News Article

GameStop: Wii U Will Need Great First Party Titles To Compete

Posted by Andy Green

Sales have been "slower than expected"

It's no secret that Wii U sales have been a bit on the sluggish side in 2013, but many retailers are hopeful they'll soon pick up once a few more games start being released.

One games retailer that has been disappointed with the number of Wii U units flying off the shelves is GameStop. In an interview with Forbes, the company's president Tony Bartel said that since the holiday launch of the system, sales had been slower than expected. However, he believes that with Nintendo launching some of its biggest IPs over the next few months, sales will most likely bounce back as more and more people begin to take note of what it has to offer.

Nintendo was the first company to jump into the next generation of gaming and many are wondering how the Wii U will fare when Sony and Microsoft release their home consoles into the wild. Bartel believes it will be the actual games that end up selling the consoles:

Software will play a big role in each console’s success over the holidays. We’re already seeing great developer and publisher support for PS4, so Wii U will need some great titles, especially first-party titles, to compete.

At the moment Bartel thinks that not enough people actually know about the Wii U and its features, which has been a major problem in generating sales:

There’s also a need to increase consumer awareness of the new features available on the Wii U and its tethered tablet features.

Wii U has a few exclusive titles coming out in the first half of 2013. LEGO City: Undercover will be on the shelves very soon, for example, and Pikmin 3 should certainly help when it emerges.

Do you think Wii U sales will start to improve in the next few months? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[via forbes.com, nintendoeverything.com]

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User Comments (64)

RoryLee

#2

RoryLee said:

I downloaded most of my games. The only games that I bought from Gamespot were the CoD and ZombieU, and thats only because they were not available in the eShop. The same also goes for my 3DS.

Dodger

#3

Dodger said:

Pikmin isn't going to be a system seller no matter how great it will be. Get SSB, get Wii Fit, get a 3D Mario and get a Zelda. Most of all, get a Wii Sports game. Nintendo Land isn't going to get people excited the way Wii Sports did.

Also, despite the fact that the system will be at a super loss, I think a price cut might help. Making a profit on the system doesn't matter or not if you don't have it in any houses. If getting good sales on a game requires selling it to pretty much every system owner then you are probably not going to make a profit.

Ralizah

#7

Ralizah said:

Hate to break it to him, but even when I get a Wii U, I still won't be buying Wii U games from GameStop.

SpaceApe

#9

SpaceApe said:

Zelda U coming to Wii U in 2014 but sad to say 2014 is too late. All of 2013 is just about lost because they have no real first party games that is going to sell like hotcakes in 2013.

AVahne

#11

AVahne said:

@SpaceApe
3D Mario, Mario Kart, Wind Waker HD, and even Pokemon Rumble should help. And that's just from Nintendo's big name franchises.

idork99

#12

idork99 said:

Personally, this is the first Nintendo system (since the NES) that I don't feel the need to own. It feels as if I'm hitting a gaming wall in which I'm perfectly complacent of the gaming tech now compared to the next gen. Besides, I own a 3DS in which it's UI is not much different than that of the Wii U's. Yes, the Wii U has better graphics but the 3DS will also have a new Smash Bros., a new Zelda, and already has a superb Mario Kart game! Those three games equal gaming nirvana to me; something that I can get in my current portable without the need to buy a $300+ system. Perhaps when the games are released and there's a price drop to the system is when I'll become interested. Or perhaps not. Time will tell.

seronja

#14

seronja said:

well from 1st party games: zelda ww HD, pikmin 3, mario kart U, pokemon scramble U or rumble U whatever and a 3D mario is going to be released this year, yet i doubt these games will make people buy a wii u, but those of us that have a wii u will probably buy all games that i mentioned since the wii U does lack games

DerpSandwich

#15

DerpSandwich said:

I'm not normally one to complain about articles, and the editorial staff is just doing its job reporting on this stuff, but these "BLANK person says Wii U needs to have more games" stories are getting pretty old.

AtomicToaster

#16

AtomicToaster said:

I don't know anyone that didn't expect this, you need NIntendo games to sell a Nintendo console and a 2d Mario game, however awesome, isn't going to justify a nearly 400 dollar purchase unless you're insane like me and have to have the new Nintendo console when it comes out! None of my Nintendo fanboy friends have even bought one because they still have a Ps3 or 360 and are waiting for a 3d mario or zelda game before they make the plunge given it's the most expensive Nintendo console in history. Also, 3ds shows a price drop may be in the works so people are waiting for that too! Right now I just use the thing for Netflix and to catch up on Wii titles I didn't play because I was gone traveling Europe for 2 years.

