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“Wii U has not caught the public’s imagination yet”: UK retailers call for price cut

Friday, 15th February 2013 10:37 GMT By Dave Cook

Wii U has failed to set retail alight in the UK. The issue has prompted many UK retailers to speak out in demand for a console price cut.

Speaking with MCV, Tesco games buying manager Jonathan Hayes stated, “Wii U has not caught the public’s imagination yet. We need a killer app to drive sales, and a big marketing push to clearly communicate what Wii U is all about – it will probably be better to focus on the premium edition to do this.”

It comes as Wii U accounted for just 1.6% of total UK software sales in January, falling way down the list of platform performance in the country.

“A new strategy needs to be communicated and launched for Easter, the school holidays, the summer holidays and beyond”, said Sainsbury’s games buying manager Gurdeep Hunjan.

Online retailers want something to budge as well, as ShopTo buyer James Rowson added, “Nintendo needs to show there’s a wide range of games available and on the horizon so consumers see Wii U as a good long-term investment.”

MCV has many of these quotes, each calling for a better marketing strategy from Nintendo, and a console price cut is viewed by some retailers as a way to push the Wii U brand to the wider market.

What do you make of Nintendo’s Wii U strategy so far? What could be done to improve the matter? let us know below.

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31 Comments

  1. Francis O

    More games would be a better option.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. daytripper

    55k it sold in US for January, that is appalling

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Communication and software line-up are the biggest issues. Premium unit is already down to £240 in some places. A single complete game which shows this is what the controller does, this is why it’s brilliant would help no end too. Nintendoland is a great collection of mini-games but it’s not clear enough in direction to show this.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. manamana

    Well price is one thing. If it would’ve come with a ‘new’ Zelda or a ‘new’ Metroid it would sell way more, imo.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. CyberMarco

    In my local MediaWorld (it’s the Italian MediaMarkt) on the WiiU shelf there is a note that says that WiiU games aren’t compatible with the Wii. Maybe people think that WiiU is just a tablet upgrade…

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    @2
    Yeah, that was rather shocking. Pachter predicted 100k as a really and worrying number but even that turned out to be to optimistic.

    This makes me think: Will Sony and MS keep the proposed touch screen / tablet like controllers before next-gen reveal? I mean, such controllers cost a lot more than normal ones and so far have not really helped Nintendo even with a new 2D Mario game as launch title.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Beta

    Pricing, software library, marketing to show the general public what the console actually is and storage space are all things that need to be improved if this thing wants a chance at capturing the mass market.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. daytripper

    I think a lot of these “core” gamers are waiting for the next Playstation/Xbox, have seen what the Wii U is about and are not interested. I was really dissapointed in their super conservative attitude to specs but I wouldn’t like to see them go out of business

    #8 2 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    They talk about this one if you like, “banner” app for WiiU; but then again, Nintendo’s played that little game before. At times, they rely on that. What you find then, is that you’re waiting months between these titles, because another thing that Nintendo have shown is that their schedule is such that UNLIKE other platform holders, you do not find a steady lineup of games.

    I found that they were producing blips, and even if the result of that is a pulse, it’ll fade reducing back, because there’s still a heck of a lot of white noise. They continue to lock to region, which is DISPLEASING especially when the majority of the time for releases I’d want to play it’s unclear when they will arrive, if, or even from whom! I won’t buy and support a machine with such crippling, anti-consumer caveats.

    They’re making improvements, especially with the Nintendo Direct videos (which I think are very well presented, and strike the right note in their tone and delivery) but the sure, steady production “line”, the commitment from publishers to enable Nintendo’s new device is all-but missing.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. silkvg247

    If they’d made a next gen proper pokemon game and bundled the wii U with it, with the pad acting as a pokedex, in a snazzy pokemon themed box, I expect it would have sold millions. Or is that just me?

    Why don’t they use their strong brands, I just don’t understand it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. SplatteredHouse

    10: Pokemon’s a portable franchise. In their eyes, that is a defining quality of the series.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Beta

    I know I was disappointed with how similar the specs were to current gen.

    Techwise once the 360 and PS3 successors arrive Nintendo will once again be left a generation behind.

