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In this June 2006 photo, a model plays tennis with a Nintendo Wii in Tokyo by swinging its controller as a tennis racket. ((Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press))

The Nintendo Wii was the last of the next-generation video game consoles out of the box, but it's the first to pass the million mark in unit sales in Canada.

The Wii had sold just under 1,060,000 units as of July, according to recently released figures by the NPD Group, which tracks the industry. In comparison, the Xbox 360 sold just over 870,000 units in Canada through July while the PlayStation 3 was just over 520,000.

In the first seven months of 2008, the Wii outsold its opposition combined. Canadian consumers bought 376,000 Wiis, compared to 200,000 for the PS3 and 154,000 for the Xbox 360.

The 360 was the first of the new consoles to hit the market, in November 2005. Sony released the PS3 a year later, with the Wii following two days later.

The video game industry as a whole continues to boom in Canada.

The NPD Group says sales of gaming hardware, software and accessories was just under $920 million through July, up 54 per cent over the same period last year.

The Wii has lived up to Nintendo's hope of attracting new gamers to the fold, with its interactive controller and imaginative use of accessories. Gamers can use the wireless Wii remote controller as a fishing rod, tennis racket, weapon or in a myriad of other ways.

In NHL 2K9, due out Sept. 9 from 2K Sports, gamers can even stage an on-ice hockey fight using the remote.

Through June, Nintendo had sold 29.62 million Wiis worldwide. That compared to worldwide sales of 19 million for the Xbox 360 and 14.4 million for the PlayStation 3.

Nintendo expects cash registers to keep ringing. The Kyoto-based company hopes to sell 25 million Wii consoles and 28 million of its handheld DS machines for the fiscal year through March 2009.

Nintendo continues to lead the way in Canadian software sales. Eight of the top 10 games on the July sales chart were for Nintendo (five for the Wii and three for the DS) with Mario Kart leading the way.