Was The Wii U Launch a "Mistake" For Nintendo?

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News Posted: Mon, Feb 18 2013 10:21 AM
Nintendo can pat itself on the back knowing that it beat both Microsoft and Sony in releasing next generation consoles, but being first isn't always the best strategy. At least one analyst believes the Wii U amounts to a misfire, saying Nintendo made a mistake in releasing it.

"I think they misfired on the Wii U," Wedbush Securities managing director Michael Pachter told GamesBeat. "It's just not that different from the other two consoles, and the gameplay isn't as unique as the Wii. They made a mistake, it's something they probably can't recover from."

Wii U

Pachter's comments echo that of HotHardware's when we declared in our Wii U review that Nintendo ultimately missed the mark. Here's a quick refresher:

"Beyond the areas that Nintendo has bungled right out of the gate, the lackluster hardware within makes us wonder if the Wii U has the horsepower to compete with whatever Microsoft and Sony cook up next," we stated in our review. "As it stands, the graphics here are about on par with an Xbox 360, but how bad is the Wii U going to look when placed alongside the rumored Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4? Unlike a custom gaming PC rig, you can't just swap a new GPU into a home console."

Wii U Menu

All that aside, the only thing that really matters is how well the console is selling, and some estimates have the number as low as 55,000 units in January. Microsoft, meanwhile, sold 281,000 Xbox 360 consoles during that same month, and that's a 6-year-old console. Don't like that comparison? Then consider that Wii U sales are 38 percent lower than the original Wii during its first three months on the market.

The long-term prognosis is equally worrisome. Microsoft is expected to launch its Xbox 720 console by the end of the year, and it's believed Sony's PlayStation 4 is right around the corner.
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RWilliams replied on Mon, Feb 18 2013 12:06 PM

In the gaming communities I hang around, I see a lot of people who own a Wii U but almost never touch it. I saw a picture the other night where someone's Wii U was literally caked in dust, because their kids just couldn't be bothered to play it. I admit I don't really know why this is the case, but Nintendo as of late hasn't appealed to me at all, and it seems like I'm not alone. It's too bad, too, because I grew up with the NES, SNES, N64 and even GameCube. I was a total Nintendo fanboi... now, I can't even be bothered to see what the company's up to.

I miss the days when the only weird thing Nintendo did was create uncomfortable controllers.

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UshHana replied on Mon, Feb 18 2013 12:29 PM

Wow, Patcher bashing Nintendo? Thats totally new... Every prediction this guy ever makes is wrong and it is a real shame that people still quote him as if he is some knowledgeable source for the gaming industry.

Yeah, the Wii U is weaker than it should be hardware wise. Yeah, it's launch was really lacking. Yeah, they are in a rough patch. Does any of this matter down the road? Not at all.

Nintendo will always be successful because people will buy the console when their big name first party titles come out. The next installment in smash brothers will sell hundreds of thousands of consoles alone, if not more. Most people are just waiting to buy this new Nintendo console, as right now the gaming library is lackluster.

Personally I feel the weak sales this month can be partially blamed on the delay of Rayman. While it isn't likely this was a huge factor, had it stayed an exclusive, it would have sold some consoles for sure. March will be another weak month of sales but April and beyond will see a steady increase. They have too many big name titles coming out soon for the Wii U to fail. If Patcher was any good at his job, he would know that. Though what do you expect from someone who said the same thing about the Wii and his terrible assumptions with the PS3 during it's early years, as well.

To Rwilliams:

What do you think people do with their consoles that keeps them dust free? When I play a console I don't strap it to by belt and go running. Used or never used things get dust. A dust covered console does not mean it isn't used, it means the owner is a dirty person. Dust does not equal unused, no dust does not mean it is frequently used. People either clean things or they don't.

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RepTile replied on Mon, Feb 18 2013 1:16 PM

In the beginning i was hyped up about Wii U being a NEW console. But after seeing the games and how immature they are still...i am not interested. Nintendo preach about coming out w/ more hardcore mature titles but it doesn't look like it....i still see the system as for little kids. And the fact that the system isn't as powerful as current generation is also troubling.

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To RepTile:

How are titles like Ninja Gaiden 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3, ZombiU, Bayonetta 2, Resident Evil: Revelations, Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, X, and Sacrilegium games for little kids?

Yeah, Mario and Pikman, and Wonderful 101 might seem immature to some... But there's something for everyone with the Wii U. There's yet to be an exclusive title on either xbox or playstation that makes me want to actually go out and buy a console for it. I use my Wii U everyday. From game play to Nintendo TVii. The gamepad has completely replaced my TV remote.

Most people I find who are negative about the Wii U haven't even touched one or tried more than one game.

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