News Article

Talking Point: Lessons to be Learned, Again, From the Wii U Games Drought

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Fresh approaches can avoid repeat scenarios

So here's the deal, Wii U owners. The next notable exclusive for the platform isn't due until late June — when Game & Wario hits North America — and then Pikmin 3 hits the same region on 4th August. The eShop DLC-exclusive New Super Luigi U comes in the summer at an undefined point; if you're in Europe, by the way, dates are still needed for all of these games. A host of other titles look exciting — and were expected by now — but have no release date yet so, hold tight, yeah?

That's where we are right now with Wii U and, it must be said, the Wii U eShop. A look at the list of confirmed titles for the system — both in terms of retail and eShop-only games — suggests that a year from now we may be wallowing in delight surrounded by interesting games for the system, and looking back at the Wii U launch and following months as a time when everyone got it wrong, that it was just warming up and gamers were just so darn impatient. If we do that, though, we'll be kidding ourselves, as the Wii U has stumbled over similar trends that hindered the 3DS in its early days — on the plus side there should be decent odds on it recovering like the handheld, too.

What's interesting, and has prompted this Talking Point, is that Nintendo's talking a good game in terms of how these issues can be dealt with; it makes us wonder whether, with the glorious simplicity of hindsight and better planning, this perceived game drought on the Wii U could have been avoided.

A tempting argument, when looking at the trickle of releases on the Wii U, both in stores and on the eShop, is to suggest that the launch lineup was perhaps top-heavy and could have been more adequately spaced; yet this can be countered with the simple point that with so many of the games being multi-platform releases or ports, delaying wouldn't have done any favours. There's not much evidence to suggest that spacing out some of the third-party ports would have helped avoid the console's loss of momentum, as Need for Speed: Most Wanted U is evidence of an excellent release that, judging on available data and the absence of any real buzz, appears to have failed to set the tills ringing. The problem, which Nintendo appears to understand with its assurances that the second half of the year's exclusives will revive the system, is that very few people will buy a shiny and relatively pricey new system to play an enhanced port; they likely have an existing console to cover those bases already. New and/or exclusive titles get bigger numbers of fresh consumers interested.

Even with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and LEGO City Undercover — with the former being an expansion of a Wii release that is also on 3DS — it seems that hardware sales bumps have been modest, with no shouting from the rooftops at Nintendo. Quite the opposite, in fact, with Satoru Iwata addressing the stalled momentum of the system in a Q & A with investors and stating that the Wii U is looking to a fresh phase later in the year.

It is a fact that Wii U currently has lost momentum owing to longer-than-expected intervals between software releases. We were faced with the alternatives of taking time to refine our products or launching them without too many intervals, and after careful consideration, we selected the first option because we believe that from a mid-and-long term perspective it is more important to improve customer satisfaction with each game.

And so, it seems, the next couple of months are close to a write-off for the Wii U; existing owners will no doubt have the odd release at retail and in the eShop to chew over, but we're talking about the console's prospects of a broader sales revival. It's a case of "this hasn't gone as we liked, let's start again in a little while".

And yet elsewhere in that same briefing Satoru Iwata highlighted concerns with the $60 retail game market — including the pressure to delay releases so that they meet expectations as "valuable titles" — while also outlining plans to maximise revenues in the eShop and on a broader scale with new plans. We were given firm indications that Nintendo is planning to explore free-to-play and subscription based services, whereas these were previously ideas that would be made available through infrastructure without such a definitive statement of first-party intention. Both interesting insights, but if these ideas had been translated into actions 12 months ago, and brought to bear in recent weeks and months, perhaps there wouldn't be a perception of a Wii U release schedule stumbling through a number of months while awaiting blockbuster hits.

Let's consider the options that the eShop could have offered from day one — even shying away from controversial free-to-play mechanics — with the added assumption that download code cards would have been available worldwide via retailers, as they already have been for a significant time for products on rival systems. Assuming the launch lineup would have remained the same — high-profile system sellers can't be magically produced out of thin air — we can think about what forward-thinking initiatives could have delivered from January this year to, say, July; this would have filled out a thin release period a little more. Let's start with LEGO City Stories, the original name for what became LEGO City Undercover, and let's imagine that a story-based structure had been maintained. It's a game split up into chapters, after all, with some areas locked and inaccessible until later in the game.

Now let's consider the recipient of various Game of the Year awards in 2012, The Walking Dead from Telltale Games — this was an episodic release initially distributed in small chunks that have since been collaborated as a "series". Perhaps LEGO City could have followed a similar structure, but began with high-profile episode releases in January and February. Even if development was being pushed close to the eventual March release, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that the first five chapters — which are locked to a smaller area of the game's world — could have comprised of an initial episode, or "story" to follow the original name given to the project at E3 2011. In the first couple of months of the year, as the release schedule was either barren or populated by late ports, these could have added a sheen of exclusive content in that vital period.

