Nintendo earnings soar, Wii nears 45 million

DS sales top 96 million as Mario Factory's nine-month earnings hit $17.1 billion; record full-year estimate lowered slightly due to Yen fluctuations but will still be record.

350 Comments

Right now, somewhere in Kyoto, Japan, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata is smiling. Four years after skeptics questioned the Wii's viability, the console is soaring above even the wildest expectations.

"How you like me now""

This morning, the company that spent the last hardware generation bringing up the rear with the GameCube reported that its current console had sold 44.96 million units worldwide as of December 31--a 10 million unit increase from just two months prior. Of those 10 million, more than 4 million were sold in the US, with the NPD Group reporting 2.04 million in November and 2.15 million in December.

The Wii's older but smaller sibling is also faring well. The DS--itself the subject of widespread derision when it went on sale in November 2004--sold 96.22 million units as of the end of last year, pulling further ahead of its predecessor, the Game Boy Advance. The monumental figure comprises all models of the handheld, including 1.66 million units of the DSi, the camera-enabled third hardware revision currently available in Japan.

Though Nintendo makes a profit on hardware, its first-party publishing operation is also reaping riches from software sales. During the last nine months of 2008, Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit both sold more than 10 million units worldwide, with 9.4 million copies of Wii Play also passing over store counters. The platform's software total now stands at 312 million as of December 31.

Just say ¥€$ to the DS.
Just say ¥€$ to the DS.

However, the Wii's huge software tally was still behind that of the DS. Boosted by the popularity of Kirby Super Star Ultra and the Japan-only release of Pokemon Platinum, some 163.78 million DS games were sold last year, pushing its software sales to the 533 million-unit mark as the New Year's Eve champagne corks popped.

Naturally, record sales mean record profits for Nintendo. In the nine months preceding December 31, the company racked up net sales of ¥1.536 trillion ($17.12 billion), a 17 percent year-on-year increase. Operating profits for the period were ¥501 billion ($5.58 billion)--a 27 percent increase--with net profits of ¥212.5 billion ($2.36 billion).

Unfortunately, the rising strength of the yen means that Nintendo's success abroad doesn't translate as well at home. As a result, Nintendo is revising its annual earnings estimates down 9 percent to a still-record ¥1.82 trillion ($20.2 billion). Forecasts for operating profit were cut 36 percent to 530 billion ($5.90 billion), with net profit trimmed back 33 percent to 230 billion ($2.56 billion).

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hyperkass

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Nintendo is king big.

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deactivated-5b2b34c3a42a1

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Why am I not surprised? @-Beatz- I think its hot cakes not just cakes.

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TheLemonGelati

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I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nintendo definitely deserves this. I agree with lukadragon, Nintendo has gotten tons of people in to gaming, I know Super Mario World got my sister started, Zelda my uncle and personally for me it was the first Mario Bros. There shouldn't be lashing out at the fellow gamer because he prefers a different system, I like the FF series, Bioshock, Half-life and plenty of others just as much as Mario and Zelda. I want all of them to do well and hope their great titles continue, but to continue to make rock solid games over two decades later is phenomenal. I respect Nintendo and hope they continue to do well.

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-Beatz-

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@hjm0916: I suggest you take a hearty look at the GameCube. As much as I know, in the last generation, it sold the least, in terms of software and hardware. But yeah, the Wii and DS are selling like cakes. I don't like the Wii, but I much prefer the DS to the PSP, like 96 million other people. ;)

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Sw0rDMaN

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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hjm0916

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Nintendo always has been a chart topping game company and i dont see them falling anytime soon.

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hjm0916

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notice how the 360&ps3 have things going wrong, the 360 red ring of death and when that one game was not copyrighted and some one stole the ideas. It is problems like this that make the wii quite a success

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hjm0916

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when is the dsi coming to america

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master_hookshot

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Hey, zobbas, LISTEN! Im working to fix communism.

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gameking5000

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I find those game ratings misleading in a way. Nintendo games are so unorthdox that they become hard to rate ( Wii fit, music, play and sports) When they Mario and Zelda games do get released they rated HIGH. You forgot about the Pokemon, Pikmin and the other game series. They also get rated HIGH.

