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Topic: Theory: Wii U was a throw-away console until Switch was ready

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Luna_110

Hahaha, no.

You know something of business? You really think they're going to send a console out there to die, losing a lot of money in the process, hurting the brand power a lot and outright murdering the Wii brand, and destroying relations with third parties even more than they already were?

Just, no.

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SMEXIZELDAMAN

All of Nintendo's video games and consoles are throwaway products put forth for the sole purpose of acquiring enough funds to hold them over until they make the next big breakthrough in hanafuda card development.

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KryptoKrunch

It can be argued that Wii U was a step in the hybrid console direction, but a throwaway console?! LOL no.

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chriiiiiiiiiis

I think that you could argue every console is a throw-away with that theory. When any company releases a new product they more than likely are already thinking about what will come next. If they don't they will stagnate as a company and making good things take a lot of time so they will immediately begin looking into new hardware and keeping an eye out for something better. There will never be something that can definitively end improvements to consoles soooo... while it's not a throw-away console, it certainly is the best thing they can produce before the next thing like every other company in the world, especially with electronics.

chriiiiiiiiiis

Nateisawesomeo

CreamyDream wrote:

This doesnt make any sense at all.

Why would they deliberately spend so much money on something to pretty much avoid profit on purpose?

They didn't need to distract or stall for anybody to develop the Switch.
The Wii U was genuinely them doing their best or at least trying to make the most profit at the time.

It makes ZERO sense to say that it was a throw-away on purpose

Despite your extremely fallacious business theories which I wont even entertain-

The Wii U was very much a commercial failure but it has a good exclusive library that Nintendo clearly put a lot of energy and effort into.

You can clearly tell that Nintendo had utmost faith in those games since theyre rereleasing a lot of them on the 3DS and Switch so they can finally turn a decent profit off of them.

If anything, it makes more sense to perceive the Switch as the much more marketable clean-up crew for the Wii U.

Hi, Op here. Wow, seems like everyone's coming to Nintendo's defense. First off, didn't mean offend, simply I saw some things that seemed a little off with Nintendo and Wii U. And again, it's just a theory. A console theory. haha.

"Why would they deliberately spend so much money on something to pretty much avoid profit on purpose?"

Perhaps throwaway is too much, maybe something like:Nintendo put a place holder until Switch was available. Nintendo wants profit, but they want more profit. They can put out a gamecube, or a N64, but they would rather put out a Wii or DS. Wii U to me at least feels like an inbetween. Something they had to put out so they had an entry to HD, entry to an early switch concept for taking games away from the TV and on a portable. All the while developing for the switch as they developed games and other concepts for the Wii U. Two birds with one stone kind of deal. Put out a system which has the same infrastructure as their future console and still have a place holder that their true fans can play.

"They didn't need to distract or stall for anybody to develop the Switch.
The Wii U was genuinely them doing their best or at least trying to make the most profit at the time."

Distract or stall also might not be the best description here. Maybe I want to say: Nintendo put up place holder. As for developing for the Switch, yes they did. They needed something that was not the Wii because the Wii was dying. They couldn't have the Wii as their flagship and develop the Switch for the next 4-5 years until it came out. Wii U was the placeholder. And what is Wii U but an unfinished Switch. Technology and price point was not there for them, so Nintendo had to put something out.

"Despite your extremely fallacious business theories which I wont even entertain-"

Business is cuthroat. For example, Gamestop lies all the time. They have very shady business pratices that are apparent and yet they continue to run business as usual. Even Nintendo has pulled off shady practices in the past. Proprietary cartriges for the N64 and charged developers for use. The widely disliked Youtube policy(Which I like, btw). Friend Codes that are supposed to protect the young, yet DS chat can be connected as long as they are near one another. Slapping Doki doki panic as Super Mario 2 when the real super mario 2 was a real super mario 2. I'd like you to say what you're thinking and entertain, as this site is about entertainment. My feelings won't be hurt.

"The Wii U was very much a commercial failure but it has a good exclusive library that Nintendo clearly put a lot of energy and effort into.

You can clearly tell that Nintendo had utmost faith in those games since theyre rereleasing a lot of them on the 3DS and Switch so they can finally turn a decent profit off of them."

