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Wii Businesses

How Wii Is Creaming the Competition 377

Posted by Zonk
from the my-favorite-flavour-of-competition dept.
CNN has a report on the Wii's success in the games marketplace right now, referring to their sales dominance as 'creaming the competition'. The article tries to break down exactly why Nintendo's console has sold so successfully, discussing the system's marketing, engineering, and philosophy. "Next, engineers settled on a new approach for the Wii's looks. Just as the DS shunned the Game Boy name to appeal to a broader audience, the Wii would adopt a sleek white exterior instead of the toylike loud colors used on the GameCube. Even CEO Iwata got involved in the design process; at one point he handed engineers a stack of DVD jewel cases and told them the console should not be much bigger. Why so small? To work with the motion-sensitive wireless controller Nintendo planned, Iwata reasoned, the console would have to sit directly beside the TV. Make it any larger and customers would hesitate to leave it there. " Their sales strategy is working in spades. CVG reports that at least one analyst thinks that Wii demand won't be met until 2009. This past weekend Chris Kohler had an interesting comment on the 'ambassador programs' Nintendo ran in advance of the Wii's launch, and how that might tie in to the system's financial success.
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How Wii Is Creaming the Competition

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  • by BobPaul (710574) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:13PM (#18872473) Journal
    I'd have to say it's quite obvious. Nintendo is creaming the competition by selling more units then them...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I remember when people used to just say, "First Post!"
    • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:14PM (#18872499) Journal
      With a new gimmick, great brand name and at half the price is there really any wonder why?
      • by kestasjk (933987)
        I also think that the PlayStation 1 fanboys are starting to grow out of it, and the PS2 didn't generate nearly as many fanboys, so Sony doesn't have a so much of a free ride as they had with the PS2.
    • by Erwos (553607) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:22PM (#18872609)
      The Dreamcast sold extremely well when it first came out, too. Didn't stop Sony from slaughtering Sega later, though. You've got to follow through on that initial lead, and I'd argue NO ONE has done that particularly well this time around.

      The Wii outsold the Xbox 360 by 25% last month. That's certainly a sizable lead, yet it's not exactly what I'd call "creaming the competition". I'd also argue that the Wii's monthly software sales have been underwhelming - Wii Play has been propping up the numbers to a large extent, and that's a $10 game bundled with an accessory.

      Now, if you want to talk about getting creamed, let's talk about the PS3...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SighKoPath (956085)
        I'd say Sega slaughtered itself more than Sony did. The Dreamcast's lack of copy protection, while great for homebrew, made it a very easy target for software piracy. It's incredibly difficult to get a good balance. While I would prefer consoles to be incredibly simple to run custom software on, game developers do need to be able to sell their games, instead of users just downloading and burning them.

        Also, the controller wasn't all that comfortable to use, and having the cord coming out on the side facing
        • by (A)*(B)!0_- (888552) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:58PM (#18873087)

          "I'd say Sega slaughtered itself more than Sony did. The Dreamcast's lack of copy protection, while great for homebrew, made it a very easy target for software piracy."
          Sure, that was a problem but look at the history of the Dreamcast. The hardware sold well for a short period of time and then numbers of consoles sold fell off. If your thesis was correct, shouldn't we expect to see a huge installed user base of the console coupled with poor sales of games?

          That is not what took place. The Dreamcast sold well but then slumped badly after Sony promised the moon with the PS2. Even if you only look at the sales figures in a vacuum - a drop in hardware sales does not indicate, to me at least, a problem with widespread piracy. If anything, piracy should have helped to move more numbers of consoles.

      • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75.yahoo@com> on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:05PM (#18873173)
        The Wii outsold the Xbox 360 by 25% last month. That's certainly a sizable lead, yet it's not exactly what I'd call "creaming the competition". I'd also argue that the Wii's monthly software sales have been underwhelming

        Well, its hardware sales have honestly been somewhat underwhelming too - despite what the article here would lead you to believe. That stuff about them not meeting demand until 2009? Makes it sound like customers are just clamoring to get their hands on the Wii, when the truth is they sold 259,000 units last month. That's about average for any game console, and only a little better than the Xbox 360, which has systems sitting on store shelves all over the country.

        The truth is one of two things: either Nintendo's having major production problems, or they're artificially and intentionally short-supplying for PR purposes. If it's the latter, it appears to be working - for now. Lots of people talk about how Nintendo "can't keep up with demand", which implies that demand is great. But that will only last for so long, as people see the actual monthly sales numbers.

