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Nintendo's Sale Dominance Gets Noticed 152

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-why-they-call-it-the-big-n dept.
Via Kotaku, a Wall Street Journal report on Nintendo's continued dominance of the game charts. The piece rehashes the February NPD numbers and discusses the role the Wii and DS have had in revitalizing a company the WSJ refers to as an 'also-ran'. "To take better advantage of the Wii's growth, EA moved quickly to ramp up game production for the system, acquiring Headgate Studios, a developer in Utah focused entirely on making titles for Nintendo hardware, and shifting resources in other EA development groups to Nintendo projects. The company released four titles for the Wii in March, including a version of its Tiger Woods golf game in which players swing the Wii controller like a club. EA is also working on a line of consumer guides for the Nintendo DS that will be aimed at older players in Japan."
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Nintendo's Sale Dominance Gets Noticed

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  • Saw it coming... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bynary (827120) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:47PM (#18813227) Homepage
    Sony's hubris was palpable. I'm not quite sure why Microsoft hasn't garnered more of a lead here though.
    • Re:Saw it coming... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MMInterface (1039102) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:39PM (#18813975)
      MS's flagship game hasn't come out yet. For a lot of people Halo was the reason to get the Xbox. I don't think they are going overtake Nintendo when Halo 3 comes out but I'm sure they will be doing a lot better. I expected the 360 to be doing much worse. Its Sony's low sales that have suprised me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      1.) The high price. $400 is still way too much for a console.
      2.) The lack of variety in the games. It's all first-person shooters.
      3.) Its complete lack of presence in Japan. With Sony's failure, that leaves all of Japan, and all of Japan's developers, to Nintendo.

      Since its November launch, the Wii has already sold over half the amount the 360 did in a year. At some point this year, the Wii is going to surpass the 360's total sales, and it will be another embarrassing mark for Microsoft's money-losing
      • by Gilmoure (18428)
        Heh. A guy at work is trying to sell his month old 360. It doesn't have HDMI out. Oh, the horror, the horror.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:49PM (#18813245)
    In fact, Nintendo is doing so well, that Square-Enix has suggested that Final Fantasy XIII may in fact be heading to the Wii. (Probably as a port.) In any case, they have 100% confirmed that it will no longer be a PS3 exclusive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shoptroll (544006)
      I thought they said that Final Fantasy XIII wasn't going to be exclusive to PS3. This can easily mean a couple of things:

      a) Outright port of Final Fantasy XIII or XIII Versus to XBox360, PC or Wii
      b) Another game in the set of games they're releasing under the FFXIII project umbrella for another system. A good bet would be DS, followed by Wii or XBox360.

      In my mind, b is most likely because they are already advertising that at the Square-Enix Party this year they will be unveiling a brand new FF game that n
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        Actually, that's already a given. Square has said that there are going to be six games in the Fabula Nova Chrystalis series (FF13 series) that will span quite a few different platforms and styles of gameplay, and has STRONGLY hinted at Wii and/or DS titles. What's more up in the air is the central title itself, Final Fantasy XIII, whose exclusivity is now under question.

        I think that a 360 port would be a bit simpler, especially since the white engine runs on both the PS3 and the 360... although reprogrammin
        • by shoptroll (544006)
          For some reason I think Versus would be a more compelling choice for the Wii since after playing Twilight Princess, I can easily see them doing a Kingdom Hearts (pretty analogous to Versus from what I've heard) or similar action RPG on the system with motion sensing for sword swinging, etc. However, seeing as how Versus is being touted as more of a side-story/spinoff/densetsu, I'm guessing they're expecting lesser sales for it anyways. So a port of Versus would be a lesser choice compared to the main game
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      NO, Square-Enix have never suggested that Final Fantasy XIII will be multiplatform. AFAIK that rumor came from a mistranslation of this article http://www.gamefront.de/ [gamefront.de] that has been going around some message boards. They HAVE confirmed that the FF XIII series will be multiplatform, and have hinted that there will be more than the three we know about, but they've never stated that FF XIII itself will be multiplatform. Also see this interview with Hiromichi Tanaka http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page [gamesindustry.biz]
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      I heard it from an Anonymous Coward on Slashdot who provided no links to any sources, so it must be true!

      "Informative" my ass.
  • one word (Score:3, Funny)

    by cpt.hugenstein (1025183) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:52PM (#18813285)
    Nintendo execs say only one word as they ride the rollercoster to the top... wiii! (mandatory wii joke, I know its getting old)
  • Dominating (Score:5, Funny)

    by EmperorKagato (689705) * <sakamura@gmail.com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:57PM (#18813333) Homepage Journal
    [quake3arena]

    DOMINATING

    [/quake3arena]
    • by shoptroll (544006)
      [unrealtournament]

      WICKED SICK

      {/unrealtournament]

      (Sorry. Couldn't resist)
      • [killerinstinct]

        ULTRA COMBO

        [/killerinstinct]

        (yeah.. me too)
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by rkanodia (211354)
          Actually if you were playing it properly, it was more like

          ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA!

