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

Tagged games:

 

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Outdated Hardware 7 10.94%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%
 
The tablet controller 6 9.38%
 
The Price 0 0%
 
All of the above 27 42.19%
 
None of the above 0 0%
 
The Wii killed the Wii U! 1 1.56%
 
WTH! The Wii U was a success! 2 3.13%
 
Total:64
RolStoppable said:

The hardcore and casual dichotomy doesn't make sense either. There's a much better reason why Wii owners didn't transition to the Wii U and it's incredibly basic. If you consider it true that the Wii was liked in part because of its motion controller, then the lack of a motion controller for the Wii U console should be a big red flag. The Wii U wasn't a better Wii at all, so it's no surprise that people who liked the Wii didn't like the Wii U and it has nothing to do with being hardcore or casual. You mention in your article that the Wii U supported Wii controllers, but that's only partly true. Many games don't support those controllers at all, so the Wiimote is to the Wii U what the GameCube controller was to the Wii. Given that Just Dance 2020 will be released for the Wii, I don't think there's a strong lack of loyalty among those so-called casual Wii gamers. The problem with the Wii U was that it was a very different console in comparison with the Wii.

So much this. I want to add: not only many games didn't support Wiimotes, theres was no package of WiiU with Wiimotes included and a dedicated motion control game came only somewhat later with Wii Sports Club. Which was a HD-port of Wii Sports and was packaged in small chunks and only sold digital. Wii Sports Club at launch and a package of WiiU with Wiimotes or of Sports Club with Wiimotes (and yes, Sports Club as physical game) would've made a major difference. Not Wii-level of success, for that the WiiU was too different. But probably at least double as much hardware sales - which would've also lead to better software sales.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

10 years greatest game event!

bets: [peak year] [+], [1], [2], [3], [4]

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The_Liquid_Laser said:

More specifically, they didn't make killer apps for their Wii fanbase.  The really big franchises on the Wii were: Wii Sports, Wii Fit, 2D Mario, and Mario Kart.  The Wii U got no Wii Sports or Wii Fit game.  Most 2D Mario fans consider the Wii U game to be disappointing.  That really only leaves Mario Kart.  Mario Kart, by itself, is not enough to make a console succeed.  Both the N64 and Gamecube had good Mario Kart games, but those consoles still got stomped on by Sony.  So in the end Nintendo didn't have the killer apps that the Wii audience was looking for.

I want to underline this point. Nintendo had a deal with the release of Mario Kart, that with the purchase of MK8 you got another top line game released before (I had already bought most of them, so I got Sonic out of this deal). The WiiU hardware sales were much elevated (I think doubled or so) for months. Many will argue it's the deal. But I say if MK8 hadn't been a great game, the deal would've gone mostly ignored or only had sold to people already owning a WiiU. So it really mattered for hardware sales that MK8 was a great game, although the effect was strengthened by the great deal. But WiiU had not much more. Splatoon and Mario maker were great games, but they came too late. The WiiU would've needed at least two of these games in the first year. Instead they banked all on NSMBU. Even Pikmin 3 (not a system seller in itself) came only about a year later. That was not enough.

Luckily enough, the demise of the WiiU paved the way for Switch. Splatoon and Mario Maker were made in an effort to make the WiiU more appealing, and now they are contributing factors of the success of the Switch. Mario Kart became one of the main selling points of Switch.

And to contrast this even more: Switch had four big sellers in the first year: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey. But there were more titles, that I think Nintendo might have hoped to bring success: 1-2-Switch (which should've been a pack-in instead of a full-price game) and Arms. Both failed to be system-sellers, although they are still good selling games at over 1 million copies. But the point here is, that Nintendo placed six games which could potentially sell the system into the first year. It didn't matter that not all turned out to get to that potential, enough of them worked. In an alternate world maybe people wouldn't have gone for MK8D as it was a port and bought BOTW on the WiiU. But there were still the other games. Contrast that to the WiiU, which solely relied on NSMBU in it's first year.

Last edited by Mnementh - on 30 September 2019

3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

10 years greatest game event!

bets: [peak year] [+], [1], [2], [3], [4]

d21lewis said:

- Miiverse was an amazing social experience. They policed it too hard, though.

The only social network that ever worked for me. Because it was focused on one topic: gaming. I could plop a screenshot of a part of a game I struggled with and ask for advice. I could brag about my achievements. I could talk about how a part of a game was so great. This was cool. It worked directly from the game, I just had to hit the home button, could post and be back in the game.

