Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aussie distributor: Wii market is 'concerning,' but there's a silver lining

Australian Nintendo and Sony distributor, AFA Interactive, has admitted the Nintendo market is ‘flat,’ but remains optimistic in the wake of E3.

The Adelaide-based distributor represents both hardware vendors, as well as software developers Kalypso, City Interactive and Black Bean, with specific strengths in the independent retailer’s market.

AFA Interactive general manager, Robert Allford, said E3 was an ‘amazing’ event, and the hardware announcements from both Sony and Nintendo would be very important for his company.

“The Nintendo 3DS is going to be remarkable, the Sony Move is also going to be very exciting with some of the new games coming out,” Allford said.

“I think the new concepts of both Sony and Microsoft – particularly Sony, in the sense that it will continue to grow the market. All of these things add a lot more excitement to it. The Wii brought in a whole new consumer base, and I think that’s what you’ll find with PlayStation 3 enhancements.”

Despite the potential of the 3DS, Allford admitted the current state of the Wii market is concerning. “It (Nintendo Wii) is a bit flat, and certainly needs to get some quality games coming for it to start picking up,” he said.

“That said, Nintendo did make a few big game announcements at E3 – such as the Zelda games.”

Allford also dismissed concerns around projections from publishers, such as Square Enix, that the industry would move to an online consumption model.

AFA Interactive’s software distribution arm would stand to lose a lot of ground if those projections came to pass. “It could create other opportunities,” Allford said. “At the moment it needs to be worked out, but certainly there’s opportunities in terms of downloading for some profit in Australia due to the way in which our Internet is structured.”

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