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Nintendo needs to reach beyond its catalogue to save Wii U

Wednesday, 4th December 2013 14:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

It’s no longer fashionable to believe in the Wii U. Brenna takes a look at Super Mario 3D World’s disappointing sales and admits the plumber isn’t enough to keep Nintendo afloat under Sony and Microsoft’s barrages.

“What was Nintendo thinking, launching the same week as the PS4?” the Twitterati chattered. Probably, like those early supporters, the Big N was thinking, “We’re Nintendo, and we do what Nintendo does”.

Flashback to E3 2011; the Wii U has just been properly detailed for the first time. It’s got a ridiculous name and nobody in specialist press has any idea what Nintendo is barking on about with its weird new controller. Nintendo stock plummets. Mainstream press and consumers have no clue what the difference is between the new box and the old one, or even if there is a new box.

Nevertheless, anybody who dared to predict a poor future for Nintendo at that time was laughed out of the room. “It’s Nintendo,” you would be told, as your colleagues shared knowing winks and nods at your feeble naivety. “It’s got Mario and Zelda, innit. Just look at the Wii. 100 million sales worldwide and it doesn’t do HD!”

Now here we are in December 2013, just weeks away from Chrimbo, and the first console of the new generation is on such shaky ground that the detractors piling on resemble some sort of insane orgy, all flailing limbs and cruel orgasmic faces. Analysts have lowered their lifetime sales predictions. One developer said “nobody gives a shit” about the Wii U. The former boss of THQ has said Nintendo has become irrelevant, and he ought to know a thing or two about lack of relevancy, ha ha. Even Michael Pachter, one of the platform holder’s historical supporters, has criticised Nintendo for refusing to admit consumers don’t give a gibbon’s left testicle about the console.

“It’s got Mario” is no longer enough. When the UK retail charts came out this week, Twitter was a-flutter with the news that Super Mario 3D World had debuted in 14th place – behind Sony’s Knack, a rival platformer which has been quite poorly received, in 13th. “What was Nintendo thinking, launching the same week as the PS4?” the Twitterati chattered.

Probably, like those early supporters, the Big N was thinking “This is the best new Mario game we’ve done in years,” and certainly much better than New Super Mario Bros. U, for example. Probably it was thinking, “We’re Nintendo, and we do what Nintendo does”.

The reportedly mediocre Knack beating the reportedly wonderful Mario (even Pat loves Super Mario 3D World) isn’t the news story here, and to be fair to the poor old plumber, if he’d launched in any other month the story probably would have been “Knack doesn’t do very well” or “Mario can’t quite beat juggernauts GTA 5 and Call of Duty: Ghosts”, because the PS4 and Xbox One have unfairly skewed the charts. This story isn’t really about Knack; it’s one of a very small number of exclusive in-store releases at the launch of a new console, and the fact that it’s out-performed Mario in spite of mixed to poor reviews from the North American launch two weeks before is an indication of how well even quite rubbish products do at hardware launches.

The real story is: here’s a Mario game that hasn’t come anywhere near the top of the charts, and nobody is at all surprised. As much as I’d like to blame the hair-raising creepiness of the cat-suit ads out of Japan (because seriously guys, errrgghhh), there’s a general feeling in the air that this time, Nintendo has not only dropped the ball but kicked it backwards for an own goal. Repeatedly.

Charming launch trailer for Super Mario 3D World. It is £40 charming, though?

“We’re Nintendo, and we do what Nintendo does” is very unhealthy thinking right now, and Nintendo’s stubborn refusal to take drastic action to turn the Wii U around (such as scheduling a Mario launch around competitors, something it’s never had to do in the past) is puzzling, since it’s already demonstrated it can chase down a lost ball and turn the game around.

The 3DS had a dreadful launch and we were deeply pessimistic about it, but we were also genuinely delighted to be wrong when the little console that could bounced back on a price cut and went on to become best-selling hardware in the conservative pre-transition market. Learning from this lesson, we maintained cautious optimism over the Wii U, with its second screen tech rooted in a deep understanding of how the living room is used and dating back to experimentation begun with the original DS.

But the damn thing still isn’t selling, is it? As of September, Nintendo confessed that just 3.91 million units had shipped worldwide. Shipped, not sold.

Why hasn’t Nintendo dropped the price on the Wii U to bargain levels? Likely because it can’t afford to do that. It accepted a hardware loss on the 3DS for the first time in its history and that worked, but it also cut deeply into the company’s bottom line for a while. Investors have shown increasing unhappiness over the past year as the Wii U failed to set markets afire, and with the genral depression caused by the lingering console cycle, sales just haven’t been strong enough to generate sufficient spending money to take another hit.

What can Nintendo do to restore investor faith and shore up its profit lines? Until this week, I probably would have said more, better games were all the family-friendly console needs, and from the share price jump, I don’t think I’m alone in that opinion. But if a new, high quality Mario game can sink, it may be time to admit that Miyamoto’s golden properties aren’t immune to franchise fatigue after all.

Is it time for Nintendo to cut its ties with the HD-focused west and focus on an audience that appreciates its wizardry, adding yet more fuel to the Japanese-development-is-becoming-irrelevant gossip bonfire? That’s a dream from another day. Even in Japan, Super Mario 3D World failed to top the charts, selling less than Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 which, may I remind you, sold less than a third of the original Final Fantasy 13. Nintendo needs western markets.

We’re not ready to drop the curtain on Nintendo and Mario. Nintendo knows it bollocksed the Wii U’s marketing – although it’s still stubbornly ignoring the price issue – and that it’s got to win back third parties rather than rely on its own properties like it did last generation. It can still speak to its core fans; The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker gave the console a much needed boost.

Nintendo hasn’t completely lost the plot. But for every SNES and Wii there’s got to be a GameCube; and in every race, there are winners and losers. Stacked up against the PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo’s looking to ring in this generation less as an also-ran and more as an abject failure.

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114 Comments

  1. polygem

    ladies and gentlemen, it’s nintendo, relax. they will be fine. they still have the best games :)

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Clupula

    Are those hornets I hear?

    #2 8 months ago
  3. mistermogul

    “It’s no longer fashionable to believe in the Wii U”

    When was this ever the case?

