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Is the Wii U Already Dead? 403

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-auf-weidersehen-goodbye dept.
kube00 writes "The Wii U has been struggling as of late. Even Nintendo has admitted sales haven't been as high as they would like. So what went wrong? Is this just a fluke? Will the Wii U recover and bounce back? Will the PS4 and the next 360 come out the door and leave the Wii U in the dust? GoozerNation takes a look at some of the NPD's and speculates on what it all means."
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Is the Wii U Already Dead?

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday February 25, 2013 @02:52PM (#43005851)

    They've cruised on their name, they've went with gimmicks, they've stubbornly stuck with being the kids console, they've put only a half-hearted effort into online play, they've all-but-resigned themselves to staying in the last gen, etc. And, most woefully of all, they seem to have put little to no thought into WHERE THEY FIT IN NOW.

    Methinks they need something they probably haven't had in a long time--a conclave of their board and big-wigs to ask themselves some fundamental questions about what their mission is, how they are going to accomplish it, and how they're going to compete in the modern gaming market.

    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:05PM (#43006097) Homepage Journal

      I think actually their primary problem now, in 2013, is that their business is making games consoles. It doesn't matter whether it's cheap, has "gimmicks" (can we lay that one to rest BTW? Innovation isn't gimmickry, the DS killed the PSP, and the introduction of the Wii basically forced Microsoft to go in a new direction), or anything else. The problem is they're making games consoles. And the concept really doesn't have anywhere to go, not usefully anyway.

      If I wanted something more powerful than a Wii I'd have already bought am Xbox 360. But in all honesty, what I want has changed in the last five years. We have tablets and smartphones. Our PCs are no longer hooked up to 15-19" CRTs, they have 1080p 25" widescreens. Oh, and the PCs have Steam on them.

      Given these entertainment options, the attractiveness of a locked down box you plug into the living room TV, requiring the consent of the entire household to do so, to play games is really going out of the window.

      Sony and Microsoft need to take note, because realistically, unless their next game consoles are significantly different from the box-with-controllers-and-some-way-to-insert-a-game-and-a-TV-out model, they'll flop too.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:20PM (#43006345) Journal

        It doesn't help that Nintendo apparently can't comprehend software to save their miserable lives. They can make games; but their grasp of the non-game software components is tragicomedic even compared to Sony, and that's saying something.

        DRM is always user-hostile; but Nintendo's is just hilarious(even as their consoles are markedly easier to crack than Sony's or Microsoft's). Downloaded material is permanently locked to the hardware it was downloaded on. Even now that the Wii U has 'Nintendo network accounts' those are locked to the device they were created on. There is a transfer process for certain sorts of material; but it's the most ass-backwards and error-prone exercise one can imagine. Even better, the 'virtual' Wii within the Wii U, for backwards compatibility, counts as a separate device and is almost entirely non-integrated. It's just terrible at every step.

        Sony's 'well, we could download updates in the background; but instead we'll make you watch' also isn't a masterpiece, and Microsoft is clearly sucking at the ad-money teat a bit too much in laying out their atrocious 'dashboard'; but that's at least evil rather than cluelessness.

        • by sheehaje (240093) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:01PM (#43006955)

          I just traded my Wii U for a comparable Xbox/kinect system. My kids are already getting more enjoyment and use from the Xbox.

          The Wii U is half baked. Maybe the hardware gets figured out by developers, and even Nintendo, but right now the shortcomings are to visible. Right from system menu navigation being so slow and frustrating that it made me not want to boot up the system. So yeah, Nintendo doesn't do well with the system software designed for their own System.

          I was one of the unfortunate ones to get a system that kept locking up - luckily after over a week being sent from the East to West then back East, I got a working system - but while the system didn't crash anymore, it was still a pain to navigate, and the games were underwhelming.

          It actually wasn't an easy decision to trade the system. Nintendo may work everything out... The gamepad was a unique feature, but not so unique now that Microsoft seems committed to "SmartGlass." But my final decision to give up on the Wii U came down to the kids --- do I get a system they can have fun and variety with now, or do I pay $60 - $70 for half baked ports that may or may not play properly and cross my fingers the kids can have a comparable experience 6 months, a year, 2 years down the road... Nintendo dropped the ball on this system...

          On the other side of things -- maybe they do work it out. I had an Xbox 360 up until about 3 years ago - and the experience on the one I just traded for is much better than the one I got rid of. But I have a hard time thinking Nintendo can fully recover from this one with the PS4 and the next gen Xbox right around the corner... Add in the Steambox and the explosion of tablet gaming and it doesn't look good for the Wii U.

          • Exact opposite happening here. Our Xbox 360 is collecting dust (except occasionally when the kids want to play Tekken 6) & the kids are really digging the Wii U. They play NintendoLand, Super Mario Wii U & Sonic Racing all the time. 5 player gaming that doesn't involve the internet is a big hit at our house. Personally, I'm not too big on the Wiimotes, but I love the Wii U's GamePad. I also like the fact that I can, as of this weekend, get my retro F-Zero fix while the kids are watching TV, without having to fire up an emulator. Can't wait to see what else they release on the Virtual Console.

            If Tekken or possibly Mortal Kombat ever comes out for the Wii U we may as well pack the 360 up for all the use it will get.

