The Wii U is not a peripheral, Nintendo reminds shoppers

Video advertisement for struggling system makes clear that system is an "entirely new technology" and "true successor" to Wii.

by

More than a year after the Wii U's original release in November 2012, Nintendo has launched a new advertisement for the system reminding shoppers that the console is not a peripheral, but rather an all-new console.

"It's time for a whole new Nintendo experience," the narrator says. "Wii U is an entirely new technology and true successor to Wii U."

The ad talks up with the Wii U's exclusive features, including its tablet-like GamePad that lets you play games and view video content away from the TV.

"Wii U is all about unique experiences you can't have anywhere else," the ad says.

During E3 2012, Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffitt admitted that the Wii U is "confusing" relative to the Wii. With the original Wii, you could watch someone swing a Wii Remote and you would "get it," but the Wii U is more of a challenge, he said.

In September 2012, Nintendo said it believed the Wii U messaging problems were largely corrected, but the new advertisement this week suggests some consumer confusion remains.

The Wii U has sold 3.91 million units so far, below Nintendo's own expectations. The company plans to sell 9 million systems by the end of March 2014. High-profile Wii U titles on the way include Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Feb. 21), Mario Kart 8 (spring 2014), Super Smash Bros. (2014), and an all-new Legend of Zelda game (TBA).

Discussion

1759 comments
Float1011
Float1011

I can't used to the controller at all, I'm not into it. And the games doesn't really seem any better or different than Wii games.

Talking about the first Wii now.. They should have improved the motion controls and found better ways to implement them into games, and put them in more games.

You'd think playing QB on a game like Madden could be so much fun on a Wii, but it wasn't and it was the same thing as the PS2 version when they had next gen versions on PS3 and XBox 360!!

The Wii turned out to be a huge dissappointment for me, I thought other companies were going to come out with better sports games like Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports. And even for different genres of games, I thought they'd take the formula from those games and the other nintendo wii titles and improve it and add more complexity, but they never did! And while Wii Sports was fun for a little, I was disappointed they never put a football game on there. And as far as I know, there was no Wii Sports game playable online?


They didn't do anything to fix the gripes I had with the first Wii on the Wii U


I'm still considering getting a Wii U after Mario Kart and Smash Bros. come out if the games seem at least a little better and little fresh compared to the Wii versions and they have Wiimote support.

ciphfer
ciphfer

I think the tablet controller would have shined if Nintendo would have developed some new IP's to showcase what can be done. I can imagine a Mech type game using the touch screen to enable different weapons etc. Imagine an horror title that used that tablet and screen to scare the crap out of you. You do not need a touch pad for Mario and Zelda, but Nintendo needs to get some more adult themed IP's since the third parties will not do it for them.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

And the mistakes keep on coming. For starters the ad campaign should have been done prior to launch in 2012. Secondly, since they screwed that up it should have been done about a month or two BEFORE Christmas this year, not after the vast majority of shoppers had already emptied out their accounts for the holidays.

marcsmashing
marcsmashing

The last one I heard was from a mother in a store with her husband and ~6 years old son:


Father: Wii U, what is this?!


Mother: It's just a Wii clone/copy, some company is clearly trying to deceive people into buying one, making them believe it's a Wii.

rushiosan
rushiosan

"The Wii U is not a next gen machine", Nintendo reminds shoppers.

drockus
drockus

Deja Vu! I can remember having a blast for years with the "unsuccessful" Gamecube, while people who like critiquing game companies more than playing games trolled around on message boards telling me what a mistake I had made purchasing one. Meanwhile I was grinning ear to ear playing Nintendo exclusives. The Wii U is the same in that it is no replacement for an Xbox or Playstation, but is great it its own right. While the 360 is my go to system, I have to admit that in the last year I have had the most fun on Wii U (SM 3D World, Pikmin, Monster Hunter, Super Luigi) and have Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, X and others to look forward to. Now that the average gamer is so depressingly intertwined with the business aspect of gaming, we forget that the true indicator of a console or game's success is the amount of actual fun you have playing it.

theKSMM
theKSMM

The simple fact is that the casual, first-time gamers that Nintendo gained with the Wii fell off the wagon long before the end of the past generation.  Most of those Wiis are gathering dust in entertainment cabinets or closets.  For most folks, casual gaming now takes place on smartphones, tablets, and Facebook.


