Nintendo landed a wildly popular video game console with the Wii, which took the competition by surprise. But now the Wii is likely having its last sales spike in this Holiday shopping season. This is the first Holiday shopping season in the US that has plenty of Wii stock. Nintendo cut the Wii's price to $199 and retailers have further cut this price in special sales events.
The next big Wii sale is in Walmart stores starting this weekend. You get a Wii for $199 bundled with a free $50 Walmart gift card.
When retailers offer deals like this on a product it usually means that a new version is coming that will replace it.
This conclusion is supported by a Nikkei (subscription) report this week that Nintendo cut orders for new Wii consoles. Nintendo also reduced the forecast for Wii sales in the current fiscal year from 26 million to 20 million.
When looking at what Microsoft and Sony are coming out with in 2010 for the Xbox 360 and respectively for the PS3 we find another reason for a new 2010 Wii console. The Xbox 360 will get Natal, which enables controller free gaming. Sony is launching its advanced motion controller for the PS3.
The Wii will have lost its unique selling point when these new accessories come out.
The Nintendo Wii is still just offering standard definition (SD) video, but homes get more saturated with HDTVs every year as prices come down in big steps.
I am pretty convinced that Nintendo will release a new Wii console in 2010. The only other choice Nintendo has is to cut the price of the Wii to $99, but that would not be very innovative and margins would go to zero.
I do not think the current Wii will go away. I think the introduction of a new Wii HD or Wii Premium or some new camera based controller system that challenges Natal is more likely.
2009 was the year of the console price cut. 2010 will be the year of new ways to play video games. It will be exciting.
Post in the comments below what you think the 2010 Wii console should be like.
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