Recently Nintendo’s shockingly meager sales
regarding the Wii U were revealed to Gamesindustry, and although Nintendo managed to scrape a profit, it fell
exceedingly short of the estimated money mark. 
In addition to this Satoru Iwata was given free control of Nintendo of
America as CEO.  Iwata, despite being a
somewhat lovable public figure, is also to a large extent responsible for the
poor sales that have plagued the Wii U.

What does this all mean for the future of Nintendo, and is
it possible that the Wii U sales will increase in quantity? One possible answer
for this is that yes the Wii U will bounce back just as the 3DS did in almost
identical circumstances, however it speaks for the company when one console
makes the same mistakes as the previous one without making amends to the issue
at hand.

“Nintendo of America’s performance the past couple
years has been a disaster on almost every level. Much of this was due to lack
of execution on basic stuff like product marketing, they forgot Marketing 101
for the Wii U and no product could have done well without basic marketing
support. Clearly a change in execution was long overdue. The damage done is
enormous but there is the possibility of a turnaround. The fact is that the general
public is not really aware the Wii U even exists so it is an opportunity to
almost start from scratch.” — David Cole of DFC Intelligence

It is very unsettling that Nintendo, one of the biggest
video game companies in the world, was able to release their first new home
console since 2006 and yet the general public is still unaware of its

It certainly can be said that Nintendo has forgotten
“Marketing 101” especially considering that the company is staying afloat
through word of mouth. Nintendo needs only to revisit its 3DS strategy in order
to possibly fix the situation with the Wii U.

“I believe that 3DS offers a perfect template for how
Wii U could succeed in the future, Nintendo had an equally poor 3DS launch
lineup as we have seen with the Wii U. One thing that holds true for most
systems they have made, software moves the hardware. Nintendoland was not as
compelling and groundbreaking as Wii Sports was in 2006. The wow factor of the
Wii U is very hard to advertise on television and with no robust third-party
exclusives, the system’s launch can definitely be characterized as a flop. This
does not mean that the company is going to die.” — Asif A. Khan

Although the company did have an overall profit this fiscal
year, the last two years have been some of its worst financial performances to
date. The only salvation of the 3DS was the recent releases of high quality
titles, and it is likely that we will see this repeated with the Wii U.

While it is clear a large quantity of exceptional games are
required to get the Wii U on its feet, 
Nintendo’s largest problem is balancing the quality of games with the

“It takes time to make high quality games, and they
clearly don’t want to overspend on this console cycle. This painstakingly slow
approach to software development is why the company is still standing today after
past weak console cycles.”  — Asif
A. Khan

EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich explained that Nintendo expects
Nintendo to sell an additional 9 million Wii U units this fiscal year, which is
a good omen as to future content. Nintendo’s confidence likely predicts some
high quality content in addition to perhaps a more effective marketing
campaign.  The release of a few more
popular gaming titles would bode well for the future of the Wii U.

“We’ve yet to see the best Nintendo has to offer for
the Wii U. I am reserving long-term judgment on the Wii U until we see stronger
first party content released. If a new Super Mario, Smash Brothers, Pikmin or
Zelda game are unable to revitalize sales, then I’d begin to be
concerned.” — Jesse Divnich

Clearly, action is needed to turn things around, and now
with Iwata taking charge of Nintendo of America as well, it may be easier to
push out a more unified global strategy. In-fact it may be necessary.

“Nintendo’s historically central role in gaming could
be permanently diminished if it doesn’t execute better in the US in the next 12
months” –Lewis Ward

We must face the fact that Nintendo is NOT doing well these
days, sure they still managed to have an overall profit.  However the reality of the matter is Nintendo
is only floating on the weakened yen and fan based word of mouth.

“Nintendo will get a little leaner and meaner in 2013.
The salad days of the Wii and DS family are gone and it could very well be that
Nintendo’s historically central role in gaming could be permanently diminished
if it doesn’t execute better in the US in the next 12 months.” – Lewis

Our Verdict

Michelle Wetherbee
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