For the rest of us, we don't need a high-definition upgrade for the cartoonish graphics of Mario, Link, and other games.  Nobody bought a new TV to watch cartoons in HD.  I've not seen from Nintendo any games that wouldn't have looked just as good on the Wii.  The Wii U's tablet controller really could have been an add-on periperal given the games that Nintendo is releasing for it.


PS -- Developers don't like having to re-think their controller schemes for every platform they target.  Nintendo should make a standard 12-button / two-stick controller and not force devs to use the tablet controller or Wii remote.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

Nintendo needs to play it straight in about 10 years or so when the next gen comes out, and focus on hardware that's competitive.  Package a standard gamepad and Wii-mote, and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.  You struck gold with the Wii-mote, and pinned all your hopes on a tablet in the controller.  So many people tried to tell you it was a bad idea, but our voices fell on deaf ears.


Lesson learned?

fanboy_killa
fanboy_killa

in my opinion, the first mistake was making the controller look like a tablet. people i know that don't follow video games like i do, thought that the Wii U was a portable gaming system. like an ipad or kindel.


after i explained to them that it's a controller, and explaining the purpose for it in conjunction with a t.v., some thought it was a cool idea, yet kinda pointless. and some were completely turned off by the fact it wasn't a gaming tablet allowing you to take it on the go.


the name made some people think the "U" in Wii U meant "upgrade" for the original Wii system.


i think simply naming it Wii 2 may have alleviated a lot of confusion. 

TAracer
TAracer

The Wii U is an absolute terrible name because it doesn't make any sense.  How does attaching a "U" at the end of something symbolize it as a sequel or successor? Will the next Wii be the "Wii V"? Associating a number on the other hand, although not very creative, makes sense and does the job you need it to.  (Not to mention I don't like the name "Wii" in general)  Nintendo has named their console something stupid AND confusing and must deal with the consequences.

robertcain
robertcain

I can remember Screwattack picking up on this last year in their Top 5 Wins and Fails of E3 Video. If the name had been better then maybe it would have been more recognizable by consumers. It's another setback that continues to hold Nintendo back in this generation of gaming.

telaros
telaros

That's cute. They have a 3DS... and call Wii U "Completely New Technology" when in reality it's just a supped up 3DS with your TV being the TOP screen. lol


It may be a successor to the Wii. But it isn't the successor we need!


I just hope they manage to create a true successor to the 3DS. Now that's a system.

kng
kng

For me.  Sony or MS could have had me with backward compatibility.

I skipped the PS3.  I dumped my Xbox and all the accessories for the xbox 360.  There is no reason why the controllers can't be used on the new xbox one.

Sorry.  Not doing this again.  The Wii U is a good system with a puny library.  But at least the Wii library is large and I can use all my old controllers.

Nintendo and Steam is all I need. There is also a lot of good games on the 3DS. 

Henninger
Henninger

The new deal they have with the system is making me wanna get one. You get Mario & Luigi's game for $300. Not bad. Might get if for my birthday. If I don't then I'll wait till the next Zelda comes out. I've wanted to play an HD Zelda game for a long time. Wouldn't mind a new Metroid like Super Metroid either. Or a new Metroid Prime that gives you the option of using a controller instead of the Wii remote. However I do agree that more advertisment is needed & a better library. But since I grew up with Nintendo, I'll always give them a chance.

meisterkleist4r
meisterkleist4r

Either the author of this article or the narrator made a mistake:


"Wii U is [...] true successor to Wii U."

Shango4
Shango4

Honestly, I have to agree with most of the critics here…Nintendo shot themselves in the foot from the start with the name. Wii 2 would have been better, but not by much. Sadly, Wii U is a victim of the Wii’s phenomenal success…Nintendo did such a great job of marketing the Wii to the casuals, but to casuals, the Wii is disposable, just like the exercise equipment gathering dust in their closet or under the basement stairs. They aren’t committed to the hobby, thus they aren’t going to invest money in the next console unless there’s a compelling enough reason to do it, and this commercial does nothing to accomplish that.

