It is not being fought with sofa cushions, but the battle for the living room is hotting up. The great white hope for consumer electronics manufacturers is that one day households will have just one box that fulfils all their entertainment needs. So far, no single frontrunner has emerged.
Rather, the current frontrunner is a rejection of the "one box" idea. Since its launch in December, Nintendo's Wii has leapt off the shelves at more than twice the rate of Microsoft's competing games console, the Xbox 360. Despite the 360's head start of a year, its total of 11m units shipped will soon be overtaken by the Wii. Sony's PS3 languishes in third, with less than 5m sold.