New color, new game contribute to Wii resurgence


blast_offSorry, kids, the bubble hasn’t burst just yet.

Earlier this week, we brought you word that Nintendo would probably never, ever give the Wii a price drop, even though the Xbox 360 has a basic model that’s currently $50 cheaper than the Wii and sales have slumped slightly in recent months.

To better understand why Nintendo will never entertain the idea of a price drop anytime soon, consider this: In Japan this week, all it took to once again decimate the competition was a new console color and Monster Hunter 3.

And that’s how it should work. Price drops are a last resort. They are for consoles in the twilight of their careers, and they’re especially foolish for consoles that have yet to break out of the “loss leader” category, as that means even more money is being lost per console sold. It’s a category Nintendo systems will never be in, as the company sells theirs from day one for a profit. There is literally no reason whatsoever at the moment why Nintendo would even be remotely considering a price drop. Will people continue to complain? Sure, and Nintendo will keep selling consoles. In matters of business, which side do you think is “right?”

But anyway, it turns out the lull was a direct result of a lull in quality games. What a concept! In Japan, at least, that lull is over.


  1. I don’t understand why anyone on this site complains about Wii not dropping in price. Doesn’t everyone on this site already own a Wii. So what good does it do you if Nintendo drops the price? You already own one and you already paid $250 for it.

    Is there anyone reading this site that still doesn’t own a Wii and they were holding out for a price drop before picking one up?

  2. i don’t think they’re complaining about a price drop, they’re discussing pros and cons for not dropping the price. it’s just a discussion from different points of view on the topic.

  3. I still believe that great games are what sell a console. The $250 price point is already attractive enough, as evidenced by the fact that the console still sells considerably well. We just need some more killer apps to come our way.

    But whatever. The internet will always find a reason to complain.

  4. What exactly are the pros and cons of not dropping the price to a consumer that already has a Wii?

  5. KING:

    price drop Pros:
    more consoles=more gamers, bigger market for developers=more quality games

    cons:owners feel they got shafted, for some reason. I know what the Wii cost when I bought it, and I still payed that much for it. I’ve got my value out of it

  6. CON: Nintendo makes less money.

    This is not a game for them. Or a service. They’re selling a product. I’m simply pointing out, often, that for all the complaining done by people on forums or wherever, the sales numbers are pretty healthy for the Wii, speaking in terms of life-to-date. It’s as though the complainers are full of poop, and are just complaining for complaining’s sake, or possibly because they’re delusional, and think their carefully crafted words and clever barbs have more weight and sales knowledge than a company that’s been selling video games for the past 30 years.

    Note the Nintendo numbers are also healthier than Xbox and PS3 (with Activision predicting that by 2010 Wii installed base will be about equal to both those systems combined) — and both those systems have had substantial price cuts in the same time period!

  7. The only people really bitching about wanting a price drop are…..

    1. People who dislike the Wii and want something to bitch about.
    2. People who just like to bitch about everything.

    Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of economics knows that they don’t drop the price until they think they need to. Usually because demand has been met at the current price, a competitor drops their price, or because they are discontinuing a model and want to accelerate it’s sales.

    Ok, now that’s out of the way, I’d like to speak to Jacks post.

    First, he’s right. The Wii bubble absolutely hasn’t burst. Nor will it. It’s officially past the halfway point in traditional life cycles, so decreases in sales are pretty normal. If the Wii sales continue to be flat or in decline, it’s not a bubble bursting, it’s normal market forces, possibly accelerated by a weak economy.


    to say this is a bit misleading, “all it took to once again decimate the competition was a new console color and Monster Hunter 3.”

    “all it took”.

    Yeah, all it took was the release of one of THE biggest franchises in Japan which just happens to be exclusive to the console. Saying “all it took” sounds like it didn’t take much. But Monster Hunter releasing is, in fact, huge. Particularly because it’s not on a portable and because it’s exclusive to a nintendo console.

    This would be like saying, “all it took” to start a fire was an erupting volcano.

  8. @used

    True. In this rare case, blame poor word choice, in lieu of my usual biased ranting. Good catch.

    That said, I’ve read that “analysts” are giving the new black console color some props for the increased sales too.