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zobbas

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The Wii is like communist government. Its a great idea when you look at it, but when you have one you realise that it sucks. Think about it, the only games that make above an 8.0 on this site are games that are made by Nintendo themselves (I.E: Mario, Zelda), and those only come out once every couple of years. During the time period in between those years, other Nintendo likes to whore the Wii out to third party companies which make crap games for it. Only once in a blue moon are these games good. tl;dr version Wii is a great idea, but no game seems to live up to that idea unless it is made directly by Nintendo themselves. Which amounts to very few games.

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stalepretzels

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Nintendo definitely knows the market. Shame the graphics on the Wii aren't too much better than the previous generation, but if they crank out another Zelda before it's all over, I'm gonna be a happy camper. :]

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Sweendrix

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Nice numbers nintendo, you have definately created a hit item...but seriously...the core gamers who will continue to support your business after the fad subsides want more games like Super Mario Galaxy and a new Legend of Zelda that's not a port. My wii collects dust until my friends come over for an evening and play Wii Bowling, it's the only game worth pushing the on button for anymore. UGH! And Please...CAN SOMEONE TIGHTEN UP THE CONTROLS!!!! Nintendo...mark my words...broaden your strategy or risk being completely shunned by the rock solid market of traditional gamers, who incidentally, are not all that impressed that you completely ignored them this generation. But hey...at least grandma and grandpa are playing. That's residual income for sure.

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Jedilink109

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HOLY FRICKIN CRAP IN MY PANTS. And everyone said not only that the DS would fail to the PSP but also that the Wii would fail since it's not super powered. I said that wasn't going to happen and no one listened to me. Looks like I knew something huh? Of course I have all of the current home and handheld systems. I think each has it's own great things about each one and all but everyone I knew thought the current Nintendo systems would fail and I knew that wasn't the case. Looks like innovation pays off huh? :)

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aaronobst

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CBass217.... Ditto :(

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Sonicplys

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Nintendo has M$ and $ony on their knees and begging that the beatdown ends. Wii tha BEST!!! MAN!!!!! LISTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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gameking5000

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Indeed luckadragon that is true. Gaming has been revolutionised (spelling?) because of Nintendo. All hail Nintendo! All hail Nintendo!

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Shayde_Shadow

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Yes!!! lukadragon you have summed up everything I was thinking perfectly!

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lukadragon

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What no-one here realises is that if it wasn't for Nintendo gaming would be nothing AT ALL like it is today: me, probably many of you here and many more every in the world would never have played videogames. I guarantee you that Nintendo has got most of these Wii's and DS sold to people who never played videogames before: Wii has just ushered in another generation of gamers: just like Nintendo did with the cube, the gameboys, N64 and many others. Nintendo is the life blood of the gaming industry: it introduces people to gaming, many of those people would later move on to the 360 and the Ps3 and finally some of those would enter into the world of PC gaming. And since all of the ideas and technologies used in gaming today in consoles were first experimented on the PC, the world of gaming progresses forwards.

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andrew_ribbons

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What get's me is that the Wii does actually have a IBM CPU twice as fast as the Cube's. So...why do the games on Wii look almost no better than the Cube's games?

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gameking5000

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Oh yeah I forgot this, the more profit Nintendo makes the more games come out.. Howeve if the other consoles don't make as much money then the games coming out will take a while.

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-Squirrel-

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"metalgear-solid: The PS3 still rules. There is just no way the Wii is a better console and that's a fact. People should be buying the best console not some kids console." Is someone a lil' angry? Maybe in denial? Just because the Wii is for everyone doesn't mean it's only for kids. The best games are the games anyone and everyone can play and love together. The PS3 the best console? Eh, that's all opinion, but it's certainly not fact, as you state. The vast majority of people have spoken and it does seem that the Wii will more than easily win this generation's 'console wars', but if you don't wanna be part of it, well that's your loss. And if you can't look at Wii's upcoming 2009 releases or the back catalog and find something you like, then maybe you're just a bit too picky for your own good.