        They're doing better than MS or Sony right now, and selling more units, so I'm not saying this is all completely overhyped. But I would argue that any game manufacturer that can't make more than 259,000 units a month - especially one that's as relatively simple as the Wii, and especially one that's been on the market for six months now - has some serious problems. Their inability to meet demand is only good news if that means they're selling a huge number of units, but that's not the case. They're unable to meet demand because their production capacity is much too low, which just means they're leaving potential customers' money on the table and selling a lot fewer units than they should be.
        • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:55PM (#18873945) Homepage

          Well, its hardware sales have honestly been somewhat underwhelming too - despite what the article here would lead you to believe. That stuff about them not meeting demand until 2009? Makes it sound like customers are just clamoring to get their hands on the Wii, when the truth is they sold 259,000 units last month.

          Well, had they produced and shipped more, they might have sold more.

          I don't go out every day or call around all of the time, but if I'm in a store that might sell Wii's, I check to see if they have one. I know I want to get my hands on one. Maybe they sold all they produced? If I find one, I'll buy it on the spot, and I bet others are thinking the same thing.

          The truth is one of two things: either Nintendo's having major production problems, or they're artificially and intentionally short-supplying for PR purposes.

          I get the impression that if they could produce more, they would. Of course, I don't know this, but I don't need to think of it as a conspiracy to artifically inflate the price. I'm not even sure that translates into production problems, so much as their capacity isn't near large enough for the apparent demand.

          I know I want one. I assume there are others who want them. That could be a simple matter of scarcity of supply.

          Why does everything need to be a conspiracy around here?

          But I would argue that any game manufacturer that can't make more than 259,000 units a month - especially one that's as relatively simple as the Wii, and especially one that's been on the market for six months now - has some serious problems.

          You would argue that from talking out of your backside, or an actual insight and understanding into their manufacturing process? Seriously, all of the analysts I've read so far don't agree with you. They realize that the demand is high, but they seem to think there are real reasons why they wouldn't be able to keep up with production demand.

          Their inability to meet demand is only good news if that means they're selling a huge number of units, but that's not the case. They're unable to meet demand because their production capacity is much too low, which just means they're leaving potential customers' money on the table and selling a lot fewer units than they should be.

          Well, if you're selling all you can make, that's good news. They're not really decreasing the number of potential customers -- they're just producing fewer than they could sell if they could produce more. I bet if they could make another 100,000 per month, they'd probably sell those. There is clearly a demand for it. Yes, over time some consumers might say 'bugger it' and forget all about it. Or, people (like me) are really clamouring for the game experience we've heard such lovely things about -- I for one am really looking forward to a change from traditional gaming.

          I guess we'll figure out how much demand is out there over the next few months, and more people who wanted them get their hands on them. If demand immediately falls flat at some point, they will have saturated the market and there is no demand. If they keep selling that many consoles for the next several months, then there really is a demand for that many.

          Cheers
        • It is amusing that when someone sees the NPD for March of 259k systems sold for Wii, some people try to create weird explanations...

          -Sudden production problems!
          -Nintendo artificially holding them to drive up demand!
          -Nintendo artificially holding them because of the end of the fiscal quarter!

          And so on.

          But instead of focusing on the NPD numbers, take a step back and examine the GLOBAL sales for the Wii. While shipments of Wii DROPPED in North America during March, is that true for the entire world? No. In fac
      • by mobby_6kl (668092)
        >The Wii outsold the Xbox 360 by 25% last month.

        I don't remember seeing any numbers, but if that's the case... well I'm not impressed at all. The Wii would have to be a real piece of shit not to outsell its competitors if you considerer just how much cheaper it is.
  • by CogDissident (951207) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:16PM (#18872529)
    The PS3 really bungled their launch, and they didn't provide any competion at all.
    The Xbox360 marketed itself to "hardcore" gamers who spend all day playing, and has little appeal to casual gamers and the general public at large.

    This left 80% of the market open for the Wii to sell to, and they effectively had no competition.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by *weasel (174362)
      They're both fine, they're just too damn expensive.
      Most people don't buy consoles till they're near or under $200. That's why the PS2 still sells so strongly.

      The Wii is crushing the PS3 and 360 because it's selling closer to the sweet-spot.

      When the 360 and PS3 get closer to $250, they'll be moving units like Nintendo too.
      (future developments notwithstanding)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Khaed (544779)
        That's why the PS2 still sells so strongly.

