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Nintendo's Wii U Will Be Sold At a Loss 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-mario-loss-leader dept.
another random user tips news that Nintendo will be selling its upcoming Wii U console at a loss in the hopes that spurring earlier adoption will work out for the company in the long run. This differs from the Wii, which made money from the start, but it's a similar strategy to those used with the Xbox 360 and PS3, which both lost money for their companies at release. "The Japanese firm's president revealed the news after the firm cut its profit forecast. It marks a change in the company's business strategy. The decision to abandon the prospect of immediate profits in order to maximize later earnings is part of a growing trend in the tech world. Nintendo might have altered course to take advantage of the fact that neither Microsoft nor Sony have announced their next-generation consoles yet. Its pursuit of the more casual gamer means it has also had to take account of the keenly priced tablet market which attracts a similar consumer."
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Nintendo's Wii U Will Be Sold At a Loss

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:41AM (#41778901)

    People aren't more hyped because the console is as powerful as current gen consoles but costs more.

    The special controller is crazy expensive and you are only going to get one per system. Online play is poorly supported, you can't go out and purchase all of the old school Nintendo games through an online market for the system (like literally everyone who games wants to), and the system itself doesn't have as rich a supported application set as the PS3 and the Xbox360.

    That's why people aren't more excited.

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:59AM (#41779159)

    It's not unfair, it's an expected part of the intentional business decision. If the casual market has moved on to tablets and smartphones though that very successful short and medium term decision mightn't have been so great in the long term.

  • by killmenow (184444) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:09PM (#41779263)
    I was going to down-mod you as troll or flamebait but fuck it...I'll respond instead. I'll probably regret it later. I was a Wii early adopter. Had it reserved ahead of schedule and skipped the lines to just walk in and pick it up on day one. We have probably 50 games for it. Up to that point, I'd never bought a current gen console. I've never invested so much money in a console platform. I bought a PS1 when the PS2 came out. But when the Wii was coming out, I couldn't wait. Because it was that interesting. It was a game changer. Now you've got kinect and move and you can see how this thing forced Sony and Microsoft to innovate.

    And our Wii gets played almost daily. Between my kids, the wife, and me, it gets plenty of use. Still.

    So you think the Wii sucks. You and your XBOX/PS3 brethren, most likely. But "sucks" isn't an objective measure, is it? It doesn't suck...for me and my family and our friends and their families because I know a lot of them that still play.

    But I have ZERO interest in the Wii U. Not because it sucks. But because...well, why should I care? It's a Wii with a better CPU & GPU and a tablet controller. Okay. But people who bought the Wii in the first place aren't graphics snobs. Oh, wait. Many of them must be, right? Because 80 million people have dust covered Wiis that they don't play with any more. What a ridiculous statement. If that were even remotely true, the market for new & used Wii games would be nonexistent. Any new game released (if there were any) would be sold for $1.99. And used games would sell for a nickel. But last time I walked through a local Game Stop there were still rows and rows of shelves with new & used Wii games still selling for typical prices. Because it's still a viable market. Because people still use their Wiis.

    But again, what does the Wii U offer? I don't care about super awesome triangle counts and NOW WITH EVEN MORE PIXEL SHADERS!!! Wooh, who gives a fuck?! People who just want to look at a screen and think, "sweet jesus that's a beautiful looking game." Guess what? That's what my gaming PC is for. It can drive higher than 1080p resolutions and do multi-monitor gaming and makes the power of the XBOX/PS3 look exactly like they are: years old and obsolete.

    Nintendo forgot their market. The new controller is the *only* remarkable feature of the Wii U. And it's not that big of a deal, really. Sorry to say it, but there's just nothing revolutionary about it. It's an evolutionary product. It's a "Version 2.0" that should be a point release if we are honest about it. And it gets exactly the hype it deserves...which is very little.
  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:18PM (#41779399)

    People aren't more hyped because console gaming just isn't that interesting anymore. In our house we have a Wii and a PS3. My kids have iPod touches, my wife has an iPad. Lots of video games are played in my house - all of them on the handheld devices. I'm the only one who ever powers up the PS3 anymore and that's to play Rocksmith once or twice a month.

    The console makers aren't just competing with each other, they are also competing with platforms that have free and very low cost games. I really have a hard time spending more than $10 for a game these days. There are just too many awesome low cost choices out there these days and I don't have enough time to take advantage of all of them.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:33PM (#41779607)

    Thankfully, we don't rely on the "people" you cite for informed decisions, since clearly they are incapable of forming opinions through a rational thought process.

    Also, it's only a gimmick if it's used as a gimmick. The Wiimote is not a gimmick (unlike the ridiculous number of gimmick peripherals Nintendo puts out every generation). It's what makes the platform what it is, since it defines and informs the behavior of nearly every game. That stands in contrast to the PS3's Move, which was only ever a slap-in feature that served no important purpose for the platform as a whole, or even the Kinect, which, while very impressive technologically, doesn't do much outside of a handful of games (though that sounds like it may change in the next generation with Kinect 2?).

