Wii takes pole position, PlayStation 3 gains momentum
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Nintendo vaulted past Microsoft into the console race’s pole position in June. The Japanese game maker has sold 10.9 million units of its Wii console in the U.S. since launching the device in November 2006, according to the NPD Group. Despite having a year’s head start, Microsoft fell into second place with 10.5 million Xbox 360s sold since the console launched in November 2005.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 got a boost from the release of ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,’ which helped the company sell 405,500 PS3s last month -- nearly double the 220,000 Xbox 360s sold.
‘PS3 unit sales were the highest of any month outside of that recorded during previous November-December holiday timeframes,’ NPD analyst Anita Frazier said.
But the Wii outsold its two rivals combined, moving 666,700 consoles off store shelves in June, according to NPD. Nintendo also sold 372,000 copies of its Wii Fit game in June, making it the fourth best-selling title last month. The top selling game in June, Metal Gear Solid 4, sold about 1 million units, including discs that were bundled with PS3 consoles, Frazier said.
Traditionally, summer months are less eventful, with most game developers working up to the holidays, when publishers ring up two-thirds of the industry’s annual game sales. But Nintendo has been struggling to keep with high year-round demand for its console.
So for Nintendo, every day has become a holiday.
-- Alex Pham