Nintendo to launch next-gen Wii in 2012 as profits dwindle

“Nintendo Co Ltd said it would launch a successor to its aging Wii game console in 2012,” Isabel Reynolds reports for Reuters. “Nintendo said on Monday that it expects profits to remain almost flat in the current financial year, despite the launch of its much-touted 3D-capable handheld games device, whose sales in Japan have been overshadowed by the devastating March 11 earthquake.”

“The maker of the DS handheld game player, which is also facing competition from smartphone and tablet makers including Apple Inc , said on Monday it will demonstrate the Wii’s replacement in Los Angeles on June 7 at the E3 game show,” Reynolds reports. “Nintendo declined to provide further details on the Wii successor. ‘As for the details of exactly what it will be, we have decided that it is best to let people experience it for themselves at E3,’ Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, told a news conference. ‘So I won’t talk about specific details today, but it will offer a new way of playing games within the home,’ said Iwata, a former game designer.”

“In the business year just ended, Wii console sales fell to 15.1 million units from 20.1 million a year earlier. It expects sales to fall by a further 2 million units this business year,” Reynolds reports. “Sales of its non-3D handheld DS shrank by almost 10 million units to 17.5 million, and the company expects that to slide to 11 million this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

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7 Comments

  1. They definitely need a new machine…not having the hot games is killing them. Plus I have games on my iPhone that look as good or better than on the wii!

  2. I still hold a special place in my heart for Nintendo consoles. I’ve owned every one with the exception of the Game Cube. Hope they continue to make fun games until the day they decide to license their Mario, Zelda and other characters to Apple.

  3. MDN… please iCal the estimates… 13.1m Wii and 11m DS… I think the iPad revolution will devastate these numbers even more and they will be lucky to reach 10m Wii and 8m DS.

    As for the next gen Wii console. They had better come up with something completely awe-inspiring. I can’t even count the number of friends I have who were excited to purchase their Wii back a year or two ago, but saw it sat on the shelf gathering dust when the actual gameplay experience didn’t live up to the expectations.

  4. Nintendo has been great fun for our family over the years. We have had a lot of enjoyment battling each other in Mario Cart and Monkey Ball. But the company has to adjust to the new pricing structure for games introduced by iOS. My kids can get many iOS games for $1.99 or under. Fewer people are willing to spend $20 to $30 for a Wii or DS Lite game, especially when many of them (e.g., the Pokemon series) are mostly rehashes of an old game formula.

    Nintendo might be better served by leveraging its game IP in the iOS market. If they are priced reasonably, I’ll bet that they could sell millions of converted old Mario and Pokemon titles for the iPod touch and iPad. If they develop new original gaming content for iOS, then the sky is the limit. iOS seems to be a natural fit for Nintendo games, and I can envision a Nintendo controller with an iPod dock that would enable simultaneous use of thumb/finger controls with onboard accelerometers and other sensors. Ideally the dock would enable portrait or landscape orientation of the iPod touch. The same controller could be cabled to an iPad, although that would not take advantage of the onboard sensors. In addition, the wireless connectivity included in iOS devices would be great for local or online competition.

    1. I’m sure Nintendo could sell many games on the iOS but just like Apple they make most of their hard cash on selling hardware.
      Selling 30M a year Wii and DS devices produce revenue in the 3B range (assuming an ASP of $100). They would need to sell 5-10 time more titles on iOS to get the same revenue. That’s equivalent to as many iOS devices as there are out there.
      Nintendo need to innovate to get people to buy new hardware. Wii was very successful but the time is right for new tech. I just hope for their sakes that the iOS juggernaut has not killed the market for them.

  5. The wii is a bit aged at this point, still a hell of a console and i love

    I hope they never stop making hardware, i like how nintendo pushes human interaction with video games in new directions. They would be limited by relying on someone else’s hardware.

  6. Nintendo needs to take a lesson from Apple – kill of the old product at its peak and replace it with something even better. Don’t wait for the decline before thinking about the replacement.

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