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It's official: Nintendo has sold a whole lotta Wiis

It seems Americans are playing a whole lot of "Wii Bowling." Nintendo has announced that they've sold 30 million Wiis in the United States alone.
A whole lotta people have bought a Wii. Millions and millions of them in fact.
A whole lotta people have bought a Wii. Millions and millions of them in fact.Nintendo

In case you hadn't heard, the Nintendo Wii is, like, totally popular.

Nintendo announced earlier today that they have now sold 30 million Wiis in the United States alone. What that means is, there's a whole lot of virtual bowling happening from sea to shining sea.

It also means that the Wii is the fastest-selling console in the history of the U.S. That is, Nintendo executives say that they sold those millions of Wiis in just 45 months. (That's 3.75 years for those of you who don't want to do the maths.) And that's 15 months faster than it took the previous champ (that'd be the PlayStation 2) to reach the 30 mil mark.

Meanwhile, Nintendo announced in a recent earnings report that, as of June, they had sold nearly 74 million Wiis worldwide. Hmmm ... looks like the Wii is gunning to become the biggest-selling game console of all time — a title that currently belongs to the PlayStation 2. After 10 years on the market, it has sold some 145 million units around the globe.

The Wii first landed on store shelves in November 2006. It quickly warmed its way into hearts and homes with its budget price tag and, most importantly, its motion-sensing controls.

"More than any other video game system in history, Wii has expanded the world of video games to new audiences," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America executive vice president, in a press release.

Press releases are often filled with all kinds of overhyped self-congratulatory quotes, but in this case, I'd say Dunaway is rightfully tootin' the Nintendo horn. No matter how core gamers and more-avid gamers feel about the underpowered, waggle-prone machine and its lack of hard-core and mature games, the Wii with its easy-to-use controls and anyone-can-play games has made gamers out of millions of people who might never have otherwise thought gaming could be their thang.

And that's a good thang for everyone who loves video games.

In fact, the Wii and its controls have been so successful, that Nintendo's competitors — Microsoft and Sony — will be launching their own motion controls for their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 machines later this year. Now, let's see if these new Wii-inspired controls help the Xbox and PS3 close the gap on the Wii's extremely comfortable sales lead.