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Iwata: Wii in "most unhealthy condition" in Japan

Nintendo president unhappy with sales, but refuses to consider a price cut

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has admitted that the company is unhappy with the present sales numbers for its Wii console in Japan, where it has been regularly charting just above the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2, but way behind the DS, PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 consoles.

Speaking in a news conference in Tokyo, Iwata blamed the appetite of the company's home market for new technologies, of which the Wii isn't one.

"The Wii is in the most unhealthy condition since it hit the Japanese market," he said, according to AFP. "The current condition in the Japanese market is not the one we want.

"A price cut in a difficult economy cannot really excite the market and drive up sales. As of now I really don't think that a price cut is a good option for us... The speed with which people get tired of any new entertainment is faster in Japan than in overseas markets," he added.

While the console regularly dominated hardware sales charts in Japan in 2007 and 2008, this year has seen a marked decrease in demand with the latest numbers showing the DS platforms selling more than four times the Wii, and the PSP selling more than three times the number.

Most telling, however, is that the more expensive PS3 - in difficult economic conditions - sold over a third more units in the last week of available sales data, according to Media Create.

But while the console may be struggling in Japan, it still sells well in the US and Europe. Nintendo's share price rose slightly by close today to sit at JPY 26,910 (USD 270), up 0.63 per cent.

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