    #3 8 months ago
  4. polygem

    the worst they can do now: firing from the hip. they should keep wiiu up and running for 2 or 3 years, support it with great games that build up nintendos reputation, use the time to bring miiverse upfront, unify with 3ds. then release the next system. make one that’s more affordable so it can be a better side console: a nintendobox, or make one that’s more competitive, one that third party can embrace. tbh, i think we’re seeing something much more like a dedicated nintendobox and to me that’s absolutely fine. from the funfactor wiiu definitely isn’t a failure. it is a great concept that works in a market that is all about cod, fifa and bf. shame it failed but what can you do?
    i don’t blame it on nintendo, i blame it on the ignorance of my fellow gamer hombres :)

    *opening umbrella for all the incoming shit thrown at me*

    #4 8 months ago
  5. Francis O

    Nintendo should release more shooters like Halo, Killzone, Gears of War, Resistance, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Uncharted, Battlefield, Metro, and BioShock

    By the way, if Knack outsold Super Mario 3D World, please show me the raw numbers. Cause all I saw was a position chart that doesn’t include digital sales from the eShop….where Super Mario 3D World is number one in every region.

    On top of that, Nintendo launched Super Mario 3D World on the same day as the Xbox One in North America and sold over 300K not counting digital. She says Super Mario 3D Worlds sales are disappointing…but doesn’t know the worldwide sales of Super Mario 3D World.

    This article brings up current sales of Japan, says Nintendo needs Western markets, but doesn’t talk about the Western sales of the Wii U or Super Mario 3D World. LOL….

    #5 8 months ago
  6. Djoenz

    @1
    Thats your opinion bruh. They might have the “best games” in the world and Im still not interested in them. This mario franchise is ancient.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. polygem

    @6. sure, it’s my opinion but paper mario sticker star and 3d world feel a trillion times fresher than killzone or cod or bf. there’s just no way to deny that really.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. Legendaryboss

    @2
    Don’t worry the legion of angry bees are on their way to condemn Brenna and refute every single point raised. It just takes a while thats all.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. G1GAHURTZ

    I’m sure the Wii U won’t be the end of Nintendo.

    But IMO, the Wii U is well and truly finished. It’s stuck in the ‘devs won’t develop because of a low install base, gamers won’t buy because of a lack of games’ cycle.

    The controller was a flop, and it’s a step behind when it comes to online multiplayer.

    It should be interesting to see if they just ditch it, or go the SEGA route, and try to save it with bolt-ons and peripherals.

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Legendaryboss

    Already happened when i started typing.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. Legendaryboss

    I want to agree Brenna but you stirred the hornets nest get ready for the ambush.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. Djoenz

    @7
    Mind you I havent played them myself, but neither do I have the urge no matter how magical they feel like. I dont want to play Mario period. Its something when I was young. I dont want to play Kirby anymore either.

    I would like to play a new Zelda and Megaman but that aint happening anytime soon. Then the price of this thing.

    I wish Nintendo would grow up for once. So much potential but they stay in puberty.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. dreamcastnews

    @8 who exactly are you referring to? I notice every Nintendo thread has you grinning with glee about those that stick up for Nintendo, why is that?

    #13 8 months ago
  14. Legendaryboss

    @12
    Careful Djoenz your treading on some mighty thin ice with the Nintendo needs to grow up.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. Djoenz

    Well I seriously think Nintendo should step up their game. Nintendo is like western cartoons while the rest are anime.

    I adore anime and generally think western cartoons suck ass except DC and Marvel etc. and other exceptions but you get my point no?

    #15 8 months ago
  16. Legendaryboss

    @13
    I’m referring to those who stay in denial/refute claims, with those doomed stories highlighting the angry legion of bees.

    Theres sticking up for Nintendo and theres the above. While similar there are traces of above.

    @14
    Yep.

    #16 8 months ago
  17. polygem

    @12: i see where you’re coming from but i really don’t think that gears of war is much more mature than kirby really. it’s just more violent. much more violent. that’s been my argument for ages though :)
    i personally don’t want nintendo to change too much. i want that nintendo feeling from them and i believe that’s still their biggest cash cow potential. i don’t think they do not innovate or do not deliver fresh gaming experiences. that’s something people are saying over and over again but i can only scratch my head regarding this. playing these games always impresses me with all those new ideas they’re coming up with. they implement these ideas perfectly into their established franchises. that’s what’s nintendo is all about.
    while sony and ms might might bring much more new ip’s to the table, it’s the gameplay elements that they are milking. nintendo might look like they are milking their ip’s but that’s only true on the surface. if you dig a little deeper you realise that there’s almost always a brandnew game experience to be found in the sameish package.

    #17 8 months ago
  18. Obernox

    Yeah, things aren’t looking too well for the Wii U, hopefully we’ll see a increase in sales this Christmas… if not… please somebody save Bayonetta 2.

    #18 8 months ago
  19. Clupula

    Yup. Your typical Wii U discussion. All that’s missing is someone saying it’s doing better than the Vita.

    #19 8 months ago
  20. Legendaryboss

    Oh my! I missed the stealth edits. Stealth angry legion indeed.

    #20 8 months ago
  21. Francis O

    By the way, The Media Create is up. The Wii U is the top selling console in Japan.

    Let’s take a look at next year for Wii U:

    - Monolith Soft’s X (Monolith Soft, online RPG)
    - Bayonetta 2 (Platinum)
    - Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem (Atlus and Intelligent systems)
    - Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze (Retro)
    - Super Smash Bros for Wii U (Namco Bandai, Masahiro Sakurai, Nintendo)
    - Mario Kart 8 (EAD)
    - Zelda Wii U (EAD & Monolith Soft)
    - Fast Racing Neo (shin’en)

    That’s a pretty good line up.

    #21 8 months ago
  22. Clupula

    Or “Wait for Pikmin 3 Wind Waker Wondeful 101 Mario 3DW Donkey Kong Country to turn things around.”

    #22 8 months ago
  23. Fin

    Nintendo have always been conservative, but it’s really starting to become an issue. Saying “oh it doesn’t matter because Nintendo games are great” is completely missing the point. Is anyone really saying Mario Kart 8 (seriously, 8) is significantly different from the previous 7?

