As we approach the end of the the current console generation, there’s a tendency to look back at what has taken place over the past half-decade-plus. Both Sony’s and Microsoft’s flagship consoles have sold quite well, yet historically neither has been able to compete with Nintendo’s Wii. The latter is targeted at a more mainstream audience and is inarguably more family-friendly than its competition, thus it’s become de rigueur to view the Wii as the champion of this console generation.
However, a new report published by analysts at DFC Intelligence claims that the Xbox 360 is doing so well over the recent past that once the generation concludes it may have actually trumped Nintendo’s machine. “For its generation, the Xbox 360, not the Wii, will end up as the number one selling console system in the U.S.,” the report states simply.
“Shockingly it was in the later years of its life that the Xbox 360 really took off,” DFC explains. “The success of Microsoft and the Xbox 360 during the past two years highlights a radical changing of the guard in the game industry. Much has been made about a steady video game sales decline in the past three years. In reality the decline has mainly been due to the aging console systems and more importantly because of Nintendo’s collapse.”
Sorry Nintendo fans, but DFC’s harsh words don’t end there.
“Unlike Microsoft, Nintendo has been in a major downward cycle, much of it self-inflicted. Nintendo’s spin for the Wii U focused on how it made more revenue than the Wii at launch. Of course, the Wii was supply constrained at launch and sold at a lower price so that is not surprising. The reality is that many Wii U systems were sitting unsold on shelves at year end. Consumers love games more than ever but a new order of game providers is resulting in market shifts that are proving painful for Nintendo and other established game companies.”
By the end of 2017, DFC believes that the Xbox 360 will be proven the ultimate champion of this console generation. The report includes a graph (see right) which states that here in the US the Wii will ultimately sell 42.1 million units, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sell 33.5 and 46.1 million units, respectively.
Whether you believe DFC’s analysts or not likely depends on your personal biases, but regardless of your opinion it’s undeniable that the group’s claims are unexpectedly bold. On the other hand, we do see some truth in DFC’s given rationale. The gaming industry has shifted rapidly in recent years, and even the most die-hard Nintendo fans are beginning to tire of seeing the same old, same old from the company. It still has a massive fan base to support any new hardware/software it might debut, but Nintendo’s efforts on the Wii over the past few years have seemed increasingly out of touch with what fans actually want. Even if DFC’s predictions turn out to be false, we hope Nintendo takes this message to heart and alters its approach for the Wii U.
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