    Not that tech is everything; look at the Wii. But I can’t see this having that kind of success unless drastic action is taken by Nintendo.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. SplatteredHouse

    12: If a publisher sees PC, 360, PS3 and they decide to make a game, how much more does it cost them to assign a seperate team to add WiiU into the mix? Do they even want to, as, functionality aside do they really want to sell against Nintendo, on its own platform – and what degree of crossover is there between core Nintendo players, and long-term interest in their titles to be played on that system?

    DON’T forget, that DLC is most likely not as sure of a development/advertising reimbursement safety-net on WiiU, because typically, long-life DLC revolves around community play.
    How many of the people who would buy, for instance, a Call of Duty map pack aren’t already playing much the same thing, on other platforms.
    I think that Nintendo have fell into a rut, have become too late to adjust.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Demigod

    Maybe if Nintendo came up with something new rather than just a re-spin relaunch rename of old properties. OK Ive never been a big nintendo fan but they wont woe me with another Mario Wario Zelda I want them to do something NEW and they honestly seem incapable of it. Or if they are Im sure missing it which is a failing of their marketing.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. foxmulder555

    with these figures and the confusion around what the wiiu does,Price cuts are certain they cant hold off until the summer as its better to take the hit and hope the attach rate will improve and pay for the cut. PS4/720 will defintely force this issue as I’m sure the gulf in quality will become apparent with 3rd party releases and thats IF 3rd parties continue to support it.

    As a lifelong Nintendo fan this is the first console I’ve not bought launch day as not 1 title appealed to me Im a ZELDA/METROID fan and worryingly other than the windwaker there is not much on the horizon.

    I reckon by XMAS this year if the 2 others Launch Nintendo’s wiiu sales will be devasted and I wouldnt be surprised in a desperate attempt they launch ANOTHER console in the next 3 years. As much money as they have if they dont react sooner rather than later its only a matter of time before something gives and investors demand there I.P’S go multi platform…

    #15 2 years ago
  16. manamana

    Silk has a point. I would guess, that they concentrated on pokemon for 3DS first. Maybe they have a price-cut and a coupoe of strong IPs for E3 in mind. They would look lousy next to the new machines, if they had nothing to present.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DrDamn

    Strangely I think the arrival of PS4/NextBox will be good for WiiU in the long term. It can stop trying to be a PS3/360 and concentrate on being a WiiU.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Demigod

    I can see Nintendo just being a publisher on others consoles probebly excluding hand held. But then again they could make a lot if they release their properties on smart phone.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    I said that it is a failure since Nintendo showed it.

    I will never buy this system that has a kitchen sink with singletouch screen and 360/PS3 specs in it for more then 100$

    It’s a cheap PC that does not deserve any attention. I won’t even buy this system if it will have decent games on it because I already have the best games on my PC with the best control scheme.

    Console gamers can continue play as disabled person using this retarded controller that adds nothing to the gameplay. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. manamana

    Your comment is worth absolutely nothing. Go back to your PC and enjoy yourself.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I’m with Erth.

    It’s the communication of the idea that’s the problem. It takes an hour to explain to and show the average consumer what the Wii U does. You can’t put that in a 30-second ad and you can’t put it in a 10-word slogan.

    Why does it take so long to explain what the point of it is? Because it’s not just an explanation; one has to make a case for it. One has to make up reasons why you need its absolutely useless controller. One has to come up with some convincing reason why, if you already have a Wii (or an Xbox 360 or PS3), you need one. One has to lie, essentially.

    Wii U is officially the most worthless, gimmicky piece of crap to release since Virtual Boy and price drop or not, it’s simply never going to take off. It’s destined to be niche.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. G1GAHURTZ

    I doubt that there will be a way back for Nintendo with the Wii U.

    They need to ditch it, and release a proper next gen home console ASAP.

    Those sales figures so soon after launch are a disaster for them.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Bomba Luigi

    The WiiU Version with the Higher Price sells better. I doubt the Price is the Problem here.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Fin

    I think it can be summed up by:

    People who don’t care about Zelda or Mario don’t care about Wii U.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. DrDamn

    @21
    Agree it takes a long time to communicate the idea, but the reason I think is that it’s a big collection of small things that it does. Collectively they are great, but getting that message across is difficult.