We then have New Super Luigi U, which will be DLC but, as yet, we don't have more details on how it will be structured. With a summer release and a promise of new versions of over 80 levels, it also begs the question whether it could have been available sooner in smaller parts. If there are eight worlds and, for argument's sake, Nintendo may sell the package for $40 — that's pure speculation to make a point — then could some of these worlds have been released, one per month or every two weeks, earlier this year at $5 a pop? That offering would have been arguably less suitable for an appearance in stores as download cards than LEGO City Stories, but would have been nice — and exclusive — regular content for the eShop to fill schedule gaps.

One aspect that's been a problem, and led to a relative dearth of enticing Wii U-exclusive content, is the focus on full-priced retail games that, by Satoru Iwata's own admission, is an increasingly difficult market to sustain. We know that there are a lot of exciting games coming in the next 12 months and beyond, but it seems — unless Nintendo subsequently proves us wrong — that a number of these releases are sticking to that tried and tested model. In some cases, and for some titles, that's the right choice, but Nintendo has franchises and talented teams / third party partners that can perhaps take smaller concepts and produce regular bite-sized content — the range of Nintendo-published downloads on the 3DS eShop is testament to that. If a big project can feasibly be broken up and steadily released, with the final product being equivalent to the content and price of a full retail game down the line, it's a viable option.

These concepts are entirely reliant on a significant presence of download cards with retailers, for one thing, to show a Wii U section in stores that isn't populated by disc cases gathering dust from the November launch. We're seeing the start of this with the GAME arrangement in Europe, and it's also a good advert to engage the audience with the eShop when they redeem those codes.

There are downsides to these ideas — particularly the modest hard drive space provided with the Wii U hardware — and we're dealing in hindsight. Looking back and saying "Nintendo should have had these ideas a year ago and made them happen" achieves little, admittedly, but as the company is making so many varied noises about how its going to diversify its delivery of games, we'd hope that some of these principles will appear the next time a software drought will come. That drought will most assuredly arrive, as it does for any console, whether it's two, three or more years from now.

As we say, a year from now we're likely to be enjoying a rapidly growing Wii U library, both retail and download-only, and memories of this dry spell may fade. We can't help but think, however, that with more foresight and planning Nintendo could have filled this vacant release period with more content, while still maintaining high standards. We're not saying that triple-A Nintendo games should be produced faster — that's not realistically possible — but that in some cases their distribution can be smarter.

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User Comments (95)



tsm7 said:

And according to NOA's website, we are also getting Mega Man and Pac-Man tomorrow. . The one thing they could do to help ease the wait for titles is the Virtual Console. Why are they fumbling it?



SteveW said:

The Drought has already ended. If you haven't bought Lego City, Monster Hunter or Need for Speed then do it, you couldn't ask for better games...

If you have them and beat them already then... umm... get a life?



ThomasBW84 said:

@SteveW Totally not the point I'm making It's about games that'll shift systems, and Nintendo's now directing us to the second half of the year. As I said in the article, those with a Wii U have releases to get on with, so I agree on that.



biglittlejake said:

They had good games on the Eshop for the 3DS in the beginning. Why not the Wii U? I remember they had Legend of Zelda Links Awaking and Super Mario Land week one. Why don't they give us those callable of games? I have been playing Nintendo games since NES, I could care less about theses minor titles. They should have came out like a bang like the 3DS Eshop. If the 3DS Eshop and Wii U Eshop are called the same thing shouldn't they combine them? That would be something to get excited about if they did.



link53 said:

Looks like Nintendo did not learn from the slow start of the 3DS. Now they are paying for it.



Buzzthebatgirl said:

What's been eating at me is the "let's delay all those AAA titles that we promised at launch/launch window". I do understand that delays can bring about a better title, but announcing a delay once fans have already invested in the console? :/



SCAR said:

I don't agree with the article. I think Nintendo will do better by focusing on the strong line-up by taking the time they need, instead of a liitle here and there. It's better to release the game in one go.
There are good games on the system whether it's a port or one of the few new titles. There's lots to play, and I know for a fact I'd rather play Tekken, Injustice, or Sonic on Wii U than PS3, even if it's a port, because it's a better console overall, IMO.
It would also be good to note, that Nintendo is basically stating that there is a transition in the industry altogether. 3DS and Wii U doing 'poorly' at first is no indication further troubles in the future, and I'm sure there is no way they could have avoided these supposed issues.
We can say how things should have been this way or that way all day, but that's not how it was.
Wii U is a good console, and it will really shine at a later time.



SteveW said:

I understand... I just have friends that whine about not having anything to play but I somehow cannot convice them that those really are good games they should give a chance.

I personally think they should have given us improved motion controls and not have done the whole two screen thing, it just makes things more confusing to casual gamers, my wife doesn't even want to touch the Wii U, heck, even my grandma bought the Wii.

There are lots of possible solutions... one example that would improve sales is if they need to announce that the Wii U can play DS and 3DS games. I don't know what they are waiting for, all the hardware is there. Just PLEASE give us a cartridge adapter and not expect us to repurchase the games.



link53 said:

People should never buy a system on promise of games coming out within six months of launch day. Games get delayed and people should buy the system when the games they want are out.



