As the smoke of battle clears, it appears that the Xbox 360 and not the Nintendo Wii will emerge victorious in this round of the console wars.
Remember back in 2008, when news that the Xbox 360 had sold ten million units was pooh-poohed by analysts? Or in 2009, when it was predicted that even in a highly unlikely "worst-case scenario," the Wii had built up far too much of a lead for the 360 or the PlayStation 3 to even think about catching it?
Welcome to 2013, kids.
Somewhere out there a fat lady is warming up, but she won't be singing odes to Nintendo when the curtain rises. Instead, according to DFC Intelligence, the Xbox 360 is the Scipio Consolus of this generation, finally bringing the once-unbeatable Wii to heel. The company said that by 2017, Microsoft will have sold 46.1 million Xbox 360 consoles, while the Wii is expected to hit 42.1 million units. The PlayStation 3 is predicted to come in a distant third, with 33.5 million units sold.
"Shockingly it was in the later years of its life that the Xbox 360 really took off," it said. "The success of Microsoft and the Xbox 360 during the past two years highlights a radical changing of the guard in the game industry."
DFC also pointed out that Nintendo is in a "major downward cycle" and that despite plenty of positive-sounding "spin," the Wii U hasn't done much to reverse its fortunes. "The reality is that many Wii U systems were sitting unsold on shelves at year end," it continued. "Consumers love games more than ever but a new order of game providers is resulting in market shifts that are proving painful for Nintendo and other established game companies."