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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Wii Is the New US Console Leader 397

Posted by timothy
from the depends-who's-counting-and-how dept.
stoolpigeon writes with this snippet from an AFP story carried by Google: "Nintendo said Thursday that its globally popular Wii has become the top-selling video game console in the United States, a crown coveted by rivals Microsoft and Sony. Market-tracking firm NPD Group reports that 666,000 Wii consoles were sold in the United States in June, raising the total sales count in the country to nearly 10.9 million units." I'd rather play board games than video games, but the Wii Fit makes one of these tempting anyhow.
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Wii Is the New US Console Leader

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  • Re:But the games! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anotherone (132088) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @04:49PM (#24256273)
    Mario Kart's online is flawless, actually. SSB online was doomed to failure no matter what- the tiniest bit of lag ruins the split-second timing necessary to really intense play. Mariokart doesn't need quite the same split-second timing, though.
  • Re:But the games! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @04:51PM (#24256283)

    If you think that's bad, try the PS3...

    Seriously, I have a Wii and a PS3 and I've found more interesting games for Wii than the PS3. However, some decent PS2 games have still been coming out.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:04PM (#24256389) Homepage Journal

    I bought it for the Zelda and Metroid series, not to mention the compatibility with the Gamecube. I'm hoping there will be at least a half-dozen games that will interest me during the lifetime of the console. Perhaps there already is, but I'm not really searching either, I don't have the time for that + playing the games in question, if any.

    I didn't have a PS2 or Xbox, so I really don't care about the sequels and franchises on the PS3/Xbox 360.

    All modern games (should) have a save feature, so it's not really a matter of how much time you have to play, just a question of how long it takes to complete a game.

    Let's say you are correct about the number of Wiis being the same number as the total of PS3 and Xbox 360. It still shows that Nintendo knows what they're doing and how to price their hardware. Now, if only they could keep up with the production...

  • by bigman2003 (671309) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:05PM (#24256395) Homepage

    No, it just proves that a lot of people like the Nintendo products.

    The Billboard 100 [billboard.com] is full of music *most* people don't like. In fact, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers sell a heck of a lot more records than anything I would consider listening to.

    That doesn't mean that Miley Cyrus is what 'normal' people listen to.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest made more money than almost any other film in history. [simplestuff.info] That doesn't mean that 'normal people want to watch idiotic sequels, rather than see a good movie.' It just means that a lot of people paid to see the movie.

    Sometimes a system's capabilities DO make a difference!

    Just read any review of Rock Band for the Wii. Pretty much every reviewer says it is a crippled, inferior version of the game due to the lower hardware capabilities of the Wii.

  • Lifecycle? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nobodyman (90587) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:06PM (#24256401) Homepage

    Personally I've always thought of the Wii as more of a gimmick and that this was all a fad, but after 10 million units sold it's still going strong. So that shows what I know.

    Still, I wonder if the Wii's lifecycle will be as long as the N64 and SNES. My personal experience is that my family and I really enjoyed the wii for the first few months, but now we find that we rarely play it. I tend to prefer my 360, and my daughter has gravitated to PC-based games like Webkinz and Nick Arcade. Also, while I think that Nintendo's first party titles are always pretty good, the 3rd party signal-to-noise ratio is getting worse and worse. Nintendo's E3 performance was roundly considered to be the worst of the big three -- even if you come at it from a non-hardcore perspective, they didn't outline as many exciting titles as in previous years.

    So what do you guys think? Is the Wii popularity going to stay strong over the next three years, or is there going to be a drop off?

  • Re:more numbers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:13PM (#24256443)
    For the US, there are still twice as many xboxs that have been sold than ps3s. If you include Europe, it's 1.5x as many. Japan, of course, skews those numbers worldwide, but there's still a wide gulf between the xbox and ps3 in terms of how many are actually in homes. Game makers are hesitant to release games for the ps3 exclusively, even when Sony offers a lot of money for that exclusivity. Hell, even Final Fantasy 13 isn't going to be exclusive, and their main line has been exclusive to the playstation since the ps1.