I am cross with Nintendo that they killed Miiverse (couldn't have cost the world to maintain it) and I am shocked Nintendo has to this day not offered a way to message friends on Switch. This is embarrassing.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

10 years greatest game event!

bets: [peak year] [+], [1], [2], [3], [4]

Cerebralbore101 said:
RolStoppable said:

...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.

-_- Really? Just because I pointed out the errors in your rebuttal to an argument that I know to be faulty, you think I'm for that sort of argument? Really? Maybe you haven't paid attention to my posts for the past six years. I don't know how many thousand times I've posted that graphics don't matter. But okay. 

Gamecube lacked a DVD player, which made its price to features/performance ratio bad compared to the other two consoles. During the Switch's reveal a lot of posters here had given up on Nintendo entirely. Wii U was a travesty. All of 2016 was one massive dry spell for the console with the only great game being Fire Emblem x SMT. Being downtrodden, they took the least optimistic line of reasoning. 

I agree that applying a price to performance ratio doesn't predict squat for Nintendo consoles. That's why I said price to performance/features ratio. Gameboy, GBA, DS, Wii, and Switch have all sold based on their price to performance/features ratio. Gameboy wouldn't have sold if it didn't have a stupidly long battery life. The GBA SP's folding design was a godsend. DS had the touchscreen. Take motion controls away from the Wii and it's just another Gamecube. Take the portability away from the Switch and it's a regular console. 

But you ignored the phrase "price to performance/features", and instead attacked the strawman of "price to performance". 

I know a lot of people have come on these boards over the years asking for another Gamecube, and arguing that if Nintendo just made a console as powerful as the other two they would be back int the game. But please don't lump me in with them. 

It doesn't make a difference whether it's price to performance or price to performance/features. Explaining the low sales of the GameCube with the lack of a DVD player doesn't make sense because the Xbox sold only barely more units. Then you have the Wii which didn't play DVDs nor Blu-ray, so it should be clear how little movie playback matters for console sales. This old argument about DVD playback that the GC lacked is just as poor of an excuse for the failure of the console as marketing and name of the Wii U are for the failure of that console.

Excusing the terrible sales predictions for Switch makes you look like an apologist. If you take issue with being lumped in with an unfavorable group, don't stick up for such groups.

The paragraph in the middle of your post highlights the problem the most. You ignore a much bigger reason for success in order to make the point that the reasoning of price to performance/features ratio is correct. Battery life was just another advantage that the Game Boy had over its competitors; the key to success was that the Game Boy launched with Super Mario Land and Tetris and continued to get better games than the competitors had. For the GBA SP you even fail to name its better features which were a built-in battery and a backlit screen, both of which not being present in the original GBA; and again, the library of games is what really sold the system. 

The motion controller of the Wii was a means to an end; Nintendo recognized that many potential customers of video game consoles were left behind because games got more and more bloated over the years and tutorials could take an hour or more. The thing that the big Wii hits have in common is not motion controls, but the removal of the bloat and the trait to be fun games from the very first minute, whether that's Wii Sports, Mario Kart or New Super Mario Bros. The same thing holds true for the DS. Take portability away from Switch and it still has Breath of the Wild as launch title; lots of people in America and Europe don't use the portability of Switch and were still willing to pay $300 for the console anyway. Conversely, you have people who don't use the TV functionality.

Do you see where this leads? The games are at the center.

When you look at the GC and Wii U, Nintendo's two worst-selling home consoles, they feature first party lineups where actual killer apps are rare. On the GC, Nintendo took experimental directions with 3D Mario, 3D Zelda and Mario Kart, so despite Nintendo getting out quite a few important games in the first couple of years, the reception was lukewarm at best. On the Wii U, the biggest problem was to get out games in time, so by the time hits like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U released, the overall software release schedule was already incredibly barren, so killer apps had next to no complementary software to go along with them.

The GC and Wii U are Nintendo's two worst-selling home consoles and with both Nintendo attempted to build a game library that is as close to PlayStation as possible. This intent demanded concessions which made the consoles bland and uninteresting. Switch got doomed because Nintendo's January 2017 presentation made it clear as day that Nintendo wasn't going to serve the big third party publishers with the console. The Wii got doomed because Nintendo was so wrong to allow Sony and Microsoft to pull away by so much. But PlayStation and Xbox suck, that's why Nintendo is so successful.



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

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

RolStoppable said:
Cerebralbore101 said:

-_- Really? Just because I pointed out the errors in your rebuttal to an argument that I know to be faulty, you think I'm for that sort of argument? Really? Maybe you haven't paid attention to my posts for the past six years. I don't know how many thousand times I've posted that graphics don't matter. But okay. 

