Nintendo: Platform Business “Will Be In Trouble” If Holiday Sales Aren’t Satisfactory

By Ishaan . October 11, 2010 . 6:14pm


Considering how abnormally strong sales of the Wii have been since its launch, it’s only natural that the system’s performance start to taper off a little, four years into its life. While investors and analysts are concerned about the Wii’s slowing performance, Nintendo aren’t quite ready to panic just yet.


Speaking to investors, Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, addressed the subject of global Wii sales and the lackluster effect of games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the system. Iwata believes the end-of-year holiday season will be an important period of growth for the Wii, given the reputation of Nintendo products as gift items.


Said Iwata to his investors:


“This is not an observation held by Nintendo alone. In fact, as we discuss with many retailers around the world as to what will become of this year-end sales season, most of them view the trend just as we do. Accordingly, when our consumers are ready to select what they want to purchase for a Christmas gift, how we can encourage them to choose Wii, has now become important. In other words, we do not have the mindset that our home game console business will not see any further growth so therefore, we have to do something to sustain the sales.


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. For your information, we announced “Wii Remote Plus” today. This offer is just one part of our endeavors.”


In addition to the Wii Remote Plus, Nintendo are also releasing a special Mario Red Wii bundle in Japan and Europe, in celebration of Mario’s 25th anniversary. Iwata made no comment regarding products being prepared for 2011 that could potentially drive Wii growth, like the Wii Vitality Sensor.

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  • Nyron

    Their platform business is in trouble? What? Do they need to outsell the 360/PS3 4:1 instead of 3:1 while making profit on every console to be successful?

    • Tom_Phoenix

      That’s not really the point. Infact, competing with the PS3/360 has never been Nintendo’s agenda this generation. With the Wii, Nintendo’s mission statement was to fight disinterest and expand gaming into untapped markets. In order to do that, Nintendo must keep the Wii momentum going. However, due to some bad software decisions on their part, that momentum has died down somewhat compared to previous years. They even felt the need to resort to a price cut, a tactic usually reserved for saturated markets.

      Ultimately, Wii’s sales will matter little if the console doesn’t manage to achieve the goal it was set out to do and invigorate gaming in the long term.

      • kylehyde

        Very true statement.

    • malek86

      It should be noted that the days when the Wii used to outsel the 360 and PS3 combined, are well over. Nowadays, it seems that it either sells on the level of any of them, or at times is actually being outsold by both.

      Of course, that would be a cause of concern for anyone, if their business went from “ahahah, we’re dominating” to “wait, why aren’t we dominating anymore”.

  • Nintendo is clearly that annoying kid in class that would cry over a B+

    • Hraesvelgr

      Hahaha, that was brilliant.

  • Aoshi00

    Wii HD?

    I can’t believe it’s been 4 yrs since I’ve stood on line at Toysrus to pick up the Wii and Twilight Princess, the first time I’ve ever bought a system on launch day. I remember I was blown away by Wii Sports back then :)

    • Yup… I went over to a pals house, and man… it was amazing.

      I couldn’t have imagined it.

      • Aoshi00

        Gotta love the Miis, so dang cute.

    • karasuKumo

      Twilight Princess is my favourite Wii game :D So good :)

      • Aoshi00

        Yea, really good use of the remote, I picked up TP and Trauma Center at launch, only beat the former, Trauma ended up being too hard for me :(.. Hope the new Zelda is good too.

  • I’d like to know what their idea of “trouble” is. It has a massive install base advantage over the competition and they may have to accept that there’s a theoretical ceiling to how large it can grow before the momentum begins to diminish, at which point their role is to secure software sales. I seriously struggle to imagine how they expect console adoption rates to continue at their previous pace.

    • Aoshi00

      I imagine at this point anyone (and their grandparents) who’s remotely interested in the Wii has arldy bought one after all these years.. I guess their aim is 2 or 3 Wiis per household or something..

  • Well Im sorry Nintendo but I do not think siphoning more money from consumers with a Wii Remote Plus is a solution; unless following one of my earlier thoughts, it is just there to try to sway people away from getting the more precise, robust, and powerful Sony Playstation Move and PS3. The solution to the sales is to release more units of Wii in more colors (red is a great start) and that coveted bundle/collection. I think they will own the holidays if they can keep stocks.

    • Do you mean if they can keep the different color Wiis and the bundle in stock?

      • Yeah, if the units are flying off shelves at least in the US as soon as Black Friday hits and people have to wait each week for a shipment for their store has run out of units, then I guess Ninty is limited and is giving the competition a chance to sway consumers since the powerful systems would most likely be in stock (well based on what Ive seen in the past, No Wiis but plenty of X360’s and PS3’s in the store).

        • I almost thought you meant stocks as in the stock market since this is an article about a statement a CEO is making to his investors.

          Anyways in the past, there were not as Wiis in stores in North America because they prioritized Europe for global sales, since the Euro was and still is worth more. The demand worldwide was more than Nintendo could handle, so they had to focus the supply on one region at a time. Once demand died down in Europe, they were able to produce more units for North America. Stores running out of stock week after week is not really a bad thing in terms of sales though. It shows how much demand for the product there actually is.

          Also a system’s power means nothing if it doesn’t offer what the Wii was offering ever since the beginning, entertainment for all sorts of people at an affordable price. The Xbox360 was merely presented as an upgraded version of the Xbox and had gained a bad reputation because of the RROD, while the PS3 was just way too expensive during the time the Wii was in extremely high demand and both didn’t really attempt to reach out to the expanded audience during this time either. As you know though, things have changed this year with both the PS Move and the Kinect being introduced this holiday season.

