If there ever was a console which could be considered ubiquitous in the mainstream it would have to be the Nintendo Wii. The runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii cannot be stressed enough — it was a complete monster of the last generation, surpassing everyone else in the industry and even transcending the realm of gaming and making it into the world of technology and pop culture in general. Everyone young and old was interested in the Wii, with it not only appealing to gamers but to to just about anyone with a pulse. The question was if Nintendo could get lightning to strike twice and for the Wii U to be as big of a success.
While the Wii U is still relatively new, launching in November with a lot of fanfare, the sales have not been anywhere near the level of the original Wii. In fact, they’ve been pretty disappointing with the Wii U being outsold on a regular basis by the current generation consoles of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the consoles that the Wii was outselling on a regular basis. That isn’t to say that the Wii U is a bad console or even a mediocre console, it just didn’t have the same kind of killer app at its launch as the original Wii had in Wii Sports.
There is also the fact that the Nintendo Wii could have been a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for Nintendo where it had almost universal appeal with the right mixture of casual and hardcore games. Those who found themselves drawn to the Wii might not have the same burning desire to buy a newer console that gamers have because the Wii still serves their needs and they simply don’t have a need for a newer, better console, unless it has all of the newer, better games. For the Wii U to really catch on like the Wii, it would have to offer games that provide a rather unique, desirable experience that they can’t get anywhere else.
With the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the end of their lifecycle outselling Nintendo’s latest offering, the question that hands in the air is how well it will fare against the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720/Durango. If the Wii U is having problems competing with the current generation of consoles, the ones that their last console was handily beating, the writing almost seems on the wall for where Nintendo’s position will be in the upcoming “console wars” that everyone is so fond of talking about.
Whichever console sells the most or least really doesn’t matter in the long run, as long as the company isn’t pushed into bankruptcy and decides to leave the gaming world behind. The Wii U without a doubt has a lot of time to rebound and for sales to surge before Sony and Microsoft decide to release their next consoles and anything can still happen, but for right now the forecast for Nintendo’s Wii U does not look to be similar to what the Wii faced upon its release.