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Games Industry Sees 12 Billion in Sales For 2006 181

Posted by Zonk
from the that-is-a-lot-of-gil dept.
Gamespot is reporting that, with the NPD numbers in, we can finally put the debate about last year's winners and losers to rest. Overall, the industry was the winner, with a record-breaking $12.5 Billion in sales last year. December accounted for almost $4 Billion all by itself. In software, the usual suspects prevailed. Madden topped the chart with 2.8 Million in sales for the PS2 version of Madden 07. Right behind was New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, with some 2 Million in sales of its own. On the console side of things ... well, as Kotaku points out 'everyone is a winner' this year. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all put out press releases declaring themselves the winner of the Holiday console wars. The sad reality, though, is there can be only one. According to the NPD numbers, between the launch of the new consoles and the end of the year, some 1.1 Million Nintendo Wiis were sold with 687,300 PS3s following closely behind. Microsoft trails with its numbers from 2005; it sold 607,000 consoles in its launch year. Don't feel too bad for Microsoft, though. They sold 1.1 Million 360s in December. The article points out this means Microsoft met its '10 Million in sales' goal for the end of 2006.
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Games Industry Sees 12 Billion in Sales For 2006

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  • Price (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:16AM (#17573494)
    Riley also thought the PS3's high price--$499 for the 20GB model, $599 for the 60GB--wasn't as large a factor as many have made it out to be. "I think price plays a role there, but remember during the holiday season people have deep pockets," he said. "Kids know what they want, and if they tell mom to go buy a PS3 and she comes home with a Wii, they won't be happy."

    Honestly, when it comes to console sales I don't think price has that much of an impact on early adopters because it is a planned purchase; something which is budgeted for and anticipated months in advance. Where price becomes a factor is that most console purchases are not planned and happen when one or two popular games are sold; when someone watches an advertisement on TV and goes out to buy a PS3 with Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy they will (mostly) be anticipating a price of $300 or $400 for the system and game combined.

    • Re:Price (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Thansal (999464) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:24AM (#17573638)
      hmmm, I dono. I am willing to bet the price was a factor for parents figguring out if Little Timmy (after all, we Know little timmy isn't that smart, after the incedent with H2SO4, and probably can't get the cash together to buy himself one, or the fact that he is under 16 YoA) gets a PS3 for XMass or not.

      True, to hardcore gamers price possibly isn't AS big a deal, but even there I am betting a number of people that would have picked up the PS3 (despite the lackluster showing of games) are waiting it out for better games and a pricedrop (where in over cases people would have been willing to pick it up and then wait for the games).

      Oh, and with the 360's showin in December, it looks like the race is going to be between MS and Nintendo.
    • I disagree. Many of my coworkers own PS2 and were fairly interested when I mentioned that the PS3 was coming out. Out of the 10 or so that I talked to, zero went looking for one after I mentioned that it was $500-600. I believe over half of these people purchased the PS2 on or near launch. I would say that price makes a HUGE difference to the average consumer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      Yeah price isn't a big deal for that tiny fraction of people who can be called early adopters. People buying consoles as Christmas gifts for their families do not fit that mold -- again except for a tiny fraction. And they do often budget and plan for Christmas months in advance, but that does not mean that they can afford to budget $600 -- they're budgeting because they have limited funds. A lot of people doing this will plan to buy a cheaper console because $600 is too much.

      And as far as the quote abou
      • The money is there, all Sony has to do is convince them to part with it. They sold a whole lot of units despite being $250 to $350 more expensive than the Wii. They did that by convincing customers that their product was very good, but also by convincing them that $500 to $600 was the "going rate" for a "really good" gaming console.