Nintendo should have truly focused on the hardcore, with better hardware (streamlined but not necessarily more expensive), a cool name and less gimmicks (e.g. better 3DS integration, no screen in the gamepad), and then brought in the casuals down the road by hard-marketing the backward-compatibility and Wii-peripheral support once the system had firmly established itself among core gamers. Of course, that would have also meant a stronger commitment to securing third-party support, which Nintendo completely failed to do, but instead of refocusing, Nintendo instead wasted those early months desperately pandering to casuals, who didn’t respond the way they had hoped. It’s truly unfortunate.

bennehftw
bennehftw

...Or Super Smash Bros. should've been released near or on the date of the Wii U's release. Just sayin~


I mean really I bought a Wii solely because of SSB, It's far too late in the game now to make me do the same for the Wii U 

PupilsDilated
PupilsDilated

They should have left "Wii" out of the name and come up with something original.  They confused my grandma.  And meemaw don't play mind games.

curiousarman
curiousarman

it's funny to remember that the PS started by nintendo

erik_r_nelson
erik_r_nelson

The problem here is that the Wii might have sold a huge number of consoles, but didn't really deliver on the experience for most of the casual gamers that adopted it. It was a gimmick. It didn't convert non-gamers that purchased it into gamers. And so basically Nintendo blew its wad on the Wii. These were people who were never going to buy another console unless it was compelling. There's nothing compelling for non-gamers in the Wii U.


Less than four million consoles in a year--I hadn't realized it was so damned low. There's little chance they're going to sell 9 million ever, let alone by sometime this year. With those numbers, big developers aren't going to commit, and Nintendo is going to be selling the only quality titles on the system. Not a good place to be in.

so_hai
so_hai

An "entirely new technology" should require an entirely new name. If they'd given a proper name, they may not be in such a bad spot right now. But, I still believe Iwata should step down from his position for the bungling of the Wii's successor.

Shango4
Shango4

I'm sorry Nintendo, but this is America, not Japan.  Maybe in Japan families get together more and that's the tradition, I don't know for sure.  But here in the USA, families rarely get together anymore.  Kids like to hang with there friends, go on there laptop or desktop, text friends on cell phones, or watch movies and be alone and play games.  Parents don't give a crap about video games

Shango4
Shango4

 Wii-U is a blowback from design choices Nintendo made from the Wii, and their arrogance is that they thought they could pull off the same stunt twice (offer cheap underpowered hardware, but charge a premium price for a controller gimmick and a bunch of simple - inexpensive to develop games).

divinejester
divinejester

I dont get the big deal with the name. How is it confusing? I dont think the ps2, ps3, ps4 are just upgraded forms of the ps1 or psx. Nor do I think a PSP Vita is an upgraded PSP. Also how is adding a 360 to xbox different from adding a U to Wii. No one is confused with the former. 


Basically I don't think there is any confusion with the name, its just not a great system.

DanielL5583
DanielL5583

The problem with the Wii U is that Nintendo are making a hash of marketing it.

It's a good console. It really is. But the problems started at E3 2012, what with the announcement of the system's name being "Wii U". Now, this wouldn't be an issue if it was an upgraded system from the Wii (which it was to an extent), but at the same time, it's naming a console too similarly to the one before it. A clueless consumer wouldn't have the slightest idea of the difference, frankly.

There's also the issue regarding the marketing along the lines of......where're the advertisements? I've seen a few for Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World, but other than that, the Wii U has had too little publicity. When Nintendo gets newer material on the console, it will be more publicised, but it's difficult to deny that there are not many advertisements anywhere of it at this time, be it in newspapers, magazines, websites, billboards, TV ads and the like.

