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Nintendo shares plunge following meager Wii U sales
Nintendo shares plunge following meager Wii U sales
January 20, 2014 | By Mike Rose

January 20, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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    29 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Last Friday, Nintendo admitted that it now projects losses for the current fiscal year, due to poor Wii U console sales. Unsurprisingly, the company's shares have plunged since then.

As reported by the BBC, Nintendo's share price dropped by 18 percent as Monday trading drew to a close, falling as low as 11,935 yen ($114.65) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

To put this into perspective, when Nintendo's share price fell to its lowest in six years back in 2011 as a result of the Nintendo 3DS price slash, that "lowest" was 12,290 yen ($158.57).

The company's shares continued to fall at that point, although they've since been gradually clawing their way back up again, reaching 15,580 yen ($149.66) earlier this month. Of course, this latest news has now seen them come crashing down again.

As a result of this latest fiscal warning, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted that the Japanese company is considering how it could potentially embrace the mobile market.


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Comments


bor s
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Could it be possible that Nintendo redesign the WiiU control to a simpler one and relaunch the system at a lower price now that some titles are coming?

Phil Maxey
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Apple have the Ipod Touch and the iPhone, no reason why Nintendo can't have the 3DS and a phone version of the 3DS, and then branch from that into a Nintendo tablet that you can also plug into the TV (therefore knocking all the micro-consoles out in one go).

Buy Oculus Rift, it becomes the new Nintendo Console, and it launches with Mario Kart VR.

Well we can dream.

John Mascarenas
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I think a Nintendo phone is highly unlikely. The smartphone market is so saturated. Sony already tested those waters with the Xperia Play and it failed miserably. I am thinking maybe they might produce an Iphone peripheral ie. a controller attachment.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Phil Maxey - I wouldn't recommend Nintendo to make a phone version of the 3DS, but Internet is becoming more and more big in the West, so the key thing is just to put more emphasis on the online support. The full story behind what Iwata was saying is that Nintendo is doing better in Japan but not too good abroad. I posted a blog article from Siliconera on another Gamasutra article that it explains the story in part (http://www.siliconera.com/2014/01/18/nintendo-misread-market-cons
idering-new-business-structure/). For even more details, there's also the Wall Street Journal article that Siliconera talked about on the blog article (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB100014240527023034650045793
25760899958956). Considering what Iwata said in full, it sounds like that the culture gap got caught up in part. I still believe that the real problem with the Wii U sales in the US has more to do with poor marketing and poor messaging, but it is good to see that Iwata acknowledged his limitations, so this could be an opportunity for Nintendo to bring in people that can help bridge that gap and understand the different tastes and preferences from different demographics. As for the Oculus Rift idea, that could happen. Considering that Nintendo has been trying to do VR controls in its own way, I don't see any reason for Nintendo to not have Oculus Rift support. It wouldn't be the first time that Nintendo would have a 3rd-party controller company do a controller for a Nintendo system.

Kale Menges
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I'd keep the 3DS as is, euthanize the Wii U, and build a Nintendo tablet/phablet that would be a dedicated mobile gaming platform but also feature things like television connectivity. I think a Nintendo tablet was perhaps what people had first hoped for when they first saw the Wii U controller, but such misconception was only indicative of the system's completely confused marketing and entertainment niche.

Although I still say just build an official NES/SNES virtual console platform app/portal that could be sold for iOS and Android and sell me classics for $0.99 a pop.

John Mascarenas
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A tablet that comes with a chromecast like dongle could be cool. However, I can't see Nintendo selling their old games at 0.99. Apple and Google would take their share and leave not a whole lot for Nintendo. I have considered maybe getting into the microconsole business may be a viable option. They could control the platform, take a cut from 3rd parties, and flood it with their back catalog for cheap. If they sold it for like $99 and really made it easy for indie and mobile devs to bring their games to the platforms it just may work.

Doug Poston
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I like your idea but, instead of euthanizing the WiiU, build it into the tablet. Then bundle it with a "Chromecast" transmitter that plugs into your TV.

The WiiU tablet already allows you to play without the TV, this would allow you to do it anywhere (not just 50 feet from your TV).

