With the announcement of all of the big gaming consoles at E3 and our first look at what the next generation has to offer, a big question on all of our minds here at GamersBliss is: “How is the Wii U going to come up against these giant home entertainment systems?”
Since launch the Wii U has been very unsuccessful, low sales, 3rd party developers pulling out early (wakka wakka), EA saying that they’re not developing any games for the Wii u at the moment , and a big lack of 1st party games, it seems like this quirky console is going to go the way of the Dreamcast and fizzle out.
Finally, after months of silence from the company, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata admitted, in an interview with CNBC, that the Wii U’s poor sales thus far are entirely the fault of Nintendo:
“We are to blame,” Iwata said. “We relaxed our (marketing) efforts, so the consumers today still cannot understand what’s so good and unique about the Wii U. Because we’re always trying to be unique, it takes some energies on our side to (help) people understand the real attractions about whatever we are doing.”
Iwata said that Nintendo has been “unsuccessful in coming up with one single (piece of) software with which people can understand, ‘OK, this is really different.'”
Well, as they say, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, so this is a good first step, but can they pull it off after such a lackluster start?
Yes, yes they can, and here is why.
This is Nintendo, and no matter what wacky stuff their console does, they will always have the ability to move consoles on the strength of their first party titles alone. Nintendo hasn’t been thriving for EXACTLY this reason, they don’t have any of their core titles out yet. As a company, Nintendo is built on their exclusive titles, and as an audience, gamers are conditioned to buy them. Give people a new Zelda, a new Mario Kart, a new Smash Bros, etc. and people WILL buy the console. Nintendo has made some of the greatest games of our lives and is, I think, responsible for the gaming industry being where it is today.
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Honestly, how many of us would be gamers without having spent countless hours on our SNES or N64 playing through Marios, Donkey Kongs, Zeldas, and other ESSENTIAL titles. That’s what it comes down to, these classics stories that still inspire us to this day. Personally, I haven’t missed a console Zelda title ever. Wind Waker was the only one that I took some time to get around too, for some reason the cell-shading was off-putting initially, but once I got into it, it was the best one since Ocarina.
This is the core of the problem Nintendo is facing right now, innovation takes time to get used to, as consumers we’re trained to look for the familiar, we want a similar experience to something we’ve enjoyed before, but presented in a different way with a new twist.
The people at Nintendo are innovators, they want to be the first to do something new, and while they may not do it the best every time, they’ll get everybody else thinking. The Wii was the first console with motion controls, and at first, people were skeptical, but eventually, when presented it in a more accessible way (Wii Fit) and with titles that gamers were familiar with (Zelda, Smash Bros, Mario Galaxy ), it took off, and the same thing is gonna happen with the Wii U and once it does, I guarantee that all the 3rd party devs who are skeptical are going to jump right back on board and deliver some cool titles that take advantage of the Wii U’s innovation.
Speaking of innovation, another reason we’re not all that worried about the Wii U, is their tablet controller. I know, I know, its clunky and weird to look at two screens at time, but having finally spent some time with a Wii U, it’s actually really fun to use, and adds a whole new level of immersion (not to mention the ability to play some games directly off of it while the TV has something else on). The crazy thing is that both of the upcoming consoles are having similar features, but expanded. Both the PS4 and Xbone are going to have tablet support to some extent, allowing for people to play via cellphones/ tablets. As gamers, this is something that we’re going to have to get used too, and honestly, we’re really excited to see the crazy stuff Nintendo is going to accomplish with the tablet controller.
I guess the moral of the story here is don’t worry about Nintendo, as long as they have their main staple of games, they’ll be able to move systems, let’s just hope this happens sooner than later, both for our sake and theirs.