The Nintendo Wii has reached the same milestone achieved by the PlayStation 2, in North America, and PlayStation Portable: 50 million units shipped. Not bad going for a console that has been out for six and two years less than the PS2 and PSP respectively.
It's a noteworthy achievement for Nintendo, especially considering that but a couple of years ago many of us were mocking the Wii's name and lacklustre performance versus the PS3 and Xbox 360. The growing mainstream acceptance of video games is a contributor to the Wiis success, according to President and CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, who commented: "It's a cliche but it's not just the 18-year-old kid, it's the mom on the train, it's the high-school girl after she's done with her homework, everyone plays games."
According to Nintendo, 20 per cent of Wii owners haven't bought a console before. It's hard to deny that the Wii has done much to encourage the growth of 'casual' gaming.
The major reason Iwata thinks the Wii is so successful, though, is the games offered on the console with more third party games sold for Nintendo hardware than anyone else's. As Iwata says: "one rule always remains the same: Software sells hardware."