Has the Wii U failed?

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Posted by Colorwind (37 posts) -

Ever since the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were released, there’s been an ongoing discussion about the Wii U and whether or not it has failed. This discussion isn’t anything new, as it’s been really the talk about the consoles for a majority of 2013. I even wrote an article for the site I work for, Gaming Precision, about the third party problems the Wii U has. However, the end of the year is upon us, Nintendo has made some moves in an attempt to make the Wii U more worthwhile, and I want to convey my current thoughts on the Wii U in 2013. There are three common complaints and points about the console I want to address and will use those as stepping off points. This blog will also be about Nintendo as the two are intrinsically linked.

  • Nintendo will go out of business because the Wii U isn’t selling.

Nintendo is NOT going to go out of business because the 3DS is selling very well. Also, they have excess money from the original Wii and its 100,000 sales worldwide. Now having said that, the Wii U is losing Nintendo money. Whatever money Nintendo is making from the 3DS, some of it has to go towards the Wii U, which is currently selling at a loss to the company and will not even making its projected sales for the year. So the current state of Nintendo is safe because the 3DS is selling well enough to sustain the company, not to mention the money it has from before. However, how long Nintendo will keep sinking money in what is a losing endeavor.

  • It’s too early to call the Wii U a failure.

Unfortunately, it’s NOT too early to call the Wii U a failure. A majority of consoles have their future success determined within the first year of its release. The Sega Saturn was buried here in the United States after consumers decided to go with the cheaper Sony PlayStation months later. The Sega Dreamcast, despite its quality, went under within a year of the Sony PlayStation 2’s release despite a year head start because Sony was able to convince everyone the PS2 was worth the wait. The only excuse I can think if is the 16-bit era when the Genesis came to sell just as much as the SNES after being on the market for two years when the SNES was released.

The best way to compare this would be to the 3DS, which had a very rough start. However, by the 3DS’ one year anniversary, it had made a comeback and public opinion about the handheld was changing (also the general public started to realize that the 3DS wasn’t just another DS). Nintendo has failed to do this with the Wii U. Despite releasing a good Zelda remake (Wind Waker HD), and a good Mario game (3D World), the public and gaming audience is uninterested and it’s because of the similarities to the 3DS. Nintendo already tried this (Wind Waker HD = Ocarina of Time 3D, 3D Land = 3D World) and the public wants something different. Even me, a hardcore gamer, is not really interested in Super Mario 3D World despite hearing that it’s a great game because I don’t believe it anymore. I’ve played 3D Land, New Mario 2, Wii, and the original and they were all the same game. Competent but the same.

Nintendo isn’t doing anything different enough to make a case for the Wii U as a system that does something the 3DS, DS, Wii or anything before it can do. Another Mario game in the vein of the New series won’t work, nor will an HD remake of a Zelda game. We need a Mario game that is an evolution for the series in the way Super Mario 64 was to the N64 and Super Mario Galaxy was for the Wii, not in the same vein as those games but what they did for the series. We also need a Zelda that is a brand new world and has no direct connection to the other games in the series. We also need a Mario Kart game that has more than just racing on the ceiling. However, since we’re not getting that and we didn’t get that within the console’s first year, the Wii U’s fate may be sealed.

  • The Wii U has good games.

Yes. Yes it does. The Wii U has good games. The TurboGrafx-16 also had good games. The Sega Saturn had good games as well. Hell, the Sega Dreamcast continues to have good games as independent developers make games like Dux and Gunlord. So what’s the problem? People always say that software (games) drives the hardware (console). If you don’t have the software, the hardware will fail. Well, the Wii U has got some great games. Batman Arkham City, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Assassin’s Creed III and IV, Rayman Legends, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2, just to name a few. There’s even smaller indie titles like Mutant Mudds, Little Inferno, Trine 2, Edge, and Bit Trip Runner 2. All of these are awesome games and one everyone should play. So WTF?

