Recent rumors suggest that Nintendo will soon stop Wii U production following a last round of retail orders. That’s hardly a surprising revelation given how disappointing the system has been from a sales standpoint. The Wii U has sold just over 13 million consoles which, in comparison to the PlayStation 4’s 40+ million sales and the Xbox One’s 20+ million sales, is pretty bad. When you compare the Wii U’s sales to the 100+ million Nintendo Wiis sold, however, then Nintendo’s latest console has been a disaster.
Some will say Nintendo shouldn’t dwell on what happened to the Wii U, but that’s not the truth. In fact, they should think very hard about the missteps they made with the Wii U as they are preparing to release a console that could very well face similar issues. Specifically, Nintendo needs to learn from these three Wii U mistakes that the NX cannot repeat.
If you’re a hardcore video game fan, console marketing might not matter to you that much. You probably follow every official and unofficial information release that precedes a new console and know exactly what you’ll be getting if you buy one. The vast majority of people that buy video game consoles, however, are not like that.
One of Nintendo’s biggest mistakes with the Wii U was forgetting that. They thought that the 100 million people that bought a Wii would just eagerly buy a Wii U. As such, they barely promoted the Wii U and did a terrible job of explaining what set it apart when they did advertise. The NX already has a leg up in this department as it drops the Wii’s name altogether.
Meaningless Launch Games
To play the Nintendo Wii was to love the Nintendo Wii. No other console in history every benefited from word of mouth quite like the Wii did as many people decided to buy one after their friend convinced them to come over and play a round of Wii Sports. You have to believe Nintendo knew what they were doing when they included that game with every system.
They tried to do the same thing with the Wii U by including Nintendo Land with the console, but that game didn’t provide the same sense of instant gratification. At least it actually took advantage of the Wii U’s unique capabilities, however, which is more than you can say for most of the system’s launch games. Whatever is going to set the NX apart, it had better be playable from the start.
So many of the Wii U’s failures come back to the controller. Not only are there very few games that properly utilize the controller’s capabilities, but the tablet itself is clunky to use, has terrible battery life, and is very expensive. It’s the first piece of the system most people interact with, and it’s an immediate turn-off.
The NX’s controllers need to be better. They need to last longer, be cheaper, and, most importantly of all, promote communal play which is still one of the things that Nintendo consoles, ideally, do better than any other.