News Article

Analysts Believe Wii U Will Be Put To The Test Come Summertime

Posted by Andy Green

Will Nintendo keep momentum?

As Nintendo of America’s Scott Moffitt pointed out recently, the response to Wii U has been nothing short of “phenomenal” as its North American launch date draws ever closer. Research firm IHS Screen Digest expects Nintendo to shift 3.5 million Wii U units worldwide by the end of December, meanwhile, which even beats the 3.1 million units Wii sold in its own Holiday launch period.

Many other analysts agree that Nintendo will certainly sell plenty of Wii U consoles over the Holiday period, simply because demand for the product will bottle-neck due to the scarcity of it. John Taylor of Arcadia believes Nintendo’s real challenge will be when Santa's work is done and this pent-up demand subsides.

Where it's going to get to be a little more challenging is around the May time frame or when warm weather shows up again. I think Nintendo is going to really need to demonstrate what is truly amazing about this by that time.

Colin Sebastian of R. W. Baird agrees, saying that in six months’ time, once the initial supply is taken up by dedicated Nintendo fans, we’ll have a much better idea of how the new console is perceived by consumers.

Many commentators have had problems with the pricing Nintendo has chosen to go with for its new console. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot hopes to see the price drop in time, but this is unlikely to happen any time soon as Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata has confirmed that Wii U will sell initially at a loss. Michael Pachter believes, meanwhile, that because of this high price Wii U will “quickly lose positive momentum” and says consumers may simply choose a cheaper comparable alternative.

Eric Handler of MKM Partners understands the concerns held by third-party publishers, many of whom will be following the sales figures of titles such as ZombiU, Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition and Call of Duty: Black Ops II very closely.

All of the third-party publishers are being very cautions with the Wii U. We're not seeing many Wii U specific titles. They're ports. No one is really pouring a lot of money into it right now... Third-party publishers recognize that Nintendo garners the lion's share of the software market for its own platforms. And it's very tough to change that.

Another aspect many analysts see as key for new consoles is their ability to be more than just a gaming device. Part of what drove the Playstation 2 to success was its ability to play DVDs, and Sony did the same with the Playstation 3 by sticking a Blu-ray player under the hood. Nintendo will be bringing streaming services to North America at least with the TVii application, however analysts have been quick to point out that all consoles now have this feature, leaving little room for Wii U to differentiate itself from other devices.

No one is writing Nintendo off though. Taylor points out that Nintendo may yet have some big games to release next year that we don’t even know about, and he firmly believes if it can really engage with gamers and show them just how much fun can be had with Wii U, it could have a very successful year indeed.

Nintendo needs to demonstrate that the tablet, dropped into a 3D world, enables the user to see things and do things that are otherwise not possible on any other system right now. If they ramp that into a fun factor of 10X and communicate that, I think they can sustain the momentum.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Wii U can keep that all important momentum going in 2013?

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (38)

Hokori

#2

Hokori said:

No 3rd party non ports?
Umm ever hear of Bayonetta 2, or Rayman legends, or ZombiU? And of course COD BOII isn't a port, it's a multiplatform game released a couple days later

-KwB-

#3

-KwB- said:

I hope it really can hold the momentum ! It would a huuuuge dissapointment if Nintendo fails but I keep my hopes high ! Wii U has got everything a console needs ! Motion control, touch and classic gaming !! Man, can't wait for the 30th of November !!

Dashtag

#4

Dashtag said:

If it's already sold over a million units(and that's just GameStop) and it's not even out yet I doubt it'll have much trouble.

Ryno

#5

Ryno said:

I think Nintendo is going to do well with the Wii U. The Wii U will have have plenty of Nintendo exclusives, a more focused effort on working with 3rd parties, and hey have shown that they are willing to put there money (publishing) where there mouth is early on by entering the "hardcore" market with games like Razor's Edge and Bayonetta 2.

MegaAdam

#7

MegaAdam said:

What Nintendo NEEDS is an after-Christmas software push. Big titles, at least one or two a month, from first party and third party alike.

