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Following poor Wii U sales, Nintendo now projects losses this year
Following poor Wii U sales, Nintendo now projects losses this year
January 17, 2014 | By Mike Rose

January 17, 2014 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    83 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Nintendo has been forced to revise its fiscal full-year expectations, projecting losses rather than profits as previously estimated, due to slow 3DS and Wii U sales.

The company originally hoped to sell around 9 million Nintendo Wii U consoles for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. However, this projection has now been severely cut down to just 2.8 million.

This means that by the end of March 2014, the Nintendo Wii U will have sold 6.25 million units in its lifetime. For the sake of comparison, at last count the PS4 had sold 4.2 million in six weeks, while the Xbox One had managed 3 million in the same time frame.

Meanwhile Nintendo now says that the 3DS handheld will sell around 13.5 million units, down from the previously projected 18 million, while the original Wii is on track to sell 1.2 million, down from the projected 2 million.

Software isn't looking good either. Nintendo was hoping to sell 38 million Wii U games and 80 million 3DS games, but these expectations have now been cut down to 19 million Wii U games and 66 million 3DS games.

As a result, Nintendo now expects to see revenues of 590 billion yen ($5.7 billion) for the full fiscal year, down from the previously projected 920 billion yen ($8.8 billion), and losses of 25 billion yen ($239.6 million), swinging from the previously projected profits of 55 billion yen ($527.2 million).

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted that "it is now expected that our sales will fail to meet our previous forecast by a large margin."

Although he said that the 3DS continues to show strong sales in Japan, outside Japanese markets the hardware is not faring so well. The 3DS was still the top-selling platform in the U.S. during 2013, yet this was not enough to hit Nintendo's sales projections for the handheld.

And Iwata said that while the Wii U showed some promise towards the end of 2013, thanks to the release of titles like Super Mario 3D World, it still "fell short of our targeted recovery by a large margin."

"In particular, sales in the U.S. and European markets in which we entered the year-end sales season with a hardware markdown were significantly lower than our original forecasts, with both hardware and software sales experiencing a huge gap from their targets," he added.

The Nintendo president also noted that some increased costs were incurred due to the yen appreciation against the U.S. dollar and euro, and expanded advertising expenses, which were increased by 8 billion yen ($76.7 million).


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Comments


Leszek Szczepanski
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One the problems with Nintendo is that one has to really like its flagship franchises to have a reason to buy their hardware.

I don't like Mario and Pokemon and don't care much for Zelda. As much as I'd like to pickup a Wii U, there's almost nothing left for me play on it.

Tyler King
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At the same time said problem is their greatest strength(If they would bother using it correctly.). People flock to nintendo because of Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon games. They just need to actually start releasing more good first party titles for that strategy to work.

Andy Lundell
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Ok, but you're (I assume) an ADULT buying a game system for yourself.
You're kind of outside the target audience.

The real question is what systems the 10 year-olds are buying, and why.

Jay N
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Nonsense. Nintendo doesn't make games for kids, it makes games for everyone.

Your question still stands, though. And I'd venture to guess it's smart-phones and tablets for most of them.

Emmanuel Henne
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As much as I appreciate Your sarcasm, I feel that Big N has manoeuvered into a corner. Despite a strong line-up for launch that covered the best known franchises, the fact that these titles had already appeared elsewhere or were no real progress regarding the platform (New Super Mario Brothers U)ade the console not attractive for the price Nintendo asked. They heeded to do something radically NEW with Mario, not a rehash of NSMBU. And the fact that a major games developer like Nintendo was unable to foresee the demands of HD games in 2014 is rather odd. Its ike Nintendo went "Hey, its Mario in HD, what else could You possibly want !?".

Michael Wenk
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The Wii sold so many it couldn't be just for the 10 year old demo.

The problem is the Wii U is trying to compete with the tablet sector, and it cannot do that. It is an incredibly poor tablet.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Michael Wenk - That's the thing! The Wii U is technically not even competing with the tablet sector and it only looks that way to some people due to the Wii U Gamepad (which is actually a good controller, in my opinion) looking like a tablet. In reality, the Wii U turns the TV (in part) into a giant DS, and if Nintendo (especially Nintendo of America) pitched the system that way, then more people would have a better grasp of what the Wii U is about. Not to mention, the Wii U Gamepad is only part of the Wii U equation and not the whole equation. Otherwise, people wouldn't be able to use Wii accessories and the Wii U Pro Controller as alternate controllers for some games as well as use online functions for communication and game purchases.

Bob Johnson
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It's a good point Leszek. They could use some more variety especially for the west.

AT the same time why would you then buy Nintendo's console instead of a PS4 or X1 if you don't like Nintendo games?

Emmanuel Henne
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But still incredibly useful for certain game genres. For example a game like Diablo 3, that would benefit greatly from the Gamepad. OTOH...You would need up to four gamepads to really make the most of it. Quite unaffordable.

Bob Johnson
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Yeah D3 could be great for it.
Minecraft would seemingly be great on it too btw.


Rey Samonte
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Currently, the only game I would buy, and waiting for, is Xenoblade 2. Like the above comment, I'm not big on Mario (any more) or Pokémon. I would play a new Zelda game however. But besides those, there's really nothing else that attracts me to Nintendo these days. Sadly, I used to be a huge Nintendo fan.

I guess when the time comes, I'll pick on up. But it would be nice if there were more games I could look forward to.

Doug Poston
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Please keep us posted on your personal buying habits. :|

Rey Samonte
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Thanks Doug for making this site such a friendly place to share.

Kyle Redd
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Very few people here are like Doug. Honest.

Doug Poston
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Sorry, I was rude.

I just don't like to think of Gamasutra as a "Consumer Website", but I guess it is.

Rey Samonte
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Doug, just because some people choose to share their thoughts about what games they are looking forward to or what they thought about a system they grew up with, and just because we're mostly developers here, we can't forget that we are developing for consumer products. Not to mention, before we were developers, we were all gamers first.

If you and I had a history of interaction, then perhaps your sarcasm would have been appreciated. It's hard for me to believe you would appreciate a complete stranger to just approach you in person and say something sarcastic to you without even knowing you.

Michael Pianta
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I fear that Nintendo is in a spiral they can't get out of. Not just with the Wii-U but in general. As development gets more expensive and lengthy, it will become increasingly impossible for Nintendo to justify a console with only their first party games. If you think not enough first party games are coming out on the Wii-U now, imagine how much worse that problem would be if the console were as powerful as a PS4/XB1. Still in the year since the Wiii-U launched Nintendo has released something like seven internally developed titles and published a few more, plus the downloadable titles and the virtual console (for what that's worth). This is basically an output on par with other major publishers, despite Nintendo being smaller than EA, Ubisoft, etc. Point being I don't think Nintendo has the capacity to produce more 1st party titles.

