If you think it’s hard to get your hands on a Ninendo Wii now, just wait until next year. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has announced the company will be taking its popular Wii video game console to the Chinese market in 2008. Almost a year after the console’s introduction, Nintendo is still struggling to meet demand for the low-cost video game system, which, despite lacking the horsepower of competitors like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, has won over fans with a series of clever games and an innovative wireless, motion sensitive controller.
Nintendo has never attempted to enter the Chinese market, and says it will be working with Chinese game developers to create games suitable to the market. Iwata did not give any sales estimates for the Wii in China, but said the potential for Nintendo is enormous. Nintendo also plans to introduce the Wii in South Korea.
Iwata also re-iterated that Nintendo has no plans to drop the price of the Wii for the upcoming end-of-year holiday buying season. The Wii currently sells for $249 in the U.S., €249 in Europe, and about ¥25,000 in Japan. He says the company is currently producing 1.8 million Wii consoles per month, but that customers could expect a supply shortage over the holiday season. To date, Nintendo has shipped 13.2 million Wii consoles since the system was launched late last year.
Iwata also said the company has hopes the upcoming Wii Fit exercise title—with the associated balance board controller—will be a hit when it’s introduced in Japan later this year, and possibly give the company another title that appeals to non-traditional gamers. Iwata also demonstrated a new gift-giving feature for the Wii’s online offerings, enabling customers to use the Internet to send each other games.