        That, and the damn things break so easy. Other than the NES, I've never had a console crap out on me before the PS2 just stopped working. If any system should've stopped, it was the Gamecube, which had the ever-loving hell beat out of it when someone caught the cord and pulled it off the TV... but noo, the barely-used PS2 crapped out.

        what, me bitter?
  • ...but I will buy an xbox 360 once Halo comes out. I'm pretty much still having fun with my OG xbox and could care less about cross-grading.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Gertlex (722812)

      ...but I will buy an xbox 360 once Halo comes out. I'm pretty much still having fun with my OG xbox and could care less about cross-grading.
      Halo came out years ago man. ;)
    • by wiggles (30088) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:41PM (#18872851)
      Repeat after me: "I, state your name, am NOT in Nintendo's target demographic."

      You are most likely male, between the ages of 18 and 25. You are not who Nintendo wants to sell these things to. They want to sell to adults, with careers and families, who want to pick up a game to play for 20 minutes -- not hard core gamers. They want to sell to thirtysomethings (like me) who played NES, SNES, Genesis, Turbografix, etc. back in the day, and want to share the games they used to play with their children.

      They want people who can pick up a game and have fun for the short amount of free time they have. It's hard to do that with an Xbox or PS* -- it's not fun getting pwned by some 12 year old with nothing better to do with his time than play Halo for 40 hours a week.

      It shocks the hell out of me that they were the first ones to realize this market even exists.
      • by alcmaeon (684971) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:53PM (#18873013)
        "It shocks the hell out of me that they were the first ones to realize this market even exists."
        Actually, I think Microsoft figured it out with solitare and networked checkers, but they just didnt' figure out how to make money at it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Udderdude (257795)
          The first to really profit from it was EA games with The Sims. It really tapped into an unexplored market and it paid off big time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by king-manic (409855)

        "I, state your name, am NOT in Nintendo's target demographic."

        I get that feeling a lot. The game is fun for the first 20 then I'm left wondering "and now what?"

        for instance nintendogs for the DS. Fun for exactly 20 minutes then you find out thats it. No locked features, no extras, just more decoration. Wii Cooking mama.. can't do anything with those points just minigames. Wii Warioware.. minigames. Wii Rayman.. minigames. Wii sports. 20 min then meh. Lotsa of minigames nothing with meat except zelda. thankfully there is more variety in DS titles but my fear is they w

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SpottedKuh (855161)

          Wii sports. 20 min then meh.

          That's interesting. I've sunk a whole bunch of time -- many, many hours -- into Wii Sports. Bowling especially! The nice thing is, I haven't sunk all that time at once. I've played for a while, done something in real life, come back, and so on. My fiancee and I play Wii Sports together, since it's a great game to play with someone who doesn't have as much video game experience.

          Even if you want games that take longer, how about Zelda? Or Super Paper Mario? I think the Wii s

          • by rjung2k (576317) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @04:07PM (#18875067) Homepage
            "I've sunk a whole bunch of time -- many, many hours -- into Wii Sports. Bowling especially!"

            What he said. I'm still playing Wii Sports to this day, usually 4 or 5 times a week. My bowling skill score keeps fluctuating around 980-1050, and I'm still working how to bowl strikes more consistently to raise it. Anyone who says Wii Sports gets dull after 20 minutes is talking out of their posterior.

            And another fun long-playing Wii game that gets overlooked is Excite Truck. It takes a damn long time to S-rank all of the tracks in Mirror Mode (and unlock the final unlockable). Too many folks, however, simply win a few races and mistakenly assume they can "beat" the game in a few hours...
        • I get that feeling a lot. The game is fun for the first 20 then I'm left wondering "and now what?"

          Fun for exactly 20 minutes then you find out thats it. No locked features, no extras, just more decoration.
          I have a life and am busy too but I need a $40+ to entertain me for more then 20min.

          Somehow your statements seem to contradict each other. You say that you have a life are that you are busy but you are looking to be entertained for hours? When will you find the time to live that so-called life you claim to have if you are busy playing with your toys?

          I also noticed that you are posting on ./ and your user number is two hundred thousand lower than mine.

