Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Do you think Nintendo killed off the Wii too early

Was the Wii killed off too early?

Yes 41 53.95%
 
No, Nintendo needed to move on 35 46.05%
 
Total:76
Wman1996 said:
Something I've come to realize in the discussions of this thread is that even though the Wii was initially crazy successful and had a shorter replacement cycle than its competitors (while still taking 6 years to be replaced), the problem lies in the Wii's specs and approach. The Wii had pretty garbage specs (even for 2006 standards) and that hurts the longevity of the console in terms of first and third party support. The Switch is a different case because it's a hybrid. Yes, its specs as a home console can be pretty garbage. But it is a clear generational leap over the 3DS and Vita in terms of the handheld market. Plus, the motion controls on Switch are more tastefully integrated.
So even though I do believe the Wii was killed off too early, they really would've had to shift the focus to justify waiting until 2013 for a successor. We would've needed more first-party support like Star Fox, another Mario spin-off, and maybe some remakes. We also might have needed a Wii Pro or something in 2010 or 2011 with at least 128 MB of RAM, a slightly faster CPU and GPU, and HDMI support.

Wii's specs weren't a problem for either first or third party support. Nintendo were clearly comfortable building games to that spec, while games like Modern Warfare 3, Rayman Origins, de Blob 2, Conduit 2, etc in 2011 showed third parties could also easily make games for it if they wanted. But why would they when Nintendo themselves stopped properly supporting the platform?

Wii's specs had nothing to do with Nintendo moving on prematurely. 

padib said:

The Game Boy and PS2 are the best examples really, they got games released for them for a few years while the new platforms came in.

We know that it worked in those cases, the question is, would it work in the cases where it wasn't done or wasn't done properly (Wii, SNES, DS).

SNES was well supported up until its replacement and even got significant games after that like Donkey Kong Country 3 and Kirby's Dreamland 3.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 11 August 2020

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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curl-6 said:

Wii's specs weren't a problem for either first or third party support. Nintendo were clearly comfortable building games to that spec, while games like Modern Warfare 3, Rayman Origins, de Blob 2, Conduit 2, etc in 2011 showed third parties could also easily make games for it if they wanted. But why would they when Nintendo themselves stopped properly supporting the platform?

Wii's specs had nothing to do with Nintendo moving on prematurely. 

padib said:

The Game Boy and PS2 are the best examples really, they got games released for them for a few years while the new platforms came in.

We know that it worked in those cases, the question is, would it work in the cases where it wasn't done or wasn't done properly (Wii, SNES, DS).

SNES was well supported up until its replacement and even got significant games after that like Donkey Kong Country 3 and Kirby's Dreamland 3.

I know that it got DKC3, but it was so-so, a sequel to a sequel to an existing game, and it was just one late game. I forgot about Kirby's Dreamland 3, though again I don't consider that big support in end of lifecycle. Still, I'm aware that the SNES was better than the other two examples. When compared against Game Boy and PS2, it's a no contest and that was my point.



padib said:
curl-6 said:

Wii's specs weren't a problem for either first or third party support. Nintendo were clearly comfortable building games to that spec, while games like Modern Warfare 3, Rayman Origins, de Blob 2, Conduit 2, etc in 2011 showed third parties could also easily make games for it if they wanted. But why would they when Nintendo themselves stopped properly supporting the platform?

Wii's specs had nothing to do with Nintendo moving on prematurely. 

SNES was well supported up until its replacement and even got significant games after that like Donkey Kong Country 3 and Kirby's Dreamland 3.

I know that it got DKC3, but it was so-so, a sequel to a sequel to an existing game, and it was just one late game. I forgot about Kirby's Dreamland 3, though again I don't consider that big support in end of lifecycle. Still, I'm aware that the SNES was better than the other two examples. When compared against Game Boy and PS2, it's a no contest and that was my point.

It still got major games after its replacement and strong support in its closing years, very different to the Wii.



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

curl-6 said:

It still got major games after its replacement and strong support in its closing years, very different to the Wii.

I was speaking relatively. the gap is like

Wii/DS------SNES-----------------------------------------------------PS2/GB



Soundwave said:
padib said:

Everybody did that. What Sony didn't do is save the Vita.

