Sony hosed by Wii

Nintendo's revolutionary Wii, launched yesterday, has already sold more than 650,000 consoles, shifting over twice as many as Sony's PS3.

Obviously, Wii's huge numbers are largely down to a bigger supply of available consoles than Sony managed for PS3's launch last week - if everyone who braved the utter madness had been able to bag a PS3, it's likely Sony would already be well on the way to catching up with Microsoft, who has currentlysold more than seven million Xbox 360s worldwide.

But it's promising news for Nintendo; Wii is a brave experiment in gaming, whichlooks likeit'll be a successful one, especially since Nintendo is already making money on each console it sells. This stands in sharp contrast toSony, whichprobably won't see a penny of profit onPS3 hardwareuntil next year at the earliest, or even Microsoft, which lost a ton on each 360 sold when the thing launched last year, but has now gotten costs down to an estimated $323 per console for the $399 Premium Pack.

In the end, though, it's all down to the quality of the games. If Wii can attract the same inventive, engrossing games that have made DS a huge success, while making intelligent use of its impressive motion-sensitive controls and simultaneously drawing in the legions of non-gaming public that Nintendo is keen to target, then Sony and Microsoft might have a real fight on their hands.

An up-to-date estimate of all hardware sold from the big three - Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo - can be seen atnextgenwars.com.

November 20, 2006