- See also NPD Seventh generation for United States sales figures
For home consoles, the seventh generation began on November 22, 2005 with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and continued with the release of Sony's PlayStation 3 on November 11, 2006 and Nintendo's Wii on November 19, 2006. Each new console introduces a new type of breakthrough technology. For example, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 offers high-definition graphics, while the Wii focuses on integrating controllers with movement sensors instead of joysticks and appealing to non-traditional gamers.
In the early days of the next-generation console wars, it was generally assumed that it would be a three-way race between the Xbox, the PS3 and the Wii. But because of the Wii's different strategy, Sony and Microsoft no longer compare their consoles' sales performances to that of Nintendo's.
The rationale seems to be that the Xbox and PS3 are completely different types of machines than the Wii, given the former's reliance on high-quality graphics and superior performance and the latter's focus on more casual games intended to appeal to a broad audience.
Whether that is semantics is a question neither Sony nor Microsoft seem eager to answer. In fact, both frequently make the point that Wii owners often also own either an Xbox or a PS3, if not both.
As of June 30, 2009 financial reports, the market share is Wii at 48.7%, Xbox 360 at 29.1% and the PlayStation 3 at 22.05%.
The Xbox 360 started off the seventh generation in November 2005. It quickly sold out and struggled with keeping up with demand for several months afterward. The console achieved solid sales in the United States and Europe, but like its predecessor, struggled in Japan. Despite being a Sony stronghold last generation, Microsoft managed to penetrate the European market successfully. The PS3 and Wii released in November 2006, though the PS3 delayed its European release until Spring 2007. Both consoles were a popular item for the 2006 holidays and sold out immediately. However, after initial hype died down the PS3 experienced .
Wii took the world by storm very quickly after its release. The console struggled to meet demand for many months after release around the world and it was only until 2009 that the U.S. had ample supply of the console. Wii managed to attract gamers in all major markets and overtook the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales on September 2007 and in the U.S. on July 2008. In 2009, Wii surpassed 50 million units sold.
Worldwide figures are based on data from the manufacturers. The Canada and the United States figures are based on data from the NPD Group, the Japan figures are based on data from Famitsu/Enterbrain, and the United Kingdom figures are based on data from GfK Chart-Track.
|Console||Units shipped to retailers (worldwide)
(as of June 30, 2009)
|Units sold in Europe
|Units sold in Canada
(as of August 1, 2008)
|Units sold in Japan
(as of April 2009)
|Units sold in the UK
(as of January 2009)
|Units sold in the US
(as of January 1, 2009)
|Units sold in France
(as of June 2008)
|Units sold in Australia and New Zealand
(as of July 2008)
|Units sold in Italy(as of Nov 2008)|
|Wii||52.62 million||14.2 million (January 2009)||1,060,000||7,929,249||4.9 million||17,521,000||1.8 million||456,000||799,500|
|Xbox 360||31.5 million||7 million (November 2008)||0870,000 870,000||1,007,580||3.2 million||13,857,400||0700,000 700,000||500,000 (January 2009)||623,500|
|PlayStation 3||23.8 million||5 million (May 2008)||0520,000 520,000||3,093,519||1.9 million||6,790,000||0800,000 800,000||285,000||704,500|
|Nintendo DS||107.75 million||31 million (January 2009)||26,326,074||8.8 million||27,514,500||2,920,500|
|PSP||~53.39 million||12 million (as of May 2008)||12,228,225||3.2 million||14,359,500||1,475,500|
PS2 NDS PSP 360 PS3 Wii 2000 3,748,200 2001 3,603,700 2002 3,652,800 2003 2,812,500 2004 2,750,800 1,095,900 339,900 2005 2,134,900 4,002,900 2,225,800 81,800 2006 1,547,900 8,862,900 1,946,900 208,700 466,700 989,100 2007 816,400 7,143,700 3,022,700 257,800 1,206,300 3,629,400 2008 480,700 4,029,800 3,543,200 317,900 991,300 2,908,300 Total 21,547,900 25,135,200 11,078,500 866,200 2,664,300 7,526,800
Video games in the seventh generation took a different turn. With the high popularity of the Wii coupled with its low development cost, developers put out games that focused on reaching other demographics. Cooking games, fitness games like Wii Fit, and other games with a more casual focus were very popular. Party/minigame compilations were produced by many small-time developers with stunning success. Because of the low graphical power of the Wii (and many consumers who did not care much for graphics), the Wii was a target for shovelware games. Many games looked inferior to Gamecube games. Others chose the largely risk-free approach of simply porting PS2/Gamecube games to the Wii as a cheap yet effective cash-in. Much debate centered around whether Wii was a viable platform for core games. Many developers chose not to downport their games to the Wii for this reason and the console war, in regards to gaming, became a battle between Wii vs the HD consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360). Though Nintendo found great success on their system, third party games struggled in the marketplace, another reason why some developers stayed away from the Wii.