      • by goombah99 (560566)
        Being over 40 and not a gamer, I have zero interest in mastering one of those fancy pants controllers like the Xbox has. But I'd like to play games with my kids. It's no fun for you kid to race cArs with you if your continually driving it to the wall on level one, which is my forte. having tried it once I can see that while I'm still disoriented a bit, the wii controller gets you to a high and competitive level fast. I'd consider getting one so we could both enjoy it.
      • by radish (98371) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:21PM (#18873385) Homepage
        Speaking as a male, aged 32, with a career and a wife, I can say that I play my 360 MUCH more than the Wii. I still don't play a lot, as you rightly point out time doesn't allow it, but I'd rather play 20-30 mins of Crackdown or a few races of PGR3 than any of the Wii games I have so far. My wife likes the Wii, but that's because she's a Mario fan so she's currently hooked on Super Paper Mario. But I don't think she's even played any of the other games apart from Wii Sports which kept her interested for maybe 30 mins total.

        We also play casual games on both platforms, but we both prefer the new games (like Boom Boom Rocket, Cloning Clyde, Zuma, etc) on XBLA much more than the old stuff on VC. I think if Nintendo opened the VC up to non-retro titles (maybe even homebrew as MS are planning to do with XNA) it could be pretty cool. Don't get me wrong, I loved paperboy as a kid, but it doesn't really do anything for me anymore.

        So big up to Nintendo for selling all these boxes, I wish them well, but once SPM is done (few days now I'd guess) mine will be back gathering dust.
        • by trdrstv (986999) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:42PM (#18873727)
          We also play casual games on both platforms, but we both prefer the new games (like Boom Boom Rocket, Cloning Clyde, Zuma, etc) on XBLA much more than the old stuff on VC.

          Which has me baffled. The 360 is much LESS 'casual player' friendly than the Wii, Yet XBLA has much more Casual friendly titles than the VC. I have a Wii60 myself, and While the 360 has networked Hearts, Uno, Poker... Even Pac Man!... come on Nintendo where is the Sudoku game, or Dr. Mario, or Poker, or a 'Crossword Puzzle game' something, anything even universal staples like pacman / frogger would be great.

          Personally, I love the classics on the VC, and I'm one of the few people I know who thinks they are fairly priced (IF you don't think Zelda: lttp, Donkey Kong Country or Gunstar heroes are worth $8 each you're crazy.), but what about say, my retired parents?

          Nintendo has tapped a broader demographic of casual gamers, but what can they buy? Most of the games out now (at retail, and VC) are still catering to the hardcore...

      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        You are most likely male, between the ages of 18 and 25. You are not who Nintendo wants to sell these things to.

        I wouldn't say that the 18-25 range isn't part of their demographic, but it's definitely not their focus. After all, how many cruise ships [gofox.com] are installing 360's or PS3's? The 'Wii' is more than just a video game. It's made it's way into pop-culture. That's not to say it's a superior product, but it is a marketers wet-dream when it's on the tip of everyone's tongue.

        It's up to Nintendo to jus

      • by Paulrothrock (685079) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @04:31PM (#18875473) Homepage Journal

        You are most likely male, between the ages of 18 and 25. You are not who Nintendo wants to sell these things to.

        Case in point: I was at my parents house having dinner when my 57 year old mom said "I really like those Nintendo Wiis. I think I'll buy one." My jaw about hit the floor. Here's someone who has never played a video game for more than five minutes in her life talking about dropping $250 on a console. I asked her why she liked it, and she said that it wasn't just sitting in front of a screen, that it would help her stay active. She's worried about osteoporosis and gaining too much weight.

        Let me summarize for those who don't get it: A grandmother who is almost sixty wants a Wii. There are at least as many of them in the world as hardcore gamers, mostly because the hardcore gamers live in their basements.

        For what it's worth, I'm a 25-year-old male, but not a hardcore gamer. I get about 1 hour a day of downtime, which is split between the Web and TV. I'd like to buy a Wii, but I have to save some money since my wife and I are having a kid in October. So I'm going to stick with my NES I picked up at a yard sale for $20 along with about 80 games. That is, unless they release Guitar Hero 2 for the Wii.

    • And I will be buying a Wii and probably skipping the 360, despite my fondness for Halo, so I cancel you out!
    • but I will buy an xbox 360 once Halo comes out
      I've played Halo 2 [wikipedia.org] on my original PlayStation and Halo 5 [wikipedia.org] on my Dreamcast.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      ok, so then why did you post in this topic?
  • by faloi (738831) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:21PM (#18872595)
    The Wii also has the advantage of being hit with supply problems. Nothing makes the average consumer want something more than knowing they can't have it. It's affordable, has some pretty good games out there at release, and is in short supply. It's a trifecta!
    • by jonnythan (79727)
      I'm not sure that 6.5 million of anything in five months qualifies it for being in short supply.
      • by eht (8912)
        It is when the demand is twice as much, or whatever the number is, which we won't find out until we stop having shortages.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:39PM (#18872829)

        I'm not sure that 6.5 million of anything in five months qualifies it for being in short supply.
        Oxygen molecules?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hansamurai (907719)
        The total numbers don't matter, they're in short supply because demand exceeds supply. Think about this, if every person in the world needed a flu vaccine, but only a billion people have been inoculated, would you still say that this isn't an issue of short supply?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mex (191941)
      Anyone who has had a Wii since launch, like I have, is now probably feeling that there's a bit of a "drought" of new games. The most noteworthy release has been "Cooking Mama", which no manly man would admit to owning.

