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Locked: Is the Wii doomed?

Forums - Sales Discussion - Is the Wii doomed?

Okay, that seems like a ridiculous question in light of the NPD numbers, but it's actually the NPD numbers that make me ask. Because the striking thing to me wasn't how well the Wii sold -- anyone who's tried to buy one knew they'd sell well -- it's how badly third-party Wii software sold compared to first-party software. So here are a few things that make me wonder about the Wii: 1. The PS3 and 360 are approximately similar hardware, such that a game developed for one of systems is easily ported to the other. But the Wii isn't like that; a game developed for the Wii can't be trivially ported from the PS3/360 version (note that no Wii ports of next-gen-only titles exist right now, for instance). So while the sales of the PS3 and 360 almost don't matter, from the perspective of a third-party publisher -- the PS3 could have 15% of the market, and publishers would do a port from the 360 version, because it doesn't take many sales to justify such a straight port -- the Wii's sales do matter, because a port/rewrite will take a lot more time, effort, and money to create for the Wii. 2. Right now, the Wii's getting a free ride due to the enduring success of the PS2. People knock the third-party Wii library for producing a lot of PS2 ports, but those only exist because the Wii is a trivial port target for PS2 games in the way that the PS3/360 are for each other. This is fine right now, while the PS2 is still a going concern, but two years from now, there won't be a PS2 to amortize development costs with. 3. The combination of the top two points means that the Wii has to earn its keep with third-party titles, and has to sell enough all by itself to make them worth it for publishers. But this is where those February numbers come in: First-party software for the Wii is MASSIVELY outselling third-party software right now, by a lot. It doesn't appear that Wii buyers are interested in bread-and-butter third-party titles. Which makes sense for two reasons: 1) A lot of Wii buyers are multi-platform owners, and if you have a choice between buying a game on the 360 (with next-gen graphics, HD support, online capability, achievements, etc.) or buying it on the Wii (prev-gen graphics, no HD, no real online), you're going to buy it on the 360; 2) People who are hardcore gamers mostly bought the Wii for the first-party franchises -- Mario, Zelda, Metroid -- while people who aren't traditional gamers (the alleged grandmas and girlfriends) just don't buy that many games, and are even less likely to buy Unreal 3 or GTA, even if they did exist on the Wii. 4. The result of the top three means that third-party game support on the Wii is likely to be even worse than it was on the GameCube (which was a trivial port between the PS2 and Xbox), and more in line with the N64. And without third parties, you need a steady and fast flow of first-party games. But what is there? Mario and Metroid were both supposed to come out in the spring of this year; I think Mario's already been pushed back to fall, and Metroid (unofficially) to 2008. So that's two games over the course of the next year -- and then what? Nintendo swore they won't have a first party game drought this generation, but I don't see how they can avoid it. 5. So that's the "hard" stuff, the stuff based on technical and financial realities (or, at least, suppositions). Then there's the soft stuff, the perceptions and intangibles. This is where the Wii is doing really well right now, but I think they've got problems coming up. Nintendo's always struggled with being pigeonholed as the "kiddie" console. Well, the Wii still has some of that problem -- nothing on the Wii so far is going to appeal to the mainstream gamer demographic, that 16-24 year-old male who plays Madden and GTA in his dorm room -- but they've got a new problem now, which is that the Wii is seen as being, well, a "chick console." All the talk about how girlfriends and wives will play the Wii is having an effect. Reading this month's EGM, I was struck that the editors responded to a letter critical of the Wii by noting in its favor "Girls love it." It was a bit tongue-in-cheek, I know, and women are part of the gaming market, and ancient guys like me aren't worried about getting cooties -- but your typical Joe Sixpack young guy isn't going to be wild about having a console that's variously kiddy or girly (particularly if it also means he can't play GTA or Halo). So, long story short, I wonder if Nintendo's strategy of reaching out for the non-gaming market is going to doom the Wii to niche status. On the plus side for Nintendo, they're making money on the Wii hardware from day one, and their first-party franchises sell very well, so they're making good money there, too. They can do just fine with niche status. It's only the rare gamers who try to make the Wii their sole/primary console who'll be in trouble...