          (opponent walks away from the machine)

          ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA!

          (opponent comes back with chips and a sandwich)

          ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA! ULTRAAA!

          (watch someone else play a round of Puzzle Fighter on the machine next to you)

          ULTRAAA COMBO!

          and that was the first third of the match or so.
          • Yeah I remember all the repetitions going on at the local 'cade but I completely forgot about what the actual words were and went with the little bit that I remembered. I only half remember cause I'd usually be standing at a Neo Geo machine playing Samurai Showdown 1-4 or Last Blade 1 or 2.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by fimbulvetr (598306)
          Um...
          [MK]
          FINISH HIM!
          [/MK]
          • [MKII]
            TOASTY!!!
            [/MKII]

            I always loved that one... I could do it every time, too. All the way up the ladder, "TOASTY!!!"... "TOASTY!!!"... "TOASTY!!!"... Ahhh, good times.
    • Umm I think you're looking for the [unreal tournament 2004] tags
    • [unrealtournament2003]

      WII-CKED SICK

      [/unrealtournament2003]

  • I think a more telling story is that the PS2 is still selling more than all the "next-gen" consoles.

    280,000 vs 259,000

    Although, I think the wii could trounce it if they could keep it on the shelves.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Akaihiryuu (786040)
      Also keep in mind...that the PS2 is a "mature" system (over 6 years old), half the price of a Wii, with an absolutely massive game library. The fact that the Wii is getting close to the PS2 sales (being double the price) is definitely something to brag about.
    • by SydShamino (547793) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:23PM (#18813721)
      ?? Not sure where you got your numbers. They don't match anything in this story or the last one.

      February:
      Nintendo DS: 485,000
      Nintendo Wii: 335,000
      Sony PlayStation 2: 295,000
      Microsoft Xbox 360: 228,000
      Sony PlayStation Portable: 176,000
      Nintendo Game Boy Advance: 136,000
      Sony PlayStation 3: 127,000

      The Wii is beating the PS2. It's not dominating it, no, but it's selling 40k more a month.
      • Ok, I see the March numbers now. Fair enough.
  • Aren't businesses *supposed* to innovate and sell their product? Isn't EA supposed to suffer for not at least throwing *some* of their development at the Wii from the start? Whatever I'm just starting to get tired of everyone sucking Nintendo's wii.
    • by DDLKermit007 (911046) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:07PM (#18813513)
      EA is suffering already by not making nearly as much as they could be (that kinda stuff gets people replaced). Theres a good reason Nintendo has been the top developer for their system who rakes in the most cash. EA, and others write them off, and shortly after the Wii launch they were bitching about how they won't ever be as big as Nintendo on their own console vs MS & Sony who have fairly weak #s in their own offerings on their own systems. Could have something to do with Nintendo being fully behind their own console, and the quality involved, but who knows. I'd personally be happy if EA had nothing to do with Nintendo consoles. They just shovel out shitty sports games, rehashes, and half-assed ports.
      • I'd personally be happy if EA had nothing to do with Nintendo consoles. They just shovel out shitty sports games, rehashes, and half-assed ports.

        Saddly then you would be missing some great Wii games. Madden 07 (for the Wii) is exceptional, and both the Godfather and Tiger Woods are eating up lots of my free time. In fact, I suggest getting Tiger and the Godfather at the same time. I'm stuck on Jim Furyk in the Tiger Challenge, and each time I lose to him I throw in the Godfather so I can throttle someon

        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          I have to agree with the GP about EA.

          Madden 07 (for the Wii) is exceptional,

          Which has everything to do with the Wii's unique controller and very little to do with EA or Madden. Madden is still about 99% the same game it was 7 years ago, largely now due to the exclusive NFL rights EA weaseled out of them. There's a lot of new features we most likely would have by now in NFL games if this were not the case.

          And don't even get me started on their recent releases for PC. The local landfill has less bugs than most EA fare does these days.

          • There's a lot of new features we most likely would have by now in NFL games if this were not the case.

            Then developers with compelling new features should look for a universe other than NFL. For example, Midway makes Blitz: The League. But where are the CFL games?

            And don't even get me started on their recent releases for PC. The local landfill has less bugs than most EA fare does these days.