            • by sheehaje (240093)

              I thought it was cool that you could use the Gamepad to play (certain) titles just on the gamepad - but the range really isn't that good. We are in a smaller apartment, and I couldn't move past the living room and get a decent connection. annoying.

              I had the Sonic Racing game as well, and while we liked it, the same game is available on Steam and Xbox cheaper than it was on the Wii U.. The gamepad didn't add much to it to warrant $20 more.

              That's the other big issue moving forward (for all the next gen con

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          DRM is always user-hostile; but Nintendo's is just hilarious(even as their consoles are markedly easier to crack than Sony's or Microsoft's). Downloaded material is permanently locked to the hardware it was downloaded on. Even now that the Wii U has 'Nintendo network accounts' those are locked to the device they were created on. There is a transfer process for certain sorts of material; but it's the most ass-backwards and error-prone exercise one can imagine. Even better, the 'virtual' Wii within the Wii U,

          • by hackula (2596247) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:38PM (#43008229)
            And the kid purchases the game by entering their credit card info... Oh wait, kids don't fucking have credit cards! Get the parent to put in their info for the kid. Problem solved. Or the kid just lies about their age like they probably do for anything else online. There are facebook pages for babies. I think Nintendo would get by ok.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jonadab (583620)
            > How do you propose the DRM then?

            Distribute the games on a medium that isn't designed to be easily created with ordinary consumer hardware. Back in the day that meant cartridges. These days it would probably look more like a USB flash drive (or maybe like a memory card), except instead of flash memory inside it would have a ROM chip. The device is designed to read the game software from that medium -- not from a CD, DVD, or hard drive.

            This doesn't stop really determined pirates who have a lot of reso
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:21PM (#43007239)

          You don't need to remind DS and Wii owners that Nintendo doesn't comprehend software. Even at a lower level, it's clear they don't understand the fairly common OS concept of hardware abstraction, and that they stubbornly refuse to figure it out.

          The DS was released back when WPA/WPA2 was... okay, maybe not "new". When the DS was planned, yes, WPA/WPA2 was probably "new". So, the DS couldn't connect to WPA/WPA2 wifi points, only unencrypted or WEP. Fair enough. So then the DSi comes out. Hooray! It can support WPA/WPA2, finally! Except... all old DS games can't. Apparently, DS games THEMSELVES make explicit calls to the wifi hardware with no layer of abstraction between them. That is, a DS game can't just ask the console "Give me a network connection, I don't care what the underlying encryption standard is", it reads data from the OS and makes its own calls to set it up, and Nintendo couldn't even be arsed to come up with an emulation layer to trick those games into using the DSi's WPA/WPA2 network access. No, their answer is to present an entirely separate configuration screen just for DS games in the DSi interface, going so far as to start the DS emulation just to load this screen. Worse, they figured this was as good an idea as they could get, as the exact same setup STILL EXISTS IN THE 3DS!

          The Wii's SDHC support, though, that's another story. At first, the Wii only supported plain SD cards (no SDHC). This worked well enough for a while, right until Guitar Hero World Tour came out. DLC songs sure ate up the size limits of non-HC SD cards quick (and Nintendo wanted to push WiiWare more), so Nintendo released a firmware update that allowed SDHC cards to work. But, of course, you can probably guess where I'm going with this: Any Wii game released before the update that supports SD cards? They couldn't figure out SDHC cards at all. Even if the console understood the card, the older games wouldn't, apparently because nobody at Nintendo bothered to look up filesystem abstraction. Hell, I only had ONE class in very, very basic OS design back in college, and even I know why this is necessary in a modern OS, yet this is a company with supposedly thirty or so years of computer experience under their belts!

          I'm completely convinced that if Nintendo gave up on hardware and went third-party, they'd fail. Badly. It'd make Sega look like their old selves by comparison. From what I've seen of their crazy broken hardware ("broken" in terms of "services not directly related to playing the game"), it seems to me that Nintendo's got a very, very stubborn culture and developers who entirely depend on having complete and total communication with the hardware designers, just like the old days. In fact, it just seems like Nintendo wants to pretend like it's the old days, and that things like XBox Live, Steam, smartphones, tablets, and the internet itself don't exist.

          Frankly, I say, if you've always liked Nintendo in the past, like I have, then you'd better enjoy them now while they're still around. They won't be around much longer unless they get their heads out of their asses in a timer-just-reached-100 hurry.

      • by oGMo (379) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:44PM (#43006729)

        has "gimmicks" (can we lay that one to rest BTW? Innovation isn't gimmickry, the DS killed the PSP, and the introduction of the Wii basically forced Microsoft to go in a new direction)

        No, because it's still Nintendo's primary problem. The DS didn't kill the PSP. The PSP was the first successful non-Nintendo gaming handheld, and by "successful" I mean "sold substantially in the popular market", "had a lot of games", and "has a successor". That's pretty successful. The PSP may not have beat the DS in sales figures, but that's still a pretty huge win given the wasteland of other failed non-Nintendo handhelds.

        Innovation isn't gimmickry, but the Wii was gimmickry. It did most certainly not force Microsoft to do anything. Sure, they came out with the Kinect. The number of good games using it? Zero. Sure, it's found a lot of non-gaming use, but that's irrelevant. It's irrelevant to gaming. Nintendo only finally at the end of the Wii's lifecycle managed to show motion controls could work ... but only as well as a regular controller at best. (Worse, Zelda Skyward Sword triggers my RSI too fast to be playable.)

