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Nintendo's Iwata: A single title could save the Wii U
Nintendo's Iwata: A single title could save the Wii U
May 13, 2014 | By Mike Rose

May 13, 2014 | By Mike Rose
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Following the admission that the Wii U is dragging the company down, Nintendo has told investors that it is not giving up on the console, as a single game release could turn the tide.

As part of an investor Q&A session, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that, although the company has only estimated sales of 3.6 million Wii U consoles for the current fiscal year, that doesn't mean the console has already hit its peak.

"In order to recreate momentum and sell 5 million or 10 million units of hardware annually, there are indeed challenges that we must overcome," he said. "The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title."

For example, he says, many critics said that the original Game Boy was done for before Pokemon came along and single-handedly changed the playing field.

"We do not believe that this year's estimate of 3.6 million units of Wii U hardware will be the peak of its lifecycle," Iwata added, "and we would like to work hard to make sure that we give sufficient momentum to the system so that we can expect good results in and after the next fiscal year, too."

Part of the short-term Wii U solution comes down to the production costs. Iwata says that the loss arising from production costs was taken into account in the previous fiscal year, thus "you could assume that there will be almost no loss this fiscal year for the sales of the 3.6 million hardware units."


"Before the release of the Pokemon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy."
And Nintendo isn't giving up on new first-party software for the console either. Iwata noted that, "our internal software development teams directed by Shigeru Miyamoto are committed to developing several titles" for the Wii U.

Some of these titles are nearly complete, he added, and will be unveiled at E3 next month, while others are still in the early stages of development.

Plus, Nintendo has its upcoming figurines business to attend to. "Activision has released video game titles from the Skylanders series over the past three years and Disney Interactive released the software title Disney Infinity last year," says Iwata. "Both video game series are compatible with character figurines and have created an extremely large market for these products."

However, Iwata stresses that Nintendo's primary focus is not to develop software to go with these figurines -- rather, the plan is to take a different approach to Activision and Disney, although the Nintendo president didn't spell out exactly what this different approach entails.


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Comments


Josh Charles
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This is absolutely laughable.

A single title will NOT save a console in this day and age. Maybe in the 90's and early 2000's - but not today.

There are considerably more factors that go into a purchase decision than just a single game -- online capabilities (streaming, competitive play, sharing), where your friends are playing, the perception that more must-have games are coming in the near future, price, OS and controller usability, etc. The list goes on.

Jon Smith
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Tl;dr I think Nintendo will see some sales once Smash Bros hits shelves despite the 3ds version also being available because games have and always will move consoles.

I disagree. I myself have a list of games that I would buy if I just happened to have a Wii U, just like I had a list of games I would buy if I happened to own a 3ds, which when Pokemon came around gave me enough incentive to do. Sure Wii U lacks in a lot of departments but believe it not, graphics and all that other jazz aren't important to a lot of people. It has been, and always will be, the software that sells the hardware and Nintendo KNOWS this. It's how they made their money in the first place, but I feel like they sort of forgot that with the success of the Wii and the pressure to keep up with Sony and Microsoft. I feel like people worry too much about stupid features these days and want their game consoles to do so much more than be game consoles. Why? Don't you own a TV or a computer?

I'm willing to bet that a lot of Wii Us will move once Super Smash Brothers is released, because that's certainly what I'm waiting for. Part of the issue is that they brought the Wii U with no house developed games. No Legend of Zelda, no Mario (New Super Mario brothers doesn't count) and when people I know got the system on release, it was a matter of "I guess I'll get this game and that game" instead of "YO DUDE I GOT THESE GAMES". People had to justify their loyalty to Nintendo instead of it just happening. The other part of Nintendo's problem is their previous stance on being so picky about developing for Nintendo consoles. They're late to the indie game, they're fumbling about getting old games re-released on the Wii U, and dag nabbit, the Wii U just isn't that interesting to develop for.

Innes McNiel
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Why doesn't New Super Mario Bros. count when it's the best selling Mario series?

Patrick Davis
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You talk like most people actually do research before they buy something. This couldn't be further from the truth. Those of us here talking on a business gaming site? Sure. But, most of the casual gamers I know would pick up a WiiU on a knee jerk reaction if there was a must have game everyone was playing. It's no different than when the Wii was flying off of the shelves due to Wii Sports. I'm not saying that one game will save the system, but please don't believe for one second that most gamers actually think about what they are buying before they buy it.

