News Article

Nintendo Cutting Back On Wii Production?

Posted by Damien McFerran

Has the machine reached its zenith?

The Nintendo Wii may have sold a shed-load of units over the past few weeks but reports from Japan indicate that even this increase in revenue is unlikely to completely turnaround the machine's flagging fortunes.

A report issued by Japanese news firm Nikkei has revealed that two Japanese companies involved with the production of the Wii - Mitsumi and Hosiden - are set to lose revenue this year due to the "declining fortunes" of Nintendo's console and a "drop-off in orders from Nintendo to assemble game systems".

The problem facing Nintendo is that pretty much everyone that wants a Wii now has one; the arrival of big titles like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and the forthcoming Zelda may change that but for now it would seem that the Wii has reached the peak of its rise to fame and fortune and the next year or so is going to see sales diminish - at least that's what Nintendo believes, judging by this news.

Another possible reason could be the development of "Wii HD". After all, Nintendo has already released four different hardware iterations of the DS, so surely another Wii is on the cards?

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (32)

Big_A2

#1

Big_A2 said:

"so surely another Wii is on the cards?"

Only if it offers a smooth DLC data transfer from the older console to the new one.

Sean_Aaron

#2

Sean_Aaron said:

Nintendo could just refocus all effort on software development for now and getting everyone who bought the Wii to go out and support the WiiWare and VC services to try to offset declining hardware revenue...

CDavis

#3

CDavis said:

Well when a new console is out I hope all Wii Data/Channels can be transferred and that Wii Shop Channel is simply re-named (so WiiWare and VC continue)

CDavis

#5

CDavis said:

Also the new console needs to support Wii Games, WiiWare, Virtual Console and Wii Channels (including Wii Shop)
ALSO I would like to see whole new games and software in HD :D

V8_Ninja

#6

V8_Ninja said:

Not surprising that this is happening. Nintendo has basically conquered the Earth with the Wii.

gblock

#7

gblock said:

With Wal-Mart offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of a Wii starting on Sunday December 6 and running all that week, that'll bump up sales a little...

vonboysp

#8

vonboysp said:

the problem is that nintendo had been pumping out system like it was last year. (that would be about 2.2 million a month). since they have not sold as well for the first 3 quarters of the year, they now have millions of wii's (maybe even 10 million) just lying around in a warehouse somewhere with nowhere to ship them.

odd69

#9

odd69 said:

IF the colored Wii's would have came out I would own two.But until then i have only one.I have invested so much money already in my Wii. Since launch I have had it on the internet and downloaded games the first week.I use this machine for more than a casual experience and i have tons of games and VC and WiiWare games to prove it .
But my point is, that we should have more color options and even exclusive Wii's .Even the DS has that option for everyone. We should all be able to benefit from that same customization with the Wii. Pink Wii's anyone???

ToadFan

#10

ToadFan said:

V8 Ninja @

I would not say conquered the earth yet . A lot of places do not have them . But soon they will and THEN that would be really bad . :P

warioswoods

#11

warioswoods said:

"...the machine's flagging fortunes."

Er... what? It's still the most successful home console on the market by an enormous margin (particularly now in the holiday season), and its sales are actually surprisingly resilient in a worldwide recession. Plot its sales against the decline in consumer sales across the board and you'll see that it's held up better than just about any product.

Oh, that's right, it's another link from Kotaku. Don't let me steal yet another click-seeking plunge into shoddy journalism from you; carry on.

astarisborn94

#12

astarisborn94 said:

I guess it's understandable. However, I think they'll announce a new system for late 2012 instead.

MasterGraveheart

#13

MasterGraveheart said:

What I want to know is what Nintendo is going to do about the shed-load of Virtual Console and WiiWare titles I already purchased on my current Wii, not to mention the save files that won't be able to be moved in the standard ways.

Maybe that'll be the hook to keep the Wii around, much like the Game Boy Player was the hook to keep the GameCube around?

