The Sony PlayStation 3 was the world's most popular HD-capable games console in 2010, out-shipping Microsoft's Xbox 360 by 2.2m units.
But figures released by market watcher Strategy Analytics still put both of those machines behind Nintendo's Wii in the race to lead the fight to be the top selling current-generation console.
Some 43.7m current-gen consoles shipped in 2010, SA said. Just over 17m of them were Wiis. Unlike the Xbox and PS3, the Wii is only capable of standard-definition output. Sony shipped 14.42m PS3s. Microsoft shipped 12.24m Xbox 360s.
That put the three machines on current-generation console market shares of 39 per cent, 33 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.
Compare that to 2009, when the Wii took 50 per cent of the market, the PS3 27 per cent and the Xbox 360 23 per cent. But shipments were three per cent higher back then: 45.01m consoles in all, itself down from 2008's peak shipments of 46.50m units.
During those years, the PS3 nibbled into the Wii's market share, but only last year did the Sony console and Microsoft's really begin to grab ground from Nintendo.
"Microsoft’s Kinect was clearly one of the winners in 2010," said Jia Wu, SA Senior Analyst. "In the second half of 2010, the Xbox 360’s market share for the first time exceeded the 30 per cent mark among the current generation fixed consoles, which was clearly driven by the Kinect launch."
When it comes to units shipments, both the PS3 and the 360 grew at double-digit rates between 2009 and 2010 - the Wii fell 24 per cent, SA said. ®