Nintendo Wii sales eclipse 30 million in the US

Nintendo has sold more than 30 million Wii game console units in the U.S. market in just 45 months, making it the fastest-selling game console in history.  The Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 are steadily closing the sales gap, but still have a long way to go before they reach 30 million.

Since its launch in November 2006, the Wii has been in high demand and was frequently sold out in-stores and online.

Nintendo Wii sales eclipse 30 million in the US

Slowly but surely, supply and demand leveled out so that Wii consoles could be found online and also in retail stores.  The console launched with a $249.99 price tag and only recently received a price cut down to $199.99.

Wii Play, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Fit are the top three best-selling Wii games of all time, excluding Wii Sports, which ships bundled with the Wii.  Overall, the video game industry has been sluggish as of late, much of which is due to the Wii’s slowing sales.  Some gamers have complained about a relatively weak game catalog available for the Wii, which leads people to spend more time playing the Xbox 360 and PS3.

The Sony PlayStation 2 game console, which remained popular despite the launch of three new consoles, reached 30 million U.S. sold in 60 months.  Unlike the PS2, it’s doesn’t look like the current-generation Wii will be able to compete as the next generation of game consoles is released — but Nintendo still has plenty of time to market the Wii to “casual” gamers.

The Xbox 360 Kinect and PlayStation Move could help shake things up further, allowing for all three game consoles to use touch and motion-based control technologies.  It’s possible Nintendo plans to battle back by releasing a high-definition Wii 2 in 2011, which might include a Blu-ray drive.

Until we learn if a Wii 2 is imminent, Nintendo may have a hard time trying to keep up with the Xbox 360 and the PS3. It could be a rough 2010 holiday shopping season for Nintendo.