Nintendo: Wii U on the Brink of Success, No Plans to Drop the GamePad

Struggling platform poised for a 3DS-like turnaround, marketing executive Scott Moffitt says.

The Wii U is on the brink of success, according to Nintendo of America marketing executive Scott Moffitt. Speaking with GamesIndustry International at E3, Moffitt pointed out that the 3DS also got off to a slow start before Nintendo cut the price and released key first-party games like Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land. The Wii U's situation isn't all that different, he said.

"As I look at what we have coming this holiday, now with Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., plus the innovation of Amiibo, I think we are right at that tipping point where we have a lot of great content that is about to be released for that platform that's going to tempt gamers into buying the system," Moffitt said. "From the comments I'm reading online, and following gamers' comments, I think there are a lot of people that are going to have a hard time resisting buying a Wii U once Smash Bros comes out. I think that's going to be a major hardware driver for us. So that's the narrative we hope that plays out and that I think we are starting to see play out."

"I think there are a lot of people that are going to have a hard time resisting buying a Wii U once Smash Bros comes out" -- Nintendo's Scott Moffitt

Wii U hardware sales have been on the rise since the release of Mario Kart 8 last month, which sold 1.2 million copies during its launch weekend alone. Nintendo also has a new open-world Legend of Zelda game in the works for 2015, another title that would be likely to help sell consoles. One method Nintendo won't employ to boost sales is by unbundling the Wii U GamePad (and thereby presumably lowering the price), Moffitt said.

The Wii U GamePad is the most truly innovative piece of technology released for any of the new consoles, and Nintendo has no plans to abandon it, he said.

"We think GamePad is the only innovation that's come in this new generation of consoles. So we have the only real point of difference," Moffitt said. "Certainly graphics are faster, graphics are better. This is not a real innovation for gamers. We are fully committed to leveraging the GamePad, to keeping it bundled with the system."

This stance varies from that of Microsoft, which--after feedback from fans--started selling Xbox Ones without Kinect last week for $100 less than what the consoles sold for at launch just seven months ago.

Also in the interview, Moffitt broached the subject of third-party support for the Wii U. He pointed out that Nintendo has the support of big-name publishers like Sega, Warner Bros., and Activision, but acknowledged that it's up to Nintendo to drive console sales to encourage more publishers to make games for the console.

"It's all about driving the install base and so that's our work to do, right? We need to get to a critical mass where it makes financial sense for them," he said.

As of March 31, Nintendo has sold 6.17 million Wii U consoles worldwide. The company expects to sell another 3.6 million systems by the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2015.

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

338 comments
Stinger78
Stinger78

The gamepad is necessary with the Wii U, unlike the Kinect with Xbox 360 and One.  There have even been times I've used its screen even when the game was on the tv at the same time.

Thanks to Mario Kart 8, and the current Target ad, I now own a Wii U.  Target in the store and on the website, at least today and tomorrow is offering $25 off the Mario U/Luigi U bundle system and buy-2-get-1-free on all Wii U games.  Along with other games, I ended up getting Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, and Zombi U free.  I also got Pikmin 3 free thanks to the current Mario Kart 8 deal.

I'd also have to recommend both NES Remix games for those fans who've been here since the old days :)

cashandchecks
cashandchecks

I love the game pad, it gives me something extra to look at. However since we have more than one TV, I never had to resort to using it as the main screen. 

jdog8888888
jdog8888888

I've owned several consoles over the years. This crop looked like the last, and I thought I was going to skip this generation. Then I played some Mario Kart and Super Mario Brothers Wii U at a friends house. I had to get one. I love playing it with other people online and locally. It is fun for small or large chunks of time and with different player levels. Nintendo does a great job with its titles, I look forward to the new Zelda and Smash Brothers!

twizzickle
twizzickle

Why do people even think that "dropping the gamepad" is even an option?? All the software is made for it. it would require reprogramming every piece of software that was designed for it that...is...(drum roll)...totally impossible!! So stop suggesting it!!! These suggestions are coming from people that have no idea what they are talking about. Im serious. I'm not trying to start a fight or be mean.

