Nintendo Boss: “Wii’s Position is Perilous”

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Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo, recently made the candid admission that the Wii is experiencing something of a crisis in Japan, with sales and releases the worst they have been in since launch.

His remarks were made to press whilst speaking about the future development of the console markets:

“It’s a fact that the Wii in Japan is now stagnant. It is in the most unhealthy position it has been in since release. The Wii’s sales model was that it was being driven by a few very powerful titles, but from 2008 this no longer worked effectively.”

Observers have long noted that the Wii’s release schedule has been looking extremely barren for some time now, and this confirms that. With mass appeal casual gaming titles apparently thin on the ground, the problems the Wii has with securing more “serious” games are highlighted.

The best title he can think to mention is apparently “Wii Sports Resort” due in June in Japan, July elsewhere.

He also remarks that no price cuts are being considered; without price cuts or blockbuster software, his strategy for Japan is not clear.

He does see the Nintendo DS as a core part of the company’s current and future business:

He explains that global economic conditions have left Nintendo largely unaffected so far:

“After we released the DS, our customer base broadened dramatically, beyond our expectations. From 2006 to 2008, our sales in both Europe and America also grew.”

He sees potential for expanding sales:

“Currently, many DS units are used by multiple people. Rather than it being ‘one per house’, our desired challenge is now to make it ‘one per user’ instead.”

He went on to outline a plan to make DS software and services ubiquitous, expanding the hand-held into being a mobile device rather than just a gaming device, a scheme readily visible in the features of the DSi.

Via J-Cast.

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96 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay dumbfuck CEOs. Use what little brains you have if you haven’t killed them due to excessive hard drug use due to all the money you USED to have.

    The NES was popular as all FUCK back in the day. Why? THE GAMES WERE GOOD! There were also a lot of them. They only got the second part right and forgot to make them half fun.

    For fuck’s sake it is a simple concept. You don’t even have to make it hardcore games or anything. All of nintendo’s staple games were fairly simple to pick up and play. Hell my grandmother likes mario games(the older 2d ones)

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  • The sales news is really confusing. When you read of the sailed of reach independent console sales thy differ in every article (atleast at N4G) One article speaks that wii and PS3 is doing great in Japan while another says the sales are real low. Don’t know who to trust really (except for SG!)

  • Hmmm…
    Analysis: there doesn’t seem to be enough people in Japan without a Wii to allow sustained growth, and that these Wiis aren’t breaking down plus are covered by warranties longer than 90 days seems to prevent their sales numbers from reaching PS2-like levels.

    kekekeke…

  • I remember my friend saying that the Wii is not a gaming machine but a toy. I definitely agree with him. Who wants to play games moving around and waving your hands. If I wanted to do that I’ll just go outside and play sports. The Wii controller was said to make you more immerse into the game but I fell it did the opposite. The Wii is great playing with your friend or family but when your alone, late nights dungeon crawling a gamepad is better or a mouse and keyboard.

  • As with many things, you can blame this one on the economy. Casual gamers may grow the market, but they’re the first to bail when cash is short on hand. 360 and PS3 gamers are more hardcore, so they’re reliable cash flow. That’s why Sony and MS keep shoveling out sequels and generic games; for hardcore players it doesn’t have to be new and different, it has to be new and familiar. I give props to Nintendo for trying to expand beyond the standard gamer. I’m not a gamer and I want a Wii.

  • OMG! I can’t believe how stupid people are. LOL! The Wii sales gone down yeah which is to be expected since they haven’t released a great game since christmas. Even then it wasn’t that much great games and it’s only in Japan the sales have gone down but wait for Wii Sports Resort, Monster Hunter 3 and Dragon Quest X. If you’re a real gamer you know how much of a impact those games will have. Besides E3 is coming in less than 2 months and then they will announce what games will be released the second half of the year. If you’re a REAL gamer you should know they announce their games only months before release unlike years as they did before.

    If you have a grudge against Nintendo I’m sorry to say you’re and idiot. Nintendo created modern gaming and it was because of Nintendo Sony started making gaming consoles.

  • Again nintendo is going agaist it’s own policy of making a game console only for games, and is going for a mor multimedia stuff, kinda funny, because, nintendo said to sony that the multimedia way, was the grong way into entertaiment.

    looks like sony was always right in the route they choosed for going multimedia before nintendo.

  • Steve Hester (UK) says:

    Over here, you walk into a Games Store and the Wii Section looks like a kiddie toy department in a Store.

