To say that the Nintendo Wii U sales have been sluggish would be an understatement. The Wii U is way behind on sales compared to the original Wii, and it’s even trailing the GameCube, which many considered a failure in terms of sales and market penetration.
And what is Nintendo doing about this? Absolutely nothing, it seems. They are making no effort to promote the Wii U nor its upcoming games. They are not advertising the console nor attempting to build any hype from upcoming games. Besides Pikmin 3, there are no upcoming games to look forward to. Zelda: Wind Waker is 6 months away, which doesn’t really help Nintendo right now.
And the market has reacted to Nintendo’s incompetence. Since Wii U’s release, Nintendo stock is down 20%. Not that the stock was doing any good, but it’s even worse now.
We can’t just be blind fanboys all the time, proclaim that everything is fine. Everything is not fine. Nintendo is making massive screw-ups with the Wii U to a point where we’re wondering what’s going on at Nintendo HQ in Japan. Are they completely in the dark as to what’s going on?
Wii U sales have been so bad that retailers are already clearing inventory of Wii U units. Which means they’re so eager to get rid of the consoles that they’re willing to take a loss on each unit sold. That’s a very bad sign for any electronics device, especially a games console. There simply isn’t enough demand out there, and Nintendo isn’t doing anything to create demand.
Nobody wants the Wii U to succeed more than we do. But at times like these, we have to put our fanboy hats aside and look at things objectively. The the fact is that Nintendo is making one blunder after another, and if they continue this way, the Wii U will likely be the last Nintendo home console. If Microsoft or Sony were making the same blunders with their consoles, we would be laughing and mocking them right now.
It seems Nintendo’s management is simply waiting and riding this one out, as if magically, things will turn around by themselves. They won’t. There really isn’t any reason to buy a Wii U console today. It’s priced too high for mass market, and hardcore gamers — even hardcore Nintendo fans — don’t really have that many games to look forward to. Pikmin 3 and Zelda Wind Waker will surely help, but not right now.
Nintendo revealed that they plan to announce several Wii U games at E3, including Mario Kart and a new 3D Mario game. They should reveal those games now and generate some hype and anticipation. E3 will be dominated by the new hardware from Microsoft and Sony, and Nintendo news will likely slip by most gamers.
This is hard for Nintendo fans to hear, but every month that goes by without action from Nintendo is just another nail in the coffin for the Wii U. Wii U owners might have patience, but retailers certainly don’t — they’re already trying to get rid of the console. And the average gamer still isn’t convinced as to why buy a Wii U. They might just spend their money on the next-gen systems from the other guys.
Perhaps it’s time for Mr. Iwata to step aside and let someone else steer the ship. We’re certainly not the first to suggest this.
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TAGS: Nintendo, Satoru Iwata