Nintendo is facing tough and changing market conditions, and stiff competition from both Sony and Microsoft, and even stiffer competition from mobile devices such as tablets.
Nintendo has confirmed that they’ll be showcasing a bunch of Wii U games at E3, which is a good starting point. But the Wii U needs more than games to turn things around.
In fact, many have called the Wii U “Nintendo’s last home console”, because it’s doing so poorly, sales wise. We think that’s a bit of a stretch, but there’s no doubt that the Wii U is in trouble.
Luckily, Nintendo is gearing up for E3 2013 to be one of the biggest the company has ever had. If not the biggest. Here are a few key reasons E3 2013 is the most important for Nintendo (and the Wii U) ever.
Nintendo needs something to ignite Wii U sales
The Wii U isn’t selling well, everyone knows this. There are three key reasons: 1) some find the price too high, 2) there aren’t enough quality games, and 3) Nintendo simply isn’t promoting the console. Nintendo needs to address all three issues at E3.
They will certainly address the games issue: there will be at least 10 first party Wii U games showcased at E3, including a new Zelda. The two other reasons are a bit uncertain. Nintendo might start advertising the Wii U more during and after E3. Might. But one thing they need to do is to lower the price and/or offer new bundles.
Once the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 launch, the PS3 and 360 will drop in price, and this will be really tough on the Wii U. The Wii U won’t be able to compete with a $99 Xbox 360, which is what analysts are expecting Microsoft to do. There’s no way around it: Nintendo needs to lower the Wii U price. And the sooner the better.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the Wii U takes a price cut of $50, bringing it down to $249 and $299 for the Basic and Deluxe sets, respectively. We wouldn’t be surprised because retailers have already been selling Wii U consoles at these prices both in North America and Europe, in order to jump start sales.
Wii U games. And more games
While Nintendo will show off plenty of first party titles, on the third party front, things are look bleak. The Wii U literally has no key third party games coming out this year. The best we can look forward to is some EA Sports games this Fall. All of the major franchises are skipping the Wii U. Nintendo needs to do whatever it can to get third party publishers on board.
But so far it seems like Nintendo has taken a different approach. Over the past few months, the company has been reaching out to indie game developers, going as far as offering free Wii U dev kits, which are usually worth thousands of dollars.
To make things even tougher for Nintendo, this year’s E3 will be dominated by Sony and Microsoft, both showing off their upcoming next-gen consoles. Nintendo risks getting lost in all the hype if they don’t have any big news themselves. Last year’s E3 presentation was one of the worst, with no real surprises at all. This year, we won’t have a Nintendo E3 press conference at all, we’ll have a bunch of smaller events and Nintendo Direct announcements.
No matter how you cut it, things are tough for the Wii U. Luckily, E3 2013 is Nintendo’s big shot at showing the world what they have in store for current and future Wii U owners. E3 2013 might very well be the event where we’ll know if the Wii U will be Nintendo’s last home console or not.
Be sure to also check out Top 10 Wii U games we’re looking forward to at E3 2013.
- Square Enix could update Final Fantasy IV for Wii U
- Wii U sales up 60% in the UK
- Shovel Knight devs credit Dan Adelman for Nintendo support
- Nintendo Direct for Smash coming October 23