Wii sales sank on Thanksgiving week, Nintendo says

A price cut on the Nintendo Wii failed to spur Nov. sales. What's wrong?

THQ's new SpongeBob's Truth or Square video game is available for the Nintendo Wii. Wii sales dropped drastically from 2008 to 2009.

In September, Nintendo confirmed it would cut the price of its best-selling Wii by $50, bringing the total console price to just under 200 bucks. Nintendo said at the time that the drop would make the Wii “even more appealing.”

But a new set of sales figures from the week ending Nov. 28 tell a different story. According to Nintendo, the number of Wii units sold during Thanksgiving week dropped some 30 percent this year to 550,000 units.

That's still more than Microsoft and Sony – Sony sold 440,000 consoles – but a far cry from the approximately 800,000 units Nintendo sold in 2008.

“These are weak numbers,” Etsuko Tamura, a Tokyo- based analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co., told Bloomberg News. “Wii sales are slumping.”

In a press release posted to its corporate site, Nintendo put a bit of positive of spin on the Thanksgiving week sales figures.

"Holiday shoppers are finding value in our products' prices, and through a game-play experience that is unique to Nintendo," noted Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Well, sort of. Sales are still strong, but the year-over-year trends aren't exactly point in the right direction. So what's behind the slump? As Monitor staff Chris Gaylord has noted, it's certainly not about the games.

In September, for instance, the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research firm said review scores on Wii games increased from an average of 60 to 66, while Xbox 360 games improved only slightly and PlayStation 3 titles remained flat.

More likely, it's a matter of simple fatigue – the Nintendo Wii has been on the market since 2006, making it a relatively musty machine. Although games such as New Super Mario Bros. help invigorate Wii purists, the tech on the Sony PS3 and Xbox 360 is simply superior.

But hey, you tell us. What's next for the Nintendo Wii? Will sales continue to nose-dive? Talk to us in the comments section or on Twitter. We’re @csmhorizonsblog.

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