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Xbox 360 sales nearly double that of Wii's, analyst says

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter estimates that Microsoft is once again the leader in the console space, easily besting all other competitors in September.

September was another strong month for the Xbox 360, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note to investors today.

According to Pachter's estimates, Microsoft sold 360,000 Xbox 360 units in the U.S. last month, easily besting all other hardware competitors. In second place, according to Pachter, was the PlayStation 3 with 260,000 units sold. Nintendo sold 190,000 Wii units in September, Pachter estimated.

On the portable side, Pachter said he believes Nintendo sold 225,000 3DS units and 185,000 DS units in September.

If Pachter is right and Microsoft did sell the most hardware units in September, it would mark yet another successful month for the console maker. Last month, Microsoft reported that with its sales victory in August, it had sold more console units in the U.S. than any other company for 14 of the past 15 months.

However, it's Nintendo's decline that perhaps has become one of the most significant stories to come out of the console space. For years, Nintendo's Wii was atop the market, easily outstripping sales of other devices. But it appears the Wii's market appeal is starting to wane, and at least in the U.S., the Xbox 360 has firmly taken hold.

Nintendo appears to realize that. Rather than wait a few more years to release a new console, like its competitors reportedly are, the company is planning to launch new hardware next year. That console, called the Wii U, will offer improved graphics and HD support. In addition, it will come with a controller that boasts a 6.2-inch touch screen to enhance gameplay.

But until that launch occurs, Nintendo is hoping that its 3DS portable will be able to bolster earnings. The only issue is that device has proven to be a disappointment, selling only 110,000 units in the U.S. in the second quarter. After Nintendo dropped the price of the device to $169.99 from its initial price of $249.99 in August, sales jumped a bit, but they're still off the pace set by its predecessor, the DS, at the same point in that device's lifecycle.

A look at software
In addition to hardware unit sales, Pachter also looked at software sales on each console during the month. He estimated that Xbox 360 software sales hit $306 million last month, easily outstripping the PlayStation 3's $165 million in sales. Nintendo Wii sales were a paltry $85 million during the month, the analyst estimated.

On the portable side, Pachter estimated that September sales hit $15 million on the 3DS and $56 million for the DS.

Research firm NPD plans to release game sales for September on Thursday.