            Are all the bugs necessarily EA's fault, vs. the video driver publisher's fault?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Endo13 (1000782)

              Then developers with compelling new features should look for a universe other than NFL. For example, Midway makes Blitz: The League. But where are the CFL games?

              Right, because everyone knows that any old football game based on no league at all or some minor/international league will sell as well as one based on the NFL. Most developers don't waste their time on these for good reason.

              Are all the bugs necessarily EA's fault, vs. the video driver publisher's fault?

              Yes they are. Most of the bugs have nothing to do with video at all. We're talking things like bugs in multiplayer netcode that other companies had working great since Windows 98 days and game exploits just for starters. And when the games you're releasing are primarily (if not exclus

              • Right, because everyone knows that any old football game based on no league at all or some minor/international league will sell as well as one based on the NFL.
                It doesn't need to sell as well as Madden. Like the GameCube, a game just needs to sell more than it costs to make. And if the new features are compelling enough, it will.
                • It doesn't need to sell as well as Madden. Like the GameCube, a game just needs to sell more than it costs to make

                  Actually, it's not quite that simple. That would lead to lost potential profit. If a dev team finishes a game and is about to start a new one, you obviously go with the one that has the most potential profit. If you could compete with Madden and make profit x, or you could instead create a GTA clone and make profit y, then you go with the GTA clone if y > x, even though you could have mad

              • by Bertie (87778)
                Well, Pro Evolution Soccer isn't affiliated with anything in particular, players' names are often screwed up and the presentation is generally shockingly bad, but it still outsells FIFA because it's the better game. Personally I wish they'd put some of the massive amounts of money they surely must make out of it into producing some menus and in-game commentary that aren't embarrassingly bad, but however slick FIFA is in comparison, you wouldn't buy it, because it just doesn't play as well.
          • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday April 20, 2007 @03:48PM (#18815905) Homepage
            Which has everything to do with the Wii's unique controller and very little to do with EA or Madden.

            No, no... It's because of EA's implementation of controls using the Wii's unique controller. The Wiimote, awesome as it is, is not a magic wand. It does not turn shit into gold, and it's perfectly possible for a game to implement shitty controls for the Wii. In fact, seeing how hard it seemed for some game studios to get simple analog stick + binary buttons controls working reasonably, I think the potential of shitty controls for the Wii is very high, and some of the games that are out there bear this out.

            I'm not a fan of EA or Madden (nor have I played it on the Wii) but the reason people keep talking about Madden for the Wii is because EA did a good job of implementing the controls and creating a unique experience. Never would have happened without the Wii there in the first place, but hey that's the whole point of Nintendo's strategy, breaking game developers out of their old habits and getting them to do something new.
  • by jchenx (267053) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:12PM (#18813567) Journal
    First of all, I should mention that I'm somewhat biased (read my profile). That said, I do like what Nintendo is doing, and have been seeking out a Wii for months now. However, I'm not willing to buy one on eBay, or call stores everyday, or stake out early morning shipments at Target. I do look for one everytime I'm at Costco or Fred Meyer (a local big-box store where I do my grocery shopping). I have more than enough games and other things to do, that I don't need one right away, but am willing for it to be a simple impulse buy.

    Anyway, I'm confused why the NPD stats show that Wii production is decreasing. Here are the numbers for the past few months:

    January: 436,000
    February: 335,000
    March: 259,000

    I think we can all agree that demand far exceeds supply, so these numbers essentially cover production as well. Now, I didn't include the November and December numbers, because they probably still reflect the huge ramp up of Wii units that were pumped out months before launch. I am guessing that most of that initial supply is long gone by January now.

    So again, why is Wii production decreasing? As I am not a business person (just a lowly software engineer), someone please correct me if I'm missing something here.

    I just want my Wii, dammit.
    • Huh? Those are sales numbers.

      They stockpiled an assload before the launch at christmas, and those have trickled out onto the market. The lowering numbers mean the supply sitting in the warehouses in japan is running out.

      I'm sure if anything production has increased, just not enough to meet the demand.
      • by jchenx (267053)

        They stockpiled an assload before the launch at christmas, and those have trickled out onto the market. The lowering numbers mean the supply sitting in the warehouses in japan is running out.

        I'm sure if anything production has increased, just not enough to meet the demand.