All of the games I listed are on other consoles as well. Even Rayman Legends, which was originally billed as a Wii U exclusive, wound up being released on everything you can think of. What the Wii U lacks is interesting exclusive titles. So what that means is it needs games that are A)exclusive, B)good, and C)different. The Wii U currently has 22 exclusives. Half of those are party game nonsense like SING Party or exercise games like Wii Fit U. Six or so of the games are titles like the aforementioned Super Mario 3D World, Wind Waker HD or Lego City Undercover that are fun but don’t do anything different that could be enjoyed on the Wii. Finally, there’s Sonic Lost World, ZombiU and The Wonderful 101 that are different but not that great. Perhaps good but not great. That leaves me with Pikmin 3. Now are you going to buy a Wii U for Pikmin 3? No. And neither than anyone else. If you have a Wii U and ONLY a Wii U, you’ll get a good amount of enjoyment out of it. Otherwise, there’s no real reason to pick one up.

Now, to wrap up, I want to make this clear: I want to buy a Wii U. I’m a hardcore gamer who works for a gaming journalism website so on both a personal and professional level, I want one. That being said, I don’t think the Wii U is going to last until the next generation. I think Nintendo will ultimately pull the plug on the Wii U soon and develop another console to last the rest of this generation. I give the Wii U another two years. By the middle of next year, it’ll be clear to Nintendo that the Wii U is a failure and they’ll start developing another console. The Wii U will be discontinued at the end of 2015 and we’ll see a new Nintendo console either at the end of 2015 or in 2016. My guess is they’ll try to just be a console for children and they’ll just play to their strengths, forgetting the hardcore audience in the process. Mario games will become easier, Zelda games will have 100 tutorials and franchises like Metroid and Fire Emblem will be forgotten. The console (maybe the Wii 3) will probably be similar to the Wii U but with a kiddie like design (like the Nintendo 2DS) focus again on motion control and simplicity. Nintendo will essentially become the maker of a “my first console” system.

#1 Posted by Jaysonguy (37409 posts) -

Oh look, spam

#2 Edited by KBFloYd (12743 posts) -

its a failure at not captivating all the casuals like the wiimote did....

but not a failure as a fun console imo...the gamepad is a unique way to play games and i appreciate it.

#3 Edited by Bigboi500 (28804 posts) -

Every Nintendo console has failed at getting third party western developers since N64. Wii U has not failed me at delivering high quality unique first and third party Japanese exclusives--the reason I bought the system.

Comparing it to other non-Nintendo systems is pretty stupid.

#4 Posted by Master_Of_Fools (1250 posts) -

False, people have claimed Wii U failed before it even launched once the name was revealed. Wii U hasn't failed. And it wont fail. Wont be a repeate of the Wii in sales but that doesn't make it a failure. To think everytime a new system comes out it will do better and better then the last is unrealistic.

#5 Posted by thetravman (3510 posts) -

They failed to get a head start.They had a full year to market their console and develop a solid library of games before their competitors made their console debut but they made little to no effort in hopes that the 'Wii' brand will carry it. Then the delays and confusion happened. Add this together, Nintendo failed hard this year. But this console is still far from dead especially when Smash Bros, Zelda, and Mario Kart have yet to be released. It'll likely be a distant 3rd in the end but it'll still be a great system like the gamecube.

And your last paragraph is a terrible theory. Nintendo dropping the WIiU that early would be disastrous to the Nintendo brand and investors would not take kindly into that lack of confidence. It's essentially what happened to Sega with the Sega CD and 32x. And it takes alot of planning to build another console. A new one for 2015 is quite demanding unless NIntendo puts all of their focus in doing that.

#6 Posted by TTUalumni13 (448 posts) -

PS3 had an abysmal first two and a half years and ended up selling more than the 360 worldwide at the end of the generation. Premature doom is idiotic, people we're proclaiming the doom of Nintendo when the 3DS "failed" and now it's selling like crazy.

#7 Edited by superbuuman (2517 posts) -

Well when Nintendo drop it & call it a failure then its a failure. It fail to sell the amount Wii sold.....many may consider that a failure but its also that so call *many* that hated that Wii outsold 360/PS3. :P

#8 Posted by FFCYAN (4922 posts) -

When the Wii outsold the 360 and PS3, it didn't really "win" according to haters. The Wii U struggling to move units automatically makes it a failure regardless of the short current gen span of a year.

Is there ever a scenario where Nintendo "wins" anything?

The answer is no. This fail cheering wouldn't be good for an industry already weakening from other gaming competitors. People need to grow up.

#9 Edited by Colorwind (37 posts) -
#10 Posted by Colorwind (37 posts) -

@KBFloYd: It's a failure financially and since Nintendo is a company that likes to make money, that's a problem. It's a big problem since Nintendo is a stingy company that doesn't even like to sell their consoles at a loss, which is what they're doing right now with the Wii U.