How many people bought Xbox Ones and PS4s on knee jerk reactions? I have 3 friends that have already sold their respective "next gen systems" because they are just collecting dust right now.

In short. Great games "will" sell the system. Regardless of what fringe features it has.

Theresa Catalano
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No, there's nothing laughable about it. Games are what sell systems, and certainly a single game can sell a system if it's desired enough.

Do I think that's the case with the Wii-U? Not exactly, but it's not far from the truth either. There's DEFINITELY a group of people who are waiting for Mario Kart / Smash Brothers before getting a Wii-U... I know they exist because I've talked to some of them. And you have to remember that there are already desirable games on the Wii-U. For a lot of people, it's not going to be so much a case of "a game that sells the system" as it will be "a game that tips the scales in favor of a purchase."

What the Wii-U needs is more games, and every great new game is one that will tip the scales in favor of a purchase for some people. Nintendo has the right attitude with Wii-U in not giving up, I would even call it admirable. Given time and the right games, I think it can come into it's own.

Bob Johnson
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A single title could easily save a console. You only have to go back to last gen and WiiSports to see an example of this. The Wii sold a ton without checking off all your requirements for a console purchase. Where would it be without WiiSports?

Maybe you're laughing because realistically these types of games come out only once a generation or so. And so the chances aren't great at all that it happens on the Wii U.

Dane MacMahon
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I don't think one game could save a PS4 or Xbox One, unless it became a phenomenon like Minecraft. However Nintendo is a different beast. Their previous consoles outside the Wii have shown there is a ~30 million strong group of people that want what Nintendo sells. The WiiU should be able to reach that figure if they make classic Nintendo games that group will feel the need to play. One game like that, say another Zelda, could shift the tides.

Unless that group of people is finally "over it," in which case Nintendo is probably screwed in general. I doubt they are though.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Dane MacMahon - Good point, but just for the record and if I'm not mistaken, Sony does have the God of War franchise as its trump card. I may be overstating this, but even though I'm not a huge fan of the God of War games, I'll not deny that the game series can help Sony move Playstation system sales if Sony runs into a worst case scenario. Of course, just like Nintendo with its IP franchises, Sony has to make sure that the next God of War game is really good for it to motivate people to purchase the PS4.

Marvin Papin
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And everyone wanna play super smash bross with a massive tablet in hand...

Marvin Papin
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I do not think it'll save it by the way. There are not much games on the console. No zelda (except THE reboot) and most games have a low quality for 50€/40€.

People got bored of mario in 2D and 3D one is in fact a 2.75D mario.
The myth is just collapsing.

The biggest problem comes from the WII side. Nintendo did expect that most people with a WII will buy a WII U but WII are taking dust down in a furniture, why would they buy a new one.

Moreover, they sold approx. 3.5M if I remember. Most are probably Xmas present and most of owners will probably get a PS4 or XB1.


Note that they try to do a 'one shoot' with zelda remake. And, euhhhh, ...

Jeferson Soler
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@ Marvin Papin - I have seen your comments in past in regard to Nintendo and those comments always sound like as if you are getting opinions from an inner circle instead of all the customers (especially the average customers). You always focus on the geek group instead of all the fans, hardcore fans, customers, potential customers, etc.. That kind of mentality that some people have is the problem within the videogame industry and is part of the reason why the videogame industry is danger of getting into another Videogame Market Crash. That kind of mentality (which is also your mentality) is immature at best.

"And everyone wanna play super smash bross with a massive tablet in hand..."
There are people that would, actually. There are people that already play games through a tablet, so there shouldn't be a problem for people to play games through the Wii U Gamepad if they choose to do so.

"I do not think it'll save it by the way. There are not much games on the console. No zelda (except THE reboot) and most games have a low quality for 50€/40€."
Actually, there are a good amount of games available for the Wii U and more to come. Also, if you read the original answer from Iwata instead of reading the article, then you would know that Iwata never said anything about a single title "saving" the Wii U (I put saving on quotes, because that word is the word that's being used for a game news media spin).