        I am aware of stockpiling units, which is why I didn't include the November and December numbers. I really doubt that Nintendo was "trickling out units" past December. It doesn't make sense to sit on such a high-demand item, as you always

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by stratjakt (596332)
          They can only hit retail as fast as they can be shipped from Japan, and get through Customs.
    • My guess would be the fact that it's launched in Japan and Europe during that time period. Those numbers are too low to be worldwide.
    • are these world wide numbers or for a specific region (considering 6-7 million have been sold, and these numbers for a month seem low to represent a console that sold that much worldwide, it look regional to me)? if worldwide, yeah i'm wondering why the numbers are dropping. if for a specific region, then maybe other regions are getting a different distribution of wii amounts depending on the percept demand relative to the region the above numbers represent.
    • NPD stats are North American only right? Maybe after the Christmas Rush, Nintendo's shifting the distribution a bit to equalize it across the regions. So if they are making say 750k/month, in January they sent 500k to North America, and split the remaining 250k in the rest of the world. Now, North America's down to 300k, while Japan and Europe and Asia are splitting the remaining 450k. That, or Nintendo is shipping proportionally more to Wal*Mart and e-tailers than to the b&m stores that report their s
      • by jchenx (267053) on Friday April 20, 2007 @01:55PM (#18814225) Journal
        Ahh yes, I probably should have mentioned in my post, that NPD is only North America.

        People have made many good points about regions. The numbers would make a lot of sense, if it's just a matter of Nintendo shifting production capacity from region to region. If someone could pull worldwide numbers of the Wii, that would help.

        That said, it is disconcerting that, at the very least, North America seems to be getting fewer and fewer units. I'm speaking from the point of a North American consumer, who just wants to be able to buy the console. From a business perspective, Nintendo may be doing the right thing, if it thinks that supplying Europe and/or Japan is more important than North America at the moment.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by snuf23 (182335)
          Keep in mind also that Wiis are available for purchase from some online retailers. The thing is places like Walmart.com are still only offering the $650 bundled setup. I would imagine these bundles don't sell as quickly so there is some stock just sitting for now.
          • by vux984 (928602)
            The thing is places like Walmart.com are still only offering the $650 bundled setup. I would imagine these bundles don't sell as quickly so there is some stock just sitting for now.

            You would imagine wrong.

            The bundles probably do sit around for a couple minutes longer than the stand alone consoles do, but everything is selling out bundle or not. Usually within an hour of showing up; often within minutes.

            Here's the walmart page for that big $650 bundle: Out of Stock

            http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?pr [walmart.com]
    • It's being fucked with by the distribution chain, too.

      Example: GameStop held onto thousands of units over a couple of months just so they could horde them into $600 packages and sell them on their website.

      Which is how I got mine because, well, let's face it, super paper mario is pretty kick ass.
    • I don't think it's so much that production is decreasing, as it is that they had a giant stockpile of constructed, un-localized Wiis ready before the initial released in November. along with a stockpile of parts for making more Wiis that wasn't immediately shipped to stores so that they could localize and then distribute them based on what regions were selling the most. However, since it's been regularly selling out everywhere, and possibly as a pace faster than Nintendo or any of their suppliers fully ant
    • NDP is north America.

      Nintendo had trouble getting everything shipped end og '06 so January has slightly inflated numbers.

      The Japanese market is similar though. So it is possible that:

      a) Europe/South America/Rest of Asia/Africa are getting more.
      b) They are being held for something big (speculated for next fiscal quarter).
      c) More "obscure" places count for a lot of stock and they are piling up in places like K-mart (sounds unlikly).
      d) A slight monkeying around with shipments to increase scarcety.
      e) Contracts
    • More likely is that Wii production is constant, and Nintendo is simply burning through the end of supply built up during pre-launch production last year.
    • The NPD numbers are only for the U.S. Production could be going elsewhere.
    • Sometimes an NPD month is four weeks versus five weeks. February was a four week month I believe.

      As for the low March numbers, this is likely due to the end of Nintendo's fiscal year (where the last of the original 6 million are shipped). April's NPD should be considerably higher.
  • To take better advantage of the Wii's growth, EA moved quickly to ramp up game production for the system, acquiring Headgate Studios

    In other words, the biggest kid on the block, rather than doing their homework and using their brain power to stay ahead of the competition, simply went out and bought a solution in order to bring it in-house. Headgate dudes, I feel sorry for the head-up-ass rape that is sure to follow. I hope you can still crank out a few good titles before you get eaten alive by the EA mach

  • Screw that. Hey EA, bring back Zany Golf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zany_Golf [wikipedia.org]

    Enjoy,



  • This could mean that Wii won't be like Gamecube in terms of game selection. Publishers know that Wii has hundreds of thousands users and probably continue to sell out. This equals profit to them and will bring dozens of games to the Wii. Sony's PS3 will take third seat like Gamecube did unless Sony does something drastic to compete in price with Wii.
    Question remains, Who will dominate, the 360 or Wii? Only time will tell.
    FoxNews reports on this story. [foxnews.com]

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