#11 Posted by Legendaryscmt (12532 posts) -

The Wii U is a good system that was released too late as a catch-up to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Nintendo itself is to blame, with barely there advertising and not giving a good reason to develop on the console. Had the Wii U been more powerful or released earlier, it would have done much, much better. Has it failed? No, not yet, but that doesn't mean the system is doing that great either.

#12 Edited by KBFloYd (12743 posts) -

@Colorwind said:

@KBFloYd: It's a failure financially and since Nintendo is a company that likes to make money, that's a problem. It's a big problem since Nintendo is a stingy company that doesn't even like to sell their consoles at a loss, which is what they're doing right now with the Wii U.

so far it is....but next year has all the biggest games and they should be able to start finally profiting on each unit sold..

remember the gamecube sold low but nintendo didnt lose money.

#13 Posted by YoshiYogurt (5947 posts) -

No lol, The wiiU has amazing games.

Just buy a freaking wiiU like the rest of us. What is holding you back? If you haven't played WindWaker(Possibly my all time favorite game) this is the best way to play it!!

#14 Posted by Tebekt (8 posts) -
#15 Posted by kbaily (13042 posts) -

Seriously how many more "Nintendo is doomed" threads are we going to post here?

Reminds me of 2007 when I kept seeing articles of "Nintendo is ruining gaming with casuals" articles.

God I miss unions.

#16 Posted by mbrockway (3345 posts) -

I am tempted by it, but not for $300. It drops to $199 then maybe, but its looking like I'm not even going to buy a console this gen.

#17 Edited by MBirdy88 (7141 posts) -

@superbuuman said:

Well when Nintendo drop it & call it a failure then its a failure. It fail to sell the amount Wii sold.....many may consider that a failure but its also that so call *many* that hated that Wii outsold 360/PS3. :P

Its not the real issue though is it? the market gets bigger with each new generation, much bigger. and yet here we are, with a console that has been out for a year, has what 5 worthwhile games (none of which have the staying power of multiplayer games or certain third party games.) 3d mario world? brilliant ... 20 hours... now what.

PS4/X1 are going to outsell it in a month of their release, that screams alarm bells.

What is even coming in the next 6 months?

When is smash bros or mario kart due? will they be lackluster like brawl was? will the online still be absolutely pathetic because nintendo don't have a clue what they are doing outside of the same games they've been pumping out for years.

what happens when those 2 games and the "next zelda" is out? nothing and a new intendo system comes along, rince and repeat.

the main issue is justifying the cost of a system that is essentially 7-8 years behind in technology, poor online and first party and overall features, yet retailing at £250.... when the current best competitior is £350 but WILL offer so much more.

preference is one thing, I love nintendo games, But i find it very hard to just go and "buy one" ... the system is by far their worst ever in terms of value and "must have"

EDIT - people above saying "for japanese third party exclusives" where is the evidence of this? none. 3DS yes, not wii u, any developers who actually want money will be making those games on PS4.... much larger install base and a much more capable machine.

#18 Posted by Colorwind (37 posts) -

@KBFloYd: Yeah, the GameCube sold low and they weren't losing money. The Wii U is, and is doing worse than the GameCube.

#19 Edited by KBFloYd (12743 posts) -

@Colorwind said:

@KBFloYd: Yeah, the GameCube sold low and they weren't losing money. The Wii U is, and is doing worse than the GameCube.

we dont know if it will sell less than the gamecube...it s possible but we dont know....mario kart, smash bros donkey kong might come out first half of next year

ps4 and x1 have no games to justify their price either....after christmas their sales will drop as well...

ps4 and x1 are selling great with no games...thats true but sooner or later they will need games...

x1 has titanfall...ps4 has metal gear solid.. however both will be on 360/ps3....so the graphics wont be as next gen as they could and might not move as many new consoles.

where as smash bros donkey kong tropical freeze and mario kart8 are exclusive to wiiU

#20 Edited by ItsEvolution (2593 posts) -

I bet all these "Is the Wii U dead/a failure" articles and blog posts aren't helping either.

#21 Posted by mamelon2012 (399 posts) -


I agree. For whatever reason people just like to kill Nintendo on the internet. At least they are trying to be different than xbox and PS (which lets face it are essentially the same thing).