          Something feels off about what I’ve typed out above but… I’ll post it anyways.

  • cmurph666

    I’m probably a minority but I have yet to buy a Wii.

    • Nintendo is focusing on software, therefore, you arent missing anything by missing out on a Wii this year, or for that matter anytime in the future. If you are somehow in a situation in which a new Red Wii Bundle is thrust into your life…then be sure to get Mario Strikers Charged as it is the BEST and only multiplayer wii game that matters (naruto clash of ninja revolution 3 is also a favorite wii game of mine)

    • Avojavo

      Your diligence is very respectable. If you’re willing, wait another two to three years, and Wii mark 2 should hopefully be in production. I bought my Wii in late 2008; I’ll probably be a late adopter for its successor as well.

      I find the Wii a great system if you tend to have a friend or two lounging around once in a while. You should take advantage of its current price cut and purchase Smash Bros. Brawl and Dokapon Kingdom for some multiplayer fun.

      There’s always Zelda, Okami and the like if you’re more for single player RPGs.

    • I don’t have one. Don’t want one.

  • It’s disheartening to walk into a retail store and gaze upon the junk that’s filling the Wii’s shelf space. If I wasn’t an informed consumer, it wouldn’t take much for me to lose faith in the Wii. Publishers are digging their own grave by putting out so much shovelware. There are some absolute gems on the Wii, and it’s sad that they get lost in a sea of “kidz” games.

  • Knowing Nintendo, a new console color should do them just splendid.

  • I bet it is because Iwata is spending all of his time interviewing people, they forgot to do business.

  • kupomogli

    Instead of paying third party publishers to make games to secure 3DS sales, how about paying third party publishers to support your current platforms. Mainly the Wii. The system has very few actual good games and leaving the system with the lack of support it has is really shows how much you care about the current owners of the system.

    But yeah. Nintendo doesn’t care. Nintendo has never cared about their fanbase. Make sure you completely drop Wii support with the release of your next console like the support to most of your other systems.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I don’t think I’d say Nintendo doesn’t care, the DS has a great game collection. Or did you mean they don’t care about the Wii? Because I’ll certainly agree to that, it seems like they don’t care much about what sort of software is put out on it.

    • Maybe if they had made the Wii up to spec with the current gen systems (PS3/360), third parties would have made more games for it. That’s why they said they made the 3DS as advanced as it is.

    • Joanna

      I think you are making an assumption that Nintendo paid third parties to develop for 3DS. I don’t think that is the case. Third party developers want in on the new gravy train. DS was insanely successful and it makes perfect sense for third parties to want to jump onto developing for it’s successor. It’s the same thing that happened to PS2, it rode on the success of PSX. The only reason PS3 didn’t continue that trend was the price point of the system deterred most gamers from picking it up within it’s first year of release and the jump in production costs for developers.

      With that out of the way, I just want to say that Nintendo did support the Wii. They secured Monster Hunter Tri and Dragon Quest X, two of the most popular games in Japan. Plus they continue to make games for Wii. If you honestly expect them to bribe every single developer, I think you are out of your mind. Even Microsoft couldn’t pull that off.

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Much has been made elsewhere that even now, 25-33% of last generation system owners (PS2, Xbox, GC) still are not a part of this gen. Everyone want to find the means to finally get these folks to late adopt, as by next Xmas, we will likely be looking at the coming of what’s next.

    I fully agree with the statements here that the real issue now is software and marketing. Ninty just seems completely unwilling to play that game. We are already into mid October, and every week between now and mid December brings something new to the table. Yet, one would not know that there are two major first party franchise releases in the next month and a third right after the new year.

    There is only so much $$ to go around, and the last things people seem to want (in large part because they don’t know they exist) is Kirby or Donkey Kong. I remain so floored that a company that knows ‘its the software stupid’ with their handheld refuses to grasp the same with the console.

    No instead we need to get excited about the fact that the wiimote and motion plus adapter will now come as a single piece of overpriced plastic.

  • Nintendo in trouble!? if they wanted to make some cash they should release mother 4 or kirby air ride 2

    • I doubt either of those games would sell busting high numbers. They just need to release The Newer New Super Mario Bros Wii.

  • karasuKumo

    Wii Fit (that craze has died down), Twilight Princess, Mario Kart, Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 are the only good games I have played on the Wii. I haven’t played it in a while. I’m quite sick of seeing all these mini-game based chibi styled games coming out on the Wii that are targeted at families. They do advertise well though, getting the trust of pensioners and relating to them so they buy their grandchildren the games for Christmas.

    It might just be me and my friends but we hardly ever play games with our families and when we do it ends in frustration, you spend the whole time explaining what to do and what has just happened to your relatives instead of enjoying the game. I remember when my mum played GTA Vice City … ¬_¬

    • Well I think thats why the family oriented games are mini game compilations in which they have the instructions in easy to understand language on the screen before each game or just basic racing games. I cant really imagine those ending in frustration.

      I think if companies are up to it, they can get the families engaged in playing more hardened series together like shooters, zombie games, hm I can imagine any game in general. They just need to throw in super easy casual modes and such.

      • karasuKumo

        I guess my family aren’t that understanding LOL. Mario Kart was the worst, they didn’t get the difference between the shells, they thought you had to collect the bananas and my grandfather didn’t know who he was playing as XD. The words “What happened?” were said so much it was traumatizing we stay away from family games now.

        I can see horror maze simulators being quite good for families (like the Ju-On game) and puzzle games in general. I actually remember the first Buzz game being quite a hit with my family. It must depend on how stubborn your family members are haha :D

  • they will vomit on their money once they release the 3ds

  • Wii Remote Plus will need to be the de-facto standard in the next Wii

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