  9. Personally I find the whole color thing funny as well. I mean are there really some people out there who haven’t bought a Wii simply because it’s white? Or now that there is a black Wii (at least in Japan) are there some people who will finally buy it, who wouldn’t have before? I’ve also heard people mention that they would be willing to buy a second Wii if they could get a black one. Seriously? I guess to me that just seems rather odd.
    I can see having a preference for a certain color, but is that an actual reason for not buying a gaming system? I personally wouldn’t care if the Wii’s original color was an orange and pink swirl, as long as it still does what it’s supposed to do, I couldn’t care less. Sure I might prefer a different color, but that would never have stopped me from buying it in the first place.
    I can see how bundling a gaming system with a good game could increase sales, but honestly I can’t see how changing the color of the system should make much of a difference.
    But perhaps that’s just me.

  10. Jack,

    I just didn’t want it to look like we’re always in lock step. That way, when I DO agree with you, I have more cred. 🙂

    But yeah, I think the Black is helping. I’ve considered buying a second Wii for my wife and would be more likely to do so if they released a black one. My wife generally does her DVD workouts on a different TV than the one we game on. But lately she’s been substituting Wii Sports Active (EA) and Wii-Fit for her normal DVD workouts. This means she using MY gaming TV. If we had a second Wii, she could do all of her Wii-Fit/Wii Sports Active on her TV instead of the one I use to game. As it is now, we often have conflicts of who gets to use the TV for the Wii. If I had a second one, I could solve this. Plus, then I could give her my white one and have a sweet black one in the basement where I game/watch TV. I hope it comes stateside for this purpose.

  11. Why can’t we own more than one system? It’d be nice to have some in different rooms or even homes if possible.

  12. Price drops make plenty of sense when the resulting increase in volume will make up for the decrease in revenue per unit. They especially make sense when manufacturing costs are down since you have more margin to lower without taking a loss.

    The question isn’t even whether the unit will continue to sell well at a given price, but whether the reduction to a given level will result in a greater profit margin or not as a result of the shift in the ratio of volume to profit per unit.

    If there are less Wiis than people willing to pay 250 dollars for them, then a price drop makes no sense, since the volume won’t increase by lowering the price. If there are twice as many people at this point that want a Wii than are willing to pay 250 dollars for it, a drop would make sense, as long as those people can be reached without too negatively impacting profit per unit. And of course, if there’s just a general drop in demand period, a price drop won’t have much of an impact either.

  13. well you know this is the so called issue that ‘hardcore’ gaming fanboys always bring up. that you can buy a 360 basic model for 50 dollar cheaper and yet the wii still outsells it. they frankly can’t believe it. so for them, hearing the news that wii sales were slowing was music to their ears. obviously this resurgence news is a tough pill to swallow for them. everyone here can remember how during the wii’s first 3 years, every 6 months ‘hardcore’ boys claimed the wii bubble was going to burst at any second. when that never happened and they came to terms that wii was the front runner this generation, this kind of talked died down. and then the talk came back. it feels like deja vous. their biggest point is wii is overpriced for what it offers, yet many consumers feel the price is justified by the sheer number of sales. these people still value graphical prowess, and processing power greatly, but undestimate the appeal and advantages of new technologies in user interface. that is where wii is light years ahead of the competition for the moment, and what consumers nowadays want in their gaming.

  14. also i should point out that wii sports resort also contributed to the resurgence.

  15. @AC

    Agreed. The thing the “hardcore” seem to ignore is that the Wii is the only console with a “next gen” interface. The PS3/360 (I love them both!) have antiquated controllers similar to what’s been in use for over a decade. The most technologically advanced controller is only available on one system. The Wii. It enables games that simply can’t be played on other systems. The Wii is capable of any game on any other system if you just tone down the graphics, but there a many Wii games that simply can’t be done on existing PS3/360 hardware.

  16. I like the color blue, maybe Infendo needs some new colors.

  17. That said, I don’t think Microsoft is losing money on the console sales anymore: its parts have become cheap enough that maybe they are just breaking even now on ever sale…

    On the free repairs plus shipping every time a 360 gets the three red rings of death, well, that’s another matter… I’m sure they are still losing money on that!

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