News Article

This Christmas is Critical for Wii, Admits Iwata

Posted by James Newton

Console's fortunes need a boost

This Christmas will be the Wii's fifth holiday at retail, and there's no doubt demand for the console has cooled in recent times. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is keenly aware of this, and knows the machine needs a strong Christmas this year or it could find itself in trouble.

In a discussion with investors, Iwata observed that a higher percentage of the machine's annual sales will be concentrated during the Christmas period than in previous years, due to recent economic trouble. Iwata also acknowledged that if the Wii doesn't perform well during this high importance season it could put the machine in jeopardy:

Having said that, however, in that critical sales season, if everything doesn't go ahead just as we hope, and if we do not do anything about it, our platform business will be in trouble. We will need to prepare for such situations.

The Wii's line-up this Christmas includes Donkey Kong Country Returns, Wii Party and, in North America and Japan, Kirby's Epic Yarn.

[via computerandvideogames.com]

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User Comments (62)

SuperMarioFan96

#1

SuperMarioFan96 said:

The Wii will be fine. They were saying this last year. And then the Wii sold 3.8 million units in just the month of Novmeber in just North America.

The Wii will be fine.

cheapogamer4life

#2

cheapogamer4life said:

With a lot of awesome games coming out soon I don't think Ninty has to much to worry about.

This is their best Wii holiday line-up right?

Punny

#3

Punny said:

Don't worry, Iwata-san! The Wii will do great this holiday season like it always has. After all, this is the year that Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Wii Party, Epic Mickey, NBA Jam, and Goldeneye comes out! :)

Shiryu

#4

Shiryu said:

With such a lineup of must have titles for me until the end of the year, I can't see a scenario where the Wii won't be this years Xmas winner once again. No Move nor Kinect will overshadow the sales of games like, say, Epic Mickey. I'm that along with top AAA Nintendo titles will make lots of machines sell, even if (of course) after 4 years, the market is already saturated.

Faildude

#5

Faildude said:

Donkey Kong's fame has declined over the past decade. Sadly, I highly doubt Donkey Kong Country Returns will have a success comparable to New Super Mario Bros. Wii last year. On the other hand, I think Kirby's Epic Yarn will have a superior success because of the "kawaii" and because he's still in the heads of the current gaming generation due to his DS iterations. I can also see Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid Other M getting a boost in the sales, considering it hasn't been Christmas yet since SMG2 was released.

iAlias

#6

iAlias said:

Donkey Kong Country Returns will return to stardom! Kirby's Epic Yarn will spin an epic yarn about massive sales! Epic Mickey will splatter cash all over Nintendo's faces! Wii Party will party into the top ten! NBA Jam will smash the backboard of Wii Consoles, and Goldeneye 007 will stealthily sneak up the sales charts.

This is gonna be an awesome Christmas!

skywake

#7

skywake said:

I think Nintendo are still a bit shaken after Christmas 2008 when Animal Crossing and Wii Music failed hard. I hope Kirby's Epic Yarn will do well (I know of a few people who are excited about it) and I'm fairly sure Donkey Kong and Goldeneye will be able to push quite a few units. They should to pretty well even if people roll their eyes at Wii Party like they did with Wii Music......

TheBaconator

#9

TheBaconator said:

I think this will be the worst year for the Wii by far. Something tells me that as soon as we get the best holiday lineup for the Wii the sales are going to go down the drain. Even without the lineup the Wii's sales are dying.

Majora

#12

Majora said:

"We will need to prepare for such situations" = Wii 2 HD around the corner.

Ren

#13

Ren said:

not a surprise. so many people have one already, it's not like people are going to rush out to buy another color. If they want big sales they should have pushed that Zelda to be ready for Holiday time. also the motion plus is not a priority for most consumers there needs to be more games using it.
nothing to fret about though, it's not like people are spending a whole lot on any video games at all right now. I just hope they have that next Nintendo around the corner, at least by next years holiday. That xbox thing looks pretty cool, the ps3 one is too close to wii to care about.

LuWiiGi

#14

LuWiiGi said:

The Wii will probably do much better in the US than in Europe, but I think I'll buy a Wii for Christmas this year (the red SMB one).

Xiao_Pai

#15

Xiao_Pai said:

Yeah the Country games on the SNES were great, I'm pretty sure Returns will do just as good, especially if Retro is working on it.