      But now it's up to third parties to exploit the console. I personally feel very bored of Zelda and Mario, and I really hope that third parties see the huge potential in this thing and adjust their platform objectives accordingly.

      Meaning - bring on the "adult" games, people! It's ridiculous tha
      • by trdrstv (986999) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:52PM (#18873001)
        Anyone who has had a Wii since launch, like I have, is now probably feeling that there's a bit of a "drought" of new games. The most noteworthy release has been "Cooking Mama", which no manly man would admit to owning.

        But now it's up to third parties to exploit the console. I personally feel very bored of Zelda and Mario, and I really hope that third parties see the huge potential in this thing and adjust their platform objectives accordingly.

        Meaning - bring on the "adult" games, people! It's ridiculous that so far, only EA has released a decent port of an old game (The Godfather).

        The issue is timing. Publishers want to get out to market fast, with a sizeable 'Mature game' but that takes time.

        That's why for now we have to be content with: Godfather, Scarface, & RE4 for now, and RE:UC, No more heroes and Manhunt for later.

        Say what you will about the Godfather, but I like it. The motion controls make it better, and it's a good looking game (real good by say X-box standards) and it is a very big game. Vice City wasn't created in a day, and it will take some time for these new original properties to get made for the Wii.

  • by zyl0x (987342) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:25PM (#18872655)
    Personally, I own both a 360 and a Wii, and while I've had tremendous fun with my Wii - especially over the holidays - I've recently found myself playing my 360 again. The lack of integrated multiplayer as well as the poor selection for Wii titles is making me start to regret my purchase, which is the last thing I want to do. Really, I've enjoy the Wii a lot so far, and I'm excited to see what developers will do to utilize this unique system, but if they don't start coming out with titles that aren't lousy ports from the other systems, I may find myself selling the poor thing. I could probably get double what I paid for it, too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644)
      If you can get double, then go for it. And when more games that interest you get released, go buy another one.
    • by puppetman (131489) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:38PM (#18872815) Homepage
      I watch Metacritic, and the PS3 is showing more highly-rated games than the Wii (lowest score to make the top-20 is 76, and the highest score is 93 - all "green" games). For the Wii, only 11 of the games have gotten a 75 or better - the rest are "so-so-yellow" games.

      If I were the developer of a Wii game that I didn't think was that great, I'd be releasing it ASAP rather than improve it to take advantage of the huge number of consoles relative to the meager offering of games - my game would fit right in with alot of the crap that's out there for the Wii.

      I don't think the situation will improve - thanks to the success of the Wii, all the big studios have announced ports of their existing games to the Wii, and it's going to make the Wii look bad - watch for some really bad control-schemes for the wireless controller in upcoming games.

      All that said, the Wii is the only console that has a chance of making it in the front door of our house. But that's going to wait till I can find one, and there are some decent games.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by metamatic (202216)

        I watch Metacritic, and the PS3 is showing more highly-rated games than the Wii

        On the other hand, I'm disappointed that the Wii has more green-rated games I want to play than the PS3 does.

        The PS3 has 4 beat-em-up games, 3 racing games, 7 sports games. I have zero interest in sports or fighting, and I'm picky about racing games, so right now that leaves the PS3's selection of games very unappealing.

        Which goes back to the PS3 being targeted at the hardcore gamer, and the Wii not.

    • I also own both. I don't play much of either. Mostly I played GC games on my Wii.

      Although I have to say that Super Paper Mario is a lot of fun. You should try that one out.

      Mostly I'm just waiting for Halo 3...
    • by vux984 (928602)
      Ok, first, right off the top you are posting on slashdot.
      Second, first thing you do is self identify as owning 2 next-gen consoles owner.

      Do you really think you qualify as the broader casual market the Wii is designed to appeal to?

      Hint: Those people haven't cranked through the available library yet. They don't care about 'integrated multiplayer' either.

      The issues you have with the Wii, aren't going to impact the broader casual gamer crowd.