        Moms don't think twice about paying $800 or more for a sofa, because that's what sofas cost. If Sony can convince even a relatively small number of them that there's nothing w
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Honestly, when it comes to console sales I don't think price has that much of an impact on early adopters because it is a planned purchase

      As the quote indicates, people are willing to go into debt for the holidays. You can expect sales of the PS3 and to a lesser extent the Xbox 360 to fall off more sharply on a month-to-month basis than the Wii, although the sales of the Wii will of course be less than they were in December as well. Still, the Wii has the lowest price so when consumers come out of their Ho

  • It's all relative? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antialias02 (997199) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:19AM (#17573522)
    I'm still scratching my head as to how 687,000 is "closely behind" 1.1 Million. (400,000 consoles is nothing to shake a stick at.)
    • by Otter (3800)
      I think the point is that relative to 10 million 360's, it's close. (Or maybe it's closely behind in dollar sales, not in units.)
    • by Jesterboy (106813)
      Just another one of Zonk's oddly worded summaries; 687k is how much the Xbox 360 sold in December 2005, at which point it was available in North America, Europe, and Japan. I think Zonk is trying to compare launch performance; the 360 launched during November in North America, and was followed closely with Europe and Japan launches in December, whereas the Wii had a simultaneous launch (I think...) in the beginning of December.

      For the December 2006, Microsoft sold 1.1 million Xbox 360 consoles, following a
      • by Jesterboy (106813)
        Oops, nevermind; 607k Xbox 360s were sold in 2005, 687k PS3s, so the OP was referring to PS3s... Obligatory foot is in mouth. ^_^

        I have to concur with the OP though; 400k consoles is not "close" at all.
  • by Thansal (999464)
    Well, it is always fun to see the sales numbers.

    I am VERY happy to see NSMB at number 2 (Hey, I am a nintendo fanboy, what can I say). I also am unsurprised (though still disapointed in the general public) to see Madden at #1.

    What I AM surprised about is to see the number of Z:TP copies sold for the NGC vs the number sold for the Wii. And if you add the 2 numbers together you end up with it dominating the december market, and coming into the top 10 for the year, and that is cause for much rejocing to me!
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      Sports games sell a LOT differently than other games. Sports gamers buy the game when it first comes out, and that's it. Buy-back prices suck because stores know they won't be able to resell the used game anyhow. Sports gamers just don't buy used games.

      Why?

      I'm not a sports gamer, but I imagine it's because they know in less than a year, the next version of the same game will be out and if you missed the launch of the game by 6 months, you can probably just wait 6 more for next year's better version and s
      • by Thansal (999464)
        I know, thus why I was not suprised. I am disapointed b/c the Madden games really do not evolve much between years. Yah, if you look at it over a 3 or 5 year delay then you get a decent evoloution (I think, as I stay away from them mostly, just catch a few screen shots when ever the new one is about to come out). So why do you have to buy the new one each friken year? Do you have to have the exact uptodate team rosters and player stats (hell, you can program those in with most of the newer ones)? Are th
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          "Are the pointless features that they add in just to get you to buy the game actualy good?"
          If you don't enjoy the games in the first place, why is it that you think you're a good judge of whether the additional content is enjoyable?
        • The reason is that to Sports Gamers the roster is a big feature.

          Technically oriented people, including me, have a hard time understanding this because we know enough about the mechanics of the games to know what is and isn't difficult developement. Aside from completely new faces, and removing retirees, the amount of work that goes into updating the rosters is trivial. We don't see something any of us could finish the majority of in at most a week as something worth $60.

          However, the common Sports Gamer does
          • by MaineCoon (12585)
            Just releasing a new roster would also mean large licensing fees, which are factored in. With the work in the roster, new player images, license fees... it adds up. At that point, throw some more features in and sell a new game. Rather than charge $15-25 for a simple 'roster update', charge $60 for a new game (keep in mind that stores get a good portion of that fee). Players will pick the enhancements+roster for $50 to $60 over a roster update for a third as much.

            It's only abuse if they feel abused or h
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      I am VERY happy to see NSMB at number 2 (Hey, I am a nintendo fanboy, what can I say). I also am unsurprised (though still disapointed in the general public) to see Madden at #1.