"People got bored of mario in 2D and 3D one is in fact a 2.75D mario.
The myth is just collapsing."
If people really got bored of the 2-D Super Mario games, than why are those Mario games still selling? If there's any reason at all for why some people wouldn't buy a game like New Super Mario Bros. U is because the game looked too similar to NSMB Wii, even though NSMB U is technically different from NSMB Wii. That kind of mindset was actually the reason why Nintendo of America didn't localize the original Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka The Lost Levels) back in the NES era and instead used a different game to be Super Mario Bros. 2. On the other hand, Super Mario 3D World is whole different game. The only game that resembles it when it comes to game setup is Super Mario 3D Land and the setup behind 3D Land and 3D World was to make those games into hybrid games (mixing 2D with 3D), making them more accessible to the public. Not everyone likes to play 3D games, especially when it comes to the Super Mario games, and to a lot of people, typical 3D games (like Super Mario Galaxy and Tomb Raider) tend to look too complex to them. That's why 3D Land and 3D World were done and Nintendo is not the only one that's using that strategy.

"The biggest problem comes from the WII side. Nintendo did expect that most people with a WII will buy a WII U but WII are taking dust down in a furniture, why would they buy a new one."
Nintendo might have expected that Wii owners would translate into Wii U owners, but whether Nintendo did have that expectation or not doesn't matter at this point. What really matters is that Nintendo (especially Nintendo of America) failed to do a strong Wii U marketing campaign from the beginning that would convince people to buy the Wii U and the poor Wii U marketing is still an issue right now. In case of NoA, it failed to even clarify people that the Wii U was a whole new system, so people thought that the Wii U was just an expensive add-on for the Wii and didn't bother to buy the Wii U as a result. Others may just be happy with the Wii and felt that they didn't need to get the Wii at the moment. Without a good marketing campaign (one that should also include lots of TV commercials), Nintendo won't be able to convince people to buy a $300 system (especially if the customers don't realize that the Wii U is a whole new system). As for the whole dust comment, people could clean up the dust that's on the Wii, but they may be too busy playing the Wii games and/or handling their busy lives to worry about cleaning up anything. No matter how many times it is said and how it is said, the whole "gathering dust" comment is unimaginative, unintelligent and senseless.

"Moreover, they sold approx. 3.5M if I remember. Most are probably Xmas present and most of owners will probably get a PS4 or XB1."
Still believing in the whole console wars thing? Nintendo already said that it is going its own path and not compete against the other two companies, and after seeing the desperate move that Microsoft had to do in order to get Xbox One at the same price as the PS4, I have to say that I'm glad that Nintendo is going its own path instead of trying to compete against Sony and Microsoft. If there's any system war at all, then it is only between PS4 and Xbox One and that's more of a multimedia system war and not a game console war. And if you still want to keep on believing on the whole console wars thing, then keep in mind that the Wii U is way ahead of the Xbox One and that the only reason why the PS4 is selling so much is because of impulse buying. I'll give credit to Sony for going 180 degrees by making PS4 more desirable than PS3, but the PS4 doesn't have that many games at all and a good portion of the PS4 games can also be played on the PC as well as (in some cases) the PS3, so people can just games for either the PC or the PS3 instead of wasting $400 on a system that hardly has anything different from a PC. Unlike the Wii, the PS4 is truly an impulse purchase and the sales are starting to hit the wall (most notably, in Japan). Still, just like the Wii U, it is too soon to know how well the PS4 is truly doing until as it is still going through its first year.

"Note that they try to do a 'one shoot' with zelda remake. And, euhhhh, ..."
Actually, the Wind Waker HD seems to be doing pretty well for a remake.

Marvin Papin
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All customers are constituted from lower circles, you cannot forget that there are hardcore, core, casual, "non player". Some hardcore can play a 'simple' mario and casual sometimes want something more difficult but Nintendo is not building its strategy on hardcore at all. The hardware is too weak for new AAA games and the pad doesn't fit. And you cannot get rid of that state. Now, I did not take all those circles separately. Of course, I must statued on one of those publics to argue about the effect of those choices of that public.

What do you call the average customer ? That's always the problem. If you do not aim at a public, you aim at a desire of a kind of gameplay, a story, an idea. But you must always find something to appeal a kind of player. You cannot gather always all players. Sony and MS consoles are all public because they gather entertainment, AAA, Indies. They communicate less about casual but people knows there's always a simple game somewhere, so they watch what it surrounds. On another side, Wii U is reeaally centered on casual : 2D, casualisation... If you do not take that, you'll never understand why sells are so poor.