    People who love Nintendo will always buy Nintendo consoles, that’s obvious. It’s becoming increasingly irrelevant to the rest of the gaming population though, and without the casual Wii players to fill the game, it’s not going to be pretty.

    #23 8 months ago
  24. polygem

    @16: and who’s in denial exactly? noone says wiiu is doing fine. i absolutely don’t believe that the bad wiiu sales will harm nintedo as much in general as the doom faction wants to believe. that’s all really. no denial, at all. it’s called a discussion.

    #24 8 months ago
  25. Clupula

    Wait, no, someone already did it while I was typing that.

    As I said, typical Nintendo discussion.

    #25 8 months ago
  26. Legendaryboss

    Oh i almost forgot about damage control and cherrypicking.

    #26 8 months ago
  27. Clupula

    12 – I think you’re giving them too much credit to say they’re in puberty yet.

    #27 8 months ago
  28. Legendaryboss

    @24
    I’m not naming names but is it not obvious by now?

    #28 8 months ago
  29. Clupula

    You know what’s really going to turn around the Wii U? When they get MGS V. I have it on good authority (two people) that it’s going to be announced at E3. Mark my words. Now why are you all afraid to debate me about whether the Wii U or Xbox One will sell more this holiday season?

    #29 8 months ago
  30. polygem

    i love you clowns

    #30 8 months ago
  31. Fin

    @21

    Top selling with 28k units sold. 3DS XL sold 82k. 3DS sold 25k.

    Of your list, Smash Bros and Mario Kart are the only ones that appeal to an audience outside of a niche in the West (all the others are Japanese/smaller).

    Next year on nextgen:
    Destiny
    Watch Dogs
    Halo
    Infamous
    Order
    Driveclub
    Division
    The Crew
    Titanfall
    MGS5

    You think anything other than Mario Kart and Smash Bros (Zelda’s a rumour) will come close to any of their retail sales?

    Should point out that Watch Dogs is the only game of that list coming to Wii U.

    Wii U cannot survive on first party and niche games alone, without casuals.

    #31 8 months ago
  32. Legendaryboss

    @30
    Crows? Edit: Oh.

    #32 8 months ago
  33. Francis O

    Legendaryboss and Clupula – Brokeback buddies forever.

    Dudes don’t even like Nintendo….yet they are on ever Nintendo article.

    @21

    Watch Dogs is on Wii U as well
    Infamous has never been a big seller. No game has ever broke 4 million units sold.

    - DriveClub new IP, The Crew new IP Division new IP. You have no clue how they are going to do.

    Titanfall on PC and Xbox 360, Metal Gear on PS3, xbox 360, Destiny on PS3/Xbox 360
    You next gen is looking a lot like Current gen.

    I’m not saying the Wii U is going to beat Xbox and Sony. I’m just saying
    there are good games coming to Wii U. If you don’t want to play them fine, but don’t sit here and claim they are not relevant because they won’t sell enough. You have no clue

    #33 8 months ago
  34. polygem

    @32: that’s actually much more fitting…picking out the eyeballs of a dead horse.

    #34 8 months ago
  35. Clupula

    @31 – In fairness, I am starting to doubt if MGS V will come out next year. We know Ground Zeroes will, but I doubt the full game will make it so soon or Kojima wouldn’t have split it up like that.

    #35 8 months ago
  36. Legendaryboss

    @33
    And yet you can never prove it? Sad much? Broken record with claims without proof.

    #36 8 months ago
  37. Djoenz

    @17
    Gears of War is a bad example, but its still more mature than a pink fluffy thingy that can suck about anything and morph into something else.

    All those “Kiddy” games IMO should be held aside as a side dish and they should have invested in new IP’s. They might have severely changed the feel and gameplay of each title in the end its still Mario.

    Dont get me wrong they are very good games from what I have read and seen, but it does not make me want to get WiiU. Too expensive.

    This shows in the sales. The Wii worked for the family experience, but now tablets and phones have taken control and thus WiiU (quite expensive tbh) is there for the hardcore dedicated Nintendo fans that plays for the exclusives.

    The only way I will ever buy a WiiU is when they release a new Zelda fullblown rpg AND reduce the price significantly.

    #37 8 months ago
  38. dreamcastnews

    Everyone knows it’s doing shit. It’s always a constant reminder. I’m personally not bothered. I’ve got a PS4 and Wii U. I’ve got the best of both worlds.

    #38 8 months ago
  39. Clupula

    @32 – He said crows?!? My allegiance is to the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Ryder! Call me a crow again and I’ll wear your balls as a necklace, boy!

    #39 8 months ago
  40. Clupula

    @36 – If only you would have debated him…

    #40 8 months ago
  41. polygem

    @37: sure, i can understand that.
    it’s definitely also a matter of taste.
    i definitely have a soft spot for many nintendo games.
    they should really go for an affordable nintendobox+indies and scratch the third party completely.

    #41 8 months ago
  42. monkeygourmet

    EA / Ubisoft / Acti have MS & Sony by the balls when it comes to padding out release schedules / exclusive content deals.

    Both big companies scampering over themselves to tie up deals or DLC (MS being the main culprit) with the big boys.

    Sony is in a great position this gen as it not only has more powerful hardware (for better multiplats), but always works on a lot of new IP’s.

    MS is going to really struggle unless it starts getting it’s wallet out (which it can easily do – Titanfall).

    This means Nintendo is running on fuel they are creating themselves… The thing is, Im starting to hate a lot of EA / Ubi / Acti titles and they bullshit they are inserting into them.

    @Poly was bang on the money RE NFS Rivals. I bought this from Origin based on the Eurogamer review (huge fucking mistake), and it’s one of the most insulting, bullshit games i’ve ever played… Yet it still scored highly?!

    Riddled with advertising like menus, DLC, brofest bullshit… A true marketing wet dream of a game (I hate to even call it that). This is what you get when you rely on a company like EA to get big enough to dictate the ‘pace’ of things. Sim City, BF4 (Console bugs), NFS, Dead Space 3… The list goes on and on.

    Unfinished games / yearly roll outs, cash generators…

    The problem lies when as much as these studios release shitty products, you still ‘need’ them on your console to be relevant. Nintendo need multiplatform titles, even though they can be cancerous in many respects.

