Okay. First off, before I say anything, I am NOT attacking the Wii sales, or calling it a fad, or saying it will suddenly drop off the radar, or any other sort of fanboy thing. Don't crucify me....Entirely. However, it seems that a decent number of people believe the Wii will sell above everything else (easily possible considering its current sales), and some sugguest it'll do in the 75m+ range. Now, we can all argue and discuss this, each with rather valid points, as the console wars are only 4 months in, and we still have around 56+ months to go. However, I want to submit to you this which I feel is near-fact: The Wii cannot reach PS1/PS2 levels. I believe it is nearly a mathmatical impossibility. I am not stating this from being pro-PS3 or pro-360. I have made near the same predictions since April last year, and I haven't really changed anything thus far. I believe the Wii will sell great, and will ressurrect Nintendo to become a console giant once again (although I do admit I hate them due to their business tactics of the 80s, their betrayl of my favorite mid-90s RPG makers, and rehashing their top 3 franchises to make me nausiated). If I am wrong, please prove me wrong, but here we go: We can argue if the Wii is a fad or not. IMO, it's not, and obviously it's trending will allow it to continue to sell well. However, from Nintendo's trending of poor manufacturing, I feel it's unlikely that Nintedo will allow the Wii to become an uber-gaming console and reach PS2 or PS1-like heights. Consider the top 3 systems of all time: PS2 - 125,000,000+ Units LTD (and growing) - It's been out for a behemoth 7 years, and still selling well in most every area. It's selling around 60,000 a month in Japan, 250,000 a month in the US (or so), and probably around 200,000 in "other" territories - it still leads the 360 and Wii in most countries in Europe and Austrailia. No system has been like it. Most likely, it will sell another 20m units or even get to 150m units. PS1 - 110,000,000+ Units - The PS1 set the precedent for uber-sales for consoles. Oddly enough, the PS1 started out very slow in the US until it's 3rd year when FFVII came out, and started the wildfire in the US that made it sell 35m+ consoles. It recieved a PSone revision in 2000, and continued to sell well into 2002/3. NES - 69,000,000+ Units - Obviously the granddaddy of uber-selling systems. Although it didn't get to the heights of the PS1/2, it was the lone reason (atleast as far as my studies show) that the gaming/console market in the US revived itself after 2 years of nothingness in the crash of '83. The NES did its sales very well, considering European markets and "other" markets hadn't been established strongly, and did it merely by selling well in the US and Japan. It had a lifespan of 7-ish years from 1983 to 1990 when the SNES came out and overtook the NES's lifespan. Still one of my favorite systems. Now, why did I mention these systems? There is a critical component of a system selling well that I believe the Wii does not have: Time. Yes, we all make fun of the graphical power of the Wii, and many argue "it'll sell well because it's about fun and controller innovations in gameplay" which is certainly true. However: Think of a number of how many years the Wii will sell for, and sell out for. 3 years? 4 years? 6 years? 10 years? I am talking about the current Wii we have, not a Wii+ or a Wii HD or any other sort of beefed up Wii to counter the PS3/360's HD-capability. This, I believe, is the achilles heel in everyone's Wii predictions. Nintendo's current production of the Wii stands at around 1.0 million units a month, which it sells through just about every system. Now, I'm not going to tell anyone they are wrong in their belief the Wii will sell out for the next 3+ years. If it does, great. However, lets use mathmatics to determine the possible sales of the Wii: At 6m consoles sold thus far worldwide, and Ninteno producing 1m consoles from now till it's death, we can get a maximum window of how well the Wii can sale: So lets take the magic number anyone can give of the Wii's continued sellthrough rate. The Wii sells for another 56 months (5 years total life), and sells every one of the million units: The Wii ends up with just around 62m units sold. Very awesome number(s), as it'd be the #4 selling system of all-time. 62m is still a far cry from 80+m that some predict. I believe John Lucas stated he thought the Wii would be at 80-100m by it's end. But what about increased production capacities? Obviously if the Wii sells out every day, and Nintendo can't make enough of them, that they'd increase their factory capacity. Very true. Thus