Nintendo Sells its 30 Millionth Wii Console in the U.S.


Nintendo’s Wii video game system has sold more than 30 million units in the U.S., according to the company’s internal sales numbers.

The console hit that number in 45 months, making it the fastest-selling console in video game history. It took Sony’s PlayStation 2 console more than 60 months to hit the same milestone. The Wii launched in November, 2006, and it kicked off the era of motion-sensing games, as just about anybody could wield the Wii’s remote-like game controller. The Wii was appealing to kids and grandparents alike, and it got gamers off the couch playing active games.

“More than any other video game system in history, Wii has expanded the world of video games to new audiences,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “This milestone is another reminder that people want fun games they can play with others – all at a value-minded price.”

But the Wii is controversial as well. Simon Jeffery, chief publishing officer at iPhone game firm Ngmoco and former U.S. chief for Sega, said the Nintendo console had a negative effect as well. He said it taught hardcore gamers that casual games were cool to play, resulting in more enjoyment of low-engagement games. On top of that, sales of games per console on the Wii is lower than that on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

In recent months, the overall game industry’s sales have been weak mainly to a decline in the number of games sold on the Wii. Nintendo blamed that problem for its first quarterly loss in two years. But Nintendo says it has a strong line-up for the fall, starting with Metroid: Other M on Aug. 31.

Other titles include Samurai Warriors 3 on Sept. 27, as well as unscheduled titles Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Wii Party for the fall. For the holidays, Nintendo plans to ship Donkey Kong Country Returns, FlingSmash, and PokePark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure. Other big games coming from third party publishers include New Carnival Games from 2K Play, NBA Jam from Electronic Arts, GoldenEye 007 from Activision Blizzard, Epic Mickey from Disney Interactive Studios, Sonic Colors from Sega, and Just Dance 2 from Ubisoft.

The Wii sells for $199.99 and comes in either black or white. According to VGChartz.com, worldwide Wii sales are 73 million, compared with 41.7 million for the Xbox 360 and 36.3 million for the PlayStation 3.

Market researcher NPD says the top-selling Wii games in the U.S. are, in order: Wii Play, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Wii Sports Resort, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Fit Plus, Mario Party 8, and Link’s Crossbow Training.

The top third-party Wii games in the U.S. are: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock from Activision, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games from Sega, LEGO Star Wars: the Complete Saga from LucasArts, Carnival Games from Take-Two Interactive, Game Party from Midway, EA Sports Active from Electronic Arts, Just Dance from Ubisoft, Rayman Raving Rabbids from Ubisoft, Deca Sports from Hudson Entertainment, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games from Sega.

Props to Dean Takahashi

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