Sadly, this idea probably wouldn't work because of power issues.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Doug Poston - The idea wouldn't work now, but it would work for the successor of the Wii U after the cycle is over for the Wii U. The next system would have the functions of the Wii U and it could be exactly what you described but even more. Remember that Nintendo still needs to show the importance of the Wii accessories and of the Blue Ocean strategy and not just focus on the Wii U accessories, so a small device that would be used instead of a big console body would also have ports for plugging in the sensor bar as well as a Nintendo optical storage player (the player would serve as an option for people that want to play Wii and Wii U games on the new system). Because of the flash drive and SD card technologies as well as the eShop, there would be alternatives for how the games would be released onto the new system. The games for the new system could be released in SD card format and in digital download format and the eShop as well as the flash drive would also be key for backwards compatibility for Wii U games (not to mention, Wii games could become part of the eShop at that point). It is not impossible for anything like that to happen, but Nintendo will need at least 5 years to make such device, and since the Wii U is just still at the beginning of year 2, time is something that Nintendo will have at the moment.

SD Marlow
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While most tech companies are thinking about and already working on what will come about a year or more away, Nintendo just comes out and says they will start thinking about this new fangled tablet thing. I don't think they have the time/vision to create something innovative nor do they have some cool new IP ready for release. Satoru leaving/being replaced is the only thing that can stop or slow the decline in stock value right now.

Jeferson Soler
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@ SD Marlow - Why people keep on blaming Iwata for what's going on? Seriously, this sounds like the attitude of some corrupt investor that wants for Nintendo to be like a corrupt corporation by never having a long term vision, never delivering quality products and screwing over the little people/employees, and to achieve that goal, that investor wants Iwata out of the way. After seeing the mess that has being caused by these kind of investors and the executives from some companies, I have to say that Nintendo should keep Iwata and just improve on the marketing and on communications with the West. Furthermore, one of the biggest mistakes that people from any industry (including the videogame industry) do is assume that most people think just like them. In other words, most people don't care about super technology, and if they did, they would be wanting to create a ground-up high-powered PC machine instead of buying a store model PC or mobile devices (mobile devices are not that powerful at all and are only popular due to hype and due to "benefits"/convenience that some people see in them). Personally, I don't agree with the whole mobile scene, but it is here and it does exist, so Nintendo could do something with the eShop as far as mobile services go as mobile services are quite big in the West (especially in the US).

Bob Johnson
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My shares already fell 18% on Friday. The stock traded on Friday in US markets. Tokyo markets were closed when the announcement was made I guess.

Eric Harris
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I'm going to call it for Nintendo. The day they get into the mobile market, is the day they end as a company. I hope he is just saying that to appease the stock holders, who have so much money that they let their toddlers play mobile F2P, and then get shocked that the have a bill for thousands of dollars in game content. Please Nintendo don't go Zynga on us.

Matthew Mouras
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I don't think there's any risk of Nintendo "going Zynga".

I think the bigger risk is that they learn the wrong lesson from this. They won't think that they need the many features consumers have come to expect from a console including a unified account system, achievements, strong 3rd party lineup, large HDD, and frequent and deep digital sales. They will think that they just didn't create the innovative and inexpensive to produce hardware that will bring them success. In my opinion, that's the wrong take-away from disappointing Wii U sales.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Matthew Mouras - Actually, Nintendo did learn its lesson. At least, Iwata did. People have to understand things are different in Japan from the West and Iwata has admitted to that, and based on your comments (which is similar to comments from certain other people), I have to say that the cultural misunderstanding is a two-way street. The Japanese culture is way different from the Western culture and Nintendo was following more the Japanese culture than the Western one. Iwata now sees that things are not that clear cut when it comes to the Western culture, so more things would have to be done in regard to communications with the West (not to mention, better marketing campaign would have helped the Wii U and the Wii U games). Also, some of the stuff that you talk about, like "unified account system, achievements, strong 3rd party lineup, and frequent and deep digital sales", are mostly stuff that only the minority will care about (even in the US). Having said that and as I pointed out before, the mobile scene is becoming stronger (particularly, outside of Japan), so Nintendo could do something with the eShop and the Nintendo Network ID, making them available to mobile devices and PC. The risk would be great because of security, but if done right, people could have access to the eShop and the Nintendo Network ID from anywhere. Speaking of the eShop, I'm wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo got the message on how popular it really is after what happened with the eShop months ago (Nintendo underestimated the volume of people that would use the eShop). Also, about the 3rd-party companies, that's more of an issue in the West than in Japan itself. On the other hand, Ubisoft, WB Games, Activision (to a certain degree) and indie game companies have being doing games for the Wii U.

