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Comparing Black Friday: Wii U vs Xbox 360 vs PS3

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Finally, we can answer the ultimate question: Who won Black Friday? With Sony revealing their Black Friday weekend sales reports, we can now do a decent comparison between all three major platformers — Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft — based on what they told us. Rather than go back and look back individually at each report, we've compiled them all into this one article for easy comparison.

Let's start with Nintendo who was the only one of the three platformers to introduce a new console this Holiday season. The Wii U is the official start of the next-gen console race, but how did people react to it? According to Nintendo, 400,000 Wii U units were sold in the United States during launch week — about 75,000 less than the Wii when it first launched. Supposedly supply shortages at retailers held the Wii U in check.

Where the Wii U lacked, however, Nintendo's other consoles picked up. Nintendo also sold 250,000 3DS units and 275,000 DS units. Combined with original Wii system sales, Nintendo sold a total of 1.2 million units.

Let's compare that to Microsoft which sold 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. during Black Friday. While in direct comparison, the Xbox 360 — which is over 6 years old — trumped the Wii U, Nintendo's handhelds and original Wii more than made up for the difference. Xbox 360 sales were also reportedly down from last year's Black Friday.

Finally, we have Sony, who was the last to report their Black Friday sales stats. While Sony saw an increase in PS3 sales compared to the same period last year, and even a boost in PS Vita sales (FINALLY), it failed to outsell both Microsoft and Nintendo. 525,000 PlayStation 3 units and 160,000 Vita units were sold in the United States between November 18 and November 24. Combined, both numbers fail to eclipse that of Microsoft and Nintendo; however, it's important to note that Sony also has the PSP and PS3 which weren't included in the Black Friday report. The sales of those two older system could be the difference.

Overall, without any dollar signs or actual earnings reports, it's hard to pick a clear winner for this Black Friday. I think all three platform holders can be comfortable with their success this Black Friday, but if I was forced to pick a winner I'd say it was Nintendo.

Aside from its 1.2 million combined units sold (the most of the three major platform holders), Nintendo seems pretty pleased with the initial reception to the Wii U. While the debate about the system's potential and power still rages on, consumers do at least seem interested in what the innovative system has to offer. As many analysts would argue, it's still too early to judge the Wii U's long-term potential, but short-term it appears to be doing quite well.

Let's wait until a few months down the road before we proclaim the Wii U a success or a flop. This Black Friday, though, we can say it was a success.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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