I think that Nintendo has more than a year head start on the competition simply because I feel the adoption rate of New Xbox and Playstation could likely be a very slow one. Slow to get true "next gen" titles. Slow to get adopters of the hardware (no backwards compatibility, still tons of games on their old platform, etc.) The way it works out Sony and Microsoft may have 2 years until the mainstream are buying the console and that's 3 years into the Wiiu's lifecycle, which is just insane to me! By the time Sony and Microsoft's consoles are viable platforms we could be looking forward to the next Nintendo console!

So I feel the other consoles have their own set of challenges as "Next Gen" platforms, all Nintendo has to do is a price drop and a ton of first party content, including the casual crap for the mainstream to go nuts for, a market they aren't even attempting to hit with Wiiu yet (but they will) and people will buy their console!

AtomicToaster

#17

AtomicToaster said:

@DerpSandwich Right? And This just in sky is blue grass is green! Everyone knows why the Wiiu isn't selling well! Has nothing to do with the console it's lack of games!

DePapier

#20

DePapier said:

Who in here didn't know games sell consoles??
I think we need to be honest, but Nintendo made quite a bad move this time. Iwata might have apologized in the Wii U Direct, but I feel more sorry for him than for myself. I got the feeling that Nintendo thought 3rd parties would allow them to take their time in making games but, as Rayman Legends has shown, Nintendo cannot trust 3rd parties unless they fund or collaborate with them (Bayonetta 2, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem).

So here's what I believe Nintendo should do: continue the collaborations and make their own games showing the multiple ways of the uniqueness of Wii U. Then and only then will we see 3rd parties make optimal ports of their games for shame of appear ridiculous on a platform that would have so many unique and great games. (Criterion is an exception.) One way or another, Nintendo should bring 1 big game for the Wii U per month to build expectation, and show how in every game genre the Wii U can be better.

Whopper744

#21

Whopper744 said:

Not to be a downer, but being born in 1989 and always getting first party Nintendo systems ASAP, the Wii U has to be the least excited I've been with a new system. Kind of feel like the first few months has had it's really good games, but New Super Mario Bros U is like, the only real first party Nintendo title I have for it (besides Nintendo Land).

Znerd

#22

Znerd said:

Just wait till that 3D Mario gets out here lets see what Sony and Microsoft has to say to that
oh and lets not forget that HD Wind Waker

Dinosaurs

#23

Dinosaurs said:

Mario Kart 8 will blow the doors off any nintendo fan still holding out on Wii U just you wait!!

jayblue

#26

jayblue said:

its all bought the gamepad i bought assassins creed 3 just so i could play it on pad,lack of games i own 5 so far mario,nintendo land zombi u,sonic racing,people must have plenty time and money as im no where near finished these games.not to mention all eshop crap and i have trine 2 very overrated.

Oscarsome

#27

Oscarsome said:

I do not think it's wrong of us to want new games NOW. The system just released and it's ridiculous that Nintendo did not accurately plan to have a steady stream of games being released. It's frankly a little embarrassing. You cannot release a new system and then say "Hey, one year from now we will have games! Right now enjoy some of these very few quality launch games and let them last you months!"
I bought a Wii U, because I know the games are coming, but it's almost a shame to look at my Wii U literally collecting dust as I sourly wait for anything to come to it (and fix the slow load times and bugs). The Wii U was simply not ready to be released. They should have waited until the end of this year.

MAN1AC

#28

MAN1AC said:

Nintendo seems to be making the blueprint on how to do things wrong when releasing a console. There's absolutely no excuse for them to not have a major exclusive in stores by now.

Dpullam

#29

Dpullam said:

At this point in the system's life, I'm glad I decided to hold off for a while before getting a Wii U. I need more than just one major first party title to keep me interested in my consoles. I am confident that the Wii U will have some great games eventually. It is just a shame that it will at least be until the end of the year before I will be excited to buy a Wii U. The system has some amazing potential. I just hope it gets realized sooner rather than later.

Fingeldor

#31

Fingeldor said:

It's kind of sad to me. I know for myself, I will end up loving the Wii U. The titles will be there. However, by the time the games are coming out, I fear the name 'Wii U' will have such a negative connotation, much fewer people will take the console and it's (inevitable) solid game library seriously.

jayblue

#32

jayblue said:

people forget the u games are just the first games getting down and keeping up easily with ps3 and xbox games which are at the end of both consoles lifes,think what games will be like when programers get to grips with hardware.