Anyway, at this point it's your word against the word of another. How many people cared about the legacy of the PS2 is only opinion, we have no stats about appreciation. What we do know though, is that the PS2 HW sales continued for a long time after the launch of the PS3, leading to it having the all-time most sold units for a home console. Something I'm sure many will not fail to bring up.

So you might not care, but in most of our debates, what Sony did in supporting the PS2 actually matters. Now your word against mine, perhaps let's leave it at that.

The PS3 early sales are what they are though too. That's not really an opinion.

Where is all this love/appreciation/benefit of the doubt there, if it supposed to exist it sure as heck didn't benefit the PS3, 3DS all that much. 

4/6 of the systems people consider "most successful" come from a history of having a predecessor that wasn't well supported for even 5 full years (let alone 6/7/8).

1. PS2 - predecessor had long support

2. DS - predecessor had less than 5 years of good support

3. PS4 - predecessor had long support 

4. Wii - predecessor had less than 5 years of good support

5. XBox 360 - predecessor had less than 5 years of good support

6. Switch - predecessor had less than 5 years of good support, will obviously rise up this list. 

The only 2/6 examples that had long good support from their predecessors are Sony systems. Biggest failures Vita, Wii U had predecessors with fairly long cycle support, biggest mid-tier disappointments, 3DS and XBox One also had predecessors with long support cycles. 

You can't really debate any of that stuff.

The last Nintendo hardware system that was a large success succeeding a prior system with a long product cycle is the Game Boy Advance which is now almost 20 years ago, so they've had serious issues following up on systems with long product cycles for several decades now. 

Even Sony's long tail support is really because they have so much 3rd party support, it's not really Sony themselves doing much for these systems once the successor releases. There are a lot of people that just want to play like FIFA every year and don't necessarily want to buy a new console, Sony is the main benefactor of that. 

Switch predecessor, 3DS have good lifetime support. Switch has TWO predecessors. 

SNES - long predecessor support

GBA - long  predecessor support, short lifespan, but great sales

3DS - long predecessor support, best selling 8 gen portable. 

This predecessor, has good or bad support that has a minor impact on the next generation.  



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PAOerfulone said:

Just Dance is the exception, not the norm. Just Dance, shovelware crap that comes out every year with minimal effort put in, is one thing; Mario, Zelda, Xenoblade, and Nintendo’s other franchises is another. 

The fact still remains that Nintendo’s resources were limited and if they had spent any more of them on developing games for the Wii post-2011, those are less games coming out on 3DS, let alone the Wii U.

Hindsight: 20-20 The Wii U was going to flop regardless and there was nothing that was going to save it. The 3DS on the other hand? That could still have been salvaged and it was. If you took some of the early 3DS games like NSMB2, FE: Awakening, KI: Uprising, Tomodachi Life, 3D Land, and Sticker Star and put them on the Wii. The 3DS was already struggling enough to gain traction. How much more fucked would that system have been if it lost some of those titles?  

Not only was the 3DS going to sell considerably less. Some of those titles I listed would have sold considerably less on the Wii than they did on 3DS. Galaxy 2 had already sold around 5 million less than Galaxy 1, and that was when Wii sales were still relatively healthy. So what would 3D Land have done on the Wii at a time when the Wii was all but dead post-2011? How about Uprising? Does Sticker Star still do 2.5 million?

What about Fire Emblem? Awakening was supposed to be the last game in the series until it blew sales expectations out of the water, being on the 3DS when its sales and momentum was at its peak, was one reason why. Does Awakening still reach those levels on a dead system where its last entry, Radiant Dawn, didn’t even reach .50 million when the Wii was at its early peak? Congratulations, Rol. In your scenario, Fire Emblem is dead.

The only game out of that bunch that I could see doing better would have been NSMB 2. 

But one game doesn’t justify the underachieving performances of other games and especially underachieving hardware. 2011-2023 was the one time where Nintendo posted operating losses, how much steeper would those losses have been if they went down the route of giving more support to a system in its way out? 

The writing was on the wall. It was time to move on. 

I already mentioned that Nintendo rushed out successors to the DS and Wii to beat Sony to the punch. That ties directly into killing off the Wii too early which in turn ties directly into your question how much steeper Nintendo's losses would have been if they had kept supporting the Wii. Their losses would have been mitigated by doing that, because a hypothetical NSMB Wii 2 selling only 10m copies (very lowballed figure) would have still brought in more than $250m in profits for Nintendo.

