Supply and demand is a tricky thing in the console hardware sphere, something Nintendo knows acutely from not being able to fulfill demand for the first three years of the Wii’s lifecycle to not selling enough 3DS units during the first six months after the portable’s launch. For his part, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime says the company is ready for the launch of the Wii U.
“We’ve learned a lot of lessons from the launch of the DS, the launch of Wii and the launch of 3DS. And our supply chain is solid. My job is to work with retailers, work with other business partners to create demand for the product, and have the consumer get excited. And I think we’re well on the way to doing that,” said Fils-Aime. “My expectation is that we will do a phenomenal job helping the consumer understand the benefits of Wii U, and that our retailers will do a wonderful job of merchandising the product and getting it into consumers’ hands. We want to satisfy all of the demand that’s out there. That’s our goal.”
While software production has wound down on the Wii, Fils-Aime sees PS2-type long term sales potential for their best selling home console of all time. “The broad marketing for the Wii is not going to change. The Wii is focused against today the late adopter, the consumer who is spending $149 or less to have a gaming experience. And we believe -not only in the U.S. but through all of the Americas- there’s still millions of these types of consumers available,” Fils-Aime remarked. “So it’s a sizable opportunity. But that’s a different consumer than who is going to look at the Wii U and get excited by the latest graphical capabilities, all of the services that are included, and new types of games. We see these as two different market opportunities.”
“You know, PlayStation has done a phenomenal job driving sales on what is a [twelve] year-old machine. We believe that the Wii system, similarly, will keep selling for quite some time. They’re going to be different addressable markets, not only from a U.S. perspective but from a global perspective . . . [but we’ll] hopefully continue to drive sales at a historic rate.”