        Sony and Microsoft need to take note, because realistically, unless their next game consoles are significantly different from the box-with-controllers-and-some-way-to-insert-a-game-and-a-TV-out model, they'll flop too.

        For the casual market, maybe something like Ouya is sufficient. Even my Roku XS plays Angry Birds. But this is buying the Nintendo Lie: that everyone is a casual gamer. If anything, fewer people are becoming casual gamers, since so many people are growing up with video games. It's no longer just for nerds.

        In the end, Microsoft and Sony only need to do one thing: make sure their consoles have games that Nintendo doesn't, or even just that they play games better than Nintendo. Given the last three generations of Nintendo consoles (Wii, Cube, N64), this is hardly a stretch.

        • by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:02PM (#43006979)

          Sure, they came out with the Kinect. The number of good games using it? Zero.

          Correction: The number of good games (series) using the Kinect is one. The Dance Central series is hands down the best use of the Kinect as a peripheral to create a game that literally could not be done any other way. The problem is the same as most games on the Wii. Most developers use motion controls as a substitution for pushing buttons instead of starting with the concept that you can do things based on movement and designing a game solely working off that basis.

      • by trdrstv (986999)

        a locked down box you plug into the living room TV, requiring the consent of the entire household to do so, to play games is really going out of the window.

        I think that's why they went with the gamepad and the second screen option. Gabe from Penny arcade said he'll buy every game that supports that for Wii U over anything else because he doesn't have to stop playing if the family takes over the main TV... he can stream it to the gamepad and keep going.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          Yup. My kids and I absolutely love that feature;

          I would never have guessed how much we would use that feature. It wasn't a selling point of the WiiU at all for us.

          But it gets used pretty almost daily.

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        I don't think you got that quite right. Nintendo last gen courted the casual crowd and were hugely successful at it, however they have realised this gen that this is much harder due to smartphones and tablets being good enough for the casuals. So Nintendo retargeted back to gamers, unfortunately the effort was half hearted and really nothing that would encourage xbox or playstation gamers to switch. Yes it is a warning to MS and Sony, but not the warning you say it is. The casual market has shifted, to be a
      • by krotkruton (967718) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:15PM (#43007161)
        I love consoles. I like the fact that when I buy a game, I know that I'm going to be able to put it in that little box and play it without having to worry about if my box meets the system requirements of the game or if I have a strong enough cell signal to log onto the games servers or if my software version isn't compatible.

        I love PCs. I like the fact that it makes it easier to download lots of games and has more function than just a console. I like 25" 1080p widescreens, but I really like hooking my PC up to my 1080p 52" TV in my living room.

        I don't want either model to die, and I don't understand why so many people think that there can be only successful model. I think there are a lot of people who, like me, love consoles and don't want to see the box-with-controllers-and-some-way-to-insert-a-game-and-a-TV-out model die. There's a demand for this model, even if you don't fit into it.
        • by daver00 (1336845)

          I bought a PC in 2008 and have made one single upgrade of the video card. Its basically a Core2 E8400 (3GHz) with a Nvidia 275GTX. There have been exactly zero PC games in the last 5 years that have not run smoothly on this machine. Worrying about specs for PC games is more or less a thing of the past, these days if you can play one decent game you can play them all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Why is the Wii considered a kids console? Every adult I know has and plays a Wii. The motion controller was much more than a gimmick, it was a functional, useful device for input.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:15PM (#43006263)

        Because a lot of family-friendly and all-ages content shows up on the Wii, and as every teenager will tell you, 'all-ages' and 'family-friendly' is just code for 'games for babies'

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Which is why they also appeal to older, never owned a gaming console, generations looking for "That thing that lets you bowl at home..."

          • older, never owned a gaming console, generations

            How old is that? Games consoles were around in the 1970's - that is 40 years ago!

            The issue here is "Jaded oldies who find the average game no more exciting than writing PHP" (which is just like the BASIC they grew up with, apart from the client-server concept and the internet). They dont think today's console games are a heap better than Leisure Suit Larry, but find playing "Tiger Woods Golf 2009" to unlock the secret girlfriends is good exercise compared

        • by MitchDev (2526834)

          Graphics quality come into it too. I've noticed Wii graphics aren't as good as X360/PS3. Look at the recent Ghostbusters video game on the X360 or P3 vs. the Wii...

        • by PhxBlue (562201) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:18PM (#43008711) Homepage Journal

          Have you heard of the game "Transformers: War for Cybertron"? The Wii version is called "Transformers: Cybertron Adventures."

          If you bought "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" for Wii, you might notice some substantial differences between it and the other platforms (e.g., PC). Blood and gore is practically non-existent, and the bad guys actually say "I'm sorry" after Wolverine's done tearing through them. I wish I were making that up.

          There are exceptions -- take "Madworld," for example -- but by and large, "family-friendly" pretty much does mean content-neutered.

      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:17PM (#43006307)

        Because the 16-22 year old male can't see any reason for games that don't pander to him. If it does not have pointless levels of violence and lots of bewbs they are not interested.

        Sure violence and sex can be fun in a game, but for them that is all there is. Games that are just fun are not on their radar. Worse yet are games that a child or family could enjoy because they are trying to prove to the world they are Real Men, which is why they behave like children.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
        Why is the Wii considered a kids console?