There's also the issue regarding already existing material. You've got three kinds of games on the Wii U right now;
1) System sellers - these are Mario 3D World and Wonderful 101. They're games that make the system sell, and to a degree, it worked......emphasis on 'to a degree'.
2) Rereleases and repackages - Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham City...there're plenty of them. These games are downgraded from their PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts so as to allow for the Wii U to run them. These games tend to look relatively dated, not painting the Wii U's capabilities in the best of lights.
3) Esoteric titles - the biggest one is the upcoming Fire Emblem/Shin Megami Tensei crossover project. It's fortunate that I've played SMT, so I know what I'm getting myself into, but the average consumer probably wouldn't have the foggiest about what either series is.
So far there aren't enough system sellers right now, and unless Nintendo pull their finger out, in regards to this, they will start losing money, and it will just be a downward spiral. Ok, that may be a bit exaggerated, but it will affect them to a detrimental level.


Again, the Wii U is a good system, but Nintendo's poor marketing decisions make the Wii U more of a case of wasted potential that could have easily been fixed if the system had a better library and a different name. I know it's only been out a year, and to be perfectly frank, it isn't the worst performing console ever, but it needs more games and more public awareness if it's going to sell further.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@ciphfer That's a huge part of Nintendo's problem. They don't try hard at all to capture some of the adult market, not realizing that those kids that were with them since the days of the NES are adults now who just grew into bigger gamers.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

@drockus  You seriously need to remove the quotes from unsuccessful because it's pretty well known that without debate the Gamecube was a financial flop for Nintendo. The entertainment you found with that console didn't keep Nintendo from taking a huge hit.


You sound like the typical Nintendo supporter these days. "I'm having fun so why isn't everyone else on board?" Why? Because purchasing a Wii U is buying a system primarily for one company's IP. Granted, for the most part they are really great games but you're looking at 3-4 great games a year, whereas with XB1, PS4, and PC you not only get their exclusives but lots of other multiplatform titles that will never touch the Wii U so you could easily have dozens of great choices every year. Also, not every gamer likes the kinds of games Nintendo crafts. There's a reason why we have so many genres and sub-genres in gaming. Gamers are a very diverse lot (though you might not be able to tell with all the FPS's on the shelves today) and many don't like the "simpler" choices that Nintendo games offer nor do they wish to give them a chance, though I will say that in a lot of cases it's actually the gamers' loss. A lot crave a grittier, more intense experience and that's fine. Hell, it would be ok for Nintendo and something they could capitalize off of if they didn't have the horrible habit of alienating 3rd party devs with each system.


What it all boils down to is that for most gamers the Wii U is not "primary console" material. It's a secondary choice. Its the console that you break out when that one great title comes along or when you have a group over but it will not be the headliner in most gamers' living rooms. With next gen consoles starting at a few hundred dollars many just don't have the money to purchase both their primary choice AND a really solid secondary right now. If my son didn't want one for his b-day this past summer I wouldn't have bought it for at least another year or so. The PS4 was going to be my first next gen console. I do think sales for the Wii U will eventually pick up but it won't be the financial beast that the Wii was.

JacketsNest101
JacketsNest101

@theKSMM There is so much that you got wrong here, that I'm just gonna stick to the most important thing. They could not have used the Wii U Gamepad as a peripheral for the Wii, and here's why. The gamepad uses Near Field Connection and Bluetooth to communicate with the console. This was simply not possible with the Wii's hardware. The fact of the matter is that the only way the gamepad would ever be released is if they made a console for it, it wouldn't survive as a peripheral.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@theKSMM  

If you honestly believe that the games on the Wii U could've been pulled off on the Wii, then you have no idea anything about game development. Cartoony and fantasy type worlds shine even better in HD and maintain their timeless appeal all the more because of it. Plus, there's far more to it than prettier visuals. 


As far as your PS "Developers don't like having to re-think their controller schemes for every platform they target.  Nintendo should make a standard 12-button / two-stick controller and not force devs to use the tablet controller or Wii remote." goes, last I checked, Nintendo didn't force anyone to use anything and that GamePad still has all of the "standard 12 button/two-stick layout" you're talking about, that's why it's called a "GamePad" not tablet. 


