News Article

Wii Sales Starting to Crash?

Posted by Jamie Giggs

Not enough big Wii games on shelves, admits Iwata

The more business-savvy amongst you will be aware that the Wii isn't selling as well as it has been previously. At a recent Nintendo investor's meeting, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was asked during a Q&A whether a price drop would be coming for the Wii. He replied:

It's not the case of the quality of hardware moved, the feeling of missing strong competitive power, lacking its luster or poor sales. Consistently, big time titles will be released in the marketplace for this hardware. When that stops, to reinvigorate the console, or to put it another way, I think the current decline in hardware sales is due to the fact that there aren't many big titles (at the moment).

Does that mean Nintendo is going to cut the hardware price tag, Satoru?

Right now, there aren't a lot of discussions going on about what exactly to do about hardware pricing.

That would be a no, then.

Iwata's focus on new big titles to keep Wii sales high is surely good news for the fans. Nintendo is obviously more interested in the titles they produce now, which means lots of AAA games could be coming our way shortly. I don't know about you, but I have my fingers crossed for a new Starfox.


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User Comments (53)



Hardy83 said:

With this statement, I hope they realize the effects of cutting off or ignoring your loyal fanbase.
Reaching out to other people is fine, but they won't likely come back.

Course this just might mean we'll see another Wii sports and Wii Fit sooner instead of getting classics like Starfox, Pilotwings etc etc.



ejamer said:

Does it need a price cut? Not really. It's still selling better than anything else by a wide margin.

Do I want a price cut? As someone who already owns a Wii, I couldn't care less what Nintendo sets the current price at.

Talking about getting more good games on the system is much more interesting for me. I'd love to see Nintendo keep the price "as is" and pursue more top-notch games (from both 1st and 3rd party development teams) for the Wii... especially since it's probably the console with the fewest true AAA-caliber titles so far this generation.



LinktotheFuture said:

No matter how good a system is, eventually it will stop selling. Someday, pretty much everyone who wants a Wii will have one, and most people are going to buy more than one. I am all in favor of more great titles coming out. Wii Sports Resort will tide me over until New Super Mario Bros Wii comes out, but it would be nice if there was something else that I was super excited about.



AVahne said:

kick out the bad games and put on only the good ones on shelves. everything else can go into the bargain bin
I would like to see Radiant Dawn back on shelves....



jesao said:

Maybe the market is just saturated? They can't go on selling buhgillions of Wiis indefinitely.

Given that it takes years to develop most of their core franchise games, I'd say its unlikely recent sales figures will have that much of an impact on their release schedule. Lets just hope they were already planning to release some new stuff anyway

The most likely knee-jerk reaction to me would be some new console colours or something.



RooF said:

It maybe because most of the ppl tha want a Wii have bought it.

Wii was cheaper from 360 and ps3 and its still cheaper from ps3 so it was easy for anyone to buy one. I dont thing someone is waiting for the NSMB for Wii to buy a Wii.



Cashman3000 said:

uh.....maybe they should market their virtual console and wiiware better. Just a thought. And release more virtual console. Okay, problem solved. Next!



Egg_miester said:

maybe if the wii wasn't a fast selling system and nearly every household in the world owning a wii then sales wouldn't be that bad



Madara said:

The reason why Sales are down, because Satoru you silly pig, The world seems to be in a resection and millions (Mostly Americans) have been laid off and do not have money for luxuries like a Wii. Oh and it could also be because the only true hardcore games we have are MadWorld and COD 5.



Machu said:

Price drop, better marketing, colours, bundles. They have plenty of options and pretty much can't be arsed, sometimes Nintendo react a little too late for my liking. They could have rode this storm easy, with a little careful planning and appreciation of the hard times there potential customers are going through.



skywake said:

Yet another story about lagging sales? I know its a traffic grabbing headline but don't we know this already?

Call me if Holiday sales are lower than last year but until then you're just repeating news anyone could have predicted after looking at the list of games for the last quarter.... and it appears yet again that Nintendo know this already.



Corbs said:

We knew that once supply caught up that the demand for the console would drop significantly. I think the holiday sales will help, not to mention New Super Mario Bros. coming this holiday.



Adam016 said:

They are gonna have to make a price drop because the PS3 ans 360 will most likely be getting price drops later this year...I want that new StarFox!



