Sony has sold a total of 18.7 million hardware units in the financial year ending March (including the PS4, PS3 and handheld devices) while Nintendo’s sales totalled 16.3 million – a fall of 31 per cent.
The shift in power is thanks to the strong performance of Sony’s PS4 (launched last November), weak sales of Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, and falling interested in its 2011 handheld device the 3DS.
So far the PS4 has sold 8.1 million units to the Wii U’s 6.3m, with the Xbox One (launched at the same time as the PS4) still lagging behind with sales of 4.5 million.
The Wii U has had a recent boost thanks to the strong performance of Mario Kart 8 (the Nintendo exclusive has sold more than 1.1 million copies globally and created a 666 per cent increase in weekly Wii U sales in the UK), but this hasn’t been enough to turn the company around.
In May Nintendo confirmed annual losses of $229m (£135m) and last Friday it announced the closure of its European headquarters with the loss of 130 jobs.
All three companies will be announcing new games for their respective consoles at E3 2014 this week - but whether or not new titles from Nintendo or Microsoft can turn the tide remains to be seen.
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