After two solid years of seemingly insatiable demand, the Wii faltered in 2009, leading Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to go so far as to say that system sales had "stalled." And with Microsoft and Sony both cutting the price of their systems and imminently introducing motion-sensing technology, analysts and industry players alike predicted that Nintendo would soon launch a new system with more powerful technology, potentially this year.
However, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, that may not be the case. Speaking to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the loquacious executive said that Nintendo shot down speculation about a successor or update to the Wii being introduced in the next few months. "We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it," Fils-Aime told BusinessWeek.
Fils-Aime's statement comes as the Wii has experienced resurgent interest, fueled by the launch of a number of in-demand titles such as Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports Resort, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. According to Nintendo's internal estimates, the Wii had its best performance to date in December, selling some 3 million units in the US alone. The NPD Group is expected to release its independent report on December sales figures later today.
The Wii's holiday performance also gave Iwata cause to change his tune from statements made in October. Speaking to Reuters earlier this month, the Japanese executive said, "I think it's now safe to say the Wii has recovered from slowdown." Factors aiding the Wii's recovery, he said, included the quadruple-platinum performance of New Super Mario Bros. Wii as well as the system's $50 price cut in September.
Nintendo has also taken steps to introduce new content to keep it competitive with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Yesterday, the publisher announced that it would introduce Netflix video streaming to the Wii this spring.