Iwata recognises lack of software as key Wii U problem

Monday, 12th August 2013 11:10 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has highlighted the Wii U’s lack of software as a key issue in the console’s struggle at market, and has down-played the system’s price as a factor.

It comes as Nintendo’s recent financial report showed it only sold 160,000 Wii U consoles worldwide in Q1.

Speaking with CVG, Iwata stressed that if price truly was the reason for Wii U’s poor sales, then more people would be buying the basic white edition. Iwata added that the more expensive premium bundle is out-selling it, suggesting that pricing is not an issue.

Iwata explained, “If the price is actually an issue [with Wii U], then there is some contradiction between the current sales balance between the Basic and Premium versions of the Wii U. The basic version should have sold a lot, but the fact of the matter is that people are buying more of the premium version. So the issue is not there.”

“I understand that the real issue is the lack of software,” he added, “and the only solution is to provide the mass-market with a number of quality software titles.”




    It really is difficult to understand why they didn’t spend 2 or 3 years working on exclusives for the WiiU before release.

    It’s almost like they came up with the console overnight, then decided to think about making some games.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Sini

    Nobody wants the filthy casual white iwata, not even nintendo drones.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. VibraniumSpork

    The issue’s also the near non-existent marketing and poor product branding. When these games come they could really do with attempting some kind of soft-relaunch to make the software efforts count.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Francis O

    Iwata is forced to make excuses for 3rd parties. Holding off on their games, doing delays to give 3rd parties a chance. All the Wii U got was late, old, and gimped ports.

    The biggest mistake Nintendo made was trusting major 3rd parties. They will never make that mistake again. That’s why the Wii U is getting 1-3 first party games each month till the end of the year.

    The Wii U’s sales will pick up when they get their software out. The 3DS proved that.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. backup

    problem is kiddy mario games aimed to kids
    just like facebook games for PC gamers

    #5 1 year ago
  6. FeaturePreacher

    My guess is that they missed all the time developers in Japan were flogging themselves about how far they were behind the west during this current generation of game development. Nintendo just entered the HD era of development when the rest of the publishers were in it for 6 years.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DrDamn

    I don’t follow his Basic/Premium argument. That just highlights that the Premium is well priced compared to the basic model, not that the price overall is not a problem.

    I think riding out the number of titles would be easier for them if the software better used the gamepad too. If people are going to upgrade they need to show that the gamepad is more valid as an addition, as it’s a big part of the price you are paying. It’s nice and adds something to existing games out there, but none of the games are defined by the pad yet.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. wicktus


    Yeah everybody want your hardcore COD-like games full of DLC and with 6 hours of solo content.

    Stop talking for everybody, Nintendo create quality games even if sometimes they make them casual-Friendly or too easy, they still have a LOT of good games for the core gamers : multiplayer games like Super Smash and Mario Kart or tactical games that are sometimes far from easy : Fire Emblem, Advance wars.

    They just want to reach all of their audience

    WiiU will has a BIG upcoming LineUP
    Zelda Wind Waker HD
    New ZELDA
    Mario Kart 8
    Mario World
    Bayonnetta 2
    Super Smash Bros U
    Rayman Legends

    Not to forget games that will be announced during Gamescom and especially TGS.

    Nintendo can be pretty confident unlike Sony and their Vita.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. dizzygear

    Since they have been cozying up with Sega so much lately what about a deal for some more exclusives than just Sonic.

    *cough*Valkyria Chronicles 4

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Joe Musashi

    @1 “It really is difficult to understand why they didn’t spend 2 or 3 years working on exclusives for the WiiU before release.

    It’s possible they did that – but it wasn’t enough time. Nintendo had already mentioned that they had not anticipated just how much time was required to develop games up to the fidelity the Wii U offers.

    Which should be noted as Nintendo talking about Nintendo – and not eagerly dismissed as them talking about third parties.

    I’m sure the software will come, it’s just taking longer than expected for the flow to gain momentum.

    There are, however, other reasons some are holding back. Identity of the console against the Wii is still an issue. And, reading a topic recently on NeoGaf, the fact that digital purchases are tied to the console and not the customer is offputting for many people who are already accustomed to buying goods digitally.


