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Nintendo Doomed? Hardly, Addressing the Wii U’s Sales, Problems, and Future


By: Furious Francis

The Wii U has had a rocky start to say the least. The latest NPD numbers were released and the Wii U is not selling well. The Wii U only managed to sell 57K in the month of January. I actually see this as a positive,Nintendo didn’t have any notable software in January and 57,000 people decided to get one for $300 and up. Nintendo has their work cut out for them, but by no means is Nintendo doomed. I will address the Wii U’s issues entirely in the article below.

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The Wii U Needs more Games at the Moment

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Like i stated earlier, I’m surprised the Wii U even sold 57K units in the month of January. The system was released last November in the US with a couple original games, and a large number of full priced ports. No major releases from Nintendo or other 3rd party game developers. No updates to the OS, No fully functional Virtual Console on Wii U, Rayman Legends being delayed. With so many negatives, I really am surprised it sold that much. Mustering up 57K with no software and bad press is impressive. The Vita has been out longer and only moved around 30,000 units in January.

The US Economy is bad Right now


Comparing the sales of the Xbox 360 in January of 2006, to the Wii U in January of 2013 is irrelevant considering the economy at both times. The employment rate and economy was much better in 2006. The Wii U is going to have some bad months due to the economy and lack of software to drive system sales.

The Wii U’s Graphical Abilities are NOT the Reason it is not Selling 


The Wii U has not been pushed to the limit yet nor have graphics been a focus at Nintendo since 2001. Nintendo’s handheld systems have always been underpowered or weaker than its competitors. The Wii was not much stronger than a GameCube. The 3DS is nowhere near the Vita graphically. The Wii U’s graphics are good enough. Nintendo’s first party games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 look fantastic on Wii U. I doubt the Wii U would have better sales right now if it had better specs. The Vita is proof of that. You need software to beat the competition and the Wii U lacks that. Plus, if graphics were the most important factor for a product selling well, then high-end PC’s would be only thing selling.

Everybody who has wanted the Wii U has NOT Bought one yet

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This is another thing I hear a lot. ‘All the people who want the Wii U have already bought one’ If that was the case, why is it even selling 57K? It should be selling zero units if that was true. There are many consumers waiting for games they want or a possible price cut. All you have to do is look at the forums. Even Nintendo based websites have people who have held out because there waiting for a Metroid, 3D Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest, Bayonetta and other games to come . People have always purchased Nintendo hardware for Nintendo’s exclusives. Things don’t change now because the Wii U isn’t selling as well as Nintendo would have hoped. If the sales stay at 57K after Mario Galaxy 3 or Mario Kart come out, then we have a problem. The Wii U is around 3 million units sold. I can guarantee you Mario Kart will sell more than 3 Million units on Wii U.

Didn’t we Already go over this with the 3DS? 


I remember all the 3DS doom articles. How it was destined to be outsold by the Vita. How smartphones and tablets will render it DOA, how Nintendo should have made it more powerful. Yeah those seem like a distant past don’t they? All Nintendo did was cut the price, release Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart, then sales skyrocketed. You need games to sell a system. The Wii U is no different from the 3DS in this regard. When Nintendo releases Mario Kart and their new 3D Mario game for the Wii U this year, don’t get mad if I write another article like this one.

Calling Nintendo’s  IPs Rehashes is BS


Nintendo gets a lot of hate from gamers for their use of franchises like Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon. However, this is complete and utter BS. Nintendo’s use of Mario and Zelda are appropriate considering the popularity of those franchises. Mario Galaxy is the highest reviewed game of all time. New Super Mario Bros Wii and DS are some of the highest selling games ever. Nintendo would be stupid to not release more Mario games, they are a business after all. Zelda is hardly a rehash. They follow a certain formula, but each game is different from one another. Zelda II is not like Link to the past, and Spirit Tracks is different from Ocarina of Time. For Nintendo to not release these franchises somewhat often would be a business killing move. The focus on those franchises by critics is appalling considering how much new content Nintendo brought to the table. Games like Xenoblade, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower, Fluidity, Dillon’s Rolling Western, Pushmo, Crashmo, are all from Nintendo.