Paperluigi

#33

Paperluigi said:

I don't understand the panic, it's 5 months old. My experience is that Nintendo look after their consoles. I also don' t understand the comment about it needing great first partyvtitles to compete because thats the main reason for its existance, for nintendo to create its own software. maybe its just me.

rjejr

#34

rjejr said:

It's easy to jump on the "it needs games" argument, but I think this part is more important - "There’s also a need to increase consumer awareness". I've seen that AC4 commercial about a dozen times and that game doesn't even release until Oct. Where are all the Wii U commercials? I haven't seen any. And when will Nintendo get game demos on their kiosks? Go stand near a Wii U kiosk and watch people walk up and walk away. You can't garner interest by showing the same videos for 4 months. My kids and I played the demos in the Nintendo store and the kids loved it.

So yes, it needs games, but it also needs to advertise the games it has with commercials and kiosk demos.

Solo-player Lego and the MH3 Remix come out soon so we'll see if the Wii U gets a pop in sales like the Vita did in Japan w/ the price drop - 600% increase I think - or those games sell but the system still flounders. I go with flounders b/c even with new games people don't know about the system.

BTW - this article isn't about the price or the lack of games or advertising, just that GS sold less than they thought they would. Can't fault them for being honest. Or spin - it's not like they can tell their shareholders - "nobody bought a Wii U from us b/c everybody is shopping at walmart" - better to blame Nintendo than the fact that many people hate GS.

GiftedGimp

#35

GiftedGimp said:

Nintendo should of got at least 1 major franchise ready for launch, but WiiU in general is suffering New Console Syndrome..
Every console gets 'x' number of games at launch inc 1 or 2 bigger 1st party titles (nintendo's mistake not doing so) then for the next 6 months or so the odd game sporadically released.

Even if Nintendo had got a couple of big games out for launch all the people would be saying now is Since Mario & Zelda being released at the consoles launch we have yet to see any other major franchise come to the system.. blah blah blah...

In summery, Another WiiU Doomed article which not only wastes the time of those publishing it, but also wastes our time reading and commenting on it.
In another 12 - 18 months when there are a number of high profile 1st & 3rd party titles available for the WiiU, then I might actually take these sort of articles more seriously... If they are still flying about, although by then the press hate will of probably moved on to the ps4 or Nextbox or steambox or one of the andriod consoles.

banacheck

#36

banacheck said:

jayblue
(people forget the u games are just the first games getting down and keeping up easily with ps3 and xbox games which are at the end of both consoles lifes,think what games will be like when programers get to grips with hardware).

The PS3 & Xbox are almost last gen there would be something wrong if the Wii U could not perform with last gen tech.

It just doesn't need first party games it needs 3rd party games as well, which are not coming out on the Wii U for some reason. Why on earth would people be buying a Wii U at the moment which has no games, while a lot of great 3rd party games are being released. I can see a lot of people holding off on buying a Wii U at the moment, buying a PS4 or Xbox720 than once the Wii U has some good games and a price drop maybe picking it up then. After seeing the PS3 not selling on launch because it had no games, i'm surprised Nintendo has done the exact same thing.

sdcazares1980

#38

sdcazares1980 said:

First party games alone are not enough. It's the third parties that will make all the difference... again!

TwilightV

#39

TwilightV said:

Yeah, I haven't bought many of my Wii U games from Gamestop. Their selection lacked many of the titles I was looking for.

AlexSora89

#40

AlexSora89 said:

"Wii U will need great first party titles"

A statement promptly made useless by some already kind-of-announced titles such as the Wii U Mario Kart and the 3D Mario... not to mention, oh, freaking Smash Bros.

The Super Mario World throwback known as New Super Mario Bros U was a great way to kickstart the console. Given the lack of info about other first party titles so far, it's safe to say Nintendo's gonna rock at the next E3. Believe it!

JSuede

#41

JSuede said:

He is pretty much stating the obvious/inevitable. The tone makes it sound like "Oh no, Nintendo is in trouble, they have to announce some big titles to compete herp a derp a der"

Interesting to note, NPD numbers came out today. Wii U saw a 40% INCREASE in sales in February. Not too shabby considering no games were released.

57k + 40% = 78.9k. The upswing as started.....I hope. (I mean....March has a bunch of games releasing....)

