Nintendo's US Chief Operating Officer, Reggie Fils-Aime, says the successor to Wii will not come out in 2011. Why? Because he wants to sell more of the existing Wii first. A lot more. So much more, in fact, there are only two possible outcomes – a price cut, or a three year wait. Which will it be?
Kotaku suggested to Reggie that a new Wii would surely be a must-have for Christmas season next year. Reggie flat-out disagreed, saying:
“No. As we sit here today we're saying the Wii has many, many more units to sell. After we've reached an installed base of 45m here in the US we can have a conversation about the next generation.”
The US install base currently stands at 30.4 million, which is almost exactly two thirds of the number Reggie wants to hit before thinking about new hardware. But with Wii released in late 2006, and sales starting to drop off, surely that means we're at least two years away from a new machine. Potentially even three.
Above: Those aren't real Wii 2s rolling off the production line. They're Wii's with a 2 on them! Could you tell?
So will we see a price cut before too long? Slashing the price to sub-$100 would surely boost sales. Heck, even the almost completely dead Dreamcast had a brief resurgence when its RRP hit £99 to clear stock in the UK, so setting a still-kicking console at that price point would surely equate to a massive spike in sales.
Knowing Nintendo, that won't happen for a while yet. Unlike the loss-leading PS3, Wii was making money back when the console launched, so who knows how much profit there is per unit right now. There's also the fact DS came out a good two years before Wii, so with 3DS due in March, it's highly unlikely Nintendo would blow both its new hardware launches in the same timeframe.
Nintendo is clearly well into development of its next machine, despite what Reggie says - it's just good business sense to maximise return from existing products before introducing its successor. Logically, though, we could speed along the process. If you really want Wii 2 in the near future, order 15 million Wiis from Amazon US. Then we'll talk.
15 Nov, 2010