Wii Sales Pass 7 Million Units in Japan

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As the second anniversary of the launch of Nintendo's Wii approaches sales of the console have passed the 7 million mark, according to figures released on Wednesday.

Total sales of the console stood at 7,024,239 units as of Sunday, said Enterbrain, a gaming publisher and market data provider.

The Wii was launched on Dec. 2, 2006, and was the final player to enter the latest round of the game console battle. Sony's PlayStation 3 launched in early November and Microsoft's Xbox 360 had been available since 2005.

At the time many wondered if the Wii would do well because it lacked the high-definition gaming offered by its competitors and because Nintendo had put more of a focus on casual gamers, rather than the core gamers being targeted by Microsoft and Sony. As it turned out, the focus on casual gamers has been one of the things that propelled its sales along with the innovative motion-sensing controllers.

Nintendo's handheld gaming device, the DS, is also doing well in Japan and on Nov. 16 sales passed the 24 million unit mark, Enterbrain said. Sales have been helped in the last few weeks by the launch of the DSi, a restyled version of the device, and both the Wii and DS are being propelled by popular content.

For the week of Nov. 17 to 23, Nintendo took the top two positions in Japan's game software chart.

"Animal Crossing," which debuted on Nov. 20, sold 303,204 copies in its first four days in shops while "Chrono Trigger" for the DS sold 276,049 copies, said Enterbrain. The third placed title was "Mobile Suit Gundam, Gundam vs Gundam" for the PlayStation Portable, which sold 240,594 copies in its first four days on sale.

Enterbrain publishes local gaming magazine Famitsu and its sales estimates, which are based on point-of-sales system data from 3,500 retailers of computer game software and hardware, are generally regarded in the gaming industry as reliable.

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