Face it, Wii U sales aren’t what they should be. Nintendo confirmed that when they recently slashed fiscal year-end sales estimates from 5.5 million to 4 million. In 2012, Nintendo shipped 3 million Wii U consoles to retailers. As we know, shipped doesn’t equal sold. It doesn’t look any better on the games front: the original Wii and the GameCube had much better game sales than the Wii U during the first few months on the market.
As Nintendo fans, we want the Wii U to succeed. And even the most hardcore Nintendo fanboys have to admit that it’s obvious that Nintendo isn’t doing enough on several points with the Wii U. The Wii U is a cool and innovative console, and Nintendo needs to step up their game and make sure the average gamer knows this. Here are a few things they need to do:
Nintendo hasn’t done nearly enough advertising for the Wii U. Besides the initial print and TV ads during the first few weeks when the console launched, there has been virtually no advertising for the Wii U in the mainstream media. TV ads are barely seen anywhere, as well as print ads and posters. The average casual gamer — which the original Wii relied on — barely know the Wii U exists.
The original Wii was a huge success because of its innovation and the clever advertising campaigns Nintendo ran. The Wii U is just as innovative and Nintendo needs to ramp up the advertising and promote the new console a lot more.
Get more Wii U exclusive games
Nintendo surprised many when they revealed that Bayonetta 2 was coming to the Wii U, and would be an exclusive. While this no doubt cost a lot of money, it will also no doubt translate into a lot of new Wii U owners. Nintendo has to reach out to third party developers and secure not only more third party games in general, but more exclusives for the Wii U as well.
Speed up first party titles
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker will be a massive hit on the Wii U and will result in increased sales, but that game isn’t scheduled for release for another 6 months. In the mean time, we have Pikmin 3 as the only major Nintendo first party title coming out. Nintendo not only needs to speed up development of their first party titles, but they need to announce some of the Wii U games they are working on. Don’t wait until E3 to announce new games, give Wii U owners something to look forward to right now.
Of course, there is always the quality issue — Nintendo isn’t known for compromising on quality and prefers to work on games as long as they have to. Hopefully they can expand their staff and speed things up without compromising on the quality of their games. It’s a delicate balance, but we’re sure Nintendo is on top of this.
Clarify what the Wii U is
Most casual gamers still think it’s a tablet accessory to the original Wii. And we can’t blame them — Nintendo hasn’t done a good job at differentiating the new console from the old. Nintendo decided to use the “Wii” name for the new console, which is technically a good idea, since it continues the Wii brand. However, they didn’t do enough differentiate it from the original Wii in its advertising. Nintendo needs to make it clear that the Wii U is an all new console, and that it’s much better than the previous Wii.
Time is of the essence. The Wii U is currently the only next-gen console on the market, and Nintendo needs to take advantage of that. Both Microsoft and Sony are expected to release their next gen systems this Fall, which gives Nintendo some six months to establish the Wii U as the leader.
The Wii U is just as revolutionary as the original Wii, and Nintendo needs to step up their advertising and promotion and make sure all gamers know this.