Aronos

#16

Aronos said:

I think the market for potential Wii owners is always on the drop, through market saturation. So the only way to fix that issue would be to come out with a new console. I know they think they can get 2-4 more years out of the Wii, but I think people who want one already own one.

The_Fox

#17

The_Fox said:

Odds are Nintendo probably will do O.K through the holidays, then hardware sales will probably drop back down into third for the duration of the generation. You can only sell so many systems, after all.

Mahe

#18

Mahe said:

Nintendo's own lineup is horrible. I'm not interested in Donkey Kong or Kirby. Nintendo is banking too much on their second-rate mascot characters and doing too little to drive innovative gameplay, with perhaps the exception of FlingSmash?

Dodger

#19

Dodger said:

If they don't sell Wii consoles, they should sell all of these cool games to all of the people who already have them. Nintendo should be fine.

Sneaker13

#20

Sneaker13 said:

I think in Holland Donkey Kong will be a huge hit this Christmas. I'm gonna buy it for sure.

Retroman

#21

Retroman said:

lets see. So far, the only game Im certainly going to buy is MARIO ANNIVERSAY EDITION in december... dunno about the rest

regarding to Xmas being a sucess, judging from the comments over here, it'll be a HUGE sucess, but this site is also only nintendo dedicated, and has a lot of fanboys that will say anything
im not sure itll be that big of a sucess, considering that the Wii has trouble to shift games (only mario, zelda, kart, casual games sell good, the rest not. Look at "other M")

JakobG

#22

JakobG said:

I'll use Christmas and my birthday(both in December) to save up money for the 3DS.

erv

#23

erv said:

fine but business-wise, autumn for the wii is knocking...

Which I like, I want an hd console with brilliant online services but with nintendo gameplay standards.

In other words, the best. Bring on the wii 2 hd or whatever (runs to check muramasa and nmh2 before it's too late)

Pj1

#24

Pj1 said:

Nintendo have tricks up their sleeves, a red Wii for Europe (maybe) Super Mario All Stars for Europe (hopefully) Wii + wii-motes all in different colors. Donkey Kong Country- returns and a Kirby game!!! I have one concern though last Chrismtas Nintendo launched black Wii's this Christmas it'll be red ones (again, maybe) I'd like to get a L.E red wii but sadly I got caught out thinking the black ones would be in limited supply. So what do I do? buy a red one and then look at the console in shops after Christmas only for them to go down in price, at my local supermarket I can buy a black or white Wii for £150.00 and on a online store I can buy an old white style one (it only comes with Wii-Sports) for £120.00. Next year if Nintendo release a blue one (that's the color I really want) then I'll be really cross.

I would like to get a red Wii if the price is right (£150:00 would be Ok- ish) and also here in the UK VAT goes up ..........
(1 January 2011, VAT increase)

Bass_X0

#25

Bass_X0 said:

Why bother getting a second Wii? I don't see the point. There is never a new colour scheme that Nintendo can produce that would make me want to buy a second one, especially since I can't transfer my downloaded games from the white one to a new one.

Morpheel

#26

Morpheel said:

i would buy a second wii because mine isn't quite what it used to be, but my wii ware and virtual console tell me not to do it.

also, i preffer saving for the 3DS~

Stuffgamer1

#27

Stuffgamer1 said:

@GamesX99: No, it's been four years since launch. The five holiday shopping seasons comes from it being released during one.

Dang, now they're almost making me hope their sales will fail so they finally finish up and push out the next console.:P

LEGEND_MARIOID

#28

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

With so many wii owners out there already its bound to peak eventually. Can't believe EU isn't getting Kirby EY this year!

Blizzaga

#29

Blizzaga said:

If North America gets awesome Mario 25 bundles like everyone else, that alone shall boost Wii sales.

Slapshot

#31

Slapshot said:

@Stuff... Im with you man, I kinda wish the sales would drop off this season for Wii and will hurry up the next gen Ninendo home console.

VGC

#32

VGC said:

Seriously, 5 years? Now that I think about it, Nintendo needs to release another console by 2012. Oh well, I'll be using the 3DS anyways.
I got bored or waiting for more new Wii games. The console's been slowing down for a bit, and nothing exciting came around. Naturally, I just stopped playing it ( and found out that I played my smash bros game until it BROKE) and I can't make myself buy any of those new games. Oh well. I wish Nintendo would switch from being the first into motion control to the first one OUT of it, (all the newest consoles are currently MOVE oriented and such) and the first one to make a NEW non-motion controlled console.