    I won’t slate Nintendo for what they’ve tried to do, but they seem to keep digging a hole and falling into it with their shovelware.

    I haven’t even bought the latest gen yet, I’m still a PS2 user (Persona 4 !!!!!), I can’t be bothered with Nintendo’s kiddie games, the 360 is an unreliable piece of scrap and the PS3 is still too pricey for my liking.

  • This is why computer programmers don’t make the best CEO in the world. We just have a fine example of self-defeating prophecy here. Even if someone has a plan to purchase a Wii, he is gonna have second thoughts after hearing the comment from the CE. I hope their R&D department is more competent than this. Maybe rolling out something that is on par with Xbox 360 and PS3. It’s sad to see Wii having its product life span cut short by incompetent management and ineffective business strategy.

  • Nintendo haters abound. Nintendo took a chance with a new concept to make them an ass ton on money in the console market. The Wii has made them an ass ton of money.

    Anyway if more and more titles get PC versions, the ones to really feel the heat will be the 360 and Ps3.

    • It made an ass ton of money, but another Anon made a very good point:

      “The Wii’s current standing in Japan appears to be similar to the last days of the Atari system.”

      I won’t say the Wii’s dead, nor is it on its “last days”. Far from it. But now that the console sales money has dried up and they abandoned their loyal core base, they’re at more or less a tipping point. The casual players will die off. They will disappear as people lose interest on what was popular, and what will be left will be a handful of “converted” casuals (those who graduated from the casual Wii games like Wii Fit, Wii Music, etc. to great games like Brawl, Metroid, Super Mario Galaxy, etc) and what remains of its core population.

      Do take note, the PS3 is slowly starting to gain momentum in sales – news of the superior Tales of Vesperia port for PS3 is a good sign. We’ll leave the X360 out of the equation, as it’s pretty much a dead system after its brief stint at being “TEH COAR JRPG system”. The average JP gamer only has two home console systems to really look at across the pond – the PS3 and the Wii. I know where the JRPGs are going, and it ain’t the Wii.

      Of course, take my observation with a grain of salt. I am heavily, heavily biased against the Wii after Nintendo’s ridiculous decision to market the Wii to the casual market, thereby diluting the crap to quality ratio of the Wii software selection. I still think the Wii has a chance, but not if it continues this model.

      However, the DS and PSP on the other hand, IMO are solid systems. The DS IMO is inferior to the PSP when it comes to what a more mature demographic of gamers want in features of the system (the PSP is pretty powerful for a handheld system) and a good selection of PSP versions of JRPGs, but the DS has a wonderfully vast and varied game library that covers a lot of genres. DS is still kicking its ass, don’t get me wrong, but the PSP is FAR from fail in Japan.

      Let’s see what 2009 brings for Nintendo and Sony.

  • I think many of you fail to take into account that Wii has about the same install base as PS3 and X360 combined worldwide…

    It’s only stagnant in Japan… Not to mention that the whole home console market is in decline. Handhelds are the next big thing, in Japan at least.

    • the problem is on the long run. even with currently having the most base thing. If the sell continue to decline it only a matter of time for other console to defeat it.

      PSP posses a really great threat toward DS you know?

      • Vampire Lord says:

        I see PSP and NDS as separate kind of systems, just remove the non-game system stuff and you get a classic handheld and the stylus controller handheld (I hate then they unecessarly put stylus function and forget about the buttons, why didn’t they take out all buttons then?).

        • “He went on to outline a plan to make DS software and services ubiquitous, expanding the hand-held into being a mobile device rather than just a gaming device”

          not anymore I guess…..

  • Supakitsune says:

    The Wii is dead in the water at this point if Nintendo doesn’t clean up its act.

    See, at the start of the Wii’s lifespan Nintendo did things right: put out good, enjoyable first-party games.

    Where are most Nintendo franchises that would normally these types of hits for the Wii?

    On the DS. Mario’s there. Link’s there. The kid from Animal Crossing is there.

    Nintendo has even acknowledged this with its recent bad habit of “enhanced remaking”, from Animal Crossing City Folk (Wild World with a bit of Doubutsu no Mori e+ and Animal Crossing GC mixed in), to Mario Kart Wii (largely MKDS with a little MK64 and a little Double Dash mixed in), to Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBM with… new stages and lots of music). And it’s become stagnant, old, and saddeninging, almost.

    I’m really hoping that this whole fiasco teaches Nintendo a goddamn lesson, and reinforces in their execs’ minds just who the people who brought them so much power and respect pre-Wii in the first place were.

