Is it the end of video game consoles? [Seven Days (United Arab Emirates)]
(Seven Days (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) In six years since the last major video game system launched, Apple has unveiled the iPhone and the iPad, ‘Angry Birds’ invaded smartphones and facebook reached a billion users.
In the process, scores of video game consoles were left to languish in living rooms alongside dusty video recorders and CD players.
Now Nintendo is launching the Wii U, a games machine designed to appeal both to the original Wii’s casual audience and the hardcore gamers who skip work to be among the first to play the latest “Call of Duty” release. Just like the Wii U’s predecessor, the Wii, which has sold nearly 100 million units worldwide since 2006, the new console’s intended audience “truly is 5 to 95,” says Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, the Japanese company’s US arm.
Now Nintendo is launching the Wii U, a games machine designed to appeal both to the original Wii's casual audience and the hardcore gamers
But the Wii U arrives in a new world. Video game console sales have been falling, largely because it’s been so long since a new system has launched. Most people who wanted an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or a Wii already have one. Another reason People in the broad 5-to-95 age range have shifted their attention to games on facebook, tablets and mobile phones.
US video game sales last month, including hardware, software and accessories, totalled $755.5 million, according to the research firm NPD Group. In October 2007, the figure stood at $1.1 billion.
The Wii U is likely to do well during the holiday shopping season, analysts believe - so well that shoppers may see shortages. But the surge could peter out in 2013. The Wii U is not expected to be the juggernaut the Wii was in its day, says research firm IHS iSuppli.
In the age of a million gadgets and lean wallets, the storied game company faces a new challenge: convincing people that they need a new console rather than an iPad.
“Nintendo has to be a cut above the noise here,” Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies.
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