Is Nintendo’s party over?: Research says Xbox 360 will outsell Wii this year

Only one of the big three console manufacturers can reasonably claim victory over the last five years, and that’s Nintendo.

After the GameCube was squashed by the PS2 and even edged out of second place by the Xbox, the Japanese company went back to the drawing board and developed the Wii. The rest is history: your grandma bought Wii Sports, people with no previous interest in games got dragged in by Wii Fit, and suddenly Nintendo was back, outselling its rivals with ease. It was Sony and Microsoft’s turn to get steamrollered.

However, Nintendo’s purple patch might soon be over. Fresh research claims the Xbox 360 is about to outsell the Wii over the next 12 months in the U.S.

Research firm Cowan & Company says Microsoft’s console – no doubt spurred on by the promising start made by Kinect – will be numero uno between March 2010 and March 2011. Analyst Doug Creutz explains:

“This illustrates the significant shift that has gone on over the last year in the console space. The Wii was outselling the 360 and PlayStation 3 combined on a TTM basis as recently as January 2010, and was outselling the 360 alone by 2:1 on a TTM [trailing 12 month] basis in December 2009 and 1.5:1 in October 2010.”

In other words, Nintendo’s lead has been decaying for a while now. This strengthens the theory that an upgraded Wii is on the way; indeed, some analysts are already predicting we’ll see new Nintendo hardware revealed at the E3 expo in June.

[Via Eurogamer]