Iwata: "Wii has recovered from slowdown"

3m consoles shifted in US during December.

Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata believes Wii has shaken off a shaky year and repositioned itself firmly as generation leader.

He spoke as the company internally estimated over 3m Wii sales across North America for December alone. That's up from 2.15m sales from the same month in 2008.

And that's impressive, considering Nintendo's depleted but nonetheless impressive Thanksgiving effort.

Iwata attributed the strong Christmas sales to two things: a stronger software lineup and price cut. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, released November, has already sold 4m copies.

"I think it's now safe to say the Wii has recovered from slowdown," Iwata told Reuters.

"But I'm not sure if it's prudent to use words like revival and recovery lightly before making absolutely certain we can maintain this momentum. So, I steer clear of such words today."

Iwata didn't announce specific figures for DS but said the handheld had likely broken 10m sales for 2009 in North America - a record for videogame hardware.

The Nintendo boss also praised the DS (and new arrival DSi) for not peaking after three years on the market, as is tradition, but selling strongest in its fifth (launched 2004 in the US) year on the shelf.

Yesterday Nintendo announced that the DS had sold 40 million units across Europe, which makes it the best-selling console ever. In home-console stakes - as in the ones under the telly - the Wii wins the prize, with 20m units shifted.

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