Wii U misconceptions are key sales issue, not the price says Nintendo UK

Friday, 11th October 2013 10:22 GMT By Dave Cook

Wii U’s lukewarm sales are not down to the console’s price tag, but rather a lack of understanding among parents – specifically mums – Nintendo UK has suggested.

Here in the UK, Wii U games are notable by their absence in the weekly gaming charts, although the tide has shifted slightly with decent performances by Pikmin 3 and Wind Waker HD, which entered at fourth this week.

Speaking with MCV, Nintendo UK marketing head Shelly Pearce discussed the console’s standing among the British public. “There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is,” she began, “and one of the big messages is to explain to mum that this is a new console and a new controller.

“In terms of the marketing work we’ve done against dads, there is now a pretty good understanding there. But many mums don’t know what this is. They’re buying what they’re advised to and going into shops, so we are relying a lot on retail to explain that this is a new piece of hardware.”

Pearce conceded that the original Wii still remains the format of choice for some households, which is understandable seeing as a lot of you bought the console during its life-span. She continued, “What we are seeing with our monthly tracking is that Wii remains the No.1 console for brand awareness and we have done several studies, and there are so many families actively playing on Wii.

“Perhaps sometimes as an industry we don’t see it, because we are so focused on core fans who are obviously not the ones that are still playing. I sit in this target audience as a mum that has kids of this age, and amongst my peer group I have people that are just buying their first console and people who are still playing their original Wii sometimes.

“That has been one of our biggest barriers, but it is also a great opportunity because it means they are still with Wii. And it’s through the insight from the Tesco deal that we know families are still playing and have not bought anything else yet. So it’s a great opportunity if we can get the job right in educating people.”

On the Wii U price issue, Pearce concluded, “There was a lot of talk last peak season about whether price was the barrier. We don’t think it is. I think the problem was education and giving them desirable things. This peak, Wii U will be at a slightly lower price than last year and comparatively it will look a little cheaper because of all the other consoles coming out that are more expensive. But value is the important message. Backwards compatibility, the fact that you don’t have to buy more controllers – that for a mum is a very important thing.

“Wii U is very different to these other consoles. Our heartland is with family and kids, but we must not forget core Nintendo fans are a fundamental part of it. Yes, there’s a cross-over with the core fan and those that buy the other consoles, but generally those are quite different audiences. I imagine our marketing activity will look and feel very different.”

What do you think? Is the price indeed an issue, or is it a message problem? Let us know below.

Via Nintendo Life.



  1. mistermogul

    “and one of the big messages is to explain to mum that this is a new console and a new controller.”

    Well fuck me, they have finally realised what we have all been saying since before the launch.

    Why are Ninty so slow sometimes?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Tearsir

    The problem is the lacking of powerful games, that’s all.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Blue Oni

    I don’t think they are right in their assessment and i’m sure they know it as well.Misconceptions where a problem when the WiiU came out but now everyone knows it’s a new console.

    I think Nintendo is trying to avoid the elephant in the room (which is the price and lack of games) and they are trying to find whatever excuse they can instead (although they have admitted the lack of games being one of the reasons for WiiU’s disappointing sales).

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    It’s just PR shite, I wouldn’t pay it any mind. That dude wouldn’t be allowed to give it to us straight even if he wanted to…

    #4 1 year ago
  5. m2stech

    @2 Also add milking of overused and clicheed franchises.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. The_Red

    Wii U’s misconception is a valid problem but that doesn’t mean price is not a problem.

    It’s all of the following:
    - The name (misconception)
    - The price (too high)
    - The games (too few).

    The first one is non-issue for me but so far, Bayonetta 2 is the ONLY must have game for me and 300 bucks for a single game is too much. They could have easily published Eternal Darkness 2 / Shadow of Eternals but sadly, it wasn’t the case.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dragon

    Wii U is a misconception, that is what I will agree with. :D

    Spot on.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. polygem

    nahh, it´s all about the pricing and the games now.
    games are coming, price is going down as well. let´s see if it´ll help.
    i think it´s sad that the wiiu doesn´t sell. i really really think it´s one of the most fun gaming machines in recent history. call me salesman again if you like. i freaking sold it because it lacked games and then i rebought that thing. i am enjoying the hell out of it now.
    it needs more software to really prove it´s awesomeness to the mass market, sure, but the potential is there. it´s up to nintendo to finally fully deliver in that department.
    it seems like a lot of people need more good arguments to convince them and who can blame them? hardware is expensive, games are expensive, the competition isn´t sleeping either. for me playing snes games, wwhd and nsmbu on a gamepad is reason enough. i love that stuff, i think it´s fantastic and i started to hate that i cannot have that on my ps360…but many gamers seem to need more innovations.
    i still believe we´ll see some clever pad integration in the zeldaU metroidU games but this is all speculation of course.
    the dilemma is: nintendo created an awesome console…nobody wants to buy. you must blame that on pricing, marketing and lack of games that click with the masses. in the end only nintendo are to blame for it…but if something doesn´t sell to well it doesn´t mean it must be bad. shakira sells much more records than fugazi…

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Joe Musashi

    Nintendo need to stop telling us why they believe something isn’t selling, and start listening to people saying why they’re not buying it.


    #9 1 year ago
  10. Os Money

    @8 Spokesmen? or just diehard?

    Several problems which @6 red hit on.

    The name confused most people because it also visually doesnt look that much different.

    Power and features – Most people that are not of the casual crowd feel like its not very powerful and is lacking features found in other consoles. Moms asking store employee’s (which are usually hardcore gamers) and believe its not worth the investment.

    Games- Or lack there of. Or it could be that perhaps people were shovel wared to death on the wii and arent looking to make the same mistake.

    Tablet – Interesting idea, but should be the highlight of the console. Its bulky and people already have tablets to play games on without needing their tv. Think of the idea of using the wii tablet like that of wearing 3d glasses. Yeah its a cool idea but no one wants to use it all the time.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. antraxsuicide


    The problem with the tablet is that Nintendo waited way too long to release this thing, so now they’re trying to market a tablet for $300, when $100 would get me an Asus Nexus 7.

    The rise of (better) tablets has probably wrecked Nintendo’s planned marketing. I’m sure they had some great commercials planned, full of great uses of a tablet. But we all saw those commercials 2 years ago, and now tablets have far surpassed what the Gamepad can do. So Nintendo has to market on the software and feature set, which are notoriously lacking.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. pcbros

    @10 – “Tablet – Interesting idea, but should be the highlight of the console. Its bulky and people already have tablets to play games on without needing their tv.”

    But other tablets won’t play your Wii U games. The whole point of the GamePad is that if I’m playing a game and my wife or kids want to watch The Voice, I either have to a)turn off the game or b)ask them to watch it in another room.

    Sony is even doing something similar with the PS4->Vita. There’s a market for this kind of technology.

    My biggest problem with the GamePad is that it forced the Wii U to be over priced. If my memory serves me right, no Nintendo console has ever launched for $350.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. coatesy

    should of called it Wii 2 don’t think price is the issue when its being available for £150 from beginning of year.

    mos def about lack of games also factor in lack of advertising and the uniqueness of the tablet controller not being utilised to its full potential. Wii was something brand new never being seen before,tablets well loads of people already have one of those at least make the type of games in the E3 2011 trailer and advertise that.

    #13 1 year ago

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