HeatBombastic said:

Whenever someone puts up a video or a blog about how Nintendo could've and/or should've done more planning to make the Wii U's launch better, they're right, it could've been better, same with the 3DS. When people say that Iwata hasn't learned from the 3DS launch and should be fired, they're wrong.

It was the bad planning of the 3DS launch that led to the messed up Wii U launch. Just think about it; I'm not looking into a list of when 3DS games launch, and I'm not doing stellar research, but the amount of time it took to finish the 3DS games probably didn't let them put as much manpower into the making of Wii U games. It really shows that one slip-up can hurt the future.

I don't think Iwata should be fired because of a Domino effect, but if does get fired, I hope it's not someone with the mindset of making Nintendo act like the King of the Hill they used to be, because they're not, and they won't ever be again. People are wrong about Nintendo not acting like what they used to be being a bad thing. Nintendo isn't what they used to be, period.



link53 said:

The slow start of the Wii U and the 3DS could of be avoided. Nintendo should have been prepared with major games. The Nintendo games on Wii U were delayed because Nintendo was not prepared with enough staff to make the games.



HeatBombastic said:

@SCAR392 What this article is saying, is that if Nintendo did a better job with planning when to develop the games, they could've done the launch better, they never said do it faster.

I disagree with this article, because I think what really messed with the Wii U was not bad planning specifically for the Wii U, but bad planning for the 3DS. They would've been able to finish Wii U games much faster if they started working on the 3DS games earlier. Either way, it's impossible to tell the future.



JebbyDeringer said:

Pretty bad launch though I never buy systems during the first year. There is little in the way of exclusives and lots in the way of re-releases that have been available on others systems for 2 years.



DualWielding said:

The problem is you can't do it on your own, 3DS could bounce back because it had third party support, don't think Wii U will get many quality third party releases...



snax007 said:

@SteveW Are you in denial? Ok Lego City is a new (and decent game) but MH and NFSMW are both ports. Hardly anything that ended the drought.



SCAR said:

Don't worry guys. They know what they're doing, just hold your horses.
Seriously, you guys expect Nintendo to over ride the usually system launch protocol by just giving people everything at once?



Vee_Flames said:

Hmm. Yes, the article is true. Well, the U will shine at a point, like the 3DS. Can't wait!



rjejr said:

You started a new new-er talking point on this - we're all over still arguing on the Wii message update



snax007 said:

What Nintendo could do while we wait for quality titles, release more VC titles and at a acceptable price (stop being greedy!). And make sure to include a batch of N64 games.



superwiiman said:

Nintendo were already in a 1 year game drought before the wii u came out. It's very disappointing seeing them hold back games, just to make out that lots of games will be coming closer to Christmas. Also where are the amazing 3rd party games that Nintendo promised almost 2 years ago?



Peach64 said:

I think episodic games can be great, but they need to be planned that way from the very first moment. Trying to force it on a game that wasn't built that way could end in disaster. I think an open world game is probably one of the worst examples you could suggest for putting it out in episodes. They made a mess of it by having so few games, but I don't think trying to increase the number of releases through cheap tactics like this would help at all.

They know they screwed up and they're hard at work. It's going to take time, but I'm sure we'll be playing far better games during the 2014 holiday season because of these negative sales. Just like the poor start for the 3DS eventually led to great games such as Fire Emblem and Luigi's Mansion.



Marksolo said:

To add balance, I've tended to buy every new system at launch and the 6 months after things are pretty sparse. Nothing new here. Nintendo now need to confirm dates for all its big hitters to take some shine of ps4 and next Xbox. Both these machines will be expensive and have limited software at launch. Lets wait until E3 and Nintendo's own announcement before declaring doom and gloom. History has already shown that the masses don't want or need the best graphics. Plus, the Wii u has decent HD graphics and will meet the needs of most people. I will buy a ps4 or new Xbox at launch but I will still love my Wii u.



Marksolo said:

Oh and a price cut wouldn't go amiss. £199 for the premium edition is the way to go otherwise, it's going to an uphill battle. Surely by now, the cost of parts has come down enough to change the pricing strategy? I'd be amazed if ps 4 or next Xbox come in at anything less than £350. That sir is not an impulse buy or family purchase for the masses. If Nintendo get it right they could really profit this Christmas.



HeatBombastic said:

@superwiiman What makes you think they're pushing back games on purpose to make it launch near Christmas? That would be traitorous.

Nintendo never "promised" anything. Reggie just predicted what he thought the launch would be like.

I'll give you some advice. Something someone says or a mistake that was made can't hold that person accountable for what he thinks and does today. People change, people learn, and people grow. The action you do and can do, is more important than what has been, and what could have been.



