The Xbox 360 is about to outsell the Wii over a 12 month period in America for the first time in the platform's history, according to new sales research.

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, research firm Cowan & Company has claimed that the 360 will be the top dog between March 2010 and March 2011.

"This illustrates the significant shift that has gone on over the last year in the console space," analyst Doug Creutz explained to investors.

"The Wii was outselling the 360 and PlayStation 3 combined on a TTM basis as recently as January 2010, and was outselling the 360 alone by 2:1 on a TTM [trailing 12 month] basis in December 2009 and 1.5:1 in October 2010.

"Over the last three years, TTM total US Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/Wii hardware unit sales have remained relatively consistent in the 17-19 million unit range (18.2 million as of February), so this does represent a share shift as opposed to just a decline for the Wii."

Clearly that's not great news for Nintendo shareholders, but the rest of the industry should rejoice, Creutz claimed.

"We believe the significant shift in hardware sales towards HD consoles is a positive ongoing development for the US publishers, who earn the majority of their sales on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3," he explained.

This news might put added pressure on Nintendo to announce a successor to it current home console. Indeed, earlier this week Stern Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia told Gamasutra he expected a hardware reveal at this year's E3 event.

"We would not be surprised if Nintendo unveiled the specifications of its next console at E3 in June this year, followed by product introduction early next year."

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

US News Editor

Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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