Xbox 360 poised to overtake Wii

Back in September 2010 Microsoft made the bold claim that "there’s been a mid-generation leadership change" in the hardware market. Now it looks like it might just have been right.

Speaking in an investor note, Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz has predicted that if current sales trends persist, Xbox 360 is poised to outsell the Nintendo Wii for the 12 months ending March 31st 2011.

Microsoft announced last night that it sold 535,000 consoles in the US last month – a record-breaking number for a non-holiday month.

It would be the first time the Wii have been trumped over an annual basis in the US since the machine launched.

This illustrates the significant shift that has gone on over the last year in the console space,” Creutz explained. The Wii was outselling the 360 and PS3 combined on a trailing 12 months basis as recently as January 2010, and was outselling the 360 alone by two-to-one in December 2009 and 1.5:1 in October 2010.

Over the last three years, total US Xbox 360/PS3/Wii hardware unit sales have remained relatively consistent in the 17-19m unit range (18.2m as of February), so this does represent a share shift as opposed to just a decline for the Wii.

We believe the significant shift in hardware sales towards HD consoles is a positive ongoing development for the US publishers, who earn the majority of their sales on the Xbox 360/PS3.”

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