For as much talk as there was about the Wii in its early life, and the gangbuster sales the platform enjoyed for years, you might think that Nintendo's console is easily the winner of the current console generation. That may not be true in the end, at least not in the US, according to a new report from DFC Intelligence.
While Nintendo transitioned to the Wii U this past holiday season, Microsoft's focus still remains on the Xbox 360, and the 360 would appear to have a good deal of life left in it still. "Amazingly Microsoft didn't have to do much exaggerating as in its seventh full year on the market the Xbox 360 had a stellar performance. For its generation, the Xbox 360, not the Wii, will end up as the number one selling console system in the US," said DFC.
The research firm is forecasting that Xbox 360 will have sold over 46 million units in the US by 2017, while the Wii is estimated at just over 42 million. Sony's PS3, meanwhile, trails behind at 33.5 million.
"Shockingly it was in the later years of its life that the Xbox 360 really took off," DFC added. "The success of Microsoft and the Xbox 360 during the past two years highlights a radical changing of the guard in the game industry. Much has been made about a steady video game sales decline in the past three years."
DFC noted that while Microsoft excelled, Nintendo started exhibiting sharp declines, and the Wii U didn't help as much as hoped.
"In reality the decline has mainly been due to the aging console systems and more importantly because of Nintendo's collapse," DFC continued. "Unlike Microsoft, Nintendo has been in a major downward cycle, much of it self-inflicted. Nintendo's spin for the Wii U focused on how it made more revenue than the Wii at launch. Of course, the Wii was supply constrained at launch and sold at a lower price so that is not surprising. The reality is that many Wii U systems were sitting unsold on shelves at year end. Consumers love games more than ever but a new order of game providers is resulting in market shifts that are proving painful for Nintendo and other established game companies."