    They need a big Nintendo game which demonstrates some the key features in a clear and concise way. A game which couldn’t be done without the control pad. Unfortunately that’s something they haven’t done and more worryingly haven’t shown yet. The closest thing there has been is Rayman Legends and Ubisoft are about to show that actually they can adapt it to other systems.

    Their biggest launch title, NSMBWU, can be played all the way through on a Wii-mote. When you boot up the game they even re-enforce this fact by telling you to press the “2″ button to continue. (Hint: the standard Wii-U controller doesn’t have a “2″ button).

    #25 2 years ago
  26. deathm00n

    @24 Exactly, that’s why I don’t care. The tablet is a very good idea that could be used very well, but so far, nothing except ZombiU surprised me.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. silkvg247

    @11 Why not both? I doubt it would dilute the handheld’s success any. A big screen pokemon game would be awesome imho.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Stardog

    I bought a Wii on day one on the strength of the controller, but the Wii U is uninteresting in comparison. Launching with a proper Mario game or a Zelda game with the Wii U demo graphics would’ve made my buy it day one. After Galaxy 2 was released (or even before) they should’ve went all in on creating the next Mario game for Wii U launch day.

    And this was Nintendo’s chance to re-join the graphics arms race after they’d been pushed out of it because of finances. Instead, they tried to repeat what worked with the Wii.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Cobra951

    The fatal flaw boils down to no killer app at launch. I remember buying the N64 for Mario 64 alone. If no other game had come along to make that system worthwhile (and few did) I still would have considered it a worthwhile purchase. There is nothing that compels me to part with the cash for the WiiU. And if the next classic-Nintendo must-have game released today, the quirkiest of controllers couldn’t keep me away.

    Their success has always come down to their games, not their hardware. They seem to have forgotten that.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. fearmonkey

    Silk was right on her comment, that Nintendo never seems to leverage their most important properties at launch anymore. Cobra951′s comment was right on the mark as well.

    I remember when Howard Lincoln was asked why the Nintendo64 would be ok when it was released as it had few games, Playstation had really taken the market, and cartridges were expensive, he replied “Mario64″. he believed in that one title to sell the system and he was right.

    The gamecube didnt have that killer app at launch either, it was not a success.

    The Wii comes out with Wii sports which was new and different and it sold a ton, it had a killer app.

    The Wii-u comes out, doesnt look all that different than a Wii, causes consumer confusion because of it, and doesnt have a killer app. Its the gamecube all over again. if they would have made the console very different in design, released a killer mario, Pokemon, Zelda, Smash Bros, etc, the story might have been different.

    The Wii sold like crazy to a ton of casual gamers. Those gamers are fine playing a game once in awhile, and wont feel the need to upgrade to a Wiiu, especially when they dont really understand why its actually better.

    If the Wii-u has a killer app soon and especially when the next gen consoles arrive, sales could really improve. If MS and Sony have a killer app at launch, Nintendo could be in trouble this year, all the real excitement is going to be on MS and Sony, if they don’t disappoint that is.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Digital Bamboo

    I agree that Nintendo ought to have released at least one system-seller at launch, and it was a bit senseless not to. Fans know that those big games are coming eventually, (and bigger sales along with them) but without something to make people stop and go “wow” in the store, or a massive marketing campaign, the general public will remain clueless.

    I find all this talk of ‘communicating what the Wii U is and what it does’ amusing. Is it really that complicated? It’s a home video game console that hooks up to your TV, made by Nintendo. (Those have been around for a while.) The controller has a touchscreen built into it, like a tablet. (Those have been around a few years now too.) It plays games–sold on discs or digitally–can connect to the internet, and is compatible with Wii periferals, like Wiimotes. Seems pretty clear.

    And yet, we still have people who can’t tell the difference between a Wii and Wii U. What I wonder, is how these people earn a living, or get through the day. Do they buy Blu-ray discs for their DVD player? Fill their cars with diesel instead of gasoline? Try to jam AA batteries into the AAA slots of their TV remotes? Do they not take 30 seconds to research something before they buy it, even if they own a smartphone?

    Does the public even have an imagination that can be caught, or is that the nice corporate way of saying ‘we haven’t managed to get the attention of the slobbering masses yet’?

    #31 2 years ago

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