Fiscal year ending March 2011: https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2011/110425e.pdf

Wii software shipped 171.26m units. To put this into context, Switch shipped 168.72m units of software in its most recently completed fiscal year ending March 2020. You call those Wii figures the writing on the wall, the time to move on. Actually, that's not what you call those Wii figures, because your post had no sincere interest in sales numbers to begin with. You started with the conclusion and tried to make the pieces fit. In the fiscal year ending March 2010, Wii software shipped 191.81m, so the following year declined by only ~20m.

Fiscal year ending March 2012: https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2012/120426e.pdf

Despite Nintendo already being in the process of killing off the Wii (so no new big first party sellers throughout the fiscal year), there were still 102.37m units of software shipped. For comparison, the Wii U's lifetime software figure is 103.21m units.

Fire Emblem keeps being one of those things that people get wrong. The reason why it even got to the point that Fire Emblem may have had no future anymore is because Intelligent Systems made remakes of Fire Emblem 1 and Fire Emblem 3 on the DS, with the latter one not even being released outside of Japan. Of course that had to result in a sales decline. Fire Emblem: Awakening received the biggest marketing budget in FE history by far, and if Nintendo had pushed Radiant Dawn or preceding games like they did Awakening, then all of them would have comfortably been million sellers. Lastly, my scenario never specifically mentioned another Fire Emblem game on the Wii, so that attempted point of yours wasn't necessary in the first place.

Both the DS and Wii sold well enough to give Nintendo more time to prepare for the following generation. They had no rush, but they chose to do it and that led to a myriad of problems. The topic is still "did Nintendo kill off the Wii too early," not "how could Nintendo have handled the 3DS and Wii U better." Given what the Wii's software sales figures have been, it should be easy to tell that Nintendo killed off the Wii too early. And if Nintendo had released more and bigger games in calendar year 2011 and 2012, then obviously both the hardware and software totals for those years would have been higher.



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I don't think Nintendo rushed the 3DS or Wii U because of Sony/MS, because why not in that case just wait until 2013, the Wii launched alongside the Playstation 3 without much averse effect.

They had grown accustomed to very high sales the prior 3-4 years, likely pressure from shareholders to maintain that was the key pressure they felt.

Shareholders don't care the reason why sales drop, they just know they were seeing declining sub-20 million shipments and weren't happy with that. If tomorrow iPhone shipments started dropping Apple would have the same issues with their shareholders. Once you set a high bar, the expectation is to maintain it all the time. Shareholders get greedy.

Other issues hit Nintendo hard too. Game development once you get past N64 era (PS2+ tier) becomes more complicated, up to PSX/N64 style games you can still make a lot of games with fairly small main teams, but there's a visual fidelity (more polished 3D capabilities) that occurs when you go to PS2 tier or better. That made game development on the 3DS slower. And Wii U having PS3/360 tier was also another problem as that was even more complicated.

Balancing both systems likely was always going to be impossible for Nintendo.

Other factors like smartphone gaming taking off like a rocket very quickly ... by late 2009 it was still in it infancy but by late 2011/2012, it was everywhere and even tablets like the iPad were massive, massive mainstream hits popping up in households everywhere. That hurt both the 3DS and Wii U, the 3DS because it's lower end style of gaming suddenly looked out of a step with free games on a nice iPad that could do 100 other things better, the Wii U, well all the home stuff the tablet was supposed to do (Sports channel, web browser for the living room, etc. etc.) suddenly looked laughably antiquated.

They bet the farm hard on Nintendogs + cats being an evergreen driver for the 3DS that would drive sales like Nintendogs did for the DS early, and same thing for New Super Mario Bros. U + Nintendo Land for the Wii U ... but all three of these games let them down hard. They waited too long for a Nintendogs sequel, the audience for that had moved on to smartphone gaming, NSMB was too much retro 2D Mario, it was unique the first couple of times, but Nintendo had milked it too quickly with the 3DS also getting NSMB2. Nintendo Land was a decent enough quality for what it was, but mini-game collections weren't selling hardware any more by then either.