Percentful

#14

Percentful said:

It would be cool, if unlikely, if they developed a new wii that played N64, gamecube, and wii games. Or if they added features that support the DSi like downloading photos directly from your DSi to your wii. I'm not suprised, everyone I know that has kids has a wii. [and most of those kids have a DS or DSi]

RyuZebian

#15

RyuZebian said:

I REALLY don't want "just" a Wii HD. I want a brand new console! Sure, the DS has been released in several versions, but the games you play have all looked the same and played the same. It's the same system. But releasing a Wii HD would be like releasing a Sega CD, but as a brand new console. Why not skip the BS and start planning ahead for the next generation? Lesson learned from Nintendo 64 CD?

ODOGG618

#17

ODOGG618 said:

Excellent point RyuZebian. In fact, it's hard to argue that Wii games look any better than Gamecube games graphically speaking. They missed the "HD boat" to be the low cost option, relying on motion technology to set them apart. Mission accomplished except the motion controls often fall short and third party games are consistently better on the other consoles. Also, with the XBOX and PS3 lowering their prices and offering more features and big name titles, the Wii is hardly the best value anymore.

RaylaxStaff

#18

Raylax said:

Nintendo reinvents themselves whenever things are starting to go downhill, so I guess we'll soon see a new look Ninty again.
I mean, the Gamecube era seemed to be all about quite dramatic experiments with their titles - Luigi's Manion, FLUDD in Mario Sunshine, Hyrule-On-Sea Wind Waker, co-op MKDD and Zelda 4 Swords, etc.
Then they went traditional and went for "best of" versions of their various series at the end of GC and start of DS, in a much more traditional light - Twilight Princess put Link back in unflooded Hyrule, MKDS had people arguing over whether it or Super Mario Kart was the best MK, NSMB was the first proper 2D Mario in about a decade, and Mario Galaxy ditched FLUDD in favour of much more traditional jumping action.
Then they went almost completely casual with the Wii and DS, to the point of scaring off a fair chunk of the hardcore market - who can forget the seemingly endless slew of Brain/Sight/Whatever Training games?
And now they're trying to tempt casuals into their more traditional series with stuff like Super Guide in NSMB. I mean, when was the last time you saw Wii Fit Plus actually advertised? It's been a while. Despite still being pretty new, it's stayed pretty low-key. Yet Mario&Sonic Winter Olympics and NSMBWii adverts are somewhat more commonplace.
Ninty keep changing their technique, wonder what we'll see next? Roll on 2010.

Ren

#19

Ren said:

I love my Wii but i certainly wouldn't buy an entire new one with nothing but the ability to upres to HD. Whats the point of that? In fact I don't really see any reason why they would even release a machine like that; why is that "on the cards" I don't think many would find that attractive at all?
A whole new system with a better processor, some storage, motion + built in, and HD. I could see that happening in a year or two. That makes more sense to me. I sure hope I could keep my DL content, though, I'd be pissed if I lost that stuff, and alot of others would be too, I imagine.

warioswoods

#20

warioswoods said:

The only thing more predictable than Kotaku's headlines would be my own rants in the comments when you link to them.

Cipher

#21

Cipher said:

The first thing that comes to mind for me is "what goes up, must come down." Wii has been more successful than most other home consoles, if not all of them, and sooner or later the console itself will run aground. The games on it certainly won't, but eventually there will be so many Wii consoles out there that they just won't sell any more. If Wii HD does happen - which I personally doubt somewhat - I certainly won't be buying one, because I don't NEED my games in HD. It would be lovely if they were, but that's not on my list of requirements for a games console.

aaronsullivan

#25

aaronsullivan said:

Not long ago I was predicting that they'd get a new Wii successor announced by E3 2010, and I still think that there are SO many reasons that this would be a great move for Nintendo. However, there have been statements from Nintendo that made me think twice.

