It sounds silly, but having lots of pachinko and pachi-slot games is one indicator of how successful a console is in Japan. Developing pachinko software doesn’t cost a lot of money. Budget graphics and basic physics are sufficient, which means a company can release a pachinko game for any system, even go multiplatform. However, going multiplatform is typically uncommon. Most pachinko games pick out the console with the widest audience and they have a single release. Since the advent of the Playstation pachinko titles have remained a staple of Sony’s lineup. Now it looks like the pachinko/pachi-slot tide is turning towards the Wii. Namco Bandai is adding to the growing pachi-slot line up with Kidou Senshi Gundam II Pachi-Slot Gundam Ai Senshi Hen, a Gundam Seed based pachi-slot game.
Why move to the Wii? It’s got a sizeable user base and out of all the consoles the Wii is the cheapest to develop for. Also it isn’t like having pachinko games is unusual for Nintendo. Back in the Super Famicom days, Nintendo’s 16-bit machine was the place to practice pachinko.