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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Outdated Hardware 7 10.94%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%
 
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
couchmonkey said:
I cannot quote on my iPad, but jumpin and rolstoppable covered most of the points. From the day of the revel you could see that Nintendo had rejected the exact premise of simplifying the controller and gaming in general that made the Wii a hit. How can you blame da casuals when the system wasn’t even made for them?

One thing I would like to add is, Nintendo made a terrible misstep relying on third parties to launch the system. There were actually about thirty nine games between launch and Christmas, of which just two were from Nintendo. Then in the next six months or so all Nintendo had to show for itself was Luigi remake of nsmbu, a Wario mini game compilation, and eventually a very late pikmin 3. You cannot get away with a first year that looks like that.

Nintendo always does well when it makes things simpler and more convenient for the gamer.

The dpad and 2 button controller for the NES was all that was required: even RPGs (which traditionally needed a keyboard) was playable on it. While the SNES controller did have more buttons, they were very conveniently located; the diamond face buttons and shoulder buttons were even better for action games than the traditional joystick + 6 big face buttons for arcade versions.

The N64 controller was a bit of a mixed bag, it both overcomplicated (triple-pronged, 6 face buttons) and simplified things (analog stick, trigger). It's not surprising to me in the slightest that the addition of split controllers with motion and IR capabilities was a massive success. Features were added, interface potential was expanded at the same time as simplifying it. I'm also a big fan of the dual joycons on the Switch and the portability element - so that too, was an unsurprising success to me.

That said, you are absolutely correct with the Wii U going in the opposite direction of the Wii, making things needlessly more complex. Not just adding in more interface which didn't really seem necessary, but also the fact that looking down and up between two sceens made things a lot more difficult. In a way, the Wii U was the antithesis of the Wii. They should have just called the console the "U."

I can't be the only one who noticed the Wii U rhymes with pee-ew!



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

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RolStoppable said:
SammyGiireal said:

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

And Wii sold over 100m and Switch will sell over 100m. Then you consider the handheld market in the previous two generations and it's clear as day that PlayStation (and Xbox) aren't even remotely close to being the be all, end all in the console market. There is large demand for consoles that are not like PS and Xbox, and that's the expectation that the market has towards Nintendo and it has been proven time and time again.

With the Wii U at E3 2012, Nintendo spent more time on AAA third party games than their own games. As if the important thing would be to have the same games as PS and Xbox. Nintendo was very wrong, but that's part of the reason how the Gamepad came to be. Third parties wanted a dual analog controller and the hook that Nintendo came up with was not as commonly mistakingly believed to emulate tablets, but the revival of the failed multi-screen idea that existed on the GameCube with the GBA connectivity. That's why it's no coincidence that The Wind Waker was remastered (used the GBA link on the GC) and that Nintendo Land featured game ideas that were present in Pac-man Vs. (another GC game). The Wii U was intended to support more than one Gamepad, but that idea got shelved because it was already too much of a challenge to sell the console with one Gamepad.

Great post!

I agree Nintendo shouldn't try to be a Playstation or an Xbox. The times they attempted, it didn't work out well for them.

Gamecube, many people don't remember, was seen as a kids version of PS2. PS2 junior, in other words. The Wii and the Switch have heavily differentiated themselves from the PS/Xbox market.

I wish I could find the discussion about Wii U's inspiration from Gamecube. I think it may have been Miyamoto who brought that up.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

curl-6 said:

What didn't go wrong would be the better question, it's probably the single most horribly conceived, designed, and marketed console from any major manufacturer ever and the fact it sold 13 million at all is a testament to the power of Nintendo's IPs to sell even a completely undesirable product to an extent.

As to the hardware power debate, power is just one of many things consumers consider when judging whether a product is good value. It's a factor, but it's not the not the be-all end-all. If it was, systems like the PS2, DS, and Wii wouldn't have comfortably outsold their rivals.

The Wii for example was weak, but it was still a great value proposition because it offered a fun, novel and accessible controller interface and hugely desirable software. The value of the gameplay experience it offered outweighed its lackluster processing muscle.

SWOT the Wii U.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

SammyGiireal said:
padib said:

The easiest answer to this essay is the handheld line.

