Nintendo of Japan recently held a press conference where they detailed a whole mess of… crap. One of the bigger chunks of news to come out of the conference was the sales figures for the Wii’s Virtual Console service.
In the first two months of the service’s life, 1.5 million games were downloaded. In the last three, only 1.8 million were downloaded. If we extrapolate this info, we can see that the VC’s sales are starting to decline. It’s not by a huge amount, but it is enough to warrant a dissection on the situation.
So why did it start to decline? Well, we have a few reasons why. First, the lucky gamers that had a Wii in the first two months were most likely hardcore gamers, and would gladly pay for a Nintendo game that they had already purchased nine times before, including myself.
Second, there weren’t that many games out for the Wii at launch. This helped showcase the early VC titles more, even the ones that were probably not even worth the Wii Points. But now that the Wii has a steady flow of games, the VC service is more of a secondary option for hungry gamers. I myself bought only two games on the VC in last month or so, when I purchased nearly five by Christmas time.
Also, Jay and I seem to think people are starting to become a little more hesitant on buying these games when there is no way of trying them out first, much like what the 360 does with its Marketplace service. If a player bought Solomon’s Key without knowing how bad it was, they are much more likely to steer away from anything that they don’t see as a worthwhile purchase. This means nearly 90% of what’s on there now.
But again, this isn’t that big of a deal. Nintendo is making a killing on these oldies, and once games like Super Metroid and Yoshi’s Island hit, you can expect these numbers to surge.