The Wii U came out in late 2012 and has not sold as well as Nintendo was hoping following the massive success of the Wii. Nintendo has had some trouble attracting third party publishers to the console and with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One just around the corner things might not be looking too great. We asked the VGU.TV staff if they thought the Wii U was doomed and here is what they had to say.
Editor in Chief
While I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that the Wii U in totally doomed to failure, I do believe that the will have a hard time competing with the next gen consoles that are coming at the end of this year.
The Wii U has stumbled out of the gate with a less than stellar lineup of quality titles and hardware limitations that are keeping third party publishers from fully backing the system. Third party publishers like EA, Ubisoft, and, most recently, Bethesda have expressed a lack of interest in developing for the console.
Not only are third party publishers not exactly chomping at the bit to develop for the system, but the console itself is not selling very well and that is hurting the existing relationships that Nintendo has with publishers. The console is being sold at a loss and the poor sales numbers make it look like there isn’t a very bright light at the end of the tunnel for Nintendo.
However, Nintendo is not entirely out of the race and there is some reason to have hope if you are a diehard Nintendo fan. The most impressive part of Nintendo is the litany of first party exclusive titles that are sure to capture the hearts and minds of Nintendo’s fans. Games like Super Smash Bros U, Pikmin 3, and Mario Kart 8 are finally starting to come out and with a more solid release schedule going forward, that might help move units of the console.
Once console sales begin to go up (if they do) then third party publishers might begin to get back on board for development and that could really help Nintendo. The arrival of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox one will definitely give Nintendo a huge hurdle to leap over and it is very possible that the Wii U will become the number three console very soon.
While there is definitely hope for Nintendo, and the solid first party games will keep Nintendo fans satiated, I can’t help but feel that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will soon takeover this console generation and the Wii U will be left in the dust.
Director of Media
I had high hopes for the Wii U when it was first announced. The Wii’s release left a bad taste in my mouth after being such a huge fan of the GameCube. I thought “finally a Nintendo console that is finally on track, in HD, and has the backing of the third parties.” But only a few months out of the gates, the Wii U is flopping hard. To top it off third party developers are ditching the console left and right. With the impending release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One our hardware is about to become exceedingly more powerful, leaving the Wii U in the dust in terms of RAM power, graphics, and the overall online experience.
The Wii U is a little more powerful then the Xbox 360, which means that even by today’s standards the Wii U is obsolete. This console literally could have come out in 2005 alongside the Xbox 360. Third parties aren’t going to want to water down their games and add a touch screen experience for a console that they are not likely to see a return on. Ubisoft went so far as to delay Rayman Legends and pull its exclusivity from the Wii U just so it would make a profit. At the moment companies like Ubisoft and Activision are publishing games on the Wii U, but even that doesn’t seem to be enough. Nintendo also can’t seem to pump out games fast enough, which is leaving fans clamoring for more experiences. When the next generation arrives later this year, I fear Nintendo is going to see some hard times. Unless they can come up with some kind of killer app to release that shows us that Nintendo can survive in the coming generation of streaming content, more powerful hardware, and second screen experiences outside of the game, I don’t see Nintendo coming out of the next few years alive. Don’t be surprised if you see mass layoffs coming out of Nintendo in the next five years or worse, a total liquidation of its assets.
Is the Wii U doomed?
Yes. Well, doomed may not be the best word for it. The Wii U may be in trouble, but Nintendo is hardly hurting for cash. It might take a year or more for Iwata, Reggie and the gang to get things rolling, but eventually we’ll get our Mario Karts and Zeldas and Smash Bros. My worry is that those might be the only games we get.
Sales figures for worldwide Wii U sales have been dismal, and developer support has consequently waned. The fact is, Nintendo needs to get its console into people’s homes before anybody should consider developing for that platform. Normally Nintendo accomplishes this by delivering must-play software. It seems like Nintendoland was intended to lead the charge for the Wii U in the same way Wii Sports did for the Wii, but many and more of the concepts explored in Nintendoland have been seen on mobile devices for years now. The magic novelty so often crucial to the early success of a console has been notably absent from Wii U’s lineup of games.
What Nintendo’s ailing console needs is a 3DS-style price cut and ambassador program. It wasn’t so long ago that folk were muttering the doom of the 3DS, but look at it now; it has consistently ruled atop hardware sales charts for months. Would I be upset about buying the Wii U at $350 only to see the price drop by a hundred dollars a mere eight months later? Sure, but the blow would be much softened by an olive branch of 20-some virtual console games. Even if Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros U don’t come out for another year, having some classic games on my hard drive might be incentive enough to actually turn my Wii U on.
As it stands, I barely touch the thing. When I look at my Wii U I don’t wonder what game to play on it; I wonder how much credit Amazon might give me for trading it in. Yet I know Nintendo will eventually deliver on the amazing, hypothetical experiences that convinced me to invest in the system in the first place. There will always be a new Mario or Zelda on the horizon to drive sales and potentially save the Wii U, but I’m getting impatient. I know I’m not the only one, otherwise I doubt anybody would even be asking about whether or not the Wii U is doomed.
So c’mon, Nintendo! Get those games out. Like, now.
That’s what the VGU.TV staff had to say but what do you think? Will the Wii U pick up steam and compete with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One or will it be left in the dust later this year? Let us know what you think in the comments below.