Let’s be honest, the Wii U has had a less-than-amazing run so far. While Nintendo’s current console has had many great exclusives such as Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros., and Hyrule Warriors, as it stands, the console has sold barely 10 million units. Our friends over at VentureBeat say that recent events may point towards a premature, yet controlled, development downswing of the Wii U. Nobody is saying this is because “Nintendoomed” but more because recent events are coming together in a less-than-appealing fashion. Between the delay of Zelda U (which isn’t much of a surprise alone), the reveal of Nintendo diving into the mobile market with DeNA, and their latest announcement of the NX, things are starting to look a bit suspicious.
VentureBeat goes on to talk about the sad sales numbers of the Wii U, which even fellow Nintendo fans must admit are rather lacking. Compared to the PS4’s 18 million in sales, and the XBox One’s 10 million in sales, Nintendo’s roughly 10 million Wii U sales may not seem
that awful, but you have to remember that the Wii U launched a year before the other two. The Wii U was revealed in April 2011 and was released worldwide in late 2012, six years after the Wii was originally released. While the Wii had a lifespan of six years before the Wii U launched, it may be that the Wii U will only be four or five years old by the time the NX is released, a lifespan shorter than that of the similarly ill-fated GameCube. Furthermore, the Wii sold the same number of units in six months that it has taken the Wii U almost two and a half years to sell! While Iwata did confirm that the NX would not make any appearances this year, such an announcement wouldn’t have been made if they didn’t intend to release it within two or three years.
Nintendo is known to delay
Zelda titles, with Shigeru Miyamoto famously being quoted as saying, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.” Such an event occurred with the delay of Twilight Princess, which later became a launch title on the Wii. While it may be broad speculation, it’s not crazy to think that this could also happen to Zelda U for the NX. However, this would make the Wii U the first modern Nintendo home console without a canon Zelda game on it, which seems a bit unlikely. VentureBeat also mentioned that perhaps Nintendo is having us look towards the future to overlook the present. The Wii U may be a nifty console, but we have to remember that Nintendo is a business with investors. No doubt their financial supporters (outside of the average consumer) want to know how Nintendo is going to turn around the slow-moving Wii U, and with possible far-future reveals, perhaps they’re trying to do that as much as possible.
Lastly, the most intriguing part of the speculation: where are the future Wii U titles? Recently we’ve received information on
Zelda U, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, and Splatoon. Aside from potential reveals at E3, we don’t have much more to keep the Wii U chugging along. Granted, these titles all look and sound amazing, but three or four games won’t hold a console for two or three years. However, as mentioned, Nintendo could be holding out for an impressive E3. While we should hope it’s the latter, it is possible Nintendo is actually on the downward slope of Wii U development.
I’ve personally been a supporter of Nintendo as long as I’ve been a gamer. They’re my go-to company for entertainment; however, that doesn’t mean I believe they have a flawless track record. While no company can be perfect all of the time, Nintendo still shows they know how to make fun games and run the portable market; hopefully Nintendo can learn from the mistakes it made this generation and come back next time full-throttle! Everybody has to admit, despite everything that may go on with Nintendo, they always keep us on our toes.
What do you think of the current situation with the Wii U? Let us know in the comments below!