    BF4 on consoles is pretty shoddy and broken: it still sells
    COD Ghosts is a joke: it still sells

    But, trying to survive without these titles is very tough. It’s not even like it’s possible on Wii U (power issue), so in that respect they are fucked.

    But, even if they had made a more powerful console , it would be an uphill struggle because people view the brand as childish or for kids. Why would I play COD on a powerful next gen Nintendo machine when I could play it on Xbox / PS? I just don’t see a huge amount of people jumping ship just because Nintendo puts out a more powerful machine.

    So, again. Stuck between a rock and a bigger rock.

    All the while, there games continue to score highly and be universally praised (they have 2 of the highest rated titles out this Xmas – Mario / Zelda).

    Gaming has truely arrived and become mainstream. The suits have their foot in the door and out of blindness? stubborness? or whatever, Nintendo is not in the same meeting room as MS / Sony.

    I feel they are the difficult, thorn in your side kind of company that people want to get rid of. They just don’t fit in with a future that companies like EA / Acti can see, and the direction they want to take gaming. They haven’t complied or got the memo.

    After observing the 3 main console companies, I can’t honestly say I don’t like where MS / Sony are going with their consoles, hence why the PC has become my choice for next gen. Sure it’s an illusion of freedom, but STEAM is still miles ahead of what Sony / MS could ever offer, price and contentwise.

    As many times as I see an article / opinion dooming Nintendo (this one excluded), I see 5 regarding microtransactions / F2P and advertising in the next generation. All these things are more harmful to the gaming landscape IMO, and the 2 new ‘next gen’ machines are set up to perform excellently in these areas.

    It’s not something I can say Im looking forward too. Give me a highly polished, thoughtful, bug free, fun Mario game any day, over Forza 5 £55 F2P DLC fest…

    #42 8 months ago
  43. polygem

    @38+1

    same here!

    #43 8 months ago
  44. polygem

    @39: i didn’t. i said clows, then edited to clowns. the rest was legendaryfantasy :)

    #44 8 months ago
  45. monkeygourmet

    btw

    Brenna gets another 1000+ comment article :)

    #45 8 months ago
  46. Francis O

    Brenna, what are the sales of Super Mario 3D World in the US?

    Did you exclude them to attempt to make your point?

    #46 8 months ago
  47. Clupula

    @37 – Exactly. It’s like Nintendo regressed over the years since they lost Rare. Remember when Nintendo were associated with Killer Instinct and Perfect Dark and Goldeneye and even Conker?

    Now, they’re seen as the company that just shits out Michael Jackson’s wet dreams. Mario was tiring in 1993, nevermind in 2013.

    Although, I will say if they did a drastic price reduction, and I mean like $150 for the 32GB, I would definitely pick up the system when X, Bayonetta 2, or Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem came out. At $150, it becomes an impulse buy and a nice tertiary system.

    #47 8 months ago
  48. Clupula

    @44 – Aye! Don’t be tryin’ ta fool me, boy! I know a Welsh accent when I reads ‘un!

    #48 8 months ago
  49. Fin

    @33

    None of the games you listed make me remotely excited, or make me want to buy a Wii U.
    It’s telling that the only one that piques my interest (Smash Bros) is the fourth iteration of a game first released in 1999 :/

    #49 8 months ago
  50. polygem

    “Now, they’re seen as the company that just shits out Michael Jackson’s wet dreams.”

    haha, that one made me laugh out loud! good one!

    #50 8 months ago
  51. salarta

    Good article.

    Nintendo has a LOT of things they need to do to turn things around, but the biggest and easiest way for Nintendo to head back in the right direction really is to get more meaningful titles on the console. Getting major multiplat games from other companies is no longer an option aside from the rare few that will be on PS3 instead of PS4, and that’s only one part of a whole picture. Nintendo likes to drag out its title offerings, but I’m sure that they don’t have only one development team working on all Nintendo properties, so they can afford to have more than one major first-party game come out relatively close to each other.

    If Nintendo had a handful of games people wanted to play that didn’t already have cheaper or better versions on other consoles, the Wii U would have at least decent sales even though the controller is pure pointless gimmick.

    Nintendo’s main conceit with regard to their catalog is to think that they only need to put out one game per year that people want to play, and that one game per year can come a year after the system launches.

    Sony and Microsoft aren’t stupid enough to do that. Each of the companies tried to make a big deal about their catalog, and despite all the terrible things we know about Microsoft’s past attitude toward video game consumers and where the system’s lacking, XBox One is still doing well and in many cases better than the PS4 sales-wise specifically because of the catalog. I know people that want or are getting an XBox One solely because they heard it has a better selection of games.

    I tend to harp on the Operation Rainfall circumstances, but I do so because it highlights Nintendo’s biggest problem: they’re slow or reluctant to offer the content people want. The new Mario game may be good, it looks good and like something I’d want to play, but I’m not going to pay $250 to play one game then watch the system sit there for another year gathering dust until another game comes out like I put up with for the Wii.

    #51 8 months ago
  52. Djoenz

    @42
    Great post +100.
    @44
    LegendaryFantasy xD

    @47
    Exactly! GoldenEye, Killerinstinct. Man I even remember TMNT, Double Dragon…these days mario mario luigi and mario..

    Tiresome.

    #52 8 months ago
  53. Dragon

    Ladies and gentlemen, in this edition of “What shalt save my beloved Wii U“, your options are-


    1. Nintendo!
    2. MMOs
    3. NSMB U
    3. Pikmin 3
    4. New IPs like Wonderful 101
    5. Another price cut
    6. SM3DW

    7. Mario Kart
    8. SSB
    9. Another price cut
    10.*Insert random point here*

    Wii U is DEAD. It will be GC 2 and nothing more in terms of sales.
    However, that shouldn’t deter anyone from enjoying whatever they like.

    Dear Iwata, please understand that you are doing a shitty job and Wii U will sell 9 million till March 2014 in your dreams.

