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