updated 01:55 pm EST, Fri January 16, 2009
Wii and DS Set Records
Nintendo late Thursday claimed an industry record by pointing to NPD Group data revealing that it sold 10.17 million Wii systems in the US for 2008, making it the first video game system of any kind to crack the 10 million mark. The achievement tops Nintendo's own previous best of 8.52 million for the Nintendo DS in 2007; the handheld itself topped the older record this year with 9.95 million trading hands. The console creator further observes that about 132 million games were sold just for its platforms in the same year.
The surge is enough to have given Nintendo 55 percent of the entire current-generation console market for TV-attached devices in 2008 and 72 percent of the handheld market. The company also points out that it topped its single-month record for Wii sales just a month later after selling 2.14 million Wiis in December.
Nintendo's success is a blow to Microsoft and Sony, neither of which has managed to break the 1 million mark for their consoles in a given month. Observers have regularly attributed the difference to Nintendo's lower $250 price point, which sits below all but the hard drive-less Xbox 360 Arcade, as well as an emphasis on casual games like Wii Play that appeal to non-traditional video gamers. Sony by contrast has the most expensive base system at $399 and has had difficulty expanding beyond existing owners.