Matthew Mouras
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Sales of the Wii U in Japan are better than in the US, but they still are not good. 1.2 million in the first 52 weeks. Compare that to the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One.

Though I think it's debatable, it may be the case that a "minority" of potential purchasers of the console care about the features that I listed. The thing is, I think that minority sets the pace for sales out of the gate. Early adopters care about those features. If they didn't, the Wii U would have sold as well as the recent Sony and Microsoft offerings. In terms of aggregate review scores, the Wii U launch lineup was about as strong as either of the other new consoles, but it didn't sell.

That sets the expectation for third party developers. They won't create content for a platform that has a low install base. I don't think you can reasonably argue that only a "minority" care about third party releases. Maybe a minority of purchasers of Nintendo hardware care about third party releases... and Nintendo of Japan has obviously become happy to create hardware that is primarily supported by their first and second party development teams, but that wasn't always Nintendo's business model and I don't think continuing to ignore third parties is helping their sales.

On to the eShop. I've read a number of your other comments in the recent Gamasutra articles about Nintendo. You make a number of interesting observations. I agree that there is great potential in the eShop, but I don't think Nintendo can pin the majority of their hopes on it without some major changes. Here are some reasons why:

-- Only third party and indie games have had decent sales in the eShop, and even those can't rival the kind of discounts that the games receive on XBLA, PSN, or Steam. I've yet to see a deep sale on a first party Nintendo title. I think Nintendo has the wrong approach here. Especially as the hardware developer. They think sales tarnish their image as a premium developer. That isn't the case. Sales get more games to more consumers and they proselytize the value of the games to all their friends. No one thinks less of Valve or their software development team when they sell Left 4 Dead for 90% off during one of their seasonal sales.

-- A digital storefront is only one part of a sales platform. Another critical piece is the hardware on which the software is stored. Nintendo packs a 32gb drive onto the deluxe Wii U. That's only enough for a handful of smaller games and a few larger 1st party releases. They will have to convince consumers of the Wii U to attach a larger drive if they want to push the service on that platform. As you said, they could expand to PC or phone, but I will be very surprised if they do either, despite Iwata's comments.

I recently came across a blog maintained by a former marketing manager at Nintendo of America. It was an interesting read. He claimed that NoA is aware of issues and knows solutions, but NoJ is dragging their heels. He said the corporate culture in Japan is resting on their laurels. "But we are Nintendo! Of course people will buy our console!"

DISCLAIMER: I am a Wii U owner since the launch of the Wind Waker HD bundle and I enjoy the console. There are more than enough titles right now to make me happy with my purchase, but I recognize that I'm likely in the minority in that opinion. I view it as a "second" console in our house. It's not my goto machine, but it's one that I can turn on and enjoy when I'm in the mood for its features. THAT is what Nintendo marketing should now focus on, IMO. They have lost the "primary" console war. They should allow Microsoft and Sony to bruise themselves in that battle while they push for users to buy the Wii U as a secondary device in the living room.

Eric Harris
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Actually I think it is based on overall user satisfaction of the previous system. I have heard from many Wii owners that they would not buy the Wii U because, they were really dissatisfied with the previous system. If you look at the track record of Playstation and Microsoft, both have systems that consistently satisfied customers. Nintendo has disappointed customers with their last three systems.

Bob Johnson
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@Matthew

Wii U already lost the "primary" console war before it launched. Not enough horsepower and lack of western AAA games were problems before it launched.

And thus what was needed in order for it to sell was for it to be a Wii-Sports-sized hit. But it wasn't one. And isn't one.

And so I think consumers were and still are lost as to why they needed/need one and what exactly the Wii U even was.


The Wii U's extra features like the internet browser on the GAmepad or TVii feature aren't good enough to help sell the system.

