The announcement of the Wii U may mean that Wii’s time left on the market has suddenly become finite, but Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata believes there’s plenty of sales opportunities left for the device.
"It can be said that for any consumer product, different audiences buy a product at different points in time, and there are certain audiences that want to buy a new product when it first comes out, before its reputation becomes solid, because they want to be the first ones to try it," he told investors.
"There is also, for every product, an audience that waits until some of those first impressions have come out and want affirmation that the product is one that is worth their investment and, at that point, they will purchase that product.
"Similarly, there is another group that waits an even greater period, for a product to really take hold for the vast majority of people in the marketplace, before they move and purchase that product themselves.
"So, what we are considering with the current state of the Wii system is that our objective is to sell Wii to the group of late adopters.
"And, of course, this is a group of people who, despite the Wii becoming a social phenomenon, still have not bought the system. So, we need to move beyond that and try to find other reasons for them to want to purchase the system."
Iwata also says that there’s every chance the Wii could see a significant sales lift as we near the Christmas period.
"As we went into the spring through fall months [last year], sales of the Wii console were not as strong as many people had expected, and we certainly heard concerns to that end," he insisted.
"But, in both of those years, once the holiday season started, we saw that the Wii console then began to gain great momentum so that by the end of the year, it had retained its top spot as the best-selling hardware system.
"So, the more that our business focuses on that group of late adopters, the more that our sales tend to peak in the holiday season.
"For those people who are considering their holiday season purchases, it becomes our job to convey to them that the Wii has great entertainment value and it will make their family and friends happy during the holiday season while they are at home. If those individuals are looking to make a purchase during the holidays this year, then the Wii U system, which won’t be out in time for the holidays, will not be an option for them to choose from.
"Conversely, because the majority of the people who will purchase the Wii U system initially already own the Wii system, I don’t think that the information about the Wii U system launch taking place next year will affect the sales of the Wii system.
"Of course, the ideal scenario for Nintendo would be that if people are considering purchasing another HD video game console, then knowing that they will have opportunity to purchase Wii U when it is released next year, they perhaps might delay their purchase of a console."