And talk of a failure? Lets talk about actual failures, eg the PS vita. Funny how no one talks about that...

#22 Posted by Mirakulin (7 posts) -

I feel like Nintendo is actually removing themselves from the next gen console competition. Wii U is different from all the others and it will always be loved by many loyal fans. PS4 and Xbox One has many of the same games, but Wii U has so many special titles you won't find anywhere else. For me a computer and Wii U is all you need. I would never switch out Mario or Zelda for Beyond Freaking Two Souls with all their QTE "fun". Nintendo will never fail. I know some people have been raising the pitch fork and waiting to see Nintendo's downfall for years. They could just as well give up, it's not going to happen.

#23 Posted by hikaruai (22 posts) -

too early...proof: 3ds

#24 Posted by good_sk8er7 (4320 posts) -

I bet all these "Is the Wii U dead/a failure" articles and blog posts aren't helping either.

That's what I've been thinking.

People making articles such as this aren't helping sell any Wii U's. It probably scares customers off more than anything, I don't think anyone would want to buy a console if they think it's going to fail soon.

#25 Edited by Rahnyc4 (6597 posts) -

Nintendo need to stop being predictable and invest in more studios in and outside of japan. Nintendo of japan also need to allow Nintendo of Europe and America to have more freedom and stop restricting them.

Nintendo also needs to invest more in indie games more, gobble up some indies (have them work freely on new ips), gobble up their franchises. They also need to stop labeling themselves as casual/family orientated since these people are some what abandoning them for other platforms.

Nintendo should look back at their previous console and build the wiiu around their old philosophy. Nintendo should target their old school fans, who basically gave up on them, while still focus on the younger generation. you can juggle the two crowds.

Nintendo should build their online community more, bring back ideas from 64DD and other internet enable things they abandon and gave up on, such as the satellite system. (Imagine if Nintendo added little gaming contest for their community to compete for to win prizes)

If i was Nintendo i would definitely build my online community around contest, activities, multiplayer games, basically socially connecting its users more with one another. This would cause people to be more glued to the console more and give them more reasons to keep their consoles, rather than sell them and get rid of them.

Its easy to fix the WiiU situation, if one is willing to spend some form of money, yet Nintendo rather hold on to its stash so they can go into another generation with another failed console. If only they fought this war like it was their last.

Stop being so predictable and do something fresh, Nintendo!

#26 Posted by trugs26 (5113 posts) -

They have failed certain aspects, but it is not a complete failure yet. Things can change in the next year to something more positive.

#27 Posted by farrell2k (5116 posts) -

According to most people, next gen has just started so Nintendo has plenty of time to turn things around.

#28 Posted by soapman72 (2713 posts) -

Literally unreadable

#29 Edited by elbcen (11 posts) -

Colorwind, I am surprised to see you post another Wii U failure thread. Two threads that you started are on the first page of the Nintendo Discussion forums, and both are about the Wii U not being too successful (the other thread being your "Is the Wii U a niche console?" thread).

I hope I don't sound abrasive when I am asking this, but what is the exact purpose of those threads, especially considering the fact that every third forum thread on here is about the Wii U not being successful anyway? You bring up good points, but I think we all know about those by now. We get it, we really do, and I am sure I am speaking for everyone here.

You say you want a Wii U because you are a gaming journalist and because you like Nintendo, but at the same time you talk about the console being abandoned soon even though it has good games. What are we exactly discussing at this point?

Do you want us to convince you to buy the Wii U? Well, you already know it has some good games, and that's the only way I could ever convince anybody to buy a console. Would I recommend getting a Wii U to anybody at this point, then? Not necessarily, but if you are a Nintendo fan you should definitely do it just to play the Nintendo games that are coming out for it. Let's face it, if you are a Nintendo fan, you already have the console anyway. If you are not a Nintendo fan, then there is no reason to get a Wii U, which is exactly the reason why not so many people decide to get a Wii U. Most of the mainstream audience (the people staying in line for the next AAA blockbuster because they saw commercials on TV) are not exactly Nintendo fans. One could argue that that's a dumb thing to say since the Wii sold billions, but I am sure you can see why that just isn't true (Nintendo games were never really the selling point of the Wii).