    I expect that sales of the ps3 will continue to be high simply because it's a great blu ray player that gets most of the games that the xbox gets, but I doubt that they're going to sell games as fast as the xbox does and their hardware sales will fall dramatically this holiday season when a really good, relatively cheap blu-ray player comes out. The ps3 won't die or reach the levels of irrelevancy that the gamecube ever reached, but I doubt that it'll pass the 360.
  • Re:but not all of us (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:18PM (#24256481) Journal

    Yes, I am sure they do have people doing capacity planning. I am sure that time to market became a consideration so they did not want sit a stack a warchest of them in their warehouse, not to mention the risk had they not been big sellars, they know like all products in the electronics market demand will taper off no matter what they do in the end. Which would mean that not building out a lot more manufacturing facility might be wise, even if it means you can't sell as many units, because what will you do with it after the popularity fades?

    They are selling the units they can produce where the currency offers them the best excahnge rate so they take the most profit. Why they don't raise prices since the market will obviously bare it, I don't know, Good Will?

  • by kesuki (321456) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:25PM (#24256549) Journal

    "They just now and just barely reached first place out of three."

    perhaps because the DS is just too popular...

    "In 2007, the Wii was the second best-selling game console (behind the Nintendo DS) in the US and Japan"

    considering they were number 2 to themselves, the numbers take on a different light.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:39PM (#24256649) Homepage

    I tend to get bored with a lot of games long before i complete them...

  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:43PM (#24256671)

    After the poor show at E3, I'm starting to doubt whether Nintendo can hold on to its lead for much longer. They like to think that it's the casual games selling Wiis, but the AAA titles are what the hardcore gamers want - and it's the hardcore gamers who'll decide the outcome of the console wars.

    That's the traditional mentality, and it's precisely why Playstation and Xbox are losing the sales competition this round. Hardcore gamers only determine the outcome of a war between "hardcore" consoles. Nintendo opted to tap into a whole new market, and did a very good job of it. Nintendo didn't have to put up a great show at E3 because a huge part of their target audience for the Wii are not people who would ever visit E3, or be interested in much of anything there.

    Wii is the inexpensive system with the fun controller that people buy and play 15 minutes or an hour or two at a stretch when they have a little spare time. It's the system you buy in addition to your other entertainment equipment, including your other video game systems. Whether that's a PS3, 360, or a PC is almost irrelevant. They're doing the Zelda, Mario, and Metroid games just to satisfy the fans of those franchises and keep them coming back for more. As for the rest of the "hardcore" gaming crowd, Nintendo really doesn't need them or care about them.

    In summary, the Wii is winning because it's really not in competition with the other consoles. It made a market of its own, where it really has no direct competition. In fact, I daresay the DS is more direct competition for the Wii than any other video game system.

  • by timothy (36799) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @05:45PM (#24256677) Homepage Journal

    You're right; it was an off-the-cuff comment. At greater length: I don't usually care for video games of the kind that actually require high-end hardware to play. I did like Aztek quite a bit on the C64, though :)

    I enjoy the Scrabble-alike game on Facebook (Scrabulous) quite a bit, and before that, eScrabble (RIP). But the Wii Fit actually looks fun enough that it overcomes my natural anti-video-game skepticism.

    Cheers,

    timothy

  • Nice product (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @06:49PM (#24257061) Homepage Journal

    This time they did it with good product and beat out the competition, unlike the underhanded and illegal tricks they used to topple Atari back in the old days.

    I still don't like them a bit due to the past however.

  • by demana (753243) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:11PM (#24257217)
    Here is an interesting counter-perspective on "it's the casual games selling Wiis". http://malstrom.50webs.com/birdman.html [50webs.com] Premise: the Wii is a disruptive technology. The goal is not simply to target casual gamers. Rather, it is to redefine the way gamers enter and evolve in the marketplace.
  • by maglor_83 (856254) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:50PM (#24257457)

    These numbers aren't counting handhelds.
    The DS has been WAY ahead on that count since before any of the home consoles were even released. Currently around 24 million in the US according to VGChartz, though it also says the Wii is 12 million and this says 11.