No one knows exactly what the Gamepad is.

And then the Wii U lineup was ports of 360/PS3 games, NSMB and Nintendoland which I don't think people understood either.

When it came down to it, what was there really new for the consumer at launch? What was supposed to sell the system? The answer is Nintendoland.

Sure NSMB is decent enough, but not something that is going to get people out of bed that already had a Wii and NSMB. They probably figured they already have that title anyway.

So the only reason to spend $350 on a Wii U was Nintendoland and no one really knew wtf it was. And ultimately Nintendoland was really geared towards younger kids and parents that like to play some games with their kids. Anyone 13-35 wasn't going to be interested. And some of the key features of Nintendoland that showed off the Gamepad required at least 3 players. Nevermind that those extra players each needed their own wiimote (sold separately.)

WiiSports had a much broader appeal and didn't require more than 1 person to show off the system. On top of it some of the games in Nintendoland, while very well done and good fun, were glorified iOS games. Not a selling point for a $350 console no matter how fun that Donkey Kong cart/track/tilting/banana splat game is.

Combine that with confusion over using the Wii name to sell the console even though it had little left over from the Wii era in the box. The console didn't include a wiimote. And there was no get off the couch WiiSports or WiiFit or WiiPlay type of game. All of a sudden the Wii name was used to sell old school Nintendo franchise character creativity.


Jeferson Soler
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@ Matthew Mouras - First of all, are you seriously comparing worldwide sales of PS4 and Xbox One to the Wii U sales on a single country, Japan? That's like comparing apples to oranges! Not to mention, Nintendo had already said that it was no longer competing against Sony and Microsoft and doing its own thing. The whole console war thing is something that videogame news media, geeks, fanpeople and otaku wants to keep dragging on. If anything and for the ones that keep on insisting with there being a system war, there's a multimedia system war between PS4 and Xbox One. Also, the minority won't move sales as they are just 1%. Why should Nintendo focus on 1% of people (who will tend to be fickle at times) instead of 99% of the people? I'll admit that there is a cultural gap that needs to fixed and Iwata himself admitted in his own way to that, but that still doesn't change that 1% of buyers won't help with sales at all. On another article, Emmanuel Henne posted an excellent comment that best explains the whole thing with the Wii U:

"It might be that Nintendo has not a problem with the Wii U, but with levelling up from their carefree Wii success. Suddenly, tennis and bowling arent selling the console anymore. Suddenly people dont need a new console for tennis and bowling, as the Wii still works JUST FINE. Suddenly 85% of the Wii owners arent interested in HD graphics. With the inevitable launch of the real next gen consoles, the other gamers, the core gamers, couldnt be bothered with buying something slightly better than their 7 years old xboxes and PS3s. The gamepad didnt have the impact the wiimotes had, and even to me it looked as if Nintendo had given up on motion controls and sent back people to their couches again. There is a huge misconception that Nintedo failed to clear up.
What really was required was to add BETTER MOTIONCONTROLS and follow through with that vision. The Wii wouldnt have sold if it didnt have Wiimotes, fact, as the rest of the hardware wasnt just interesting or capable. The Wii U is capable, but except for Sports Club and Fit, there is no game that uses clever motion controls. Looks like the engineers and management at Nintendo had a HUGE misunderstanding of the image the Wii and Nintendo have."

