Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens has questioned the longevity of Nintendo's popular Wii console, suggesting that a "Wii 2" may be necessary if Nintendo's success is to continue.
Speaking to the GameDaily.com website, Cousens suggested that Nintendo's current success in the "brain training" market may not be enough to guarantee sustainability for the company.
Can the Wii sustain its popularity?
"I wonder if the idea of opening up a whole new audience of 60-year-olds looking to make sure their brain cells don't die off is a sustainable form of entertainment. I don't think that will be the case," he said.
Cousens also bemoaned Nintendo's dominance of software sales for its system, insinuating that third-party developers are somehow disadvantaged by Nintendo's dominant franchises.
"The challenge that third-party software publishers face is that it's clearly a market dominated by the first party and always has been," he said. "If you look back at the Nintendo track record over the last 20-25 years, it's a typical situation where Nintendo will take 60-70 per cent of the market and third parties will compete for the remaining 40 per cent."
An HD-enabled 'Wii 2'
Cousen's outburst is by no means the first time the possibility of a "Wii 2" has been mooted.
Back in June 2007, GamesIndustry.biz reported how a financial analyst from Wedbush Morgan had told them that a higher spec, HD-enabled "Wii 2" would be on the shelves "within years". A perfect example of how not to let facts get in the way of a good story.
So, is the possibility of a "Wii 2" any more likely now? Chris Scullion from Official Nintendo Magazine doesn't think so: "The Wii won't be dying out any time soon. There's no real reason to upgrade it because it relies on innovation rather than power or graphics. Nintendo has shown with both the DS and the Wii that there are a lot of people out there who really enjoy this innovative approach to playing games."
Asked whether third-party games could succeed against the mighty Nintendo franchises, Scullion told us that it's all down to the quality of the individual product: "Third-party games can definitely succeed. They just have to be good enough to do so. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games was the number one selling game this Christmas and that was a Sega-produced title, not a Nintendo one."
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