What they need is more 3rd party support, but they can't have that just for asking. Obviously they've BEEN asking - they put special effort into highlighting 3rd party support at E3 in 2012 and 2011. They touted their partnership with EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. But the 3rd parties themselves acted in bad faith (if you ask me) releasing substandard ports and then citing their bad sales as reasons to abandon future support. Only Ubisoft continues to support Nintendo (Activision as well, sort of, but we'll see how much longer that goes), but they still took their prominently featured exclusive game multiplat.

Even if Nintendo produced a console capable of directly competing with the PS4 and XB1, it would mean nothing because the issue is one of perception, and they can not turn that perception around fast enough to make a difference. The perception is that they are out of touch with "real" gamers, and certain to fail. Some people think that if Nintendo simply produced a powerful enough console, ports would come inevitably because 3rd parties want to release on every viable platform. I don't buy this personally. I don't have first hand knowledge about this, but surely many of the new engines that will be powering future 3rd party games are designed to be scalable, so that they can produce ports to mobile and tablet devices? When they decide not to include Wii-U in that equation, they are making the A Priori decision that Nintendo CANNOT BE successful enough to attract them, that Nintendo's audience CANNOT BE the same audience for their games, when all the Western 3rd parties make that decision together it becomes a self fulfilling prediction. This then reinforces the negative perception, and hence my earlier claim that it's a spiral Nintendo is not in control over and cannot escape from.

But then again, I'm just an outside observer so if any insiders know better I'd be interested in hearing about it.

Robert Green
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I think you're underestimating the amount of work involved in supporting a new platform. It's true that many games may have scalable engines that allow them to work on the new consoles and the previous ones, but that doesn't mean that supporting something in the middle would just work.
In addition to the extra work of supporting an entirely different architecture, you also had the expectation that you were going to do something gameplay-wise with the Wii U controller. I don't know that Nintendo were requiring anything along these lines (manufacturers usually do around launch), but even if they didn't, developers/publishers may have assumed that the customers would expect them to. And from the publisher perspective, supporting the new platform also means another manufacturer review process to go through, another SKU to ship and another set of potentially unsold copies sitting on shelves.
They're also likely quite wary of Nintendo platforms given the last few generations. Even the Wii, for all its successes, was primarily a system for 1st party games. So this time around, they tried to put something out for the launch window, then the system failed to take off. And in fact, some of the companies that had done the engine work for the console launch (like the assassin's creed and call of duty teams) did put out another game this year. But for companies that hadn't, and don't have that kind of brand recognition, they've just decided that it's unlikely to be worth the effort.
And with Nintendo slashing estimates by over 2/3, it sounds like they were right.


What I've been wondering though, is what would have happened if Nintendo hadn't tried to do something unique this time around. We now know that Sony and MS made very similar consoles, but what if Nintendo had done the same? What if all three consoles were largely the same hardware and similar prices, but one of them had the Nintendo first party games? I can't help but think that might have been a better competitive edge than a gamepad that's also a resistive touchscreen.

Michael Pianta
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Well, obviously there's no way to know for sure, but I suspect that if Nintendo had release a console similar in spec to the other consoles, that almost nothing would be different, except that Nintendo might be losing even more money. Such a product would probably be more expensive than it's competition, and would have nothing to differentiate except the first party titles, which would be fewer and farther between. Since they have those titles anyway, and they are obviously not enough, why would having a less unique, more expensive system change that? From a 3rd party perspective, if I'm correct that 3rd parties simply don't have confidence that Nintendo's audience is compatible with their games, and that THAT is the main reason that they don't support the Wii-U (and not a lack of power) then having a more powerful system wouldn't affect that either.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Michael Pianta - The 3rd-party companies should worry less about competing with Nintendo 1st-party titles and worry more about competing against each other and more about seeing which 3rd-party company can make the best system-selling game(s) for the Wii U. There were no issues with 3rd-party companies selling quality games for a Nintendo system before (especially in the NES and SNES eras), so there should be no problem now if they have confidence in themselves (just like some indie companies do). I have seen the official list for the 2013 Fan Faves at the Nintendo website (http://club2.nintendo.com/fanfaves/), and in case of the Wii U list, 5 of the games on the list are 3rd-party titles (2 from Ubisoft, 2 from Capcom and 1 from Gaijin Games). On one of the blog news, Capcom USA was definitely not shy on pointing out Capcom games appearing on the Wii U and 3DS lists along with 1st-party titles (http://www.capcom-unity.com/dubindoh/blog/2014/01/03/4-capcom-tit
les-make-it-to-club-nintendos-fan-favorites). 3rd-party companies have to start to believe more in themselves like they did years ago and the higher-ups and investors should quit screwing around with the companies and the creative teams.

Robert Green
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Michael, sorry if I worded that poorly - I wasn't trying to suggest that Nintendo should have made a more powerful machine because third parties want to work on more powerful systems. What I was trying to say is that the similarities between the XB1 and PS4 basically mean that almost every third party developer will want to be on both, unless there's a good reason not to (e.g. Titanfall), even more than in the previous gen. And hence that if Nintendo also had a very similar system, this might be true for them as well.

Let me rephrase the question - imagine a hypothetical world where Sony, MS and Nintendo put out consoles that are functionally identical and run all the same third party games. If you had to buy one of these, then one of the biggest factors in deciding which one to get would be the first party games, and I think that a lot of people would say that Nintendo still have the edge there.

But, we're not in that world, because Nintendo don't have the third party support, because for the last two generations, they've gone out of their way NOT to make consoles like the competition. Their goal as a console manufacturer should be to make a console/ecosystem such that third parties would say "Why not support Nintendo?", but instead we're in a situation where they still have to ask "Why should I?"

Jeferson Soler
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@ Robert Green - Nintendo decided a long time ago to no longer worry about competing with other companies and just worry about making good systems with good games. Technically speaking, the fight is more between Sony and Microsoft and it is more of a multimedia system war than a console war as Nintendo is not part of the equation. Having said that, there's still the issue that everyone (including the videogame news media) have been conditioned to still include Nintendo into the mix with Sony and Microsoft, but the worst part is that people are also being conditioned to put all three companies into the mix with mobile device companies, which is why there are "console gaming is doomed" articles almost as much as the "Nintendo is doomed" articles. With all the mess from some "fans", couple videogame news media sites, some company higher-ups and some investors, I'm surprised as well as relieved that we didn't get into a second videogame market crash, but I don't know for how long the videogame industry can keep on dodging the bullets.

