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Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday Fables Told Anew By Nintendo

This will save Nintendo's holiday sales? Ho ho ho!
It's that magical time of the year when fairy tales are told and wishes are magically fulfilled. Which is really the spirit of Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime's remarks to investors. Money quote: "The holidays are more important to Nintendo than to other manufacturers," he said. "We have a distinct edge when it comes to gift-giving, and it's no doubt because of the familiarity and recognition of both our brand and key franchises." He added, "The Nintendo difference continues to attract new consumers. ... For us at Nintendo, it's full speed ahead."

Yes, he'd like us to recall the golden years of past Nintendo holiday sales... not the harsh reality of this year, when sales are off more than 40% for the Wii. It gets worse: Industry analyst Michael Pachter is predicting a 60% drop in Wii sales for October, and the rest of the holiday season doesn't look much cheerier. Ouch is too mild a word... is there a word for when you take a sword blow to the intestines, or somewhat lower?

Oh, but Nintendo has a solution for the holidays: "From a Nintendo perspective, we have two red bundles in the marketplace that we didn't have last year." Right, of course, how could consumers resist buying a red Wii? I already feel this urge to replace my anemic white Wii with a spiffy new red one. That is, if I could find out where it's been gathering dust in the house while the 360 gets all the action.

I do plan to dust off the Wii and fire it up when Epic Mickey comes out, just so I can see what Warren's been up to. I have no doubt it'll be awesome. I also have no doubt that Nintendo's gonna get stomped this holiday season by people rushing to buy 360's and PS3's. For October sales Pachter expects the Wii to drop 60% to just 205,000 units sold, while Xbox 360 is forecast to grow 58% to 395,000 units sold. Sony's PS3 is expected to dip 17% to 265,000 units. I see no reason for the general pattern to change for the rest of the holiday season.

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