So lately I've seen a lot of WiiU Vs XB1 threads suggesting who will take second place, to me that's preposterous and Xbox One has second place on lock. I take this from looking at the US market alone, and how Xbox One will sell 20/25m+ there easily. First lets look at how things currently stand since the launch of Xbox One.
All XB1 figures are US only and WiiU WW. As you can see things have remained pretty much static since launch, which tells us XB1 is selling as much in the US as WiiU is Worldwide. WiiU has gained back a couple hundred K these last 2 months, but then it is overtracked (6.6m~ sold end of June, 6.68m shipped) overtracked anywhere from 150k - 300k.
My real reasoning for this prediction is made up of three parts. PS3 sales in the US last gen, Nintendo consoles typically faltering fast sales wise, and Xbox One still remaining competitive in the US vs PS4.
PS3 last gen in the US
As you can see from the data above, PS3 was pretty flat throughout the gen and a fair distance behind Xbox 360 nearly every year. Xbox One does not need 1st place in the US to achieve PS3 like sales. In fact if you compare alligned sales, XB1 is already far ahead.
PS3 sales in the US totaled 25.5m with XB360 reaching 41.6m. Right now we're not seeing that sort of lead from PS4, so unless we see a massive retraction in the US market, (and even then) XB1 has every chance of surpassing 25m in the US. XB1 is on course for a 3.5m - 4m year in the US, the PS3 average.
If we take a look back at the last decade and a half, Nintendo home consoles unlike a lot of their software, have no legs. Wii releases in 2006, with its successor launching late 2012, 6 year life span. Expect that's misleading, because the last 2 years of that (2011 and 2012) were very poor with software relases and thus sales. Whilst PS360 were seeing their highest ever sales in years 5/6 of their lifespan, the same saw dramatic decreases for Wii, falling on average 5m a year from its peak. Gamecubes lifespan didn't fare much better, pretty much falling flat on its face after 4 years on the market.
We're already seeing a very low yearly average for WiiU (and we have nearly two years of data to draw from and various releases failing to ignite hardware sales to any acceptable levels). If the average for WiiU during its peak is 3 - 4m, what are its twilight years going to produce? It goes against all odds and logic to suggest WiiU is capable of anything north of 20 million. That's finishing this year around 10m, selling 4m in 15, 3m in 16, 2m in 17 ect.
With lowest sales ever for a Nintendo system, and the worst third party support added on to that, it's self explanatory.
I get a lot of Nintendo fans (and others) suggesting to me WiiU can do a lot more than that. But where is the proof? Where is the logic? When we've failed to see even a glimmer of hope. A new Mario Kart has just released and it pushed shipments up a whopping 200% yoy!! But wait .. that amounted to a very average 500k~ which was still only around what XB1 shipped the same Q. (after some over shipping issues from the previous 2 Q's to boot).
Until WiiU shows us it can get to, and maintain above 4m+ a year, it can't be given the benefit of the doubt. Smash may be an amazing game, but so were the half a dozen other Nintendo titles that have come out the last 18 months and done little to nothing for hardware.
PS4 Vs. Xbox One
Launching around the same time helps a lot for comparing how they're stacking up against each other. Obviously PS4 is leading month in month out, some months it's a big lead, others not so much. And this might continue, I could totally believe that. But I equally believe XB1 stands a chance of taking back just enough interesting and consumer mind share to jump ahead, and I don't necessarily mean dominate ...
Current sales are 3.047m Vs PS4's 3.763m. This is not domination on the part of PS4.
MS is fighting back and the effects will mostly be felt in the US, it's the one place they have the likeliest of chances of winning back. But even if they don't, and even if this ratio of sales keeps up with PS4 eventually winning, that (compared to last gens 70m install base for PS360) is still a 30m/40m split.
WiiU's lack of third party support, casual interest, low lifespan and history so far suggests to me it won't sell above 20m, and if it does not by much. Despite MK's release it still trails the Gamecube (21m~). XB1's ability to compete in the US (thus far) suggests nothing less than 20m there when all is said and done. Come the end of this year it'll be approaching 6m~ lifetime there, or more.
If XB1 manages to stay very competitve with PS4 in the states and even manage to overtake/become #1 this will happen sooner rather than later. But if PS4 continues to see the sales vs XB1 that it's getting, this will be a long drawn out prediction that won't be fullfilled for many years, when WiiU starts to slug and XB1 continues on in the US.