How Can Wii U Beat PS4, Xbox One? It's all About Content, Nintendo Exec Says

Nintendo executive says selling systems comes down to having compelling software.

Nintendo's Wii dominated the last generation of consoles, selling 100 million units, compared to around 80 million each for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But so far in this generation, the PlayStation 4's 7 million units sold is already ahead of the Wii U's latest confirmed sales figure of 6.17 million, despite Sony's console launching an entire year after Nintendo's. How can Nintendo improve its fortunes and come out on top this console generation? That's the question IGN put to Nintendo of America executive Reggie Fils-Aime during a recent interview.

"It's all about content," Fils-Aime said. "For us, if you look back at what we were able to do during the Wii generation. What we're able to do with DS. What we're doing now with 3DS. It's about content. It's about content that widens the footprint for the platform. It's about content that drives the install base. And as we do that, guess what? People buy hardware."

Reggie said as people buy Wii U consoles, they'll talk with their friends about the "great experiences that they're having," and this will in turn lead to even more sales, he argued. He went on to suggest that though the Wii U has gotten off to a slower start than Nintendo might have wanted, it doesn't mean the console can't reach 100 million units sold someday.

"That's what we did with the Wii. That's what we did with the DS on a global basis. That's what we're looking to do with both 3DS and Wii U, but it starts with content," Fils-Aime said. "And that's why, for us, at events like E3, our developers spend so much time talking about the content and how we're driving innovation there."

Explaining why the Wii U may have gotten off to a slow start, Fils-Aime acknowledged that games like Super Mario 3D World, Wii Fit U, Pikmin 3, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD were all late to market. "These are all games that we wanted to launch earlier in the system's life," he said. As a result, Nintendo was unable to gather sufficient momentum.

But this is now changing. Mario Kart 8 launched in late May and sold more than 2 million copies during its first month. The game also drove some "very nice momentum" for Nintendo's business overall, Fils-Aime said. Looking ahead, Nintendo will look to games like Bayonetta 2 and the new Super Smash Bros. game for continued growth. "We think it's this pace of product launch that we need to really drive momentum for Wii U," Fils-Aime said.

But it's not just about games for Nintendo. The company will launch an ambitious toys-to-life initiative called amiibo later this year.

Here's how console sales compare for the Big Three right now.

Do you think the Wii U can catch up to the PS4? Let us know in the comments below!

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

409 comments
dhaynes25
dhaynes25

I've grown up with Nintendo. Love them. But I've outgrown the traditional Mario games and I want excellent Zelda and Metroid games. Bayonetta 2 does look good. But right now doesn't warrant a buy for me right now

nychd
nychd

I just bought a Wii U and it actually has more fun games out than either PS4 or XBOX ONE (and I'm not talking about Mario Cart). So I can definitely see the content argument.

bourne714
bourne714

Well Nintendo, if compelling software is what you say will win the battle, then where the hell is the compelling software?!?!?  I would love to go back to Nintendo, and have been debating on buying a Wii U since it was released, but there just enough to warrant a purchase for me.  The fact that it only has 2 gigs of ram compared to 8 gigs on Ps4/Xbox One doesn't even bother me that much. Hell, PS3 and Xbox 360 proved that awesome gameplay experiences can be had with 512mb of ram and some smart programmers.  Give us some awesome software Nintendo.  I know you have it in you.

anuroopsraj
anuroopsraj

i don't think so.Even in content terms PS4 is much more prefered,cause of its much awaited games like final fantasy xv...

watchdogsrules
watchdogsrules

something tells me this guy forgot about PS4 and Xbox one

j1965
j1965

No ps4 is in charge right now

Martyr77
Martyr77

I actually want to support Wii U but there just aren't any games unless you LOVE Mario at the moment.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