Did you try the gamepad ? that's largely different from a "classic" tablet. And people do not think it's the same. And if they got a tablet, why would they get a new one only to play games at an expensive price...

"The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title." (p3) I see that more as "some games" but that's clear they relied on some licenses. But even if he's speaking about other systems, that's how they expected the success of the console.

It's not a war, it's just that having, 2 consoles is very expensive. But it does not sound the same from france where the "purchasing power" is quite low and even 250€ is very expensive. And most couldn't afford to get both.

WindWaker HD yes, but they tried to appeal players with it and failed. I think it's a good remake.

Anyway, I said for years "Nintendo will fail", most people I know did not trust me, but that happened. I'm always heard people say : "people want simplicity", but they do not buy those games, eve casuals. If a game is selling, that doesn't mean it's a good thing for the license. THI4F worked, but next one will seriously need a really cool gameplay and marketing to work. People expect more from mario each time and SMB in 2D is barely the same for some episodes, do you think it'll continue ? Nintendo fail at recycling it, that's all.

Please, can you tell me your though about why did nintendo failled. And that's not finished since I see some people sell their Wii U for a PS4.

It's all about analyzing. Maybe I'm wrong, but if people want simplicity and nintendo bring it, if they want mario in 2D and in 3D simplified, and nintendo bring it, why don't they buy a console ?

I'm quite tired and that's a lot to answer but I think it worth reacting on that. Sometimes I failed, but I've seen this situation again and again. At different level, many people just think I'm wrong, they do not argue, they do not reflect on my arguments. Here it's just reasoning but I knew some management cases where people failed because they do not question back something and set it as taken (maybe not the right way to say it in english). The problem is when everything falls, it's not about being right or wrong but the effect.

You say people want 2D mario because it sells well. Are you sure ? Maybe that no longer true and next time that will fail ?

It's a whole mess. And I'm messing arround, I know but they fail and according to your arguments, nintendo did the right things. Plus, you're reacting about reasons given by people but do not give your thoughts here.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Marvin Papin - I am giving my own thoughts and I can tell you right now that the real reason why Nintendo is having a hard time selling the Wii U (especially in the US) is because the Wii U marketing campaign in the USA is very lacking and done on the cheap. In my opinion, Microsoft has done a better job at promoting Xbox One as well as at explaining why it is called Xbox One than Nintendo of America at promoting Wii U *. It doesn't help matters that the NoA marketing team doesn't seem to grasp that all audiences are important and not the select few. Even the winner from the Wii U Pitch contest seems to do a better job at promoting the Wii U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa18Ux-d1iI) than the NoA marketing team (take your pick from the YouTube videos of the Wii U commercials from USA).

*(the only reason why the Xbox One is not selling too well, even with all the heavy marketing, is because of the $500 price tag)

Also, the 2-D Mario are still selling and there are data that prove that.
- DS: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/software/ds.html
- Wii: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/software/wii.html
- 3DS: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/software/3ds.html
- Wii U: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/software/wiiu.html
In case of the 3DS and the Wii U, I'm not sure if the sales include digital sales, but I'm assuming that they do.

By the way, not only I did try the Wii U Gamepad, but I own a Wii U and I like the system and the controller for it and am building a nice game library for it. However, even though I own a Wii, I have to say that Nintendo should have included a Wii Remote with the Wii U system as the Wii accessories and controllers are part of Nintendo's plans and strategies. Furthermore, Nintendo (especially its western branches) should have shown that the Wii U transforms the TV into a giant DS. People like the DS and 3DS (the two systems that use a dual screen) and those systems are selling real well.

The big problem that I keep on noticing from you is that you keep on insisting that people think just like you, but people are individuals with individual tastes and that's why it is always a good ideal to see what everyone is thinking and not just a small, niche group. You can claim that you pay attention to what the public is thinking all you want, but your comments tend to reveal otherwise. For one thing, if most people really cared about super technology, then they wouldn't even bother buying tablets, smartphones and similar devices. They would be buying a powerful PC that does everything (including play games that are found on the game consoles) instead. However, people are buying tablets, smartphones and similar devices and those devices are technically not that powerful, so for anyone to say that nobody is buying the Wii U due to "weak" hardware is very false as some (if not, most) people wouldn't even care less. Of course, because of brand confusion and price, people will tend to buy a Wii instead of a Wii U in some cases.

