Report: Broad Wii Audience Leads to Low Attach Rate

The New York Times reports that owners of Nintendo's Wii console purchase roughly 20% less games than PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 owners, owing to the system's expansive install base.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that the average Wii owner buys only 3.7 games a year, compared with 4.7 for the Xbox 360 and 4.6 for the PlayStation 3.

"It reflects the broadening of the demographic," Pachter said. "Nintendo's market doesn't feel the same sense of urgency to buy every game that's coming out."

Additionally, the sales of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl dropped 90% month following its release, indicating that the base of hardcore gamers anticipating the title' had been depleted. Smash Bros. Brawl sold more than 1.4 million copies in its first week on retail shelves.

The report suggests that Nintendo's marketing of the Wii attracted a much broader audience than the traditional hardcore male demographic—an audience composed of new gamers content with the games they have, and don't buy new titles as often as the hardcore crowd.

Some developers pin the Wii's disappointing attach rate on a lacking lineup of software aimed at the hardcore gaming demographic.

Describing the console as a "weird virus," Epic Games president Mark Capps recently said that though the system has a knack for attracting people who traditionally have not played games, the Wii tends to collect dust when not engaged in a social atmosphere.

"You buy it and you play it with your friends and they're like, 'Oh my God that's so cool, I'm gonna go buy it,'" Capps told IGN. "So you stop playing it after two months, but they buy it and they stop playing it after two months but they've showed it to someone else who then go out and buy it and so on."

"Everyone I know bought one and nobody turns it on," Capps added. "Obviously there's a class of people who really love it and enjoy it and are getting into the games but I'm still waiting for that one game that makes me play it."