Also do these people even own a Wii u? or are they just blindly judging??!  I personally think the gamepad is great...I loved in in Monster Hunter 3.. made inventory management super easy. Its also surprisingly comfortable. The only thing that stinks about it is the battery life.

I guess the resolution could be better, but then it would drain the battery even more and/or cost more. So I think its perfect the way it is.

seven7swords
seven7swords

Not saying my situation is anything to go on as a idea of Nintendo future success or down fall but I will say this: 4 of my friends have a PS4 and 2 of them have an XBox One. After Mario Kart 8 came out 5 of them bought a Wii U and haven't touched their other consoles since. The last guy plays his PS4 on occasion but he's been over my house and my other friend's house playing Kart a lot and says he is saving for a Wii U.


I'm sure it the hype will die down. I love Kart and all but I nearly 3 stared everything and I'm satisfied with my time trials. I figure by the time my friends start playing kart once a week instead of 10 hours a day Smash will be out.


I like owning a PS4 and Xbox One and think they both have their merits but way I see it my Wii U is going to get the most play time and I'm glad people are turning around and enjoying the console. It's a great system if you just give it a chance. Love how you can play on the game pad. No longer do I have to worry about people walking in front of the t.v. >.<

WR_Platinum
WR_Platinum

I figure they are awaiting for a comeback like the 3DS. I just wonder if it will truly drive the success that the WiiU needs. I feel its a mistake to rely on one game to change it all, MS did that mistake with TitanFall.

hdluffy
hdluffy

me and my buddy played 8 hours of mario kart 8 online play last night.  felt like....3 minutes.  forgot to eat.  


My xbox one is collecting dust until Master Chief and UNITY

badwedgie00
badwedgie00

Once they have a new Metroid game for the Wii-U, if it is any good, I shall go ahead and buy a Wii-U. I'll even buy some additional games for it -- Donkey Kong Freeze, Zelda, Mario Kart Wii, Pikmin, and hopefully they'll create a Pokemon game for it so my kids can play, too.


nami_the_mage
nami_the_mage

All I need is my Wii U, 3DSXL and my PC for all of my gaming needs. Hopefully Sony and Microsoft will give me a reason to game on their newest consoles in the future, because they haven't yet. Oh well, here's hoping.

Vodoo
Vodoo

All the really good stuff comes out next year. I don't think Smash Bros is gonna be a big system seller, I just don't. Of course there will be a significant sales boost when it launches, but it's not gonna make a big enough dent that Nintendo needs. Zelda and Metroid will kick things off for the Wii U.

I also think the system is way overpriced. Being it's competing with the Xbox 360 & PS3 more than the XB1 & PS4, it should be more in that price range. Nintendo also is being stubborn about ditching the Gamepad. Most don't want it and, just like the XB1's Kinect, it drives up the cost of the system. The Wii U should be $149.99. At that price people will buy it.

sdinh225
sdinh225

Welp, Nintendo just got sued by Philips over some legal issues with motion control patents. Not sure what will happen next but if Philips successfully stops the sale of the Wii U and getting money for "damage", wonder what's gonna happen to the upcoming games.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

If they was to drop the game pad it would be an overpriced Wii ..... They don't have any plans to do such a retarded thing. With all the new games announced it would be the final nail. I find it ironic that everyone bashes the big N but yet copies everything they do. Game pad is equal to connecting your phone/tablet to your PS4/X1. Wii mote....kinect/PS move......rumble pak/built in vibration in controllers. ...wii mote speaker in the controller, my PS4 has that....Not sure about the X1 tho..... When are people going to realize that the big N usually is the outside the box thinking company and everyone else mocks them? Heck M$ don't seen to do anything for themselves, they just buy the company that created it. The Kinect and just about any company like Bungie and Rare to name a few. I'm glad Bungie came to their senses and got away from them!

wcwj26
wcwj26

I feel for all those fanboys who spent all that time and effort saying the Wii U is dead. I can't even go on a Nintendo related forum now without a large proportion of the neutral's saying they're going with the Wii U in the near future.


Nintendo 1 - Fanboys 0 me thinks!

