Nintendo Co. Ltd. sold 476,000 units of its new Wii video game console in the United States in November, more than twice the number of PlayStation 3s sold by rival Sony Corp. (SNE), as the two consoles debuted mid-month, research group NPD said on Friday.

Sony's PS3 sales came in at 197,000.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) sold 511,000 units of its Xbox 360 in November, according to NPD.

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That console, released just over a year ago, is locked in a three-way battle with the PlayStation 3 and Wii, which were released in mid-November amid speculation over whether Sony can maintain its dominance over the global console market after selling more than 106 million PlayStation 2 units globally.

The Japanese electronics maker had said it would ship 400,000 PS3s into the United States for its launch, but there has been broad industry speculation that the company had fallen far short of its initial goal.

Nintendo has said it expects to ship 4 million Wiis worldwide by December 31, double the number of PS3s promised by Sony. Late last month, Nintendo said it sold 600,000 Wiis in the first eight days after its November 19 debut.

Microsoft, which gets most of its sales from North America, is targeting global Xbox 360 shipments of 10 million by year end.

Nintendo's Wii retails for $250; Sony's top-line PS3 retails $600; and Microsoft's Xbox 360 retails for $400.

NPD is still calculating historical console sales data.

NPD said overall video game-related sales were $1.7 billion in November.

Sales of games that run on consoles and portable players were $804 million. Hardware sales were $771 million, fueled by consoles and Nintendo's DS hand-held device, which sold 918,000 units in November.

NPD receives data representing approximately two-thirds of the U.S. retail sales and makes projections for the remainder of the market based on a sampling of U.S. consumers.