Robert Green
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"Nintendo decided a long time ago to no longer worry about competing with other companies"
Then Nintendo is foolish. As a company, you only get to decide what products and services you make. What other products and services are 'competitors' to yours is for the consumer to decide, and is largely outside of your control. You can make something that nobody else makes, but unless it creates a completely new and distinct category, then you have competition.
In this case, people who like videogames have a limited amount of money to spend on hardware that runs videogames.They can spend that money on Nintendo hardware, Sony hardware, Microsoft hardware, Apple hardware, etc. The idea that just by making your videogame hardware different you're not still competing with these companies is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
And given that, not worrying about your competition means ignoring reasons why consumers might be buying their products instead of yours. See how late Nintendo is to the online multiplayer game for example.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Robert Green - If Nintendo's strategy of not competing with other companies was foolish, then the Wii wouldn't have become the success that it became. I think it is more foolish to believe that there's still such a thing as the console wars (which was created by media hype in the first place thanks to the rivalry that Nintendo and Sega used to have years ago) than for Nintendo to not want to compete against Sony and Microsoft, especially since Sony and Microsoft are not game companies in the first place. Plus, if Nintendo had kept trying to compete against other companies, then the quality of the Nintendo games and of the Nintendo products would have faltered in the long run. That's pretty much what Iwata himself said in the past! Interesting enough, Nintendo showed that it doesn't need to compete with others in order to make their products better. Nintendo is more of a perfectionist than I am; Nintendo wants to make sure that their products always appeal to the public, so when something doesn't go right, Nintendo takes notice of that. There have been articles that showed that. By the way, if people want to continue with the whole system war hype, then they should focus on just Sony and Microsoft for that and see that system war as a multimedia system war and not a console war.

Robert Green
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"If Nintendo's strategy of not competing with other companies was foolish, then the Wii wouldn't have become the success that it became."

Most likely, and yet within a few years those Wii sales started to trail off, and haven't been converted into Wii U sales now. The point about the Wii wasn't just that it was different, but that so many people thought it was better. Nintendo still wanted traditional gamers though - witness how they still put out Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros., etc. And at no point would they tell EA and Activision "Don't bother putting out Need for Speed and Call of Duty games on the Wii, we're not targeting those customers". Targeting a wider demographic isn't the same as targeting a different demographic. In other words, they were still competing with Sony and MS for the gaming dollar.

And they still are, whether they want to admit it or not. Last time they made a product that a lot of consumers thought was better than the competition, this time they didn't. And beyond that, a platform is also targeting developers, and in this case they're also competing with all the other platforms that developers could be investing their time/money into, again, unless they don't care about third party support.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Robert Green - "Most likely, and yet within a few years those Wii sales started to trail off, and haven't been converted into Wii U sales now. The point about the Wii wasn't just that it was different, but that so many people thought it was better. Nintendo still wanted traditional gamers though - witness how they still put out Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros., etc. And at no point would they tell EA and Activision "Don't bother putting out Need for Speed and Call of Duty games on the Wii, we're not targeting those customers". Targeting a wider demographic isn't the same as targeting a different demographic. In other words, they were still competing with Sony and MS for the gaming dollar.

And they still are, whether they want to admit it or not. Last time they made a product that a lot of consumers thought was better than the competition, this time they didn't. And beyond that, a platform is also targeting developers, and in this case they're also competing with all the other platforms that developers could be investing their time/money into, again, unless they don't care about third party support."

Nintendo created the Wii to appeal to everyone, including people that were new to games. The idea behind the controls was to make games more accessible to everyone. Accessibility is the key to everything. Also, people didn't buy the Wii believing that it was better than either PS3 or Xbox 360, especially since some of the those people didn't even care about those other systems to begin with. The Wii had a good price point with good-to-great games. Also, Nintendo knew that it would be costly to compete against Sony and Xbox 360 by creating a system that would only have improved graphics and nothing more, so instead, Nintendo chose to go its own path and no longer compete with other companies, attempting to bring in new game players and even more. You can claim and believe all that you want, but Nintendo is really not competing with other companies and is more worried about getting by and about doing quality products than anything else. The success of the Wii is the end result and the only reason that things may have seem to slow down for the Wii towards the end is because there weren't that many commercials for the Wii in the US and because Nintendo was starting to shift its focus on the Wii U, so the only games that the Wii would mostly be getting in the later years would be from 3rd-party games (there were exceptions to the rule as Nintendo of America did finally release Xenoblade Chronicles in the later years and after much hesitation). Speaking of commercials, the real reason why the Wii sales didn't convert to the Wii U sales is because of the lack of a strong marketing (especially in the USA). Granted, Nintendo did a lot of Internet marketing, but the TV marketing is still the main thing, and let's face it, that's the reason why Xbox One is even getting noticed (almost every channel at every time, I ended up seeing a Xbox One commercial, even more than a PS4 commercial). Without proper marketing, Nintendo couldn't convince people to consider buying the Wii U and it didn't help matters that some people couldn't tell the difference between the Wii and the Wii U at times, so the ones that already owned a Wii wouldn't buy a Wii U and the ones that didn't own a Wii would buy the more affordable Wii instead of the higher-priced Wii U (and thanks to the lack of proper marketing, some people didn't even realize that the Wii U was backwards compatible with the Wii accessories as well as with the Wii games). Ryan Christensen spoke one huge truth on one of his comments. Even though I didn't have problem with the Wii U name, the name of the system may have been a problem when it came to the marketing (or the lack of it). I understand the reasoning behind Nintendo's strategy with the name, but even still, the company should have made the name more distinguishable, so that people would know that the Wii U was a whole new system. Nintendo should have gone with something like Wii 2.0 or Wii Ultra to easily send a message to potential customers about a whole new Nintendo system. At least, in the Japanese commercials, Nintendo pointed out that the Wii U was more like a Super Wii, but perhaps, Nintendo should have gone with the name Super Wii instead of Wii U. There's still hope for Nintendo, but the company needs to get with the program in the marketing department (especially in the USA).

Robert Green
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"Nintendo created the Wii to appeal to everyone, including people that were new to games."
Yes, indeed, but not exclusively those new to games. Which means that at least in part they were still trying to appeal to existing gamers. Which is why statements about Nintendo not trying to compete with these other companies ring only half true. They weren't fighting for exactly the same market, but they weren't fighting for a completely distinct market either.

