Nintendo confirms poor sales, slashes Wii U forecasts dramatically

By Justin Kahn
Jan 17, 2014
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  1. While most had already expected it, Nintendo has now confirmed that the Wii U has not sold as well as the company expected come year end. The console failed to reach its sales targets set by Nintendo and as such,...

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,033   +2,538

    I don't know about everyone else, but I'm tired of hearing the name Mario. The game was great in its day but gee that was 20 years ago. They need a new mascot! Nintendo has a choice, step up or continue to risk being forgotten.
    avoidz and wastedkill like this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,938   +1,625

    This is Nintendo's biggest problem. As much as I've enjoyed their major franchises (Mario, Super Smash, Zelda), they have been stuck in product limbo for the past 15+ years. The result is that their product has become stale, pushing away customers and consequently developers. To their credit, they have had a number of great titles become part of their library. The problem is, Microsoft and Sony have had many, many more.

    What's the difference (other than hardware) between the Super Nintendo and their last three consoles? Content.
    Justin Moran and avoidz like this.
  4. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Booster Posts: 194   +51

    Nintendo's real problem is they try to innovate instead of compete. Nintendo has to realize people only want 1 console, not 2 or 3. This means they need a system with a controller that compares to the Xbox/PS4 (something like the gamecube would probably do with an extra shoulder button,) and they need graphic horsepower, and the network capabilities to drive today's most demanding titles (I don't see BF4 on WiiU.) Nintendo can come back luckily. MS dropped the ball this generation badly with it's overpriced, under performance machine. Nintendo needs to launch a new system either this year or next year with 2x the PS4 GPU, standardized controller, and LOW price point. They need to lose $100-$200 per system for awhile like Sony and MS did last gen while Nintendo made a profit day one. Every major multiplatform title needs to be on their system. You combine all of that with their 1st party titles, then people who are still on the fence over PS4/XBO have a real alternative.
  5. umbala

    umbala TS Addict Posts: 145   +117

    Sounds good on paper; too bad it will never happen. It's easy to say dumb things like Nintendo needs to lose $100-$200 per system for a while. But when you consider that you need 10+ million systems sold to hit the radar of some of the major developers, you're looking at a $1-2 billion loss! What magic pouch would Nintendo pull that kind of cash out of exactly? Microsoft and Sony can both afford to lose big chunks of change on a new systems because they can make up the profit from the several other businesses they own. Nintendo doesn't own any other businesses, so consoles/handhelds are their make-or-break business.

    Besides, Nintendo is run by a bunch of old Japanese farts who think that their products should be the family oriented innovation center piece of everyone's living room. They've been saying from day one that they don't intend to directly compete with Microsoft or Sony as far as hardware specs go. They intend to "innovate" (read as: lame gimmicks like the wii-mote, nunchucks, and wii-pad) and keep all their games family oriented. But this is a big problem when all Johnny USA wants to do is run around in a realistic 3D environment shooting his friends in the head with semi-automatic weapons. It won't be long now before we see Zelda and Mario end up the same way as Sega's iconic Sonic the Hedgehog; on 3rd party hardware.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,938   +1,625

    "Johnny USA wants to do is run around in a realistic 3D environment shooting his friends in the head with semi-automatic weapons."

    Since, when were semi-automatic weapons ever big in video gaming outside of Golden Eye? "Johnny USA" likes his guns fully automatic. :cool:
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,363   +706

    I would love to get a wii U. but the games library just doesnt justify its price tag for me. Id drop $100 for a used one pretty quickly....
  8. Ranger1st

    Ranger1st TS Addict Posts: 308   +87

    As has been said, the product is good, the game library is crap.. not even my 6 year old wants to give up his WII for the U ...
    9Nails likes this.
  9. All Nintendo needs to do is repackage the Wii U.

