The Wii is still a chart-topping behemoth but Nintendo President Satoru Iwata says the system is in an “unhealthy condition” in Japan, where sales are slipping and it actually appears to be losing ground to the PlayStation 3.
Sales of the Wii have dropped almost two-thirds from the previous year, according to an ABS-CBN report, and for the first time in well over a year the PlayStation 3 outsold the Wii in sales last month. More than eight million Wii consoles have been sold in Japan but the company says sales are beginning to slow because of the recent lack of compelling new games to drive sales. “The speed with which people get tired of any new entertainment is faster in Japan than in overseas markets,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said.
In the five week period beginning March 29, PlayStation 3 sales have jumped 80 percent to reach 146,948 consoles sold, while the Wii dropped nearly 63 percent to 99,335 units, according to Enterbrain numbers.
“The Wii is in the most unhealthy condition since it hit the Japanese market,” he noted “The current condition in the Japanese market is not the one we want.”
Despite slowing sales and the recent news that Nintendo has managed to reduce the manufacturing cost of the Wii by 45 percent, Iwata reiterated that a price cut “cannot really excite the market and drive up sales. As of now I really don’t think that a price cut is a good option for us.” Instead, the company is counting on the release of new games, like the Wii Sports sequel Wii Sports Resort, coming out in June, to reinvigorate the console.