        Because that's the easiest cheapshot for Under30-something PS3 fanboys to articulate.
      • I have actually got a Wii, I got it for last story. That was good... but I had to hook it up to a small display because else the graphics were just not acceptable anymore.

        There is no such thing as a gamer, what one loves, the other hates but the Wii mostly seems to appeal to the extreme casual market. And that hurt the console because not many can afford to buy a console for just one game like me.

        And the casual market is huge but Nintendo sells casual games for 40 bucks. The iPad sells them for a dollar o

      • by Daetrin (576516) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:09PM (#43007861)
        I don't know about anyone else, but as an adult Nintendo seems to be struggling to make me not like the Wii. I got a Wii right when it first game out, and i enjoyed Wii Sports and Mario Galaxy and Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros and a couple others. However there's been a dearth of both good mature and "mature" third party games. There's been _some_ good mature content in Japan, but Nintendo kept refusing to bring over things like Xenoblade Chronicles, Last Story and Pandora's Tower. Ironically(?) they basically said it wasn't going to happen right around the time they promised that the Wii U was going to have more of a hardcore focus, which really diluted their message.

        It doesn't help that the Wii was the first Nintendo console to have serious hardware issues. A lot of the people who got early versions of the console got hit by some kind of disk reading error that affected some pretty major games. Nintendo was willing to fix the problem for free, but you either had to ship the console off somewhere or find a local authorized repair center, and it was a big hassle to deal with. Then just about the point that Nintendo started changing their mind about the above RPGs my Wii got some kind of corrupted memory issue and forced me to reformat it. So now i've got Xenoblade and Last Story, but i'm afraid to start playing them on my Wii because i don't trust the memory. I could get a Wii U, and maybe i will at some point, but right now i want to avoid the early shipments in the hopes that any bugs will get ironed out.

        And honestly, the wiimote is great for some games, but in my experience it's just not that good for other games. Sometimes the developers allow you to use an alternate control mode, but sometimes they insist that you have to use motion controls. (I believe it's Xenoblade that a friend of mine has that will let you use classic controls for the main game but insists you use a wiimote for the starting menus. It doesn't help that their Wii has trouble recognizing the wiimotes a lot of the time, so it's kind of a disincentive whenever they sit down and decide which game to play in the evening.) Sometimes i want to play a simple old school 2D game with simple old school 2D controls. Nintendo _could_ excel at that with their "underpowered" console, but they choose not to. If i want those kinds of games my choice is usually the DS, or more likely, the PC through Steam.

        Of course Nintendo isn't the only company whose console isn't living up to the hype in my opinion. The PS3 has been kinda overwhelmed by "mature" FPS and 3rd person shooter games with a relative dearth of good RPGs and strategy games. I have picked up Disgaea 4, which was great, and FF13, which was okay, and plan to get Ni no Kuni, but that's not a great deal to base a console purchase on. If the trend continues i'm going to be waiting for awhile before picking up a PS4 too. Of course now that i know the PS4 won't be backwards compatible i'm kinda disinclined to buy any more physical PS3 disks.
    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:08PM (#43006153) Journal

      They've cruised on their name

      I'm sorry, which console maker hasn't and how do you determine who is "cruising" and who isn't? Playstation to Playstation 4? That's not cruising on their name? They've been in the game a lot longer than Microsoft or Sony ... so what?

      they've went with gimmicks

      I know, right. It's like those tired rhythm music games were only available on the Wii. Oh, and Sony and Microsoft keep leveraging innovative titles like Call of Duty 18 and Battlefield 5 and Medal of Honor: Get On 'Er.

      they've stubbornly stuck with being the kids console

      Right and if they hadn't, everyone would be criticizing them for not sticking to their bread and butter. It's cool you don't like those games but that's a market share and equals $$$.

      they've all-but-resigned themselves to staying in the last gen, etc.

      By releasing the Wii U a year before the XBox 720 and PS4? I don't get it. I think they're trying to offset themselves by a year and give consumers some breathing room to enjoy all consoles instead of making a choice. Sure, something released a year later better have good specs but can you point out the publishers that claim Nintendo just lacks the hardcore power for their titles? I haven't heard a lot of complaints and frankly, I own a Wii, Xbox 360 and a PS3 ... graphics are rarely a factor for me in which title I play. I value game play and Nintendo pays more attention to this than the rehashed shit I find on the other two.

      And, most woefully of all, they seem to have put little to no thought into WHERE THEY FIT IN NOW.

      I get it, you like first person shooters. Enjoy. I like how you totally overlooked the obvious to me: Nintendo games are games that I play when my friends come over and want to drink and have fun. The wiimotes are fun in person and the Kinect is actually trying to break into this market. You are explaining this from one of the most narrow and convoluted false narratives I've come across.

      You're attacking Nintendo for owning their market share while the other two consoles do exactly the same thing. Hell, it's arguable that Sony and Microsoft are gutting each other by fighting over the same user base while Nintendo chugs along owning one. How are those XBox 360 and PS3 sales? Through the roof right now?

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        If Nintendo is making all the right moves (as you seem to contend), why has their stock been dropping steadily for the last 5 years (from a high of over $72 to $12 now)? Obviously SOMEONE thinks they're screwing up, and it ain't just me. Maybe it has something to do with headlines like this [joystiq.com] and this [joystiq.com]?