Pah, they won't though. Too much motion controls for me.
Touching isn't always good, Nintendo.

Deviant_Mugen

#33

Deviant_Mugen said:

In addition to the new games releasing during the holidays, release the Mario Wii over here in the US and I'm sure you'll do fine, Nintendo...

Objection

#34

Objection said:

I'll be getting DKCR practically for sure, passing on Wii Party, and may or may not pick up Kirby's Epic Yarn. I do think this is an important time, but I doubt that the Wii will falter just yet.

NintyMan

#35

NintyMan said:

I don't think Nintendo has a lot to worry about with Kirby, DK, Wii Party, and Epic Mickey. I believe it'll be another big Christmas for them.

SmaMan

#36

SmaMan said:

I guess Nintendo's only real (and I use that lightly) concern is that it isn't the only motion control console on the block anymore. Granted their two competitors (especially the one that starts with an S and rhymes with Ony) are looking more like cheap knock-offs at this point.

Retroman

#39

Retroman said:

to anyone who is thinking about getting the "red anniversary wii"... keep in mind that you will not be able to redownload your Wiiware & VC games to the new hardware... They're linked FOREVER to the console you bought them on. Lets hope Nintendo changes its DRM policy when the "Wii2" is launched. Have a lot of WW/VC games id like to tranfer (heck, allow people to transfer the games, just like with the X360. Microsoft actually has a DRM transfer application that allows you to transfer your games to a new console, altough they're still linked to your Gamertag)

...I think the 3DS is allowing people to transfer the DSiware games to from the DSi to 3DS.. so, the same should be possible on the Wii :P

Gamesake

#40

Gamesake said:

What if I smash it with a hammer and call tech support after the "accident"? They'll move my old games over to a new red Wii, won't they?

dings

#41

dings said:

I heard you can send it in even without smashing it! Just call them, Nintendo has great customer service.

MARl0

#42

MARl0 said:

Simply put, they're going to need to release their next console during the 2011 holiday season. Sadly, their plan of making the Wii cheap and affordable only backfired in the long run, as it's showing its age way too soon compared to the ps3 and 360. Most notably, the Wii absolutely needed to support high definition resolutions. Going SD with the Wii was a horrible mistake that they should never have even considered.

Nintendoftw

#43

Nintendoftw said:

Everyone has a Wii now. Their platform buisness will be in trouble if they don't enhance the online play, and encourage more mature developers to start making games for the system, so the Wii can FINALLY get an audience that is actually really serious about gaming. I really regret getting my Wii. What they should do is not rush the next Wii but definitely don't take too long, or else their platform industry will go down in tatters for a while.

Nintendoftw

#44

Nintendoftw said:

Or they could take as much time as they want with the Wii 2 and release a system to hold it down for a while, kind of like what they did with the DSi to hold the DS down for the 3DS's release.

SmaMan

#45

SmaMan said:

@38
Notice I said they look like cheap knock-offs at this point... To the average consumer anyway.
@39
You're right about the cheap thing... what was I thinking?

mjc0961

#46

mjc0961 said:

Come on Iwata, you have to realize that it's going to die eventually. You've already sold one to any gamers who would be interested and a crap-ton of people who would never even look at the 360 or PS3. There really isn't that much of a market left.

Gamesake

#47

Gamesake said:

There's like 7 billion people on Earth and just under 100 million Wii's sold worldwide... Somewhere, someone isn't playing enough Nintendo.

thanos316

#48

thanos316 said:

what is this guy talking about. the wii has been selling in the truck loads every year to date. things have to eventually cool down. thats how the cycle of consoles goes. 5 yrs in the game and the wii is still outselling everyone else, not only in usa but all over the world too. i don't see no trouble for the wii, they just need to keep putting out solid game and they will be fine.

JimLad

#50

JimLad said:

Price cuts? That's all you can really do at this stage now that most people have one.
Hardware sales are not the problem, as always it's getting people to buy the software, particularly third party that seems to be the challenge.
The way to do that is DEMO DISCS, just like the PS1 & PS2 did.
You have plenty of money to pack them in with first party games or in magazines, STOP BEING SO TIGHT IWATA!

JarredBuzzo

#51

JarredBuzzo said:

I don't see exactly why we care about sales, is it because this is the primary product Nintendo produces? I don't really see the Wii having a particularly stellar Holiday, BUT I didn't see that last year, so who knows...

