Nintendo uses Japan as a litmus test for change. And right now and for the past year or so, the Wii routinely it outsold by the PS3. In America it is little different; just replace the PS3 with the Xbox 360. Take that and mix in the Wii’s game lineup, which is the most sparse of any first half since the Wii was released, and an announcement of the Wii 2 is guaranteed this E3.
The first-half first-party Wii lineup this year is Mario Sports Mix and ……. WiiPlay packaged with a Motion Plus remote control. That’s a good two games short of what the first-party lineup should be in any 6 months.
Lastly, we have the 5-year rule. Did you know that someone put a curse on Presidents who were elected to office in a year ending in zero? Since then, every one one of them has been assassinated or at least shot. Well at least until 2000.
Is the year the 5-year rule ends for home consoles? According to legend, Nintendo’s next console always comes 5 years after the last. SNES, N64, GameCube and Wii all appeared 5 years after the previous console. (I say “legend” because I haven’t fact checked this and used my memory instead.)
Nintendo has also released its big guns — and then some. They aren’t a company to spam the franchises. There’s been a Mario Kart, Metroid Prime, Metroid collector’s edition, Metroid Other M, two Super Mario games, Super Mario Bros, Super Smash Bros, WiiFit and WiiFit Plus, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Mario Party, Wii Party, ……
History says Nintendo doesn’t release more than one of these franchises per generation.
Now can you take this to the bank?
I wish. Unfortunately, there is evidence that’s just as strong that the Wii has some life left in it. Let me present it here:
The Wii is still $200. Why should Nintendo bail on it already? Now Nintendo has value added. They put Motion Plus in the remote, and this is included in the new Wii console. And they’ve been including a second game, Wii Sports Resort, for a while now. That’s one reason the console is still $200.
Anyway, there’s room for them to drop the price and up sales and get more folks on board. Recent history says consoles get much cheaper before the next gen arrives.
Then we have Zelda. It’s already been announced for the Wii, with a probable arrival in the second half of 2011. Pikmin 3 was also semi-promised a few years back, and that hasn’t shown up either. A second Kirby was mentioned as well, a more traditional one.
Nintendo also has its hands full with the 3DS. It would be nice to launch a Wii 2 this Christmas, but do they really want to do that when it’s the first Christmas that the 3DS will see? They also need to get a few major games out for the 3DS to give it a boost, and they’ve probably set the Wii on cruise control for now.
Let’s not forget the Wii still outsold the Xbox 360 and PS3 last year. It was the first console to sell 7 million units three years in a row, and even now it still sells at a historically healthy clip even if the 360 has been ahead of it in sales.
So which is it? Should I be the judge and decide this trial? Or do you want to be part of the jury?
This op/ed piece was written by a DailyGame member via a new tool that allows every DailyGame member to create a free blog. Care to write your own blog entry and start on your path to Internet fame? Learn all about it here.