6ch6ris6

#8

6ch6ris6 said:

"and says consumers may simply choose a cheaper comparable alternative"

but there is no other console with such a unique gamepad. and no other console has nintendo games. the wiiU is, just like the wii was, something unique

citizenerased

#10

citizenerased said:

Simple fact is Nintendo's barely shown anything they're preparing for 2013. There's Pikmin and that's it, really. Retro's new project is likely to launch, although probably late 2013. I doubt we'll see Smash Bros until 2014.

Depending on the 3rd party launch games sales, we're also likely to see more 3rd party titles announced throughout 2013. But summers are always fairly dry.

TrueWiiMaster

#12

TrueWiiMaster said:

The real question is what Nintendo has up its sleeve for next year. We know there's more coming after Pikmin 3 and Aliens, but we don't really have any idea what that is. Nintendo definitely has some surprises in the works, and I can't wait to see them.

blinder2

#13

blinder2 said:

Look dont bother about what they say those so called analyst say as in my opion they scare munger,they can creat panic,if you no what i mean JUST play and injoy it,i hope every age plays the WII U but i just hope the developers dont stop creating new games just because it does not have as much power as the new ones from you now who but at the same time the publice must try the demos and if they like it buy the game not just site on the fence,after all dont buy a WII U for just one game USE IT.

OracleOfTruth

#14

OracleOfTruth said:

I have utmost faith in Nintendo. I don't recall ever being truly unhappy with what Nintendo provides and I doubt Wii U will be any different.

rjejr

#17

rjejr said:

I'm counting on this being accurate. See 3DS price drop.

Similarites between 3DS and Wii U launch -
people complaining about a high price
early announced games people want being delayed - Kid Icarus and Pikmin 3
software not ready at launch - 3DS eShop and TVii

I know Reggie and some other Nintendo big wigs spent some time talking about how they learned from the 3DS mistakes, but the closer we get to the Wii U launch all I see is them repeating those mistakes, NOT correcting them.

MAB

#18

MAB said:

2013 will be the year Nintendo hit us with that subliminal 'U Death Stare Fruit' on the gamepad.

Sun

#19

Sun said:

@stealth This time what they say makes sense.
@3Dash That's exactly what these people are trying to explain to people like you, there are a lot of people waiting for the new Nintendo console, but it doesn't mean nothing at all, see Nintendo 3DS. But even if it fails after Christmas, Nintendo will work and find a way to blow life into it and keep it alive for the next 6 years. And the best way to do that is with really good games and agreements with third parties.

GamecubeMan

#21

GamecubeMan said:

Well I plan to get my Wii U in Summer 2013 with two games so I dont know if anybody else have the same plans....

Kirk

#22

Kirk said:

I think it will probably follow a similar path the 3DS; good start due to appealing to and selling to mostly loyal Nintendo fans, then it will slow down after a few months due to now having to appeal to more than loyal Nintendo fans, Nintendo will then have to do something to reinvigorate interest in the system and increase the sales again, which I'm sure they will, then it will just try to keep things steady as they hopefully continue to support it with strong first party titles. Beyond that who knows...

moomoo

#23

moomoo said:

That's about what I expected too. Still, this puts it in a good position, since it will probably drive up demand by the time it looses some with E3.

WaLzgiStaff

#25

WaLzgi said:

@schroedus It's simple. Nintendo wants to focus on the launch period right now rather than take the steam away by moving on to next year. They probably already have next year planned out anyway and will give us more details by the end of next month.

The simple solution to this is release some big titles next year during the drought season (hello Pikmin!)

Zhanglot

#28

Zhanglot said:

All depends on the GAMES! I won't be picking up my WiiU until I see some good, quality games come out.

kkslider5552000

#29

kkslider5552000 said:

See, most people are fine with analysts who AREN'T dumb like Pachter or whoever.

yeah, this is true. The first 2 Summers of the Wii's lifetime probably did a ton to hurt the system, even compared to how weak Summer is for games on other systems. One of Wii's major problems is that it can literally have a lot of games being released one moment and basically none the next. Nintendo has said they're fixing that, and I guess their own releases are allowed to be delayed more because of. So that's good.

