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Nintendo Wii crowned next-gen console king

Shipments of the videogame console surpass 50 million worldwide

The Nintendo Wii is has taken pole position among other next-generation videogame consoles with news that it has sold more than 50 million units worldwide.

The Wii, which launched in 2006, has far outsold rivals Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3.

Microsoft recently boasted sales of 28 million in 2008, nearly 8 million over Sony PS3 figures, but still remains dwarfed by the success of Nintendo’s Wii.

News of the milestone was announced by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata at the Game Developers Conference, who expressed surprise at the Wii’s popularity.

"Frankly speaking, before the launches of the Nintendo DS and Wii systems, almost no one expected them to reach the current level of mainstream acceptance," Iwata said in his keynote address. "It's even beyond what we possibly hoped for."

Nintendo’s DS franchise is also doing well with over 100 million units sold globally, with plans to launch the new DSi system in the United States on April 5.