Tell me though, if you think the main failing of the Wii U is to do with marketing, why downsize the estimates for this year so drastically in advance? Surely if the marketing was that inept, then they can simply hire better PR firms and hope to gain some of that lost momentum back? I do believe that the marketing has been poor, but I also think that the low sales represent it just not being as attractive a product.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Robert Green - I don't know why you or anyone else keep on insisting that Nintendo is still competing with anybody, but the following comment from you is what I'm interested in at this point: "Surely if the marketing was that inept, then they can simply hire better PR firms and hope to gain some of that lost momentum back?" The marketing was indeed the problem and it still is, but Nintendo isn't the kind of company that's going to fire someone on the spot unless it feels that it has no choice. Last time I checked, Iwata had his and the other executives' paychecks cut for a while instead of firing the little people when the first 3DS price cut was done. Still, I'll admit that Nintendo needs to put someone else in charge of marketing. If you look back at the Nintendo marketing from years ago, the marketing for the Nintendo system was very strong and almost constant. The only system that didn't seem to have a strong marketing in comparison to other systems was the GameCube. There were couple GameCube game commercials, but in comparison to the marketing for other Nintendo systems and games, it didn't feel as if they were packing a lot of punch. However, the Wii was another story. The Wii marketing was arguably the strongest Nintendo marketing ever, especially in the US. Reggie was in charge of marketing at that time and he wanted for the marketing to focus on all audiences. After Reggie got promoted, things slightly change for marketing. Cammie Dunaway was Reggie's successor, and now, Scott Moffit is in charge of marketing, succeeding Dunaway. In my opinion, Moffit is not doing a good job with marketing and it doesn't help that recent commercials from the marketing team under him tends to focus more on kids and parents than on all audiences. I can understand Nintendo not wanting to fire anyone, but something needs to be done about marketing. Nintendo needs someone that's like Reggie or better than him and that wouldn't be shy about wanting to do an aggressive TV marketing campaign that would target all audiences. The Wii U has the potential to sell best outside of Japan as Japan is too mobile/on-the-go centric for majority of the time (which is why 3DS sales are strong in Japan) and console systems tend to do better outside of Japan, so Nintendo has to consider the importance of a strong marketing campaign outside of Japan and one that's even better the Wii marketing campaign from years ago. Until then, some people won't see any reason to get the Wii U, especially when some of them don't see a difference between the Wii U and the Wii and/or are just happy with having the Wii.

Ryan Christensen
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Console hardware businesses don't make a ton of money (Sony, Microsoft, Atari and numerous failed systems etc all have had problems with profit on hardware). With this being the sole market for Nintendo games this is dangerous because the best game makers are being bogged down in a losing hardware battle since mobile.

The games easiest to get to and play will always be the biggest market. It was the arcade one day, then PCs, then consoles, then mobile. Nintendo used to live in the easiest space and had better hardware at a time. That time has passed sadly to much nostalgic chagrin coming from a NES lover. There is no longer a big enough reason to get a Nintendo hardware device but Nintendo games still rank with the best.

Nintendo, don't take your games down with your hardware. Not saying stop making hardware, but make it more broadly and release games across more platforms. Rely on the game design and IP creation that is the best and fit perfectly for this time.

James Coote
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No one seems to have really considered new IP creation in all this. I wonder.. although we might consider Mario and Zelda treasured old friends, to kids of today, or parents who didn't grow up playing those games, whether those characters look just like one of many other bright, cartoony characters?

Jeferson Soler
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@ James Coote - Actually, there are people that did consider new IP creation, including some inside Nintendo. Wonderful 101 is in fact a new IP, but the lack of TV marketing for the game affected the chances for the game to be a big seller (especially in the US).

James Yee
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Yep, new IP's really are just hung out to dry by Nintendo marketing. Then again I haven't really seen ANY Nintendo marketing for Wii U really have you?

Jeferson Soler
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@ James Yee - "Then again I haven't really seen ANY Nintendo marketing for Wii U really have you?" That's exactly what I have kept trying to point out to everyone and I'm not the only one that has been doing so. Aside from the Internet marketing (which is like a "poor person's" marketing in some cases), there hadn't been any strong marketing for couple Wii U games. More specifically, there hadn't been any strong TV marketing for couple Wii U games. It is not just with new IPs, either. In case of Pikmin 3, I saw a commercial for it once or twice on NickToons, but I didn't see the commercial that many times, especially in comparison to the Pokemon commercials and the Super Mario 3D World commercials. The only other good TV promotion that Pikmin 3 got was the Adult Swim Toonami review (the game got 9 out of 10, by the way), which is a good thing as AS Toonami is targeted towards an older audience (teens and up). However, that kind of promotion tends to get overshadowed by the actions of the current NoA marketing team, which tends to not do a strong TV marketing for every single thing from Nintendo as well as tends to focus more on kids and parents than on all audiences. If Nintendo marketing was as heavy as the Xbox One marketing, then things would have been different (I see the Xbox One commercials almost every time).

A W
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I can't understand for the life of me why the mobile and social gaming market hasn't realized that the Wii U is a HD TV gaming device that is catering to their atmosphere of games. I mean we are just now getting some heavy hitters on the Wii U eShop like Unepic, Castle Storm, and Knytt Underground. Miiverse is enhancing the discussion of the games on a personal level greater that that of Facebook with its "bother your friends" notifications system. I think Nintendo needs to work a bit more on the capabilities of MiiVerse and shape those interation models with the small developers that are putting there games on the eShop because there is going to be some value there if they can foster it. They also need to get some type of complete online structure built in to the games coming form those developers, whether it be leaderboards, competitive play, Mii integration, or social sharing of pics and or vids. Even the in game note sharing content is a good idea to help Enhance those games. Wii U's selling point is in that MiiVerse and they need to find a way to use it. They found a way to use Street pass as a selling point for 2/3DS.

Ryan Christensen
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I think the reason is 2 part

1) Wii U is a horrible name and a core piece of the problem. It should have been called the Nintendo Revolution or something. Wii U sounds like educational content on a Wii.

2) The addition of tablets and mini tablets has one upped the value for purchasing an entertainment device.

Think of it as a parent.
You have $300 for a device for your son/daughter. You could get a tablet/mini and have hundreds of low cost games and options (even f2p titles if played for a while come in cheaper than $60 games) or you could by a console and a few games. Parents are choosing tablets/minis.

Think of it as a kid.
You want a device to get internet, play games, watch movies, listen to music. You can only ask for so many devices especially in multi-kid families. Do you ask for a console or a tablet/mini? And if you are asking for a console, is Nintendo your first choice?

I think Nintendo is losing this choice and it was a choice that wasn't in the equation even in 2007-2008 when Wii U dev started and Wii was in it's heyday. They were pretty good at the tablet/tv setup which I think is the future of living room gaming. But it has become a much bigger beast and takes directly from their target market.

A W
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I don't think the choice is as analytical as that. I was asking why indies are not seeing the concept, not why consumers are not buying it. Consumers are not buying it because kid's friends like the Xbox 360 for socially playing Call of Duty games. Wii U can be a social system too, but Nintendo has to believe in the social online strategy it has created, not hinder it, but expand it.

Justin Kovac
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Online Mario would be great. Better local but having the option to play online would be nice.

Other than a great party and friend list system, Miiverse system works a lot better as a social network than the basic friend list, party and recent activity that the PS4 provides (have not played One much, assuming similar to 360).

James Coote
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@A W

I've noticed that as well, re: indies not seeing the concept. They aren't jumping at the chance to make second screen games or games with Wiimotes (the hardware that really differentiates the Wii-U).

Ron Dippold
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@A W, @James - At this point, as an indie with low resources, would you risk Wii U as your only platform? Because if you're making a game that makes full use of what makes the Wii U unique, like Tearaway did with the Vita, you're going all in. Now it's possible that Wii U owners are so desperate for games that you could make a decent amount of money on a great one... but then the promotion of downloadables is so bad most owners might never see it. Indies may see the concept, but not the payoff.