I'm not saying Nintendo didn't have faith in those games, simply they made those games in mind for the Switch(Or most of them. Donkey Kong not being one of them, probably). What more evidence than putting older games into the Switch. What other generations took from the generation before? Not NES to SNES, not SNES to N64, not N64 to Gamecube, not gamecube to Wii, not even Wii to Wii U. But Wii U games into Switch. Look at the games. Splatoon2 is just splatoon more beefy. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is just mario Kart 8. Same for smash(probably). And Nintendo already said they're going to do more ports, more deluxing. Imagine if on Wii we saw Mario Kart double dash deluxe. Or on Wii U smash bros. Brawl deluxe. Even if there had been a time when Nintendo put out deluxe versions on their more recent consoles, it wouldn't be to this degree of titles.

"If anything, it makes more sense to perceive the Switch as the much more marketable clean-up crew for the Wii U".

You're making my point for me. It only makes more sense that way if you're thinking of linear time, which you are because it's normal. You know, Rocky, rocky 2, rocky 3, etc. But there is some evidence that Nintendo did consider the Switch as their next Wii over the Wii U. Look at Mario 64 to Mario Sunshine to Mario Galaxy. And where does Nintendo place true successor to Mario 64? Not Sunshine, but to Galaxy. Mario 128 is more Galaxy than it was Sunshine. Nintendo does this a lot if you think about it. Ideas that were for their next concept, but they carry it on because it's expected of them just like Sunshine was put out even if the 128 ideas wasn't used. Eventually they get to their main concept, but it's not until several years later that the blank spots are finally filled out. Another example is Zelda's timeline issue. For years, for decades actually, Nintendo has said they had a timeline to Zelda. Well 20+ years later and they finally give us this branching timeline.

How about this, if you reply back, I'll change the thread to: Theory: Wii U is place holder until Switch was viable to produce. Or something to the likes. And hey, again, I'm not saying I'm right, it's a fun concept to debate and talk history about. Buddy, if I can call you buddy, let's discuss. I'd like to discuss and play devils advocate and see if maybe I can start pushing you towards this thinking. Even if you've already made up your mind.

Nateisawesomeo

Nateisawesomeo

chriiiiiiiiiis wrote:

I think that you could argue every console is a throw-away with that theory. When any company releases a new product they more than likely are already thinking about what will come next. If they don't they will stagnate as a company and making good things take a lot of time so they will immediately begin looking into new hardware and keeping an eye out for something better. There will never be something that can definitively end improvements to consoles soooo... while it's not a throw-away console, it certainly is the best thing they can produce before the next thing like every other company in the world, especially with electronics.

No. Landmarks are landmarks because you can tell from far off distances. Like how Columbus supposedly founded the Americas. That has lasting impressions. The vikings, not so much. Your example is more like the Iphone route. Iphone 1 was a landmark. Iphone 2, no. Iphone 3, no. Iphone 4, no.

When Nintendo put out the Wii, it was a declaration, a Revolution(That was the Project name: Revolution. Project cafe, which was the Wii U, was a sunday brunch. The Switch was a rallying cry. NX was something far off in the distance and Nintendo place all available effort in getting ready for this war. How does the Imagine Dragon's song go?
"First things first
I'ma say all the words inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of the way that things have been, oh ooh
The way that things have been, oh ooh
Second thing
Second, don't you tell me what you think that I can be
I'm the one at the sail, I'm the master of my sea, oh ooh
The master of my sea, oh ooh"

No. Nintendo was clear headed with the Switch. There was wishywashybanjo, here. They had something to say and they were clear. Wii U was not clear. They didn't have anything to say but: stay tuned.

Nateisawesomeo

Nateisawesomeo

Luna_110 wrote:

Hahaha, no.

You know something of business? You really think they're going to send a console out there to die, losing a lot of money in the process, hurting the brand power a lot and outright murdering the Wii brand, and destroying relations with third parties even more than they already were?

Just, no.

Look at how it turned out for Nintendo if they did send out the Wii U. The answer is the NOW. As of today and Nintendo's current situation. AS of now, Nintendo is flying high. Yes, I do think they sent out the
wii U... no not to fail, but to be enough.

