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Iwata Says Wii Price Drop Effective

Nintendo CEO admits to Wii slowdown, but signals a rebound.

 
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.

Nintendo's earnings report today showed the first drop in profits the company has seen in four years. For the six month period ending September 30, the Kyoto giant's operating income fell 58.6% from the same period last year to 104.3 billion yen. The Wii platform took a major hit, its sales falling 43% from last year to 5.75 million units. Nintendo ended up lowering its Wii sales forecasts for the full year from 26 million units to 20 million units.

Mainichi Shimbun reports that Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, speaking at a press conference in Osaka today, said "Wii has stalled. We were unable to continually release strong software, and let the nice mood cool."

Sankei Shimbun, covering the same press conference, reported Iwata as having said "We were unable to show a new game to become 'the next thing.' In the game market, once you've lost the momentum, it takes time to recover."

It does seem that Iwata has a positive outlook for the Wii, though, thanks to the September price drop. According to a Reuters report from the press conference, Iwata said of the decision to lower Wii's sales targets, "With the price drop, sales returned to a certain level, but they just did not reach the level of last year around this time. We decided that it would be difficult to sell enough to recover from the poor performance of the first half of the year." On the new 20 million target, he said, "In order to reach it, we'll have to move quite a large quantity, but it's a figure we released after having felt the momentum returning [based off the price drop]."

CORRECTIONS

23:10: The original version of this story incorrectly translated Iwata's statement regarding Wii as "We failed with the Wii."

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