DeusGladiorum
DeusGladiorum

See? This is why I love Nintendo. This is how it's done Microsoft. You DON'T unbundle a piece of technology you've been yelling is "incremental" to the experience of the system as a whole! You do what Nintendo does and you don't make stupid, hasty decisions to increase sales in the short term that are ultimately going to cripple your damn console in the future. Microsoft had a chance to leave the Kinect in, take a few hits to profit for a little while (as though they couldn't afford to), and then wait until they had a massive library of Kinect games that actually made the peripheral worthy of keeping. Now? They've forwent all of that just so they could increase their damn sales a little bit in the future. 

fatalscorpion
fatalscorpion

See MS this is what happens when you don't listen to gamer's silly demands. You ride through the shadows striking fear in the competition like a dark knight....

TAracer
TAracer

I actually agree with the Nintendo rep. Wii U will be my first next gen purchase.  Until Sony stops making games for PS3 I can't justify upgrading to a PS4. 

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

"brink of success"? The wii U right now would be lucky to hit GC numbers at this point. Smash and MK8 are all well and good and will sell their numbers but the two biggest games this fall will be destiny and the new COD both of which aren't coming out for the wii U not to mention the yearly sports tittles which are always constant big sellers ( madden, NBA 2k, etc.) this is just corproate speak which isn't surprising seeing that its coming from a PR guy.

adventuremind
adventuremind

wiiu gamepad is the best video game controller i ever had

Twilord
Twilord

@seven7swords Make sure you all get your free-games! Pikmin 3 and Wind Waker HD are both amazing! (I'd suggest getting both. - Also Super Mario 3D World, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut if you didn't have it on a previous console.)

twizzickle
twizzickle

@WR_Platinum I think as the library of awesome 1st party titles grow..people will flock towards the wii U very similar to the 3DS.

I actually sold my 3DS after i bought it, not too shortly after release..as I was not happy with the titles for it

Now there are SO MANY AWESOME GAMES for the 3DS that I was pretty much forced to buy one again.

Stinger78
Stinger78

@nami_the_mage With TitanFall and Dead Rising 3 along with many other multiplatform games on PC, I have very little reason to get an Xbox One or PlayStation 4.  There just aren't a lot of compelling exclusives for those, whereas I already have a dozen games for Wii U and I've had it a very short time.  I'm also looking forward to Mario Maker, Star Fox and the new Zelda.

pcgeekmaniac
pcgeekmaniac

@Vodoo Are you talking out of your a$$?? $149?? Really??

Have you ever checked Amazon?? The cheapest used PS3 is priced $140. And that is a last gen console that has had multiple iterations.

You mean to say, WiiU, which has DirectX11 equivalent feature set, occupies less than half the volume compared to PS3, uses less than half amount of electricity in it's first iteration than the latest PS3 model does and has complete backwards compatibilty, is somehow supposed to be priced cheaper than PS3. I guess that since you have taken the first step, you might as well say that 

"Nintendo is a greedy company because they don't price WiiU at $10".


Here are some links that will provide you some much needed knowledge.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_feature_keywords_0?rh=n%3A468642%2Cn%3A!11846801%2Cn%3A14210751%2Cn%3A14210711&bbn=14210711&sort=price-asc-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1403341200

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-wii-u-is-the-green-console


Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Nintendo is not competing with Sony or M$ they state that almost every time. They always do what they want to do. As for the game pad it is clear you don't have a WiiU as workout the game oaf it is a high priced Wii, which is a waste all together. The game pad makes the system and now with Sony and M$ allowing your tablet to be used as a second screen they see the vision in it. Nintendo has led the video gaming industry for decades. Sony and M$ just focus on power, power does not make unique, fun games....

sdinh225
sdinh225

Derp, nothing much to worry yet though they're looking to try to screw Nintendo over in the states with banning Wii U sales.

Stinger78
Stinger78

@wcwj26 I haven't been a fanboy, rather a 'hold-out'.  This years e3 was exactly the push Nintendo needed for the Wii U.  I just got one recently, and I'm looking forward to Star Fox, Zelda and Mario Maker.