Gamecube lacked a DVD player, which made its price to features/performance ratio bad compared to the other two consoles. During the Switch's reveal a lot of posters here had given up on Nintendo entirely. Wii U was a travesty. All of 2016 was one massive dry spell for the console with the only great game being Fire Emblem x SMT. Being downtrodden, they took the least optimistic line of reasoning. 

I agree that applying a price to performance ratio doesn't predict squat for Nintendo consoles. That's why I said price to performance/features ratio. Gameboy, GBA, DS, Wii, and Switch have all sold based on their price to performance/features ratio. Gameboy wouldn't have sold if it didn't have a stupidly long battery life. The GBA SP's folding design was a godsend. DS had the touchscreen. Take motion controls away from the Wii and it's just another Gamecube. Take the portability away from the Switch and it's a regular console. 

But you ignored the phrase "price to performance/features", and instead attacked the strawman of "price to performance". 

I know a lot of people have come on these boards over the years asking for another Gamecube, and arguing that if Nintendo just made a console as powerful as the other two they would be back int the game. But please don't lump me in with them. 

It doesn't make a difference whether it's price to performance or price to performance/features. Explaining the low sales of the GameCube with the lack of a DVD player doesn't make sense because the Xbox sold only barely more units. Then you have the Wii which didn't play DVDs nor Blu-ray, so it should be clear how little movie playback matters for console sales. This old argument about DVD playback that the GC lacked is just as poor of an excuse for the failure of the console as marketing and name of the Wii U are for the failure of that console.

Excusing the terrible sales predictions for Switch makes you look like an apologist. If you take issue with being lumped in with an unfavorable group, don't stick up for such groups.

The paragraph in the middle of your post highlights the problem the most. You ignore a much bigger reason for success in order to make the point that the reasoning of price to performance/features ratio is correct. Battery life was just another advantage that the Game Boy had over its competitors; the key to success was that the Game Boy launched with Super Mario Land and Tetris and continued to get better games than the competitors had. For the GBA SP you even fail to name its better features which were a built-in battery and a backlit screen, both of which not being present in the original GBA; and again, the library of games is what really sold the system. 

The motion controller of the Wii was a means to an end; Nintendo recognized that many potential customers of video game consoles were left behind because games got more and more bloated over the years and tutorials could take an hour or more. The thing that the big Wii hits have in common is not motion controls, but the removal of the bloat and the trait to be fun games from the very first minute, whether that's Wii Sports, Mario Kart or New Super Mario Bros. The same thing holds true for the DS. Take portability away from Switch and it still has Breath of the Wild as launch title; lots of people in America and Europe don't use the portability of Switch and were still willing to pay $300 for the console anyway. Conversely, you have people who don't use the TV functionality.

Do you see where this leads? The games are at the center.

When you look at the GC and Wii U, Nintendo's two worst-selling home consoles, they feature first party lineups where actual killer apps are rare. On the GC, Nintendo took experimental directions with 3D Mario, 3D Zelda and Mario Kart, so despite Nintendo getting out quite a few important games in the first couple of years, the reception was lukewarm at best. On the Wii U, the biggest problem was to get out games in time, so by the time hits like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U released, the overall software release schedule was already incredibly barren, so killer apps had next to no complementary software to go along with them.

The GC and Wii U are Nintendo's two worst-selling home consoles and with both Nintendo attempted to build a game library that is as close to PlayStation as possible. This intent demanded concessions which made the consoles bland and uninteresting. Switch got doomed because Nintendo's January 2017 presentation made it clear as day that Nintendo wasn't going to serve the big third party publishers with the console. The Wii got doomed because Nintendo was so wrong to allow Sony and Microsoft to pull away by so much. But PlayStation and Xbox suck, that's why Nintendo is so successful.

A bit biased aren't we? Last I heard the PS4 sold over 100 million units...and remains selling strongly on a weekly basis.



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A ton of reasons.

Reason Number One: Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. The Wii and Switch were underpowered, but they have been hits due to marketing. A lot of Wii U ads focused primarily on kids and their parents. Not a good idea. It's ok to show families, but don't make that the bulk of your advertising. The name itself is a marketing thing too. Wii U is a terrible name. And the marketing confusion early on cemented the sentiment that the Wii U was a tablet add-on for the Wii. Obviously, no.

