A Look At "Declining" Wii Sales In Japan

Regular readers of our Japanese hardware sales charts will be aware that, in recent months, Wii sales have declined. It's being regularly outsold by the PS3, and even the 360 is nipping at its heels.

This has led many to proclaim that the Wii's golden run in Japan is over. That the fickle Japanese public have had their fill of the waggling novelty, and have moved onto the next "big thing".

A look at the bigger picture, however, shows that such drastic proclamations may be, if not without merit, then at least a little dramatic. After all, it was only last week that Enterbrain figures showed that Nintendo had sold 8 million Wiis in Japan, a strong performance from a machine that only went on sale in Japan in December 2006.

That announcement from Enterbrain was hardly the first. Similar proclamations were issued after the machine had sold 1, 3, 5, 6 & 7 million consoles as well. Which was considerate of them, yes, but it also allows us to go back and chart the sales growth of the Wii.

And as you can see, despite a slight sales slowdown just before Christmas last year (around the 18-24 month mark), the first half of 2009 has seen Wii sales on a pace not far off those seen during the machine's "prime".

It's important to note that this graph is taking a long view, with sales averaged out over the time between "million sold" announcements, rather than directly reflecting month-to-month sales. So the "recovery" the Wii has staged in the last five months will have lumped the holiday season in with more recent performances.

But you know what? When talking about the overall fortunes of a console, sometimes it's best to take the long view. And this long view suggests that while Enterbrain's "9 million sold" announcement will probably show a decline in Wii sales growth, it's a relative term when applied to such a successful console.