Speaking of the Wii U hardware, from what I noticed, the Wii U hardware is very powerful, and even if there was some truth to the Wii U hardware being "weak", so what? More than a week ago, I looked into the histories behind Game Boy and Gunpei Yokoi, and after learning about the histories behind them, I started to see Nintendo even more differently and in a good way. "Lateral thinking with withered technology" was Yokoi's philosophy and it is a philosophy that Nintendo still likes to use on this day (especially out of respect to Yokoi, who designed that strategy for Nintendo). The strategy is about using technology that's becoming old and affordable to build a cost-effective device (especially a game device) that may seem to have hardware limitations but that challenges game developers (including Nintendo itself) to build great games regardless of whatever limitation the developers come across. The Game Boy was the first system to use that strategy.

AAA games can still be done on the Wii U, but some western developers don't want to try, because they simply don't want to do games for the Wii U. However, it is not just with the Wii U on some cases. There are game developers that are happy that Xbox One will not come bundled with Kinect 2.0, because some of those game developers don't want to go through the additional hard work on programming special functions for Kinect 2.0. Some western game developers seem to have grown lazy and to not want to do the extra hard work on programming. Then again, most game developers would rather develop a game for PC and mobile devices than for a game console. Seriously! It was on a survey that I read about a long time ago. If the western game developers had a choice, then I believe that they wouldn't bother to produce games for consoles anymore and just stick with the PC. PS4 and Xbox One are like low-tech PCs anyway, so why bother wasting time and money doing a game for those systems when it is more cost-effective to produce a game only for the PC? Of course, that has more to do with mainstream western developers and not western indie developers (who tend to be more diverse). Having said all that, the idea of AAA games is overrated, in my opinion, and Project CARS is proving so far that game developers don't need extreme production budgets to do quality games.

As for people's tastes in games, most people tend to buy more non-AAA games than AAA games and the mobile phone game market is one of the proofs of that. A lot of people just want to enjoy games that are fun to them and are not worried about graphics. I don't know why you keep on insisting on believing otherwise, but then again, you keep on believing that Nintendo is failing, even though Nintendo has cash reserves set on the side and is doing well with the 3DS among other things (not to mention, this isn't the first time that Nintendo got its back on the wall). Sony is the one that's in trouble right now, but then again, that's because Sony got too much on the plate as an electronics and entertainment company, while Nintendo is mostly a game company that also specializes in game hardware.

Marvin Papin
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1) PR is not the matter. Nintendo is famous just say Mario, Luigi, Zelda and most people will react. But people just do not think the console and games worth the money. (note : XBO failed to promote their console well. At last E3 they largely got the advantage over sony but they sold the console like a company product, relying on digital games. And they failed. They went from a laaarge advantage to something like 2M consoles sold VS 7M for sony, and in console market, that's a huge difference). But if you really think PR is the problem, -i'll get back to the target- : gamers use E3, gaming sites and youtube to know about games so the PR problem is not really here. For casual, the rely on advertissement to tell people "hey we release the new nintendo console", and in that case, the public is well deserved with the kind of game they play, Most know that the console is out. But why don't they buy it ? It probably comes from the fact that it's called a wiiU and seems to be a re-stylized console. But in that case, that means that they just do not take a look at the games when they buy a console and just base themselves on the notoriety of it.

(*this is not about the price, but the licenses and the digital fear, take a look back at 2013 E3 (note that the MS exclusive IPs are weak, project spark ? no com since. Sunset overdrive ? just announced, just before E3 (for people to not complain about the fact that that was 1 year we didn't get any gameplay sequence), Titanfall, out but mitigated reviews. Add to that the fact that MS has said sometimes that they would be ready to sell Xbox div.......)

Sales ?
of course. but that does not mean people appreciate the games. I know they do for 2D mario they they didn't got bored of the same gameplay. But seriously, that's the kind of game you add to the console when you offer it to a young boy/girl. And mosty people do not take a look at what it looks like, it's just a "Mario". So those number are not really expressive.
And WII and DS are quite all now, that was the time of the reboot of 2D mario, of course that worked. But I do not think that will last long, that's all.

You got the point : "the Wii U transforms the TV into a giant DS", but "I got a DS and a WII, why should I buy one?". So you are ok with the gamepad but would have prefer to have a Wii remote with it ? It's a problem since that means that nintendo new hardware gameplay approach does not work so well. But what about play Super Smash Bros with the pad ?