Note that when I say stellar, I mean in terms of sales. The games look awesome, they just need the right hype.

zionich

#52

zionich said:

Sounds to me is now they have a Wii surplus, and with every console costing the company money he just doesnt wanna take that big of a hit. Im buying the games, doing my part =)

Nintendo-is-my-love

#53

Nintendo-is-my-love said:

as sad as it is its true unless they realise the red wii all over the world they wont get much purchasers coz every1 who wants 1 has got 1 and with all this xbox 360 kinetical or whatever and sonys 3d stuff nintendo has nothing new however if the world came to thir sences and realised that all microsoft and sonys games r different names with the same aim they would realise the greatness of nintendo

Token_Girl

#54

Token_Girl said:

I know he has to say this to investors who don't know crap about crap, but it's been 5 years. I would be looking at the software sales more than hardware at this point. Nearly everyone has a Wii. You could probably get some more sales with a price drop, for the kids whose parents make them save up their own money for a console. Other than that, since you can't transfer downloaded games to different colors, who else is there to buy the console?

Capt_N

#55

Capt_N said:

I think they'll do fine, @ least ok this year. The console's been alive since Nov 19th '06, so it's lifespan is almost over, if it's gonna be similarly as long as last gen, &/or the one preceding that. As it goes, N seems to release handhelds sometimes before a new console. I'm not saying that's the case w/ the 3DS. It's just the Wii has been out long enough, & everyone owns one. By both those statements, I mean it's to be expected the Wii would lose momentum. To clarify, so I don't sound like I want the Wii to die, It's been out long enough to make decent sales, & everyone owns one, due to the success of N's marketing.

Right now, the Wii has some games that I personally own, & enjoy. There are also games available, & coming out that I may potentially want. That means to me personally, the system has almost 15-20 games that are really good, & worth having. Therefore, to me the system has done well, since to me anyway, 15-30 some great games make a system worth it.

rjejr

#56

rjejr said:

MARIO is on crack -

"Going SD with the Wii was a horrible mistake "

um yeah, it only prints money.

Will it or won't it definatly comes down to if he is talking about hardware or software. Wii's are in every household but they should have a ton of game sales. Also I've heard rumors of something called a 3DS so I odn't think Nintendo needs to worry about making any more money after the holidays are over.

I've already purchased Wii Party and will be getting Kirby and Mickey and New SMBW (missed it last year). Doing my part. Also Just Dance 2 and posibly new Rabbids in Time. And Pokepark. As somebody already said, it's the best Wii holiday period.

outrun2sp

#57

outrun2sp said:

The Wii looks like its in its final phase.

While nintendo have one big release like Metroid other M that they can hype for months. Many other big games are coming out on 360 / PS3 at the same time. Literally a decent game every month instead of one game hyped for months. I know we live in the age of hype but thats how the market is now. The donkey Kong and Zelda games will be the same because good as they are there will be many games coming out on the high end consoles that you wont have to wait for.

The Wii is on a slow decline and by this time next year they will need to move on and create a sucessor if they still plan to stay in the console market. At the moment it looks like they are only interested in the handhelds.

SmaMan

#58

SmaMan said:

Most home consoles have about a 5 year lifespan, right? It seems only natural that popularity would start to wane and a new console would be on the way... though this time around Nintendo's been hush-hush.

Pod

#59

Pod said:

By this time in the GameCube's life, the "Revolution" had already been shown at E3.

Though this year the Wii has its best pricepoint ever, and all of the its greatest titles are still to be found on shelves, it's been outsold by both the PS3 and 360 worldwide for four consecutive weeks now.

However, both have had to play by Nintendo's rulebook to get that far; new size, new price, new controllers, new games, and new target audiences.

Right now, they're still playing catch-up, and my bet is the tables will turn once more over Christmas.

RonF

#60

RonF said:

I don't think the Christmas line up has as much selling power as New Super Mario Bros Wii last year. Still, it is a very strong one. I can understand Iwata-san concern if this doesn't translate in strong sales, but I think they will be fine if they keep the right expectative, i.e., good sales, but not as good as last year.

WWammy

#61

WWammy said:

I understand that Sales matter to Nintendo because that's their business but us as consumers we shouldn't really need to care as long as the games you want to play keep getting released on the system you invested in.
I personally bought the Wii to play new Nintendo games and I'm getting that so it's all good from where I stand. I can't believe it's already been 5 years since the Wii was released and much to my surprise the best releases are coming out now.

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