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puppiemaster

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Cl0ud, LOL, I doubt that you even own a bedside table.

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Cl0ud

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screw wii 360 owns. when u think about how much of a massive improvement was made over the original xbox it deserves to win this console gen. people just give into fads easily wii has no good games and its online play is shiit. i own a wii and literally never play it.

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aaronobst

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@ klugenbeel Are you kidding me? the RRoD is as present as ever even with the new xboxes

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metalgear-solid

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The PS3 still rules. There is just no way the Wii is a better console and that's a fact. People should be buying the best console not some kids console.

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Fire_Emblem_RD

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All 'hardcore' Wii hating people, are mainly people that dont like the wii because Guns arent in everything, you want a Nintendo Gun game, get Metroid, it rips Halo, and i am an Xbox Lover as well!! Nintendo still has things up its sleeve, The zelda team is already making another game, like the mario based team, there is pikmin 3 and i think Kid Icarus has been confirmed. There is a lot to look forward to, just people need to realise, that what people are looking forward too, are what anyone can do. Like Brawl, it can be 'hardcore' they have tournaments and there are some very advanced and good players, but 6 year olds, however horrible they might be, will still enjoy lighting Captain Falcons butt on fire. Nintendo is for everyone. Not FPS-M rating people

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AzelKosMos

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"Shayde_Shadow Posted It's amazing how many people hate the Wii. Yet I bet most of you that are slaming it haven't even played one before." I owned one, and while congrats to them as a business, they got it right for sales, but i find as a gamer it has very little, gimmicks just don't do it for me :(

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Shayde_Shadow

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It's amazing how many people hate the Wii. Yet I bet most of you that are slaming it haven't even played one before. I only own a Wii (and a PC, but it needs a compleate overhaul) and I enjoy it. There have been times when my Wii sits there for weeks at a time and doesn't get touched, but I still play it and have a decent game collection that isn't shovel-were. And even though I am dedicated to Nintendo, I still have respect for the other two consoles. And I have to agree with misterstatus and puppiemaster, that every console has their merits and the downsides, but all deserve a chance.

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MagicOneUp

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Where's Pokemon?? i want to collect em' all on the Wii again!!!

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joesh89

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Well done Nintendo for catering for the casual gamer, but seriously, where the hell are the sprawling plat-formers ? the thing Nintendo does best. I am all for casual gamers enjoying there casual games, i just want the hardcore gamers to be catered for as well. or are we a certain demographic that isn't in Nintendo's interest anymore ?

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Karrotjuce

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I have to say, I have a wii, I've played on every console, and i really love them all. the wii is my fave, but thats just my opinion, so sue me.

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misterstatus

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I agree with puppiemaster. I own all three systems, and the system I play the least is my PS3, but that doesn't mean I hate my PS3 or regret buying it. I've played some fantastic games on the PS3. It just means that the other systems have more games I'm interested in, specifically in my case the 360, which I play the most (and absolutely love Xbox Live, which I don't mind paying for at all). As for the Wii, it's a completely different system from the 360 and PS3. When I get tired of ultra-realistic gore and violence and just want to play something fun, I turn on my Wii. If anyone should be frustrated with the Wii's success, it's the people at Sony and Microsoft who are locked in a battle to the death while Nintendo, free of all that nonsense, sits back, smiles confidently, and rakes in millions.

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jtthegame316

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wii has only done good because it got the attention of people who are not really gamers the 360 is number one among the hardcore and anyone that realizes that any game they like on playstation is on or going to come on xbox. don't get me wrong the wii is a good console but the 360 is better. i have both consoles but play the 360 more.

