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Wii Software Sales Outmuscle Xbox 360

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Life is short - play more

Wii overtook Xbox 360 for lifetime software sales in the US last year, according to a new report.

Point-of-sales data from NPD show that 175m games have been snapped up in the 38 months that the Wii has now been on sale in this region. It is estimated that software for 360 has sold 164m units since that machine came to market.

During the final quarter of 2009 it is believed that the Wii accounted for 58% of total game sales, with a massive 30m sold in the month of December. This now makes the Wii the front-runner for lifetime software sales across all three platforms.

Leading that charge was no doubt Wii Play, recently revealed to be the best-selling game of all-time in the US. Following it up was probably Just Dance, though the less said about that, the better.

Over the first 38 months for Microsoft and Sony, it is estimated that Xbox 360 gamers bought 112m pieces of software between them, and close to 75m were picked up by PS3 owners. It would be interesting to know how much software DS owners bought, but sadly those figures were not available.

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (48)

noblo601

#2

noblo601 said:

Man, I can't believe that wii play is always counted as a game... It's just soooo laaame!

Phobos

#4

Phobos said:

Not surprised, Nintendo is always a step ahead of their competitors.

citizenerased

#5

citizenerased said:

"Man, I can't believe that wii play is always counted as a game... It's just soooo laaame!"

Agreed. It shouldn't count. And without it, the 360 sold more games. Which is fair, because only fanboys wouldn't admit to the fact that Wii's had some serious game droughts (not saying the 360 hasn't, though).

FuzzyYellowBalls

#6

FuzzyYellowBalls said:

I personally play my PS3 more than my Wii...
but the NSMBWii certainly made my wii sprinkle out the coins and mushrooms... playing thru that game yet again.

Shane_Gill

#7

Shane_Gill said:

I bet the Wii software divide goes a little something like this;

Games with "Wii" in the title - 30%
First Party Nintendo Games - 20%
3rd Party Shovelware Games - 40%
Traditional 3rd Party Games - 10%

nasachi

#8

nasachi said:

not surprising :)

i do also own PS3 (great for movies ^^) and 360, but i play most on Wii. being bored of generic shooter games (Halo, Uncharted...) i like the Wii-lineup best, have bought several great games last year

maka

#9

maka said:

It's so funny... Like it or not, Wii Play IS a game, and everyone knows it just sold so well because it included a wiimote, so what? Wii Sports is also one of the biggest "sellers" and came bundled with the wii, is it not a game either? Or Wii Sports 2, which to many was a way of getting a M+, is it not a game either? Link's Crossbow? Wii Sports? Any game that comes bundled with a a piece of hardware?

A game is a game, no matter how crappy it is or how it is sold. What part of the definition of game does Wii Play break? (and no, "fun" is not part of the definition...)

paulcmnt

#10

paulcmnt said:

If I had all three consoles, I would only use the Wii for Metroid and Zelda, and the rest of the time it would dust in the corner while I'm playing on PS3/360.

I mean, come one, I love Nintendo's games, but let's not pretend that the Wii has a library of only classic games and that's why it outsells everyone. Nintendo know how to market stuff. Period. That's the only reason it's on top of the sales charts.

If we counted all the quality games on Wii and all the quality games on PS3 or 360, the former two would surely have more titles.

The reason I got a Wii and not any other consoles is because I love Metroid!

citizenerased

#11

citizenerased said:

@maka: Actually, Wii Sports isn't counted either... If it was, that would be the best selling game of all time. So you might want to redefine your own definition.
Simple fact is that when we're talking about an attach ratio, counting Wii Play (or Wii Sports) doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

maka

#12

maka said:

I seem to remember seeing Wii Sports counted in sale charts, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, A game bundled with the console is different than a game bundled with a controller or other peripheral. All the other examples I gave are still valid.