I hear critics bash Nintendo for not bringing new franchises, yet they have failed to play Xenoblade or the Last Story. Kid Icarus Uprising might be an old franchise, but that game is essentially a new IP. The Gameplay in it is all new outside of some of the characters. The biggest thing to takeaway from Nintendo’s first party IP is there good. Most of their games score really well and are unique. How many 3D platformers are like Mario Galaxy? How many games are like Pokemon? How many games out there are like Animal Crossing or Pikmin? Now, how many games have you played on the Xbox 360 and PS3 involve a Rambo-type guy, shooting everything with a gun, that uses a cover system, and has regenerating health? The industry rehashes the same old shooters with different characters in their place and calls them new IPs.

I’m glad Nintendo makes Classic Style Games 


Nintendo is as old school as old school gets. There games don’t have all the modern gameplay designs the PS3 and 360 fans love. Nintendo doesn’t do auto jumping in their 3D platformers like Uncharted and Enslaved, or conveniently placed exploding barrels right next to waves of enemies. Nintendo’s games also don’t have cover systems with the typical white guy,(Dead Space 1-3, Uncharted 1-3, Resistance 1-3, Killzone 1-3, Halo 1-4, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Mass Effect) holding a gun. Do they get hate for that….. yeah they do. However, I like the way Nintendo makes games. It seems like everybody in the world loves COD, but I think its crap. Does it make it crap? No, it just doesn’t suit my taste. The same goes for Nintendo’s games.

I’m looking forward to Shin Megami x Fire Emblem, Xenoblade 2, Zelda, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, The Wonderful 101, and Bayonetta 2 far more than Battlefield, COD, Uncharted, or any regenerating health based shooter. The industry is turning into a shooter only market. Nintendo doesn’t do shooters so gamers hate them for that. I’m just glad Nintendo still makes and believes in Japanese style games.

Saying Nintendo is Going to end up like SEGA is Asinine. 


I’ve been hearing this a lot lately. Anybody who claims Nintendo will go the way of Sega after this generation fails to understand the circumstances that caused SEGA’s downfall. SEGA had multiple failed hardware releases. The 32X, Sega CD, The Sega Saturn, The Sega GameGear and Sega Nomad were all failures. Sega failed to transition Sonic to 3D well. Sega failed to build franchises as big as Smash Bros, Metroid, Zelda, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and Donkey Kong. Sega’s franchises never reached the status of Nintendo’s top-tier IPs. Sega never had the market leader in the handheld space to help their console market. Nintendo is nowhere near Sega’s level of desperation with the Dreamcast. So if your one of those people saying that, please research Sega’s downfall to find out how Sega failed.

What can Nintendo do to Reverse their Fortunes?


March is going to be a big month for the Nintendo and the Wii U. They have to sell more than 150,000 units with big name titles like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, The Amazing Spider-man Ultimate Edition, and Need for Speed Most Wanted. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has a console bundle, that should help Nintendo sell Wii Us. While Spider-man and Need for Speed are not system sellers, they can help the Wii U get its much-needed third-party support.

The Wii U Spring and Summer updates need to deliver. The Wii U’s OS is a bit slow. It takes quite some time to load between apps. Nintendo needs to sure that up and add better functionality to the Wii U apps like Nintendo TVii. The Summer update should bring over the full Virtual Console to the system. That can help the Wii U feel more complete and give potential buyers more incentive to purchase the console or upgrade from their Wii’s. Nintendo needs to add a universal achievement system integrated with MiiVerse as well.

E3 is going to be big for Nintendo. They need to show off a lot of new games. Retro Studios should have Metroid ready to go by then. Mario Kart and Mario Wii U should be playable and fun. The Legend of Zelda WindWaker HD could see a playable demo and more exclusive features. Shigeru Miyamoto will have his new game ready to show off, as well as ‘numerous’ other third-party companies. Fans should expect more collaborations like Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and the Wonderful 101. High profile games like Watch Dogs and Rainbow Six should come to Wii U as well.