Also, I only deal with Nintendo as a consumer, but even there I can tell they still have no coherent network plan or cohesive integration plans like A W is describing. Recent dev articles on with Nintendo seemed to confirm that people there had no idea what PSN and XBLA did or could do and were attempting to invent everything from scratch after years of pretending the internet didn't exist.

Probably the best thing they could do for the next console (other than 'wait till you have good launch games'), is to suck up their pride and steal all the infrastructure ideas they can from Sony and MS while keeping their unique touch.

Eric Harris
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I think you are looking at the wrong things here. Features like what you are describing have nothing to do with the success of a system. Dreamcast was highly advanced for it's time and it failed. It all comes down to games. N64 was successful because of the games(Thank You Rare). Not since the N64 has Nintendo consistently made great games. If Nintendo wanted to turn the tables, they would start getting some good devs to make really good exclusive titles for the system.

Ricardo Hernandez
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http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-secret-deve
lopers-wii-u-the-inside-story

And many other things. I hate to say this but a lot of the replies here are giving way too much benefit of the doubt to the big N.

Adam Bishop
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I'm surprised that the 3DS isn't performing better. It has a great library of games that was highly lauded last year. I also would have thought that the release of a new Pokemon game, one that got rave reviews, combined with the release of the 2DS would have helped push sales pretty high over the holidays as families saw a much cheaper option to get one for their kids (I saw a 2DS + Pokemon combo for $150 over the holidays, which is a really good price point).

It's too bad, as everyone I know who has a 3DS (which is a fair number of people) loves it, but for whatever reason I guess I really misjudged the market there.

Andy Lundell
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I don't know, but if I had to guess, I'd bet there are a lot of parents who tell their kids "You can have a 3ds or an iPad, but not both."

Adam Bishop
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There's a $200 price difference between an iPad Mini and a 2DS. That's a huge gap. Lots of people can afford $130 but not $330.

Justin Kovac
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And lots of kids are playing with their parents' iPads starting around the age of 2. Plus it has all their kid shows and music on it, they easily can get attached to a iPad at a early age.

Now when you want them to have their own device when they are 5 or older, that is the convincing Nintendo has to do. The kid wants the iPad since that is what they know and like.

Also add in the cheap games (not counting abusive IAP games) its easy to find something they will like.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Adam Bishop - Now that you mentioned, I wonder if the 2DS sales were even part of the equation. Did Nintendo mentioned anywhere that the 3DS sales also included the 2DS sales? Because if the 2DS sales were not included in the 3DS sales and the 2DS sales were decent to high, then one has to wonder if the 2DS played a role in affecting the sales of the 3DS. I'm just curious to know all the details in order to analyze what really affected the sales of the Nintendo systems (aside from lack of strong marketing).

James Yee
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As someone with two kids (5 and 1) I did look hard at that 2DS with Pokemon game. (Mainly because I remember Pokemon fondly) That said my daughter didn't really care too much about it. She's used my 1st Gen iPad since she was 1 (I have picture proof!) and doesn't really need/care about anything else quite yet (She's finding out she can't play newer games and is getting annoyed by that). So yeah it's not always between $150 now versus $500 it could be between (as in my case) the $150 now or $0 and just keep using what you've got.

Bob Johnson
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Pokemon sold quite a few kids on the 3ds lately. But the market for Nintendo became tougher when kids can be pacified with games costing $0 on devices parents and kids already own.

Even if the games are gaming junk food.

But things change. Just like it changed against Nintendo the past 4 years, things can swing back the other way.

WE've all seen how great gaming entertainment experiences have boomed for years at a time in the past and then disappeared nearly overnight. This sort of phenomena will happen on mobile as well and probably accelerate once consumers start to upgrade their tablets/phones less often as those devices become good enough.

This would benefit Nintendo. Consumers will have more money available for other entertainment expenditures and the low hanging fruit of capacitive touchscreen gaming experiences will be picked and new mobile business models will become more passe.

At the same time, the cost to include capacitive touchscreen tech and enough mobile phone/tablet processing power to do the tasks people use these devices for (like surfing and Facebook etc) will only decrease and thus are more likely to make their way into future Nintendo products if only by default.

And eventually as people stop having the need to upgrade their devices as often and as those devices get cheaper the gap between what a dedicated gaming handheld can do and what your mobile devices does will increase. In other words more opportunity for Nintendo to release with a unique piece of hardware devoted to gaming that tomorrow's smartphones or iPads won't match by default.


btw, I always wondered why Nintendo doesn't also get into the educational game market here in the US.

Scott Soto
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I hope that's all it would take. I've seen the same trend that James mentioned with my two boys (4 & 3), where they're already using tablets (they have the chance to play with the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and InnoTabs) but are resistant to moving to controller/console play.

I don't think it's simply a matter of more money available or not, we're moving into a technological realm where kids are getting access to high end devices at an earlier and earlier age. When children are your market share this puts a huge pressure on you across the board.

When I was a kid, I had nearly each system as it came out and loved them. If I had grown up with a tablet, I don't know if the world would have been the same.

Bob Johnson
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@Scott

Your kids are 3 and 4. Not ready for a console controller really. That's why they are resistant. Even Nintendo's games aren't made for 3-4 yr olds.

And using your logic you'd think Wii U would be a big hit since it has a touchscreen and has similar controls to the 150+ million selling DS which many kids grew up with. You'd also think the 12-15 yr olds of today, who grew up with the Wii, would only be able to use a wiimote and nunchuk and that these other systems would be suffering as a result. :)

And I didn't say my post was all it would take so please don't interpret it as such. IT is just one piece of the puzzle.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Bob Johnson - "WE've all seen how great gaming entertainment experiences have boomed for years at a time in the past and then disappeared nearly overnight." That was the case with the LaserDisc games. As much as I liked them, I have to admit that their popularity wasn't the kind that was going to last on long term.

Eric Harris
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... But iPads suck for games....

TC Weidner
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I think its more of a branding issue. Nintendo at least here in the US, is seen more as a kid's system, not really the heavy cool tech device teenagers and serious tech adults want or have. IN a world of ipad, iphones, android tablets, xboxes, laptops, desktops, etc etc, Nintendos rep, style, design sort of makes it look a little Fisher Price like, as in a kids toy. At least thats how I see it.

Theresa Catalano
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It's too bad, because the Wii-U has the best game lineup of any next gen system right now. Some of the best games of 2013 were on the Wii-U: Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Mario 3D world. It's a real shame the Wii-U isn't doing better. Here's hoping that they stick with it, and that business picks up in 2014.

Luis Blondet
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Taking over Let's Play accounts, which are doing advertising and building hype for their games is not helping much either.

How about mobile and casual presence with their IPs?

Why don't we have a sanctioned Pokemon MMO is beyond me, yet fans themselves keep making products with the Nintendo IPs that they would gladly pay for and they keep on shutting these projects down WITHOUT deliverance.

