If you’re a Nintendo fan, I’m sorry in advance for anything negative I might say regarding Nintendo as a company, but Nintendo needs to get its priorities straight because the Wii U is failing hard. With concurrent titles being released on the 3DS and the Wii U at relatively the same time it has almost become a joke to purchase a Wii U. If you can get the same games for a cheaper price on a cheaper handheld console then why would anybody even consider purchasing the more expensive option? I’d like to outline a few key reasons why I believe the Wii U isn’t doing very well.
I’ve made quite a few trips to GameStop within the past few weeks and one of the major things I notice each time I walk into the store is the absurdly small section of Wii U games being carried almost a year after the console’s launch. When the Wii U came out Nintendo fans thought that everything would change. From the time of the Wii U’s announcement, Nintendo promised blockbuster titles like Assassin’s Creed 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, and a few others. Unfortunately, these were games that many consumers already owned on their current consoles, making the Wii U’s ported version nearly obsolete. Since launch, games have continued to be ported onto the Wii U, but it goes without saying that many individuals do not have the drive to go out and buy a console for games they can already purchase for the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Nintendo needs more exclusives that will “wow” people outside of its somewhat stagnant fanbase. Pikmin 3 is one of the first games to come out on the Wii U that has begun to push Nintendo in the right direction. Let’s hope that Mario Kart, Smash Bros, and a new Zelda title will be able to save this misplaced console.
Before I say anything I would like to preface that I am not an elitist when it comes to graphics, but I do expect effort to be made on behalf of a console’s graphical capabilities. From what I’ve experienced firsthand I can say that the Wii U looks great graphically compared to the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Unfortunately, that’s the problem. The Wii U is 6 years late to the party. Had it come out back in 2006 the original Wii would not have become such a joke to core gamers over the past generation of consoles. Just like the Wii paled in comparison to the Xbox 360 and the PS3 back in 2006, I believe the same thing will happen to the Wii U during the launch of the Xbox One and the PS4. Unless Nintendo starts shelling out some big name titles along with some new exclusive we may being seeing a price cut for the Wii U.
If you are a console gamer you probably expect exclusive games on your console, but with Nintendo that simply isn’t the case. Since E3 it has become clear that Nintendo’s formula is to simply take 3DS games and port them to the Wii U or visa versa. Granted, there are some differences between the different versions of the games, but games on the Wii U should be bigger and better, not variants of their 3DS cousins. We saw that with Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (Wii to 3DS) and we’re seeing it again with Super Mario 3D Land (3DS to Wii U) and Super Smash Bros (Dual Release on Wii U and 3DS). The problem with this is that it deters people from purchasing a $350 console because the same games are on a $180 handheld console and at a cheaper price. It’s ridiculous! If Nintendo wants to sell the Wii U it needs to create console exclusive games and content that will drive consumers to go out and buy it. To make matters worse, games like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Kid Icarus Uprising were released exclusively for the 3DS. Why were neither of these games given releases on the Wii or the Wii U? As a Nintendo fan I have to put my foot down on this one. Enough is enough!
This is a small issue and a personal opinion, but in the scheme of things it was a terrible marketing strategy for Nintendo to name their most recent console the “Wii U” with a lot of emphasis on the “Wii” part of the title. I say this because of the reputation the original Wii has taken upon itself over its somewhat lengthy lifespan. Over the years the Wii has become a graveyard for third party games focused on poorly crafted mini-games and horrendous controls. Although the Wii did do incredibly well regarding its sales, the shift to a market of more core gamers with the Wii U simply cannot heed the same results. The Wii U was Nintendo’s chance to start over and clear its name of the stigma that accompanies the name, “Wii” amongst hardcore gamers. I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to add “U” to the already existing title, but it was a poor decision given Nintendo’s current marketing strategy. But hey, what’s done is done.
I’m still hopeful for Nintendo, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to support a company that doesn’t listen well to its fans. All we can do is hope for things to finally click at the top level of Nintendo so that things start to take a turn for the better. I don’t know about you, but I miss the Nintendo we used to know before the era of the Wii.
-Ocarina of Time Nerd
- New Nintendo Web Framework Makes Porting Games To Wii U Quick And Easy (mynintendonews.com)
- Wii U: Sorry Nintendo, I’m defecting (metro.co.uk)
- Wii U – The forgotten console (gameonemd.wordpress.com)
- Nintendo’s President Does Not Believe The Wii U’s Price Is An Issue (ubergizmo.com)
- Activision Apparently Had To Wait For Nintendo’s Approval Before Announcing COD Ghosts For Wii U (mynintendonews.com)
- Nintendo shares more details on Wii U Web Framework dev tools (polygon.com)
- Report: Wii U 32GB with Wind Waker HD bundle coming (destructoid.com)
- Nintendo Wii U arrives November 18 starting at $299 (reviews.cnet.com)
- Innovation or Self Obsoletion? Is Nintendo Too Early to the 8th Gen Console Battle? (epicagames.com)