Nintendo hopes to have shipped 17.5 million units by the end of their fiscal year. Not so far-fetched, Nintendo has somehow found the right path to do so. If it ends up being the case, many truths will come about that are worth noting.
By the end of 2006, which is the year that the Wii launched, the Gamecube was reported as having sold about 22 million consoles.
...by the end of October, the Wii has sold over 13 million units worldwide. This means that in less than one year on the market, the Wii has closed in on the Gamecube's sales throughout its entire lifetime. Not only that, but it already holds the record for the fastest selling home console of ALL TIME.
Many argue that this is just a passing fad, but if some trends start, and others continue, the Wii can maintain that record and shatter all others. The Wii has the steam now...but can it follow the course?
The Gamecube had trouble maintaining steady sales because it lacked steady flow of software. Nintendo, at that point, was basically running on all first-party software. This lead to a few things happening.
1) Nintendo has become efficient enough at producing software that they could "almost" maintain a console on its feet by itself.
2) The room for third party developers to profit on a Nintendo home console, has been significantly diminished.
It is now the end of 2007 and it seems that most of Nintendo's main weapons have already been pulled out. Zelda, Mario, and Metroid have already hit the scene. Sure they still have plenty of "core" franchises to keep pushing out, but at the cost of what? Another drought? If Nintendo wants the Wii to emerge as the winner by the end of this generation, they're going to need the help of third parties, and soon.