprisingly strong sales - though no where close to the Wii sales.

    In the HD market things are getting very interesting. PS3 has outsold the Xbox 360 5 out of 5 months in the US during 2008. PS3 has sold more units in the North American market during 2008. In Europe, Japan, and the rest of the world, PS3 has been leading sales for some time. With PS3 clearly spanking the 360 in Japan especially, but also leading in Europe, despite a strong showing by the 360 in the UK.

    Very interesting. With MGS4 out now, and reportedly driving consoles off shelves at retail, it will be interesting to see how this affects future months with other key exclusive games coming for PS3 steadily through to Christmas 2008 and beyond into 2009. Cheaper HDTVs are coming every week, and Blu-Ray acceptance is growing as HDTVs penetrate further into the mass market. With PS3 sporting a Blu-Ray drive, this trend cannot do anything but boost future PS3 sales numbers further.

    Interesting times for Sony and Microsoft (Nintendo is too busy printing money to worry or care in anyway about the PS3 or 360 right now).

  34. Paul Talbot

    re: Game sales?

    @Matthew: Apparently the attach rate of games (average number of games bought per console) is slightly lower on the Wii (I don't have figures to hand but it's about 1 games per console lower), but Nintendo are the only company who actually make a profit on the console itself so it evens out. So, Nintendo are making a massive profit.

    Add me to the list of satisfied Wii owners. I've had it for over a year now and apart from a dry patch after launch, there's plenty of decent games. I own 12 games so far and I'm looking forward to the new Alone In The Dark (probably my next purchase) and some of the upcoming WiiWare games. All the fanboy whiners here are either people who can't bring themselves play a non-FPS game or have made some serious mistakes with their game purchases. For the rest of us, there's plenty of great games.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Ok so....

    ......there are lies, there are damned lies and there are statistics.

    Any idea what the total installed user base is for each console?

    just wonderin

  36. Anonymous Coward

    good games

    the Wii shows that new and innovative games are certainly

    attractive. not just more rehashes of the same

    that are just at home on a PC.

    I've got a PS3 and a Wii. the PS3 has a couple of games but is used more for BluRay and DVD playback than gaming - the Wii isnt on every day but when it is, its got a seriously good selection of real games. Zack And Wiki , for example, epitomises the platform.

  37. andreas koch

    sales math: 1+1+1=3

    a.) I've heard about people buying a PS3 and a Wii; there's people buying an Xbox and a Wii; and there's people buying a Wii.

    Do the maths.

    b.) Granddad and grandma go to the gamestore to buy a console for grandson, asking the salesguy which PS3 they should buy and after 30 minutes of '40 or 60 GB harddisk' (isn't that a back injury, George?) and 'plays PS2 games as well, well some, ah, most of them really with the exeption of [list goes here...]' and Bluray (some recent kind of Betamax)..... What? Thankyou, we'll think about it.

    Go to next Gamestore; repeat with Xbox.

    What about one of these Wii things, George? Oh lets's ask about them.

    Wii. Yeah. Ok. All said, we'll have one.

    Blaming Nintendo for cheating in the 'console wars' by coming up with some new novelty fad every quarter is like saying 'woah, these people at Toyota only build good cars to sell them, that's not fair play against [insert hate brand of personal choice here]'

    After all: none of them care if you play the console or not. MS does not care if you buy 15 Xboxes to scrap them as long as you do and they make some money out of it.

    If somebody would guaratee that a PS3 would sell twice as many units if coated in Marmite and crushed daisies then it would be stupid not to do that, wouldn't it?

    Nintendo had a good idea, and they keep them coming. So what.

    Mine's the one that says Miyamoto Shigeru in the collar.

  38. Anonymous Coward


    I have a ps3 and I bought it under the pretense of playing GTA IV but actually it spends most of its time in linux running 'experiments'.. hehehe. Only thing I hate about it is the non-expandable tiny dollop of ram and the fact sony has not yet opened up the RSX engine.

    Seriously guys, if you can afford it and are even the slightest bit nerdy, get a ps3 even if you don't game. You get a blue-ray device and you can do stupid high speed multiprocessing tricks on it (run rings round intel quadcores) just for the heck of it as well. I don't think you'll regret it.

    I'm just doing my bit cos I really cannot stand seeing nothing but x86's on desktops these days. Losing battle I know but there you go.

  39. Andy Worth

    @ a couple of posters

    @Sooty - "the wiifit will have targeted a group of people who would never normally get a console"

    Or for that matter, would normally never get any exercise.

    @Busted - "To dismiss the Wii as a novelty that soon wears off proves you don't own one."

    Err, but there's where you're wrong. For just one example (of many) look at Adam Pocock's post, who owns one but also admits that it is a bit of a novelty and only gets turned on occasionally. In fact most people I know who also own a Wii feel the same way. I don't personally know anyone who has had one more than 6 months that still plays it on a regular basis, although I'm sure some people do. Whereas most 360/PS3 owners will give their consoles a regular dust-off regardless, either for watching DVD's or Blu-rays as well as gaming.

    I'm not arguing about Nintendo being smart, as they got it exactly right. They marketed something which is almost irresistable from a novelty perspective, and then again with the Wii Fit. But to argue that it's not a novelty in any sense shows a bit of naivety.

  40. Scott

    GTA4 - Not a game worth buying a console for !

    The fact that GTA 4 was pretty average probably had something to do with the fact that it didnt effect console game sales that much. Everyone bought the game under the hype it was going to be vastly superior to the last game. IMO the game is exactly the same and the only change is slightly better graphics and online play. A big disapointment !

  41. lee martin

    Novelty + sales = Good Business

    It seems that sometimes we miss the point.

    This so called console war brings up many emotions and emotive comments.

    However we should not forget that plain and simple all 3 of these companies are here for business and to make money.

    So, given that, as long as they all make money, wins all around.

    I think to blast the Nintendo Wii as being novelty or for kids or statements like "yeh it may sell well but how many play it after x months vs. other consoles", may be a point but it isnt relevant in terms of sales.

    If Nintendo have found a console that can sell like hot cakes and keep getting more income from same install base with new innovative (or not so in some cases) ways of using the console with add on hardware or software then all I can say is "clever Nintendo" they have a good business model, good marketing people and good research & development teams who tried to bring something new but at the same time carried out careful research into potential sales base vs. cost limit people would pay vs. technology and innovation.

    Successful business model for manufacturing has rarely been about 'bleeding edge' when selling to consumers it has been about the right blend to fit technology and innovation vs cost and accessibility.

    I for one would love to have a PS3, great technology, BD, Hi Def, HD space etc, but like many can not justify that sort of cost into my family budget.

    I would say that as we hit hikes in food and fuel prices and uncertain times that will hold true even more.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: PS3 doing well.

    If I remember rightly (this was many years ago), in a meeting with Sony people, they were very proud of the fact that the original Playstation targeted outside of the "console" demographic, and had brought gaming to a far wider audience than just the console gamers of old.

    The Wii is fantastic. Cross-platform titles such as Guitar Hero port fine to the Wii (even if the graphics are a bit duller), PES08 has the best control system of any football game to date (people who don't realise this just haven't played it for long enough to see the advanced controls), Wii Fit is great fun, and it will burn calories (it's fantastic even just for the snowboarding minigame), Mario Kart is fantastic too (it's the best version by far, and even the next-gen fanbois must admit that Mario Kart is one of the best games to come out of console land).

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