Nintendo outdo Sony in game revenue

El Segundo (CA) – The success of the Wii shows its impact on the video game market : Market research firm iSuppli believes that Nintendo game sales in the third quarter kept increasing at a record pace and passed the mighty Sony.

While video game sales for the DS have been outpacing sales for competing platforms consistently, Wii software sales have been approached half a billion dollars in the third quarter ($461.8 million). Combined with DS sales of $777.7 million, game sales for the two Nintendo platforms came in at $1.24 billion in Q3, ahead of the $1.0 billion that is estimated to have been generated by Sony’s PS3, PS2 and PSP as well as the $317.8 million by the Xbox and Xbox 360.

Wii software sales were up from 295.5 million in Q2, $250.4 million in Q1 and $353.5 million in Q4 2006. iSuppli estimates that Wii software sales will slightly exceed $1.0 billion in the Christmas quarter. Total Nintendo video game sales are estimated to come in at $2.15 billion in Q4 2007 and $2.37 billion in Q4 2008.

“Nintendo is likely to maintain its lead in this area, as it expects by the end of 2007 to ship about 200 additional titles, adding to the more than 150 games already released, many from outside publishers,” said David Carnevale, vice president of multimedia content and distribution at iSuppli, in a prepared statement. “Company software sales should be further boosted by the addition of a new flagship title for the Wii, dubbed Wii Fit, which encourages players to engage in full-body exercises using Wii Balance Boards, performing activities including yoga, push-ups, aerobics and stretching.”

Carnevale also expects the DS to keep on ticking, with its software revenue reaching $1.2 billion by the fourth quarter of 2008, rising at an average growth rate of 12.6% from $333.2 million in the first quarter of 2006.

The analyst believes that especially the Wii’s mass market appeal is what makes the platform successful. In contrast, both the Xbox 360 and PS3 have a more limited reach, as the Microsoft platform is aimed at more serious gamers, with cutting-edge titles like Halo 3. The complaint about the PS3 remains its high price, which, according to iSuppli, is driving game developers away from Sony. “Because Sony was slow to reduce the price of the PlayStation 3 and to produce compelling games, third- party game publishers are flocking to other platforms. If the PlayStation 3 can’t promote more game sales, developers may begin to feel working with Nintendo outweighs the benefits of working with Sony,” iSuppli wrote in its press release.