I think Nintendo really has a leadership problem. Some of their decisions are simply ass-backwards.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Luis Blondet - The only leadership problem that Nintendo may have is when it comes to marketing. When Reggie was in charge of marketing, Nintendo managed to extremely sell the Wii in the USA, showing that the Wii appeals to everyone. However, with Scott Moffit in charge of marketing, the marketing seems to reinforce the typecasting that was placed on Nintendo by some people that makes Nintendo look to cater to certain audiences and not to all audiences, which is far from the truth. Whether Nintendo (especially Nintendo of America) likes to admit it or not, heavy marketing (namely, heavy TV marketing) is very important to sell any system and any game in today's world, and most importantly, the marketing teams have to treat all audiences equally and to focus on all of them. As for the Let's Play videos, there a lot things that could be talked about those (negative and positive), but for now, I'll say that that there may be one way to convince Nintendo to give those a videos a chance and to work out a deal with the creators of those videos. Just point out that the Let's Play videos are like video strategy guides and that there are more benefits to these video strategy guides than to the book strategy guides. The only string attached would be that the Let's Play videos would no longer be allowed to show game endings unless there's no choice (Wonderful 101 is one of those "no choice" ones as you practically play through the ending, the credits and after the credits).

Renan Rennó
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You know what Nintendo could do? Buy some top indie companies to make lots of innovative double-A first party games or something like that. The Wii-U can't survive on NOJ games only...

Michael Wenk
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The problem I see is Nintendo is trying to appeal to the hard core console user. The Wii sold as well as it did because it appealed and was marketed to a new group of customers. It also discovered that that group didn't buy as much as time went on, and that keeping the interest of that customer was hard if not impossible. That customer wants something new every year or 2, not every 6 years.

As for the hard core audience, I don't see that working for Nintendo. They would have to spend so much money getting third parties, and bend their principles so much that even if they succeeded in getting good 3rd party support, they likely wouldn't get much profit if any.

If the big N wants to get the casuals again, then they have no choice but to change and become like Apple and Google. They have to compete with the iPad experience. And the tablet. Likely wearables as well. They proved that market can like their products and games, but to keep them, they have to change with them.

I don't see that either. I suppose Nintendo could do the corporate thing and ratchet in their costs to be in line with their sales. That to me is the most likely scenario.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Michael Wenk - In case of USA, if Nintendo of America was really targeting the "hardcore" audience, then recent Nintendo commercials wouldn't be targeting just kids and parents and would instead be targeting all audiences. I'll admit that recent Wii U commercials are better (if not more decent) than the Wii U launch commercials, but they don't encourage teens, young adults and senior citizens to get the Wii U and seem to only focus on kids and parents as the target audiences. As I pointed out on another comment, when Reggie was in charge of marketing, the marketing for the Wii targeted all audiences and that helped the Wii to be huge system seller. With the Wii U, the marketing is not that strong, in my opinion. One of the Super Mario 3D World commercials was the closest thing to show that the Wii U as well as the new Super Mario game do appeal to the teen audience, but that one commercial tends to be overshadowed by other Wii U commercials and Wii U game commercials that tend to reinforce the typecasting that has been placed upon Nintendo. If Nintendo is going to make the Wii U a big seller and not another GameCube, then Nintendo needs to improve on marketing and show what the Wii U is capable of as well as show all the games. Most importantly, Nintendo needs to show that the Wii U is for everyone. In other words, put all the cards on the table.

Jonathan Murphy
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I no longer have any desire to support the company that steam rolled my 4 player footage of Mario Party, Mario Kart. Miyamoto, and all of their talent is around his age. When he leaves they will soon after. I'm calling it. If they don't do something, anything significant in 2014 they are done.

Bob Johnson
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They are going to have to adapt and adjust but I'm still betting on their world class game design talent/culture to shine through. It will be interesting to see what they do.

I am starting to believe that they will attempt a quick fix for the Wii U by packaging it without a Gamepad at a $200 or less pricepoint. Long term I doubt we see a traditional console and handheld. Something will change and I can't help but think they will just create one platform.


IT also seems like using the Android OS on their platform is a big possibility. And probably going with cpu/gpu hardware that is more standardized. The other consoles have standardized on pc hardware and the mobile stuff is all ARM (although I think NIntendo uses ARM cpus in the 3ds now that I think about it.) That leaves Nintendo as a 3rd architecture. That won't help 3rd party support. They can't keep doing that in today's market.

Next platform obviously will be digital. They can't keep doing carts. By doing so they could go make more profit per sale or lower their game prices or a bit of both. Plus release all sorts of types of games.

I also have this thought that maybe they can find someway to sell direct to people and bypass retailers. Digital would obviously be a big part of that. But also selling hardware direct to consumers through their website and through a few small Nintendo-only stores in bigger cities along with select retailers still. YOu might want to say like Apple, but I also say like Lego.

Emmanuel Henne
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I wonder why that idea of making the Wi U compatible with the stadard of 360 and PS3 didnt pay off more. In theory, the U is easy to port to and get the same games the other platforms get. CoD for example sold millions on the Wii combined through all sequels.Ghosts and BO2 sold barely 500k combined on the U.Its a matter of installed base, on paper Nintendo did everything right except maybe for a too steep launch price and a fail to explain to Wii users (who hadnt wandered to 360/PS3 years ago already and used the Wii for Kart and sports) why they should buy a new console to play the same old games. Even beeing backwards compatible didnt help. Maybe its just like Sony, sometimes You are up, sometimes You are down.

John Flush
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Everyone had a Wii, thus BC isn't a huge selling point of the Wii U. The wii had BC and it was a huge selling point. People could find out about the Wii and play the GC games they had missed. I'm constantly confused on what the industry thinks BC is good for. It is more to steal customers form other brands to yours than to maintain loyal customers. Loyal customers already have last gen still plugged in.

I agree with the other point though. Easier to port to probably should have made more 3rd parties give it a try. The results though make me wonder if Nintendo needs to rethink if 3rd parties are even worth the effort.

Jeferson Soler
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@ John Flush - "The results though make me wonder if Nintendo needs to rethink if 3rd parties are even worth the effort." I believe that 3rd-party companies are still worth the effort, but the key is that they have to start to truly believe in themselves, to focus less on competing against 1st-party/2nd-party titles and focus more on competing against other 3rd-party titles. Years ago, Super Mario Bros. 2 didn't stop Megaman 2 from being a hit game, so why should things be different right now for any 3rd-party company? Just because of the whole issue with Yamauchi years? That was years ago and things have changed since then (not to mention, it took the passing of Yamauchi for someone like me to realize that he has done more good than harm to the videogame industry, especially help the industry recover from the market crash). There are people that still would love to play 3rd-party games on any Nintendo system, so all the 3rd-party game companies have to do is to compete against each other and to see which 3rd-party company can make the best 3rd-party games for a Nintendo system. Capcom and Ubisoft are on the top, but couple others are not far behind, including indie companies. Likewise, Nintendo needs to pull its own weight for the marketing, so that 3rd-party companies can do commercials that show how well their games do on a Nintendo system.