I agreed (and still agree) with most of the stuff that Emmanuel said, especially since he covers couple key perspectives. The biggest mistake that the people in the videogame industry tend to do is assume that most customers (especially average customers) think like them. However, the reality is that most customers don't think like them and that's why Nintendo took a different approach with the Wii, creating the Blue Ocean strategy. Unfortunately, Nintendo didn't follow through with showing that the Blue Ocean strategy was still true with the Wii U. Consider what Emmanuel and Bob Johnson said! Nintendo, especially Nintendo of America, failed to do a strong Wii U marketing campaign that would convince people (especially average customers and current Wii owners) to buy a Wii U, so as result, not too many people bought a Wii U due to not seeing a good reason to get one. It doesn't help matters that some people don't even know that the Wii U is a whole new system. Therefore, even if Nintendo included stuff to appease the 1%, that stuff wouldn't help with the Wii U sales as the 99% wouldn't be worried about that stuff, so there would need to be something big to convince them to get the Wii U, which tends to be a great game for the most part. Still, I'll admit that Nintendo need to create Western focus groups (in case of the US, couple groups for each state), so that Iwata and crew can talk to different people from different demographics and see what's really on their mind. While at it, Iwata should ignore investors and some of the people inside Nintendo of Japan that thinks that Nintendo shouldn't listen to suggestions from the Western branches. Last time I checked, Legend of Zelda games and Metroid games tend to be more popular outside of Japan than inside of Japan and the same is true for several other Nintendo franchises (including the new IP, Xenoblade Chronicles). By the way, in case of 3rd-party companies, that's the exception to the rule. Way more than 1% do want 3rd-party games on the Wii U just as much as they want 1st-party/2nd-party titles, but the people will be very selective with what titles they want and from whom. Capcom and Ubisoft are the top dogs as far as 3rd-party titles for the Wii U go (http://club2.nintendo.com/fanfaves/), but they are not the only companies that are doing games for the Wii U. Truth be told, even if the Wii U sold like crazy, there would still be hesitation from some Western 3rd-party developers as they would still have issues with Nintendo for one reason or another (mostly having to do with what happened during the Yamauchi-era Nintendo, but to me, that's water under the bridge and Yamauchi's passing made me realize about the positive things that he did). Nintendo could join forces with Sony and build a solid trust this time around and that would still not change the minds of some of the western developers. The gap between east and west is the real challenge for Nintendo in here and it is a challenge that seems to have finally caught up. Of course, that still doesn't change that better marketing would have helped the Wii U get better sales.

P.S.: Just for the record, about the unified account, Nintendo did the first step on that, but it is too soon to do anything more beyond what has recently been done unless Nintendo decides to expand the account to mobile and PC. Although, it would be interesting to see if the reason why the VCs for the 3DS and the Wii U didn't get GBA games (yet) is because Nintendo might be planning to use GBA games as an experiment if you know what I mean.

Matthew Mouras
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@Jeferson Soler

What do you think is more likely - that I'm "seriously" comparing apples and oranges, or you are looking for an argument that isn't there?

Jeferson Soler
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@ Matthew Mouras - "Sales of the Wii U in Japan are better than in the US, but they still are not good. 1.2 million in the first 52 weeks. Compare that to the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One." That's what you said and that's like saying that Book A is doing better in comparison to Book B due to Book A selling big worldwide and to Book B having unhealthy sales in Brazil. In other words, it is like comparing apples to oranges. A real compare/contrast as well as accurate analysis would be worldwide sales against worldwide sales and not worldwide sales against sales within a single country. So before you make any claims of me trying to look for an argument that isn't there, you should first look back what you wrote and analyze if that one statement is an accurate/fair assessment or not. By the way, assuming that a list that I saw on Wikipedia is accurate, Xbox One is the one that's not doing too well with worldwide sales (I take things from Wikipedia as a grain of salt as it is Wikipedia, but the list that I'm talking about is on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_game_consoles). Remember, it took Xbox One to be launched on couple countries to get around 3 million sales on release, while it took the PS4 only two countries (at first) to get around the same number of sales (if not more) on release.

Mike Griffin
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It's ironic how much the name -- and associated marketing -- is to blame.

In their arrogance, post-amazing success with Wii, they erroneously presumed that the Wii name carried so much leverage that consumers would instantly "get" the "second generation Wii" concept.

NOBODY got it.

Had they called the system the Nintendo Revolution, or the Nintendo Ultimate, etc., and combined that with marketing the console as an all-new Nintendo release, it would have made an enormous difference -- irrespective of available software around launch.

Nintendo tanked itself from the get-go with a really poorly communicated feature-set and -- for the average consumer -- a really confusing name. Nobody understood what the hell it was, or why they needed one.

It's been a struggle ever since.

