No Nintendo community for SA

By Siyabonga Africa, ITWeb junior journalist
Johannesburg, 31 Jul 2008

Nintendo has no short-term plans to launch its online community in SA, despite selling 40 000 units of its next-generation console, the Wii, and the upcoming launch of Logitech's cordless keyboard for the console.

According to Core Group's Nintendo spokesman, Matthew Grose, Nintendo has not confirmed whether the service would be available in SA. Currently, an undisclosed number of local people are subscribed to the Wii online community through other countries and pay in foreign currency for the service.

Grose adds that launching the service is a big undertaking and requires substantial administration and logistics efforts both from Nintendo, of Europe, Core Gaming, and other parties such as the Film and Publication Board. "Yet we are working hard to make this service available and will definitely keep you informed."

Roger Carbonell, a consultant with retail research firm GFK, says that the Wii has had the most growth of all consoles in the South African market, having moved 40 000 units that retail for R2 699, since it was launched in September 2007.

"At this stage the Wii has 30% of the next-generation console market, and is experiencing exponential growth," Carbonell says.

Logitech SA regional director Robert van de Vegte stated, in previous reports, that the success of the Wii is due to the social element that it brings to its games and applications.

"Our new keyboard helps families experience the Internet in the living room - and it will make chatting with online friends simple in popular games such as Animal Crossing," he said. The Logitech wireless keyboard for the Wii is expected to be launched in September and should retail for R499 including VAT.

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