The Nintendo Wii's tremendous commercial success all around the world is having an impact on competing manufacturers who previously viewed the system as an outlying oddity aimed at a seperate market. In the past, both Sony and Microsoft have dismissed head-to-head competition with Nintendo, even going so far as to endorse the Wii as an incidental ally in their graphically superior grudge match.

In a brief clip on a Japanese news station (embedded after the break), Bill Gates notes surprise at the Wii's success and labels Nintendo as Microsoft's "toughest competition" in the gaming arena. Of course, the statement doubles as a jab at Sony, now relegated to third place on the the Xbox 360 threat scale.

According to Japanese sales charts, the coveted second place is still securely held by a largely shrugging Japanese populace.

[Via Nintendo Wii Fanboy]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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