        Face it, they're NOT on the right path right now.

        • Because smartphones cut a considerable part of the mobile market where they previously dominated among other things, and because consoles as a whole had diminishing sells through the last years.
        • Not that I'm saying you're wrong that Nintendo is taking the wrong path, but Sony Entertainments stock dropped from over $50 five years ago to just over $13, it was as low as $9 at one point and Microsofts, as far as I know, doesn't separate their XBox/games division from the rest of the company and their about the same or down a couple of bucks from five years ago.

          I don't think stocks are really a great way to determine how one console company is doing compared to another. Nintendo pretty much only makes
      • graphics are rarely a factor for me in which title I play.

        Graphics aren't, but I admit that resolution is. We have our 480p Wii feeding into a 720p TV via component cables (which are abundantly sufficient to carry the Wii's low-res graphics in near-perfect detail), and it looks expectedly awful and blurry. I don't care about trillions of polygons or infinite FPS, but it'd be nice to run it at my TV's native resolution. I can imagine how it'd look on a newer 1280 line display, and my mental image isn't pretty.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:39PM (#43006673)

      Hi, parent here.

      I can buy a Wii for a lower price than the XBox or PS. I'm 8 years from angsty teenagers, so I don't have to deal with the desire for mature rated games for a long time. The Wii games are more fun for the tipsy adults when we have friends over.

      The Wii U doesn't appeal to me because it looks more complicated and it costs more than twice as much. Talk to me when it is $150. I'd also prefer it didn't have big easy-to-break-looking, drain-its-batteries-all-the-time controller tv things.

    • From the great 20th century author C.S. Lewis:
      “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

      Likewise, I'm in my 30s and I have zero interest in the PS4 right now because the vast majority of the games shown were violent M rated games or sports games. That's fine if that's what you

      • Nail on the freaking head. I'm fairly confident that games like Pikmin 3 and the Wind Waker HD remake will sell some consoles, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate next month will as well, especially in Japan where Monster Hunter is huge. While I still like some shooters (Halo in particular, although Microsoft and 343 seem determined to turn it into Call of Duty In Space), I get turned off by games that use violence and mature themes for simply the sake of being graphically violent or "mature." Nintendo has the
  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday February 25, 2013 @02:53PM (#43005869)

    I would have bought one already if it was a little cheaper. Nintendo stuff is supposed to be cheap and cheerful. $349 is too much, and the $299 version is too crippled to justify even building much less buying.

    Drop $50 and I will take one today.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      Good point. I thought the Wii launched in about the same price range, but looks like it was actually $249, which is an inflation-adjusted $282. So the Wii U is priced about 20% higher in real terms.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        If the $349 version was $249 I would already have one, even $282 would have been fine.

        I almost bought the $299 version until I realized that would be a mistake.

        Why they can't just let me upgrade using standard internal hard drives like the PS3, I don't understand.

  • Not Even Close (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @02:53PM (#43005879) Journal
    No, I don't think it's even close to dead. I want one but I don't have to have one because titles are still coming out on the Wii. It is my opinion that Nintendo thrives on being the cheapest option. Yes, I know that sounds stupid. But I feel like in every console war the Nintendo option is always at least a little cheaper than the Sony or Microsoft options. Sure, a lot of console makers lose money on consoles and make it up on publishing licenses but Nintendo still comes out with a lower price.

    But in order for that strategy to work, there has to be a comparison. The Wii U came out at a time when it seemed like the console wars were over -- or at least dormant. I think the market and the makers benefit from a three way tie because everyone wants a new console. But when it was just the Wii U the titles weren't that compelling and the hardware was, well, it was Nintendo hardware.

    I predict the Wii U will have flagging sales just like their handheld consoles that come out with no competitor. And then next Christmas when the XBox 720 and PS4 launch, parents will walk into a big box store and little Tommy will want that new $500 PS4 bundle but their eye will catch the Wii U for $175 or $200 and they'll think ... "F it, I'll get him this with a couple games and an extra controller." The kid will initially be unhappy but learn to love it.

    Or they could just release an exclusive Zelda title on it ... I guess I'd be forced to buy it then.

    Anyone have any guesses as to what new feature the Sony or Microsoft offerings could come up with to lockout the Wii U? I mean, there's no new disc standard or input device idea that I'm missing, is there? That'd be the only case where the Wii U would be in trouble -- if there was some new feature X like VR goggles that a consumer just had to have at all costs.
    • by djdanlib (732853)

      The next Zelda title is coming out in December and it's a re-release of Wind Waker, a *Gamecube* game. They really dropped the ball on getting 1st party titles out there.

      I have a few ideas, but my favorite one is: Put a Tetris game on there that I can play from another room on the controller. I'd buy that. That's what sold a lot of Game Boys, remember?

    • Re:Not Even Close (Score:5, Informative)

      by dzym (544085) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:08PM (#43006155) Homepage Journal

      It seems like the next generation MS and Sony consoles essentially run high-end commodity PC x86(-64) hardware with Blu-Ray drives and huge gobs of system and video memory (8GB combined GDDR5 in the case of PS4). No more Cell, powerpc, whatever have you and horrible graphics memory limitations (like 256MB, wtf).