Ricardo Hernandez
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@Jeferson Soler

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-secret-deve
lopers-wii-u-the-inside-story

What is your experience working on a game console game?

Bob Johnson
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Too many already had a 360/PS3 and were rooted into their ecosystems. Plus if you were new to those platforms and wanted those games then why not just get a PS3 or 360 since they were cheaper.

And then 3rd parties were going to test the waters first which meant ports of older games and maybe a simultaneous 360/Ps3/Wii U release. But they weren't suddenly going to put everything that they had on the 360/PS3 on the Wii U until it proved itself. A sort of catch-22.


Also remember even though the GC had cpu/gpu ballpark parity with the PS2, 3rd parties dropped it like a hot potato. The market wasn't there.


Anyway the fact is Nintendo doesn't want to compete directly with these guys or anyone. They want to compete but indirectly. By offering something different. Appealing to audiences the other consoles don't. That sort of thing. That's how they come up with big hits like the Wii. At the same time it means being laughed at when things don't go well.

IT also means people always wonder why they don't just do what the other guys are doing.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ricardo Hernandez - I have seen that article as you posted the link earlier. How can you be so sure that the person talking in the article is legit? I have seen how some people tended to downplay Nintendo in the past and even more, so pardon me if I take the article from an anonymous source as a grain of salt (if even that).

Ricardo Hernandez
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@ Jeferson- what is your experience developing a game on a console?

I can tell you right now a lot of what the article says sounds very spot on. Have you ever gone through a full cycle of console game development?

Nintendo themselves directly admitted their internal teams were struggling with the Wii U, and the jump to "HD" (aka reasonable next gen from the Wii reference point). What the article points out are issues that sound exactly what the internal team would have to also deal with.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ricardo Hernandez - What is your experience in developing a game on a console? And considering that you have no major experience with developing a game on any console, how can you say the whole thing is spot on? For whatever we know, the person that's saying the stuff that he/she is saying on the article is just trying to discredit Nintendo in favor for the other systems, still believing that there's still some console war going on. It is true that Nintendo talked about the jump to HD in the past, but that was with Pikmin 3 and things have changed since then. The real truth is that some people from the West just don't want to do games for Nintendo, because for one reason or another, they don't like Nintendo. Also, some developers have become lazy and spoiled by the whole multiplatform strategy, which is not even a good strategy and it can do more harm then good to a company unless the multiplatform game gets overhyped and/or is part of a huge franchise. Years ago, multiplatform games were not as common as they have become in the last couple years. Before, 3rd-party game companies did game titles exclusive to certain systems, which was what helped the systems sell as well as help companies succeed and grow big. The whole idea of doing games as multiplatform games became less rare and more common at some point after Microsoft started to make its own game consoles. Most of those games that are multiplatform are also available on the PC, and if I want to get any one those games, then I can get them for the PC unless the game comes out for the Wii U and the controls for those games are unique. See the point in here? There's no reason for me to get the PS4 or the Xbox One when most games for them are also coming out for the PC. Personally, even with the Wii U included into the mix, I wished that there would no longer be such a thing as multiplatform games as they are making some companies too much on the safe zone and not so much risk takers. Granted, there should be exceptions to the rule, depending on the nature of certain games, but aside from the exceptions to the rule, there shouldn't be such a thing as multiplatform games. If you think about it, the PS4 would sell even more units if Kingdom Hearts 3 was exclusive to the PS4 and no one else.

Ricardo Hernandez
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"Ricardo Hernandez - What is your experience in developing a game on a console? And considering that you have no major experience with developing a game on any console,"

Wrong. You shouldn't ask a question and assume the answer. I have worked full cycle on at least four multi territory award winning games on regular console and mobile console platforms.

However, now that I answered for my part would you be so kind and answer the question that was first posed to you?

I mean, how else can you say if the article doesn't I clouds at least some truth to it?

James Yee
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Anyone else talk to people who aren't gamers? The people who Nintendo grabbed with the Wii back in the day?

I bump into a few now and then in the super stores and occasional I'll hear them talking about the Wii U or some such and you might be surprised (I know Nintendo should be!) how many don't even realize the Wii U is a DIFFERENT SYSTEM then the Wii. Seriously the "U" ending did not differentiate the Wii enough in a lot of folk's minds especially when you can also see in some pictures the Wii controllers people already have being used.

Hell I still run into people who don't know Microsoft backed off the whole "Always Online" thing with the XBONE so yeah, messaging is important.

Jeferson Soler
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@ James Yee - Once again, that's the point that I was trying to bring in the past in regard to marketing. In case of the Wii U name, I don't have a problem with that, but having said that, Ryan Christensen was/is right about the issues with the Wii U name and you just further confirmed Ryan's point about the Wii U name. People (especially the ones that are not game players) don't realize that the Wii U is a whole new system due to brand confusion and due to lack of marketing that would help explain that the Wii U is a whole new system (it was the same thing with the 3DS, by the way). There are some people that even believed that the Wii U was just a gamepad add-on for the Wii. One of the biggest mistakes that can be done and is being done in the videogame industry is to assume that every single person thinks the same way. What I mean by that is the there are some game players and some game industry people that assume that non-gaming people are not buying a specific system for the same reason(s) as them, which tends to be far from the truth. In case of the Wii U, a lot of people just simply don't know the difference between the Wii and the Wii U thanks to brand confusion and lack of strong TV marketing/messaging that tells the difference between the two systems, and in case of people that own a Wii and because of the aforementioned problems, Wii owners don't even bother with getting the Wii U as they are just happy with the Wii system and don't see any reason to get the Wii U as Nintendo didn't make a compelling case for people to get the new system with its high-price tag.

Eric Harris
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I'd like to offer my unique perspective as a gaming equipment sales person at the time of the Nintendo Wii lifetime. At launch the Wii gained many customers from it's launch titles and innovative style of play(Wii-mote). It also brought back many older titles from the NES and SNES. These were advantages that Xbox 360 and PS3 did not have.

After a few years Wii sales died down and Xbox seemed to be taking on more and more sales. Then something big happened. Nintendo released the third biggest selling game in history (at the time): Wii Fit. This game one saved Nintendo. I remember selling the system like it was an attachment to the game. Seniors homes were buying the thing as a way to get everyone to play a game. We were sold out of Wii Fit and Wii for months.

The lesson I learned about Nintendo was that they make very fun games and attract uncommon customers. But this also makes them despised by the mainstream gamers. The Wii-mote makes gaming fun but, there are very few games that make good use of it. I agree that there is a lack of new IPs coming from Nintendo. IPs are their strong point. Pokemon has a bad stigma among many hardcore gamers in the USA. Also, game variety is lacking with Nintendo. They produce more or less the same game over and over. Mario Kart is the same, Smash Bros is the same, Zelda is the same, and Pokemon is the same.