far, it's been stated Nintendo is increasing the capacity of their factories to around 1.1 to 1.2m units a month. A very good increase, as it allows 10-20% more in the supply chain. Now, at 1.2m units (the high end of what the factories are producing), we get 73.2m units sold, again, if EVERY Wii made in the next 5 years sold out. Could the Wii actually sell every unit made between now and 2011? Possibly. However, it'd take alot of faith from alot of people to believe such numbers: Even Nintendo doesn't think the Wii will sell that much. So again, even with it selling at the high end of what Nintendo is doing, its still under 80m. Okay, so lets say Nintendo then increases production by 200,000 units per month each year for the next 2 years, peaks in 2009 and stays there for the next 2 years which is about the max Nintendo could do: 14.4m Units for the next 12 months, April through March of 2008 16.8m Units for the next 12 months, April through March of 2009 19.2m Units for the next 12 months, April through March of 2010 32.0m Units for the next 20 months, April through November 2011 + The 6m units, we get just above the golden 80m mark, 82.4m units. Now, I ask you, how feasable is this scenario? For some of you, it might seem possible that Nintendo can magically increase it's factory capacity to some golden uber-number, but they cannot. The infrastructure needed to get more factories to make products takes a long time to do. The Nintendo DS factories are currently running at around 2.0m units a month - the DS is a far less complex piece of machinery, and the DS has been selling out worldwide (or close to it) for 2+ Years now. Now, of course I'm not calculating for extra Wii sellthrough after the next Wii or whatever would be made, even 5 years afterwards: Consider this: No Nintendo product, be it SNES, N64, GBA, GBC, or GC has ever sold remotely well after its predicessor came out (unlike the PS1/2). The GameCube is at 300 consoles a Week in Japan, just like the GBA. The N64 sold around 15k units in the US after the GC launched, and the GC is just at 25k a month only 4 months after the Wii launched. Therefore, I find it impossible for the Wii to have a decent life after the Wii2 launches. Now, those are my arguments against the Wii reaching some inane stratosphere of gaming nirvana that the PS1 and PS2 got to: I just don't see the Wii selling out for 5 years, then having another 1-2 years of near-sellthrough. Remember, Sony had YEARS to increase capacity for their factories for the PS2 due to PS1s incredible sales. The secret to any system that has sold very well (50m+) is the fact they lasted on market for atleast 6 years. The SNES didn't even reach 50m, despite it being wildly popular against good competition (Genesis). Why? Nintendo axed it once the N64 came out. MS did the same thing with the Xbox, and we see how that faired after the cut in support (the Xbox sold out the remaining units in about 3 months) I'll leave you with this easy question: What year in the console(s) life, did the PS2 and PS1 sell the MOST units in? What December did the PS1 sell 3 million units? (more than the 360, Wii and PS3 sold combined in Dec 2006) How old was the PS1 when it didn't sell over 1m units in December? How old will the PS2 be before it sells below 1m units in the US? Disclaimer: I do believe the Wii will sell greatly this generation, as I said at the beginning. Heck, I believe it'll easily outsell the 360 and PS3 in a very similar timeframe over the next 3 years. I believe the Wii family (including a second generation Wii) will become the biggest family of systems in history next to the Playstation 1/2 brand and the Game Boy family. I just like analysis, so I did the numbers and these are the ones I got. I could easily be wrong, as my numbers are based on a 5 year Wii lifespan. For some unknown reason, the Wii could life for 7 years and end up being a PS2. However, I do see, like many many others, that Nintendo doesn't even plan for this, thus the weak hardware in the Wii. Please feel free to flame away, but do it respectfully :) EDIT: Important Chart! This chart has no names for the various lines for a reason: Guess which system is which. Also, better yet, guess what YEARS this chart is for. This chart has the PS1, PS2, Xbox and N64 on it. This chart isn't for the launch year or year(s). This is some other timeframe in the US/NA. Also, if you can't see it, the top system (the green one) sold a little over 20,000,000 units in North America/Americas in just over 3 years (37 months). Again, it might be very obvious about which one is which, but I'm making a point.
Back from the dead, I'm afraid.