The wii u is a great system love zombi u, mario kart 8 super mario brother u  and many great games on it i have played. i even have the wii u version of batman arkham origins.  to many people have the attiude of nintendo packing up but the fact is it takes time to turn things around, As time moves on more and more people are going to see how great the wii u is and thiird parties are going to see there were being sucm bags buy making 360 and ps 3 version of games know dam well they can do a wii u version and it would be better on there than 360 and ps 3 as its more powerful.  there is to much propergander in the media nintendo will be fine and the wii u is going to grow and grew. 6.17 is no small user base. infact thats not really that far behind ps 4 7 million not even a million behind. so why behave like the wii u is doing badly when that is a pretty sollid user base and its only going to grow?

strothers101
strothers101

Nintendo has been around since 1889, im sure they will be fine.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Nintendos main problem is that they don't make games for adult gamers at all. Don't get me wrong, their family friendly games are fun to play, but there's rarely any substance there to compel adults to play. There's almost no story to be found in any of their games. Mario has been thwarting Bowser & rescuing Peach since the beginning of time. Same thing with Donkey Kong & Zelda.

Adults buy games, not children. Nintendo doesn't even have to have a powerful system. They just need some adult oriented content, and I don't mean only 3rd party stuff either. Look at the shooter they're making... it's paint for God sake. If they addressed this majority segment of the game industry they would be in a much better place with consumers, not to mention financially.

Im not saying to stop making family games, but at least add some mature-themed games made by Nintendo. The same way people like to watch R-rated movies, people like to play games meant for grown-ups. I don't understand why this hasn't happened yet because it's certainly not a new idea. Hopefully... eventually... we will see some adult content from them. They're alienating the same people that used to play the original NES all those years ago.

CISX
CISX

go nintendo go!

Jimmymonkeyboy
Jimmymonkeyboy

Want to force tons of parents into buying their kids a Wii-U? Make an open world, (actual) 3D Pokemon game, combine it with the Amiibo idea and Nintendo is printing money again.

fede018
fede018

It's all about milking franchises, right? Mario, Zelda, etc...

mr_nee
mr_nee

Can WiiU win back offices, grandparents, party or hardcore gamers? No! What can they win? Families with small kids and hardcore Mario fans

mattcake
mattcake

I thought the Wii U was competing with the 360/PS3?

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Why do you keep showing these old fitness / casual / family pictures on every Wii U article? Why not show images of actual upcoming Wii U games? You know, the kind of content Nintendo is talking about here in this article.

80sgamerftw
80sgamerftw

I've always wondered if Nintendo went software only and decided to make games for PS4 and Xone, how much money would they stand to make? I'd bet my bottom dollar Ninty would topple call of poopy sales.

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

sorry nintendo.. but your never going to be on top of the console market when your competing with the PS4.. you still do well with kids, and nintendo fan boys, but most gamers will go with PS4 ... or maybe the x box one

corrus
corrus

From gamespot are big AH they love to make such articles and to watch how fanboys fighting

Metallicwolf29
Metallicwolf29

FF7 remake on the wii u will end the console war

j1965
j1965

U mean 1986 ol

robbdgaf
robbdgaf

@Vodoo Dude... The reason "Splatoon" is paint, is because they are squids, they shoot ink.. well they are human and morph into squids to swim through their teams ink using it to sneak up on other players, hide, move quicker, and to reload, you can spray ink up a wall then swim up it to reach a higher platform. etc. while other teams ink makes your move slower etc... its pretty damn awesome... you cant swim through bullets, wouldnt make sense (unless its maybe blood they swim through, a vampire vs alien version, different coloured blood).... they could have made the splatoon characters less kiddy looking... And I do agree with you on some points, I myself would like to see more mature rated games, Especialy a MA-R rated franchise made by nintendo themselves, would love to see what they could do

ultimaomegazero
ultimaomegazero

@Vodoo They're not for kids, they're for all ages. All ages include kids.


They're not alienating them. Most of them still buy Wii U games.


And those "mature games" are just horrible rehashes. Nintendo is about genuine fun.


