If you’re hoping for some console cheer next Christmas season, don’t count on Nintendo to play Santa. Recently, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told Kotaku that Nintendo won’t even open its mouth regarding the Wii’s successor (alias Wii 2) until the current video game system sells at least 15 million more units across America.
“As we sit here today we’re saying the Wii has many, many more units to sell,” Fils-Aime said. “After we’ve reached an installed base of 45 million here in the U.S., we can have a conversation about the next generation.”
He added, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” All right, he didn’t. But Reggie’s declaration would sound proper coming out of the mouth of a grizzled headmaster: Don’t expect any new toys until every drop of potential has been milked out of your old ones.
Currently, 30 million Wiis occupy living rooms across the United States. Is Nintendo actually planning to sell 15 million more units before talking about the next generation, or is the company bluffing?
Probably a little of both. Reggie likely knows that now’s not the time to talk about the new Wii, not when the handsome new red Wii bundle is set to deliver a shock of life to the system’s flatlined sales numbers. And neither Microsoft nor Sony have made a peep about the next generation: The economy is poor, and any talk of what’s to come would almost certainly dampen the kindling under Kinect and Move. If Nintendo has anything to say about the next Wii, it won’t be forthcoming until the Christmas tree is on the curb.
Don’t sit around and wait after that, either, because it’s unlikely Nintendo is going to talk much about the “Wii 2″ when the launch of the Nintendo 3DS is in the spotlight. With that in mind, Reggie’s claim feels genuine, and makes perfect sense: Nintendo wouldn’t offer up its next handheld and its next major console in the same year. Why make people choose one system over the other during the holiday rush?
So does that mean we’re really going to have to wait for 15 million more Wii sales to tick by before Nintendo says anything about the next Wii? Hard to say. The Wii does have some life in its bones–a little upcoming game called The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will see to it that a couple of units will sell here and there–but 15 million systems is aiming a bit high.
But even if Reggie doesn’t believe in his heart of hearts that the Wii has that much potential left, it’s an admirable sales goal. Nintendo isn’t ready to leave the Wii behind, regardless of whether or not we think the system has reached the end of its rope.