Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wii Tops Xbox 360 and PS3 in Worldwide Sales

Financial Times reports that Wii’s global sales have surpassed those of the Xbox 360’s, in a chart that combines data from major gaming markets like Japan, the US and Europe.

This would be the first time since 1990 that Nintendo takes the king’s crown in the console war, the last time the Japanese gaming behemoth had it being when the SNES was available.

Reports gathered by Financial Times’ editors came from GfK, a research firm in Germany that tracks the entertainment industry for the European territory, NPD Group from USA and Enterbrain, GfK’s counterpart in Japan.

According to FT’s estimates, which took in consideration how all three next-gen consoles faired on the market since their inception, the Wii beats Microsoft’s Xbox 360 by a small margin, with 9 million units sold for Nintendo’s console until the end of July (statistics calculated for the US and Europe; in Japan the statistics included most of August too), and only 8.9 million units in Japan. As usual, Sony’s top-notch-technology packed PlayStation 3 came third, with only 3.7 million units sold.

However, Wii’s performance is underlined not only by the number of consoles sold, but also by the fact that it managed to outsell its much-bigger competitors in less than a year (Wii was launched almost simultaneously with the PS3 in November 2006, roughly a year after Xbox 360’s debut). Moreover, Wii’s popularity, along with the stellar sales for DS, have propelled Nintendo to the third spot in a top of Japan’s most important companies.

Financial Times said this could be the result of Nintendo’s policy to keep prices low and engage as many gamers as possible, with highly-attractive titles (Brain Age, Pokemon, Mario, Nintendogs, etc.). Another reason for Xbox 360’s loss of leadership could be the console’s small install base in Japan.

Wii’s strength is further proven by sales numbers provided by Video Game Chartz, which give Nintendo an even more impressive lead, with approximately 11.45 million units (3.59 million in Japan, 4.69 in the US and 3.17 in other areas) compared to Xbox 360’s 10.89 million units (only 440,000 in Japan, 7.03 million in the US and 1.38 million in the rest of the world). According to VGChartz, PlayStation 3 holds only 17% of the next-gen console market, with 4.57 million units sold.

And this couldn’t get better for Nintendo. According to a study from BrandIntel, a Toronto-based research company, clients’ intention to buy a Wii tops their purchase-intentions concerning either PS3 or X60.

The research, called “Top Video Game Console Report: Consumer Insight Monitor”, shows that rated purchase intent for the Wii at 3.7, followed by Xbox 360 at 3.4. PlayStation 3 was ranked at 3.1, just above neutral on the five-point scale.

Speaking to Next-Gen, a Microsoft spokesperson said Redmond is pleased with what it has achieved until now: “We are exactly where we need to be at this point in our lifecycle, and would not trade places with anyone."


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