There’s an arcade in Menlo Park Mall, New Jersey. I like to drive over there and play a few rounds of Street Fighter. Around this time of the year, I usually do so with caution. Holiday traffic makes the trip home rather rough. Not this year, as there was no traffic at all. I found that to be most disturbing.
The mall was pretty empty for the weekend of Black Friday. I didn’t have any trouble finding a seat at the food court and I didn’t have to elbow my way past the crowds. Yet, Nintendo is reporting record sales. Why? Why is Nintendo winning the console war? Why is Nintendo selling more Nintendo products than in any other point in history?
It’s because they get it
I was fairly skeptical of the Wii at first. Why would I want to buy an underpowered gaming console? If the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 are so much more powerful, why waste my time with Wii games? I bought the Wii because it was unique and because it’s cheap. The games offer an exclusive experience and the price was right.
In the first week of holiday shopping, Nintendo sold over 653,000 DS systems and 350,000 Wii systems throughout the United States. Over 5 million Wii systems were sold in the US, faster than any video game system in history.
“As shoppers look for ways to maximize their limited holiday spending money, they turn to gifts that can be used by the entire family,” says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “Wii and Nintendo DS offer something for every member of the family. They’re the most fun video game experiences at the most affordable price.”
It’s a perfect storm, in Nintendo’s favor. With the economy spreading gloom, Nintendo is bringing in holiday cheer. Sony and Microsoft slashed the prices on their systems to stay competitive. That’s great news for cost sensitive gamers.
If I had to wonder why there wasn’t a large crowd at the mall, my guess would be that everyone was at home – playing video games.