    Ninty cannot compete with MS or Sony in home console market in a traditional way, that was the writing on the wall more than a decade ago with GC.
    Now, its pertinent to point out that both Wii and Wii U are born out of that same thought process of trying to make exotic gimmicky hardware. But the cardinal sin ninty committed the Wii U is that it wasn’t as cheap as Wii. Even ninty was surprised with the Wii sales. But thing is, such things are generally one trick pony, as the Wii was. Ninty is now realising it with Wii U.

    Nintys day in home console are numbered. There next gimmicky hardware may or may not sell, no one can predict that. But rest assured, unlike MS and Sony, any success ninty will get in home console market from here on wont be a success by design which Sony and MS will enjoy, but it will be success by sheer luck, based on whether their next gimmick will be a fad or a dud.

    @Brenna,
    +1. Great post. However , it will ruffle some rather sensitive feathers here.

    #53 8 months ago
  54. polygem

    yeah, great post mg!
    i’m out now, a dragon appeared…

    #54 8 months ago
  55. Djoenz

    Zelda plus major price cut. Also I want to try Xenoblade..heard some delicious things about it. Is the WiiU BC???? :O

    #55 8 months ago
  56. Bomba Luigi

    I liked the Game Cube, and I like the WiiU. How good they sale… I don’t really care.

    Of course, when it ends in a Dreamcast Situation I do care, becasue it was the End for Sega in the Consoles Business, and that was bad thing. But Nintendo will be fine. They Survive and make a new Console one Day, and it all starts again. People scream for doom and all that stuff.

    Edit: @55: Yes, it is BC. But you still need some Wii Controllers to play it.

    #56 8 months ago
  57. monkeygourmet

    @52,54

    Ta!

    @Poly

    To be fair, he did add:

    “However, that shouldn’t deter anyone from enjoying whatever they like.”

    Which is better. Patronising, but better.

    Edit:

    aww, scratch that, he did an edit and spoiled it somewhat.

    @55

    Yep, fully B/C with Wii. And, if your into games, the Wii U blazes the PS4 / X1 (it’s had enough of a headstart!) and will prob continue to build well into next year.

    #57 8 months ago
  58. Djoenz

    Ok thx for answering man. I might buy a Wii if they are dirt cheap…and Xenoblade.

    @57
    I might as well get a WiiU then hmmm interesting.

    #58 8 months ago
  59. Legendaryboss

    Legendaryfantasy? Interesting…

    #59 8 months ago
  60. game_on

    I don’t dig this article. What if Nintendo indeed did what the competition does? Then we would have 3 mediocre consoles trying to emulate a PC. Two is enough. Rather let them do what they do best, quality will sell eventually. Or not.

    #60 8 months ago
  61. Legendaryboss

    Oh i see someone couldn’t prove their claims so when onto to continue attacking the article, how classy and evasive. EDIT: Directed to Francis.

    #61 8 months ago
  62. monkeygourmet

    @Dragon

    “But rest assured, unlike MS and Sony, any success ninty will get in home console market from here on wont be a success by design which Sony and MS will enjoy, but it will be success by sheer luck, based on whether their next gimmick will be a fad or a dud.”

    You’ve basically just described what happens when huge corperations buy into something (as Sony / MS have done).

    Sony / MS can ‘design’ success because they control most of the media ‘surrounding’ that vision.

    Nintendo havn’t got that luxary because it’s the last GAMES company standing. It can’t subsidise or hide behind other products as much.

    Sony / MS have launched consoles with designs to media tie-up / format monopoly etc… “PS3, best on Sony Bravia 3DTV!” And you talk like thats a GOOD thing?

    Nintendo keeps people on their toes by operating outside of these areas, and having them within this environment helps the games industry, as much as some big companies would like to see them gone. I see them as keeping the wolf from the door in some respects.

    I feel your lust for corperate success stories and business monopoly may blind you to the dangers that can bring.

    A market containing only MS / Sony (Maybe Apple or whoever) would be bad for gaming and the consumer IMO. We all know what success they want to ‘design’. Control for your living room space. Thats hardly anything to do with games anymore…

    #62 8 months ago
  63. game_on

    @61
    The article is not very good. It’s a lot of I-told-you-so, old-fashioned Nintendo bashing and Captain Hindsight yada-yada.

    #63 8 months ago
  64. Legendaryboss

    @63
    BTW i wasn’t referring to you.

    #64 8 months ago
  65. game_on

    @64
    I know that. Still don’t like the article.

    #65 8 months ago
  66. monkeygourmet

    @58

    It’s a great little console. Nothing more, nothing less. It won’t let you do loads of media shit, but it’s pretty ad free (maybe completly?), free online and just plays GAMES! :)

    The pad thing always makes me laugh. “Derp, what is it? I don’t understand? Derp! Gimmick! Derp!”

    It’s really fucking comfortable, thats what it is. It’s really comfortable for chilling with, playing a game. Bonus being; the screen can be used for off screen play if wanted, drawing, whatever. It’s a good bonus to an already comfortble pad.

    Miiverse (the name might put people off), has a fantastic community. Helpful, friendly and FUN!!!

    1000′s upon 1000′s of amazing works of art (and growing everyday):

    http://wiiudaily.com/2013/01/awesome-wii-u-miiverse-drawings/

    Why people can’t see the creativity and community spirit this brings is beyond me. Even if you can’t draw, people are always making jokes and referencing GAMES on all systems (it’s not just a Nintendo love in). It’s a fun place to browse and contribute too.

    This feature in itself merits the systems existance IMO. Allowing young / older people a quick an easy platform to get art work and tips / tricks out there.

    #66 8 months ago
  67. DarkElfa

    What Nintendo needs to do is wait a few years, release a more advanced, powerful, but easy to program for console than the current PS4 and XBone.

    Then they need to court popular developers, work with western marketing, break out of their arrogant stride of isolationism and break out of the “kid-friendly” mold it’s fashioned for itself.

    There isn’t any reason they can’t still make hardware or keep their library of first party games to themselves. MS wouldn’t release Halo for PS4, would they? No and Big N shouldn’t have to whore out the goods either.

    The console market has always been theirs to lose and lose it they have on many occasions. Sony and Microsoft never once beat Nintendo, they just lucked out that Nintendo shot itself in the leg so many times it became impossible to lose to them.