AJWolfTill said:

I Love my Wii U but since I didn't buy it until Febuary I haven't run out of games to play yet, and before the summer I have Deus Ex to investigate and haven't tried Lego City yet. The way I see it is that Nintendo knows that the Wii U has no momentum, and also knows it still has a small user base. The signs do indicate that when we get to July-ish Nintendo is going to firing out titles like Pikmin, Mario Kart, 3d Mario, Wind Waker and maybe Retro's game all before the end of the year. It's annoying for the early adopters but if people keep seeing these huge releases lining the shop, more and more people are going to invest, on the other hand if every two months one particularly inticing game is released that will keep the small userbase happy but won't give them as much marketing power. I am sorry for all the gamers who have legitimately got no new games to play.
On the other hand a lot of the ports which people often knock are still phenomenal games, don't brush them asside because they are older games.



link53 said:

The early adopters have no one but themselves to blame for buying too early. They knew what was out and what games might come out within six months of launch.



Marksolo said:

@link53 completely agree. People need to be realistic. Can anybody call out any console that has great software (in volume) releases 6 months after the launch? I have the scars of the last Xbox and ps releases so let's put this into perspective. Biggest gap is that Pikmin has not launched - there is still a load of good software on sale. Biggest issue - the price of the hardware and getting the masses to understand the benefits of wii u over wii.



rjejr said:

I don't have a problem w/ Luig's Levels coming out over an extended time period - say every 2 weeks over the summer - world by world. It's all DL anyway and they already set the precedent w/ the $1.99 levels in NSMB2 on the 3DS so they know what sales are like for that type of item.

I don't think though Traveler Tales Fusion should sacrifice THEIR Lego game to help out Nintendo with THEIR drought issues. I'm sure somebody at Travelers Tales has done the math and feels they would make more money out of a full $60 retail game then trying to sell episodic content to a WiiU fanbase who might not even be inclined to purchase DL games onto their tiny storage consoles, let alone installments. That's just an odd suggestion all around.

Anyway, time to stop looking back and start looking forward. The games will come, but will it be too little too late?



SteveW said:

I pointed out those games because they each have potentionally hundreds of hours worth of gameplay in them and they aren't ports to me. Just because a game is on another system doesn't make it any less of a game.

My point was that there is more than enough games to keep people busy on the Wii U, it's hard enough to find time to play the games I already have. The problem isn't with the Wii U library... it's with most of todays gamers... people see a review giving a game less than an 8 and write it off as garbage. I love Tank! Tank! Tank!

Unfortunately what attracts most people these days arent even the games themselves, it's "how good is Wii U Tvii?", I couldn't care less... or "can I play DVDs on the Wii U?" I say are you too cheap to buy a DVD player? or "what are the social features like"... umm, your cell phone, facetime, facebook, twitter, etc.. don't have you stuck up your friends butts enough already?

I'm beginning to think Nintendo will be the last true gaming company, I hope we never see the day where the next Mario game is an endless runner, or worse yet... released on a cell phone. Thats when I am finished with modern gaming and will just stick with Retro.



HaNks said:

nintendo has made a lot mistakes in the launch of the wii U, so it's good to see an article that reflects this reality. that's not to say anything about the long term prospects for the console or quality of output, when it does start to flow.

if somebody makes a mistake you want them to learn from it. fanboy rationalizations don't help anybody. nintendo continue to learn the hard way, very slowly and stubbornly adjusting their business. i hope they start to be a bit more forward thinking so the changes aren't so last minute, on the fly or blatant fan pandering as they have been recently.



marck13 said:

I strongly dislike the idea of games being broken into pieces. That might make sense for 1 out of 100 games..



SanderEvers said:

Episodic games are the worst. I tried that Sonic game once, didn't like it and I will never buy anymore of those episodic games anymore. A game must be finished before it's released and not a year later.




@SCAR392 Well said, and I agree with you totally. Also everybody that I know or speak to that has a wii u are very happy with it and think It's an awesome console. The only people that dislike the wii u are sony or xbox fanboys, that would crap on anything nintendo did.



GN004Nadleeh said:

its two different things. fist Nintendo will punish gamers who do not purchase every launch title, if you don't they keep all the games on hold until they make the money from the crap. second, every year 2 months before e3 there are zero game news, then e3 happens and they show off a few games, none of which will be available till the next year, and right after e3 it's just same news till September. too many secrets



GN004Nadleeh said:

@HaNks I agree with you there, too old and stubborn, and when they finally do make money, in their heads it was because they held out. time to look at American practices



Neram said:

I don't agree with cutting up games into smaller pieces and trickle feeding them to us just so Nintendo can have better sales momentum. We shouldn't have to be the ones to suffer because they messed up. I think a few people would agree with me if I assumed that we would rather have a full package rather than episodic bits of games.



Neram said:

@GN004Nadleeh It's called economics. They aren't punishing us, unless you're looking at it with the misguided understanding that they're "giving" us these games as gifts.



BossBattles said:

You think too much about something that some of us expect in a first year of a console, and are not surprised or worried at all.



Neram said:

@HaNks Nintendo has made unprecedented leaps in their digital business. Going from a company that hardly had any digital strategy at all, with people like you saying they're just being old and stubborn, to having one of the most robust and modern services available.



