In announcing the sales milestone, Don Mattrick, Microsoft's senior vice president of interactive entertainment, claimed the mark represented a major and possibly decisive blow in the console wars. "This year will be the largest in the history of the videogame industry, with Xbox 360 leading the charge in the US and abroad," he said. "History has shown us that the first company to reach ten million in console sales wins the generation battle."
But several analysts quoted by Next-Gen weren't quite as excited over the news, saying the competition between consoles is far from over. "We do not expect Sony or Nintendo will announce defeat this week, in the drama wake caused from Xbox 360 domestic unit sales crossing an arbitrary line in the sand," said Mike Hickey of Janco Partners.
"It's unclear to us if Microsoft considers the Wii console from Nintendo to be a competitive product, but we expect the Wii's installed base will likely eclipse the Xbox 360's installed base in CY08, and eventually win the console war by a wide margin," he said. Hickey added that if Nintendo had been able to meet consumer demand for the Wii, he had "no doubt" the system would have beaten the Xbox 360 to the ten million mark in the U.S.
"I guess getting to ten million units first is one of the benefits of launching a year before your competition," said Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian, who agreed with Hickey that the Wii would pull ahead of the Xbox 360. "Based on unit sell-through trends, it would appear that the Wii is positioned to surpass the 360 installed base down the road."
Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan added his voice to the chorus, saying simply, "Nintendo will pass them this month."