Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, George Harrison has claimed in a recent interview that he expects the Wii to take a whopping 40-50% market share this generation.
Harrison somewhat boldly claims that, "We also have a belief that we can be, of this lifecycle, 40-45% of the hardware that's being sold. And that would be a phenomenal increase for us over the GameCube era. But on the other hand, we could get over 50%."
In Harrison’s opinion it all depends on the competition, “If they [Sony and Microsoft] only focus on the Grand Theft Autos and the Halos and things of that nature, they're focusing on a very tiny part of the market. The overall market is growing so dramatically that they're going to miss out on the opportunities that we're seeing in the expanded audience."
"We can already see some of the things they've tried. For last year's E3, at the last minute, Sony rushed out their Sixaxis controller as an effort to respond to the Wii remote. We saw Microsoft roll out Viva Piñata as their killer app for the Pokemon set. And neither of those worked really well.
"Part of this is, I think it's not in their DNA. They're really good at reaching a certain customer, and have a real difficulty understanding how we succeed with the customers that we have," said Harrison
Harrison also claims that the new generation could well last longer than the ‘traditional’ five to six year console life-span,”which were sort of forced by someone jumping ahead and using a new piece of technology. And we're finding out now that the appeal of faster processors and better graphics is really sort of reaching a diminishing point… There's a price point and there's the quality that's holding the PlayStation 3 back. They're selling so many PlayStation 2s because people are saying, "You know what? The graphics are pretty good, the price is good, and the library is good." So we have a great expectation that this lifecycle's actually going to last more than five years."
Finally, Harrison could not confirm whether or not ramped-up production would ensure Wii’s would be in plentiful supply come Christmas 2008 stating, “even if we're back in stock in August/September, it doesn't mean there won't be shortages for the holidays…It's a good situation to be in, although we don't want to discourage consumers too much."
Although, of course, he would say that wouldn't he?