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TheStreet Open House

[video] 5 Best-Selling Video Game Consoles of All Time

Stocks in this article: MSFT SNE

3. Nintendo Wii
Released: 2006

Global sales: 100.3 million

The geeks and fanboys still froth over this. How can a console that didn't have high-definition graphics and wasn't home to much third-party content beat the ever-loving snot out of competitors who'd cornered the market on "serious" gamers?

Because Nintendo remembered the one constant of its existence: That the world is full of non-serious casual gamers who have fun in short bursts and aren't opposed to cute, happy little unarmed characters on their screens. Oh, and they don't mind moving around a bit.

While Sony and Microsoft played to the multiscreen, multi-hour, multiplayers huddled in dark rooms with their headsets on and cans of Monster (MNST) Energy in hand, the Wii found its way into familiar Nintendo territory such as family rooms and little kids' playrooms. It also made new friends in retirement homes, physical rehabilitation facilities and other places that weren't so much interested in leading a fake SEAL team through a rubble-strewn battlefield as they were in playing a game of golf or keeping fit through a series of video game exercises.

Nintendo's underpowered underdog drew much of its power from homegrown games such as the Wii Sports and Wii Fit series, but its Top 7 titles have outsold any game released for the Xbox or PS3. Yes, Wii Play was the game you got with a spare controller, but Wii users played it. Yes, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers and New Super Mario Brothers Wii are just rehashes of old franchises, but what number Call of Duty release are we on again?

Nintendo admittedly has a tough road ahead of it with the next-generation Wii U, but the continued success of its 3DS and the fact that the original Wii still outsells the PlayStation Vita here in the U.S. suggests Mario and Co. still have some magic left.

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