Analysts Predict Wii To Reach 30% Saturation
By 2011, everyone and their mom will own a Wii.
by Micah Seff
February 23, 2007 - Hot on the heels of some strikingly positive January NPD numbers came reports from several financial analysts that they were raising their outlook on how well the Wii would do in drawing in consumers.
According to a recent Financial Times article, analysts at Merill Lynch now predict that a third of all Japanese households and 30 per cent of all US households will have purchased a Wii by 2011.
These estimates were based on NPD Group research which estimated 436,000 Wii units sold in January in the US, as compared to 294,000 Xbox 360s and 244,000 PlayStation 3s. According to retailers nationwide, Wiis continue to sell out almost immediately after delivery, with people waiting in line for hours to snag a console several months after its initial launch in North America. Additionally, online auctions for the console have maintained a high premium, with an average 30% increase over the retail price of $250.
Analysts had previously assumed that the initial appeal of the Wii's new control scheme would lose its luster when faced with the technological capabilities of its competitors. Credit Suisse analyst Jay Defibaugh explained, "There has always been a strong concern that the Wii was gimmicky, but each passing month assuages that."
Although these early numbers can hardly be considered indicative of the long-term future for any of the next-generation consoles, it is hard to argue that the Wii is anything other than the golden boy of the console wars right now. Analysts previously unsure about the Wii now firmly believe that this initial success could launch the system into console supremacy in the coming years.