Nintendo is destroying the Sales Charts in Japan

Nintendo has a lot of good things going for it in Japan. Nintendo needs to convince or help Capcom fund Monster Hunter 4 for the Wii U and 3DS. Nintendo also needs to get Square Enix to release a proper Dragon Quest title for the Wii U, not this MMO BS. Smash Bros is coming for the 3DS and Wii U, that will help push the Wii U’s numbers in Japan too.

Microsoft is none-existent in Japan, and Sony spends a majority of their resources in the Western Markets. Nintendo needs to stick to their strategy to bring JRPGs and action games to the Wii U. Japan is still a major player in the games industry. Look at how much money the 3DS makes in Japan. Dragon Quest VII almost sold 1 million copies in it’s first week. Animal Crossing New Leaf is selling out of its mind in Japan at full price. Digital sales of Animal Crossing are near 1 million units, that is almost pure profit for Nintendo. Anybody who says the Japanese market isn’t important isn’t looking at Nintendo’s profit margins for the 3DS.

This Generation is a Marathon not a Sprint 


Its far too early to count out the Wii U. Let Nintendo release their games this fall, and lets see how the sales are. Till then, I will be taking the troll and doom articles with a gain of salt. What do you guys think of the Wii U’s future? Is 3 months to early to call the demise of Nintendo? Or is Nintendo doomed like usual? Put them in the comments below.

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  • grenadeh

    The economy really wasn't any better in 2006 than it is now. We've been in the same war economy depression for 12 years, at this point it has no bearing on the sales of luxury items. People have adjusted. I'm glad that your article is from the point of view of having some common sense but the reality is, Nintendo is indeed doomed.

    They may have garnered some good will with the upcoming Windwaker HD Wii U deluxe deal (Wii U deluxe + a half playable first party re-release for the price of a Wii U standard) but that isn't going to move the console. There simply aren't any games on it. Even with a working virtual console, no one cares – they can use a ROM or may still own the cartridges. Plus no BC for GC games? The only recent good console was the GC. That's no dice.

  • Corey

    I agree with your article. Its way too early to declare Nintendo out for good.

    I think its just wishful thinking by fanbois of Sony/Microsoft. They think if Nintendo fails, they will give up on making hardware and release their stellar games on other consoles. This is why they cheer the death of Nintendo.

    Tells you something about Nintendo and what they are doing right if they get so many people to chant their death, just to see Nintendo IP’s on a Sony or Microsoft system.

  • wiiumadgamers

    You make several valid points. I feel like the media has unfairly painted a picture of Nintendo as company that doesnt understand the industry that it helped build. Nintendo has always done things differently. I do think they need to start releasing games and giving people a reason to buy the console. they have work to do but they are by no means done. http://wiiumadgamers.com/2013/02/18/will-the-ps4-

  • Aiddon

    the thing is a lot of things people keep saying will help the Wii U are ALREADY HAPPENING, the biggest of all being more product for it. People are already working on new stuff and Nintendo has announced new titles like SMT x FE, Yarn Yoshi, and Wind Waker HD, but it seems that people are unwilling to admit the obvious: making games takes TIME. It's not like Nintendo can just wave a magic wand and produce the new Metroid instantly. They're not going to become a factory production line just because some people are impatient.

    • Corey

      Nintendo also takes their time. They believe quality more than quantity.

      • radd86

        The same can easily be said about Valve! Their games are the most highly anticipated and have been for years. Steam is a huge money maker, just like Nintendo they are international and make great handheld and console based games. I honestly believe that if Nintendo released some of there games like the original Pokemon onto the mobile phone market that they would rake in a lot of publicity and cash. Also they need a more aggressive ad campaign because they don't have as many ads as the wii did. This is just what i see so don't bash me for what i see. I really can't wait until the fall season where the Wii U will crush the doubters.

  • tanto

    great article