There are other developers that are guilty of what Nintendo is doing. Many sequels are made, but the rich story allows them to be accepted as "new games". Nintendo has to change more than the hardware to get more customers.

Bob Johnson
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Except WiiFit was released 1 yr after the Wii launched not a few years later. But otherwise yes WiiFit was a big hit.

The problem now is like a lot of exercise equipment and like a alot of games people sold/gave away their balance boards. And I don't think Wii Fit U is going to be nearly as big. People don't want to buy the board again.

The idea of the Gamepad with Wii Fit U seems to be you don't have to turn your tv or maybe you can watch tv while doing some exercise on the board while the Gamepad will guides you. But I think it is way too late to release such a product. It is over 6 years later. I also question how convenient using the Gamepad is with the balance board. It's another thing to hold or prop up somewhere.

Last Nintendo is asking someone to buy a $300 Wii U on top of it all. I guess though that the idea is the family console. Get this for your kids and you can get WiiFit U for yourself. Still in 2007 the iPhone was just released. And an Iphone is much more convenient for tracking exercise.

Nintendo probably should be making the balance board for the iPhone/AppleTV. Perhaps this is part of the change in business model Nintendo will be pursuing.

IT's one of their products that I think would be better served by other hardware unlike their traditional videogames. Plus since it is already packaged with hardware you could say they are still making software for their own hardware.

Eric Harris
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Not a good idea to try to interface with a proprietary company like Apple when you are a proprietary company yourself. In addition, Nintendo needs to focus on games new IPs and things that western audiences like to play. They need someone other than Mario Link and Pokemon. They need to bring back other franchises. Maybe the could try to make a Contra 3D , or a Double Dragon 3D. They need something more than Resident Evil, because these are old franchises with nothing new being added to them. Compare it to XBOX and Playstation, a new IP has been launched, and developed with each console.

It seems like the reason Nintendo is failing is because they do not support the western market for games very well. Wii fit did well because it was a piece of fitness equipment. Western consumers spend tons of money on fitness equipment, but it doesn't last long. They need to make IPs western consumers want. The hardware is fine.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Eric Harris - Actually, Nintendo does have new IP for the Wii U, but there wasn't a strong marketing for it. At least, there wasn't a strong TV marketing in the US for the new IP and that new IP is Wonderful 101. However, you do bring couple valid points about the West and even Iwata admitted in his own way about the cultural gap. The sales of the Nintendo systems in Japan were actually quite good, but outside of Japan is another story and that's what the story is really about. That cultural gap may be reason why Iwata and others from Nintendo of Japan may not always notice that some of their titles sell better outside of Japan than in Japan itself.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Bob Johnson - Just for the record, there is the Fit Meter that complements Wii Fit U, and during the release of the Fit Meter and for a limited time, people could get Wii Fit U for free and for keeps if they owned the Fit Meter. It is true that this is more convenient for people that still owned the Wii Balance Board and that didn't mind digital downloads, but it was still a good deal and a good strategy if you consider how much the Wii Fit U is going to cost when it gets released (especially since that it will come in bundle format).

John Flush
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@Jeferson - "Wonderful 101" - that game gets mentioned quite a bit as a reference to a new IP worth looking into, but once again proves the poor naming system Nintendo is doing. Wii U and now a 101 class? yuck. I skipped all the 101 classes...

Ricardo Hernandez
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Wii U isn't doing all that hot in Japan either, just better.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ricardo Hernandez - Actually, considering that's Japan that we are talking about, the Wii U is doing good-to-hot by Japan's standard for a console system, especially in comparison to when the Wii U first launched in Japan. The price drop and the new bundles made a huge difference for the system in Japan, but there's still the issue that Japan is more portable/mobile centric, so the 3DS will sell better than all other systems. Consoles sell best outside of Japan, so Nintendo needs to change strategy for outside of Japan as the company has the best chance of selling the Wii U in huge numbers outside of Japan than inside of Japan.

@ John Flush - Don't let the name fool you! Wonderful 101 is really excellent. The idea behind the game is that you control 100 heroes and that you are also included into the mix. So, Wonderful 101 refers to the group known as Wonderful 100 and you. Check out YouTube videos that talk about the game! The game is truly a game player's game as it is very unforgiving when you first play the game, but it becomes easier as you get the hang of the controls, become stronger and figure out strategies on how to beat the enemies.

Bob Johnson
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@Jeferson

Yes I read about that deal. I think the strategy is terrible though. How many have heard of this deal?!??! I wouldn't have heard about it if I didn't have a Wii U. Even then how many click on the slow loading notifications on the Wii U menu? I'd say few and far between.

IT's a weird deal to me. Confusing too. You can download a new trial but the trial is not a trial if you buy a new peripheral and have an old peripheral.

Eric Harris
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The Wonderful 101 is a spin on the Viewtiful Joe series. It is not a bad IP, but surely not the strongest IP Nintendo should lead with. There is a missing element from Nintendo games: strong story. Western gamers are spoiled by the likes of the big franchises and their stories.

Jeferson Soler
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@ Eric Harris - Platinum Games was actually founded by the same people that used to be part of Clover Studios, which was the company behind Viewtiful Joe. That's why Wonderful 101 looks like something from Viewtiful Joe. Also, the whole thing about there not being a strong story on Nintendo games is not entirely true. I'll admit that some Super Mario games and Pokemon do have a simple storyline, but that's not the case with the Zelda games (especially A Link Between Worlds), Wonderful 101, Xenoblade Chronicles and certain other Nintendo titles. I read your earlier comments claiming that other developers tend to make "rich stories" for their sequels and that's what makes the sequels look "new", but from what I noticed, the stories are not rich and are just there to help the games. The only reason that some of those games from other developers even sell by a lot is because of hype and heavy marketing. That's especially the case with the Call of Duty games, but in case of those games, I'll give credit to Activision for attempting to expand the audience by including casuals and non-gamers into the mix in order to keep the franchise alive. At the end of the day, story is important for some games, but stories mean nothing if the gameplay is terrible. When it comes to the West, a lot of people don't even care for stories to begin, because if they did, then they wouldn't be buying Angry Birds by a lot at all. Simple fun games are what helped give a rise to the indie game companies and simple fun games are what most people like to play. Most importantly, most people want games that feel accessible, which is why the New Super Mario Bros. games tend to be more popular than the Super Mario Galaxy games. The New Super Mario Bros. games are accessible and not complex and most people will be more worried about whether the game is fun to play or not than anything else. Once again, stories mean nothing if the gameplay is terrible, and fortunately for Nintendo, the gameplay for each of their games are good and different/unique. The same is true for some other developers.

P.S.: Capcom's Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the biggest evidence that gameplay is more important than storyline as the game has good-to-excellent gameplay, in my opinion, while the storyline is not that huge/rich but very important/useful for the game. That game is also one of the 2013 Fan Faves games for the Wii U systems (as well as for the 3DS).


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