      So yeah, porting for those and PC will be relatively painless while the Wii U is stuck with Xbox 360 launch specs.

      Nintendo has missed the boat.

      • by dzym (544085)

        Furthermore, the launch slate of games for Nintendo is terrible again, as usual, and this year there will be like 3 Wii U titles or something? And the next Zelda release is yet another port/remake?

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Nintendo hasn't made a good case that the Wii U was necessary. For the casual gamers that made the Wii a hit, the Wii is still good enough for anything they want to do. Super Mario Galaxy III would work just as well on the Wii as SMG-I did. For those of us who want games with depth, we're still better off with a 360, PS3, or PC than a Wii-U. Does the Wii-U have anything in the works that could compete with the recent X-com? The upcoming Wasteland 2?

    • by jonesy16 (595988)

      One of the problems that the Wii U faces right now is that it's not the cheapest option. I'm sure Nintendo would like it to be, but it's not. For less money, you can get an XBox 360 or PS3, and while they sure are old at this point, they still have tons of life left in them. We'll be seeing new releases on those consoles for many more years to come. In addition to that, you get blu-ray (ps3) or dvd (xbox) player, netflix, amazon, vudu, last.fm (xbox), hbo (xbox), Syfy (xbox), VEVO (xbox), Youtube, ESPN (xb

    • Anyone have any guesses as to what new feature the Sony or Microsoft offerings could come up with to lockout the Wii U? I mean, there's no new disc standard or input device idea that I'm missing, is there? That'd be the only case where the Wii U would be in trouble -- if there was some new feature X like VR goggles that a consumer just had to have at all costs.

      I honestly can't imagine, right now, how the next Xbox is going to be that substantially different from the PS4. And frankly, the Xbox 360 and PS3 aren't all that different, either. They've become different over time, but from the get-go they were both similarly-powered, championed online-play, and were basically both competing for exclusive contracts with the Big Studios for the Big Games. Nintendo decided to stay out of this rivalry of the giants and go in a different direction. It worked for them.

      This co

  • Microsoft? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @02:54PM (#43005895)

    Why is this story given the Microsoft icon?

  • Lack of games... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZiakII (829432) on Monday February 25, 2013 @02:55PM (#43005899)
    Other then the new Super Mario Bros Game. I literally have no use for my Wii U at the moment. Once the new Nintendo franchise games start rolling out I would expect to see quite a rise in sales again.
    • by Luthair (847766)
      This is pretty much it, while not hugely expensive the device isn't cheap and the only reason anyone buys a Nintendo console is for Mario & Zelda.
    • by JWW (79176)

      I agree. The Super Mario Brothers game on the Wii U is great, and.... theres not much else out there. Nintendoland got boring after a few weeks.

      The Wii U however is a great Netflix device (no extra charges like the xbox), and would be an awesome youtube viewing device if the interface weren't staggeringly bad.

      The browser's ok too.

      But here's the real rub. We're still using our old Wii because we'll be damned to move our stuff over "once and only once" to the Wii U. What a load of horsecrap. We use the W

      • by PRMan (959735)

        This is why we haven't migrated and sold the Wii. Now, because of this hostility, my daughter and I have a half-finished game of Lego LOTR that we probably will never finish, because it's just not convenient to go to the other TV (my wife's TV in the bedroom) nor is it convenient to put 2 Wiis on the same TV, nor is it convenient to migrate (not to mention how long starting Wii mode takes), nor start the game over, since we were halfway through already. It just makes me depressed about the whole thing, to

    • by PRMan (959735)

      This. As an owner, I can tell you there are 2 problems:

      1. No launch titles except Mario. I hear ZombiiU is good, but since I think the whole zombie thing is ridiculous, I'll never know. Seriously, my brother got us a bunch of games after finding out we were getting one, and they all suck. This could be fixed by putting out a few more great games. It also could have been fixed by making Wii games run hi-res on the WiiU, because then I might actually buy more Wii titles in the meantime, but they didn't

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:00PM (#43006003) Homepage Journal
    In the last generation the Wii proved dominant by simply setting a reasonable price point and being somewhat novel. Most Wii owners will admit that the machine only sees occasional use (sometimes only as a Netflix player at that) outside of major first party releases. If the WiiU "wins" this generation it won't be due to any brilliance on its part, it will be because Sony and Microsoft both made colossal blunders.

    I can almost guarantee that if Microsoft releases an XBox 720 (only one SKU) for $200 that they will be the undisputed champions of this generation. Sony is clearly going for the high end again and will struggle to meet even a $300 price point. Fanboys will deride the console as not nearly as powerful as the PS4, but it won't matter because your games will still work and you'll have a lot more of them to choose from because publishers tend to flock to the most successful console.
    • by BStroms (1875462)

      It's hard to predict what would happen if MS went with the cheap low tech Nintendo style option, but I don't think that's going to happen.

      My prediction is that Sony wins this next generation handily. With the current generation, the PS3 came out a year later, at a significantly higher cost, but was still comparable in hardware specs. It was also much harder to develop for. Despite this, on average it's been outselling the 360 slightly and has nearly caught up to the 360.

      In the upcoming generation, they won'

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I'd be surprised if the XBox 720 launches for $200. The XBox 360 launched at $300 in 2005, which is $350 if you adjust for inflation. Can they really afford to launch the 720 at barely more than half that?

  • Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thyamine (531612) <thyamine@o f d ragons.com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:01PM (#43006027) Homepage Journal
    I've had Nintendo consoles since the original. I've also had XBoxes and the PS3. The Wii U actually confused me when it came out because it seemed more like it was a new handheld/portable. Not the new console and Wii replacement. I don't know if it was my complete lack of caring towards it, or their poor marketing. On the other hand I read all about the PS4 release and have been pondering the new XBox.

    I feel like Nintendo just wasn't on the ball with this generation of consoles.
    • Yes I have a friend who was convinced the Wii U was a tablet upgrade for the existing Wii, he didn't even realize it was a new console. Their problem is not marketing the CONSOLE itself, instead they focused way too much on the gimmicky tablet controller. People aren't even aware that the Wii U is running on much better hardware and the games can actually run higher than 480p now.
    • poor marketing

      Nintendo has done some marketing? Pictures or it didn't happen!

  • In-Store-Demo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dmomo (256005) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:04PM (#43006071) Homepage

    The system on demo at Best Buy just didn't do it for me. Why they decided to make a simple (if beautiful) side-scroller the only playable demo (the rest are just videos) is beyond me, when the title that supposedly comes with the system is meant to showcase the possibilities.

    I was perplexed as to why they didn't put a game on there that really showed what the machine brings to gaming. When the first Wii came out, people were eagerly waiting in line for a turn to roll a bowling ball or play some tennis. There was often a small group cheering on whoever was currently playing.

    It's almost as if they are intentionally not enticing me to buy the Wii U.

  • My family and I considered getting one for Xmas, but as others and TFA points out, there weren't any games we were interested in. I appreciate that Nintendo always seems to make Zelda and Metroid games "right", but any guesses as to when there will be a Wii U Zelda? Also, didn't they say they were rebooting Zelda, so that makes more more willing to hold off.

    Heck, I (might) get it for Mario Kart, but no, gotta wait for that too. Maybe when Zelda and Mario Kart is available I'd get a used Wii U, as I'm not su

  • Maybe it's just me (and I know it supports the old wii-motes), but I think the big controller is too weird and too big.
    I'm looking forward to ouya console or the steam console.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:09PM (#43006177)
    I haven't even seen one in any store that I have been in; or if I did I had no idea.

    The first Wii with all its movement and potential for interaction had me (and my kids) drooling for one when they came out. But I don't think it has been on in 2013 and only a few times in 2012. No game has made me want to use it and none of my friends have said, "Hey have you seen this Wii game X?" Nor have my kids have not asked for any Wii games. I have no idea about what the Wii U and know noone who does know what it can do but I doubt it can be that interesting as I haven't read anything about any hackers (people doing cool things not the thieves) doing anything with it like people were with the WiiMotes when they first came out.

    So did Nintendo make a crappy console or did they fail to market a good console? The answer is one or both of those options.

    Personally I think that where Nintendo failed was that their first Wii fit into a market for fun simple games. So people didn't complain about the low specs. But now smart phones and tablets have eaten the market for fun simple games. Thus if you are going to make a console the lesson seems to be that you'd better make it nearly a super computer.
  • Horrible marketing. It made it seem like it was an add on for the Wii instead off a whole new system. Talk about the new features!
  • Who is the market? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman57 (1340533) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:16PM (#43006281)
    Nintendo doesn't seem to have a good answer for "who is the market for this device?" It's not hardcore gamers. And the casual gamers that made the Wii a success have moved on to iPads and smart phones.

    Nintendo needs to go somewhere that their competiors are not. In my opinion, they should be working with the Occulus Rift people to develop a box which can be worn as a backpack, which ties into the goggles. The VR Boy 2... They could concede lower quality graphics, but very, very low latency input and output to make the most of the VR hardware and minimize motion sickness effects. They already know a lot about building appropriate controllers. If this was well done, they could make the XBox and Playstation seem totally out of date. The way games used to be played, where you looked at the virtual world through a glowing rectangle with a plastic strip around it.
  • by mea_culpa (145339) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:18PM (#43006313)

    and Nintendo is seemingly unaware.

    Every kid I know want's either a smartphone or tablet. From my observation the only people playing consoles anymore are teenagers and adults that grew up with consoles many of which are increasingly shifting their attention to mobile. The younger kids have ditched their DSi for iTouches over the last two years and are playing casual and social games. When I visit family I am bombarded by nephews and nieces that want to play my iPad.

    Nintendo is trying with a tablet but doing it horribly wrong. Instead of focusing on their hardware they need to focus on their software on established mobile hardware and ecosystems.

    Every year more mobile devices activate than all consoles sold combined. Mobile devices also iterate with a much higher frequency. Most modern mobile devices are fully capable of rendering any Nintendo title if adapted for it.

    My prediction is none of the new consoles will sell as well as the prior version and all will likely flop. They will fail for the reason that they focus on a living room that has become mostly vacant.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:19PM (#43006335)
    The Target Wii U market is happy with their current Wiis. That's all there is to it. They've got enough games to last a long while. Unless/Until Nintendo sends a kill message to current Wiis, casual gamers won't trade up. And if Nintendo does send a kill message to current Wiis, casual gamers aren't crack heads who will run out and buy a Wii U. They'll go buy something without a kill switch like a jump-rope or hula-hoop.
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:21PM (#43006359) Homepage Journal
    The Wii U is the only console that isn't pegged on selling the latest sequel to the newest FPS. In other words, it is the only console that has titles that I care about. Between the PS4 and X720 there really are very few truly exclusive titles as those exclusive titles are so similar to non-exclusive titles that they don't matter.

