Nintendo Still Riding Wii High

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Industry Trends

Wii2_2According to videogame analyst PJ McNealy of American Technology Research, Nintendo's recent recall of the Wii Remote controller handstrap has had no negative impact on Wii sales. In fact, consumers are happy with Nintendo's pro-active approach. When numerous, excited gamers began losing grip of their remotes after major gaming workouts, Nintendo immediately announced it would swap out the wristband with a new and stronger one. Nintendo has also been supplying retailers with Wiis, which have been much easier to find than PS3 for Christmas shoppers this year.

Nintendo seems like it can do no wrong this year. First, it wowed the world with Nintendo DS Lite, which has found a much more devoted following then the original, bulkier Nintendo DS. Sales of innovative, low-priced DS games like "Brain Age" and "Nintendogs" has also enticed a broader audience to go portable. Gamers of all ages have also made games like "New Super Mario Bros." a huge success.

Then in November, Nintendo clobbered Sony with its Wii, which is more affordable, comes with its own games, and has drawn unanimous critical praise. Sony can't say the same about PS3, which was ripped apart by The New York Times and recently named as one of the five most overhyped products of 2006 by Time Magazine.

I know that older brother-in-laws and people who never play games have been asking me about Wii. And they're actually buying them. I have one friend who found a PS3 early, bought it, and traded it for a Wii and some games. Nintendo's marketing is doing its job. But I also think the trials and word-of-mouth are driving this machine. And with so many solid launch titles--Sony has only one exclusive launch title that stands out--Wii has something for everyone. In fact, as far as launches go, Nintendo might just have the best slate ever for a new system. And the games will likely only get better next year.


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