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Nintendo Wii Continues To Outpace Microsoft, Sony Videogame Consoles

The company grabbed the largest share of $838.6 million in April videogame and hardware sales.

Nintendo led in videogame console shipments in April for the fourth consecutive month. The company moved nearly four times as many Wiis as Sony sold PlayStation 3s and more than twice as many as Microsoft did Xbox 360s, a market research firm said.

Total U.S. sales of videogames and hardware reached $838.6 million, a 20% increase from April 2006, according to numbers sent Friday from the NPD Group.

Nintendo shipped 360,000 units of the $250 console, which is popular with gamers because of its motion-sensing controller. By comparison, Sony shipped 82,000 units of the PlayStation 3, which starts at $500; and Microsoft shipped 174,000 Xbox 360s, which starts at $300.

The Xbox 360, which shipped a year earlier than the PlayStation 3 and the Wii, accounts for 59% of the installed base of new videogame consoles in the United States, with 5.4 million units sold since its release in November 2006. Microsoft recently launched a new version of the console with a larger hard drive. Over the last five months, Nintendo has sold 2.5 million Wiis, and Sony 1.3 million PS 3s.

Sony has fallen behind its own projections for PS 3 shipments. At the end of its fiscal year March 31, Sony shipped 5.5 million units, instead of the 6 million the company had been forecasting. The actual number of machines in stores, however, is only 3.6 million, with the remaining 1.9 million consoles either in warehouses or en route to retailers, The New York Times said. Sony has said it expects sales to increase with the release of new games this year.

The top videogames in April were Nintendo's new Pokemon games, which come in a Diamond and Pearl version. Together, Nintendo shipped 1.76 million games.

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