The Wii U name is "abysmal," and the title alone significantly hurt sales of the console, according to Dan Adelman, who left Nintendo last week after nine years with the company. Responding to a question on Ask.fm, Adelman said the Wii U is a compelling platform with plenty of great games, but also explained that Nintendo still has a lot of work to do to make the system really take off.
"Wii U is not selling as well as it deserves to," Adelman said. "It has a lot to offer with great games you can't get anywhere else. The value of the GamePad hasn't been justified. But the name Wii U is abysmal. I think that cut sales in half right there."
Not everyone at Nintendo would agree. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said last August that the Wii U's name was not to blame for the system's early struggles. "The challenges we're facing with Wii U are not issues of the name," he said at the time. Instead, Fils-Aime said a lack of compelling software that makes unique use of the GamePad was the issue.
"Nintendo is still an amazing company that makes amazing games. I think the negative hyperbole will die down" -- Dan Adelman
It's no secret that the Wii U has struggled since its release in November 2012. Currently, hardware sales stand at 6.68 million units, which is below the PlayStation 4's 7 million consoles sold. Notably, the Wii U had a year's head start on Sony's platform.
Looking ahead, Nintendo plans to release a range of high-profile Wii U titles from summer to the end of the calendar year, including Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Super Smash Bros. In addition, Nintendo will roll out its toys-to-life platform, called amiibo, later this year.
As part of Adelman's exit interview with Kotaku this week, he confirmed that Nintendo did in fact restrict what he could say on Twitter after he tweeted about 3DS region-locking. But there is no bad blood between himself and Nintendo.
"Nintendo is still an amazing company that makes amazing games," Adelman said. "I think the negative hyperbole will die down. I just don't want that story to overshadow why I'm really doing this: to make indie games a viable business for years to come."
Adelman, who previously worked at Microsoft and helped launch Xbox Live Arcade, quit Nintendo to work independently and help indie studios grow by working as their "business guy."
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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