Fortunately, people do not think like me. I just argue on objective facts, already stated. and aside I express my thought. The problem does come from the fact that sometimes, people do not see further. That's the kind of, ok, sales are strong, people like the game. So players who bought THI4F liked it ?
Tablets is a trend and it bring something conventionnal where you can do many things (even if IMHO I think it's more about watching TV and navigate over the net, but I've a convertible laptop). People do never look at the performance. Wii U is a console. people do not think "console" if they want to watch TV and navigate over the web on a protable device. Hardware is not weak, performances of it is. When you can have something much stronger to develop, you do not spend so much time optimising the game.


AAA can be done on WIIU of course. But now, that doesn't worth it. Big company have never been really "hot" on that side since nintendo hardware is largely less souple than a PS4 or XBO architecture, since it's weaker and so will be less beautifull and will need much more optimisation. I know it's not about graphics but if you can have the same games but more beautifull on another console, why take that one.
Plus, nintendo, with wii let down the gamers to focus on a public more casual (I know people can be both). But you cannot misstated this. The problem with casual is that you have less chances to see them get back on the sequel of your game, it's hard to "fidelize" them. Anyway, this is more risquy.
Kinect 2 : it's to hard to get smthg that people will like (it's a quite instable tech about data + latency (seems nothing like that but fast moves are a big problem)) Do you know about kinect ? what do you call extra work ? Implenting it in the gameplay is extremely hard, it's not a matter of lazziness
Why don't they have choice about PC, some devs did it mainly with indie ?
More cost effective to only develop for PC ? with unity, udk, cry engine, and the new more souple architectures

I totally agree about gameplay and graphics. But really beautifull and fun AAA makes people dreaming. But people do not expect AAA on WiiU, but good nintendo games.


And so, finally, you think ninetendo failure is just about PR management misleading ?

Melanie Struthers
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Well, Mike Rose, you certainly took what he said (as answer to a question) out of context by chopping it up. He didn't actually say that he expects the Wii U to recover with robust growth due to a single game. But you didn't bother to include the full 2 paragraph answer or a more holistic summary of the answer.

Ian D'Aprix
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Iwata certainly implied that it could happen with his Pokemon answer. Also, why should Rose include the full answer when it wasn't his question?

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ian D'Aprix - Actually, Melanie is right. Iwata's answer to that one question was taken out of context. Within the answer, Iwata was saying that "the fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title" and was using Pokemon as an example*, but he didn't say anything about a single title saving the Wii U. Between the recent IR Event and the Q&A connected to that IR Event, it sounds like that Iwata is counting on several Wii U titles to help move the Wii U sales and any one of those titles could be the one that people will want the most.

*In addition to Pokemon, I want to bring up Ocarina of Time as another example. N64 wasn't doing too well until that game was released.

Marvin Papin
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But that was 15y ago.

Those titles are now on XB1, PS4, according to tastes :
Halo
Titanfall
"""Gears of War"""
"""Mass Effect"""

God of war
"Last Guardian"
Infamous
Killzone
The Witness


and on another side :

-Super Smash bross (as I said above, with a biig pad ? while many fans will stay on Mele and brawl)
-Mario (I stick to mario sunshine, and once I'll do the galaxy, but it doesn't seems so involving, and I do not speak of the last one)
-Zelda? (just a reboot yet)


The times of 1 console killer app is finished

Jeferson Soler
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@ Marvin Papin - According to geek/otaku tastes, but not overall tastes! Even Activision realized that, which is why the company made sure that recent Call of Duty games were also accessible to game players that are viewed as casual in order to keep the CoD franchise alive (in other words, Activision attempted to expand the audience and not marginalize a single audience). The strategy that Activision used for the CoD games is a strategy that other companies will have to start using if they are going to have any chance of giving longevity to their games with the steep production budget price. As for the Nintendo games, people still want those games, which is why they are still selling.

Jim Burns
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This was part of a much larger statement

Seth Scoville
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The answer is in the article. A full fledged Pokemon game on Wii U. You could even have it work with the 3DS.

Innes McNiel
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"Before the release of the Pokemon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy."

By the time Pokémon came out, the Game Boy's sales were slowing because it was a six year old handheld. Likely the only thing that the release of Pokémon did was slow the release of the Game Boy Colour.

