The Nintendo Wii is the fastest-selling gaming console in Australian history, taking the title away from Microsoft’s Xbox 360. In the first four days since its launch last Thursday, 32,901 Wii units were sold nationwide, said Daniel Morse, games analyst at GfK. This compared with the previous record of 30,421 Xbox 360s sold in the four days after its launch in March, he said.
Australian electronics retailers are enamoured of the Wii’s initial success. Neil Merola, business manager for Myer’s electronics division, described the result as “outstanding”. “When you compare it to [Xbox] 360, we would have sold four times the number of Wii than 360 at launch. So the uptake has just been sensational,” he said.
Mr Merola attributes the Wii’s success to its broad appeal as a “family-oriented game”. He predicts the Wii will “clearly” defeat the Xbox 360 in Christmas sales at Myer stores. “The core demographic for us is female and families so the Wii uptake has been fantastic for us,” he said. “We will sell whatever stock Nintendo can ship to us.”
Brad Harker, director of stores at EB Games, said sales were “sensational”, but wouldn’t make a prediction on which would be the better seller this Christmas. “They’re both selling extremely well. I can’t say that one is eating the other’s market at all; I think the market is growing larger as a result of this,” Mr Harker said.
Perhaps expecting today’s announcement that Nintendo had seized its record, Microsoft yesterday issued a statement claiming it had just recorded its highest grossing week of console hardware sales in Australia since the Xbox 360’s launch.
“Figures from GfK show that around $2.6 million worth of Xbox 360 consoles were sold in the week ending 13 December,” reads the statement. But Microsoft’s announcement was hardly unexpected, given sales always pick up in the lead-up to Christmas, and this will be the first Christmas since the Xbox 360 went on sale. Nintendo spokesman Vispi Bhopti rubbished Microsoft’s $2.6 million figure, noting “Wii sold (in 4 days) just a smidgin under $13 million worth of hardware (and that’s not including accessories or software)”.
Although the Wii’s price tag is markedly cheaper than that of the Xbox 360 $399.95 compared with around $650, respectively – Nintendo makes a profit on every Wii sold, while Microsoft makes a loss. As a result, Microsoft is relying on strong games sales to turn a profit. Microsoft says that for every Xbox 360 console sold, 4.8 games are also sold, which it says is “around twice the attach rate of any console in history at this stage of the life cycle”.
It is too early to determine a comparative figure for the Wii, but GfK figures show initial Wii games sales to be high. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess title for Wii was the best selling game last week, despite only going on sale on Thursday. But Nintendo’s sales success could be affected by an impending lawsuit Interlink is taking Nintendo to court over patent infringement relating to the Wii remote. Nintendo is yet to make an official comment on the case.
Articles related to Wii Over Takes Xbox 360:
Microsoft Drops Price Of Xbox HD DVD Player: Last November Microsoft decided to improve on the Xbox and introduced the HD DVD player for it at $199. This special add on gave Microsoft the ability to...
X-Box 360 Updated Already: Microsoft has planned to release a 512MB Memory Unit for the Xbox 360 in April of this year and drop the price of its original...
Microsoft Offers Free Repairs For Some XBOX 360s: Well here's a bit of good news for XBOX 360 customers who've seen their console go up in smoke within the past year. For customers...