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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What should Nintendo have done instead of Wii U?

It's quite clear that the Wii U was, in commercial terms, a big mistake for Nintendo, by far their worst selling console to date.

So, a question; what should they have done instead from 2012-2016?

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

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Exactly what they did.

The Switch wasn't possible at a reasonable price point back then, but it was the right thing to go for, so the Wii U was a good time for them to build up to it by getting started on HD development and coming up with hardware that was somewhat similar to the Switch. We can't know if the Switch would've succeeded if the previous generation went differently.

They should have instead, renamed it to anything but the (Wii) U. Might not have done that much better, but at least people wouldn't have thought it was just an accessory to the Wii.

I'm with mZuzek on this one.

Exactly what they did. The only thing they should have changed was the name, call it Wii 2, or anything else. It wouldn't have done much to help sales, but anything would've been better than 'Wii U'... Though, now that I think about it, I don't even think I'd have changed that.

There's an old saying: Sometimes, you need to fall flat on your ass so you can get back up, learn, and do better. Basically, first you need to fail in order to succeed.
If Nintendo had been successful with the Wii U or whatever console they had from 2012-2016, they may not have seen the need for the Switch and we never would have gotten it. They'd probably still be making one handheld and one console, splitting their resources between two systems. We'd have a successor to the 3DS out already, with the Wii U's successor coming out this or next holiday season. They needed a Wii U disaster in order for them to see their mistakes, rethink their strategy, and take advantage of their unique strengths, and that's what has led to the Switch.

I personally would have liked to see them try their hand at an actual, proper next-gen console; no silly tablet controller gimmicks, no cheesy name, just a standard controller and a console, Gamecube 2.0 essentially. About 1 tflop should have been possible for $350 in 2012, considering PS4 was 1.8 tflop for $400 just a year later. Sure it wouldn't have been a huge success like Switch, being the weakest 8th gen system, but taking into account the 1 year headstart over Sony and MS, the fact that the specs would have been high enough for 720p on the same games that XB1 played at 900p and PS4 at 1080p, and the price advantage over PS4 and XB1, I think it would have sold a respectable amount, more than Gamecube at least, and alot more than Wii U.

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 29 December 2019

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The Wii U as a system was fine. It's name, marketing and games are what killed it.

People thought it was a Wii add-on, it had no big exclusives at all (SM3DW and MK8 are as close as it gets - but I'd argue they were both marketed extremely poorly to the point of being irrelevant), and Nintendo's insistence on family focused marketing killed it. Nobody wanted to touch the damn thing past it's first anniversary.

I wouldn't change anything that happened, as the Switch is fantastic thanks to lessons learnt during the Wii U's life, but it could have been so much smoother if they'd changed their strategy from the start. (The Wii U unveil is the only time I've ever seen a new Nintendo console and thought "Wow... that looks shit.")

Naming it the super nintendo wii or wii 2. The controller should be like the joycons but with a proper dpad, analogues like the nunchck and infra red. Use the money saved on controllers over the wii u game pad to increase the system's specs (better gpu, cpu and 4-6gb of ram) for the same $350 price tag. Regarding software development, they should have prepared for making games in HD a lot sooner AND made sure to have a several huge games for the first year.

In a scenario where The wii u released with mario 3d world, followed by MK8 in spring 2013, GTAV in september and smash in november 2013, things would have gone a lot different last generation. About GTAV, this one had no excuse to skip the original wii u. It's on the list to illustrate how much of a difference it would have made, not because it required better specs or action from nintendo.

Wii U with no gamepad, and launch it 1 or 2 years sooner.
Sell the gamepad separatelly latter(about the actual wii U launch), along with the launch of zumbi U, nintendo land and etc.

-No change in hardware architecture from the initially planned.
-solve the main wii U problem: the need to use the gamepad. That hurted getting games, developers said that port to wii U was as easy as porting to x360, but they dindnt know what to do with the gamepad. Some games was developed with this gimmick in mind. And even games that didnt used the gamepad was critisized by specialized media. (man, every game could be made without gamepad, from splatoon from mario maker, zumbi U, etc, had versions for consoles that didnt have the wii U gamepad)
-No confusion of being an accessory of wii, it is just the wii successor.
-Get Wii Late games as crossgen titles. Maybe HD versions of Zelda SS, Xenoblade, DKCR, MP9...
-Probably more third party games, because started early and the gamepad point.
-Use the market of wiimote+ to help to sell the console, the real experience with motion control (that they didnt deliver on wii).
-Get the last breath of wii sales potential.

the Wii U was a necessary evil. It served as the basis for what would eventually be the Switch. The Gamepad gave Nintendo the idea to make a hybrid console, and its poor specs meant the Switch could still be their most powerful console ever despite limitations.

They should have launched an evolution of the Wii instead of an evolution of the GameCube; that's what the Wii U was: A GameCube successor with the Wii brandname slapped on it.

An evolution of the Wii would have had improved motion controllers as its standard controller. Better motion sensing, no cord between controllers, built-in batteries in each of the two controllers; basically, the very same things that Switch has in its standard controller. Naturally, all flagship games of the Wii should have seen sequels as well; Nintendo didn't even bother to make Wii Sports 3 for the Wii U. Pack in an updated Classic Controller with each console (price wouldn't be an issue because the Wii Classic Controller was sold for only $20), that way neither developers nor consumers would have had to complain about a lack of classic controls in games; consequently, let games have multiple controller options by default, unless it really doesn't make much sense to do so.

Virtual Console would have started over again because Nintendo didn't think ahead with the Wii, but just like the Wii U didn't require repurchases, the Wii 2 wouldn't have either; only if people wanted new features like quick saves, button mapping and cleaner HD graphics.

Indie developers were better catered to with the Wii U already, so the Wii 2 would have been good to go anyway. Significantly better hardware sales due to a straight-forward concept (evolution of the Wii) would have attracted more indie developers to the console. The AAA third parties wouldn't have liked the Wii 2, but they don't like what Nintendo does, no matter what Nintendo does. That's why it isn't worth thinking about it.

The Wii U wasn't a necessary evil to arrive at Switch. A hypothetical Wii 2 and DS2 (because the 3DS's 3D was a bad business decision as well) would have required longer development times for games all the same, so the consolidation of software development for home consoles and handheld consoles would have almost certainly happened anyway, especially because another factor (Sony's exit from the handheld market) also played a big part in Nintendo's decision to do that for Switch. There was no realistic way that Nintendo's first software output would have reached the same amount of games as the Wii and DS had, even if Nintendo had gotten both the home console and handheld hardware right. But instead of selling ~90m units, they would have easily sold more than 150m units of hardware due to more affordable launch prices. Wii 2 could have launched at $250, DS2 at $200; both without any concessions to the processing power the actual Wii U and 3DS had.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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