MasterGraveheart

#44

MasterGraveheart said:

Stating the obvious, but I can't entirely disagree. You know what else would help? Competing in a world that doesn't have a chain of video game stores that have a monopoly on used game sales, focuses things so that only games they want succeed in the industry, and consistently steal money from publishers and designers with their used games cartel.

Oops.

Amigaengine

#46

Amigaengine said:

How about being in GS today and one of the clerks trying to talk a potential customer out of buying a WiiU ?? Not the first time I have witnessed that before either.

QuickSilver88

#48

QuickSilver88 said:

I just want to second the thought of Atomic in post #18. I think this newngeneration of consoles will have slowernthan expected adoption. I dont think it will help ghat both ps4/nextbox comin out atsame time will help. Second even though both consoles have like 70mil installed base I and many other own both, I actually have 2 x360 and 2 ps3 becauseni have a media room and an arcade. So the universe of console purchasers is likely not as big as the number of units sold would indicate. While x360 is pretty much done, Sony saidmstill many major ps3 releases still coming like last of us and that heavy rain follow up, andmaybe new GT game. I havent even gotten to ME3, Skyrim and AC3 yet, am currently playing TR and new Sly game and eagerly awaiting MH on wii-u. So sure I will buy all next gen systems in due course but while Sony and Microsoft struggle with launch drought I will likely be playing some good Wii-U and ps3 stuff this cmas andnwait to 2014 to buy most likely ps4 as I think microsoft is in trouble because yhey dont have much first party other than Halo and Nintendo and Sony have lots ofgreat IPs I look forward to. Thenbad economy another factor, so a likely $300 wii-u pro bundle this xmas going up against $500 for other systems will start to look pretty good to parents especially when so many good games will be out.....oh yeah Sony already leaking new games will be $70 so if wii-u can keep games at $60 that will be another plus..

DrSlump

#49

DrSlump said:

I'm joust waiting for some titles to play with: Bayonetta2, Wondefull101,Pikmin3.
Actually, my Wii U is an empty container, turned off, with a bit of dust on it.

Luffy

#50

Luffy said:

Just for that comment... Gamestop you just lost my WW HD sale and Mario Galaxy 3 Sale. Say one more thing like that then and you'll lose SSB and Zelda U in January.

ToysRus say thank you to gamestop they just made you cash.

DerpSandwich

#51

DerpSandwich said:

@LunaticPandora

Hey, believe me, I'm as upset as the next guy about the lack of games. You'd think Nintendo would have learned its lesson from the 3DS, but it seems they haven't.

McGruber

#52

McGruber said:

In all fairness, my non Nintendo fan freaked out when I first showed him Chase Mii in Nintendoland. People who experience WiiU love it, but it needs games. Not having demo kiosks definitely IS a big deal. I know my Target doesnt have one either.

Infernapeking

#53

Infernapeking said:

@Dodger Pikmin 1 and 2 both sold over 1million on GC a system that sold 21m lifetime. Which is about 5-9% of the install base conbined

Infernapeking

#54

Infernapeking said:

Lego City Undercover
Pikmin 3
The Wonderful 101
Game & Wario
Wii Fit U
Yoshi Yarn
Bayonetta 2
Mario Kart Wii U
Super Mario Wii U
Xenoblade 2
Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem

Retro Studio game is a game that everyone them to make. That is Metroid Prime 4.

That more and better than what we know of PS4.
Killzone Shadow Fall
inFamous Second Son
Drive Club

AtomicToaster

#55

AtomicToaster said:

I wonder if Xbox doesn't sell well until COD, Gears, or Halo hits it if people are going to freak out, haha! I didn't find the PS4 line up too interesting, there's a realistic head and then some games that look a little better than games you can get on PS3.... okay that's a trailer? If it didn't say PS4 on the commercial most casual consumers probably would have thought those were all PS3 games! Maybe they got a megaton announcement for holidays but I don't think PS4 will have the buzz everyone expects. Every freakin' time a Sony console is coming out people think it's just gonna own like the PS2 and every darn time it doesn't meet expectations. Oh and Nintendo is always doomed to go third party publisher by the way, since the days they were supposed to surrender to Sony even, lol!

My main point being we're comparing Wiiu to last gen, this gen is going to be a whole different can of worms because the industry is struggling in general and no one knows what the adoption will be of Any of the major consoles.

strongest_link

#56

strongest_link said:

Gamestop is right on the money. The Wii U needs to be better communicated to the public, and needs more games. Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, and Lego City: Undercover should all help, but I don't think the Wii U will really take off until the holidays when Wind Waker and Mario Kart will likely be released.

