The incredible story of Nintendo’s Wii appears to be coming to an end in Japan. Some say it is odd that Wii had an incredible story in the first place. Japan is moving on, and when it comes to technology, when Japan moves on, so does the rest of the world. Conventional wisdom is: the Nintendo’s Wii downturn will become a trend. Say it isn’t so! See photos and a video below.

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Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 are all that Wii is not, with eye-popping graphics and provocative and heady gameplay, but still yet, Wii has outsold them both, individually. Nintendo Co., Ltd. says sales of the Wii console “have lost some steam” in Japan, but vigorous sales of Wii and their handheld DS player have held up, despite the economic downturn. In fact, the company says it expects “a record 530 billion yen operating profit” for it’s year ending March 31, 2009.

So, if record profits are expected, why are those seemingly “in the know” predicting Wii’s eventual demise?

Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata said today’s climate for Wii is not it’s best:

In fact, it is in the most unhealthy situation since its launch in Japan.

Nintendo will soon release “Wii Sports Resort.” On top of the popular “Wii Sports,” “Sports Resort” uses a motion-sensing controller to allow users to participate in a sword fight or throw a frisbee to a virtual dog, as well as the highly anticipated Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, Grand Slam Tennis and virtua Tennis 2009. Release of Sports Resort is scheduled for June in Japan and July 26th in the United States. It will come packaged with the new MotionPlus and will retail for $49.99. Nintendo expects the Sports Resort to reinvigorate sales.

But here are those “troubling signs” we mentioned:

Kinks in the system’s shiny white armor starting showing last month. Despite steady success in Japan, the Wii fell into second place in March as the underdog Playstation 3 clambered atop the region’s sales charts for the first time in 16 months. That was enough to garner some uncharacteristically somber comments from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who deemed the climate in Japan “unhealthy” for the Wii.

Cowan & company analyst, Doug Creutz, said the Wii is “fool’s gold” for third party game developers:

The choice here is really between investing for the Xbox 360 and PS3 — since their capabilities are fairly similar — or the Wii,” he said. “I would caution investors and developers that the larger installed base of the Wii is really a bit of a red herring.

Creutz says that combined sales of PS3 and Xbox 360 “top 22 million” compared to Wii’s North American sales of 19 million. He notes that Nintendo’s Guitar Hero and Rock Band are responsible for one-half of all Wii software sales. Third party developers find it easier to design for 360 and PS3, saying that Wii “is simply a tougher nut to crack for third-party developers.”

You simply can’t take what you’re doing on the PS3 and Xbox and port – that’s a dirty word – down to the Wii,” he said, insisting that instead you have to build Wii games “from the ground up.

The question remains: if sales remain stronger for Wii, why the prediction of it’s demise? There are more problems in the here-and-now, and you read them here. If you are a Wii lover and cannot imagine the popularity of your coveted system diminishing, share your own prediction in our comments section.

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Nintendo Wii (Photo)




Wii – Nintendo

Photo credit: Ccool2ax