      Heh, I don't care since I don't own a DS, but you never know I may get one. Anyway, nothing wrong with Madden, especially if you don't already own a football game. I found it interesting that my friend, who isn't a gamer and is not into football at all, seemed quite interested in Madden after seeing it at a friends house. Persona
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "What I AM surprised about is to see the number of Z:TP copies sold for the NGC vs the number sold for the Wii."

      People could find something to play the GCN version on. Sales of the Wii version were limited by the number of Wiis available to play it. Personally, I got the GCN version as soon as it came out rather than deal with the insanity of trying to get a Wii before Christmas (which fell into my lap on Wednesday).

      Besides, there's also the "Link is a lefty and anything else is heresy!" camp.
  • Gears of War sales? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Itchyeyes (908311) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:19AM (#17573536) Homepage

    Madden topped the chart with 2.8 Million in sales for the PS2 version of Madden 07. Right behind was New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, with some 2 Million in sales of its own
    Where does Gears of War fit into this? The statistics I've read said it had sold 2.7 million copies as of Jan 2nd. Unless Gears sold over 700,000 copies in the first two days of the year, it would appear that these statistics are at least somewhat off.
    • by jonnythan (79727) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:30AM (#17573760) Homepage
      Raw #s:

      http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13769 3 [neogaf.com]

      Bottom line is that Gears of War was the best selling game of December, at 815,000 copies. It was #3 for the year with 1.8 million sales (following Madden 07 for the PS2 @ 2.8 million and New Super Mario Bros for the DS at 2 million).

      It was #5 for all titles in December (the "All Titles" category lumps all versions of a single game together.. for instance, Madden 07 sales include sales on the PS2, PS3, 360, XBox, etc).
    • It was the top seller in Dec apparently with 815.7 K sales and 1.8 M sales since its release in Nov.
  • Analyst concerns (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:21AM (#17573562) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    Analysts were also skeptical, with some believing that the Wii sold more than NPD reported. "I don't understand how US Wii sell-through could be 1.1 million cumulatively, with Nintendo saying that they shipped half of their 4 million here and zero inventory on retail shelves at year end," said Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter. "Where are the other 900,000 units? I assume 200,000 are in transit, but this number makes no sense to me at all."

    If the 1.1 million figure was just December, then it would make more sense. But 1.1 million since launch? That seems incredibly low no matter which way you cut it.

    (Of course, that probably means that the PS3 and Xbox360 numbers are low as well.)
    • by Cheapy (809643)
      According to the raw data in a link above, microsoft actually had the best showing of the three.
    • by miro f (944325)
      they said they were shipping 4 million consoles, with about half to go to North America.

      1.1 million sold in USA alone tells me that they probably didn't meet their 4 million target, but I don't think they would have been pretty close
  • Uh... ok I'll try not to.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:22AM (#17573568) Homepage
    The XBox 360 is a much, much better system already than the XBox ever was in terms of game library. Gears of War, 99 Nights, Quake 4, Enchanted Arms, Phantasy Star Online, Dead Rising and with games like Halo 3 and Lost Planet on the horizon for 2007, Sony faces a much tougher challenge. If Microsoft has already hit 10,000,000 units sold and is still climbing, as I suspect they are, it's probably only a matter of time before Square-Enix gets antsy and starts to think about Final Fantasy 13 and other games appearing on the XBox 360 and Wii.

    I would expect 2007 to be the year that Sony finally gets its ass handed to it by Microsoft and Nintendo starts to return to its old status as a force unto itself in game production.
    • I bought an X360 initially for Oblivion, and wound up also buying my first FPS (Prey) in many years, but I'm still a big RPG/platformer head. The outlook for RPGs on the X360 is really quite good. More than a few of us RPG fans would like to see the FF series go cross platform. If Blue Dragon, with its FF based pedigree, does well on the X360, Square-Enix will have to factor that in. From what I have read Blue Dragon has single handedly sold a hefty number of X360s in *Japan*.
    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I would expect 2007 to be the year that Sony finally gets its ass handed to it by Microsoft and Nintendo starts to return to its old status as a force unto itself in game production.

