Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata says poor marketing and a lack of killer app are to blame for the Wii U’s less than stellar sales, both of which he freely admits are Nintendo’s own fault.
“We are to blame. We relaxed our [marketing] efforts, so the consumers today still cannot understand what’s so good and unique about the Wii U. Because we’re always trying to be unique, it takes some energies on our side to [make] people understand the real attractions about whatever we are doing,” Iwata told CNBC.
“We have been unsuccessful in coming up with one single software with which people can understand, ‘OK, this is really different.”
Iwata said that as soon as people go hands-on they appreciate how different the Wii U is, but that it’s hard to get them to that point.
“But because there’s not software that’s simple and obvious for people as ‘Wii Sports’ for the Wii, potential consumers do not feel like trying the Wii U,” he said.
“Our challenge today is with the software lineup we are introducing now, we have to encourage [people] to experience the Wii U in the first place.”
Nevertheless, Iwata sees no reason to be overly pessimistic, even as third parties skip over the console, with the notable exception of Warner Bros. The executive said that if Nintendo puts its energy into developing games, it will eventually boost sales and lure third-parties back. As opposed to, say, just dropping the price of the console.
“Because from the very beginning we came up with a very aggressive price point. We do not think [a price cut] is a very easy option to take,” Iwata said.
The last time Nintendo discussed sales figures for the console, it noted that 1.1 million Wii U units had been sold in its first five months on sale – a far cry indeed from the 2.1 million Wiis sold in the same period, and barely on par with sales of the Xbox 360.