Wii brand was dead by 2011. There was no saving that brand. Yes, I do know about business. Businesses cut off arms and legs all the time so their main business survive. What, you didn't know that? Prior to the Wii U, the Wii and DS sold over 100 million consoles each and had a lot of money in the bank. Enough to put out a console to serve as a placeholder, all the while still being even on their investments as most of their consoles sell at a profit, or a small loss. Nintendo also knew third parties were going to cut ties with them because they never had ties. There's this idea that what makes third parties come to your system is how many systems are sold; the install base. Nintendo's install base was not with the Wii U, they were starting from scratch. Nintendo never had third parties and Nintendo knew they could go on without third parties. Not that I'm saying they shouldn't have third parties, I would like Nintendo to have more third parties and Nintendo thinks this as well. But third parties was a small afterthough when creating the Wii U. And look at how it turned out even after they sent out the Wii U.

"You really think they're going to send a console out there to die, losing a lot of money in the process, hurting the brand power a lot and outright murdering the Wii brand, and destroying relations with third parties even more than they already were?"

They sent out the Wii U and you know what? All the above that you said did happen. Then, because Nintendo is smarter than you and great, they bounce back. Why? Because they designed it to be that way. And yes, Nintendo is also smarter than me. Between You and I, well that's up in the air.

I'll say this. People seem to think I'm insulting Nintendo. To be honest, I'm saying the opposite. I'm saying Nintendo had the savvy to look into the future, put their investment on the Switch 5 years later, all the while naming the Wii U as a true successor and possibly hurting their brand. But Nintendo had more faith in itself and you or I. This I think was Iwata's vision.

Hey, I just thought of this too while writing this. Iwata knew what he was doing. Wii and DS was his idea. I don't believe Iwata would place the Wii U as a landmark for Nintendo. No, he was looking in a far off distance that was Switch. RIP.

Nateisawesomeo

19Robb92

Putting all the other assumptions aside, again, Ockham's Razor;

Claiming that the Wii brand was dead by 2011 is by no way a correct statement. The Wii brand, to this day, still isn't dead. I've met people who call the Switch the "new Wii" etc.

The problem with WiiU was not that the Wii brand was dead, it was that Nintendo had an extremely poor marketing campaign that focused on the Gamepad- confusing consumers into thinking it was an add on like, e.g., the WiiFit board.

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Rudy_Manchego

It is a cool theory and makes sense after the fact, as a lot of theories do. Essentially though the argument boils down to, Nintendo didn't have a plan post Wii, rushed out a filler console, rushed out a filler portable (3DS) with the ultimate aim of releasing a super successful hybrid console five years down the line.

Not to disparage but there are several issues with that theory. Firstly, the jury is still out on whether the Switch is that killer success they are looking for (indications are good, fingers crossed but still needs another year or so to know that). It also makes very little business sense - Nintendo lost money on the Wii U overall and it damaged their brand from a perception point of view (regardless of the quality of that console). No exec wants to lose money.

I'm afraid that I think the story is no more complex than a console was ushered out that had good intentions but no firm direction in what it wanted to be. It was badly marketed and relatively expensive. I would agree that the Wii U was ditched after a few years and resources re-directed towards the Switch. That isn't a conspiracy theory though, that is really just technology development and business.

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kkslider5552000

"But this thread is just a theory.

A GAME THEORY.

THANKS FOR READING"

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StuTwo

It most definitely was not a "throw-away" console. They didn't send it out into the market to die - they just got all of the marketing wrong and death was inevitable.

From the first steps of the marketing puzzle (identifying a clear target audience) through to the variety of games, the under the hood hardware choices, the physical casing of the product, the advertising and retail approach (both were carbon copies of the original Wii despite the Wii U being a very different proposition), the anticipation of what their competitors would do, the misreading of signals from third party publishers... everything was wrong.

I do think, however, that had it been released 12-18 months sooner with certain key games (Mario Kart 8 in particular) also moved forwards 12-18 months it could have been a very different story. In that scenario it could have established enough of a beachhead to hold on in there when the PS4 and XBox One arrived. In that sense - and with the playful inventiveness seen in Nintendo Land, Mario 3d World and Star Fox you can see there was the seed of something that could have been very successful.