      • Supakitsune says:

        Unfortunately, I have never played Power Stone.
        However, in ters of Smash Bros. Brawl, I’m feeling like ANYTHING would have made it better than it is.
        I mean, remember how fresh and new Melee felt?
        Brawl didn’t have that feeling at all. It was kind of sad.

  • they just never learn that it always the game software that decide everything. It only a matter of time for developer to fill up PS3 game list. And the winner is ……. kind of boring (-_-)

  • What they actually don’t want to admit is that they fail at COMPLETELY blocking thw Twilight Hack. And I am one of these proud hacked Wii owners.

    And failing that, they still have the rest of the morons outside Japan while, as the developpers of Deadly Creatures said, third-parties will be crying at the lack of hardcore titles on the Wii.

  • Vampire Lord says:

    Right now every console in this “war” got many flaws in order to “take over the market”, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft want their systems to be the “ultimate home entertainment system”, be it, Blu-Ray with Built-in console, Family console, or non-PC multiplayer system.

    Xbox360 seems to be the best in terms of online service and games, but it’s still cheap manufactured; PS3 is in the same spot the Saturn was, only 2 out of 10 third party companies CAN program a really new game (sports, race, shooters are too generic), when I say PS3 I think Metal Gear Solid 4; and the Wii, yes, too family friendly, even more generic on its games compared to the PS3, and of course, the worst Online of all three.

    They no longer care for hardcore gamers, it is just that Nintendo cares for hardcore gamers the less.

  • They got away from their real audience, the people that would continue to support them even in troubled times. They divided the audience, tried to make a quick buck and jack up numbers to entice developers and now they’ve finally realized that software is what makes a system, not fancy add-ons.

  • In the end it always PlayStation huh… geez maybe for the next console war I should just stick with sony all the way less confusing.

    I wonder about their DS sell though aren’t they on neck to neck competition with PSP?

  • Bleh not really suprising really. Some people already concerned that wii is lacking some serious game. I mean it was really fun with wii at first but it gets really boring later on. Some people just don’t want to admit it.I sell mine after like three months for extra cash to buy PS3

  • The Wii’s current standing in Japan appears to be similar to the last days of the Atari system. Nintendo should re-organize if they are to keep up with the console wars. I’d recommend less casual games and more hardcore games (Mad World is one of them). Furthermore, Nintendo should lift restrictions on developers to insist having all games done on the Wiimote and instead have them decide the controller that best suits the game – even if it means going to the old Gamecube one or the Virtual Pad.

  • Of course this was going to happen, they have like, four titles that people fap furiously over(Smash Bros., Mario, Metroid, Zelda, feel free to add in more, that’s the main four I can think of), and the rest of the games are rudimentary graphics wise and gameplay wise, resting solely on the gimmicky Wiimote. I so deeply regret getting caught in the Wii craze when it was released and shelling out an extra $50 for one, I haven’t touched the damn thing in months. Their online capabilities are beyond abysmal, for some fucking reason my PS2, PSP, 360, and PS3 all can connect online, but you would not believe how many error messages fly up when I try to play a Brawl match online, it’s absolutely shameful that they released such a subpar system in this day and age.

    They clearly learned nothing from the lackluster Gamecube, Nintendo just needs to go the path of Sega already.

    • Vampire Lord says:

      No! if Nintendo goes the path of Sega they will end up making a kickass console even far beyond its time and then suddenly drop it and blaming piracy and the lack of interest overseas.

      Of course I am talking about the Saturn and the Dreamcast, both of them were treated like trash outside of Japan because the genius on the american/european marketing didn’t have any faith on either Saturn RPGs, Arcade Ports (MvC, KoF), or late releases (Castlevania SotN), who needs them when you have sports games on those? not to mention programming for the Saturn was a little less complicated than the Cell on PS3 and Dreamcast was so easy to program so people made so many homebrew games an applications.

      Yes, I am done…

      • Uh, I was more leaning towards the part where Sega bows out of the console race, but if that’s what you only think of when someone says go the path of Sega, more power to you, or something.

  • Its simple demaned has peeked…its time to make real games for gamers or realize you fcked over the WII and made a mistake…..and besides…. its made more money than the PS360 who the hell can it ever be in a crisis?
    0-o

    In 2 years plug it and bring out a real console/media system!

