We already know Nintendo’s success has reached the mainstream media. Stories about parents and grandparents playing video games hits newspaper articles, magazine covers and even television shows. According to Times Online, there is a fear in Japan that the Wii is dragging loyal customers away from, of all things, the TV.
In Japan, the Wii outsold the PS3 six-to-one this month (July 2007) and the XBox 360 is still a non-contender. According to programming executives, the success of the Wii is reducing audiences during the lucrative prime-time Golden Hour.
For the first time in two decades, no single show took more than ten percent audience share. According to an unnamed Tokyo Broadcasting System exec, “The quality of programming has always been a little cyclical in Japan, but there has never been a period of decline like the one we are seeing now. There are outside factors at work. One is people watching TV on their cell phones where we can’t track them, but the really big factor is the time people are spending on the Wii.”
The exec said that there hasn’t yet been a large sports event since the Wii came out; he hopes that a “true rivalry” like the Olympic Games or the Japanese Baseball season finale will draw audiences back.