Analyst: The Wii bubble is deflating

After a tremendous run of dominance in the games industry, Wii’s bubble might not have burst – but one analyst is claiming that it is certainly deflating.

Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz says that a recent survey from the firm suggests that Wii gamers are buying fewer games for their machine now than they were this time last year – in contrast, both Xbox 360 and PS3 owners are planning to buy more.

Cowen claims that over half of Wii owners also own either an Xbox 360 or PS3, but only 23 per cent of that group consider Wii to be their primary console, reducing the potential for Wii-related gift requests in the run-up to Christmas.

While core gamers who own a Wii own more Wii games on average than casual gamer Wii-owners, the average title ownership spread between the two categories of gamers is much lower than it is for owners of Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles,” Creutz explained to Gamasutra.

While we believe the Wii is likely to be a drag on overall software sales through the holiday, the impact should be limited to those publishers which have invested significantly in Wii development, with the biggest negative impact likely to be felt by EA, which (unwisely in our view) heavily invested in Wii development for calendar 2009.”

In what could be good news for Sony, the analyst adds that 21 per cent of those questioned said they planned to buy a PS3 this Christmas – far ahead of the 12 per cent who intended to buy an Xbox 360.

With the frontline Xbox 360 console also retailing for $299, we believe Sony now has, for the first time, a significant price advantage at retail,” Creutz adds.

This is particularly true in the minds of serious gamers who are more likely to be considering the PS3 vs. the Xbox 360 Elite rather than the $199 Xbox 360 Arcade version.”

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