    1. Drop the tablet controller and add a wireless classic controller.
    2. Add backwards compatibility for the Gamecube.
    3. Set the price at $199

    If they do that I will pick one up tomorrow.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  10. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 809   +101

    I'd believe the sales are going to spike very well once that new mario kart and smash bros game come out among other things
  11. Turns out, marketing to non-gamers doesn't really do much for your long-term prospects.
  12. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,197   +171

    The Wii U was slashed from $349 to $299. I think that's all the margin that Nintendo had left in the price. And they packed in two games in the latest "deluxe" offering.

    Nintendo has a few billion in cash to help them ride out a generation of lackluster Wii U sales. So I doubt a drastic price change or shift in business is about to happen. But they need to hit all the marks on their next move.

    I'd like to see the merging of the DS and Wii U into the same platform. Maybe this is a crazy thought, but my phone's 5" display has the same resolution as my TV. I'd love to be able to pull a game off the TV and take it on the go with me. Give me a DS hand-held with buttons and a console with a controller and the same game title between them, and both having access to a cloud where I store my progress. But, please, this time actually call it the Nintendo Revolution! ;) (That was such a cool name for a game system.)
  13. backo

    backo TS Enthusiast Posts: 58   +8

    Not sure what Nintendo expected when they launched the Wii U, but new hardware that is only slightly better than the already aging X360 and PS3 never seemed like a good idea. Another thing and this istheir biggest failer - with the unique Wii controls at least Nintendo implemented them in interesting ways in games... with the Wii U even they are unable to provide any thing good. Anyways I will not miss them if they disappeared.
  14. Justin Moran

    Justin Moran TS Rookie

    I hate saying this but your right there just going to end up dead like Sega they still make games but not sys, when I was a kid it was NES and Sega
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,383   +105

    Wii Mini Red at Walmart SuperCenter like $89 bucks but it lacks a few things. Wii U over priced should be sold for $99 to $150 then just maybe I would consider buying.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  16. Prosercunus

    Prosercunus TS Enthusiast Posts: 129   +12

    Maybe Nintendo should double down on their philosophy that they create game consoles and games and not multimedia machines (Sony, Microsoft, etc).

    Keep their consoles basic and cheap and keep offering more of those great first party Nintendo games. Don't just adopt new technologies for the sake of competing with those other two. Make a gamers console, basic and cheap but with the typical Nintendo quality you expect, no frills, low cost.

    In the end I am buying a Nintendo console to play Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros, etc. Just give me a simple controller and a basic console.
  17. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,363   +706

    This. so much this.

    Honestly I love nintendo and their games and would hate to see them go as they were my entire childhood and early teens. Even today I still play nintendo games, albeit less because theres nothing good for me to play on my wii, and the few games I want to get require motion plus which is MORE money.

    All I want is a fairly cheap console with a basic controller and fun games! No complicated MMOs or FPS, just nintendos best!
    9Nails likes this.
  18. Here's how to fix Nintendo.

    >Scrap the console business
    >Strike a deal with Apple to have a pre-installed app on every iPhone/iPad
    >App connects to Nintendo's cloud servers to access their library of retro games
    >Once successful release it on Android
    >Focus heavily on 1st party exclusives and new franchises

    The idea is to turn your smartphone into a portable console that connects wirelessly to a controller and your TV. Playing games purely on a smartphone/tablet is limiting and boring.
  19. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,363   +706

    I would never purchase another nintendo product. ever.
  20. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Booster Posts: 194   +51

    Sounds good on paper; too bad it will never happen. It's easy to say dumb things like Nintendo needs to lose $100-$200 per system for a while. But when you consider that you need 10+ million systems sold to hit the radar of some of the major developers, you're looking at a $1-2 billion loss! What magic pouch would Nintendo pull that kind of cash out of exactly? Microsoft and Sony can both afford to lose big chunks of change on a new systems because they can make up the profit from the several other businesses they own. Nintendo doesn't own any other businesses, so consoles/handhelds are their make-or-break business.