"Hardcore gamers" (whatever that even means) and their infinite demands for visual glory never stopped the handheld line from succeeding. The answer is that good gameplay trumps cutting edge. And the Wii was very well served by Nintendo (1st party) in that department. Your essay mentions that Nintendo sinned HW-wise and so there lacked 3rd party games due to low horse-power. But your essay says it also itself, that MG1&2 are legendary games, still great to play today, Skyward Sword still today has the best motion controls ever (it's a pity that legacy ended), and so the sin was on 3rd parties to not capitalize on the Nintendo's success. But who can blame them? They are human after all, and make mistakes.

You know, nobody's perfect.

The sin wasn't on third parties, they will go wherever the money is. The sin is on Nintendo. They launched an over priced, out dated console into the market without a first party killer app so no one bought the system. 3rd parties won't jump into a system with a low installed base.

It doesn't work that way SammyGiireal. The point I was challenging is that the Wii U failed due to lack of processing power. I gave you a counter-example: the handhelds. To defend your point, you need to defend the point, not bring up one that is irrelevant.

I'll clarify:

Step 1) One of your points/ideas: Nintendo Wii U was not powerful enough and so did not attract 3rd party support.

Step 2) My challenge: That is not true because Nintendo succeeded on a weak, handheld line.

Step 3 - Pass) Your answer: [Must contain logic pertaining to the point I mentioned].

Step 3 - Fail) Your answer: [Contains logic pertaining to a point I didn't mention regarding a good first party launch title].



padib said:
SammyGiireal said:

The sin wasn't on third parties, they will go wherever the money is. The sin is on Nintendo. They launched an over priced, out dated console into the market without a first party killer app so no one bought the system. 3rd parties won't jump into a system with a low installed base.

It doesn't work that way SammyGiireal. The point I was challenging is that the Wii U failed due to lack of processing power. I gave you a counter-example: the handhelds. To defend your point, you need to defend the point, not bring up one that is irrelevant.

I'll clarify:

Step 1) One of your points/ideas: Nintendo Wii U was not powerful enough and so did not attract 3rd party support.

Step 2) My challenge: That is not true because Nintendo succeeded on a weak, handheld line.

Step 3 - Pass) Your answer: [Must contain logic pertaining to the point I mentioned].

Step 3 - Fail) Your answer: [Contains logic pertaining to a point I didn't mention regarding a good first party launch title].

My point remains valid, the Wii U failed as a home console in part because it was released in 2012 with out dated hardware. At 300-350 dollars  no one in their right mind was going to support the system knowing that the PS4 and Xbox One were around the corner. It is a valid point when even Metro's developer stated they wouldnt make ports for it because the CPU was terrible.  

Power isn't the only reason the Wii U failed but it is one of the reasons it did. That is one of my points. It proved true.



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SammyGiireal said:

My point remains valid, the Wii U failed as a home console in part because it was released in 2012 with out dated hardware. At 300-350 dollars  no one in their right mind was going to support the system knowing that the PS4 and Xbox One were around the corner. It is a valid point when even Metro's developer stated they wouldnt make ports for it because the CPU was terrible.  

Power isn't the only reason the Wii U failed but it is one of the reasons it did. That is one of my points. It proved true.

It's false, because we have an example of a platform (rather a whole series of platforms that lasted nearly 30 years) that succeeded without horsepower. So no your point falls miserably.

The real question is this:

Why do some consoles that have low horsepower succeed and some others don't.

But the fundamental point is that whether it has horsepower or not is irrelevant to success.



padib said:
SammyGiireal said:

My point remains valid, the Wii U failed as a home console in part because it was released in 2012 with out dated hardware. At 300-350 dollars  no one in their right mind was going to support the system knowing that the PS4 and Xbox One were around the corner. It is a valid point when even Metro's developer stated they wouldnt make ports for it because the CPU was terrible.  

Power isn't the only reason the Wii U failed but it is one of the reasons it did. That is one of my points. It proved true.

It's false, because we have an example of a platform (rather a whole series of platforms that lasted nearly 30 years) that succeeded without horsepower. So no your point falls miserably.