JoeDiddley said:

Unfortunately the games that the loyal fanbase want will not save the system -look at the Gamecube. If new wii fit and sports games don't boost sales then nothing will. Nintendo will release games if and when they want to. I think more 3rd party properly marketed AAA titles would help rather than shovelware.



warioswoods said:

As others have noted, a drop in sales is absolutely normal given the circumstances. Tech like a video game system tends to have a fairly steep downward slope over time, as excitement about the new technology fades a bit, and then there's the issue of market saturation, which they haven't exactly reached but they've certainly sold enough so that there are far fewer households to target now. On top of that, with the recession, sales are down for just about everything.

Kotaku is always too quick to turn any mention of problems for Nintendo into a dramatic headline.



Man_with_a_hat said:

I would love a price drop to wii and its accesories. Also, are they bringing differen colours, besides to Japan?



CrazyOtto said:

Don't worry, Wii sales will go up again when games like New Super Mario Bros Wii comes out.



Dicesukeinuzuka said:

Wouldn't hardcore mean traditional games like Super Mario or Pong? Instead of FPS? What do people mean by hardcore anyway? I heard someone mention "traditional" as a synonym...

Anyway, I heard from a talk with Iwata thing that they don't price cut because that would be a disservice to the people who bought the system at lanch, versus the people who wait for a price cut to get it. this makes cents to me because "why buy it at launch at full price when you can wait a month or two for the price to go down." I think Nintendo whats the majority who wants the system to get the system when it come out. and then have the rest who were unsure to be persuaded my there line up of titles. I could be wrong though that was just an educated guess.



opeter said:

It would be good if we could get an updated Wii something, that could put out crisp (anit-aliased) graphics @ 720p, but that wont happen.
Than the Wii would need more hardcore titles - MadWorld, RE4, COD3 & 5, House of the Dead Overkill, RE: Umbrella Chronicles, Dangerous Creatures, Rygar: Battle of Argus, Rogue Trooper, Indiana Jones: Staff of Kings, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, Prince of Persia: Rival Swords ... and the list ends here somewhere.

Most titles are only made out of minigames. And how many showelware (even on WiiWare) there is on the Wii? Too many.



KDR_11k said:

Crash is too hard a word, the current drop sees it selling at "only" the rate of the PS2 at that point in its lifetime. Yes, the lack of software is hurting but a crash is a bit more severe than just a drop in profits.

The Wii needs more games (people care about), a lower price isn't going to fix that. It doesn't matter who they appeal to as long as there are enough of them. Newbie, veteran, competitive, doesn't matter as long as they start buying. Talking nonsense about loyal fanbases won't do jack, the loyal fanbase let Nintendo wither in third place last gen and the Wii has already outsold the Gamecube by FAR.

No matter how good a system is, eventually it will stop selling. Someday, pretty much everyone who wants a Wii will have one, and most people are going to buy more than one. I am all in favor of more great titles coming out.

Yes and no matter how much we protect our planet the sun will eventually engulf it. Both scenarios are so far off as to not be relevant.

kick out the bad games and put on only the good ones on shelves. everything else can go into the bargain bin

Who gets to define good? Stores already allocate shelf space according to sales, what sells needs more shelf space and most likely people won't buy a game in droves if they hate it. Shovelware with low sales expectations will usually get maybe one or two copies on the shelves.

It maybe because most of the ppl tha want a Wii have bought it.

Obvious statement is obvious. The point is that they need to make more people want a Wii and they're discussing how to do that with the suggested solution being "more games".

If new wii fit and sports games don't boost sales then nothing will.

I think those are actually less likely to boost sales than something new since people who wanted Wii Fit or Wii Sports already had enough reason to buy a Wii without additional games of that type.

Don't worry, Wii sales will go up again when games like New Super Mario Bros Wii comes out.

Yep, a 2D Mario is the kind of game the Wii doesn't really offer yet (outside of the VC of course but you can get a cheaper system if that's all you're looking for). NSMB did something like 18M sales and is STILL selling. Galaxy is nowhere close to that.



Adam said:

2010 is shaping up to be an awesome year for all systems, maybe even the 360, too. A price cut would be completely unnecessary.