Also Nintendo played the biggest role in making that "standard 12-button/two stick controller" happen. 

epicalex95
epicalex95

At least it's better than adding just numbers at the end of playstation, and putting one in front of xbox. Xbox is even more confusing with names.

Not trying to troll. I'm against trolling.

JacketsNest101
JacketsNest101

@Shango4 Umm...Nintendo didn't necessarily fail with third party as much as the third parties failed them. Most of those third party games, with the exception of Ubisoft, were crap. Also, the majority of the third parties that were on board with Wii U, all backed out of their own volition, meaning that Nintendo had nothing to do with them pulling their support.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@bennehftw 

Super Smash Brothers Brawl came out 18 months after the Wii launched, what makes you think that Smash for the Wii U/3DS could've been ready by launch, especially considering that Sakurai's team was focused on Kid Icarus Uprising which only launched last year? Why would it be too late anyways? I don't understand this "too late for me to buy it now" mentality, I just picked up a PS3 this year (since the PS4 is not backwards compatible) and waiting this long, I have access to almost the entire PS3's library, most of which can be obtained for a rather cheap price. 

Puck269
Puck269

@erik_r_nelson That 4 million number that keeps getting repeated are the sales at the end of September.  Not even a full year on the market.  It also excludes the sales boost from Zelda WindWaker, Mario 3d world, and the post thanksgiving sales.  It is really tiring to see those same numbers be batted around like they are current as of the Nov. Sales. 

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@erik_r_nelson After the launch and games like Wii play, Big Brain academy, ..... that was it. ALL that promise was for what.... it took Nintendo too long to come up with the remote+ and then still only did a few games that needed it. 


Until there are games that use both the Wii+ mote, and tab controller, I will not buy. So, Nintendo has needs to get busy and come in with NEW IP, and other franchises to get people to buy. 

john_matrix8953
john_matrix8953

@so_hai By that logic, the PS4 and Xbox One shouldn't have the PlayStation and Xbox name.

rushiosan
rushiosan

@Shango4 My family never played videogames and we have like 3 TVs at home since 1990's. There's no excuse to say "with Wii U you can play while someone else's watching TV". That's a huge load of bullshit.

JacketsNest101
JacketsNest101

@DanielL5583 I disagree with a couple of those points.

1) There are more systems sellers than that and I wouldn't qualify Wonderful 101, as wonderful as it is, as a system seller.


2) You do realize that The Wii U is more powerful than 360 and PS3, right?


3) The example of FExSMT is not a very good example. Most people who are buying a Wii U are Nintendo fans and will more than likely have already purchased a 3DS. This will give them at least some idea of what FE and SMT are about. They may not purchase them, but they will recognize the name, especially if they bought their 3DS this year. So the majority of Wii U owners are probably going to to know what Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei are.


Most of your points give off the air that you think the console not a good system, when I know you don't think that. Just do a little more research into what you're talking about next time.

ciphfer
ciphfer

@horizonwriter @ciphfer That is extremely right. The Nintendo demographic has grown and the 13 to 18 gamers are not looking to play Mario or Zelda when compared to what is offered on the other systems. Nintendo needs to evolve. I do not mean that they should ever abandon their core IP's but they should let some new adult material come to market. 


I find it hard to believe that all of Nintendo's game directors only think about the next Mario game. I am sure there are some brilliant ideas that do not get the time of day.

TAracer
TAracer

@epicalex95 But it's NOT better than "just adding numbers" because it is confusing people!  Shoppers don't even know its a new system and its a problem for Nintendo.  It can't get any worse than that. Again, although boring, Playstation got it right. You can make a case against the Xbox though.

Shango4
Shango4

@john_matrix8953 @Shango4 You don't even know any of the critics that defend those policies.Also stop it with the whole calling  people trolls wt\without sex lives.All the what said were all true if you accept them than your just a blind,ignorant Nintendo drone with no sex life.

rarson
rarson

@john_matrix8953

Obviously much better than yours, seeing how you spend so much time trolling people who make comments that are even remotely negative about Nintendo. I mean, even if he's a 8 year-old who beats it, he's still getting more sex than you, obviously.