WaveBoy said:

Except I have abolutely ZERO interest in playing Monster Hunter, Need for Speed or Lego City. Injustice however looks like the absolutely shniz! Now, I rarely complain when there are droughts, because there's always something else that i want to play on another system or it gives me more time to play catch up. If you have nothing to play on your Wii U, then find something that you haven't on the Wii or 3DS. There's got to be something.



Dpullam said:

Personally I won't be even considering buying any new systems until after E3 is shown. I am also not completely sure if I need another Nintendo console to get my Nintendo fix since I already have a Nintendo 3DS. I get so many high quality experiences on my Nintendo 3DS already that I don't really feel the need to own a Wii U until Nintendo releases more games that I consider to be must have for the console.

Regardless, once E3 rolls around I'll be able to paint a bigger picture as to which console I want next. I'm expecting a drought of games for the other next gen consoles when they are launched as well since it seems to be a staple in the game industry as of late. Maybe either Sony or Micrsoft will impress me at E3 enough to consider getting their console at launch but isn't looking likely.

Still, the Wii U looks promising and by the time I finally decide to buy a Wii U, I will have quite a few options of games to choose from especially because I hardly own any of the launch titles they released for the Wii U. As for now, I am content with the systems I already own. I really don't like the idea of episodic content though but I dealt with it for The Walking Dead series and only that one series.



PokeTune said:

So we`re to expect Iwata to "learn a lesson" despite the fact that he said the same thing about repeating the mistakes of the 3DS launch and failed to do so? M`kay.



GN004Nadleeh said:

@Neram it just gets frustrating, they want my money for the console they need to support it. why can't anyone do what the ps2 did? I bought a game every month, silent hill, suikoden 3, gta vice city. I love games but if i'm supposed to spend so much on a console then they have an obligation to put out games. Nintendo already got me 3 times now, (with gamecube, wii, 3ds xl) I buy it then they don't care enough to put out gamesto keep it turned on



jayblue said:

the games upcoming are not very good,ones im waiting for mario kart u,new zelda,earthbound coming soon,new proper mario,release shadowrun or send me copy nintendo for snes lol.



GermenatorHue said:

There will be Mario Kart, 3D Mario, Wind Waker, Earthbound, Wonderful 101, Game and Wario, Pikmin 3, Ducktales Remastered and many many more great games on the Wii U before the end of the year... Might as well own it now, otherwise you're gonna have to buy it in a couple of months with all those great games coming.



AntiGuy said:

wi reaned furomu TORI DI ESU, wi ririsu Wii YU wiz tsu fasto patty gemus den moa gudo gemusu ontiru sama fo yu tsu enjoi demu, wi jiniosu!



link53 said:

It does not make sense to buy a Wii U now for future games when it won't be played much right now. You can budget to buy the Wii U and the games at the same time. Plus not everyone is going to buy every game.



bunnyking said:

The game drought, isn't a new phenomenon, it has happened to every console that has ever launch and will happen to future consoles. I'm pretty sure Sony and XBOX will feel something similar to this when they release.

Right now I am enjoying Monster Hunter, immensely. I have about 9 games in my Wii U library and will be buying another one later today. Either Lego City Undercover or Injustice. I have been busy with the Ray Man Challenge game that Ubisoft is giving out free and am loving it about a thousand times more than The New Super Mario Wii U.

I'm happy were the Wii U is at as a gamer and Wii U owner. I can't say it wasn't a rough couple of months but I expect that for any console especially during the economic downturn we are living through.

I used to make about $20 about 13 years ago, right now I'm making about minimum wage, and I know I'm not the only person who was affected by the housing bubble burst and the home and mortgage loan crash that has caused the US economy to fall into a major recession.

If you guys haven't noticed the gaming industry is feeling a market that isn't as buy happy as it was a few years ago.



superwiiman said:

@HeatBombastic What makes you think they're pushing back games on purpose to make it launch near Christmas? That would be traitorous.

Nintendo would never admit to doing this as fans would be in uproar. However from a business point of view it makes sense. With Xbox 720 and PS4 coming in November with 20 games+, Nintendo have to do something to make an impression. Christmas period is the most important time of the year for games companies, so if they delay their games until then, just like Ubisoft has done with Rayman, they can maximise on the 1 month game sales window. Otherwise if they did release them now, Microsoft and Sony will be the only consoles on gamers wish lists. It also doesn't look good that Nintendo are taking a backseat at this year's E3, it just makes me wonder how many completed games are we likely to get at Christmas, 5 at most I wonder?



GermenatorHue said:

@link53 To me it does, I get to experience a couple of great exclusive games like Monster Hunter, Lego City, NSMBU, Nintendoland, Toki Tori 2 and Zombi U now, and know 3D Mario, Mario Kart, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and Wind Waker will be coming this year.



AtomicToaster said:

There are good games just not system sellers. I bought the console for raymabs because I love ray man games and Nintendo fans might be one of the few left that buy consoles f sidescrollers! That said is that game viable at 60? I see the value and will get it when others get gta but ultimately that 60 dollar price point seems odd to me! I think the game is worth it but the general public probably won't perceive a game like that the same way as a shooter that they'll pay 60 and then buy dlc for. It's just because people don't care about hand drawn art anymore they don't perceive the value.