    I’m afraid that won’t be the case from now on though. Ninty always survived because the majority of gamers out their wanted them to live and remembered them fondly from their childhoods. That isn’t true anymore. Now, the majority of gamers are those who grew up on Sony and X-Box and never once owned Nintendo hardware.

    #67 8 months ago
  68. dreamcastnews

    The biggest problems are digital triggers (massive, massive mistake) poor battery performance from the GamePad and lack of the ability to remove the pad from my machine and stream to it via wifi. Those things should have been included. Multitouch? Not so much.

    It’s a decent console for what it is, it isn’t for everyone but I strongly believe that another price cut later next year with a stream of software will help it (not save it) help it.

    I’m sorry if anyone sees that as deluded or fanboy-esque.

    #68 8 months ago
  69. DarkElfa

    @68 I think all of your points and suggestions are valid ones.

    I didn’t even know the triggers were digital. WTF?

    #69 8 months ago
  70. Doppleganger

    making their games for Sony and Microsoft would make the sell in the millions….that would help.
    stick to making just the Gameboy/3DS line.

    #70 8 months ago
  71. Dark

    Wii U is a decent console but the X1/PS4 offer a bigger library of games and a better online service.

    It’s just simple as that.

    #71 8 months ago
  72. Legendaryboss

    @68
    Nah you commented and embraced the problems while remaining optimistic. Also @69.

    #72 8 months ago
  73. dreamcastnews

    @72 I try and keep it as real as possible. It’s a decent potential machine with more than a few potentially fatal flaws

    #73 8 months ago
  74. Djoenz

    @66
    I saw ghost in the shell and Frieza, but I hope they didnt just draw over a official pic that would be cheating. I did that once hhha.
    Amazing nonetheless.

    Im digging that!

    #74 8 months ago
  75. Ditg

    Wii U is what the Wii should have been back in the day (graphically).
    Wii sold 100 million + so Nintendo is not hurting.
    The fact they made their next gen console just a little bit beefier was the downfall. Nobody wants to buy a system that is going to be inferior in specs down the road (and that road’s end is in sight).
    Innovation can only take you so far. People want the graphics to dazzle them and then be inspired with something new.
    Let’s face it…the Nintendo magic is gone. They are not going to bow out anytime soon with the McDuck money bin in reserve but I can’t believe they thought inferiority would strike twice in a row.

    #75 8 months ago
  76. manamana

    @42 applause! Great comment and many great points!

    #76 8 months ago
  77. mistermogul

    @42 – Well said mate.

    #77 8 months ago
  78. antraxsuicide

    I really and truly think the Wii U is dead. It’s just got no chance in my opinion, and here’s why.

    This holiday will mark 2 and a half years since the Wii U was announced. And look at the 1st party games released (or even announced): it’s so bare for that much development time that it’s embarrassing. Why is the lineup from Nintendo so barren for all that time?

    They’ve lost their touch in my opinion. I don’t really care if a game is good quality if it takes years to see an announcement trailer. That’s not enough to keep a sustainable library of games. Smash Bros, for instance, will probably be great, but is it good enough to justify having to own the console for almost 2 years to play it? And how long after that for the next game? 2 more years?

    #78 8 months ago
  79. Bomba Luigi

    @78: If you wanna play Smash Bros a 3DS will do it! That System is 100% worth the Money.

    #79 8 months ago
  80. antraxsuicide

    @79 Yes, I in no way think the 3DS is doomed. And being able to play Smash Bros on a cheaper, better system is more fuel to my “Wii U is dead” opinion.

    #80 8 months ago
  81. fihar

    Thinking that quality is the only ingredient needed for success is naive, sadly.

    If this was the music or the film industry, where you can create quality works with even the minimum amount of money available, it’d be okay but having to design, manufacture, and sell a $400 a console just so that you could spend another millions of dollars to develop games that could help sell that aforementioned console is a huge investment, which is why third-parties are necessary, because there’s absolutely no way you can keep people satisfied by only releasing first-party titles, no matter how great they are, on a somewhat lengthy interval.

    I mean, it’s not like Nintendo is completely free from questionable business practices themselves.
    Wind Waker HD is priced at 50 bucks for example. That’s right, you’d only get a single HD touch-up after paying that exorbitant price. Yes, that game was great, even though it was far from my favorite Zelda, but is it really worth the asking price? People were slightly peeved when MGS HD was released for that same price, and that was 2 great PS2 game bundled with 1 great handheld game (which worked better as portable title tbh) but suddenly it’s okay when it’s Zelda?
    And then there’s the Pokemon Bank. A companion app for X & Y that is priced at 5 bucks a year. So yeah, cross-generation transfer, a feature that used to be free in previous games is now locked behind a frickin’ paywall. Sure, you’d get a nice cloud-storage as a bonus but what if I don’t need one? Yes, I know that this is something that could probably stay on for future Pokemon games but right now it’s just simply another way of Nintendo making me pay to see Zekrom in XY’s glorious graphic engine.

    What I’m trying to say is that sure, Sony and especially Microsoft is hard at work trying to find more clever ways to dig into your wallet but don’t you dare suggest to me that Nintendo is somehow immune to the same impulse because surprise, surprise! They’re not.

    #81 8 months ago
  82. stealth

    This article is nonsense. Wii U doesnt need saving. This article is hit bate

    #82 8 months ago
  83. stealth

    “Even in Japan, Super Mario 3D World failed to top the charts, selling less than Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 which, may I remind you, sold less than a third of the original Final Fantasy 13. Nintendo needs western markets.”

    PS3 has 8 years of install base……..why use fact?

    #83 8 months ago
  84. Joe Musashi

    Bemoaning what mainstream acceptance does to industry is not going to change a thing. Gamers need to learn a lesson about being careful what they wish for.

    Industry. Lets see. Does industry adapt itself to suit a company that belongs to it? Or do companies need to adapt to the demands of the industry direction? What, I wonder, happens to those companies that don’t evolve at the rate dictated by the industry they operate in?

    Let me write you a passionate essay on how the mobile phone industry is a dispicable place and what it has done to those of us that simply want to make a phone call and send the occasional text. Why do we need all these ‘apps’ ? What is wrong with my Nokia 3310? Apple and Samsung and Blackberry are “at the mercy of” (such emotiveness, wow much melodrama, very feeling) app developers and the wonderful purity of being able to have a device that focused on the important task of making a phonecall without updated its OS or syncing its contacts is lost. Nobody asked for colour screens and higher resolutions in this unnecessary tech arms race! Oh woe.

