How the Wii U Wiped Out Nintendo’s Ability to Compete


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4 comments, 844 points

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that this holiday season the big sellers are going to be the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The hype for the two new consoles has been almost unbearable, with fans of both systems doing their damnedest to share their excitement online and to friends. It’s still not clear if Microsoft did too much damage to itself with some of its early stances on the Xbox One or if all will be forgiven, as well as the $100 extra that it will cost, when the holiday season rolls around, or if Sony’s tactics with pricing the PlayStation 4 and coming off as more consumer friendly will pay off. What we can predict is that both console launches will be a big deal and that we’ll be talking about these launches up until they finally happen.

The one question, though, is what will become of Nintendo and the Wii U? Nintendo was once the king of the home console market, and even if things were rocky over the last few consoles, they always bounced back. Has the Wii U destroyed their chances of rebounding?

Nintendo still has a lot of hardcore fans left who are enjoying their Wii Us right now, but the actual sales for the Wii U are disappointing, to say the least, with the Wii U only moving 3.19 million units worldwide since its launch in November of 2012, averaging 455,000 systems a month. That will put Nintendo with over 6 million units moved by the end of this year, which is still a low number. The actual reality right now is that the Wii U is moving slower than anticipated, with only 107,000 units being sold in May and 94,000 in June, compared to Xbox 360 moving 326,000 and 326,000, and the PS3 moving 509,000 and 530,000, respectively.

It is time to really take a sobering look at the numbers here and to realize that Nintendo is not the industry giant that it once was and that while there are many fans who are diehard Nintendo fans, they are apparently only a fraction of the gaming world. No wonder companies like Electronic Arts don’t see the point in making games for the Wii U anymore, something which does not help the Wii U at all, especially with some of their bigger sports titles coming out in Q3 and Q4 of this year.

Interest in the Wii U is only dropping. The Wii U saw decent numbers in the first and second month, moving 2.2 million of those 3.19 million consoles, then it dropped off significantly. The Xbox 360 only sold 1.1 million units in its first two months and the PS3 only 1.2 million, but neither console saw the sharp drop in sales afterwards, in fact, they both saw steady sales that always seem to increase every holiday season.

The Wii U could see the same sales boost this holiday season, but against the competition, which will be fresh and new, and whose previous generation consoles are on a regular basis beating the Wii U, any hopes of the Wii U having a resurgence are remote, at best. While Nintendo might not be in any financial duress at the moment, and the sales of the 3DS continue to be impressive, unless Nintendo can make some big moves this holiday season it is safe to say that they are officially no longer a major player in the home console market.

The Wii U will continue to be a system that those who own it love, but that might be the end of the line for it.


4 Comments

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  1. Did Sony lose its way in the console market when Wii outsold their PS3? If your answer is no, then you are obviously an idiot with double standards or just a Sony fanboy. Either you, you are too clueless to speak for gamers or give your opinion as if its fact.
    Yes more fanboy logic. Wii U sales are hurt because its competing with consoles on the market for 7 years but when PS4 and X1 hit, those consoles will not have their sales hurt by Wii U, PS3, 360 all being on the market with a bigger library compared to PS4 or X1 but none of the same logic applies to those consoles. That is just fanboy ignorance at best.
    Nintendo competes with everything while PS4 will have 5 million sold on day 1 and its sales wont be hindered by cheaper consoles. Could you be any more clueless or bias?

    1. It took far too long for Nintendo’s White Knights to declare me an asshole. Please, elaborate, oh oracle.

  2. Come on. If you cant see the writing on the wall then I am sorry. Look, I love Nintendo as much as the next gamer but what is killing them is their lack of third party support. go look at how many and what games are coming out for the console right now. its basically crap and not much of it to boot. This is not dissimilar to what happened to the first Wii. A couple great games followed by blah.

    Further, Nintendo chooses to skew to a generally younger fan base. Great, but it costs them a lot not to offer more adult content (a whole lot if you consider a bunch of the kids who they want to appeal to are playing mature games on their Xbox…..that is just the reality of it.)

    This is the Nintendo recipe for success.

    Build a great console that can compete with ps4 and XB1. props to Nintendo for always making the most durable machine. their failure rates are always significantly lower than their competitors but come on Nintendo. make us a machine that we can say wow about. not “wow, i cant wait for ps4.

    Open the door for developers to port over their games. including mature content. GTA, Mass effect, etc.

    It would not hurt to realize that most of the people who love their flagship titles like zelda and mario are in their 20s and 30s. not every single entry into those franchises have to look like they were developed for a 5 year old.

    port some older games to ios and android. listen if someone wants to play mario 3 on their iphone then what does it matter? nintendo has been robbing fans for years by re releasing ports of older games on newer hardware, but absolutely denies themselves the huge revenue stream that expanding to those markets would represent. insane. if they cant develop new content to get players to buy a gameboy then they should hang it up anyway.

    I hate to really hammer about the age thing but listen. If Nintendo wants back in the game then they really need to market their machine to the adult gamers and also offer content for children. Their current business model has been sinking nintendo since the days of the 64. Remember, the first wii only got as popular as it did because of the motion control aspect of the machine. Nice but it was a gimmick that was really great on games the were made for it (wii sports) but unneccesary and damnright lame for most games however. I argue that the second screen will be yet another cool gimmick but will fall flat with developers who are not interested in making a significant departure in control scheme just to sell their wares on the wii u.

    Nintendo needs new leadership at the top and a new mission statement moving forward or before we know it we will be playing nintendo games on their competitors consoles (anyone remember SEGA?)

    and as much as I have railed on them….I really don’t want to see that happen.