That's the kind of game that may have been good as episodes to hook people in. They'd be more likely to buy a few levels at 10 and then get a few more if they had a blast with it.



link53 said:

Well most people are holding out on the Wii U for the big Nintendo games so hence the poor sale numbers. Plus the way you wrote your comment was buy the Wii U now for upcoming games. Without mention of you having the Wii U now because there are games out now you want to play.



TromaDogg said:

They've realeased the Wii U and yet all the best games are coming out for 3DS. Look at the big releases for Wii U this year so far...Monster Hunter 3, Lego City Undercover, Need For Speed U.....then look at the big releases for 3DS this year....Castlevania LOS: Mirror Of Fate, Luigi's Mansion 2, Etrian Odyssey 4, Monster Hunter 3 (which seems to have pretty much the same content as on Wii U), Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins (which is a very decent version of the Wii U game with it's own storyline), Fire Emblem Awakening....and very soon (sooner than Pikmin 3) there'll be a new Animal Crossing, remake of Donkey Kong Country Returns, Mario Golf, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team....and later in the year whilst the Wii U gets a Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD port, 3DS gets a whole new Legend Of Zelda game, plus a new Mario Party. Now, at least a couple of those games would serve better as Wii U titles, wouldn't they? Maybe Lego City: The Chase Begins would've served better as DLC for the Wii U game? A big problem here for Nintendo is that their own system (the 3DS) is competing with the Wii U and offering a much more appealing selection of software as's not like the old days where the SNES and N64 were alongside the Game Boy as the 3DS is capable of much more technically/graphically advanced games. Even the 3DS E-Shop is packed to the gills with good stuff and easily incorporates DSiWare, unlike the Wii U E-Shop that looks barren by comparison and doesn't allow you to access the old Wii Shop titles unless you put the Wii U into 'Wii' mode (which most people probably won't bother with much). All I've seen this year (in Europe at any rate) is Nintendo Directs that focus almost exclusively on the 3DS as well.



luke17 said:

It's a joke that they aren't pushing more games out on VC right NOW. What exactly are they waiting for?



TromaDogg said:

@Marksolo A barren launch period might have been true of the Xbox 360 and PS3, but this is a Nintendo site and it certainly wasn't anywhere near this lousy with the original Wii. It had better exclusives at launch and soon afterwards, including an enhanced version of Zelda Twilight Princess (launched alongside the GC version, so most people bought the Wii version instead), Rayman Raving Rabbids (best version), Red Steel, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz, Excite Truck, Eledees and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves all before the middle of the year....a year which also ended with Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3, amongst others. We were also constantly given updates and shown new footage from the big hitters that came earlier the following year too, such as Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros Brawl. Has there even been ANY footage of the supposed 3D Mario Wii U game, Mario Kart Wii U or Super Smash Bros Wii U shown yet? And that's not to mention the Wii VC that was launched very soon after the Wii (not nearly 5 months down the line like with Wii U) and started off with games like Gunstar Heroes.



AtomicToaster said:

Here's my two cents on what both Nintendo and second and third parties are doing. They're moving most of their games to a late summer to holiday release time. The reason? Third parties probably perceive that as being a time that they'll be a second rush of people picking up the Wiiu console. For Nintendo I think the strategy is to have a broad selection of new games to play come holiday so that when consumers look to pick out a console next year they'll be looking at PS4 and 720 which will be expensive and light on content and comparing that to Wiiu which will likely be quite a bit cheaper and will theoretically have a great deal of content by this time. I don't think quality has anything to do with it, they see curing the current draught as less of a necessity as they do making the case for Wiiu at the end of the year. They're focusing a glut of content for that time period because that's when people will be looking at the Wiiu in stores most.

3ds got quite a bit of a lead on Vita because of this. You went to the store and yeah the Vita had a lot of launch games but 3ds was getting a pretty good selection at this point, the quality of the games were comparable, and yeah the graphics weren't as good, but for a portable they were good enough and 3ds games were by no means ugly, plus the asking price was considerably less.

So, much less then curing the draught, things are really riding on end of the year hoopla. The people waiting for games already bought the system and know things are eventually coming. It appears as though Nintendo is putting most focus between august and christmas 2013 to make a case for the Wiiu. It's definitely an all or nothing approach in my view. We'll see if it works out for them! There's good chances it will unless they just really screw things up!

More VC titles, and eshop downloads, even some hd gamecube games. Stuff like that would certainly be good service to people that bought the console early however, and it's a shame they aren't doing that more!



SetupDisk said:

I didn't have enough time to play all of my Wii U games even before I got MH3U. Not saying that there isn't a lack of games and third party support but how can people need so many? More options are always good but still.

Maybe it's just part of getting older and different responsibilities. Hell I downloaded the Skyrim PS3 DLC at discount when it finally came out and I haven't had a chance to play it yet.