    #10 1 year ago
  11. Lengendaryboss

    Nintendo and Sony are both confident in their platforms. People need to cut this bullshit in thinking manufacturers don’t care for their platforms.

    Sony/Third Parties:
    Dead Nation/Rayman Legends
    GOW 1+2 Collection/Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate
    Invisimals The Alliance/Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Collection
    Tearaway/Vahalla Knights 3
    Freedom Wars/DBZ Battle Of Z
    Destiny Of Sprits/Demon Gaze
    Killzone Mercenary/FIFA 14/WRC4

    #11 1 year ago
  12. tilinelson2

    It is rather funny that “big games” like Bayonetta 2 and X will probably sell less than sh*tty games on a dead platform, like Call of Duty Declassified.

    And no matter how much Nintendo fans parrot “Nintendo does quality games”, none of their usual Mario and Zelda games will ever sell more copies than the “COD game full of DLCs with 6 hours of solo content”.

    The upcoming Wii U lineup only appeals to longtime Nintendo fans that will buy a Nintendo console no matter what. To make more than that they must either come up with something really new and interesting or sell their consoles much cheaper than their competitors (or both, that is what worked for Wii).

    #12 1 year ago
  13. DrDamn

    You might want to check numbers for Mario Kart Wii or New Super Mario Bros Wii compared to a single CoD totalled across all platforms. You will be surprised how comparable they are.

    Those numbers aren’t going to be repeated any time soon with the WiiU, but the Wii was quite the phenomenon.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. mistermogul

    @1 – Totally agree.

    Nintendo had so much time from the demise of the Wii (2010) until the release of Wii U, it doesn’t make sense they were caught off-guard so much.

    After all if they started developing Wii U games back in 2010 then they would have known by, say, 2011 how much longer development was taking. This is at least a whole year before Wii U launched.

    Not only that but I’m sure Nintendo aren’t that stupid to have miscalculated how much more time/resources HD game development would take.

    Something doesn’t add up for me with this whole situation…

    Edit – Note to Iwata – general economics states that lower price = more sales.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Belmont


    I owe you one !

    #15 1 year ago
  16. tilinelson2


    Mario Kart Wii numbers are not fair because the game was heavily bundled with Wii in many regions (you can still find lots of Mario Kart Wii bundles to sell here where I live).

    By the way, I think every game that is heavily bundled with a console shouldn’t have its sales compared with games that were not bundled or bundled in small limited editions because most of the time people were not buying it because of the game, but they were just using the opportunity to buy the console they wanted to with a game for cheaper than buying the console + a separate game.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. cindayjon

    just as Scott answered I am surprised that someone can profit $5048 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you see this link,,,

    #17 1 year ago
  18. DrDamn

    I’d agree for titles like Wii Sports or Wii Play, but not Mario Kart or New Super Mario Bros Wii. They sold well because people wanted to play them, simple as that.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. wicktus

    People talk about COD but in what COD is a system seller like the game I cited prevoiusly ?

    COD Ghost is coming to the wiiU WITH the nextgen Engine, without doubt a lite version but still.

    COD is multiplatform, even if Microsoft LOVE making people believe that it’s a MS licence with exclusive DLC or anything else it isn’t at all.

    X and bayonnetta 2 are Exclusive Titles and thus are more System seller than COD.

    Don’t forget that Nintendo isn’t challenging Sony or MS.
    People will focus on choosing between ps4 and X1 because 500 euros (especially here in France) is not a negligible investment especially for the market sony/ms are targeting : young employees and students: people will choose ONE of the too (unless you like throwing away money), and to be honest it’s not worth it to buy the 2 supercalculators. The WiiU with its lower price and fun multiplayer titles (by that I mean on the same TV screen) will come next to one of the real next gen monster, that’s the place nintendo is aiming and they successfully did the same thing with the wii.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. tilinelson2


    I disagree. I think more people bought a Wii because they wanted to play something like Wii Sports than Mario Kart because a lot of people bought it just to play those simple games that relied heavily on motion sense controllers. Unlike Mario Kart or New Super Mario Wii, that were the choice for parents that wanted to buy a console with a game for their children and not spend too much.