Mastadope
Mastadope

@wcwj26 Lol the Wii U will never die, but will most likely be outsold by quite a bit compared to the competition.  MS VS Nintendo for this gen.  Sony is in first at the moment but could be knocked down but who knows.  Sony's track record says that they will most likely finish first with most units sold.  Hopefully Nintendo can keep this momentum going and start gaining back third party support. 

seven7swords
seven7swords

@DeusGladiorum I think the problem with Kinect was that the motion tracking was iffy at best. If the technology was more accurate and reliable then I'm sure more people would be convinced and developers would have done great things with it. I haven't used Kinect at all on my XB One but on my 360 I did use the voice controls for Mass Effect 3. They kind of worked... :/

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

@DeusGladiorum How would unbundling the kinect cripple the xbox one? The kinect was never intergral to the console no matter how much Microsoft claimed it was and in hindsight we can clearly see that motion controlled gaming was a fad so why attach that to your console? lastly; if microsoft couldnt make a case for kinect during the last gen what makes you think they could for this one?

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

@TAracer Sony isn't really making any cross gen games. The only ones I know are MLB the show and LBP3

wcwj26
wcwj26

@GOGOHeadray Be nice to hear a Sony spokesman being honest and say that the company might not even be around in a few years. Instead, they know the ponies just love to lap up their bs!

Mastadope
Mastadope

@GOGOHeadray That comment is bound to rile up some Nintentards.  How dare you, JUST HOW FING DARE YOU speak with facts and logic and statistical data.  Games are about fun and that's it.  You shouldn't worry about graphics, third party support, under powered hardware, underutilized gimmicks, sales or online, features.  Just play the games, the many many FUN best exclusive Wii U games. 

Mastadope
Mastadope

@adventuremind Ya know there is a saying that goes, "Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one".

nami_the_mage
nami_the_mage

My thoughts exactly! The funny thing is that we can now pre-order Dead Rising 3 on PC for 33%-40% off through the Steam Summer Sale right now. So not only can we buy the game for less, but depending on your setup, will have the potential to run better than its console counterpart. The upcoming Legend of Zelda title will only be available on a Wii U, as well as a bunch of other first party exclusives, making it an essential part of my entertainment setup.

wcwj26
wcwj26

@Mastadope I hope any 3rd party contributions will allow a unique experience only the Wii U can give. Having 3 console (plus PC) all offering practically the same experience seems like a waste of time and effort imo.

DeusGladiorum
DeusGladiorum

@GOGOHeadray @DeusGladiorum And why wouldn't the Kinect have been integral to the experience? Based on what? It had all the potential too. It just didn't have the games, which is something that it could have had given the time. The Kinect didn't have a case last generation because it was weak, underutilized, and most importantly it was an optional peripheral -- which mean't developers were far less likely to develop for it because only a handful of people owned a Kinect. Doesn't that sound familiar? Maybe crippling the system as a whole is a bit too strong, but it's certainly crippling the console's innovation factor and ridding itself of so many possible opportunities. There was a massive opportunity to create some great games for it, particularly from the indie community. Now, the likeliness of that happening has reduced tremendously, and Microsoft has put the Xbox One and the Kinect in a chicken-or-the-egg situation, where people are relying on the Kinect to have good games to justify its purchase and publishers are waiting on a reliable amount of Kinect owners before getting developers to program for it. 

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@GOGOHeadray @DeusGladiorum VR. Kinect would be the best companion device to a VR headset imaginable. Full body tracking along with the head tracking from the headset would make it the greatest experience in VR gaming. Required Kinect and then buying the VR headset as a peripheral would have made for groundbreaking gaming and could have been the defining moment of the generation. 

BigT232
BigT232

@GOGOHeadray @TAracer But most other publishers still are.  I bought a PS4 back in January and now regret that decision.  Wish I had gone with a Wii U and went PS4 at a later date.  Still, going to get a Wii U once Smash releases.

wcwj26
wcwj26

@Mastadope You should worry about underpowered hardware and it's graphics! Because the consoles sporting it have won EVERY console generation war!

asulaeagle
asulaeagle

Hate much??? Numbers are important for sales and the Wii U is doing decent numbers right now but what you deem logic or statistics doesn't have anything to do with anyone's taste buddy. It's like saying only one style of art is logical which is false because art is subjective. Don't get upset when people like Nintendo.

asulaeagle
asulaeagle

Another hate comment... Just because someone has something positive to say about Nintendo.