Luffymcduck said:

I have Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed, I´m fine with that for the next few months too. No problems here.



WaveBoy said:

Agreed. Where do people find all of this time to play these games? Hell, I'm rooting for more droughts so i can play catch up haha.



link53 said:

Not everyone cares for every game released or close to that. They have a few games they want to play. So they demand more because they played the games they wanted to play.



PokeTune said:

I honestly can`t see what`s going on at Nintendo. Are they just sitting there twiddling there thumbs hoping people rush in to buy a Wii U? Well,sorry Iwata but unless games are there then nobody wants your system. You better hope the Nintendo gamers will pull you out of this one(despite treating them like trash for the last few years).



bunnyking said:

@JebbyDeringer it's funny but I don't think any gaming company has learned. Nintendo could have prevented this by marketing the backwards compatibility and focused on that earlier instead of months down the line.



bunnyking said:

Well poketune, what's going on is a recession. You will see that a lot of gaming developers are firing people and even successful ones are being extra careful about how they use their own resources.

If you read what Iwata-san has been talking about you'd realize there isn't a whole lot you can do but weather the storm and take it in stride.



Skeet102 said:




gazamataz said:

I think Nintendo lanched the Wii u early to get a head start and they are concerntrating all of their efforts on getting games out in and around the ps4-xbox console launches.If your stuck for a game to play I'd recommend Metroid other M as it costs about a fiver and it's a pretty sweet action game with a soap opera style crap story that I thought was a strong point.



Lin1876 said:

The really galling part of all this is that exactly the same happened with the 3DS, yet the same mistakes have been made once again. Surely Nintendo could have learned for their previous mistakes...



ThumperUK said:

Was thinking exactly the same! Marketing and Nintendo seem to be incompatible.
What I really want to know is where on earth has Scribblenauts disappeared to. It has been weeks since it was pulled from EU and still no explanation. I need it know I'm at 95% complete on Lego City!



angelwhispers_ said:

My very lengthy post, slightly edited and taken from elsewhere. It was in response to people calling for Iwata's head, confronting the belief that the Wii U launched was a complete disaster, and why it's dumb to write it off at this stage. I feel that it's done as well as it could in the current circumstances. If you've taken the time to read it, then Thank You. Alright. Here it is...

People can say what they will about 'botched' launches; I disagree. The 3DS's main problems were that it launched without a Mario game, and that the DS still had life in its tail end. Of course, a price cut CAN help, but that wasn't the primary reason for its turnaround. I believe that when Nintendo said they had learned lessons from the 3DS, they meant in terms of having more games available in the launch window for the Wii U - they delivered on that side, THEN launching with a Mario game. They would have hoped for better continued support from other parties, but collectively (not all), those parties didn't step up to the plate and they failed the Wii U, Wii U owners and Nintendo fans. If you remember E3 2011, NSMBU was there in raw form as NSMBMii (I hate that this game gets called a 'lazy' effort by some when it has some of the tightest level design in all side-scrolling Mario games, and had been in development for quite a while). At E3 2012, Reggie said that many fans want a Mario game at launch (His words were "You've Gotta launch with Mario", or something among those lines). So, he revealed what you now know as NSMBU - 3D Mario isn't here YET, because moving into HD game development hasn't been an easy or smooth transition, and they want it to be something very special. I'll keep mentioning the point about the transition, because the Internet hasn't allowed for that fact. To my mind, they addressed what they believed to be the main concerns.

The launch was fine. He had no control over Rayman Legends being delayed, Crysis 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines being discarded or other titles not announced for the Wii U - Had those events not happened earlier in 2013, any talk of 'droughts' would have been far less pronounced. Pikmin 3 is an unfortunate delay, but I would rather they made the best game they can. Given that all but one of those events, if that, were beyond his control, my verdict is that he delivers. The Vita's troubles would support suggestions that this isn't a Nintendo problem; They, as well as Sony and Microsoft are presented with very different challenges.

To write the Wii U off now is downright dumb and extremely bizarre, ESPECIALLY when it hasn't really played its hand of cards - Currently, It has no 3D Mario, Mario Kart, Wii U Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Wii Fit U, Wii U Sports, Wii U Party, Brain Training, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, Nintendogs & Cats, Pikmin 3, Kirby, F-Zero, Starfox, Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, SMT VS Fire Emblem, Retro or Monolith Games or Smash Bros.

You know what else? He took a pay cut after the 3DS launch time, and he ensured that not one person was laid off. People mock him for saying "Please Understand", but I see a good man, a gentleman, a compassionate man - It reflects badly on the gaming community and society in general when someone can be on the receiving end of a personality attack for having manners, for being polite. People mock him when he apologises - Unlike others, he hasn't shat on his products for a year (**Glares at the Vita...**), he was sympathetic towards early complaints about the loading times (that can't be said for 'things break' with the Red Rings Of Death), and he hasn't told people to get a second job to afford their consoles which haemorrhaged money for some years - He doesn't hide, and in apologising when events haven't ran the desired course, I like that he carries himself in a more human manner, and that he has been accountable.

