2008 NPD: Nintendo Sells Over 10 Million Wiis in US, New Lifetime Sales Figures for Each Console

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Shacknews' analysis of NPD Group's 2008 U.S. console sales data has revealed that Nintendo saw a banner year for total system sales, selling over 10 million Wiis--more than doubling its install base--and moving nearly as many Nintendo DS handhelds.

The 2008 total U.S. hardware sales are as follows:

  1. Wii - 10,224,400
  2. Nintendo DS - 9,951,500
  3. Xbox 360 - 4,735,200
  4. PSP - 3,829,300
  5. PlayStation 3 - 3,685,000
  6. PlayStation 2 - 2,106,100*

In combination with the lifetime figures NPD issued for 2007, the above data allows for an updated look at how each console is performing overall in the United States.

Lifetime U.S. hardware sales, as of December 2008:

  1. PlayStation 2 - 43.22 million*
  2. Nintendo DS - 27.60 million
  3. Wii - 17.60 million
  4. PSP 14.30 million
  5. Xbox 360 - 13.89 million
  6. PlayStation 3 - 6.94 million

While Sony recently claimed 50 million total PlayStation 2 sales in North America, the above figures only pertain to the United States.

(*NPD did not report PlayStation 2 sales for the months of January and May 2008.)

From The Chatty

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    January 15, 2009 5:27 PM

    I got this generation so so wrong. I would have been fired for pouring money into Xbox 360/PC/PS3 development. The market for people who play those systems is a niche market. I bow humbly before Nintendo's dominance. They earned it. They're selling what the people want and what the people can afford. Yeah the Wii is on top but look at that DS go!

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      January 15, 2009 5:39 PM

      Yeah but people are not buying software for the Wii unless it comes from Nintendo. The attach rate for the 360 is much better, so if you make software, you may have more opportunities to make money on the 360.

      Unless you can make a Wii game for like 20 bucks, so it depends.

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        January 15, 2009 5:43 PM

        Whatever happened to the small time developers Nintendo promised? Didn't they say amateur studios and groups of friends could make games for the WIi?

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          January 15, 2009 5:47 PM

          Maybe they can? I am just saying I think the top selling Wii games are Nintendo Wii games. Not exatly working out super well for everyone else for selling tons of copies. But if you can make barbie cooks for 600k and sell 300,000 copies maybe that makes people good money. But games that cost a lot to make could be much riskier on the Wii than 360 and/or PS3

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        January 15, 2009 6:11 PM

        Attach rate is only important when considering the total install base. The larger the install base, the smaller the attach rate needs be to make a profit. I bet the number of DVDs *owned* (not rented) compared to the number of DVD players out there demonstrates a remarkably low attach rate, but it's made up greatly by volume. If 200 million DVD players are out there and everyone owns on average 5 DVDs, that's better than if there are only 100 million DVD players out there and everyone owns 8 DVDs.

        Honestly, the primary reason that *Nintendo* software is selling better than third party software is that third party software is still designed for a niche market, and Nintendo's is largely designed for the reality of the mainstream market. Once third party developers catch on to this, they too will sell plenty of copies (something that games Guitar Hero/Rock Band have already obviously latched on to).

        You shouldn't have to be a "gamer" to play games, just like you don't have to be a film buff to watch movies. The niche market will always be there and catered to, but that shouldn't happen at the expense of catering to a wider audience. That's just leaving money on the table, and is remarkably stupid from a business standpoint.

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          January 16, 2009 8:19 AM

          Nintendo's titles cover a spectrum. Their best games probably only appeal to the same "hardcore" gamers on the 360/PS3 (Galaxy, Prime 3, Twilight Princess).

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        January 15, 2009 7:19 PM

        Of course Nintendo makes good games. It's really hard to fault them because of that.

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      January 15, 2009 5:52 PM

      Except the 360/PS3 owners are the ones who love spending $60 on new games regularly as the attach rates indicate. A large install base isn't useful if the owners aren't buying games (look at Wii sales for non Nintendo developed games)

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      January 15, 2009 5:55 PM

      I have to agree with the others that the attach rate is pretty poor for the wii, however if you're looking from a pure business perspective it obviously is the sugar daddy. Considering they've outsold everyone by a huge margin and that they were actually making money off the unit from day 1 it's a huge win for Nintendo. In the end though I'd have to say from talking to almost everyone that bought one including me, it's also been about the biggest disappointment from a gamin perspective. It's easily the least played gaming system I've ever purchased.

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      January 15, 2009 8:38 PM

      Nintendo merely successfully tapped the casual gamer market and if you can do that then there's more of them than your typical gamers.

      Next gen should be pretty interesting to see who goes after what market or attempts to do both successfully.

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      January 16, 2009 6:29 AM

      Nintendo's strategy has been amazing. They have nearly systematically alienated core gamers, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to how much money there is in wooing females and casual gamers. Several of my female friends (and little cousins) have wiis and all the fairly shovelware games that are out there. They don't care---the games are fun enough for them---and neither does Nintendo as long as they keep selling like this.