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At this time last year, most analysts expected Sony’s PlayStation 3 to have blown away the competition by now. But that hasn’t been the case. Instead, the Nintendo Wii has dominated the field during the holidays and looks to do the same in 2008.

According to data from The NPD Group, the Wii sold 981,000 units during the month of November, leaving Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (770,000 units) and Sony’s PlayStation 3 (460,000 units) in the dust. And despite a relatively high price tag of $249, the Wii emerged as the must-have gift of the holiday season, with most stores running out of players each week as Nintendo struggled to keep up with demand.

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