Electronic Arts (Public, NASDAQ:ERTS) CEO John Riccitiello believes that the Nintendo Wii needs a price cut to $99 USD to remain viable.
The November Black Friday surge notwithstanding, the Wii had suffered poor sales as 2010 went on, coming in third in major consoles for several months, fourth including the Nintendo DS. For the last six months, the Xbox 360 has ruled the roost, with the PlayStation 3 repeatedly leading the Wii for the most part.
Riccitiello noted that the Wii’s poor sales had been trending for the last two years, and during that time, high profile third party titles had nonexistant sales, chiefly in part to Nintendo’s traditional policy. Unfortunately, the lack of a core user base that cares about games has affected first party titles, with games like Kirby’s Epic Yarn not even making a ripple in the market. Worse, one of the biggest hyped games of the year, Epic Mickey, has sold a paltry 560,000 units in the three weeks since its launch, with Europe completely shunning it (142K units).
Riccitiello was critical of Nintendo’s intentional lack of support for third party titles:
“Nintendo’s unique in the world. First-party hardware, first-party content is what makes them great, but it’s actually pretty tough … they’ve never really been a heavy third-party supporting system. It’s not lack of trying; they start the morning thinking what’s best for their own intellectual property.”
Another main concern is that the casual Wii user base that does not buy game software will not purchase the next Nintendo console, and with the loyal Nintendo fanbase eroded, it could spell disaster for the company.
Jonah Falcon is a blogger for TMRzoo and GameStooge.com and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Jonah provides his readers with reviews, previews and up to date gaming industry news and rumors.