by Jacob Mazel
As of the week ending December 11, 2010 Nintendo has sold over 80m Wiis worldwide. Over the history of video games, only five other systems have topped 80 million units lifetime. Nintendo has sold over 140m DS systems (see coming article!), and shipped over 118m Game Boys, and 81m Game Boy Advance systems. Sony has shipped over 145m PS2 systems and over 102m PS1s. The next system to join the 80 million club could be PSP, but with shipment totals for PSP only now approaching 70m, as 3DS and PSP approach, that figure is not assured. PS3 and X360, if they were ever to reach 80m - and this is also somewhat doubtful in both cases - would need at least two more years to reach the figure.
Wii has reached 80 million units worldwide pretty quickly. Figures below are time in each market needed to pass 80m units worldwide for each system.
America / Wks: 38.11m / 211
EMEAA / Wks: 31.41m / 209
Japan / Wks: 11.01m / 210
America / Wks: 31.32m / 221
EMEAA / Wks: 30.66m / 217
Japan / Wks: 18.06m / 255
America / Wks: 26.25m / 201
EMEAA / Wks: 30.13m / 186
Japan / Wks: 23.63m / 200
Roughly speaking, Wii is the fastest selling video game system in the history of the USA and by extension, Americas market. However, it is a bit slower than DS in EMEAA, and at a far slow pace than DS was in Japan. If both launched worldwide in the same week Wii would have topped 80m in week 209, while DS probably would have topped 80m in week 195 or so. In the Americas, PS2 is about a year behind Wii (closer to two years in the USA, less in Canada and Latin America), slightly behind in EMEAA (particularly in Europe) and almost exactly between the DS and Wii Japanese pace, if you divide sales by weeks. If PS2 launched worldwide in the same week, the system likely would have topped 80m in about 225 weeks and so Wii is between the DS and PS2 paces lifetime to date.
Going forward, Wii should top 100m units relatively quickly. Sales for Wii on a yearly basis are still very strong, particularly for a system as old as it is. By the end of 2010 Wii wii be ahead of Game Boy Advance, and nearing the PS1. If Nintendo meets its fiscal year projection, Wii shipments will be over 88m by March 2011 which means Wii shipments will top 100m sometime toward the end of the March 2012 fiscal year, as Wii has only declined about 15-20% per year since its peak. With price drops and at least some ongoing support from publishers like Ubisoft who continue to do banner business on the system, Wii should rise to figures above 110m sometime during late 2012, almost from momentum alone. Where it goes from there depends on the next round of machines, pricing, and third party support. Once Wii gets above 102.5m units, it will only trail DS, PS2, and GB amongst all consoles released to date. While the DS lifetime figure is going to be unassailable at 175m or more, the GB figure should easily be passed, and there is still a slim (less than 5%) possiblility Wii catches PS2 before all is said and done given its super pace in the USA market has kept Wii ahead of PS2 worldwide through 80m units.
"I think that the Wii is a beautiful piece of hardware, and a broken Wii is a tragedy. It doesn’t matter why or how." -- Bushing