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puppiemaster

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What actually is a Hardcore gamer? A kid that has 1 system and spends his/her time on 1 game until their parents buy them another? Someone that only has 1 console and spends the rest of the time being pissed off at all the other consoles? I personally think a hardcore gamer is someone that not only plays the games but takes time out to study the whole genre, someone thats ready to accept any new gaming style even if its not for them. Someone with an open mind thats not focused on what they personally have. I own a Wii, PS3 and a 360, infact I have 2 Wii's and 2 360's, the system I play the least is the PS3, does this mean I hate the PS3, nope, it just means I have more games on the other 2 systems. I actually spend more time on my computer than I do on my consoles. As I've stated many times on here, every console has something to offer, to dismiss any of them means that you are either an idiot, Fanboy or just jealous. Gaming is about having FUN, you can do this online, on your own, with others, at parties etc. No-one likes a game that is not FUN to play, I've personally found that some of the games on here with Very High marks to be complete rubbish ie LBP, Halo3, does this mean they are rubbish games, not in the least, it just means they are not to my taste. Just because a system is not to your taste, does not mean its rubbish. All 3 consoles have a place in the market place and may they all sell millions more.

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gameking5000

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The game market needs that versatility. Having all 4 consoles full of hardcore games isn't very appealing to me. There has to be a balance so different age groups find different consoles interesting. Fun/Casual games are different to hardcore games and since everyone favours the casual games the wii isgaining easy profit as there is absolutely NO competition. While the Playstation and Xbox are in a battle for sales.

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gameking5000

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Well that president must be getting really really rich. People are just winging about that Nintendo has limited hardcore. They're irritated that It sells so well. If all the consoles we're full of hardcore games then the game market doesn't have the versatility. It's always a good idea to keep a balance rather than having 4 consoles very similiar

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misterstatus

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Nintendo is a lot like Disney. Disney has its classic movies, Nintendo has its classic characters. Every few years, Disney re-releases its classic movies to a whole new generation of kids, and every few years, Nintendo releases new games based on its classic characters to a whole new generation of kids. And just like Disney's classics, many people keep coming back for games based on Nintendo's characters even when they're grown up. The strange difference is, no one complains that Disney needs to start making hardcore, R-rated movies to attract older movie goers, but everyone seems to think that Nintendo needs to start making hardcore, M-rated games. That's not what Nintendo does. Nintendo really is the Mario Factory, as Gamespot keeps calling them. They make great games with characters targeted at kids but gameplay that's fun for everyone. It's just unfortunate that Nintendo puts out so few games during the lifespan of their systems, and there really isn't much more to look forward to with the Wii (that I can think of). I doubt we'll see another Mario or Zelda game for at least a couple of years, if they don't end up being launch titles for the Wii 2.

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Quofan

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CANOFOWNAGE, Just how many "hardcores" do you think own a Wii? Ten? Eleven? TWELVE?! Nintendo isnt going to stop in favour of shovelware, because its not them making shovelware - blame companies like Ubisoft and Midway, companies that put their 3rd or 4th string teams on Wii titles. If they made a proper effort, who knows what hardcore games the Wii would have? Instead they try to rip off games like Nintendogs (a casual but totally legitimate game) with poor copies like Catz and Dogz or My Horse and Me. These are the same people who tried to cash in on sandbox games by making rubbish like The Getaway and the True Crime series. Its not like shovelware only existed when Nintendo created the Wii.

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CANOFOWNAGE

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Nintendo has good games, and for my wii i have found them. The real problem is, Nintendo has no reason to make them anymore, they receive tons of money off of crap shovelware. So be worried next generation when nintendo has the choice to sacrifice all semi-hardcore games.

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Quofan

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The same people who bash the Wii this gen supported the PS2 last gen - hypocrites, the lot of you. "Nintendo has no games" - well of course they do. You have to find them yourself, not rely on scores from a website. Its hardly going to compare directly with what the PS2 offered considering the PS2 had a 100 million selling console as its predecessor, not to mention massive brand loyalty. The PS1 and PS2 were both casual consoles and yet its not ok for Nintendo to do the same and replicate its success? Nintendo cant win, no matter what they do. Did you want another 22 million selling Gamecube? Oh whats that? Its GOOD now? I thought the Gamecube was rubbish? Well I personally always liked it, but some people cant make up their damn minds. You wanted third party support, you are getting it. Its not going tocome as hard and fast as the PS2, because it doesnt have as strong a predecessor. But there are more games to come i.e Dragon Quest X and the next Tales are good examples. Ive listened to everyone on this site whinge for months about Nintendo's "poor" first party efforts like Wii Fit. It wasnt so long ago we were listening to cries of "Nintendo doesnt give third party's a chance" or "People who buy Nintendo consoles only buy Nintendo games." Maybe you should be careful what you wish for?