Try playing A Mario game. Kirby. Zelda, Pokemon, Pikmin, and others. Try those first.

pcgeekmaniac
pcgeekmaniac

@Vodoo By mature you mean mature like in Last of Us or mature as in naked Saints Row 3??

Because great storylines sans nudity and gore were always there.

Also I am hoping this one of those cases where one plays 18+ rated games only because if he plays Pokemon others will make fun of that person. Because that would be stupid.

Also if you are really "into it", there is Bayonetta 1&2 collection for WiiU and all the assassins creed and call of duties.

johnw1104
johnw1104

@fede018

Yes, because "milking franchises" is a practice exclusive to Nintendo...

robbdgaf
robbdgaf

@mr_nee lol they won me over, I actually have the best experiences with nintendo games and the way they make you play them... Im always switching in between bouts of GTA and Super mario 3d world... Its funny tho coz I actually always use the gamepad even when im not playing games, just for the internet, and its awesome to be able to swipe through youtube music videos on the gamepad screen while a video is still playing on the tv screen while I have beers with mates

noncasualgamer
noncasualgamer

Or people who like mh3u. But you have probably never touched a mh game.K, much less a Wii u.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

@mattcake no wii u is generation 8 360 and ps 3 is 7 with original wii. who like such nonseanse only idoit that buy into the propergander the media sells

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

@mattcake As far as I'm concerned, the PS3 is still currently more worthwhile than a Wii U, PS4, X1, 360, and Wii.

packtop
packtop

@80sgamerftw 

Nah, that would kill most franchise from Nintendo.

Lot of Nintendo franchise wouldn't work on other consoles.

I think Sony proved that already by copying some of Nintendo franchise.

junoh315
junoh315

@Metallicwolf29 Might as well throw in Legend of Dragoon 2 and Half-Life 3.  Screw it, let's make Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy XV exclusive to the Wii U as well.  Might even ask Microsoft politely for the new Fable game and all of the Halo games.

Seriously though, if something like that happened then Nintendo would easily win.  It won't ever happen but it's fun to think about it.

234glenn
234glenn

@j1965 nope, he's actually right, 1889, sounds weird right, they started as a playing card company, think of poker and blackjack, and all that kind of stuff

Orga777
Orga777

@packtop @80sgamerftw

Are you serious? Why wouldn't they work on other systems? The can't have a platformer Mario game, a Zelda adventure game, a Metriod shooting game, or Mario kart racing game on other consoles? What franchises wouldn't work on the other systems?

TroyTrojanGamer
TroyTrojanGamer

@shinjuki @thekazumalord Love them or hate them they need to fire whoever is steering them in this direction.  The Wii U made absolutely zero sense.  It might have four years ago but I to this day cannot understand why they would not just wait a year and release a true next gen console.


I love the old Nintendo not the new Nintendo. The one that was actually concerned with competition instead of milking extreme fan boys.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@shinjuki @thekazumalord I don't. If I wan't to play kart/smash crap. Sony has copy/paste games = LBP karting/PS all star battle royale

nikon133
nikon133

@Orga777 I think he thinks that those who want to play Mario/Zelda/... games will by Nintendo console anyway, and those who don't buy Nintendo console don't want to play Mario/Zelda/... games anyway, so they will not get them on other platforms anyway.

Hmm... don't know. I do think Nintendo is milking their franchises more/longer than others on average, but then again, those franchises seem to be quite nice when people want to play them again and again, right? I'd definitely give Mario and Zelda a go if they would come to any of my consoles, but I'm still not convinced that I'd love them tat much to justify purchasing Nintendo console... so there's that.

TroyTrojanGamer
TroyTrojanGamer

@nikon133 @Orga777 False statement that may have been true eight years ago.  There are many ex Nintendo gamers who want Nintendo games but also want non Nintendo games.  Why people like me have gone away from them.

If I could get my Zelda on Xbox I would be happy.