Want The Wii U To Turn A Profit? Just Buy A Game, Says Reggie

[drop2]The Wii U might not be what we were hoping for from a ‘next-gen’ console; in fact, it’s not really next-gen at all, but at least it’s going to make Nintendo lots of money.

Speaking to Mercury News, top man Reggie Fils-Aime has said that a customer needs to do to turn the Wii U into a profitable console is buy a game for it. And due to Nintendo’s licensing costs, that’s job done.

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“The business model doesn’t change dramatically,” he said, when asked about the Wii U being sold at a loss – the first Nintendo console to do so at launch, “in that as soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive.”

“In the end, the business model is still to drive the install base of hardware, and then to drive a strong tie ratio with all of the other software and experiences for the consumer. And if we’re able to do that, then we will create significant profit for the company.”

“The total install base for Wii is much more than our two competitors,” he said, when challenged about the Wii U’s technical grunt.

It’s almost certain that most Wii U buyers will grab New Super Mario Bros U, so that’s pretty much an instant profit on day one for the brand new machine.

“Our target is consumers 5 to 95. We pride ourselves on being a mass market games company. We absolutely want more active players. We want more casual players. And we think we’ve got the offering to attract a very wide audience.”

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8 Comments

  1. Yes, your install base is larger, but how many games are you still selling on Wii? I think this will remain the question for Wii U…

    • What he said. I mean PS2 is still selling games (look at Japan) and PS3 will for a long time to come. I have my doubts for the WiiU; I can’t see it being a console with a 7 year life span, let alone 10 years.

    • How many games are they still selling on the Wii? Easy. In the 6 months to 30th September 2012 Nintendo recorded sales of 23.74m units of Wii software.

      And while the PS2 is still selling games, it’s not selling very many at all.

      For the whole of Sony’s FY11 (2011-04-01 to 2012-03-31) which is the last time they separated PS2 & PS3 sales, Sony recorded sales of just 7.9m units of PS2 software. (For comparison the PSP recorded 32.2m and the PS3 156.6m)

      And in the six months of that period ending 30th September 2011 (i.e., a year before Nintendo’s latest six month Wii figures) Sony recorded 4.3m PS2 software unit sales. PS2 sales won’t be higher for the corresponding period this year.

    • Another question would be how many games did they sell over its life as their flagship device?
      Given it was supposedly profitable from day 1, Nintendo wouldn’t have had billions to recoup like Sony & Microsoft did before they even had a chance of breaking even for the generation.

      Any business related arguments against the Wii ring a tad hollow.

  2. I don’t think the Wii U will be anywhere near as successful as the Wii.

    • I think that too.

      However, the Wii U might be able to cut price before peak season next year & maybe will have a Zelda, & a 3D Mario newly released at that time too, and by then it will also have a year’s worth of back catalogue titles under its belt.

      Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart & maybe a Monster Hunter… along with a joined a joined-up ad campaign featuring Ant & Dec, Holly & Fern & JLS… and it will eat money next Christmas season, if it receives a healthy price-cut.

      • Your comment is bang on the money!

  3. I think it’s safe to say that the Wii U won’t reach the sales figures that the Wii did – in fact it’s possible that we’ll never see a console sell that well again, particularly if streaming technology eventually reaches its potential.

    It’s still going to have some success – Nintendo’s consoles are currently the only place to play new Monster Hunter titles which secures it’s footing in Japan, and with a small demographic in the West. Beyond that, first party titles such as Mario and Zelda will ensure that there’s always going to be a reason to buy the console, particularly if they have a price cut pre-Christmas 2013, just as their competitors are launching what are likely to be very expensive units.

    Sadly though, it’s almost certain that owning the Wii U will mean you still have to own either Sony’s or Microsoft’s next-gen offering as well unless you can cope with downgraded ports/versions of multiplatform games.

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