At this point, in the short term, opening the Wii U to ALL second screen mobile devices (allowing them to ship a very low cost, Gamepad-less SKU) might be a small step in a better direction. It compromises some of the Gamepad's functionality and awesome tech, but fundamentally it's the direction they were aiming for with the Wii U's second screen design.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Mike Griffin - It wasn't arrogance. What happened is that Nintendo wanted to use the iPad/iPhone naming strategy (the mobile devices are popular in Japan), which was why Nintendo named the last console system Wii in the first place (a very simplistic but noticeable name). Nintendo was planning to make a console system line out of the Wii brand and it was something that Nintendo thought of doing even before the release of the Wii U. Nintendo thought that there would be no problems or harm with using the Wii U name, but Nintendo underestimated the way people would think, so a brand confusion occurred (especially in the US) and people didn't know that the Wii U was whole new system. If the system was named something like Super Wii, Wii 2.0, Wii Duo, Wii Ultra, or (considering your suggestion) Wii Ultimate instead of Wii U, then things would have been different. However, that wasn't the case and the lack of a strong marketing campaign that would tell that the Wii U is a whole new system didn't help matters, either.

Merc Hoffner
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I'll agree that the message wasn't nearly as clear and coherent as it should have been, but you must be joking if you're seriously suggesting that it would be good marketing sense to flat out drop one of the most powerful brands ever built for the sake of self-differentiation. Should "Ghost Busters 2" have been called "Slime Crew"? Should Star Trek: Voyager have been called "Far End of the Galaxy"? (or Lost in Space?). Would we accuse Sony, the primogenitor of the convention to reuse console names, of being 'arrogant' and self important? Well, we might, but it was good business sense as the PS2 is the most successful console in history. The "U" may be pointless, but surely so was "Wii" in the first place. It was silly, it was stupid, it was meaningless, and it was Nintendo sticking two fingers up and saying 'it doesn't even matter what we call it'. But, it was playful, it was unforgettable, and it worked.

Bob Johnson
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I think it is a legitimate question as to whether or not Nintendo should have used the Wii brand to represent a console that didn't include a Wiimote or a new version of a wiimote. Wii U is almost a different product. Wii meant get up off the couch. Wii U is supposed to mean sit on the couch and play games on a core game controller with a built-in screen.

Wii launched with Miis. Wii U launched with Nintendo's franchise characters.

Bob Allen
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Skipped the Wii and the 3DS (a first for a Nintendo handheld). I refuse to buy a 3DS until they put that second analog stick on the unit. There'e a big gaping blank spot on the 3DSXL for it to sit there properly- not hanging off like a cancerous growth. Nintendo can make it a requirement that all 3DS games not require the second analog stick the same way titles can't require 3D (so all games still work on the 2DS). It's only pride keeping them from putting that second stick on the base unit (and getting me to buy one).

Jeferson Soler
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@ Bob Allen - It has nothing to do with pride. Nintendo might have just believed that having a second stick was not practical, cost-effective, or necessary at the time. Not to mention and from what I noticed, most people are not even worried about a second stick when it comes to the 3DS. Granted, the company did create a second stick add-on for the 3DS, but that was more for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate only and I'm not so sure that the add-on was sold by a lot. If the demand increases between the West and the East, then Nintendo might consider creating a second stick. By the way, if the demand for the second stick was really there, Nintendo would have added a second stick onto the 2DS.

A W
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Nintendo Shares lost 6% on that day. Their share plunged to 18% but then climbed 12%

I think Nintendo just needs to harness the abilities of thing they created. A tablet gyroscopic controller device that allows interaction between it and a HD TV for HD gaming. The fact that it doesn't do any one thing to optimal performance is the disappointment many seem to have with the concept of the design. We know PS4 was design to do graphics to its optimal performance. We know Xbox One was designed to be a media delivery device for the living room. We don't know what the Wii U is because It can be a lot of things but is currently none of those things at it's optimal.

I think Nintendo can offer more through online via the eShop and the MiiVerse. They just need to be more like something we use and less like a step back from something we have at our convenience. MiiVerse needs video options for the user. MiiVerse needs to support user that want to create communities, even if they charge them a small fee monthly for doing so. The Gamepad needs to make use of that camera and mic that is built into it. The NFC needs to be used more for micro transactions, the apps need to work at better than good performance. The games from Nintendo development need to use 95 percent of the game pad an MiiVerse options, and lastly MiiVerse and eShop need to be tablet and smartphone apps ASAP.

