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Nintendo claws back lead as MS warns of Kinect shortages

updated 10:50 pm EST, Tue November 16, 2010

Nintendo DS passes X360 amid Kinect shortage

Nintendo has regained the top spot in US console sales after four months of Xbox 360 leads, according to NPD data. The DS got back its top spot in October and, along with the Wii, made Nintendo the only console maker to see its average sales per week go up. The DS and Wii were likely to see big jumps this month and in December as the holidays were likely to give Nintendo a boost.

However, the Nintendo systems were still affected by a crash in console sales compared to last year, the researchers said. The number of systems sold dropped 30 percent versus last October and saw the industry make about $280 million, or 26 percent less than a year ago. Only the Xbox 360 saw sales go up compared to 2009. PS3 information wasn't published, but the wider launch of Sony's PlayStation Move helped see a run on game controllers and boost accessories up by 18 percent and the average price of an accessory up to $51.

Motion controllers like Move and Microsoft's Kinect were likely to drive what was left of the year.

Microsoft echoed the view during its interview at the Web 2.0 Summit reinforced this view as it warned that the Kinect might sell out early. Interactive Entertainment head Don Mattrick said that one million Kinects in 10 days were just the start and hinted that a quick sellout was entirely likely. Gamers would have to buy a Kinect "by the end of this week" if they reasonably expected to get one before the holidays, he said. No details were given about how many Microsoft planned to ship before the end of 2010.

The boosted DS sales may be a minor consolation to Nintendo after it delayed the 3DS past the holidays. Japan's premier console designer has seen DS, DSi and DSi XL sales whittled away by the iPod touch and a tough economy as gamers either look for multi-role devices like the iPod or else hold off on buying altogether.

by MacNN Staff



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