Internal survey data from Nintendo shows 46 percent of Americans aged 6 to 74 using the Wii or Nintendo DS at least once in the past year, with 62 percent of Americans in general using video game consoles.
Despite declining sales in the last year, the number of U.S. Wii users has increased by roughly 25 percent to 100 million in the past year, according to data based on phone and mail surveys conducted by Nintendo and revealed during an extensive, graph-filled investor presentation by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata.
Iwata also laid out comparisons showing cumulative U.S. sales for the Wii 23 percent higher than those for the best-selling PS2 system at this same point in its lifecycle. U.S. Wii sales for the first three quarters of the fifth year of availability were also 22 percent higher that similar sales for the PS2.
"I hope each and all these charts will convince you that Wii, as a machine set to welcome its fifth holiday sales season, can never be considered to have lost momentum," Iwata said.
For the DS, Iwata presented data showing U.S. hardware sales down slightly from this point last year, but also showing the system's share of the portable console software market rising to nearly 85 percent so far in 2010, up from 69 percent in 2008.
The Nintendo DS and portables in general have fared less well in Europe, Nintendo's data shows, with steep drop-offs in hardware and software sales for both the Nintendo DS and PSP in the past two years. Iwata said piracy may be at least partially to blame for this state of affairs.
"Some say that such devices as MagiCom, which promote illegal copies of software, are mainly responsible for these changes happening in the European handheld software sales, Iwata said. "The fact that, with the proliferation of such devices, Europe has become the market where illegal copies have spread most widely among all the advanced nations in the world must have affected the change in the size of the entire European market."
Japan has been the brightest spot for sales of the Wii, Nintendo's data shows, with overall sales rising to represent over 50 percent of the home console market so far in 2010, just ahead of the PS3's 42 percent share of the market.
Iwata also used the presentation to present new data showing 115 games selling at least one million copies globally on the DS, and 84 such games on the Wii. Iwata was quick to point out the the majority of these games were third-party releases, although Nintendo-published titles make up 40 percent of the DS' million selling titles and nearly 30 percent of the Wii's.
The company also stressed how many of its titles, including Wii Play, Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario 64 DS and Brain Age have seen most of their sales outside the traditional first twelve months of availability.
Selected highlights from the graphs, which are available in full on Nintendo's website, are as follows: