NPD Group has reported a 93 percent increase in console hardware sales in Q1 2007 over Q1 2006, despite massive shortages of the popular Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS systems, which one analyst predicts could last through 2008.
Hardware sales in the first quarter of 2007 reached $1.3 billion, virtually doubling the $659 million sold in the first quarter of the previous year. Overall sales of hardware, software and accessories amounted to $3.3 billion, a 54 percent increase over the previous year.
Saying that 2007 is looking like an "up-cycle year," IDC videogame analyst Billy Pidgeon said, "There's good software movement, but hardware is stalled a bit by a short Wii supply and stagnant demand for 360 and PS3."
Commenting on the Wii's current strength in the market, he said, "I believe the Wii will continue strong growth although supply continues to be a problem. I'd like to see Wii hardware shipping in larger quantities, or mass market consumers may cool on it. Having said that, I don't believe supply will meet demand for the Wii until 2009."
Based on current NPD statistics, the Wii is the fastest-selling new console in over a decade, having put out more than a million systems in North America alone this year. However, Wii sales actually took a 22% tumble from February to March due to supply limitations.
Nintendo has also had tremendous success this year with the portable Nintendo DS system, selling nearly 1.25 million units over the same period. Between the Wii and the DS, Nintendo has sold more gaming systems to this point in 2007 than all other manufacturers combined.