    People will rip on the Wii U for being insufficient in resolution or frame rate, but those are mostly people who want to buy Halo 27 and CoD 12 - Nintendo hasn't worried about those people for a long, long time.
    • by jonesy16 (595988)

      No, Nintendo doesn't care about people who want to buy Halo 27 or CoD 12, they're more interested in the people that want Mario 33, or Mario Kart 18, or Paperboy ... But, pray tell, of the 10 Wii U exclusive titles out right now, which ones should the hypothetical Wii U purchaser be looking at?

    • by unapersson (38207)

      You say this, but I never really saw anything like Journey, Flower or Unfinished Swan on the Wii. They've always seemed happier creating lots of versions of their classic line-up, and for a lot of people that seems enough.

  • You young'ns fail to remember what happened with the Gamecube: decent launch followed by a drought of games in Jan/Feb, in fact I seem to recall the Gamecube drought lasting through April. The Wii U has had no new games, of signifigance, released since its launch. Next month brings Lego City Undercover on 3/18 and Monster Hunter the day after. It's nothing more than the usual post-launch drought for any console.

    Personally, i'm enjoying the Wii U, the off-TV gameplay using the gamepad is the unexpected kille

  • Obviously their original Wii was bought by A TON of non-gamers who had never bought a console. That means a console budget of $0. So it was already a stretch and now they're expecting a lot of them to upgrade to a much more expensive version when the added features are very gamer-oriented? Hell no! That's what's really killing it.
  • It's likely the PS4 and Xbox 720 won't sell that well either.
    The manufacturers are aware of this, which is why their new consoles aren't as costly as the previous ones.

    Make revolutionary games, and people will come. But what's left to revolutionize anymore?

    • by jonesy16 (595988)

      If the PS4 ends up being cheaper than the original PS3 (and I wouldn't count on it just yet), it would only be because the Blu-Ray technology has come way down in price, they're certainly sparing little expense based on the other specs they've released.

  • We have a couple of Wii's at the house [ mostly relegated to Netflix now, but every now and again it is fun to break out the Lego game or Free Running] and a Wii U [ XMAS present with Zombie U ]. The Wii had a lot in its favor, it introduced a compelling new paradigm in its controller and really appealed to families with some very innovative and fun games. It was almost as if the Wii was an appliance more than a gaming console. The WII U on other hand has none of that going for it. For those that have W
  • Nintendo should have released the Wii U 1-2 years ago when the Wii was just starting to decline. At that time, it would have been a perfect mid-generation console upgrade adding HD support, competing with the Kinect/PS-Move, and riding the general buzz of the time while giving it the power-boost needed to compete with traditional games on the other consoles.

    Now it's simply too little too late, particularly at their given prices. Once the PS4 and Xbox720 are released Nintendo will be back to being the unde

  • by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:10PM (#43007869)

    ALL consoles suck their first year or year and a half. If you're lucky, a console will launch with a fantastic game or two, and then games for the system will stagnate for a year or year and a half. ALL consoles follow this trend. The Nintendo DS did this. The Nintendo Wii did this. The Xbox 360 did this. The Playstation 3's games problem lasted for years. Going back as far as I remember, to the NES, we had this problem. The latest system to do this was the Nintendo 3DS. Now the 3DS is taking off like a rocket, and we all see that reports of the system's death were greatly exaggerated.

    The Nintendo Wii U did not have a stellar launch lineup. This is not exceptional. Most systems have crappy launch lineups, and all systems suffer from a year or a year and a half of game drought. I do no claim to predict the future success of the Wii U, but I can tell you that tales of a console's death prior to its 2nd year birthday are almost always uncalled for.

  • What went wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ildon (413912) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:35PM (#43008195)

    There was basically zero advertising. People still thought it was just an accessory for the Wii even a couple months after it was released. There were almost no games worth buying in the launch window. You had games hardcore players had already bought for their 360/PS3 months ago, another 2D Mario platformer that was barely different from the last 4 "New" Super Mario Bros. games released in the past couple years, a tech demo minigame collection, and ZombiU (which, even if it is a decent game, has a retarded name and, again, basically zero advertising).

    Most critically, they've abandoned what made the Wii such a big fad: an interface so intuitive that your grandma can play the game with you at Thanksgiving/Christmas. WiiU minigames are much more complex and much more "gamey," often requiring players to simultaneously be aware of the action on two screens at once, and with an interface that somehow manages to be even more complex than a standard 360/PS3 controller-based game. Wii's success was completely predicated on the fact that actions performed with the controller mimicked real world physical actions, such as swinging a golf club, tennis racket, or rolling a bowling ball. This type of gameplay has been completely abandoned on the WiiU.

    Combine all this with the global economic recession and the obviously impending announcements of the PS4 and Durango, and you have a recipe for disaster for Nintendo. A recipe which says very little about the future of video games in general or the potential future success of said PS4/Durango. We're looking at another GameCube at best. A Dreamcast at worst.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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