      You want to see a force unto itself? Take a look at the Japanese software sales for the first week off 2007! [gamesarefun.com] Nintendo has 10 our of the top 10 titles, 18 out of the top 20, and 24 out of the top 30. If you look at titles actually published by Nintendo itself it's 9/10, 15/20, and 20/30. The only bad news for Nintendo there is

      • That is really crazy.

        You have to go down 15 titles before you find one for a non-Nintendo system. Many of those games in the Top 10 have been out for months! Animal Crossing has been out over a year and it hit #7! Brain Training is halfway into its second year and still hit #15!

        I'm simply stunned. From the get go I thought Nintendo knew what they were doing. I was certain they would do well, but I don't think I ever imagined this kind of success.

        Simply wow.
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "it's probably only a matter of time before Square-Enix gets antsy and starts to think about Final Fantasy 13 and other games appearing on the XBox 360 and Wii."

      360, sure. But Final Fantasy has always been a showboat of pushing graphics and sound, which isn't the direction Wii is going. And with their focus continuing to be on Japan, the only thing that would make S-E shift FF from the PS3 to the 360 is if the 360 actually overtakes the PS3 in Japan.

      DQX on the Wii? I'd put money on it. KH3? Maybe. But
      • ... Final Fantasy has always been a showboat of pushing graphics and sound, which isn't the direction Wii is going.

        Nope. So far no version (including Kingdom Hearts) supports progressive scan, nor do many support even Dolby Prologic II. Pushing graphics and sound (despite looking pretty with great music) was never a priority. If it was last gen they would have done what Techmo did and supported the X-Box exclusively.

    • The XBox 360 is a much, much better system already than the XBox ever was in terms of game library. Gears of War, 99 Nights, Quake 4, Enchanted Arms, Phantasy Star Online, Dead Rising and with games like Halo 3 and Lost Planet on the horizon for 2007, Sony faces a much tougher challenge. If Microsoft has already hit 10,000,000 units sold and is still climbing, as I suspect they are, it's probably only a matter of time before Square-Enix gets antsy and starts to think about Final Fantasy 13 and other games a

  • Sounds like world of warcraft got boring in 2006?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    retailers. For instance, amazon.com it seems got screwed when it came to its wii allotment. I can't find one online retailer that is selling either the wii or ps3 at retail(the ones above retail are "used" for instance on amazon). It seems like both Sony and Nintendo passed them up to go with brick and mortar stores.
    • I don't know about PS3s since I see them in stores everywhere but...

      I can't detect any unfairness in allocation of Wii consoles since they are equally hard to find at brick and mortar stores as they are hard to find online. I'd been trying to find a Wii console since mid-December and finally got one locally at Circuit City only because I used http://www.itrackr.com/ [itrackr.com] to notify me when some arrived (they were sold out again in less than 2 hours; probably less than 10 units).
    • Here yah go [circuitcity.com]

      PS3 for $599.99

      ATM no one seems to have the Wii instock (a few places had them as late as yesterday, but only game bundles).

      If you are tryign to track down systems then:
      buy wii, from techbargains [techbargains.com]
      buy PS3, from techbargains [techbargains.com]
      Wii Tracker [wiitracker.com]
      PS3 Finder [ps3finder.com] (same people as wii tracker)

      enjoy.
      • Circuit City had Wiis in stock this morning briefly online. They also had them in store, the one nearest me was showing as available for about an hour.
    • I can't find one online retailer that is selling either the wii or ps3 at retail
      that's because you blinked, Amazon sold out of their first allotment in like 15 seconds? online retailers made out like bandits, it wasn't brick-and-mortar stores that were requiring buyers to pay for huge bundles to get the console (huge bundles = guaranteed sales on games, mandatory purchase of marked up nintendo-branded memory cards, console replacement plans)
  • by RichPowers (998637) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:26AM (#17573680)
    The PlayStation 2 sold 1.4 million units in December. The PS2 has a great library of games (many of them discounted) and there are still plenty of new releases to look forward to (Rogue Galaxy comes to mind). The Interweb is full of all these geek debates about PS3 vs. Wii (and they are fun, don't get me wrong), but the PS2's success is do, in part, to its vast game selection. That, IMHO, will always be more important than tech specs. Hopefully, though, the new consoles will have a more robust game selection in the coming months.
  • by Hays (409837) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:44AM (#17574026)
    World of Warcraft has 8million players. If they all pay 15 dollars a month (and I don't know that they do, because I don't know the fees in other countries) then that's 1.44 Billion dollars.

