The Wii will be the world's most common video games console by the end of this year, one analyst has predicted.
Nintendo sold an estimated 375,000 Wii consoles in January, compared to sales of 269,000 PS3s and 230,000 Xbox 360s, according to the latest data from research firm NPD.
Nintendo also came out ahead on handheld games consoles, recording 251,000 Nintendo DS sales, compared to 230,000 for Sony's PlayStation Portable.
Video games sales were actually weaker than the same month one year ago, the NPD report found.
"Given the huge number of hardware systems sold in December, inventory shortages could be the biggest contributor to the softer-than-expected sales," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.
Separate research from iSuppli suggests that 30.2 million Wii consoles will be in homes around the world at the end of 2008.
However, iSuppli research analyst Pam Tufegdzic forecast that the PS3 could regain the overall sales lead by 2011.
Global games console sales will continue to increase up until 2010 as vendors prepare next-generation consoles, according to Evan Wilson, a senior research analyst at Pacific Crest Securities.
"We believe that peak industry sales will occur in 2010 when Microsoft is likely to introduce its next console," he said. "Nintendo will likely launch before then, and 2010 is also likely to coincide with the end of the DS and PSP cycles."
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