Theresa Catalano
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Pokemon would be the single biggest system seller they could have, there's no doubt about that. But I think the games they have coming will be fairly effective as well: Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, and Bayonetta 2. All of those games are certainly going to sell some systems. And if that X game turns out as good as we hope, you can put that on the list too.

Kyle Redd
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I would scratch Bayonetta 2 from that list in a heartbeat. No adult-targeted action game has ever had a material impact on the sales of any Nintendo console, and I don't think anyone is expecting Bayonetta to be an exception.

Bob Johnson
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Yep no chance Bayonetta will be a system seller.

Theresa Catalano
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For a huge amount of people, no. But for some people, it definitely will be.

John Flush
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I don't think a single game will tip the scales, but then again I bought a 3DS for Fire Emblem alone and later picked up a few games here and there.

The problem is their franchises have begun to stagnate again... after only one generation. NSMB on the Wii was great... for the first few hours. Then the competitive play got in the way. I was all about looking into a Wii U when I heard they were going to lead with NSMB 2, but then I realized it had all the same problems the first one had (wonky motion controls for the spin jump, the little pause when someone dies that messes up everyone else's jumps, and more) And realized I didn't want the same game with no reasonable and expected improvements.

IDK Nintendo. I don't think the console can be saved at this point from a lot of perspectives. You should tread water and try to rethink next gen.

Theresa Catalano
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Super Mario 3D World is quite a bit better and fresher than NSMB2. I would give Nintendo some credit, they may stick with the same IP's but in terms of gameplay they are always mixing things up.

Not to mention, the Wii-U has Wonderful 101, one of the freshest and most innovative games in the last few years!

John Flush
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but that is 3D... hasn't someone proved to Nintendo yet that their 3D stuff sells worse? Zelda's, Mario's etc...

Jeferson Soler
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@ John Flush - Actually and if I'm not mistake, Super Mario 3D Land was/is the exception to the rule. Part of the reason was because Super Mario 3D Land mixes 2-D with 3-D and Super Mario 3D World uses the same strategy. The pure Super Mario 3-D games (like Super Mario 64, its DS remake and the Super Mario Galaxy games) are the ones that don't sell as well as the Super Mario 2-D games, but they still sell pretty well. As for the Zelda games, that's different from the Super Mario games and it depends on the Zelda game. Remember that Ocarina of Time was a system seller (if not, the system seller) for the N64.

Bob Johnson
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Not sure the 3d land games on both Wii U and 3ds are doing better than the 2d Super Mario Bros games but I could be wrong. And they didn't come out at the same times either so you have to take that into account as well.

It is known that last gen Super Mario Bros way outsold Super Mario Galaxy. It sold more than Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 combined even.

I do think for many many people that 2d is more relaxing enjoyable experience. I have to say I'm at least halfway in that camp. I don't mind the 3d games. But I also hate fighting the camera problems in them.

I did think the 3d land games were a decent compromise although 3d world on the Wii U felt a bit off to me because the perspectives they used were the ones they developed specifically for the 3ds version and the 3d effect.


Leon T
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As Jeferson Soler said 3D Land on 3DS is doing better than NSMB on 3DS and NSMB launched first.

http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/software/3ds.html

Bob Johnson
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@Leon

actually I think 3dland on 3ds launched first by a year if I remember correctly and from your link it isn't that far behind in sales. 7.8mil compared to 9.2 mil. IN terms of sales per year NSMB2 is probably ahead.

But 3dLand is still leading and sales are close. Much closer so far than SMG was to SMB on the Wii.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Bob Johnson - Leon has a point. Even though you are correct about the release dates, 3D Land still has strong sales over NSMB 2 and NSMB 2 should have caught up to 3D Land by now as people do tend to prefer 2-D Mario over 3-D Mario. Then again, 3-D Land is a hybrid game, and if NoA had done a better marketing campaign for Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U (especially make the game look enticing to all audiences and show commercials on as many TV channels and timeslots as possible), then I believe that the game would have been much closer to NSMB U on units sold by now.

John Flush
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But the thing everyone is missing in this discussion is the 2D games, the initial one hit big. NSMB and NSMB Wii were massive sellers. More than their 3D counter parts. So why didn't the sequels do the same? They didn't learn what people hated in the first ones and put them into the sequels.

