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Nintendo: Wii and DS demand "declined"

UK boss: "We would like to be selling more."

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton has admitted that demand for the Wii and DS has "declined".

Speaking on Radio 4 this morning, Yarnton blamed falling demand for the Wii and DS on the "cycle" and the recession, but made a point of saying everybody was in the same boat.

"We've had very good years," he said. "It's [falling demand for Nintendo consoles] part, I suppose, of the cycle. We're not recession proof. We've probably as an industry been better than other industries."

When asked whether demand for the Wii and DS had peaked, Yarnton replied: "We obviously would like to be selling more. It has declined. But the whole market has as well. It's not just ourselves."

The Wii and DS have been hugely successful in the UK. Nintendo's sold 12 million DS consoles and eight million Wiis on these shores.

Despite the mammoth sales, Yarnton reckons there's plenty of room for even more.

"We think there's still plenty of opportunity for the product. There are a lot of people still waiting to get into gaming. There is a lot of interest from older people, people that normally didn't game. We've got some innovations on the way as well.

"We've got Nintendo 3DS. I think it's quite a leapfrog, actually. Especially when you look at the other technology out there in TV and movie, where with 3D you have to wear glasses, whilst with our 3D offering you don't have to wear glasses.

"There are no real new models coming out [from Sony and Microsoft]. No leapfrogging. They're [the new Xbox 360 250GB] just derivatives of the original versions they've had. We still with Wii have got a lot of technology we haven't fully harnessed and a lot of development of games coming that I think will still wow people when they see it."

Yarnton also denied the accusation that Nintendo has been forced to slash prices ("The actual price, when we launched Wii in 2006, recommended retail was about £179. We don't set the price. And that price hasn't changed"), and had his say on UK tax breaks for game developers, which were scrapped in the last budget.

"We support it very much," Yarnton said. "We as an industry want to be on a level playing field, not only on a global basis, where we know there are tax breaks right around the world, from Canada to Korea to Australia, but also with other creative industries, such as the movie industry, where there are tax breaks. There are sound arguments that show with the tax breaks we'll actually create more jobs."

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