Nintendo: We Need To Re-Energize Japanese MarketS

The Wall Street Journal, following news of slowing sales for the Wii and Nintendo DS and a boost in "hardcore" games sales in Japan, says Nintendo is "beginning to look vulnerable" after years of success.

The Journal is referring, of course, to the most recent sales data from Japan, courtesy of sales trackers Enterbrain and Media Create, who show that Sony's PlayStation 3 has started to gain some ground against the Wii, where the contest between the Nintendo DS and PSP is a little more even.

While Sony's monthly domination of Nintendo on the console front may be temporary, video game sales declined in Japan some 18% last year, in contrast to another year of growth for the industry in the United States. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata chalks that up to a weaker market. And it's up to Nintendo to do something about it.

"The Japanese market is not very strong right now overall," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in an interview with the publication, presumably while wearing an energizing leather blazer. "So we need to do something to re-energize it."

As the Journal points out, sales trends in Japan often, but not always, foretell similar trends in the West, a market that Nintendo is still seeing massive success competing in.

Third parties like EA, however, may be betting on the Wii's success to continue, as it plans to ramp up development for Nintendo's console.

Nintendo's efforts, like the launch of the Nintendo DSi, DSiWare, the new Wii MotionPlus peripheral and a planned video download service, may be part of what the company has planned as part of an industry recharge. The company hopes to have something you're interested in to show at E3 this year, so maybe that'll do the trick.

Nintendo Loses Some of Its Luster [WSJ]