Bob Johnson
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Good point. They have alot of stuff packed in that is creative, but most of these extra features leaves you wanting.

Miiverse seems cool, but for anyone other than my 7 yr old it is just this cute creative idea they will never use.

The browser on the system is decent, but again ultimately annoying enough to not stop using as a regular browsing device. Part of it is the resistive screen. Part of it the browser.

The eShop has improved, but it takes awhile to load and has enough annoying aspects to it, like the way screen shots are handled or clicking lots of prompts or just pressing on that touchscreen or the delay in switching between certain aspects of it.

Notifications are cool and yet still, for whatever reason, take eons to load and they are just text messages. It is hard to believe the loading of Notifications was even slower when the system launched.

The Gamepad is cool, but at the same time I rarely see my kids just pick up the Gamepad and play on just its screen if someone else is on the tv. I had expected this off-tv feature to be a hit. But I guess with other tvs in the house and other devices they just don't pickup the Gamepad and play.

And I can only guess once you get used to a big screen then playing on the little screen isn't the same. OR that they don't want to go look for headphones for the GAmepad if someone else is on the tv. Cross-sound is a problem. And they can't just take the Gamepad to a different room. Its range is pretty much the same room only.

They do seem to enjoy using it for local multiplayer games and splitscreen play.

TVii is a cool idea, but in my house it ultimately isn't used at all. The big problem for me is I don't have a traditional cable box. I have a wmc pc with a cablecard. IT does use a remote control. But I can't configure the Gamepad to control my setup. The other annoying thing is they map the essentials of your tv remote control to the Gamepad remote control, and no more. In my case I could also use the up/down arrows at the very least because otherwise I have to press the input key 8 times and pause for a second each time in order to switch inputs on my tv back to the input to watch tv.

If I had an up arrow it would be 2 key presses. It is annoying enough so that no one with a setup like mine is going to use it. And, btw, I can't just press the input key 8 times quickly. IT takes the tv awhile to cycle through some of the inputs before the input key can be pressed again.

Plus the TVii interface is a bit wonky. Pressing/scrolling on the resistive touchscreen sucks. And it also doesn't tie into your DVR which is how I watch most of my tv nowadays. So again it ultimately isn't used at all in my household. They did enough to justify the back of the box bullet list, but ultimately it isn't a winning feature.

Bob Johnson
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Wii U already lost the "primary" console war before it launched. Not enough horsepower and lack of western AAA games were problems before it launched.

And thus what was needed in order for it to sell was for it to be a Wii-Sports-sized hit. But it wasn't one. And isn't one.

And so I think consumers were and still are lost as to why they needed/need one and what exactly the Wii U even was.


The Wii U's extra features like the internet browser on the GAmepad or TVii feature aren't good enough to help sell the system.

No one knows exactly what the Gamepad is.

And then the Wii U lineup was ports of 360/PS3 games, NSMB and Nintendoland which I don't think people understood either.

When it came down to it, what was there really new for the consumer at launch? What was supposed to sell the system? The answer was Nintendoland.

Sure NSMB is decent enough, but not something that is going to get people out of bed to spend $350 that already had a Wii and NSMB. They probably figured they already have NSMB anyway.

So the only reason to spend $350 on a Wii U was Nintendoland and no one really knew wtf it was. And ultimately Nintendoland was really geared towards younger kids and parents that like to play some games with their kids. Anyone 13-35 wasn't going to be interested. Nintendoland was a series of smaller cartoony mini-games. And some of the key features of Nintendoland that showed off the Gamepad required at least 3 players. Not to mention that those extra players each needed their own wiimote (sold separately.)

WiiSports had a much broader appeal and didn't require more than 1 person to show off the system. On top of it some of the games in Nintendoland, while very well done and good fun, were glorified iOS games. Not a selling point for a $350 console no matter how well done and fun that Donkey Kong cart/track/tilting/banana splat game is.

Combine that with confusion over using the Wii name to sell the console even though it had little left over from the Wii era in the box. The console didn't include a wiimote. And there was no get off the couch WiiSports or WiiFit or WiiPlay type of game. All of a sudden the Wii name was used to sell old school Nintendo franchise character creativity.

This is why the system has had abysmal sales.


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