The real question is this:

Why do some consoles that have low horsepower succeed and some others don't.

But the fundamental point is that whether it has horsepower or not is irrelevant to success.

The Wii and the Switch?  Ask yourself what they did that the others didn't. Neither was a conventional console. The Wii U was. Power matters to say other wise is to ignore a huge part of why technology changes constantly. My point stands, you are just being blind to the fact that the lack of power also contributed to the Wii U's demise. The Wii U did plenty of other things wrong, but pedestrian tech specs in comparison to the PS4 and Xbox One was one its wrongs.



theRepublic said:
Mr Puggsly said:

While I agree BotW and Super Mario Odyssey would have helped the Wii U sell more units, but we're talking about a console that only sold about 13 million units. Would those games have pushed it to 20 million? 25 million? Not everybody buying a Switch has Mario Odyssey or BotW. People were much more hyped about the Switch hardware in general versus the Wii U.

Basically I'm gonna stress the fact the Wii U sold horribly in spite of have notable content. If the console was closer to $199 at launch and simply used Wiimotes, I feel more people would have been willing to buy one even with the software complaints you mentioned. I don't believe the hardware ever went below $249 officially and that tablet control looked cumbersome and useless (fun fact: it was mostly useless). If the Wii U was just console and a Wiimote, it could have hit $99 to $149 at some point.

But again, it probably best the Wii U failed as it did because it was inspiration for the Switch. I'm also glad Nintendo has technically exited the home console market.

VGChartz has numbers for some Wii U to Switch ports. The Wii U had strong content that does well on Switch, but people weren't will to get the hardware.

The Gamecube dropped to $99, and that didn't help it to move units.  It launched at $100 cheaper than the PS2 or Xbox, and that didn't do it.  Why would it work for the Wii U when it didn't for the Gamecube?  Software moves the hardware.

Gamecube sold better and wasn't riding on the success of the Wii. It seems like the Wii U couldn't hit a low price because that tablet control was too expensive to produce.

So let me clarify, I'm not arguing Wii U would have been a great success if it was basically just a more powerful Wii relying on the same Wiimotes and priced lower. I'm arguing it could have sold better if it wasn't bundled and reliant on the expensive tablet control. Your example is the competitively price Gamecube which sold better.

In my opinion and I believe many agree, the Switch is truly a handheld console. Its the successor of Wii U and 3DS combined. I think that appeals to people more than any Nintendo home console would at this point.



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People mention the XBO and PS4 but they don't even have to do that. Ask yourself, aside from the Game Pad, what did the Wii U do better than PS3 and Xbox 360?

-Better online?
-Achievements/Trophies?
-Did have the DLC that other versions of games got (Call of Duty or Batman Arkham Origins for example)
-Did it have better software library in any way shape or form?
-Did games run better on the Wii U?
-Did it have better multimedia abilities like Blu Ray or DVD?
-Was it cheaper?
-Did it even have acceptable onboard storage?

Consoles like the Switch or the Wii had things about them to make them appealing compared to their high powered competion. The portable consoles had price, library, Pokemon, battery life, etc. What did the Wii U have to make anyone want to buy it over the competition? A "U Draw" peripheral?



Twitter: @d21lewis

Wii brand was already becoming passe and dated by 2011, by 2012 like most fads it collapsed hard.

Switch is an actual brand with a bedrock below it built on a solid foundation. Wii was always a fad type of thing, so it was basically a platform built on a bubble.

Once that bubble burst that whole thing collapsed. Not just Wii but Kinect also collapsed hard in the same period. When people get tired of a fad it collapses in sudden fashion, not gradually.

The pricing, marketing etc. wasn't the issue, it was that this bubble was going to pop eventually. You could call it Wii 2 or Wii Z or Wii Pee or whatever you want and make decent commercials for it, the crux of the concept -- another Wii console, was what was poison. People by 2012 had got tired of that whole style of gaming/console and moved on. 

Most people realized that Brain Training didn't really make you smarter, and that Wii Fit for most fat people still left them fat, and Wii Sports was boring after the 1000th time and same with 18000 different shovelware mini-game titles. People just had their fill and the smartphone was a much sexier/cooler draw for the attention of that audience.