I believe everyone with an interest in video games will remember the last generation of video game consoles, with Sony's PS2 commanding the field, the Xbox coming in second, and Nintendo's Gamecube coming in a soft third. Things were looking bad for Nintendo.
What a difference a generation makes. The fiscal year 2008 ended in March, and now Nintendo has sold as many home console units in that period as Microsoft and Sony combined. This number could have even been greater if the manufacturing had not failed to keep up with the demand. Add to that the Nintendo DS portable and its clear lead in its category, and you can definitely say that this generation belongs to Nintendo with 18.5 million units sold. The biggest loser is Sony, with its PS3 on the bottom, but only by about half a million globally (9 million vs 9.5 million Xbox 360). The recent demise of HD-DVD could give the BlueRay player equipped PS3 a much needed boost, but only time will tell if lightning can strike twice for Sony (last generation the PS2, being a DVD player, got a much needed boost from the emerging DVD market). Things are looking up for it, though. Please note that these numbers are only for fiscal year 2008, with the total market weighing at roughly 24 million Wii, 20 million Xbox 360 and 12 million PS3 consoles.
The 3rd party sales (game titles) are weaker with the Wii, with the XBox 360 having a much higher title attachment rate. The Xbox 360 is enjoying a lot of developer support for that reason, and that built in market, along with the strength of Live's marketplace, may help to offset the BlueRay advantage the PS3 has for the upcoming fiscal year sales. At this point it really is anyone's game for second place, but the PS3 does have a lot of ground to make up for when it comes to total units in the market.
The Wii has managed to cross the void over to the casual gamer with its interactive controls, and this has opened up a bigger market than ever for home consoles (although it might prove that a lot of that new market segment may not buy many additional titles beyond the pack in games). I may be alone in this thought, but wouldn't it be grand if all of those seniors that are buying the Wii instead bought the Xbox 360 just to play Halo?
Aloha from the Beach,