So, here's the conclusion. Do you like Mario, and Zelda, and Smash Bros? Buy a Wii U. Not too excited about those and would rather spend money on a console that offers five 'blockbuster games' every month? Don't buy a Wii U. It will never garner more third-party support, I would say, and will only rely on the first-party titles to sell itself. EA, Ubisoft and Activision are certainly not very interested in releasing more games for the Wii U, because their target audiences are over at Gamestop currently waiting for the next shipment of PS4s and Xbox One's to come in.

#30 Edited by inter_911 (509 posts) -

No the Wii U is the best console EVER.

#31 Posted by good_sk8er7 (4320 posts) -

Does anyone remember all the doom and gloom surrounding PS3 in its initial years?

#32 Posted by donalbane (16136 posts) -

I picked it up a year ago, and haven't picked up any games since ZombiiU, so it's dead at my house. I use it for youtube mostly, but after the last major update, I have to edit the youtube URL just to get the damn videos to play on it, so it may get just get sold. Then again, I doubt I could get much for it. So yeah, it's dead, to me anyway.

#33 Edited by starwarsjunky (24690 posts) -

No the Wii U is the best console EVER.


#34 Posted by crocodileman94 (1 posts) -

I know this thread is old, but...

"I think Nintendo will ultimately pull the plug on the Wii U soon and develop another console to last the rest of this generation"

That's what Sega did with the Saturn, and we all know how that worked out for them.

#35 Edited by Nuck81 (5745 posts) -

WiiU wasn't blessed with the greatest System seller of all time that the Wii has in Wii Sports.

This topic was brought up daily during the 3DS second year too.

WiiU will be fine.

#36 Posted by manicfoot (2625 posts) -

It's too early to say whether it can recover or not. To give the console a decent future I think Nintendo really need to invest in their internal development teams and basically spam the market with quality release after quality release. Use the eShop to let small teams unleash their creativity in small, inexpensive titles. Buy studios to provide games in genres which aren't Nintendo's strength (shooters, horror etc).

They also need to rethink their marketing strategy and be more open with their development. Iwata Asks and Nintendo Direct's are great, but Nintendo is still a very secretive company. Tell us what Retro and other studios are up to. Just a teaser or two would be enough to build up some momentum and get people talking about Wii U.

#37 Posted by anab0lic (271 posts) -

Nope, and if you look at games coming in 2014 id argue it has a stronger lineup than ps4 or xbone....

#38 Posted by calway55 (231 posts) -

In my opinion after owning every Nintendo Console..I have to say Wii U is the best. The gamepad adds so much to games that have inventories which will make newer games with that potential ideal.

I never thought I'd be interested in MiiVerse, yet I can draw on my Art Academy sketchpad while watching TV and I'm no artist. I have made one good friend just by throwing out the name of a tv show I enjoy and we watch it together and message back and forth...sounds corny but it's fun.

Was reading an article with video included of new 3rd party games in comparison with Xbox,PS3 with Wii U and PS4 (just Google Nintendo enthusiast) is was eye opening for those who want to trash the Wii U so quickly.

#39 Posted by mariokart64fan (19347 posts) -

us gamers and Europe both have bad tastes well most of them any way , they failed , its not Nintendo its them , period gamecube any one, gamecube had everything gamers today whine about ---- power , it was the most powerful console more powerful then dc and ps2 yet people still bought ps2 while the 2 power houses of that gen just stalled at 26 million

which pushed nintnedo to create the wii which sold like hot cakes but now we have wiiu which is like the gamecube in mostly every way except not being the most powerful but you can bet if it was it would be the same way , cause people like their crappy online fps experiences like call of duty ,

wii u did not fail not even close,

it has what the others don't have atm ---games

#40 Posted by Grieverr (2544 posts) -

The only problem is that, like the last few generations, the Wii U is a secondary console. I truly wish Nintendo could go back to the glory days of the SNES, so that I wouldn't have to buy multiple consoles.

However, the Wii U has not failed my household. I have played countless hours of Nintendoland and Pikmin with my kids. They recently got Skylanders and have been playing it to death. We've had tons of fun coming up with silly things to do in Scribblenauts, and have had many laughs with Lego City Undercover. The race to the flag is our new home rules way of playing Mario 3D World. My sons and I play a three player game of mess-up-the-other-player-as-much-as-possible so that you win the flag at the end of the level. Lots of screaming and taunting there!

I'm currently playing NES Remix and while niche, is still a great game. To me, Nintendo is still "the fun" game maker.