Man, where was this quote when we had the big NPC thread going? I'd have loved to slap around a few people with a quote like this straight from the horse's mouth.



motang said:

I hope Nintentdo is reading these comments!

I think, instead of concentrating on selling a lot of units (they have already done) Nintendo now need to focus on bring out AAA titles and not crapware like they have been. Also they need to pursue the 3rd parties and have them make good titles and embrace the good titles that are going to be coming out soon or the ones that are already out. Advertise the games and bring up the sales figure on that!

Edit: Forgot to mention that those titles that Nintendo didn't want to bring out here in NA, would be very good to do so now. Like Disaster Day of Crisis, Fatal Frame, to name a few, and how about start back on Project H.A.M.M.E.R., maybe making some core games for your loyal audience will work for you, the ones you have been neglecting since oh...2006, since you started to concentrate on mums and pops who only bought the Wii for Wii sports!

Ok I promise my rant is over now! I am going to my happy place starting coding as I have a deadline to meet.



StarWolf said:

I read in the paper about this a couple of days ago and I agree with Iwata, it's not the hardware but the gaming titles.



Mr_M said:

I would like to see a Star Fox Command for the Wii with some ground combat like in Star Fox Assault.



Vendetta said:

Flood the VC with quality titles and advertise the hell out it to appeal to memories of better times for those nesting to ride out the recession. In uncertain times, familiar challenges are welcome distraction.




I agree with KDR, the word "crash" is too sever and tabloid-esque (no offence).. You will ineviteably get dips in sales of the Wii NATURALLY.



Dude_McGrude said:

I just don't understand why there isn't a Pikmin title out yet. I would think that type of game would work out really well with the Wii. I generally always buy the Nintendo systems because of the first party titles. They just need to start producing more of them in general.




There are only so many people in this world. You cant sell the wii to EVERYONE. But they are winning still, the PS3 is losing towards a last gen console in the US, and the sales are pathetic for the Xbox in Japan. The Wii sells great every where. It prints money. But I hope they do release more "big" games. No problem with that.



Ultronator said:

These are the games I think we can expect Nintendo to release for the hardcore in the near future:
Pikmin 3
Mario Galaxy 2
Another Metroid title
Zelda (it's due)
Kid Icarus (far too many rumors to ignore this one)
If they spread half of these over 2010 and half over 2011, it should keep the hardcore more than happy. Releasing them all at once like they did back in 2007, with most of their first party games, would be a mistake.

To keep the casuals happy, you've got Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, and whatever vitality sensor game they can come up with.

It shouldn't be that hard for them to keep the momentum going now. There are more Wii consoles in peoples homes than there are xbox360s or ps3s. They have the high ground.



LoopyLuigi said:

i feel that a price cut should be in order, or as an alternative, to change the wii bundle to include M+ and WSR, with a classic controller and some wii points. A lot of people I know have stated that while they would buy a wii, it's all the additional costs of accessories that is holding them back. Also, it's about time that player's choices should come back. Many people will be willing to invest in a wii if they can get great games like Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess for PC prices ($25-$30)



Kelvin said:

Sales are down everywhere right now because of a small thing called the recession. Also, sales were so strong for the Wii at the start that it's bound to tail off at this point in the cycle, and even moderate sales are going to look "poor" in relation to such a strong opening. And if it's doing as well as the PS2 was at this stage in its life, that's not too bad, as the PS2 is still a viable platform, unbelievable as that may be, ten years on.

Talk of a "crash" is just sensationalism.



Cthuloops said:

Seriously Nintendo. All I need you to do is make a Starfox Wii, and an F-Zero Wii. That would be all I need. If you just announce those 2 titles, I'm sure sales would boost straight up!



Mike1 said:

Sales are down because of several reasons. The recession and the fact that millions of people are out of work. The casuals and soccer moms who thought the Wii was the biggest thing in the world are likely now bored with it, which happens to every fad. The biggest thing is the software. No big name AAA titles have come out since last year. There are good games, but nothing truly big. This also could apply to the VC as well. Stop giving us no-name titles every week and start giving the big time titles like SSB, Super Mario Kart, the Mario Party games, and so on. Stop trying to please the casual crowd, because they will never support you in the long run.



KDR_11k said:

Why do people use allcaps?