    People tend to overlook the appeal of Mario with the parents, not the actual players. It is obvious that a father or a mother will opt for a console that advertises itself with a Mario or Pokemon game instead of a console that advertises itself with Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed or GTA. And parents buying consoles for their children a huge part of the game market. “Core” gamers are the overwhelming vocal majority, but not the overwhelming majority of the gaming business customers.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. DrDamn

    They still sold CoD numbers+ though whatever the reason for buying.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Joe Musashi

    @19 The ‘Wii as everyone’s second console’ is sound logic and I think it’s been proven. Everywhere, people were saying “I want a Wii” or “I want a 360 and a Wii”. Ultimately it sold more, whatever the reason.

    However, in its current position, the Wii U is just a little too expensive, a little too underpowered and a little too similar to other things (such as dedicated tablet devices) to have that same distinctive mindshare that the Wii enjoyed.

    It’s funny really. The 3DS came out and understandably, 3D was its signature defining feature. It hit a rough spot and it’s now flying. The 3D element is very low profile now and the solution was to revert to adjusting price and providing content. I don’t think tablet, cloud, raw power, or any other qualities really speak to consumers as loudly as a good range of content and a compelling price tag.


    #22 1 year ago
  23. manamana

    Nintendo wasn’t fast enough in developing HD games and they releid on third party stuff. It really is that simple. But what puzzles m, is that they don’t even have a trailer for a brandnew Metroid/Zelda/Mario World/Pokemon. They hope that an overhauled Wind Waker will sail them the customers in but I really don’t think so.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. mistermogul

    @23 – I agree but they do have new Mario –

    #24 1 year ago
  25. DrDamn

    That’s not the Mario everyone was expecting or wanting though was it? It’s no Mario 64, Mario Galaxy or even Mario Sunshine. How does a sequel to a 3DS game help define the system like those did?

    #25 1 year ago
  26. mistermogul

    @25 – I don’t think we will ever get another Mario 64. How can we? There is no extra dimension for them to innovate in.

    What other ideas can you think of that they can use that have not already been used that will truly blow your mind like the true 3D motion that 64 had? There are excellent ideas in the Galaxy games but nothing genre defining like 64 or SMW.

    I think people expect too much from Nintendo as a result of how strong their software has been in the past.

    Personally I thought the 3DS Mario was the best Mario I’ve played since Mario 64 so I’m pretty happy about a “sequel” on Wii U. The only thing I miss from recent games is the true 360 degree camera control missing from Mario 64 which I think they changed to make the games more accessible…

    Also how do you know “It’s no Mario 64, Mario Galaxy or even Mario Sunshine” – have you played?

    #26 1 year ago
  27. DrDamn

    I expect a Mario game to justify the hardware it plays on. How does a 3DS game on WiiU enable a variety of gameplay, and propose deeper game experiences and new entertainment that people have never had the opportunity to enjoy before? (Iwata’s words on why the gamepad is great).

    Nintendo have a problem that they have created a platform with some unique features which so far they have demonstrated they haven’t a clue what to do with.

    Watch the Super Mario 3D World reveal. The gamepad and it’s features are near non-existent.

    I’m not saying it’s not going to be a great game, it probably will be, but it’s not what the platform needs now. NSMBWU felt very much like a Wii sequel they pushed to WiiU, this feels like a 3DS sequel they’ve pushed to WiiU. Why no game that can only be done on WiiU? Isn’t that what Iwata promised?

    #27 1 year ago
  28. The_GHOST

    No my little yellow japanese friend,
    it is your hardware that sucks

    #28 1 year ago
  29. mistermogul

    @27 – I agree with what you are saying but I’m not sure why people just see this as a 3DS game sequel. Is it just because it uses similar art assets?

    Either way, it doesn’t seem to innovate with the Gamepad at all and Nintendo have definitely failed to think of useful ideas for it so far…

    #29 1 year ago
  30. DrDamn

    Similar art assets, similar play style, very similar name and the same team.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. monkeygourmet


    The Miiverse is a huge reason the tablet works for a lot of people, and I think we will see more evidence of that as they update and include apps like the Animal Crossing Plaza.

    Im not sure if you use it that much for art / communication / video calls?

    But, you can’t really complain if it has extensive features you don’t personally use.

    But, I would agree, Nintendo really need to show more evidence for this, especially things like artwork. It really is an amazing community IMO. Easily preferable to Xbox Live and PSN for me, and that is largly down to the pad.

    #31 1 year ago

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