Either Nintendo is trying to downplay the possibility so Holiday sales don't suffer, or Nintendo really is going to miss a giant opportunity to turn the knife in its competitors who have committed to sticking with the current hardware.

Seriously, though. Price drop has happened. Sales are down. Third parties are not making serious money, the big hardware on the horizon takes your pulse. The XBox 360 and PS3 are entering the motion control market in a big way. There are three 1st party(ish) grand finale games to keep people interested in the Wii right up until a new console release (Mario/Zelda/Metroid). HDTVs really are becoming ubiquitous now. Good timing right?

On the other hand, you need launch titles and there are some tricky necessities to pull of. The above mentioned need to carry data over from the old Wii to the new. The need for backwards compatibility while also adding significant performance increase. (I really want all my current Wii games to play in HD on this new console. I don't care about feasibility! :P ) The need for another unique idea and hook for justifying its existence besides HD.

(Honestly, I just want my next Metroid and Zelda game to be on higher performance machines. Both of those franchises have headed in the direction of trying to immerse using breathtaking visuals and the WIi has dampened that potential.)

DarkEdi

#26

DarkEdi said:

The only thing i want it´s to transfer all DL and save datas. Nothing more.

Rhansley64

#27

Rhansley64 said:

The Wii sold faster then any other console ever, so these companies producing Wii Hardware for Nintendo has debt from other manufacturing line, it's clear that these guys wants to be the center of attention.

Pj1

#29

Pj1 said:

I'm not entirely sure what colours Nintendo should release of the Wii but I'd like to get a black one but I'm worried that if I do they're release a turquoise one. I've ordered from Play-Asia, blue
wii-motes, the last time I saw different coloured Wii-motes was when they released black Wii's in Japan. The overall sales of Wii will fall but Nintendo are a very clever company they have Mario Galaxy 2 in the
pipeline and a brand new Zelda game in the works, there are other ways Nintendo up the sales and they know this. People are talking about Wii 2 (Won't be called that) but I really think Nintendo have to seriously look at keeping the VC shop (Store) and Wii Ware channels the same and therefore must make a sensible transition to any future console. People will not want to download games they all ready have on Wii so from that view some things need to be addressed. Nintendo could opt for making different coloured Wii's, changing Wii game bundles, increase hard-drive. Look what Nintendo are achieving with the DSi, they've up-graded the DSi and its still selling by the bucket load. All DSi needs is a VC service, the X-box 360 and PS3 have had cosmetic changes I don't necessarily think the Wii needs one but different coloured Wii's would work. Nintendo could also make a sequal to New Super Mario bros or make a real squeal to Super Mario World for Wii-ware...

#30

said:

I can't understand why this console is so popular? Honestly.

StarDust4Ever

#31

StarDust4Ever said:

The Wii is still selling well ahead of the competition. Just look at the top 12 bestselling video game items on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1259952318/ref=sr_pg_1?ie=UTF8&rs=468642&bbn=468642&rh=n%3A468642%2Cn%3A!11846801&page=1
9 out of the top 12 items are Wii-related. The current top three are:
#1- New Super Mario Bros
#2- Wii Fit plus Balance Board
#3- $199 Wii console.
So, yeah, Wii is still selling more than the competing consoles. Expect that slump in sales to hit in Q1 2010. Sales on all consoles start to slump midway through the generation. History repeats itself, however, Nintendo is still coming out on top. Lest you forget, people, the Wii had been continuously sold pretty much everywhere out for a whopping 2 years after launch :P

Kirk

#32

Kirk said:

I really don't think we're going to see a new Wii model as such, and probably won't see any new console at all until Nintendo's proper next-gen machine is officially announced, but who knows.

A slightly updated Wii, or new model in the same vain as DSi/XL etc, with the ability to run all current and future Wii games in HD via some kind of up-scaling could be cool, as opposed to an entirely new HD specific machine that would likely require developers to make 2 versions of their Wii games for both SD and HD.

Nintendo could also increase the onboard memory and add in DVD playback too.

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