The only difference between those games and Wii Play is the fact that Wii Play sold so much and the fact that it is crap. I agree it is crap, but it sold what it sold. And anyway, it's not like people were actually forced to buy it in order to get another wii mote. The wiimote is available separately for a cheaper price. People that bought Wii Play wanted to spend extra money to get the game. So maybe the message is: Cheap game + useful hardware = BIG sales

warioswoods

#13

warioswoods said:

@10

"If we counted all the quality games on Wii and all the quality games on PS3 or 360, the former two would surely have more titles."

Based on what you said and not what you likely meant, that is indeed true.

Monkeh

#14

Monkeh said:

@diego_pmc: So what you're saying is Nintendo suddenly became great at marketing after the Gamecube? Bull. The Wii marketed itself.

aaronsullivan

#15

aaronsullivan said:

Weird comments on here. Wii marketing has been okay. Definitely a step better than the previous two consoles, but as Monkeh points out, word of mouth and the promise of what the hardware could do made it sell. It appealed to EVERYONE -- save the tiny percentage of gamers that are "hardcore" gaming snobs.

In my opinion Nintendo should just spend a huge chunk of their considerable cash on marketing this year. Smart advertising, but to the point of saturation. A BIG part of it should be advertising third party games, too. Nintendo Week, as dorky as it is, is a step in the right direction -- anybody notice they highlighted NES Kid Icarus? Hmm -- , but TV advertising in prime time could be stepped up considerably. It's time to position the Wii as a place for all types of gamers and all types of games.

After all, the motion control war is coming at the end of this year (E3 for the hardcore geeks like us) and it seems Nintendo won't have any new hardware -- except something that checks your pulse.

For instance, by the time Red Steel 2 comes out everyone who watches TV should know what it is, why it's important, and why they must own it. Right?

Oh yeah, and keep this transition to the old school coming. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is an incredible example of mixing old school skill gamers with the more widened array of gamers brought to the Wii. Keep that transition going, please, Nintendo. :)

Mandoble

#16

Mandoble said:

Ok, Wii Play is a game, and Wii is a Microwave, and yes, Microwaves sell better than XBoX 360, and do you think that MS worries about that?

vherub

#18

vherub said:

I just wish a greater chunk of that 175m was from the better quality wii games

JebbyDeringer

#19

JebbyDeringer said:

hmm maybe Wii is a microwave because it has built in WiFi and the Xbox 360 doesn't? haha that's the best I could get out of that comment.

paulcmnt

#21

paulcmnt said:

@warioswoods I meant either one of the two, not both of them combined. ("quality games on PS3 or 360").

@Monkeh Depending on how far you want to take it, I might completely agree, or completely disagree with you. Indeed, the Wii marketed itself, and the reason is the appeal of motion controls. If you say that the console marketed itself because of all the great games it has, you're not honest with yourself. The 3rd party quality games the Wii has can be counted on my fingers.

So what you're saying is Nintendo suddenly became great at marketing after the Gamecube? Bull.

I smell bull too, but it's not coming from me. If I remember correctly, the GameCube was launched in 2001, while the current CEO of Nintendo only took office in 2002. A new CEO usually means different marketing strategy.

Satoru Iwata took the risk of trying to appeal to non-gamers — and he hit the bullseye. Wii Play is another testament to his marketing genius: a crap game, inexpensive to develop, bundled with a controller. People will buy it because they think why not spend and extra few bucks to also get a game instead of just getting the remote. I almost fell in the same trap.

I could go on and on.

#22

said:

Wow at all those comments. And this is a Nintendo fan site?

And now Wii Play is not a game? DON'T BE PATHETIC! That's 100% more a game than the interactive movies of the HD clones.

Wii sells are deserved. And all of those "fans" saying that it lacks quality, I am sorry, but that's STRICTLY subjective. I find more quality and fun in wii sports than in MGS4 snoozefest.

I am glad that it sold that much. I am glad that Nintendo, a company that everybody forecasted doom and gloom and even going third party defeated the all mighty MS and Sony in only 3 years and not only that but it revolutionized gaming and changing paradigms..and most of all destroying the pathetic Game Inudstry and showing 3d parties their real place.

Wel done Nintendo. Keep it up.