      And as a 'gamer', sure the Wii library isn't going to fill your days
    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      The main thing you are complaining about is available games. That was in part caused developers being taken in by the 360 advertisements and not 'getting' the Wii. Now developers have realized their mistake and in less than 3 months there should be as many good new games for the Wii as for the 360 coming out.
    • Remember that you can also buy gamecube games for it, there are some GREAT ones out there. The XBOX360 didn't have many good games in its first 6 months, give it some time.
  • Production (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rlp (11898) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:25PM (#18872657)
    A few months ago, I would have said the challenge was getting new games for the Wii into the market. We're still in a bit of a drought (depending on your taste in games), but there's a lot in the pipeline. Game makers are switching over to support the Wii given it's new found popularity and growing market share.

    Nintendo's challenge will be to produce enough units to meet demand without sacrificing quality. They were clearly surprised by the demand, and have been slowly ramping up production. They are at a production volume of 1 million a month, and ramping to 1.5 million / month.
  • Wiiiii (Score:3, Interesting)

    by brkello (642429) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:25PM (#18872663)
    Their sales strategy is working in spades. At least one analyst thinks that Wii demand won't be met until 2009.

    And that analyst should be fired. I think it is much more likely that the Wii will be able to catch up to demand in 3 to 4 months. Right now there are 1000s of Wii consoles up on Ebay. So I feel some of the demand is a bit artificial due to people trying to make a quick buck.

    What I find interesting is that the PS2 is outselling the Wii (of course, we don't know if the Wii would outsell the PS2 if it could increase its supply enough..it probably would). I mean, it makes sense because it has the largest library and still has great games coming out for it...but still...I don't remember this happening in the previous previous generation.
    • Re:Wiiiii (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:34PM (#18872759)
      Right now there are 1000s of Wii consoles up on Ebay.

      Of course there are 1000's of Wii's on ebay. They're there because they are selling.

      And because they are selling they don't represent artificial demand. If anything they show there is still significant demand for it above retail price, while accepting ebay hassles and risks. In other words, we haven't even begun to see what sort of demand there will be for the wii from *impulse buyers*.

      Most of the Wii's are still being snapped up by pent up demand, by people actively looking for them. They simply aren't on shelves long enough for someone to stroll up and buy one on impulse.
    • by Endo13 (1000782)
      In the previous generation, the "old" popular console with a huge library was the PS1, and the new consoles debuted at a "mere" $300. (Or was it $350? I can't even remember for sure now. But it was a lot less than $600...) That kind of price for a machine that's "just for games for the kids" is a lot easier to swallow than $600.
    • Re:Wiiiii (Score:4, Interesting)

      by NekoXP (67564) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:55PM (#18873037) Homepage
      They push out about a million units a month from the factory, so I doubt "1000s" of units on eBay (which really is is the low thousands) is actually consumer demand.

      The PS2 thing is odd; but it may be that buying a PS2 is simply a cheaper option than the PS3 - a lot of the high-profile games I see advertised on TV right now, and sponsoring TV shows, are Playstation 2 games. There's no need for a PS3 unless you want the great HD experience nobody sees the need for yet.

      You DID see it in the previous generation though. Right after the Playstation 2 came out, Sony created the PSOne - a curvy, white version of the Playstation original console, with a Dual Shock pad in it. It sold like hotcakes in the face of the hundreds-of-dollars-more Playstation 2, and with 90% of the new games still being Playstation 1 games at the time. Demand did outstrip supply for a couple of weeks.. this was with me working at a games store in my youth. It got annoying for people to ask for a PSOne, because then it was our job to try and sell them a PS2.. a little difficult to get them to justify tripling their outlay just to play some games (people did though :)

      You've seen it in handhelds too; the Gameboy Advance SP sold a lot of units, and when people couldn't get the fliptop model with the integrated battery and the brighter, better screen.. they just went and bought the still readily available and still in-production original Gameboy Advance. I believe they did bring out a new colour of the original Gameboy Advance, before they killed it off in favor of the SP.

      And they're still selling the SP even though the DS is the hotcake, and even though it is not intended as a console replacement..
    • Well apparently there is some flaw in your thinking because they go out of every store near me -5 minutes before store opening (They give out tickets).

      Maybe Grandma is wary of E-bay, or maybe the prices are too high for a used console.