    And operating systems? What’s wrong with MS DOS? I don’t need a damn paint package or internet browser or all this other guff in my operating system. Let me just have the purity of the low-level command-line system and talks to the zeroes and ones of my hard disk. This dilution of operating systems, with their add on features, and updates – it’s horrible. It’s not pure. It’s corrupted the original vision simply because they can’t survive with what is now considered standard practice by the world’s consumers. The bastards. Let them learn how to manage conventional, extended and expanded memory the hard way. Like it should be done.

    You know what?

    If you want to complain about the direction of evolution then you go right ahead. Go and crawl back into the primordial soup and find some way to preach about the importance and purity of the single-cell organism – without your evolved arms, legs or mouth and ears. Evolution is wrong. Down with the bits of evolution that I don’t like. Boo!

    You want industry or evolution to change because you’re nostalgic or don’t know how to practice free will? You want it to change because, well, you liked the dinosaurs but they just didn’t fucking adapt and evolve at the speed the world around them dictated? You think the rules of the world at large need to change based on whims and narrow-minded perception so the things you like can stay as you like them because… well… just because?

    No. That’s not how it works.

    Adapt or die.

    JM

    #84 8 months ago
  85. stealth

    “But the damn thing still isn’t selling, is it? As of September, Nintendo confessed that just 3.91 million units had shipped worldwide. Shipped, not sold.”

    Its sold close to 5 million at this point.

    Super Mario 3d World DID sell well. Any notion to the contrary is insane and pretty close to trolling given the wii u install base.

    At Launch Mario U sold 20x what knack did. Its a matter of the system

    #85 8 months ago
  86. Cobra951

    Adapt, or just keep using my LG flip phone until Verizon no longer supports it. It’s still working fine after 6 years. :)

    #86 8 months ago
  87. antraxsuicide

    @85 Link? Because the highest estimate (from a site that I hate to use) puts it at 4 million. http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

    And 3D World sold like crap. Just under 400K units is abysmal for a Mario title. Hell, it’s abysmal for any title that comes with a AAA budget.

    #87 8 months ago
  88. monkeygourmet

    @JM

    I think you are wrong playing the ‘evolution’ card when describing certain directions of the gaming business / landscape.

    The word evolution is used generally when something has improved / adapted to survive in an ever changing environment.

    The thing is, in this instance (and many other media industries), the environment is shaped and controlled by large share holders and big companies.

    I wouldn’t call what MS / Sony have achieved as evolution of a product. I would call it an attempt at monopolising and control over consumers media consumption. The Xbox hasn’t evolved, it’s just now reaching it’s ultimate state for better or worse.

    I don’t think you can have ‘planned evolution’. Sony’s attempts at media domination using consoles as trojan horse’s was also planned. It was a conscious effort, again not what I would call evolution.

    By the way, i’m not saying Nintendo would be any different here, especially if they had the chance. As @81 (fihar) has pointed out, they are by no means innocent.

    The simple fact is, they don’t have other resources like Sony or MS to achieve this style of saturation.

    #88 8 months ago
  89. Joe Musashi

    Ain’t no-one larger and more powerful than the consumer.

    JM

    #89 8 months ago
  90. fearmonkey

    @68 – Like Dark, I didn’t realize the triggers were digital, that’s a bad decision, surprised they would do that.

    I also agree with you that a price cut will go a long way to help the Wii-u, the question is though, how much of a cut?

    Is it better to kill the unit like Sega did with the dreamcast if they end up losing too much money due to cuts? I would imagine that $250 wouldn’t be that bad of a cut, but it would probably do very well around $200, but would that be too much?

    #90 8 months ago
  91. monkeygourmet

    @89

    Thats true. I would also argue that the consumer is pretty much on autopilot now.

    Advertising and it’s implementation has become so successful predicting trends or when to tap into the ‘vein’ has never been easier.

    That huge consumer force can be steered pretty effectively now, and all it’s left for companies like MS / Sony to do is see how hard they can tighten the bolts before it makes people too uncomfortable.

    Xbone U Turns being an example. Yay! The consumer has a voice, we won against MS! Yet we still ended up with Forza 5′s MT’s at full price. It’s a poisoned chalice.

    People are already in complete acceptance of broken games that don’t work at launch… On a CONSOLE!!! something that’s sole purpose is to be plug and play. Games are released broken and patched sometimes months later (or never, Hitmans save deletion bug on 360 for example).

    Thats when you know things are pretty fucked. It becomes the norm. Just like other bad practices, then people forget and accept it.

    Thats not adapting, it’s just having contempt for people who have supported the industry in my book.

    #91 8 months ago
  92. Djoenz

    If you cant beat them join them.

    #92 8 months ago
  93. monkeygourmet

    @92

    At least wait till some better games come out first, then crumble like a spineless jellyfish and buy 2 Xbones! :D

    #93 8 months ago
  94. Djoenz

    @MG
    Oh Im not buying a “next gen” system anytime soon. Also Im a Playstation fanboy so no Xbox One for me ever. Hopefully a buddy of mine gets it so I can play Titanfall etc.

    Im off for now. Continuing my Fringe marathon via Plex with a red bull and a smoke. Ta Ta. Magic.

    #94 8 months ago
  95. stealth

    @87

    Dont use VG chartz. And given the install base, that is great for a 3d title

    #95 8 months ago
  96. Phoenixblight

    @95

    There are actual reports saying they only shipped 4 million units. ANd a Mario game only doing 400k is absolutely horrible. You would expect as much from a new IP that wasn’t marketed not Mario.

    #96 8 months ago
  97. Dragon

    @JM (#84),
    +1
    The future is decided by your wallet. PS4 and X1 are a part of it, Wii U isn’t.

    ___________________________

    Of course, moaning about “my choice is greater than masses” gives some fanboys a hard on, not surprising.

    Oh, and “Its sold close to 5 million at this point.” is utter bs. Wii U, by best case scenario, is around 4 million mark. Its was at 3.91 million till October.