  • Re:more numbers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @07:52PM (#24257467) Homepage Journal

    I know many people who have gone out and bought PS3's recently to be used mostly as a BluRay player, and maybe to play the occaisional game.

  • by jonabbey (2498) * <jonabbey@ganymeta.org> on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:24PM (#24257693) Homepage

    The Wii is the leader in sales only if you don't count the PS2, which is still selling well every month.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Saturday July 19, 2008 @08:57PM (#24257981) Homepage Journal

    The new consoles and televisions could start making things a bit more confusing, however. Let's take StarCraft II as an example. I'd never even think of playing that on a console.

    However, all new consoles have USB ports, so it solves the keyboard+mouse problem. HD televisions solve the minimum resolution requirement problem.

    If they made Starcraft II for consoles, I'd rather buy those versions than a PC/Mac version, if only to have less headaches about configuration and minimum requirements vs graphics tweaking problems/slowdown. SC2 would be coded for a fixed hardware setup, not a multitude of CPU speeds, GPU features and RAM values.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday July 20, 2008 @02:38AM (#24259931) Homepage
    The Wii has been number one worldwide for awhile now but not in the US until now. Despite, what the article may say, the DS and the Wii aren't in the same market. That's like saying the Wii is actually in 5th place behind toasters.
  • Re:But the games! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AbRASiON (589899) * on Sunday July 20, 2008 @02:39AM (#24259935) Journal

    Okami

    I do own a PS2 as well... long long played out

    Twilight Princess

    How old is this? Launch game if I recall or a month later, certainly is one of the good games I was mentioning however, no doubt about that.

    Super Mario Galaxy

    You're joking right? Brilliant, fun platformer but in no way is this a 'proper' single player linear experience with a half decent storyline - I will eventually finish it but you're clutching at straws here.

    No More Heroes

    Haven't tried it I'll be honest. I've been too busy with life / movies / TV / PS3.

    need I go on? You're just not trying.

    Yes, please go on, there's only 2 or 3 games left for the Wii which fit my criteria, you're stretching, I don't even need to try.

    And unlike Metal Gear Cutscene 4, those are actually fun to play and don't involve mindless cutscene watching.

    BZZZT sorry buddy, we're not all MGS fanboys just because we own a Sony machine.

    Let's see what I've been playing now.
    Uncharted
    GTA4
    Heavenly Sword
    Resistance Fall of man
    Ratchet and Clank (ok I admit, this too is a platformer)
    Call of Duty 4 (short but good)
    Burnout Paradise (I admit, not the linear SP type I mentioned earlier but also nothing close to this on Wii now is there?)
    Lego Star Wars
    Assassins Creed

    and if I didn't have it on my PC, I could be playing the entire contents of the Orange box, which is 3 good SP games (HL2, Ep1, Ep2)
    same with Oblivion

    Pixel Junk Monsters (incredibly addictive and fun) - again, I admit it's not a linear SP game with a good story as previously mentioned

    Also I've been lent a copy of MGS4 (I disliked the earlier ones) but this isn't so bad, it does indeed have a lot of cutscenes but it is also true as the reviews have said, that it blends cinema with gameplay very seamlessly, cinematics in games won't be the same after this.

    Ultimately, you're trying to argue the Wii is a good SP gamers machine when it's common knowledge by pretty much any gamer worth his crust that it's not it's specialty, why waste my time and other slashdot readers times? Seriously?
    Ragging on the PS3 is no longer hip and trendy, Sony have made some damned fool mistakes but the console is not in any way a useless piece of consumer electronics only good as a BD player as some fans would have you think.