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-Near-

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Nintendo only cares about the system sales, yeah the have the worst game sales not only of the three systems now but the previous three systems as well. DS actually is doing better than the Wii if you look at the full spectrum

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usmaan7000

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If Nintendo is the one who inspired you to play video games click thumbs up if not click thumbs down. I'm just curious.

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usmaan7000

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its good to hear Nintendo is doing good in sales but one thing I'm disapointed in is the games because they're not good. I stopped buying games in November.What makes it more disapointing is that Nintendo is the one who inspired me into playing video games when I was 5. Am I the only one?

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xatman911

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Hardcore shooter fans tend to avoid Wii... hardly any good shooter games. My mate got a Wii when his 360 broke. A week later he went back to his repaired 360 - sold Wii...

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CBass217

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I don't hate any console...In fact, I own them all. I'm just saying the Wii needs to do more in terms of releasing better games to keep me interested...so far they are striking out big time, so I haven't bought any games for it at all. Same goes for my 360's reliability...I'm almost afraid to buy games for it in fear that it will just break again..i'm on my 3rd repaired unit. The PS3 seems to be the only console I own where it makes logical sense to buy games...so that's where I've been focusing my time. All systems have great potential, don't get me wrong...Wii needs alot more work than the others to get there though...hard drive would be a big step.

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Deadlocked4Life

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Here's a fact for those of you who think that people who play Wii Play excluively on their Wii and people who play Halo 3 exclusively on their 360 are the same. The Wii has the lowest game per console sales rating of the three current gen consoles. What does this mean? It means grandma is buying little Suzie Wii Play on her brand new Wii because she thinks it's cute. Suzie plays it for a while and never touches it again. On the other hand, those people playing Halo 3 are also trying out plenty of other software on their system, and the consoles are anything but a gimmick. Nitendo is unqustionably one of the best developers out there, and people who buy the Wii for great first party software won't be disappointed (I'm one of those people). I don't think this "stuck in the past" mentality of theirs is going to be successful for much longer, though.

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Mr_Versipellis

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@misterstatus - Wise comments. I think the Wii 2, or HD, or whatever it will be called won't sell. Nintendo are the casual gaming people, and casual gamers are happy with Wii Sports and Wii Fit. They won't care about new graphics or games. They're fine with Wii. So Nintendo will have to create a genune stunner to win next time around. BTW, I can't believe DS is 5 years old! It's onl two years younger than Morrowind... Wow. Good for you, Nintendo (don't flame, I don't particuarly like DS myself)

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Thing2

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i'm glad to hear it and i'm happy for nintendo, although i now own all 3 current gen consoles and a gaming pc, i've always been a nintendo fan and they alone are responsible for some of my greatest childhood gaming memories, good work

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misterstatus

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The Wii is like the video game industry version of Harry Potter. You read about how many millions of Harry Potter books have sold and you get the impression that kids must be spending all their time reading books these days and that books in general must be seeing a huge surge in sales. But then you look into it a bit further and realize that nope, it's only the Harry Potter books that are selling, and the huge interest in Harry Potter is having no effect at all on sales of any other books. The Wii is exactly the same. For all the 40 million plus systems that have sold, the only company benefitting from it is Nintendo. Third party games aren't selling on it, and most people who buy it just stick with Wii Sports, or they may buy Mario Kart or Wii Fit (or an extra controller so Nintendo can claim it was another sale for Wii Play), but that's it. Most people buy a Wii and that's all they ever buy. What will really be interesting is to see what Nintendo comes up with to compete against Sony and Microsoft's next systems in 2011-2012. They can't just repackage the Wii and call it the Wii 2, since the Wii itself is nothing but a repacked Gamecube. Although at this point, I guess I wouldn't be suprised if that's exactly what they do. In fact, they'll probably just start selling even smaller versions of the Wii (the Wii Lite) available in all new colors.

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