Mastadope
Mastadope

@wcwj26 @Mastadope It is, and also a very costly hobby once you start moving into multi console/platform ownership.  

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

@BigT232 @GOGOHeadray @TAracer Ok; so how is that sony's fault? Most first party sony studios are hard at work on next gen games and it is a focus that sony themselves are on given the E3 presentation and their third part partnerships. And even then most of us have been around enough console launches to know that the first year is pretty barren which the ps4 and xbox one are still in; I fail to see how it was a surprise that they didn't have the number of first party exclusive games that a system that was on its second year would have?

Mastadope
Mastadope

@wcwj26 @Mastadope I know right, but it seems the PS4 is setting a new precedent.  Lets compare sale numbers in a month and see what is going on.  I mean Sony has been outselling everyone in the home console market WORLDWIDE so I don't think that trend will stop anytime soon.

Mastadope
Mastadope

@asulaeagle "but what you deem logic or statistics doesn't have anything to do with anyone's taste buddy."  And I never implied that, you just took what I said out of context.  Also I'm not upset that people like Nintendo, I love Nintendo.  They are the Pixar of gaming, if they were to fold then I'd be very upset that the industry let that happen and also at Nintendo also.  Regardless what I don't like to see is loyal diehards just spewing out lies or subjective opinion as objective fact what I try to do is open up a discussion about the Wii U console and how Nintendo is functioning as of late.

Mastadope
Mastadope

@asulaeagle Subjective opinions do not equate to objective fact.  So I decided to share a little saying that I think all of us heard at some point in our lives.  Although I digress and say that the Wii U gamepad could be the best controller he has ever owned and that could be true for him, but what is he comparing it to?

Mastadope
Mastadope

@GOGOHeadray @BigT232 @TAracer It's a unfair argument drones like to use to give them the reassurance that the Wii U is just the best thing since sliced bread.  On top of that they campaign all of the VC games and mock Sony and MS for not having backwards compatibility, even though Sony has the service called "Playstation Now" they still say it's not "true" backwards compatibility because you still have to pay for the games that you may already own.  But then their argument gets flipped when I say well I never owned said games so it will be beneficial to me and probably alot more people also, but in all their ignorance they close their eyes put their index fingers in their ears and scream out "la la la la la la" etc....

pcgeekmaniac
pcgeekmaniac

@Mastadope @wcwj26 Firstly, we all know Xbox 360 was outselling the PS3 for majority of their life. And look at them now, they are even. So, don't judge a book by it's cover or a PS4 by it's hype.

asulaeagle
asulaeagle

Why do you care? It's a comment section. He gave his... You gave yours. I just thought your response was condescending and judging by your other comments its obviously so because it had to do with Nintendo. Had he said PS4 controller is the best controller or Xbox one I doubt you would have given the same response but I could be wrong....

pcgeekmaniac
pcgeekmaniac

@Mastadope @GOGOHeadray @BigT232 @TAracer Well, its not as if Xbots and Sony drones weren't chanting about WiiU not being a "true next-gen" system, whatever that means to them, considering gen is measured by time, not power. It seems like you look at only one side of coin. All your complaining gives the impression to other people that Nintendo fans are a the most stupid of all gamers, when in fact the contrary is true. Nintendo fans are the oldest, most mature in nature, whether they are those who were hooked to SNES and N64 or the grannies who played the Wii and GB. 

asulaeagle
asulaeagle

I think they just want a Wii U. Don't see why that has to be a conspiracy. They didn't bash Sony they just said the ps4 doesn't have software they are interested in currently.

Mastadope
Mastadope

@asulaeagle Nope I'm from Gamefaqs, lots of crazies there.  And it's not a conspiracy like you called it if they bring it up majority of the time, it's happening thus breaking your conspiracy theory and moving into true real world events.