      I think the market for toothbrushes on ebay might be stagnant regardless of market demand.
  • by sexyrexy (793497) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:28PM (#18872683)
    The Wii is not a threat to the 360 because the only market segment that overlaps between the two is also the market segment that would not think twice at buying both. Nintendo and Microsoft strategically position their products to harm Sony, which tries to have (almost) as broad an appeal as the Wii and fails largely because of the price point, and tries to be as hardcore as the 360 and fails largely because of the lack of games. Both companies working together strengthens both their positions and damages their mutual competitor.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Salamande (461392)
      It's kind of funny...if you listen to Major Nelson's podcasts, he often talks about the Wii and DS games he's playing along with his 360 games. He never really mentions his PS3 playing habits, though...
    • It is more likely the PS3 and Xbox 360 can co-exist. Both have similiar philosophies with the systems and both place emphasis on graphics. Both share multi-platform games.

      The Wii is a classic use of 'disruption' technology. A disruption occurs when a cheaper product introduces new technology to make doing the current job (of what the industrys' products are supposed to do) easier and/or better. The 'disrupted' products end up shriveling up in the marketplace. (Did the DS disrupt the handheld market? Is the
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:30PM (#18872707) Homepage Journal
    This reminds me of how Palm succeeded where Newton failed. I liked the Newton, but Newton design was driven by a futuristic vision. Palm design was built around simple practical aspects of the user's experience, such as the utility of carrying the device around in a shirt pocket comfortably.

    You'd think human centered product design would be a no-brainer, but clearly its harder to do than it sounds. It isn't just getting the details right, its being bold in choosing not to do things. Making shrewd decisions not to do things conventionally thought necesssary characterize the breakthrough designs of the Wii and Palm.

    I think the reason that we see so few excellent product designs is that its hard to let go of preconceptions. So much of business runs on swagger.
    • by cowscows (103644)
      Honestly, I think so much of what you're talking about is a result of marketing. To develop the Wii, Nintendo had to ignore a lot of what was generally considered to be a marketable next-gen console. The whole concept behind the Wii can sort of be explained, but it doesn't really click until you try it. That goes pretty strongly against the grain of existing game advertising and media, which is generally based on screenshots, and often a lot of buzzwords about renderings and physics.

      Regular marketing won't
  • simple, fun games. The biggest names for the PS3 still arnt out, and people wont buy a consol on the expectaion of getting something worth playing later. The 360, while it does have some great games, is a bit of a one trick pony... playing to the hardcore, collage aged gamer with tones of time to play.

    fun, quick games, reasonable price point, and finally doing something NEW has put the Wii on top.
  • Console sales are all very nice and all BUT what counts is the sale of software for that console.

    I personally think that it says an awfull lot about the game industry that the top scorer for march was God of War 2 for the PS2.

    What then does this tell us? That an ancient console beats EVERY SINGLE current console, handheld and regular, in sales?

    Oh and number 2 and 3 in software sales (console) went to the 360.

    So where is the success of the Wii?

    Granted the Wii ain't subsidised, so Nintendo doesn't need t

    • by patio11 (857072) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @01:43PM (#18872885)
      ... the rule that says all games have to be big budget extravaganzas which fail if they're not mega-blockbusters. Take a look at Wii Sports, Hazimete no Wii (sorry, don't know what the English version was called), or even the Wario game. These are not games with $20 million development budgets which have to sell hundreds of thousands of copies just to break even. Thus, they don't have to get bought by EVERYONE who owns the console -- even a slice of a slice of the gaming pie works for them. And if you look at the games-per-Wii attach rate rather than the sales-per-megahit rate, Wii is kicking some serious booty (probably has something to do with the fact that Wii + half dozen games is still cheaper than some of the other options). If there are five fun party games and everybody buys one to three, then each game individually sells a heck of a lot less than a system-making killer app like FFVII or Halo, but Nintendo still laughs their way to the bank.
    • Remember previous transitions? PS/Saturn/N64 to the next generation? Genesis/Super Nintendo to PS/Saturn/N64? NES/Master System to Genesis/Super NES? Same story. Old successful consoles continue to have games that outsell the newcomers for about a year at least occasionally. I didn't think though that God of War 2 was going to be such a blockbuster... I guess that's a testament to how popular the PS2 and God of War are, and how few blockbuster games there are for the new generation.
      • I didn't think though that God of War 2 was going to be such a blockbuster... I guess that's a testament to how popular the PS2 and God of War

        What was it's competition though? No denying it would have sold plenty anyway, but even if you owned every console what games were competing with it? If they were released against a top tier title then you would have seen a very different picture.