MariosLoveChild

#30

MariosLoveChild said:

What they have conveniently ignored is the fact that the games industry as a whole has a tough time over the summer period. For years we have always moaned about the lack of anything happening over the summer. So even if sales do slow during that period, i doubt it would be anything to be too concerned about.

DrSlump

#31

DrSlump said:

I think the main wii u competitor will be the new xbox. Microsoft is attempting to create a new ecosystem around windows 8, xbox and surface brand (not to mention the incredible rumored hardware specs). Let's see what will happen.

Mk_II

#32

Mk_II said:

And people get paid real money for this "analysis"? Wow, just wow

WhiteTrashGuy

#33

WhiteTrashGuy said:

They are right about one thing, Nintendo needs to have a FEW aces up their sleeves. This E3 will be their most important yet, as it will decide whether or not the Wii U will suffer the same fate as the Dreamcast. The Big N will have to show METROID, STAR FOX, and maybe even some ZELDA to create the kind of buzz that will make people choose the Wii U over a PS4 or XBOX 720.

GameLord08

#34

GameLord08 said:

Remember this?

Satoru Iwata wrote:

If you look at how pre-orders are doing at the moment, it is not an exaggeration to say that Wii U is sure to sell well in this holiday season, as many of you are probably thinking. But we realize the biggest challenge is to make sure that Wii U sells well even in the next year after the holiday season, and we are working on that too.

Nintendo tends to release too many titles at the launch of a hardware system and as a result suffers a drop in new games for quite some time after launch, and for the Wii U launch, we are being very careful not to let it happen. Fortunately, third-party publishers overseas are launching many titles for us this time, and we were able to push back the release of some of the titles that we had originally intended to release as launch titles until next year.

Mahe

#36

Mahe said:

@misswliu81 These analysts are correct. If Wii U is to keep selling beyond the launch, it's going to need a lot more games than what's announced now.

FonistofCruxis

#37

FonistofCruxis said:

@tealovertoma Ikr? The fact that barely any Wii U games that are being released after launch window have been announced is one of the reasons why I won't be getting the Wii U at launch.

TheRealThanos

#38

TheRealThanos said:

I always have to laugh at comments like 'Nintendo HAS to go software only' or 'if they don't [fill in ridiculous idea of choice] then they will end up like Sega/the Dreamcast'.
People, GET. YOUR. FACTS. STRAIGHT. As in NOW. Or don't comment if you don't now what your blabbing on about.
Nintendo will NOT go software only, EVER, as they themselves have already explained over and over to the point of exhaustion and as for them suffering the same fate as Sega and/or the Dreamcast: also NOT going to happen.
Sega was in a far more (say 10x) worse condition at the time of the Dreamcast because of failure upon failure and they had no bank reserves to speak of.

Nintendo on the other hand, has more than enough savings reserved and only recently ran into some problems with declining Wii sales and the whole 3DS issue. The Wii U seems to pick up speed in pre-orders as well as in 3rd party support, so the situation (as far as is now visible) rather seems to be improving instead of worsening.
Some interesting articles on Nintendo's supposed doom, financial state and future outlook:
http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2012/03/nintendo_reportedly_has_8128_billion_yen_in_the_bank
http://gamasutra.com/view/news/180524/Nintendos_core_handheld_market_is_stable.php#.UKegC2cWCE4
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/175795/Is_Nintendos_thirdparty_ecosystem_really_in_danger.php#.UKegR2cWCE4
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/181600/Analysts_chime_in_on_Wii_Us_midterm_forecast.php#.UKegiWcWCE4
http://www.gamezone.com/products/the-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword/news/nintendo-not-going-out-of-business-any-time-soon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cos18FoANnQ

Wii U too expensive? Right...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X5PwyhiwnM

The 'omfg Nintendo is doomed' tables turned on Sony:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBcG8_zjZW8

Reasons why Nintendo is going to be (and stay) successful, and will NOT be 'owned' by the PS4 (or Xbox for that matter) because the difference really isn't going to be that great:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqE1-5ccZCs

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