Nintendo hardware shipments, calendar 2009 Q1 or fiscal 2009 Q4: Things of Note


This quarter Wii surpassed SNES and became the second Nintendo home console to pass 50 million units shipped. About 11.5 million remain until it passes NES.

Very little movement in Japan this quarter.

At the end of 2008, Wii shipments were just below N64's final total in North America. With a quarter of over 3 million shipped, it's surpassed not only N64, but also SNES.

Wii long ago become the most successful Nintendo home console ever in Europe. This quarter still marks an interesting milestone, though, in that Wii has shipped more than NES and SNES combined. The previous four systems combined only come to 28.66 million. Wii has less than 10 million to go to pass that.

Though we are increasingly not near launch, there are still more Wiis available than any near-launch home console ever.

DS becomes the fourth gaming device to pass 100 million units shipped, if you count Game Boy and Game Boy Color together as does Nintendo. Current DS shipment numbers place it just below PS1.

Though neither DS nor Wii set an absolute worldwide shipping record for a January-February-March quarter this year, they were both among the best. Looking at the history of the top game machines around, here are the times when the first quarter of a calendar year went over 4 million. If GB/GBC or GBA ever had such a quarter we can't tell due to lack of quarterly shipment reports at their peaks, but making guesstimates based on their yearly or half-yearly numbers I doubt either would make this list.

PS2 2005: 6.08 M
DS 2008: 5.81 M
DS 2009: 5.56 M
Wii 2009: 5.43 M
DS 2007: 4.68 M
PS1 1998: 4.62 M
Wii 2008: 4.32 M
PS2 2001: 4.21 M

How about over the full fiscal year, though? In that case, DS and Wii did set records. As far as I can see, DS just had the best year for a portable system and Wii had the best year for a home console. Here are all years I know of over 20 million. Note that here 2009 indicates the year of April 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009.

DS  2009: 31.18 M
DS 2008: 30.31 M
Wii 2009: 25.94 M
DS 2007: 23.56 M
PS2 2003: 22.52 M
PS2 2004: 20.10 M
PS1 1999: 21.60 M

If you want to check out old shipment information for yourself, I recommend trying out the Garaph shipment line graph and shipment bar graph tools.


1 comment:

Crawford said...

One thing is clear, the Wii will never sell as many units in Japan as the PS2 did. Not even close.
Right now, the Wii is behind the PS2 by approx 13 million units. Way I see it, with Wii weekly sales being as low as they are this year, the Wii will be lucky to sell 2 million units a year in the next 4 years. I'd make it an average 1.5 million a year in the next 4 years, bringing total will sales to 14 million units by the end of 2012(still 7 million behind the PS2, even if the PS2 doesn't sell even a single unit from today on), by which time we'd already have had the next gen consoles.
As far as the US is concerned, the days of monthly Wii sales of over 700,000 in non-holiday mohths is gone for good. Wii weekly sales dropped sharply from 188,000 per week in Februray, to only 120,000 per week in March, a fall of close to 40%. And this time, the fanboys can't claim it was because of shortages either. It was a clear case of a pretty sharp reduction in demand.
Already, March Wii salres were down 17% from last year. I expect April 2009 sales to be down even bigger from 2008 levels.

I think that by August, the Wii will be lucky to be selling 400,000 a month in monthly NPD. For the whole of 2009, I expect Wii US sales to end up lower than for 2008, as monthly year on year sales comparisons continues to be negative for most of most months in the rest of this year.

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