    • I personally think that it says an awfull lot about the game industry that the top scorer for march was God of War 2 for the PS2.

      Yes, it says there are about twice the amount of PS2 in the world as the total of ALL next gen systems. Somehow, those customers and those consoles did not vanish overnight when the next gen appeared and as such the people are still buying games for it, especially such a hit as God of War 2. This is the critically acclaimed sequel to a critically acclaimed game. The first one sold
  • software sales? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm curious about the Wii's software sales. Every non-gamer I know has 2-3 games...

    1. Wii Sports
    2. Wii Play
    3. MAYBE one other game (usually Trauma Center)

    The only reason they get Wii Play is it comes with the controller and you need to have at least 2 controllers for the Wii.

    I also don't know any one that's bought more than 2 controllers.

    So far the 360 seems to have great software sales - with a high number of games sold for every console out there.

    The PS3 can't seem to sell consoles or software - but that'
    • Do any of those non-gamers buy VC games, though? I know if I had a Wii, that's where most of my game dollars would go until I could get the real Wii games for a little cheaper. $50/game might look good next to the other consoles, but "non-gamers" probably still see it as steep - $5-10 for a VC game, though, is just what they're looking for, with nostalgia to boot.
  • ...that most of the Wii's killer apps have been slated for a second half 2007 release or later. That includes Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, among other titles. Also, don't forget that Virtual Console games don't make it into the top ten chart but make up a good amount of sales for Nintendo, and that keeps users happy when a drought in genuine Wii titles occurs. As for the PS2's game earning the number 1 spot on the top ten list, it's more of a coincidence beca
  • people like new things... and since the other "new things" require other "new things" (ie - HDTV's), and with the wii being quite a bit cheaper, it makes sense. Nintendo strikes gold again.
  • by pohl (872) * on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @02:39PM (#18873687) Homepage
    Every time the Wii is discussed, someone cracks a joke about "playing with his Wii", and there's much giggling. Combined with the hand gestures that arise from the new controllers, it's all one big phallic joke. And now it's "creaming" the competition. Lol. That's why.
  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @03:05PM (#18874107) Homepage Journal
    The success of the Wii isn't some esoteric nonsense. It's very simple: Nintendo built something that people actually want. Instead of listening to the very small demographic of the hardcore gamers and hardcore developers whose world revolves around frames per second, polygon count, pixel shaders and rendering pipelines, they asked themselves (and probably lots of other people) what Joe and Jane want in a gaming console.

    So what do Joe and Jane want? Fun, something to play together and with friends, something that's easy. Gameplay first, killer graphics second.

    And the thing is: Most of what Joe and Jane want also appears to Harald Hardcore. A fun game simply is a fun game, and even if you could code better graphics yourself on your overclocked PC, it still is a fun game.

    And that's the hard part: Coding is the easy part of game design. Making a good game is the hard part. Always has been. Maybe that's why so many PC and Xbox and PS3 titles try to sell on their graphics alone.
  • by rvbarthel (97122) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @03:10PM (#18874177)
    I have figured out the secret to the success of the Wii. Women like it. People have been talking about the elusive "woman gamer" for some time. Nintendo finally found them. Last weekend some guys from my office went to a party that featured a Wii. They played various Wii games with a group of woman until past midnight. One guy even scored. That would not have happened with an Xbox 360 party.

  • What competition? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Asterra (1087671) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @03:31PM (#18874485)
    Sorry, the Wii invented its market and it is completely separate from that shared by the next-gen consoles. The Wii's market is the cheap family - especially any parent who thinks the Wii is going to be an exercise machine. Sony and Microsoft's strategies have very, very little focus on families.

    Saying the Wii is blowing away the "competition" is sort of like suggesting that the Honda Accord is dominating Corvette and Porsche.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy (Score:3, Informative)

    by RobinH (124750) on Wednesday April 25, 2007 @05:52PM (#18876671) Homepage
    From what I understand of the book "Blue Ocean Strategy", this is what Nintendo did to position themselves back on top of the gaming market. Instead of playing in the same "Red Ocean" as the PS3 and Xbox360, they decided to create a different market niche which hadn't been developed (i.e. older gamers, less hard core gamers, even people who hadn't gamed before). They realized they could target this niche with a lower price point and could give up the fancy graphics if they concentrated on simple fun games. The Wii is the result. It means that they have little, if any, competition in their target market, which means they don't really have to compete on price - they can charge enough to make the product profitable, and the customers will pay because there's nothing quite the same to compare it against.

    That's why the Wii is beating Sony and Microsoft.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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