  • Meh. Sooner or later the trend needed to calm down. I see this as something positive; it will drive the Nintendo dudes to produce more creative games and not all this mini-game non-sense (they are fun for a while but soon grow tired of them) they keep on spouting.

  • Lowlife187 says:

    HELLO! MARIO? LINK? SAMUS? Why don’t they put out some more of these characters and less Wii Sports. These are what gamers want! And make a shooting game that works right, that would help.

  • Why do they tend in Nintendo of Japan to be often so melodramatic? Expecially when 2009 is one of the best years for Wii with so many great games it has released and it’s going to release.

  • We all know that in the end Playstation always wins.

    But seriously am not surprised. I bought Wii and although it was a little fun at first you easily get bored of it. I sold after two months. No one has the appetite to always jump up and down to play a game and there weren’t much interesting games anyway.

  • mm… the wii had a good run.. but personally i think its because the concept behind the wii was too far ahead of its time and taht no other companies could throw out decent games that could adapt to it

    • Its because nintendo wont license any decent games in north America or Europe. They rather release bullshit games like wiicheer,wiimusic and other shovelware instead of games we actually want like fatal frame.

      • yeah. I keep looking over seas and seeing some interesting games but here they have all these dumb shit games that look like they were designed for some collage project.
        I was looking forward to Project H.A.M.M.E.R but the canaled it. >:(

    • It’s well known that third party games developed for the Wii have not sold well. Most of the casual buyers who bought the Wii have no idea or care if some 3rd party developer releases a good game. All they look for is games that have “Wii” stamped on it, ie. Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Shovelware…

    • I love playing the wii but I haven’t played a good game since Elebits (one of the release games). I was hoping for a new fun game but all I see is junk. 🙁

      Its sad. It was fun but when there are no good games then whats the point.

    • Gamers everywhere fucking CALLED this. The Nintendo fanboys raised to the Wii’s side and went UR JUST JEALOUS CUZ UR NOT #1.

      No. We just knew the Wii was floating on a marketing strategy that was eventually going to backfire on them as Soccer Mom Sue and their entire family loses interest on their Wii Fit.

      Anecdotal evidence: My workplace has many casual people who are too busy with their worklife to care about video games. They’re all classic AMERICAN MOMZ WITH AMERICAN FAMILIEZ and all bought a Wii Fit. They’re the type of people who won’t put much thought or research into what they’re buying – they just give in to the hype of whatever’s popular. (see: iPhone, iPod, etc)

      These families I’ve known bought the Wii Fit months ago. Are they still playing it now?

      Nope. Did they buy any new fun games? Nope.

      Come on Nintendo, you can still go the other route. You still have a huge dedicated audience that wants to play good games.

    • WondrousWizard says:

      Did you read this article? His downfall is only in japan. If you look at the stats, the wii is the most popular of xbox360, ps3 and wii. Wii sold around 50 million in world wide, while xbox360 and ps3 are around 20-30 million. Things doesn’t look good for Japan, but with how they are doing in north america, I wouldn’t be worried about Nintendo future. For a fact, the system who has been sold the most worldwide is the nintendo DS with around 100 million. This article is just a way to show how the fight between system company is going. Just a fight for domination.

        • Anonymous says:

          don’t forget that nintendo actually makes their own games most of which are its best sellers and they make ALL the profit off of them unlike Xbox and PS3.
          also the gamecube (in fact it did terrible) may of not done well but thats all in the past

      • yes and if this continue either PS3 or Xbox360 will outsold wii in the future.

        I have wii myself and to be honest like everyone said It was fun at first but it got totallly boring in a short time. The question is will you recommend this kind of console to others? NO I WONT – Ironically I’m one of the hardcore gamers that support Nintendo PRE-Wii.

        Right now I’m eyeing either for PS3 or Xbox360. Most likely PS3 though. Haah pretty sad actually.

        • Nintendo dug their own grave, when they couldn’t be bothered to up grade the graphics. It was only a matter of time before this happened, neglecting their core market, not a good strategy.

        • I knew it since years now, I knew it when N64, came out, I knew it when Game cube came out, and I knew it when the wii came out. SAME OLD CHILDISH STUPID GAMES OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Come on, anyone can see that. I don’t understand why peolple keeps spending money in a company that will let you down in less than a year for sure. What happened with nintendo’s supernes era, when wave after wave of quality (along with variety)of games were released?

    • wat about the possible thought that every family already owns a wii? thats why the market aint growing anymore?

      true fact they havent released any epic games in a while though…. wheres my next zaelda installment!!!