Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What Went Wrong? Wii U Edition

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Why did the Wii U failed?

Poor Marketing 15 23.44%
 
Outdated Hardware 7 10.94%
 
Lack of First Party Killer Apps 6 9.38%
 
Lack of 3rd Party support 0 0.00%
 
The tablet controller 6 9.38%
 
The Price 0 0.00%
 
All of the above 27 42.19%
 
None of the above 0 0.00%
 
The Wii killed the Wii U! 1 1.56%
 
WTH! The Wii U was a success! 2 3.13%
 
Total:64
RolStoppable said:

That's a long article that's mostly missing the points because it puts a strong emphasis on analyzing consoles on the basis of processing power. If you had written this article right before Switch launched, it would have ended with the conclusion that Nintendo will soon make games for PS and Xbox consoles, because Switch has less processing power than an Xbox One despite launching a few years later. Given how success and failure has played out for Nintendo consoles, processing power is a negligible factor, so it should never be more than a footnote.

I agree that processing power is not a good metric for a consoles success but...

Switch's processing power isn't as much of an issue for several reasons. It's a hybrid console, so many people view it as a handheld with very strong processing power alal PSP, or Vita. It gets a lot of 3rd party ports of games that initially launched on the more powerful two consoles. I can't even name a single Wii U game that was a port from the XB1 or PS4. At $299 with 32 GB of memory and portability Switch has a good price to performance/features ratio. At $350 for a 32 GB version or $300 for an 8 GB version and no portability Wii U had a bad price to performance/features ratio. 



The sentence below is false. 
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Name was confusing and the price was too high for the power. The Gamepad reportedly was $150, so consumers were being asked to pay $300 for a $150 console. It would have been one thing had the Gamepad provided any real benefit, but it didn't. I love Nintendo, and the Wii U was my least favorite home console, with ease. The Wii was better.  If the Gamepad were dropped, and the money savings added to the power of the system, with the addition of calling it Wii HD...  I think it would have done just fine.



Chrkeller said:

Name was confusing and the price was too high for the power. The Gamepad reportedly was $150, so consumers were being asked to pay $300 for a $150 console. It would have been one thing had the Gamepad provided any real benefit, but it didn't. I love Nintendo, and the Wii U was my least favorite home console, with ease. The Wii was better.  If the Gamepad were dropped, and the money savings added to the power of the system, with the addition of calling it Wii HD...  I think it would have done just fine.

Nintendo charged $112 for replacement gamepads in Japan. https://www.geek.com/games/nintendo-will-finally-sell-wii-u-gamepads-separately-but-only-in-japan-1640409/ I remember reading somewhere else that it cost Nintendo $90 to manufacture a gamepad. So if a regular controller costs $20 to make then the gamepad added $70-$80 to the price of the Wii U, depending on Nintendo's desired profit margin on consoles. 



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And that was $70 that could have gone to performance. My point stands, the Gampad was expensive and brought nothing to the table. It was a poor decison. I bought a Pro controller and rarely tocuhed the Gamepad, so I paid $70 for what exactly?  And $70 is being super generous considering Nintendo charged $112 for a replacement.

It is especially worth noting the Wii U launched in 2012.  Your article is dated 2015....  3 years after launch Nintendo charged $112....  meaning it was more expensive 3 years prior, given we both know tech drops in price over time.

Last edited by Chrkeller - on 26 September 2019

Chrkeller said:

And that was $70 that could have gone to performance. My point stands, the Gampad was expensive and brought nothing to the table. It was a poor decison. I bought a Pro controller and rarely tocuhed the Gamepad, so I paid $70 for what exactly?  And $70 is being super generous considering Nintendo charged $112 for a replacement.

It is especially worth noting the Wii U launched in 2012.  Your article is dated 2015....  3 years after launch Nintendo charged $112....  meaning it was more expensive 3 years prior, given we both know tech drops in price over time.

The price of the controller was a real killer. There was never a significant price drop of the unit because of it. Basically you were paying PS4 money for previous gen tech with a Useless controller that didn't do anything to merit its existence.



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A combination of factors.