    Long story short, grow up a bit more and stop buying into marketing. Though I'll readily admit that the last few years on the Wii haven't been great for more-than-casual gamers, it still had quite a few excellent titles that came out for it in the first few years, and was well worth the purchase price. When you're mature enough to think through these things with a degree of intellectual honesty while analyzing the actual good and bad aspects of the various alternative choices, you'll be a lot happier (as will those around you, since nobody likes vitriol and rabid fanboyism).

    Disclaimer: I own all three current-gen consoles and am currently not planning to pick up the Wii U since it can't act as a drop-in replacement for my Wii (lack of Gamecube support, of which I still have several games that I want to work through "soon").

  • Damn, I hate sports. Or to be more accurate, I don't like sports fans. I am not a fan of playing 90+% of team sports, but a few are ok. But watching pro sports? Bleh! And the people that do are mostly just terrible.

    Anyway, Sports fans will fit in much better with the Call of Modern Combat 12 fans, and as such, should stick to the Xbox or possibly the PS. Nintendo is for people that like happy, fun games.

  • by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday October 26, 2012 @01:58PM (#41780673)

    A spec jump does something important for Nintendo. As the casual market moves on to tablets and smartphones, they need to gain back favor with "core" gamers. The Wii's low specs in comparison to the 360 and PS3 really hindered it in this area, because almost every time a game came out for all three platforms, the Wii version paled in comparison to the other two--both from a graphical standpoint and because the games weren't designed with motion controls in mind to begin with. It becomes even more obvious that Nintendo are looking to court the traditional gamers when you look at the Pro controller, which looks just like a 360 controller.

    The core gamer audience wants Halo, Call of Duty, etc., and now Nintendo will not only be able to say they have them, but that they have better versions of those games. Will it pay off? Time will tell. I hope it does, because even though I've been greatly disappointed with Nintendo this last generation (both with the Wii and the DS/3DS), they're much more innovative and take bigger risks than Sony and Microsoft. The Wii helped Nintendo get a ton of cash, because it always sold at a profit. Frankly, they probably needed it after being slaughtered by Sony for two generations. They can afford to lose money for a few quarters, and I hope they'll be able to weather out the storm and come out on top. Of the three, I trust them the most not to dick around with the customer.

    The real worry for Nintendo is that Sony and Microsoft will probably come out with even more powerful systems, and the Wii U will be in the same spot as the Wii: significantly weaker and receiving inferior ports.

  • Re:Real power? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#41781185)

    We don't know much of anything about the hardware (besides a rough idea of the CPU and some info on the RAM), but from the little I've been able to gather, this is how it is:

    The Gamecube, PS2 and Xbox were essentially the same generation. While they were slightly different in terms of power, they're close enough to be the same "generation", tech-wise. Wikipedia labels this as Gen 6.

    The PS3 and Xbox 360 were a full generation advance over their predecessors. But the Wii was not - it's essentially an overclocked Gamecube with a new controller. I feel it is best labelled as a half-generation advance (Gen 6.5, not Gen 7). So while it was an advance over the older consoles, it wasn't on par with the "next-gen" consoles. This was actually a pretty savvy move by Nintendo - a Wii could basically reach the peak of graphics on a SDTV, and HDTV was not all that common at the time. So it was "powerful enough". And they took that, and used it to make a power-efficient, small, *cheap* machine. They had the appeal of Apple for the price of Android, so to speak.

    The Wii U seems to be a full generation advance over the Wii, putting it about half a generation ahead of the PS3/360. But Nintendo's strategy might backfire here, because the next-gen Microsoft/Sony consoles are probably going to be a full generation advance as well. But Nintendo seems to be focusing a lot on the power of the console (at least, by Nintendo standards), which means they're competing head-to-head with the PS4/Xbox 9000 or whatever they're going to be called. It doesn't matter that those consoles haven't even been announced - people are comparing them already.

    But really, I think Nintendo needs to worry more about their games. If they could launch with a new Mario as good as Galaxy or 64, a new Zelda as good as Twilight Princess or Windwaker, a new Metroid as good as Zero Mission or any of the Primes, and either a new Pikmin, new Animal Crossing, or new Smash Brothers, they would not have problems selling the console. The software sells the hardware. But right now, nobody seems to be able to launch a console with good games. The 3DS and Vita had no good new games at launch, and now the Wii U doesn't have any amazing standouts.

  • by Gravatron (716477) on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:31PM (#41781673)
    They said the wii had potential for motion as well. In all the years it was out, very, very few games came anywhere near that. Most used motion as little as possible. They make not good consoles, but novelty based ones, and then short change on specs to get costs low as possible. I mean, compare 3ds specs to any phone or rival handheld, it's vastly outdated. The wii was the same: push the novelty, and deflect the power arguments. I don't see anything in the wii u that makes me think anything has changed in the Nintendo camp.

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