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I disagree...at least for Japan. 360 sales are bad in Japan, PS2 is dying, PS3 can't yet offer the potential for a game to sell one million in Japan. Once developers get a whiff of a huge userbase, they will figure out how to use the hardware - that is what is happening to the DS. But there seems to be an 18 month to 2 year delay of fence sitting/optimizing development. I don't know about Europe, but Rayman Raving Rabbits, Red Steel and Madden have all sold pretty well in the USA. Certaintly better than they would have on Gamecube I think, so the potential is there. It will be a while though before most can capitalize on it, because EA controls most of the big sport titles that translate well to 3D motion...I do think DDR and Guitar Hero could be huge for Wii though. I don't expect Wii to have PS2 level support of 3rd parties though...SNES level support seems about right...higher than Gamecube and N64, but still nowhere near GB, NES, DS level support. To me though, 360 will have the best selling 3rd party games in the Americas. Wii will have the best 3rd party sales in Japan. Europe will be fairly even for 3rd parties I think. The importance of soccer in Europe makes the 'Wii Sport" advantage far less for games like Winning Eleven (because the controllers are for hands, not feet..)



People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.

When there are more laws, there are more criminals.

- Lao Tzu

Senseless rant following. Dont read if unless your bored and have free time. (that includes you mods) ***START TROLL*** I've said this before. I'll say it agian. This time I'll jump the fence and instead of saying how true mkozlows point is. I'll parody the Wii guys. "It is a good thing the 3rd party games sell like crap. The only thing that matters are the insane high nintendo sales. Developers dont care if great 3rd party games sell medocore. If a nintendo game sells like hot-cakes, Better start making everything for the Wii!" ***END TROLL***



PSN ID: Kwaad


I fly this flag in victory!

Resistance: Fall of Man is the closet thing they have to a million, worldwide its about 255k short of a million and after the euro launch It may get there. Can the PS3 sell a million for one game worldwide? Yes. Can it do that in a single market? No.



TheSource said: I disagree...at least for Japan.
Japan is sort of the wildcard, yeah. I find the Japanese gaming market completely opaque to me, so can't even begin to predict how the Wii/PS3 battle will play out over there. Although if the Wii is successful in Japan, I'm not sure what that does to the U.S. I mean, in theory, it should help, as that'd be at least some third-party games -- but I just can't see it making enough of a difference.



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if the third parties are lazy and just port games or produce low quality version of PS3/X360 games, indeed the wii is in trouble in the long run (but will still do better than GC). But if the third parties get some senses and produce games completely exclusive not only to wii but to the gameplay mechanics of the wii, then, they'll sell well and take a chunk of N's software domination. I believe it is already starting. when i look at Rayman, i see a game that would be utterly boring with a normal controller and that's tons of fun when yu're with your friends gesturing like crazy, knocking every glass around.... so more games that use well the wiimote and all doubts will be cleared...



Wii can have a 2 year life span and be a success, profitable right of the bat.



Here is my point. Worldwide. there are 7 1million+ 3rd party games for PSP there are 5 1million+ 3rd party games for DS Rember the DS outnumbers the PSP almost 2 to 1. WHY... WHY IN THE WORLD... does the PSP have MORE 1million+ 3rd party sellers... WORLD WIDE... than the DS? Why is the HIGHEST 3rd party DS game 1.51 and the PSP is 3.49? These numbers seem to continue with the Wii.



PSN ID: Kwaad


I fly this flag in victory!

^ crazy ehh or Madden PS3 out sold Madden wii, or was this expected ?



http://www.vgcharts.org/worldtotals.php?name=&console=DS&publisher=&sort=Total http://www.vgcharts.org/worldtotals.php?name=&console=PSP&publisher=&sort=Total Nope. Not crazy... Unless vgcharts.org is wrong... Madden PS3 335,250 Madden Wii 311,250 PS3 wins... 335,250 highest 3rd party PS3 375,250 highest 3rd party Wii Once agian. Wii outnumbers PS3 2 to 1 (almost)



PSN ID: Kwaad


I fly this flag in victory!