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Wii

Nintendo Undaunted by Economy, Buoyed by New Consumers

by Carmine Red - October 28, 2008, 8:13 pm PDT
Total comments: 28 Source: Los Angeles Times

Wii production is at 2.4 million a month, Wii Fit has sold "somewhere around 3 million units," and women are a big part of the reason why.

"Once you see it on the shelf, you ought to buy it" is Reggie Fils-Aime's advice to prospective Wii shoppers this holiday season. He may be doing his job as President of Nintendo of America, but his gung-ho attitude about his company's outlook persisted throughout the interview he gave the Los Angeles Times at the 22nd Annual Women's Conference.

When asked about whether sales had been affected by current economic conditions, Reggie answered, "we have not seen any negative impact." In fact, Reggie pointed out that both systems account for "almost 70% of the dollar growth of the industry in the U.S. in the first nine months of this year, compared to last year." Given that data, and considering that the Wii "continues to be largely sold out at retail," Nintendo is confidently manufacturing 2.4 million Wii units a month for worldwide consumption.

Asked to explain the Wii's success, and Nintendo's confidence, in the face of today's market conditions, Reggie suggested that the company's products were highly valued "because the entire family can play and because each game has more than 50 hours of play time." But Reggie also talked about the new consumers that were driving sales, and who drew him to the non-profit women's conference, an event originally started for female small business owners and professionals.

"Half the owners of our hand-held DS console are women." He pointed out, "Among those who play the Wii, 50% are female." Reggie also claimed that not only did women play the Wii, they also owned the console in higher numbers too. "In terms of people who claim the Wii console as theirs, a third are women. That compares to about 20% for typical consoles."

Talking specifically about software, Reggie recounted seeing a line of shoppers at the Nintendo World Store waiting to purchases Nintendo's Wii Fit game. "Of the people who stood in line in New York, 60% were working women. This is a demo that arguably has never bought a video game, and they're buying [Wii Fit] for themselves." He claimed that Wii Fit, which has sold "somewhere around 3 million units," and other top selling products show how Nintendo has managed to achieve so much success in attracting female customers. "In our research, women enjoy the social nature of games," Reggie explained, "that's why Nintendogs did so well with women. There was no winning. You just had to take care of this cute dog."

Yet despite this enthusiasm for "no winning," Nintendo is certainly enjoying the fruits of success. In addition to the strong sales they predict, the video game company is reaping the benefits of strong sales from older games like New Super Mario Bros. for the DS which would have normally disappeared from store shelves months ago. Nintendo is also enjoying strong retailer support. "Retailers view the Wii and the DS as a way to draw more consumers into their stores," gushed Reggie, "they are using it as a loss leader to drive traffic."

Talkback

BeautifulShyOctober 28, 2008

I have a question. How many units of PS2s did Sony produce per month at its peak production?

It is good to see that the Wii is selling well despite the tough economic times in the US.

DAaaMan64October 28, 2008

Quote:

Wii Fit has sold "somewhere around 3 million units," and women are a big part of the reason why.

ZING!

Wii audience = fat chicks CONFIRMED

NinGurl69 *hugglesOctober 29, 2008

Let's see the HD machines tap into THAT AUDIENCE.

Quote from: DAaaMan64

Quote:

Wii Fit has sold "somewhere around 3 million units," and women are a big part of the reason why.

ZING!

That... was SOOO not my intention.

Quote from: Maxi

I have a question. How many units of PS2s did Sony produce per month at its peak production?

It is good to see that the Wii is selling well despite the tough economic times in the US.

I think if you look at the Peak PS2 sales years, it sold around 25 million worldwide in 12 months? That's roughly 2.something million a month if production was steady throughout the year. I'd say that the Wii is definitely being manufactured, and produced, at LEAST at the PS2's peak level, probably even higher.

BeautifulShyOctober 29, 2008

Thank you Kairon.If the demand keeps up for the Wii like there is any doubt I think they up it to 3 million some time in the first half of 2009. That will most certainly ensure that the PS2 will be the second best selling come the end of this generation.

Which brings another question. How long do you think Nintendo and Sony will support their respective systems?Wii and PS2.

NinGurl69 *hugglesOctober 29, 2008

12 years

PS3 has to defeat the N64 to ensure its genes will pass on.

KDR_11kOctober 30, 2008

Quote from: NinGurl69

12 years

Old enough for Bill.

MarioOctober 30, 2008

Since when do fat chicks care about fitness?

SchadenfreudeOctober 30, 2008

They care for about a week, then shove it in their closet.

StogiOctober 30, 2008

Good. Good. *Rubs hands together*

This year, I'm trying to make 4 g's off Nintendo. I think I have a pretty good shot.