The poor marketing was I think the biggest factor. Commercials for the system and its games were uncommon leading up to launch and almost nonexistent for months afterward. The commercials it did have focused heavily on the touchscreen controller and not enough on the games or even the fact that it was a new system. There wasn’t any heavy ad presence until the holiday season of 2013, and even then they only tried to target kids and families, not once attempting to go after core gamers. After the 2013 holidays, Wii U commercials essentially evaporated once again. However, starting with Smash Bros. 4, Nintendo began to more actively promote their major Wii U games, though by that point it was too late to do anything to help hardware sales. Add on to this a name that was confusing.

Considering the brilliant and omnipresent marketing for the Wii, Nintendo’s failure to properly market the Wii U came as a surprise and likely worked against the system. For example, it is frequently claimed that many low-information consumers were unaware that the Wii U is a new-generation system, but rather thought it was a tablet peripheral for the Wii. Given the 2012 ad campaign, it’s easy to see how one could come to this conclusion. Nintendo themselves effectively admitted this in the aforementioned Holiday 2013 commercials for the Wii U, which made a point in stating plainly that, yes, the Wii U was an entirely new system.

Now, one could make the case that the tablet controller was the source of most of these problems. It was integral to the system, but it was also a much harder sell than the simpler, more intuitive motion controls that were the Wii's primary selling point. And the gamepad wasn't cheap, either. While the Wii U wasn't much more expensive than the Wii when you account for inflation, if Nintendo hadn't made the tablet controller so central to the system they could have released an even cheaper SKU. And there was no way to buy the gamepad separately, at least not until 2015, and even then only in Japan (and it cost nearly 14,000 yen, and it was region-locked).

Of course, that wasn't the only problem. There was a serious software drought early in the system's life. It had a relatively underwhelming launch library to start with, with the biggest title by far being New Super Mario Bros. U (which I personally think was the best of the NSMB series). But after launch there was hardly anything of note for months after launch. In fact, it would not have a major first-party exclusive again until Pikmin 3 was released in the summer of 2013, some eight months after the system was released. The Wii U spent its first year severely lacking any must-have exclusive content. By time the Wii U had amassed a solid library of exclusives, it was too little, too late.



@Sammy

Exactly, and I say that as a core Nintendo fan who has bought every home console they have released.



Cerebralbore101 said:
RolStoppable said:

That's a long article that's mostly missing the points because it puts a strong emphasis on analyzing consoles on the basis of processing power. If you had written this article right before Switch launched, it would have ended with the conclusion that Nintendo will soon make games for PS and Xbox consoles, because Switch has less processing power than an Xbox One despite launching a few years later. Given how success and failure has played out for Nintendo consoles, processing power is a negligible factor, so it should never be more than a footnote.

I agree that processing power is not a good metric for a consoles success but...

Switch's processing power isn't as much of an issue for several reasons. It's a hybrid console, so many people view it as a handheld with very strong processing power alal PSP, or Vita. It gets a lot of 3rd party ports of games that initially launched on the more powerful two consoles. I can't even name a single Wii U game that was a port from the XB1 or PS4. At $299 with 32 GB of memory and portability Switch has a good price to performance/features ratio. At $350 for a 32 GB version or $300 for an 8 GB version and no portability Wii U had a bad price to performance/features ratio. 

...but you can't ditch that line of reasoning anyway.

Switch's processing power isn't an issue because prospective buyers don't consider a price to performance ratio to begin with. If price to performance ratio played a role, the GameCube would have sold a whole lot better. Nevermind that Switch's price to performance ratio was deemed awful by lots of people, hence why the vast majority got Switch lifetime sales predictions very wrong.

Applying a price to performance ratio to the history of Nintendo consoles doesn't yield consistent results, hence why it's an entirely useless metric.



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

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I actually liked the WiiU. But, I always thought the gamepad looked like 90s tech. Maybe it seemed cool while in development a few years before launch. But, when it hit the market, the cool new tech was Apple's 3/8" thick (1cm) iPad. The Wii U looked ridiculous in comparison. It turned me off right from the beginning, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

Beyond that, I agree with most everyone else that the dry spells and the price point (without substantial decreases over time) were very big negatives too.



@RolStoppable

The Switch remains the most powerful dedicated handheld around. So yes, specs matter. You are paying 300 dollars and you are getting great tech as far as Handhelds go. 200 if you get the lite version. The Wii U was hampered by a collection of issues, horsepower being one of them.