    If Nintendo wants to remain relevant, they better find a few billion to lose quick. They chose to sit out last gen, now they're trying to do it again. Competition doesn't work that way. Whether they like it or not, they are competing with Sony and MS, and the world sees it that way. Nintendo will literally have to buy it's way back in to households, or yes, they're the next Sega.

    The ONLY other option would be to sell/partner the company to someone like Apple or Valve. Apple's name would bring it some serious attention (and better management.) Valve could really start making Steam Machines mainstream with the Nintendo label.
  21. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Booster Posts: 194   +51

    That top part was supposed to be in quotes ;)
  22. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TS Enthusiast Posts: 160   +50

    If Nintendo released a console as powerful as PS4 minus the gimmicky controller, they would have hit it out of the park since 3rd party titles would then be ported to it since it would be much more powerful and its 1st party titles would be completely unique. Instead Nintendo choose to spend an exorbitant amount of money out of the Wii U's price on the controller and as a result the system is grossly underpowered, lacking sufficent storage, etc. 3rd party developers are shying away from the system since it now means dumbing down PS4/XB1 ports which costs them more money to develop them specifically for the Wii U.

    Hardcore gamers are not receptive to the Wii U since it is underpowered and yet costs just $100 less than PS4 but once you add in the cost of external storage, the system's value just isn't there.
  23. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,238   +208

    To go on a slight tangent:

    One of many problems is that as an ecosystem Nintendo is not an easy place to develop third party, let alone port into for that matter. Even with a more powerful console Nintendo has a specific vision for its consoles and they expect everyone who wants to develop for it to meet them at the crossroads. This of course is why you see so many 1st party games compared to 3rd party ones on nintendo systems, the ecosystems elsewhere are generally friendlier to them. Nintendo instead banks on nearly timeless IPs like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon, and the like that time and time again, prove to be successful because of a fanbase that generally does not get tired of playing them.

    Speaking of the Nintendo fanbase, they are simply different than the "hardcore gamers" often described as the people that nintendo should be tailoring to. They are generally playing puzzle games, "party" games, platformers, RPGs which you find many of on the nintendo console/handhelds. I would suspect many "hardcore gamers" that play using Microsoft or Sony consoles (and PC for that matter) are playing action-adventure games, simulation style racing and sports, FPS, and so on. Sure, all categories are on all platforms, but for what people buy which console for are pretty different. Generally speaking Nintendo has always catered to the same general fanbase since day one, and while that is commendable, it does not always line up with what the average gamer, who is getting older and older, wants.

    Having limited third party titles or a "weak" console/handheld are only surface problems. Ultimately I think deep down it is a company philosophy issue. While I'd prefer Nintendo not change too much in that regard, it does make it difficult to compete with the "faster is better" mentality, and the significant shift in play style that has occurred in the last decade. The huge amount of attention mobile social gaming and other games on smartphones is not helping either, but that's something Nintendo already has a lot of experience with and COULD do well in... but we'll see how that turns out.

    I will admit though I was never a fan of that tablet controller for the Wii U, and I've already removed any thoughts of buying the console for one or two games tops. I'll find a buddy who bought it for smash and play then, but only then. =p
    davislane1 likes this.
  24. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,119   +57

    I'd drop (2) and add:

    4. App with tablet controller functionality for iOS and Android.
    5. Sell an add-on controller for tablets and phones.

    The wiimote was revolutionary, introducing a lot of new people to console gaming. The tablet controller isn't. It's just a watered down tablet with controls. Most people already have better mobile hardware, and don't feel the need to pay for another (low spec) tablet. A good controller for existing mobile devices though, that would probably be attractive to a lot of gamers.

    The Wii U isn't bad as a Wii upgrade, and it's a console that can run more hardcore games, even if it's barely equal to last gen, so it's not good for both keeping Wii users and expanding back into more hardcore gamers. It's just too expensive for that.
  25. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,363   +706

    Id take gamecube comptability over touch screen remotes any day...
    I dont dislike gaming on my ipod/tablet because of the small screen. I dislike it because touch screen controls are clunky and annoying...

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