#23

said:

@monkeh - Oh please! How about the sold out wiis of past years? when was the last time you heard of families going nuts for a game console? when was the last time there was such a phenomenon? LIke it or not, the wii sold thanks to mouth to mouth recommendations and YES ITS GAMES.

And don't bring 3d parties on here. the only fault for bad 3d parties games go to the 3d parties and nothing more. So now Nintendo is guilty because those lazy morons don't do their job? well that's just pathetic.

All of you are just a bunch of sad seudonintendo fans. If you really admired Nintendo you should praise what is doing for gaming. Instead you bring the pathetic 3d parties efforts and to talk how great are the HD consoles?

then why on earth are you here!?

Go and get closed in your HD bubble. I just hope that when it bursts the fall is not hard on you.

paulcmnt

#24

paulcmnt said:

buffalobob wrote:

And all of those "fans" saying that it lacks quality

I feel this was partly directed at me, so I think I should give a response. I am a fan of some Nintendo games (Metroid in particular, Zelda, and Mario could get in there as well). But I'm just a fan of Nintendo games, not a fan of the company. Not that I don't like Nintendo, I admire them for a lot of reasons (innovation being the first), but that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything they say or do, do I? ;)

I am happy that Nintendo is dominating charts, because it makes gaming more popular and it also forces the other companies to try and be more innovative. What I am arguing against is people who think that Nintendo's success is purely a result of the Wii's quality games and people who defend Nintendo no matter what.

Ren

#25

Ren said:

No one is saying that it's not a "game" by definition, why are you guys so snippy? They're just saying that it doesn't make sense to count it as a game when you are tallying sales figures for games, because it comes with a controller that sells with it when no other game does. For only ten dollars less it doesn't make sense to get the controller without the game since it's also made by nintendo so it's bound not to be that bad, but it is a pretty cheapo game. Thats why I got it. I would never have dropped $50 or even $30 on WiiPlay by itself, would anyone else here have? Be honest. But I wanted another controller and any game thats made by N, new, and only $10 can't be all bad.
Don't be so literal no one is really saying "it's not a videogame", it's just an unfair representation of sales figures to put it at the top spot over other games that are only software. a controller is a piece of essential Hardware (even Wiifit/ guitar hero are crazy expensive with the hardware, not nearly the deal that Wiiplay is so Those aren't the same either)

City_Of_Delusion

#26

City_Of_Delusion said:

The problem is that I wouldn't be surprised if a substantial chunk of thouse sales were Nintendo first party games. Take them away from the equation and I doubt you would reach 100 million.

Nintendo can advertise, but only from when the DS was launched did they actually bother.

The_Fox

#27

The_Fox said:

Not too surprising, really. How many more Wiis are out there than the competition? I know that the PS3 and Xbox 360 tend to have a higher attach rate, but they just can't match the size of the Wii customer base.

mnementh

#28

mnementh said:

I didn't spend a few extra bucks on wii play. It was EXACTLY the same price as a new remote on Amazon, and possibly still is. I haven't played the game but I've heard a couple of mini games there are quite nice.

bestbuck

#30

bestbuck said:

Here's my review of Wii Play, Eh 2 out of 10 and the only reason it got that is because you get a free Wi-Mote LOL.
These Figures mean nothing the Wii is starved of decent Software. The last Game I bought for Wii was New super mario bros where I'm all the time buying Games for my PS3 which as a matter of interest is the Best Console on the market

Raisinghelen

#31

Raisinghelen said:

@diego_pmc
It depends on your personal tastes. One person may find lots of games on the Wii that they like and nothing on the 360/PS3 or vice versa. It is true that for traditional types of games those platforms do offer more but you shouldn't make blanket statements over what's best, only what is best for you. Personally I prefer my Wii to my 360 and play the Wii a lot more because it has a much wider range of game types, where as the 360 has a lot of very samey stuff.