That it leaves Nintendo with a great library of mostly undiscovered gems that they can now port to the Switch and present to the market at large as new games on Switch is great but it's a salvage operation and was definitely not the plan.

StuTwo

Samus7Killer

No it wasnt. What a dumb theory. This is a throwaway thread.

Samus7Killer

BanjoPickles

Yeah, that's a stupid theory meant to rationalize Nintendo's total failings throughout that generation. You could tell, based on the 2012 E3, that Nintendo really wanted the console to succeed! It's funny that the game that roped me in was the game that turned most people off: Nintendoland! I still stand by the fact that Nintendo Land, pound for pound, was a better game than Wii Sports was!

BanjoPickles

KingMike

Rudy_Manchego wrote:

rushed out a filler portable (3DS)

How is it a filler when it actually succeeded and is still going, over six years later?

I know the main gimmick has been kind of put to the side, and yes it is basically a higher-definition DS.

Calling it filler sounds like lumping it together with the SuperGrafx or the 32X.

KingMike

blaisedinsd

Not a throw away console, but they realized it was a failure pretty early on and developed plan B.

The Wii U was a response to Japanes market declining console sales and set up to solve the problem of one centralized television for gaming and other activities.

The switch did basically take the same idea and just dropped the tethering and went portable.

So I do think they are sort of related and switch is sort of a retool/ re-do

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rockodoodle

The landscape of technology changed so fast right after the Wii was released. But it would have been impossible for Nintendo to release something like the Switch in 2013 at a reasonable cost. So, I think there is some truth that Nintendo used the Wii U as a place holder of sorts. But I also think that they thought it would do much beteer than it did. Just guessing, but I think they probably wanted the Switch to come out in 2018.

I thought the Wii U was really awesome, but I think people saw it as dated when it was released. People wanted full portability, not a device tethered to a console. Those like me who were content- I think they should have targeted the 30 plus crowd who were not as concerned with graphics and liked the nostalgia of Nintendo. I think this system could have been more successful.

rockodoodle

NinChocolate

The failure of the Wii U was manifold in factor.

I think the OP should be focusing not on the idea of a "hardware-bridge" as its demise, but the much more evident demographic / installed base-bridge problem. Simply put, Nintendo failed to upgrade the Wii's customer base when it was their aim to do so. Their focus at the time was not arriving at the Switch via the Wii U, but reaching the Wii audience with the Wii U's messaging. A console that attempted to take on the identity of maybe the average Wii-owner household. A little more "hardcore" for the kids who had gotten older. Wii Fit and other Wii software and harware design aesthetics for those whose only game console was a Wii. And then the tablet-like controller to complement the growing adoption of tablet technology by nearly everyone. It really was designed as the next thing for Wii-owner households.

Supremely ambitious for Nintendo. They were almost trying to capture more of an ideal than an actual consumer. It's been the conclusion for many 'something for everyone' products. Nintendo joined that club. But the Switch narrowed it's focus to versatile hardware instead of a versatile consumer.

Edited on by NinChocolate

NinChocolate

soma

I thinks there's some truth in your words. The Switch is nothing more than an enhanced WiiU. When the WiiU was first announced I expected to be able to carry the tablet everywhere, but it didn't happen. Maybe technology/price wasn't there, but Nintendo was able to test the waters.

Probably Nintendo didn't send it out to die, but they were very cautious with the WiiU and never spent a lot of marketing on it. I don't know if the lost money with it, because one thing they never did was a price cut.

soma

GuruOfGreatness

@soma

I could of course be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I've read a few times that the Wii U was much like the PS Vita, in that although it didn't sell huge numbers, they still made a profit on every unit sold, unlike Playstation and Xbox that lose money on every console sold for numerous years after they are released, but make up the money with subscriptions, software etc etc.

GuruOfGreatness

Haru17

Maybe instead of the existance of the Illuminati for Nintendo Wii U it could just be that, when put under the endless pressures of a capitalist society human beings sometimes underperform, and if enough people in a company underperform or poor decisions are made by leadership the product consumers see will have nagging flaws.

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