Omarsonic9

#57

Omarsonic9 said:

I hate it how people keep whining "The Wii U should have more games" "Wii U doesn't have many games" JUST STOP IT!!!
MANY GAMES FOR WII U ARE COMING THIS YEAR! SPECIALLY FIRST APRTIES! You have Pikmin 3,Mario Kart U,A New Mario 3D,Wind Waker HD! And maybe other games! OH RIGHT! Pokemon Rumble U! YOU JUST HAVE TO WAIT!
sheesh..

ianmage1

#58

ianmage1 said:

I can't stand the marketing for the Wii U. If people still think that the Wii U is an accesory for the Wii, isn't it obvious that Nintendo needs to advertise it with a clear message that "This is not a Wii; it's an entirely new console with HD graphics and a gamepad." Something as simple as that would be enough to get the message across.

Of course first party titles will sell this system. Mario Kart, 3D Mario, HD Zelda, and SUPER SMASH BROS. will be crucial. I'm still waiting for a good Wii U game...

Zombie_Barioth

#59

Zombie_Barioth said:

Their stance on advertising baffles me as well. They keep using "Wii U is something you have to experience to understand" as a excuse, but you need to give people a reason to take interest and want to experience your product. You can't just expect your product to market itself. If people really are that confused about Wii U being a Wii add-on then make an add about that.

The Wii U definitely needs more games to attract more customers but the early adopters knew what they were getting themselves into. There aren't that many games too choose from but theres enough to get by if you aren't afraid to try something new.

The-Chosen-one

#60

The-Chosen-one said:

Xenoblade wiiU will be a big seller, also smashbros, mario 3D, The (epic) Zelda.
or a starfox game, and some great third party support.
and i hope a new Naruto shipuuden game will make its way to the wiiU
with a lot of characters to choose from can be easily done with the 25gig disc space.
i loved the naruto Gekitou ninja taisen series (clash of ninja)
they also have to bring a big metroid prime game.
Nintendo also have to do more advertising.
And in the next E3 they HAVE to show, smashbros Zelda (epic) and Zelda windwaker HD, also a new mario, and more from the new Xenoblade game for WiiU, they have to go all out with first party titles to blow us away and to hype the crowd again, to win the E3 and to win peoples hearts. that Nintendo listens to their fans.
and i think they are very slow in the Eshop part, just bring the games, like gamecube games, snes/nes games, arcade games, sega etc etc

The-Chosen-one

#61

The-Chosen-one said:

Nintendo has to show off with the power of the WiiU,
what i think would be great to have a full HD pokemon game. where u can also play online. but that wont happen i think.

banacheck

#63

banacheck said:

Infernapeking
Killzone Shadow Fall
inFamous Second Son
Drive Club

The PS4 only has only 3 games at launch lol don't be silly it has twice as must as the Wii U launch titles, and most of them are playable at this years E3.

FOURSIDE_BOY

#64

FOURSIDE_BOY said:

The problem with nintendo, is that seem to be focusing a lot more to the 3ds than the wii u, when the 3ds is doing just marvelous right now: fire emblem and castlevania just explode the sales charts right now and luigi's mansion will do the same in a week; the eshop has lots and lots of games, megaman 3 just launched and harmoknight will help to make the eshop more solid than it is; the pikachu 3ds xl was one of the most anticipated versions of the console and we are just 1 week from its launch along with the new pokemon game; great games will be coming along as well: dkcr 3d in may, animal crossing new leaf in june, pokemon x/y in october, mario and luigi dream team in june or july and I think in the upcoming e3 nintendo will unveil at least 2 other powerful 3ds titles along with the demo of smash for 3ds and wii u.

The 3ds is selling like crazy and it has a lots of games right now while the wii u desperately needs some attention because third party developers are just ignoring it. I'm not complaining about the 3ds receiving tons of attention, as a 3ds owner I'm flattered but as a potential wii u owner in the future, I'm worried that nintendo isn't aware that the wii u has software shortage right now. Smash bros won't launch 'til 2014, wind waker is another remake without release date, they keep promising pikmin 3 is near its launch but I don't see it coming, bayonetta 2 and wonderful 101 are in the same scenario and who could forget the rayman legends fiasco. They really need more solid dates for wii u games, otherwise nintendo will fall with their console, e3 is their chance of redemption.

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