@bestbuck
You are in a minority as the PS3's attach rate is really no better than the Wii's. I don't own a PS3 but if I did I wouldn't buy many games for it other than a couple of exclusives, as the majority of multiplatform games are better on the 360. I might pick one up next Christmas but at the moment I can't justify paying $300 for a console that I'd only play 2 or 3 games on.

hedless

#32

hedless said:

Nintendo has been more innovative and able to get ppl on the market that would not otherwise get a console....aka the retirement home, healthcare communities...the places where playing a "non-game" game like wii play or wii sports is great fun. It took me 2 years to get a Wii, everytime I went to get one it was sold out....I dont think I can say the same for the 360 or PS3.
I do have to admit that there are better options for 3rd party titles on the PS3/360....but neither of those systems interest me. I'm bored of the button smashers that seem to be flooding the market, tho I wish we could get more RPG games for the Wii. Would love it if we could play Elder Scrolls Oblivion, but maybe that will come with the WiiHD, who knows.

vdallos

#34

vdallos said:

zelda, mario, mario in every sport, fzero, metroid, party games (with mario on it), SSBB(also mario), plataforms with yoshi, star fox, dk, ... i like this games...then i go nintendo...and also my friends, gfriend, my dad, little cousin and their parents, my sister...ages 7-10-12-17-20-26-29-40-45-50...big base

nasachi

#37

nasachi said:

@Raisinghelen:
PS3 is a good console and a great moviestation (DVDs look fantastic imo)

the problem is the games... most of the good ps3games you can also play on 360 or pc... the wii instead has the advantage that nearly all great games are from nintendo itself and exclusive so as a gamer you can't miss the wii

Twilight_Crow

#39

Twilight_Crow said:

Wii Play, it's a collection of short burts, arcadey games imo; and if it's the number one on sales, I wonder why people asks why Nintendo is focusing more on this type of games. :P

Token_Girl

#40

Token_Girl said:

This actually is kind of sad, given how long the Wii has had a MUCH larger userbase than Xbox360. Each Xbox owner would have had to buy over 2-3 times the amount of software each wii owner buys in order to stay ahead of them until now.

Is it any wonder 3rd parties are abandoning Wii and/or only focusing on cheap to produce minigame collections?

Monkeh

#41

Monkeh said:

@diego_pmc: No, I wasn't talking about the great games, because the Wii doesn't have a very big tracklist of great games. The Wii marketed itself by being something everyone seems to want, something new and playable for all ages.

Mahe

#42

Mahe said:

^ Think about how long the 360 has been out compared to Wii... a year head start, a year's worth of bought games, and Wii has already passed it. From this point on, the gap will only grow bigger. And I will be helping that gap, Wii simply has better games.

"Nintendo is always a step ahead of their competitors."

Just like they were with the Gamecube... hahaha! Let's not kid around, it's because of Wii that Nintendo is doing so well on the home console front.

qiliieun

#46

qiliieun said:

everyone in this stupid town thinks that ps3 is the best and i say nintendo wii is the best selling system like ever and they say "its just cuz ps3 wuz too expensive now that they lowered the price it will win" i wish everyone played a game besides halo,call of duty,or little big planet, but im suprised about that wii play being the best selling video game in the us but no one will belive me because the don't even know what an NES is probobly let alone think that its grandchild has the best selling game ever

Rogues

#47

Rogues said:

I'm happy to hear that the Wii is outselling everything else, game and hardware. But why is it that all the commercials aimed at gamers seems to be spent on games supporting only the 360 and PS3? I would really like Nintendo to do a little more in the way of advertising games, especially those which have a T or M. With that many Wii's sold there has to be an untapped segment of gamers who would jump on board and buy games for themselves and not just the kiddies!

I'm probably 3 times the age of the average "gamer" but I'm very interested in some of the core games. There is a lot of really interesting stuff coming down the pike for the wii - games I am marking down as must haves are The Calling, Grinder, No More Heroes2, Red Steel2. Plus I'd love to get many of the other games which didn't seem to sell well on the Wii, but got good reviews like Deadly Creatures, The Conduit and the Resident Evil series.

Nintendo has got to make more mature gamers aware that there is a lot to offer them for the hours when the kiddies are tucked away in bed :)

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