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Sega says Wii is "in a strange place"

After becoming disenchanted with its push to get an older crowd to turn to the Wii, Sega is now facing the music and looking at the Nintendo console without a lot of optimism.

"The Wii as a platform is in a strange place ... It's hard for retailers, and consumers are buying fewer products," said Sega marketing VP Alan Pritchard in an interview with Game Informer magazine.


Above: The very curious Madworld. It received rave reviews but sales were lackluster at best.

Sega took a "huge risk," said Pritchard, when it decided to release games like Madworld, House of the Dead, and Conduit on the Wii. These games were a dark contrast to the vast collection of cutesy mini-game compilations and platformers that dominate the Wii library.

"Nintendo was supportive of the strategy. There was an intent to take the Wii console a little older, and make a more core machine," he commented.

House of the Dead sold well, because it's a very strong and well-known franchise. But Madworld, a very unique but very gory action game, sold miserably. Had it been released on the PS3 or Xbox 360, it might have been a different story.

"Things are different now," said Pritchard. The Wii is no longer the sales juggernaut it used to be. Going by previous console generations, it is past the point of maturity. Four years on the market used to be a very long time. But the PS3 and 360 are "future-proof" devices with upgradeable firmware and technologically superior processors. The Wii, however, can't function the same way, so Nintendo sort of finds itself in a pickle.

The 3DS will give it a boost on the handheld front next year, but what will 2011 bring for the Wii market? We'll have to see, but Sega, a strong supporter of the system, doesn't seem to have very high hopes.

Dec 15, 2010

Topics

Nintendo

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10 comments

  • markshell - December 17, 2010 1:59 p.m.

    People still try to compare wii with the hardcore market. Wii is not hardcore and never will be, and it's not Nintendo's intention at all to even try to be. It's pretty obvious. Come on people, Nintendo always went sideways and explored what they do best, giving people what's fun and enjoyable for more people. I love Red Dead Redemption, Arkham Asylum, etc, but I also love Mario Kart, Metroid, Zelda, etc. Why don't you guys just realize that's Nintendo's way for, like, ever. You can't diss a console just because it delivers different kind of games. It's all made to be fun anyway, why don't you just enjoy what fits your style?
  • Coffee - December 16, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    Oh, for goodness' sake, smell the coffee already people. "Our budget-constrained, weird-art-style thingy didn't do as well as Bayonetta, which had actual money put into it and a saner art style. Also, the first game of a tech-obsessed former shovelware dev flopped. Additionally, I believe tech matters for some strange reason, so Nintendo is in trouble." Hint for Mr. Pritchard: Tech doesn't matter, games do. Perhaps third parties' Wii games would sell if they had actual, honest effort put into them. Use a good dev team, give them the time and resources to do their job don't purposefully alienate your customers like MadWorld and Overkill did. It should come out decent enough. I mean, Wii dev costs are much lower than PS3/360, so the games don't need to sell as much to be profitable. But the games have to be good. Wii gamers, by and large, do not follow gaming media, so word of mouth is stupidly important. And you don't get good word of mouth without a good game. Finally, pre-emptively, whoever argues that tech matters doesn't have a freaking clue. See Galaxy. See Metroid Prime. See Red Steel 2. See Sonic Colors. See Xenoblade. See Last Story. You know what to do, you get amazing looking stuff, even on the Wii. Modern devs just seem to be hung up on tech instead of making their artists do actual work.
  • Fuzunga - December 16, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    Not sure what Nintendo still has up its sleeve for the Wii in 2011. 2010 was stuffed with so much goodness, there's not much left to be done. But I have a feeling they'll pull through again in a big way. And the reason it's not selling as much as it used to is because EVERYONE ON EARTH ONWNS ONE OF THESE THINGS ALREADY.
  • LordPwnge18 - December 16, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    My friend keeps trying to get me to sell my Wii for some unknown reason. I think it's because he never played any actul good games for it. I played MadWorld, and I loved to pieces.
  • Omrikon - December 16, 2010 2:04 a.m.

    Nintendo made freaking hanafuda cards in the 1800's, and as its history precludes, is not averse to changing mediums to stay alive. It's weak right now because they knowledgeably kept their product cheap from the start, allowing them to get a hold in the market early on in the latest console war. Unfortunately, now that it's turning into a marathon, the more advanced and flexible systems are in the lead. Here's hoping the handheld console market reinvigorates Nintendo. Or at the very least, the novelty of 3D sans-glasses.
  • Redeater - December 16, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    @BigKingBud Wow....really? Where have you been for the last ten years before the release of the wii? Mars??
  • n00b - December 16, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    i have to say though that this was a good year for the wii tatsunoko vs capcom monster hunter tri sin and punishment 2 (never thought that was going to happen) red steel 2 (and it didn't suck) mario galaxy 2 epic Micky no more heroes 2 personally i got muramassa (i know it came out last year) and no more heroes 1 and 2 and have been enjoying myself immensely. can't wait to get on break friday and fully enjoy my games (as well as talk radar)
  • EnragedTortoise1 - December 16, 2010 12:03 a.m.

    And yet the Wii still sells like hotcakes. I am starting to get a little annoyed with you, Nintendo... T__T
  • Keefster10 - December 15, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Meh. I like my wii, but I only ever buy the first party games for it anyway, since thats the good stuff. Still, if nintendo had JUST given it good, high quality graphic capabilities, things could be so much different. Oh, and online thats not a joke.
  • ChrisCultista - December 15, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    PEOPLE GET TIRED OF ONE TRICK PONY'S?!?!?! WHAT?! (Not talking to you buttercup.)

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