    I'm not sure I see any PC games in the lists in the article, actually.
    • WoW has 8 million players true, but around half of them are in AsiaPac where the pricing model is completely different. We also don't know whether the 8 million figures are active subs or not. I personally have 2 accounts that have lapsed, do those count towards the 8 mill or not?
      • Meh didn't read the press release, they count only active subs. I'll be one of those reactivating my account soon with the release of BC. I guess those subs figures will surge a fair bit - availability of the expansion is going to be interesting.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jfodale (1032534)
        Even if only 2 million of those subscribers were paying the $15/month model, they are still making plenty of money to appear on this list somewhere. Does the "games industry" no longer include PC games?
        • by Hays (409837)
          Even if only 2 million of those subscribers were paying the $15/month model, they are still making plenty of money to appear on this list somewhere. Does the "games industry" no longer include PC games?

          Exactly what I was wondering. Pretty sad if true.
  • they've done a nice job on the X360. The online stuff is trouble free and the games have been good. I'm *still* mucking about with Oblivion. It's nice to finally have downloadable content for consoles.
  • A lot of people bought xb360 in December because there were no wii or ps3 systems to buy and they got ticked off and bought an xb360 just to get a nextgen console. Even today, there are no wii or ps3 systems in most places. And don't even think about buying accessories like a second wiimote.
  • Someone a little trigger happy on the topic selection? I'd rather not have icons over the first comment when I'm trying to read it. Where can I mod the topic as -1 Redundant?
  • The real race starts (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shirizaki (994008)
    Initial release is nothing but the adrenaline rush. It's now up to developers to make quality games that take proper advantage of the hardware and for the hardware people to keep up production quality.

    To that effect, if the Wii doesn't get unique games (instead of the same games on other systems with enhanced controlling schemes), the Wii might end up being the loser. Waving a remote might sound awesome for the next few months, but then people will realize that other games treat the Wii as a gimmick inst
    • by Thansal (999464)
      You hit so many perfect poins about what we have to watch for in the comming year(s).

      I fully am with you about On-Line being the real make/break for the systems this time around.

      MS has Live down pat, and if it wasn't for the charge (Even though $50 a year isn't THAT bad), I would very likely pick up a 360. They fixed up the system, they have live workign off the bat, they are courting developers and starting to get soem great lookign titles going (that was the killer on the xbox, no good games). They even
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Friday January 12, 2007 @11:57AM (#17574292)
    Don't feel too bad for Microsoft, though. They sold 1.1 Million 360s in December. The article points out this means Microsoft met its '10 Million in sales' goal for the end of 2006

    According to these NPD numbers [gamesarefun.com] Microsoft has sold a cumulative total of 4.5 million 360s in the US. So if they've hit 10 million they must have sold 5.5 million in the rest of the world. They've sold 200k in Japan [gamesarefun.com] so that would mean 5.3 million split between Europe, Australia and other smaller markets. I had the impression that the US was by far and away Microsoft's strongest market, is there some factor i'm not considering?

  • by jimbob666 (1050308) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:02PM (#17574356)
    2 Million New Super Mario Bros. sales on DS speaks volumes. Games don't need to be over complicated and cost $ millions to produce. Keep it simple yet very playable!
  • by Lisandro (799651) on Friday January 12, 2007 @12:16PM (#17574632)
    Sheeze, can we put this to rest already? It seems that, for the last couple of console generations, all that people care about is who won and who lost. Number of shipped consoles vs. sold ones, launch date numbers, millons invested in advertising, etc. Nevermind the endless drooling over polygons per seconds, CPUs, memory controllers and the works. People live and die by these numbers, claiming that company X is the winner of this generation while company Y is in the brink of bankruptcy.

