Nintendo has done the unthinkable. They came out with a system that no one was too sure about and they have taken the lead in sales out of all three current generation consoles. The fun factor and use of motion controls, instead of just your average controller, has brought new gamers into the fold. People who hardly ever or never played video games have been drawn to the Wii because of its fun factor and cool games. Wii Fit, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Sports,Wii Play, and Mario Kart Wii are the five highest selling games on the Wii selling more than 63 million copies combined (Wii Sports has sold close to 44 million, but it is bundled with every console) according to VGChartz. No one can deny the fact that Nintendo has done a great job marketing the Wii and coming up with innovative, although repetitive, games. Developers are starting to put more of their resources into the Wii instead of the PS3 and the 360, which could be a bad or good thing depending on who you ask. My question is can Nintendo keep this up?
Many of Nintendo’s games are similar, but the people who buy the games do not seem to care. Also, mostly all games use the same mechanic with the Wii mote and this leads me to believe that sales will slow down. I know people are thinking “what, you must be crazy!”, but hear me out. The PS2 just hit the 150 million mark in worldwide sales and the PS2 came out in 2000. It took the PS2 about 8 years to sell that many consoles, yet the Wii has sold almost 50 million consoles in about 2 and a half years. The Wii is currently on pace to outsell the PS2, but I don’t think it will happen. With the PS2 still selling units, unless Sony discontinues the PS2 entirely, the Wii will not beat the PS2 sales records unless Nintendo starts to add more variety to their games. Nintendo is sticking to their formula right now because it’s working, but I believe that they need to come up with another plan. There are a few games that stand out, namely MADWORLD, that make believe they can continue to expand their game library with games that reach into the more hardcore, although I hate that term along with casual, game segment.
The primary reason I think that the Wii’s sales will slow down is because I know a lot of people who own one and only play it when people come over or they are playing with someone else in their household. The online system that uses a numeric code, which is different for every game, instead of a dedicated gamer tag or id has deterred many people from even attempting to play games online with the Wii. This has not had a significant impact as of yet, but I believe it may in the future. I could be wrong and this is just my opinion, but I think that people will eventually get tired of the Wii if they don’t expand into other gaming genres other than playful kid type games. If the rumors are true, then there will be a Grand Theft Auto on the Wii, but there still needs to be more variety in the type of games the Wii have. Nintendo is the primary maker of games for the Wii, so their first party support is second to none, but all the games use the same mechanic which is the Wii mote. There are very few games that give you the option to just play normally by pushing buttons and not waving your arms around like you are on fire. Their top games franchises such as Zelda, Smash Bros., and anything Mario related sell extremely well, but most other games hover between 1 and 2 million sales according to VGChartz. This is nearly the same type of sales seen on the PS3 and the 360 for the same games and other third party games released on the two consoles. This leads me to believe that there has been a slow down of game sales outside of their storied franchises. Also, console sales for the Wii seem to have leveled off, although it is still selling very well worldwide.
This is not intended to upset Wii lovers, as I also have a Wii, but only play it for fun with my kids or when other people are around, but that is my point. Is the Wii truly the console to own or a great complement to either the PS3 or the 360? I guess we will see over the next few years but I am skeptical as to whether the Wii can continue to sell the same way they have for over 2 years, for an entire 5 to 7 years. Another question to ask yourself is whether there will be a Wii 2 and would people buy it like they are buying the Wii? Just a thought.