Nintendo just experienced their first down quarter in quite some time. Even through 2009, a rough year by nearly any standard, Nintendo managed to pull in profits. Gaming was on the rise as people remained home for entertainment, but it looks like reality is sinking in. Nintendo
probably didn't expect to simply ride the Wii
popularity wave forever, but they're definitely feeling the pinch now. And with the 3DS delayed, their next major console won't provide a financial boost for some time to come.
One quick way for companies to get an injection of funding is to cut prices on existing products. Nintendo has lowered the Wii pricing once, from $249 to $199, and usually companies lower these console prices just prior to the holiday shopping season. But not this year, not for the Wii. The wii console definitely isn't being demanding as much as it once was, but Nintendo's president recently stated that his company wouldn't be cutting the asking price of the Wii ahead of Christmas. Instead, they will "focus on limited deals in cooperation with retailers and special packages that add game software or other products to give buyers a feeling of a discount."
Bundle deals aren't a new concept, but it's probably not great for consumers is this mindset becomes a popular one. Satoru Iwata stated: "Of course, we cannot say it will never happen, but we are not thinking of it for the near future." He was responding to questions on a near-term price cut for the Wii. He continued: "Those who really wanted it would have already bought it so now we need to reach those who considered it but never got around to buying it."
That's probably right. But even still, price drops get people talking, and it's definitely a risky move to go into another Christmas with the Wii having the same price point. We guess next quarter's earnings will show if this was a smart move or not.