People here put too much emphasis on the "hardcore" branch. Nintendo has never appealed to the "hardcore" less or more. Lists of "hardcore" games seem to consist entirely of sequels anyway. What they need is new people on the console and those only come with games that appeal to people who don't own the console yet, most likely games unlike anything that's already on the system. The Conduit was a potential system seller had it been executed better as many FPS gamers got their fix from other systems while the Wii has the potential to do it a LOT better than the other consoles.

Generally to broaden a system's appeal you need to broaden its library, doubly so in Nintendo's case since it seems third parties won't make anything that hasn't already been made for the Wii. Releasing more games like what's already on there deepens the library but doesn't do as much as broadening it does.



MetalMario said:

How about this? Release a new Star Fox, Kid Icarus, that new Zelda and the Marios, maybe throw in some more Fire Emblem and even EarthBound and F-Zero, and watch them walk off the shelves.



eripmav said:

Problem is with Nintendo is that they chuck out one or two AAA title every year, without feeling the need to do more. I always thought that when Iwata took the reins things would change.

Nintendo stupidly aimed their focus on casual gaming and as impressive as it is for sales, it simply doesn't cater for it's die hard and true fans. As much as I adore Zelda and Mario, we need some new IPs and we needed them last year.



Lotice-Paladin said:

I personally believe a price cut would be necessary because most people own/have owned a Wii and it's only fair that they now drop the RRP because they've already lasted 3 years without any changes to price. People will give up on paying this price even with new software. People will just buy the software as opposed to hardware now. I still see 2nd hand Wiis selling at £150 so to drop the price would be definately beneficial and would halt second hand game stores taking advantage of this indefinately! The price of manufactoring the Wii hasdropped significantly and it'll not dent their gross profits I personally believe.

Although I own a Wii and it's been a great little console. It hasn't had any games that I would say are "Brilliant". I'm not saying Mario or Zelda aren't great titles but like #46 says, I'd like to see new IPs being brought to the table. It's about time the Wii sales are slowing since it couldn't have possibly lasted this long?



Kelvin said:

Nintendo stupidly aimed their focus on casual gaming
"Stupidly"? They seem to have done quite well out of it.



astarisborn94 said:

The solutions?

1. Cut price.
2. More focus on hardcore gamers
3. Advertise Virtual Console and WiiWare!

That's not hard to do. Despite this, it's no big deal.



Slapshot said:

@Kelvin.... You got that one right. I sold my Wii because of this same problem. Casual push and lack of Games. I thought about buying another one but I doubt I will ever buy another Nintendo Home Console. I love my DS and LOVE Nintendo Retro Games but I highly doubt even the new AAA titles for Wii will have any sort of difficulty to keep me interested, I just get really bored with games with NO difficulty at all.



You guys should stop being too sensationalist with your titles, really.
Is funny how Nintendo is always DOOOOOOMED....when the Wii has made the competition dust, keeps outselling them and more games in the way. MS and Sony make much much worst but yet, they aren't as doomed as Nintendo.


They don't a need a price cut now because THEY KEEP OUTSELLING THE COMPETITION. They just pointed the obvious "no great games, slow sales". Something that has been logical since, I dunno, the 80s. They will someday low down the price but right now they don't need it and is obvious.

I would like to see, one day not too far, an article being happy that Nintendo is doing GREAT and no looking at anything they do as doomed.

After 3 years this is getting boring and annoying.



JimLad said:

They've got enough stuff in the pipeline for both sides of the audience now I think.
But if they want to shift more consoles they need to draw attention to the hardware again: Drop the price, or bring out new colours/a re-design, or both.
Other than that it's inevitable really.



retro_player_22 said:

Good that you realize Iwata, now bring us Fatal Frame IV, Disaster, Another Code R, and announce F-Zero Wii, new Star Fox, Kid Icarus Wii, Kirby Wii, etc. and soon the Wii would be the number one system again.



driversold said:

Since the Virtual Console is going by the wayside to make way for the WIIWARE, then Nintendo should get the rights to multiple genres and release RETRO GENRE DISCS for the WII. For instance: Grab all the platforming beauties from the 8 and/or 16 bit (NES/Super Nes) and release them on one disc. Do it for all genres. Heck have people vote on games we would like to include. They could do a nice small ad campaign to promote it...get people back into it again. GLORY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!

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