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Xbox 360, not Wii, to win this console generation

DFC Intelligence's new report forecasts more Xbox 360s sold in the US than Wiis by 2017, and the PS3 isn't even close

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."

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Latest comments (11)

Nothing shocking about it. As the price drops, and the glut of cheap, AAA, 2nd-hand or old software increases - there becomes less reason to NOT get a 360 (or PS3). I picked up a new 360 for a couple of hundred ($A), and got a stack of about 20 games from friends to play - all for free. Picked up maybe one or two full priced retail games, but the rest of my purchases at the $10-$20 price point. When you pick up games like Deus Ex for under $20, its hard to say no.

Personally, I won't be touching either the PS4/720 until they hit similar stages (i.e. the hardware retails for around $200 or less, and the games are almost free). Still got a huge backlog of AAA games to play, so its all good.

Too many games, not enough time.
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Rich Allen Freelance Game Author 8 years ago
This is very US focused.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
No surprise really. The 360 has been the console of choice for hardcore gamers since it's release and over the past 2+ years even the casual gamers have gotten into it here in the US. It should be noted that while the 360 does have a nice large variety of quality AAA software there are tons of people who use it more for it's media capabilities such as Netflix, Hula Plus, music streaming and other social media stuff. I use mine half the time to just watch random video game videos. And although I have a Wii and PS3 as well, I would be just fine if my 360 were the only system I had.

This is of course good news for Microsoft(based on a prediction no less) but I'm kind of glad they aren't dominating the entire gen across all continents. Why? Because ultmate success leads to ultimate cocky ass attitudes. If you don't believe me one only needs to look at how Nintendo behaved after the 16 bit era(their second console gen win in a row) and more recently how Sony acted after dominating the last two gens. I think that Microsoft not being able to make a dent in Japan will help keep them humble....for now:)
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Show all comments (11)
Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
Microsoft have cleverly given more people what they want. And they have stayed ahead of their main competitors in the digital space. Though the length of console generations prevent them from being at the sharp end of both technology and the market.

Surely Xbox 720 will be sold as a service with a low or zero initial payment and a monthly subscription with different levels depending on what services the customer wants. Like an online Sky Box. Gaming will just be one form of available content.
Microsoft have set out with a strategy to own the living room just like they own the office. That strategy is being realised right in front of our eyes.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent8 years ago
Couldn't agree with you more, Bruce, and I too am hoping MS adopt your outlined strategy going forward.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Howdle on 15th January 2013 10:58am

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Wasnt there a report that PS3 has sold more than Xbox 360's? and the Xbox 360 will exist by 2017?
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Neil Millstone Director, White Bat Games8 years ago
Hmm. The 360 has a year to 18 months before it is replaced by Microsoft's new console and from then the sales will be much lower. By 2017 I would imagine the 360 won't be on shelves anymore.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Piper Jaffray (U.S. Through 2008)
Xbox 360 - 19.6 million (48.3%)
Sony PS3 - 15.5 million (38.2%)
Nintendo Wii - 5.5 million (13.5%)
Total - 40.6 million

These guys don't exactly have the greatest track record at console projections.
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Rodney Smith Developer 8 years ago
and still lost > $3 Billion
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Rich Allen Freelance Game Author 8 years ago
I appreciate the international nature of this article. :)
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve8 years ago
I don't see how you can just pick and choose the (in this case by far the most successful) market and say that here's the winner. In the US election, no-one said "well the Republicans have won Texas by a huge majority, they're clearly the winner", you can't just ignore the rest of the world like that, especially when the conclusion radically changes when you actually include all the markets.
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