The Wii, released in November, benefits in part from a lower price than its rivals. But the console -- which uses a unique, motion-sensitive controller -- has also been able to attract an audience beyond hard-core video gamers, said Perrin Kaplan, vice president of marketing with Redmond-based Nintendo of America.
Microsoft considered the Xbox 360 results a "fantastic January," said spokeswoman Molly O'Donnell. "This is nearly 18 percent higher than the 250,000 units sold in the same month a year earlier," he added.
However, the January results won't reflect a long-term trend, accoding ot analsysts. Sony believes that the PlayStation 3, with its embedded Blu-ray Disc player, will win the long-term race for market share, as the prices for all three consoles decline.
Nintendo's Wii currently sells for $250, compared with $300 and $400 for the two versions of the Xbox 360, and $500 and $600 for the PlayStation 3.