    #97 8 months ago
  98. Bomba Luigi

    I spent money for PC and Nintendo, but the Future belongs to PS4 and Xbox. My Wallet means shit ^^

    #98 8 months ago
  99. monkeygourmet

    @98

    Yep! :)

    #99 8 months ago
  100. Bomba Luigi

    And I have a Vita, but not a PS4 – What does that mean?!

    #100 8 months ago
  101. Legendaryboss

    I’m the Wonderful 101 ;)

    #101 8 months ago
  102. monkeygourmet

    @101

    I don’t know what that means… It wasn’t advertised anywhere… :)

    #102 8 months ago
  103. Legendaryboss

    Oh my this article is on Neogaf and N4G, spreading around.

    #103 8 months ago
  104. lexph3re

    Times like these on VG247 reminds me that out of the millions of gamers that play games. There are a vocal few hundred that complain on websites like this and a even smaller amount that bring up silly things with a few co-signers. All the while I turn around and look at my collections of games thinking…”Why even get involved in this crap with such a huge back catalog?”

    #104 8 months ago
  105. zoobie

    Personally, I like the Wii U, but I understand the predicament Nintendo is in. PS4 and XB1 are very similar power and architecture wise. If Nintendo did what a lot of people say–namely, build a console that matches Sony and MS, who will buy it? It would be nothing more than a “me, too” console and most people would say, “there’s no way the online will be as good, or the community as large.” If Nintendo brings nothing different to the table, then why exist?

    But, I also believe Sony when they say they need Nintendo to be a feeder console. Like any ecosystem, if the one part of the ecosystem dies, it can kill the entire ecosystem. Neither Sony nor MS did anything with their new consoles to attract a new crowd–it’s just more of the same to sell to the base. Meanwhile, the next generation of gamers is more likely to use an iPhone or Chromecast that can connect to the TV to play games in HD in the future.

    #105 8 months ago
  106. stealth

    IGN today had a much more balanced view of the system

    #106 8 months ago
  107. cacadj2000

    Then why in Japan it was the second most sold that month.

    Hardware Sales (followed by last week’s sales)
    3DS LL – 82,409 (63,709)
    Wii U – 28,518 (21,002)
    3DS – 25,964 (20,797)
    PlayStation Vita – 20,202 (21,044)
    PlayStation 3 – 13,311 (12,436)
    PlayStation Vita TV – 5,391 (7,868)
    PSP – 4,232 (3,546)
    Wii – 588 (457)
    Xbox 360 – 309 (342)

    #107 8 months ago
  108. Bowser

    @#105, they don’t need to build a console that “matches” Sony and Microsoft. They should wait about four years, riding out the Wii U, and then put out a system MORE powerful than PS4/One, years before Sony or Microsoft are going to be willing to put a new console on the market. Something where their third party games will actually be the superior versions rather than the inferior versions. They haven’t had the best hardware in the game since the Super Nintendo. I love the Big N, but they need to stop trying to downplay the importance of the architecture’s strength. That’s what’s killing them. Put out a system in 2017 or so that’s the most powerful one on the market, have strong software available AT LAUNCH, make it Wii U backwards compatible so all the people who haven’t picked up a Wii U now have a back catalog of games they missed as an extra incentive for a new system, package it with a Pro Controller so the third parties can rely on everyone who had the system having a standardized gaming controller… the shit would sell, man.

    #108 8 months ago
  109. Diingo

    Nintendo has one last opportunity to recreate themselves — or else they’ll end up like Sega.

    #109 8 months ago
  110. stalepie

    They don’t seem to be after the same market at all so the comparisons seem completely wrong. People think about the systems different too because of who they appeal to. Unless Nintendo is losing a lot of money making the Wii U and Wii U games then I don’t think they have a lot to worry about.

    Just look at businesses as: “are they profitable? do they have enough money in the bank to stay afloat?” Instead people see it as a race where there’s only one or two winners. They completely neglect the fact that most industries have many people competing, some as much smaller businesses, yet they stay around for decades.

    Even in Nintendo’s own history you can probably say, “there were other card makers. It wasn’t just a few companies in Japan that made cards.” In electronics, cars, clothes, etc., there’s dozens of companies. Does Fiat go out of business because they’re not selling as many as Honda or Toyota? Why isn’t Captain D’s out of business when they don’t sell as many meals as McDonalds? etc

    Nintendo makes games for kids. Captain D’s makes delicious fish strips. Burger King (Microsoft) makes tasty burgers (first person shooters). Captain D’s doesn’t make first person shooters.

    :)

    #110 8 months ago
  111. stealth

    Nintendo is fine

    #111 8 months ago
  112. CPC_RedDawn

    They need to reveal a new handheld by 2015 for release in 2016 to get the buzz going around it.

    Make it the same design as the PSPGO (just wait I am going somewhere with this). Partner with Mobile Phone providers and start using Android for the OS. You use it like a normal phone with the screen being the main UI.

    Then once you turn in horizontal and push the screen up to reveal the buttons and “sticks” the phone becomes a Nintendo Console. The Android OS could be put into sleep mode in the background whilst you play games only waking up when you get a text message, phone call or notification, etc.

    Include online play through Wifi, Wifi direct, etc. Also include your ENTIRE back catalog of games from the NES, SNES, N64, GB, GBC, GBA, and if its possible GC. Make these games COMPLETELY FREE but they are only uncluded with certain price tariff from your mobile provider or something like that. Kind of like PS+ or Xbox Live.

    Finally get third party on board, make cheaper games, make new games, new IP, new characters.

    This thing WOULD SELL!!

    Sure it would have some stiff competition from Samsung, Apple, etc. But seriously, Nintendo may have missed the ball with this one. If they had done something like this sooner they could of dominated the smartphone market. With their brand recognition being so strong people would of brought this in a heart beat or signed up to a contract.

    #112 8 months ago
  113. Clupula

    @107 – Uh, that’s week. Not month.

    #113 8 months ago
  114. Clupula

    @112 – That would definitely sell, but if you offered every previous gen Nintendo game for free, they’d lose a metric shit ton of money.

    Yeah, PS+ gives you three or four free games per month, but it doesn’t make every single game on the PS3 free.

    #114 8 months ago

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