    As I said, I'm an owner of all 3 systems and my PS3 by far gets the most playtime (I can't hack the noise of the 360, thank god for the new load to drive feature)

    The Wii is known for it's shovelware, if you like it or not, let's see here
    http://www.metacritic.com/games/ps3/scores/ [metacritic.com]
    81 games rated above 75 for the PS3 - out of a total of 184 - not bad
    http://www.metacritic.com/games/xbox360/scores/ [metacritic.com]
    167 games rated above 75 for the 360 - out of a total of 424, also not bad
    http://www.metacritic.com/games/wii/scores/ [metacritic.com]
    43 games rated above 75 for the Wii - out of a total of 233 - shovelware much?

    Definitely without any doubt in my mind NOT a system an SP gamer would want to focus on, it's a good spare console but in no way a good primary machine.
    Oh and yes I do play back BD's and DVD's on my PS3 - it's quite good at it too, thanks.

  • by Yeef (978352) on Sunday July 20, 2008 @04:32AM (#24260359) Homepage
    Capcom HAS been successful on the Wii, with their ports and virtual console games.

    But they've only put out two original titles made specifically for the Wii. They've done for Wii so far one (Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles) has sold well and one (Zack & Wiki) has not, so I'm not ready to say that they completely understand the Wii just yet. But I'd agree that Capcom is easily the most proactive of the third parties when it comes to the Wii and it's certainly paid off for them.

    If someone would rather be working on the next Gears of War, I'm not sure I want them making stuff for the Wii. It takes someone who's actually capable of original thought, not someone who wants to turn out yet another shooter with shiny graphics.

    Just to clarify, when I said "the next Gears of War" I meant the next new franchise that will becomes a hit amongst 'core' gamers, not a Gears clone. Maybe Assassin's Creed or Dead Rising would have been better examples.

  • by donaldm (919619) on Sunday July 20, 2008 @06:07AM (#24260707)

    perhaps because the DS is just too popular.

    The DS which is a hand-held and belongs in a different category to the Wii which is a console. If you wish to compare then you need to compare the DS (75.8 million world wide) to the PSP (38.3 million world wide). Before the fan-boys start waving the flag there are few reasons why the DS leads the PSP. The first reason the DS's Nintendo brand is synonymous with gaming and the second is if you consider that most parents when choosing a hand-held for their child would chose the DS because it is cheaper and can take more punishment than the PSP.

    The Wii is actually in a category of its own since it is the only Standard Definition console out of the PS3 and Xbox 360. It is also very popular since the majority of its games cater to the casual gamer. I have had nearly every Nintendo machine since the NES and have enjoyed many games on them. What has turned me off the Wii is that the only games that are interesting to me have been milked again and again to the point were I don't want to play the latest Zelda, Metroid or Mario game. Even the graphics which should appear better then the Gamecube's (which I have) appear to have been poorly implemented and on a large screen HDTV the graphics appear to be worse.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Monday July 21, 2008 @08:53AM (#24272371) Journal

    How interesting, actually Nintendo's Wii games do NOT sell well, if you look in to the attach rates for the Wii they are significantly lower than both the 360 and the PS3, there's a large large quantity of Wii owners out there with either one game (Wii sports) or perhaps one more)

    The rumours and speculation across the web from the gaming press, analysis and so on, continues to go along the lines of the system could be a fad, no one will really know for another year I would think but the 360 and PS3 continue to slowly build up sales of systems AND games, meanwhile that Wii is selling like hotcakes but no games with it.

    I for one barely use mine and remain convinced it's simply the hot toy to have.
    Yes I mean toy and no I don't mean it insultingly, but my opinion is there's a large quantity being sold purely as a 'Wii sports box' rather than a video gaming ocnsole - ultimately that's all fine and dandy as long as Nintendo are making money, but some of us more serious 'hardcore' storyline or online MP gamers do have some concerns that developers will throw their efforts towards the Wii focusing on an entire different kind of game that many don't care for.

    We shall see in a year or so.

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