Quote from: Schadenfreude

They care for about a week, then shove it in their closet.

LOL so true.

Ian SaneOctober 30, 2008

There's nothing cooler than being the console of choice for families and WOMEN!! HOO YEAH!!

Apparently in the fourth grade when Beric Bason told me Nintendo was for girls he was right.

Isn't it a little early to be declaring the Wii unaffected by the current economic situation?  The economic crisis is, what, a month old?  I know it goes beyond that but the current "oh sh!t" stuff with Lehman Brothers and everything is very recent.  I doubt Nintendo even has sales figures from that time period yet.  And we haven't hit Christmas yet, when people normally buy lots of fun stuff.  Won't that be the true test of how the economic problems of the last year have truly affected Nintendo?

I know this is a just the standard PR "we're so great" crap every company does but it seems embarrassingly premature to be acting like the current economic situation has no effect on them when even if it DID they probably wouldn't be able to even know yet.

Of course Nintendo is for girls. My Mom played Zelda. She's who got me into videogames.

Anyways, I agree, I can't help but wonder exactly how this holiday sales season will shape up for videogames. They're traditionally a "recession-proof" industry, but could that change? And with the XBox 360 Arcade version cheaper than the Wii, isn't the Wii now not the cheapest next-gen console gift for the Holidays? $50 could be huge come Christmastime... though we haven't yet seen any impact in game sales really to justify these concerns...

Quote from: Kairon

Of course Nintendo is for girls. My Mom played Zelda. She's who got me into videogames.

Ah, so THAT explains your taste in games.

Sorry Cai, couldn't resist.  ;)

KDR_11kOctober 31, 2008

Quote from: Ian

There's nothing cooler than being the console of choice for families and WOMEN!! HOO YEAH!!

Because there's nothing as important as looking cool, eh? Isn't that what leads to the high average debt among households, that peopel want to LOOK good without having the money to actually afford it, going into high debts just to finance their "status" symbols?

Quote:

And with the XBox 360 Arcade version cheaper than the Wii, isn't the Wii now not the cheapest next-gen console gift for the Holidays?

What good is a cheap gift if noone wants it? Even if we ignore the deficiencies of the Arcade (you can get the Pro for cheaper than the Wii here even if you ignore the temporary drop to 200€) the whole point of the Wii is that another console JUST WON'T DO. Try gifting your mother a 360, I bet she'll come back to you in no time asking you to set the freaking thing up because it's harder to set up than a freaking PC OS. Also with the 360 you'll probably want a game for the system since you probably didn't buy it for Hexic HD and the demos you can get are so short you can finish them in less than half the time it took to download them while the Wii comes with Wii Sports which is one of the biggest system sellers.

NinGurl69 *hugglesOctober 31, 2008

Wii Sports is THE system seller.  3 holiday seasons running.

Quote from: Lindy

Quote from: Kairon

Of course Nintendo is for girls. My Mom played Zelda. She's who got me into videogames.

Ah, so THAT explains your taste in games.

Sorry Cai, couldn't resist.  ;)

I think my mom shares the blame with one of my older cousins. She got me into both Alladin (on the Genesis) and Donkey Kong Country.

Ian SaneNovember 01, 2008

Quote:

I can't help but wonder exactly how this holiday sales season will shape up for videogames. They're traditionally a "recession-proof" industry, but could that change?

Hard to say since Nintendo is now targetting a different group.  You could really only say the old game market is traditionally "recession-proof".  The blue ocean market is too new for us to know.  Will people with a less serious interest in games keep buying videogames during a recession?

KDR_11kNovember 01, 2008

Well, they keep buying movies and music.

IceColdNovember 01, 2008

In a recession (or depression) people look to entertainment to escape from everyday life. Why do you think Gone With the Wind is the highest grossing (adjusted for inflation) movie of all time?

BeautifulShyNovember 01, 2008

Excellent point Ice Cold.

Ian SaneNovember 01, 2008

Quote:

Well, they keep buying movies and music.

Yeah but those are a lot cheaper and way, way, WAY more mainstream than videogames.  I guess I've just always seen videogames as more of a luxury.  Maybe that's changed.

BeautifulShyNovember 01, 2008

It has. Having a 1080p Plasma/DLP is more of a luxury.

KDR_11kNovember 01, 2008

Quote from: Ian

Yeah but those are way, way, WAY more mainstream than videogames.

Not anymore.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusNovember 02, 2008

Quote from: Maxi

It has. Having a 1080p Plasma/DLP is more of a luxury.

Well technically you don't need a HDTV to enjoy a Wii,PS3 or a 360.

I think in the bigger scheme of things, even having a video game console is a luxury.

BeautifulShyNovember 02, 2008

Yeah that is true Flames.

I was more talking about as a status symbol.

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