Wii Sales Down 21% In Last Year, But Why?

Cold, hard proof that Nintendo needs to pull its head out of its arse and release some new hardware (not just relying on a 3D novelty to work wonders): they sold 21 per cent less Wiis last year.

In fact, they sold just 20.53 million units from April 2009 - March 2010, a pretty large decline from the previous year's 25.95 million units. It wasn't just Ninty's home console which suffered either, with the DS range dropping just 12 per cent - from 31 million units to 27 million.

Either game launches in the past 12 months were dry, or people really aren't interested in the Wii anymore, as 6 per cent less games were sold than the previous year (204 million to 191 million), and DS games were down a whopping 23 per cent, from 197 million to 151 million. No wonder Nintendo's brought back Pokemon.

So what happened? Well, the Wii's been on sale for over three years now, and has been such a success story it's likely Nintendo just can't sell any more consoles to consumers. No one needs two in their house.

The recession could be to blame, but then other tech companies such as LG have defied the downturn.

Could it just be that there's no innovation anymore? It's been well over a year since I last touched my Wii or DS, as there simply haven't been any games worthy of my time and money. When friends are over, we'd rather play Guitar Hero or Sing Star than bother with Wii bowling or tennis.

The upcoming 3DS could indeed change matters, but at the heart of it it's still just the same tired portable console with dual screens - albeit a new twist. The DSi had cameras, the DSi XL is slightly larger and more suited to reading ebooks - and the 3DS will have graphics that jump out of the screen. It's not enough. Nintendo needs to do something about it this year, to ensure their Wii customers don't jump ship and flirt with the Xbox 360 (which will have the tantalising Project Natal this year) or the PlayStation 3 (which will offer innovation in the form of PlayStation Move). I miss Nintendo.

Despite my doom and gloom, Nintendo still fared better than PlayStation and Xbox 360 in the past 12 months. [Kotaku]

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