Nintendo: Wii U Sales "Not Bad"
January 7, 2013 11:00 AM
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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said that the Wii U isn't flying off of store shelves as quickly as the original Wii
video game console was released at a particularly challenging time as mobile devices move in on the gaming sector, but Nintendo said sales were "steady" at the end of the Christmas season.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said that the Wii U isn't flying off of store shelves as quickly as the original Wii, citing problems like the popularity of mobile devices for gaming and the fact that this is the first time Nintendo has released two versions of a console at once.
However, Iwata mentioned that sales are not disappointing by any means. He failed to mention any exact numbers.
"At the end of the Christmas season, it wasn't as though stores in the U.S. had no Wii U left in stock, as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom. But sales are not bad, and I feel it's selling steadily," said Iwata.
Back in October, Nintendo said it wanted to sell 5.5 million Wii U's by the end of March 2013. In the first week of launch, about 400,000 consoles were sold.
The company sold 638,339 consoles in Japan between December 8 and December 30.
While cheap game apps on mobile devices have
stolen some of the spotlight
from consoles like the Wii U, Nintendo plans to offer attractive games for its portable 3DS in order to compete. It's also looking to better balance its sales between both versions of the Wii U to increase sales.
"It was the first time Nintendo
released two models of the game console
at the same time ... and I believe there was a challenge with balancing this. Specifically, inventory levels for the premium, deluxe package was unbalanced as many people wanted that version and couldn't find it," said Iwata.
The Wii U launched November 18, 2012. The Basic Set ($299.99) features 8 GB HDD, a Wii U Pad controller and it in comes in white. The Deluxe model ($349.99), on the other hand, offers 32 GB HDD, a Wii U Pad controller, power cradles for the Wii U Pad, an HDMI cable and it comes in black.
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Bad Price Point
1/7/2013 3:55:05 PM
It's true, the Wii U has some serious hurdles to overcome considering Nintendo didn't innovate as much this time around and they don't really have any system moving games that prove the tech (Mario still looks fun).
But, their biggest problem is the price point. The Wii reached sellout status largely because it was at that $250 sweet spot without any complications like different versions. It fit the casual gamer/family's budget, making it an easy impulse buy. The tech was innovative and played a large part, but Nintendo wouldn't have stomped Microsoft and Sony competing at the $350 price point.
The Wii U is going to be behind in tech (like the Wii) and doesn't have a system moving, innovative "gimmick" (that tablet controller doesn't cut it). It's not differentiating itself from current gen systems let alone next gen. AND they want $350? Not looking good.
RE: Bad Price Point
1/7/2013 9:36:20 PM
Actually I disagree,
Firstly let me confirm that I am a multiple platform owner (Wii, PS3, 360 and Wii U), what I can say with accuracy after 3 weeks with the Wii U is that the innovation is just as present as with the Wii, just more subtle.
To explain further, the least noticeable is the fact Wii U supports all main Wii accessories and may do so for dedicated games and not just for Wii backwards compatibility. Combined with common support for things like the pro controller and the gamepad and Wii U innovates by being a true Jack of all trades.
The most obvious then after that, is the gamepad which comes with every Wii U. In fact it's easy to say right now that few if any games truly utilise the gamepads full potential and that would be a generally factual statement. But what I have noticed is how brilliantly it allows the player to seamlessly interact with other relevant aspects while being able to step outside of the action without really interrupting the experience. If any thing the gamepad expands the experience... For eg. In AC3 I came across a vista that honestly struck me as stunningly photorealistic last night, so I went into Miiverse and posted a screenshot of the scene for others online to see (using the gamepad touch screen makes everything, and I mean everything so much more intuitive), all this with the game paused in the background for me to return to immediately. After maybe 5 minutes and I get three or four others also playing single player posting replies and pics of their own... Now my subjective experience was that much richer because it felt as though I was sharing the single player experience directly with others around the world and all this without skipping a beat on the game itself. Of course this could be achieved by other systems as well, but the point is that the gamepad tablet features and it's integration into Wii U's OS made it that much more natural, rewarding and inclusive... Even being able to call a horse or chose a weapon or accessory with the gamepad adds more fluidity to the experience.
The same could be said for simple things like navigating the many forums, Nintendo Store or even surfing the Web...
Nintendo integrating the tablet, control pad and interface into one was a true innovation, because it simply works and honestly trying to go back to the others seems a tad counter-intuitive in comparison...
Anyway, that's all just opinion based on my experience with the Wii U thus far. To me I see the Wii U only getting stronger as developers further take Nintendo's cue and earnestly focus on making the whole experience more dynamic and synergistic by use of the gamepad etc..
RE: Bad Price Point
1/9/2013 1:12:46 AM
I don't mean to say it's completely lacking innovation. In fact, I would have bought it for Christmas if it had: a lower price, better launch games, a system moving feature (e.g games proving the controller), more power (consoles are already way outdated by PC platforms).
The problem is it doesn't have the same "must have" appeal as the Wii yet is $100 more for the version that matters. I loved my Wii (I love Nintendo games) but here I am waiting for a price drop with little motivation to buy. I'm not the only one, and once the next gen competitors hit Nintendo is going to suffer. It's not like the system is a dud, there's just no chance it's going to experience the same massive success. Maybe the price cut wouldn't have mattered, but it sealed its fate IMO.
I'm pegging it at GameCube status.
RE: Bad Price Point
1/7/2013 10:46:50 PM
It's not like they "want" $350. It's not making any money in the states because of conversion rates. With the wii they were making money even at launch on hardware alone.
Personally I think it's because they don't seem to care at all this time around. With the wii they were all over the place advertising. Now I see occasional commercials but otherwise there's not much interest being built up. Its probably due to the fact that they don't something like a wii sports to push so its hard for them to build hype around a console without many games to play. They probably should've taken a lesson from the 3DS launch and had something big to reveal along with the console.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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