Nintendo America boss says Wii U isn’t struggling

Monday, 23rd June 2014 10:58 GMT By Dave Cook

Wii U isn’t struggling, according to Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime, who has said that the console has a long life ahead of it.


It follows word that Nintendo 64 games are coming to Wii U Virtual Console soon.

In a Kotaku interview, it was proposed that Wii U has been struggling to capture new owners, to which Fils-Aime replied, “I wouldn’t use that word.”

“We’ve been very clear that the number of games that we’ve launched essentially July through the end of last year,” he continued, “a number of those games we had hoped they would be launch window games, everything from Pikmin to Wii Party U, we wanted all of that content to launch much sooner.

“Our belief is that software is what drives hardware and if that would have come earlier we might be having a different conversation. But the fact is we are where we are.”

Earlier this month it was revealed that the launch of Mario Kart 8 helped Wii U console sales quadruple, making it a system seller in the true sense of the term. It shows that the right software can indeed help gamers flock to a specific format, as Fils-Aime suggests.

When Kotaku asked Fils-Aime if the best option might be to ditch Wii U then start over quickly with something new, he replied, “No. And the reason I say that is because we believe the Wii U has a very long life ahead of it. It’s got great content coming that will help define the platform.”

“There’s been only one platform that has been anything close to the Wii level of long-term success,” he added. “Just look at home consoles. There aren’t many home consoles that do north of 100m units.”

Back in May, it was revealed that some 6.17 million Wii U consoles had been sold – before Mario Kart 8 launched – and this places it ahead of Xbox one sales, which were 5 million at last official count, but behind Sony at 7 million.

Bear in mind that it’s been a while since all firms updated their numbers so these may be different at the time of writing. It;s also worth noting that Wii U has been out a lot longer than both new-gen systems.

What do you make of Wii U? Is it struggling, or is it just waiting for more killer software?



  1. larasactua

    LOL thats a good joke. made my week

    #1 6 months ago

    I like Nintendo and always hope they do well but disagree strongly here.

    They had a good E3 but other than die hard Nintendo fans (myself included) they didn’t do enough to execute and really sell the platform.

    Most Wii gamers won’t see the value of a £200 purchase to get the next Mario, that’s more a core incentive. They need a killer app soon or the Wii-U is going yo struggle worse.

    The Wii U is doing poor when compared to the PS4 and Xbox One. Probably still a relevant third choice for now but whether or not it’ll stay that way I’m unsure.

    Rival platforms haven’t had a host of content but it is coming, magic 2015 but they do so well at filling launch gaps with third party titles, Nintendo don’thave that and always seem to have gaps of emptiness in there line-ups.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. polygem

    it will definitely pick up some steam in 2015 and 2016. it´s a great system. the wiiu wont become a megahit nintendo console but it will become a solid success – i have always believed that and not becasue i am a nintendo fan but because i am a fan of the great changes nintendo have made with the wiiu and the 3ds and the direction they are heading to. these 2 systems are among the best they have ever made imo, despite the disappointing wiiu sales.
    people who have literally written the wiiu off already will have to eat their words at some point.
    this console cycle will go on for a few years. it´s depressing that the kids shout out the winners and losers within the first year all the time..but what can you do?

    #3 6 months ago
  4. The_Red

    They had a decent E3 after years and suddenly are back to the self-denial and “Wii U will sell 9 million this year!” levels of stupidity.

    Saying Wii U can have a long life is ok and there are a lot of execs that dodge some negative words but outright denying that Wii U is struggling (as Reggie did in response to Kotaku) is just dumb and insulting.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Legendaryboss

    Struggling? 61k in March (US), Less than 20k (JP) and drops and around 11k in the UK. Nintendo have reached the point where the software is mainly selling to the Wii U fanbase and not much more outside that. Like @2 mentioned and explained well.

    The problem isn’t the software, its the gap between them = momentum issues. The problem isn’t a lack of games but a lack of third party support = vital. Those are three key problems.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    Is it struggling though? certainly its underperformed, but 5 mill ain’t chump change.

    Its a competivley priced entry level console for all ages , has half a dozen decent exclusives & more to come.

    Lack of 3rd party support would worry me, but as there Annualising themselves to death, it s not a huge concern.

    #6 6 months ago
  7. kingy

    I bought one a couple of weeks ago mario cart 8 did it for me and I got a free download game of zelda hd which is a grate promotion that I’ve not heard anywhere advertised there were 8 good games to chose from

    #7 6 months ago
  8. Dragon

    Another gem presented to you by the guy who said this-

    “The dirty little secret is if you look at life-to-date numbers, between Sony and Nintendo they’d be pretty close in terms of PS4 vs. Wii U, with Xbox coming in third place. I think it’s going to be a three-horse race for the balance of this cycle.”

    Wii U is an utter fail and will probably be the worst selling ninty home console ever. So yeah, no silver lining.

