Wii sales dipped Thanksgiving week

Nintendo reports 550,000 consoles sold in US during important November 22-28 window; DS Lite, DSi set new handheld record with combined 1-million-unit haul.

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Though two years out from launch, Nintendo's Wii remained in high demand during the 2008 holiday shopping season. For the high-volume Thanksgiving week last year, the console shifted some 800,000 units in the US, more than double its tally during the same period in 2007. However, indicative of Nintendo's yearlong struggle to stimulate flagging interest in the Wii, this year's Thanksgiving week sales performance came up notably short.

Wii sales are thus far running cold this holiday.
Wii sales are thus far running cold this holiday.

Nintendo today said that it sold 550,000 Wiis in the US during the November 22-28 period, according to the publisher's internal estimates. Console travails aside, Nintendo said that DS Lite and DSi sales were very strong during the same period, as the handhelds combined to sell more than 1 million units. The publisher noted that the DS's combined one-week tally surpassed the high-water mark set by the Game Boy Advance during Thanksgiving week in 2002.

Putting those numbers into perspective, Nintendo said that it sold more than 150 systems every minute on a continual basis in the US during the week. Said another way, the publisher shifted more than 2.5 machines every second during the same period of time.

In late September, Nintendo enacted its first price cut for the Wii since the console launched in the US in November 2006, knocking the price down $50 to $199.99. Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle today, Nintendo of America EVP of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway said that console sales were up 85 percent on a weekly basis since the price cut went into effect.

After falling behind the PlayStation 3 in September, Nintendo regained the top slot in the monthly console sales chart for October. According to the NPD Group's monthly report, the newly $199 system sold 506,900 units during the approximately 30-day window. The sales performance outpaced Sony's and Microsoft's consoles, which sold a respective 320,600 and 249,700 units in the US during the same period.

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