Price. I kind of get why the console launched at $300 and $350. But once it was clear how much it was struggling, Nintendo should've given a massive permanent price cut. Sorry, a Deluxe model (even with a game) for $300 is still a lot of money for a console that is not as capable as the PS4 and Xbox One. Sony has been willing to take losses before to get more hardware out. The Wii U should've been cut to $250 by 2014 to 2015. By the end of its life, it should've been $200.

Wasting the Tablet. No Wii U game could support two tablets. The tablet also drove up the cost. I have to imagine the Tablet would be at least $100 if sold separately.

Missing or Disappointing 1st Party Games: Launching with New Super Mario Bros. U? A game that played it super safe? Disappointing. Giving us a sequel to 3D Land instead of a Super Mario 64-esque game? Disappointing. No main series Animal Crossing game? Disappointing. Rushed Mario Tennis? Disappointing. No exclusive Zelda? Disappointing. Mario Party 10? Ugh. Need I go on?

Very weak third-party support. The Wii U has what many would consider the worst third-party support of any Nintendo platform (excluding Virtual Boy, obviously). The lack of third-party support has to do with the marketing of the Wii U, and that it was hard to develop for. Even though the Wii U is overall more powerful in most ways than the Xbox 360 and PS3, the processing speed is slower. Nintendo shouldn't have compromised here.

I could say more, but I think I've said enough.



Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 125 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 122 mil (was 100 then 130 million) Xbox One: 50 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

Wman1996 said:
A ton of reasons.

Reason Number One: Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. The Wii and Switch were underpowered, but they have been hits due to marketing. A lot of Wii U ads focused primarily on kids and their parents. Not a good idea. It's ok to show families, but don't make that the bulk of your advertising. The name itself is a marketing thing too. Wii U is a terrible name. And the marketing confusion early on cemented the sentiment that the Wii U was a tablet add-on for the Wii. Obviously, no.

Price. I kind of get why the console launched at $300 and $350. But once it was clear how much it was struggling, Nintendo should've given a massive permanent price cut. Sorry, a Deluxe model (even with a game) for $300 is still a lot of money for a console that is not as capable as the PS4 and Xbox One. Sony has been willing to take losses before to get more hardware out. The Wii U should've been cut to $250 by 2014 to 2015. By the end of its life, it should've been $200.

Wasting the Tablet. No Wii U game could support two tablets. The tablet also drove up the cost. I have to imagine the Tablet would be at least $100 if sold separately.

Missing or Disappointing 1st Party Games: Launching with New Super Mario Bros. U? A game that played it super safe? Disappointing. Giving us a sequel to 3D Land instead of a Super Mario 64-esque game? Disappointing. No main series Animal Crossing game? Disappointing. Rushed Mario Tennis? Disappointing. No exclusive Zelda? Disappointing. Mario Party 10? Ugh. Need I go on?

Very weak third-party support. The Wii U has what many would consider the worst third-party support of any Nintendo platform (excluding Virtual Boy, obviously). The lack of third-party support has to do with the marketing of the Wii U, and that it was hard to develop for. Even though the Wii U is overall more powerful in most ways than the Xbox 360 and PS3, the processing speed is slower. Nintendo shouldn't have compromised here.

I could say more, but I think I've said enough.

I agree. The controller was the reason Nintendo couldn't cut the system's price. They could have, but they would have taken a loss...and Nintendo is very wary of losing money on Hardware sold.



Launching with nsmbu was a great idea and a terrible idea.

Great because the other games in the series sold insanely well. Terrible because, by the time the Wii U had launched, they had already milked the franchise dry. By the time we had a DS game, a Wii game, and a 3DS game, the idea of "A new 2D Mario game" wasn't even slightly exciting anymore.



Twitter: @d21lewis

What went wrong with the Wii U? In hindsight its really simple. Average Joe thought the Wii U was a mid gen upgrade. This is why the Switch took off so FAST. Average Joe knew the Switch was a NEW console the moment it was announced.



I predicted the Wii U would fail (but not to the degree it did), and the reason was simple:

it didn't appeal to anyone. The Wii appealed to Nintendo fans and non-gamers. It was simple, easy to use, and fun. The Wii U was big, clunky, and not fun. The Wii had great Nintendo games like Twilight Princess, Brawl, and Galaxy, etc. etc. The Wii U didn't even get an original Zelda game (well technically it did but c'mon) and 3D World was almost an insult (I love the game, but damn I felt literal embarrassment when I first saw the trailer).

Nintendo banked on the tablet phenomenon, but the problem is the controller was never utilized properly. With the Wii there was Wii Sports. With WII U there was what?

Overall, it was always going to fail. It just appealed to no one.