    #8 6 months ago
  9. ArithonUK

    “Nintendo America boss says Wii U isn’t struggling” I think he means “Nintendo America boss says Wii U isn’t selling”.
    The only thing gathering more dust than the vacuum cleaners at most electronics shops are the Wii U’s.
    Good or bad doesn’t matter. Nobody is buying them. They’ve sold 6.17M worldwide – that’s four million less than the Dreamcast, three million less than the Saturn.
    BUT a million more than the XBOX One!! So they’re still number two in the current console generation! It isn’t all bad news for Nintendo. Somebody is doing worse than them.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. Clupula

    I feel like Reggie missed his calling as one of those cops who tells people, outside an accident, “Move along. Move along. Nothing to see here.”

    #10 6 months ago
  11. PSOCecil

    Well, week-over-week, it IS outselling the Xbox One, and nobody’s doom-and-gloom’ing about that thing.

    #11 6 months ago
  12. Legendaryboss

    @PSOCecil Dooming the Xbox One? Have you been in a coma since its reveal? Besides its just a million or so behind Wii U, with only a few months on the market compared Wii U’s 18 months .

    #12 6 months ago
  13. OrbitMonkey

    Shit guys, just cuz your not buying it, don’t make it a bad thing :)

    Personally I reckon it’ll chug along nicely, with a new console announced for 2018-19.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. Bomba Luigi

    Am I the only one who has to think at that chap?:

    I mean, I still love Nintendo and even like my WiiU but it clearly isnt doing all that well on the market.

    #14 6 months ago
  15. fearmonkey

    I finally met someone that owns a Wii-u, and they told me they played their Xbox 360 more, and was hoping for a Xbox One by the end of this year. Of all the gaming people I know, ONE person owns a Wii-u, and it’s not their main gaming system of choice. This person is also 7 years old lol.

    #15 6 months ago
  16. Clupula

    @fearmonkey The only person I know with a Wii U got it for her now-9 year old son for Mario Kart. Mario Kart is the first title she’s actually picked up.

    #16 6 months ago
  17. polygem

    playing metal gear isn´t more mature than playing mario kart. not at all.

    #17 6 months ago
  18. Game Hunter

    @Legendaryboss that’s the can’t buy Super Mario X and play it for Y times until the next Zelda or Mario game comes out next year or 8 months.I bought Fable Anniversary, do I have to play it Z times until Forza Horizon releases in September which is 3 months away from now?no,I can play Dark Souls 2,Watch Dogs,Wolfenstein,Bound By Flame etc. So the gap is a major issue and that is why Nintendo needs 3rd party support.

    #18 6 months ago
  19. Game Hunter

    @polygem that’s only your opinion.

    #19 6 months ago
  20. OrbitMonkey

    ^ Well duh!

    You think the rest of these comments are facts?

    Wait… let me guess… the ones you AGREE with are facts right?

    And the games you LIKE are more mature too, yeah?


    #20 6 months ago
  21. salarta

    The Wii U is obviously struggling. It’ll get better with the games shown in this year’s Nintendo Direct coming out, but it’s still not going to be in as good of shape as Sony. Unsure about Microsoft, the DRM policy and Kinect stuff did a lot of damage to them.

    Nintendo needs a lot of pieces. They need third-party support, BUT they also do very much need their first-party games as the starting point. It’s a mix. If you have only those first-party games as the sole good ones, people will want to go with a system that has more than that small amount thanks to third-party. If all you have is good multiplats, people will go to a system that also has good exclusives. Nintendo focuses on their kid-friendly stuff, but they need more material like Bayonetta 2 so long as it’s not watered down in gameplay or content to “fit the Nintendo image.” Nintendo also needs to be less restrictive on all sorts of levels, from what people are allowed to do mutually on their software to doing away with region lock. Also, genuine advancements of video game hardware if they keep doing that sort of thing, not cheap gimmicks like a controller with a big screen on it.

    There’s probably more I can’t remember right now, but those are the highlights of what they need to do. They’re making progress on some of them, but not enough.

    #21 6 months ago
  22. antraxsuicide

    The XB1 is only available in 13 territories, and it’s only a million units behind the Wii U (as of May). If it doesn’t catch the Wii U by the end of the summer, it will when it launches in another 30 territories.

    The Wii U is on track to sell fewer units than the Gamecube. And while Sony and MS are also not seeing many releases until 2015, they can afford to wait. Nintendo certainly can’t. Because if this console continues to flop this badly, they can expect to see a huge sea of investors, developers, and more 3rd parties to flee the sinking ship that they appear to be.

    If I’m remembering correctly, Nintendo had $11B in the bank in 2011. Now, it’s sitting at about $7B. At this rate, that’ll only last them another 7 years, which is conveniently one more shot at a home console. If Nintendo doesn’t really knock their next system out of the park, they’re done for as a platform developer.

    #22 6 months ago
  23. Clupula

    @Game Hunter EXACTLY.

    #23 6 months ago

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