I actually was in line for a Wii U at launch because it appeared they knew which games I liked to play and play with my kids. As a smart consumer I waited for the reviews and details and when they turned out to have all the same quirks I hated with the first set I bailed and never looked back.

I wonder how many more people view the Nintendo franchises in a similar fashion? Just about every other Nintendo console is enough 'Nintendo' for me.

Jeferson Soler
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@ John Flush - Personally, I feel OK with NSMB Wii. If there's one criticism that I have about the game is that the game has a second Toad character instead of Peach or Daisy as an usable character (it felt like an excuse to avoid including a female character as a player character). That's something that was remedied with Super Mario 3D World as Peach is one of the characters that you can choose to play with. If you beat World Star 2, you can also have Rosalina as an usable character, so you get a total of 5 characters at your disposal as a result. Myamoto's successors for the Mario franchise did a great job with Super Mario 3D World, in my opinion, and I feel that 3D World is even more accessible and comfortable than Super Mario Galaxy (and I like Super Mario Galaxy).

Leon T
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Yup I got the release dates wrong. Sorry about that.

I think NSMB on DS/Wii was such a big hit due to there being a huge gap between the older 2D Mario platformers. Plus they were different than the previous 2D Mario games and pretty fun games. What the NSMB sequels failed at it is being different enough to warrant the same sales. You can look at them and get the feeling that you played the game before. Mario Wolrd and Mario 3 look like different games.

Marvin Papin
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Well, are you mostly speaking about WII games ? Most wii buyers will not buy a "U".

Personally, I largely prefer a 3D game like SM64, SM Sunshine, Ocarina of Time, WindWaker. NSMB will just work twice maybe but People got bored of a non much innovative 2D more quickly than a 3D game. (but maybe I'm an explorer, and I grew up (in video games) lately and with a 64 and many 3D adventure games). Nintendo should think back like N64. Even with not absolutely beautifully games but people expect games LIKE :

Banjo Kazooie
Glover (yeah, not well known)
SM64
Ocarina of Time
DK64
Rayman 2
Gex 3D (...)
Starfox 64
Star Wars rogue squadron (sigh)
Golden eye 64
...


(Maybe they are more oriented SM.......)

Bob Johnson
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@John

The new platforms aren't as popular for many reasons. And this transfers to game sales.

Also new SMB Wii U is probably too much of the same as the previous one to garner the same amount of sales or higher.

I don't think it has anything to do with what quirks you hated in the previous game.

Joshua Marshall
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Star fox
Fzero
Fire Emblem
Pokemon MMO (i know The N is terrified of the internet, but this would fix all there problems)
Zelda not a fudging remake!!!
Mario/Sonic Platformer 2d or 3d
Mega Man (possibly X comeback?)
Eternal Darkness
Nintendo version of kingdom hearts
Zombies ate my nieghbors
mario 64 2 bring back the pictures
... and wait for it wait for it.... a partnership with a major phone manufacturing and make a nintendo phone

Joshua Marshall
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Star fox
Fzero
Fire Emblem
Pokemon MMO (i know The N is terrified of the internet, but this would fix all there problems)
Zelda not a fudging remake!!!
Mario/Sonic Platformer 2d or 3d
Mega Man (possibly X comeback?)
Eternal Darkness
Nintendo version of kingdom hearts
Zombies ate my nieghbors
mario 64 2 bring back the pictures
... and wait for it wait for it.... a partnership with a major phone manufacturing and make a nintendo phone

Joshua Marshall
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Star fox
Fzero
Fire Emblem
Pokemon MMO (i know The N is terrified of the internet, but this would fix all there problems)
Zelda not a fudging remake!!!
Mario/Sonic Platformer 2d or 3d
Mega Man (possibly X comeback?)
Eternal Darkness
Nintendo version of kingdom hearts
Zombies ate my nieghbors
mario 64 2 bring back the pictures
... and wait for it wait for it.... a partnership with a major phone manufacturing and make a nintendo phone

Eric Harris
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Iwata is completely right. Having a strong IP is a wonderful branding tool. Matter of fact, it is one of the reasons Sega and Nintendo held so much market share between the late 80's through the 90's. You have to look at how the market is made. You need 1st party exclusives to sell your system over competitor's systems. Then, you need third party titles to continue to keep market share. Now they just need to get the results from the R&D they bought, and get some great games for the Wii U.

@ Joshua
I was with you till the mobile phone bit, but to each his own I guess.


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