Analyst: Nintendo of America "Forgot Marketing 101" For Wii U
Posted by Andy Green
Analysts weigh in on Wii U and Nintendo's future
Nintendo recently revealed its financial results for 2012/2013 which showed the Wii U hadn't performed particularly well.
Sales of the company's latest home console were well below the initial projection of 5.5 million units and even failed to meet the adjusted estimate of four million. Between the system's launch and 31st March the Wii U had sold 3.45 million units worldwide - 1.52 million of them were in North America.
GamesIndustry International sat down with a handful of leading analysts to get their opinion on the Wii U and what the future looks like for Nintendo.
David Cole of DFC Intelligence didn't pull any punches, labeling Nintendo of America's performance as a "disaster" and said it failed to execute on basic 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.
Asif A. Khan, chief finance officer of Virtue LLC, believes Nintendo has the perfect success story sat in its own back yard from which it can draw inspiration from.
He said if more games become available for the Wii U then it can recover in the same way the 3DS did when it was struggling with a weak opening lineup. According to him, Wii U doesn't have any games to really capture the imagination of the market:
Nintendo Land 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.
However, he did go on to say it would start to pick up momentum and eventually will outsell the GameCube - which he labelled as a failure.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata took on a new role this week, becoming Nintendo of America's CEO and IDC Research Manager Lewis Ward claims this is a major sign that Nintendo is putting a big focus on the US market.
I think Mr. Iwata understands that for Nintendo to grow overall in 2013 and 2014 that business has to bounce back in the US in particular. It's been here where the drop in Wii sales was sharpest in recent years and where iPhones and iPads and so forth have put serious pressure on the 3DS.
Analysts may often be scathing towards Nintendo but the general consensus is that the company can build upon what it's got and make the Wii U a successful home console.
As more software begins to emerge Nintendo could find itself in a strong position thanks to the currently weak yen allowing exporters to prosper. The numbers released by the company this week were undoubtedly disappointing but it is still standing by its 100 billion yen operational profit projection for 2013/14.
Sony and Microsoft will be releasing their new home consoles soon and Nintendo will be looking to position the Wii U accordingly. It's certainly very early days in this new generation of gaming and the growth of the mobile platform certainly adds an extra bit of complexity.
What are your thoughts on the early days of the Wii U? Do you think sales will pick up with more new titles? Let us know in the comments section below.