    Come on guys. I can understand (barely) this kind of insaness from fanboy sites, but please, can we move forward? If you like consoles, why do you care beyond which one is more fun to play, or has more games that appeal to you? Do we really have to get into the pissing contest of which one sold an extra 10 units this month? I mean, is it relevant? Is it even interesting? If you like consoles, you have not one, nor two, but three excellent options to chose from, and that's it. I'd like to see more discussion about games rather than units shipped, Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD or whatever is trendy this week.
    • Maybe if you have $1300 lying around to spend on all three consoles, it doesn't matter to you which one wins. Those of us with a limited gaming budget are very much interested in which console will end up being super-popular and having a huge host of third-party titles to choose from, and which will rot on the shelves and consequently end up in the bargain bin next to the Dreamcasts in six months.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lisandro (799651)
        Which has nothing to do with units shipped, launch sales, hardware specs and assorted crap. If you want to know which console will be "super popular", wait until the next-next gen consoles are released and pick the one that did the best in the previous one for $50. That's the only sure way.
        • Very true, that is the best way to get the most popular console. For those that want to get a good idea of which will carry the most games, the listed information is important. It's not important to you or I, but it is to them. Personally, I'd like to see an interview with Bethesda to find out where the hell Fallout 3 is!
    • by JFMulder (59706)
      People need to see these numbers because seeing that a huge portion of the market bought into the same thing as them makes them feel safe about their purchase.

      I bought a 360 and I'm happy to see Microsoft have a huge lead on Sony right now becaus this means that over time Japanese are going to develop more for the 360 and I'll be able to have nice japanese RPGs or 'Ninja Gaiden's next to the 'Gears Of War's, 'Halo's and 'Elder Scroll's made by the rest of the world.
    • by xenocide2 (231786)
      Just a theory, but perhaps fanboys recognize that a console is a long term investment, and that developers follow the money.

      Following from this, they're also interested to hear how well their investment is doing, and how likely unanticipated games are to arrive in the future. Examples: nobody would have suspected RE4 would have been released on the gamecube, but not only was it, but it was also an exclusive for something like 8 months. Another one is the repeated rumor of MGS4 being moved from ps3 to 360.
  • Another system that sold just over 10 million units... Sega Dreamcast. So 10 million hardly makes you a winner. Sony's numbers are artificially inflated by the ebay factor. Yes they sold the systems, but they also were not all sold to end users. Sony is not doing as well as it would like you to believe, and people generally aren't going to warm up to spending $600 for a console once the "wow it's new" factor is gone. X360 has the best base, and Nintendo is doing quite well. It's safe to say businessw
  • Instead of looking at the total numbers since launch, looking at the monthly numbers is a lot more illuminating. In November, the Wii sold 475K units, while in December it sold 600K. Keeping in mind the Wii was released in the middle of November, this represents a 40% decrease in the sales rate, while the PS3 actually had an increase of about 50%. If this sort of thing keeps up, it could be a major blow to the Wii regardless of whether or not the negative sales growth is due to lowered demand.

    The exact n
    • a couple of things of note

      1) Remember that the US was the last launch that the PS3 made, they only had to supply US and Japan. After the US launch, Nintendo had to maintain a launch in Japan, Europe, US, Australia etc. That's most likely why the production numbers didn't ramp up as much. Of course, you people in USA probably would prefer that they kept them there to deal with the demand, but speaking as an Aussie with a Wii and no PS3, it definitely makes a difference here

      2) everyone says that the current b
  • I love Sony, and I think the PS3 is awesome. I'll definitely buy one when I can muster up 600 washingtons. There's just one thing I've noticed from listening to my friends and people on forums.

    A $600 system can never have a "system seller" game.

    This is not to say the system won't sell, but $600, as mentioned many times before, just isn't an impulse buy. Even the Xbox 360 at $400 for the premium version is a difficult "walk in and buy for Gears of War" system. One game just isn't enough.

    The Wii, at $250,

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