The increasing developer costs and close HD console race led many to consider releasing their games on multiple platforms. The first surprises were Grand Theft Auto going multi-platform and Square-Enix announcing at E3 2008 that Final Fantasy XIII would release on the Xbox 360 alongside the PS3 in the U.S. Even so, exclusive games were critical factors in gamers minds. First party efforts by Microsoft included a new Halo game, a new successful IP in Gears of War, and the Xbox Live infrastructure. As a result, Microsoft had a very strong tie ratio. PS3 saw success in new iterations of Metal Gear Solid, Killzone, and Gran Turismo and new IPs in Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet. PS3 pushed the graphical barrier to new heights. Of special note was Killzone 2 and Heavy Rain.
Rhythm games became very popular with Guitar Hero and later Rock Band achieving record-breaking sales and revenues despite their higher price points. With the increase in online gaming, first person shooters, especially war-based, became very popular. The Call of Duty franchise exploded in popularity and sold comparably to Grand Theft Auto and Halo games.
|Best selling games of the seventh generation (worldwide) (as of June 2008)|
|Grand Theft Auto IV (multiplatform)||10 million |
|Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3)||4 million |
|Halo 3 (360)||8.1 million (as of Jan 2008) |
|Wii Play (Wii)||16.15 million (as of Sept 2008)|
|Nintendogs (NDS)||20.03 million (as of Sept 2008)|
|Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP)||2.55 million (as of Sept 2008)|
Best selling games worldwide in 2008 (source)
|Platform||Video game||Total sales||US retail||Japan retail||UK retail|
|Wii||Mario Kart Wii||8.94||5.00||2.00||1.94|
|PS3/X360||Grand Theft Auto IV||7.29||5.18||0.25||1.85|
|Wii||Super Smash Bros. Brawl||6.32||4.17||1.75||0.40|
|PS3/X360||Call of Duty: World at War||5.89||4.46||0||1.43|
Best selling games in the United States
Since different dates are used, do not consider this an ordered list.
- Wii Sports (bundled)
- Wii Play - 10,480,000 (March 2009)
- Wii Fit - 6,490,000 (March 2009)
- Guitar Hero 3 - ~5.9 million (January 2009)
- Mario Kart Wii - 5,830,000
- Halo 3 - ~5.8 million (January 2009)
- Madden NFL '09 - 5.25 (January 2009)
- Grand Theft Auto IV - 5.18m (January 2009)
- Call of Duty: World at War - 4.63m (January 2009)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 4.17m (January 2009)
- Assassin's Creed - ~3.5 million (January 2009)
- Rock Band - 3.2 million (January 2009)
- Call of Duty 4 - 3.04m (January 2008)
- Guitar Hero: World Tour - ~3 million (January 2009)
Best selling games in Japan (as of January 2009)
Best selling Nintendo DS games in Japan (source)
(As of April 2009)
- Pokémon Diamond / Pearl - 5,624,430
- New Super Mario Bros. - 5,406,786
- Animal Crossing: Wild World - 4,976,041
- Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day - 4,967,131
- Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day - 3,750,890
- Mario Kart DS - 3,355,781
- Pokémon Platinum - 2,361,196
- English Training: Have Fun Improving Your Skills - 2,051,037
- Nintendogs (Labrador, Dachshund, Chihuahua) - 1,850,984
- Mario Party DS - 1,832,265
- "First to 10 million wins." 
- Many ports from PS2 games to the Wii. Capcom alone ported Resident Evil 4, RE0, Okami, Dead Rising.
- "Red Ring of Death" for the Xbox 360
- Storage problems for the Wii for WiiWare, Virtual Console, and DLC
- Many memes such as "year of the PS3"
- Stock problems for Xbox 360 (half a year) and Wii (two years)
- See hardware sales table below
- Financial reports
- Neil Davidson (2008-08-26). Nintendo Wii surpasses mark of one million consoles sold in Canada. The Canadian Press. Yahoo!. Retrieved on 2008-09-08.
- Current-Gen Console Userbase Hits 22 Million In UK. Retrieved on 2009-01-03.
- Consolidated Financial Highlights 11. Nintendo.
- 31.5 million Xbox 360 consoles shipped.
- PlayStation 3 Worldwide Hardware Unit Sales.