Nobody ever gets everything right in business all the time, wherever they are, but most of the calls he's made were right. Truthfully, he's one of the best things ever to happen to Nintendo. Two other points; the first is that they are publishing Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (an SE game) for European and North American shores - So, between trying to make Wii U and 3DS games, they are also using resources to prevent another Xenoblade Chronicles/Pandora's Tower/The Last Story affair. It's not clear to what extent this affects a company of their size and its schedule, but I would imagine that multiple factors start to add up - This is one of the reasons why the ongoing expansions are imperative. The second is that Masahiro Sakurai, the man behind Smash Bros. has been injured, so there are setbacks with regard to game development. But they are all trying, and I have every confidence that they will continue to be brilliant.

Clearly, Iwata has a vision for Nintendo, and considering that he's played a critical role in their biggest success stories to date, it is right and proper that he's given every chance to realise that vision. I feel that ultimately, they'll be all the better off for it.



HeatBombastic said:

@superwiiman September isn't a Christmas launch, neither is August. Yeah, they might have unveiled games delayed til Christmas (maybe for bundles), but there really is no point to delaying games we already know about til Christmas. Does it make a difference if Nintendo releases Pikmin 3 in August then in December? When you pick up a console, for many it's hard to afford games in the first place. Delaying it to November instead of releasing in September won't boost sales, at all.



Rei7 said:

I'm fine with just playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U. It will suck like probably more than 500 hours or so of my life just for this one game. After those 500 hours or so it will be probably already in August or so. So i'm fine with just owning MH3U for Wii U. I still have my PS3, Vita and my awesome PC gaming rig to play with not to mention my 3DS.



darklinkinfinite said:

I think one of the reasons the Wii U's drought is worthy of review is that not only is the Wii U in a post launch slump but also because its coming off a rather significant slump in its predecessor's life. The PS2 was releasing games well into the PS3's life and the PS3 still has a healthy lineup of new titles going into the PS4's release.

The Wii, on the other hand had very few significant releases in the last two years of its life and now the Wii U is going nearly a whole year without steady, worthwhile releases.



Williaint said:

Make sure you've got all your facts straight, before posting.
Many people thought Rayman Legends was going to be a Launch title, but it wasn't. I was actually confused that it wasn't there, when I bought my Wii U.
I've been doing plenty of Wii Gaming, too (while on this "dry spell").... Xenoblade and the occasional round of Dr. Mario.



mjhopkins81 said:

I'm amazed at how unprofessional these launches from Nintendo have been, over the past few years. The 3DS launched without games or features; the 3DS XL launched on top of ridiculously discounted 3DS systems with games included; the Wii U launched without all of its features, but with great starter games...and now, what.

It's not like Nintendo is new to this game - they've been around for over a century, and making video games from nearly 35 years. This isn't their first trip to the rodeo. They really need to have this poop together, by now, and that they don't is inexcusable, regardless of what spin Iwata wants to put on it.



theblackdragon said:

@Williaint: Rayman Legends as a launch-window title came from the Gamescom 2012 Rayman Legends trailer video — the same video that announced it as a Wii U exclusive also stated it would be available in December. It's a shame it's been delayed for so long, I know a lot of people who raced to pick up a Wii U just for that game.



BXXL said:

All that situation would have been avoided if Nintendo had made the right decisions a few years back, at the peak of the Wii/DS success wave... Nintendo made billions and billions of profits, and already had a treasure chest of billions build upon two or three decades... and what have they done?

Did they create new teams? Did they buy talented 3rd party studios to improve their own staff force? Did they secure any exclusive deals with 3rd party partners? Did they create a console powerful enough to attract all of the most important studios out there?

OK, they have invested in a new building in Kyoto, with larger and more modern offices, and they try to form some young japanese devs in intern, as many of their biggest devs are now closer and closer to retirement, but is it enough to release a constant flow of AAA games on TWO modern consoles?

Modern games take time to be made, as gamers want great gameplay, great graphics, great story, good lenght, solid multiplayer and/or extra online modes... and i'm sorry, but Nintendo is still not prepared, and lives in the mirage of its glorious past and the way their games USED to be made (very small teams, very big profits)... and without a solid 3rd party backup, that "drought" situation just can't magically improve...

Of course, they will continue to make excellent games, and Nintendo fans (and i'm still one, despite my critics) will be happy with the 5 to 10 "must-have" 1st party games each year on 3DS and/or Wii U... but most of the other gamers, and of course the rest of the world, will just move on...

And it's a shame, as Nintendo had all the tools (and all the money) to be once again the main actor in the console-side of the videogames industry... now, it's there to be taken by Sony once again (hopefully not by Microsoft)...

Such a shame, as i'd love to buy only ONE home console and ONE portable console to play ALL the best games made each year... not gonna happen, now or in a distant future, i'm afraid... or maybe if i play less and less with age? Yeah, not such a great alternative, i must say...



Araknie said:

@ThomasBW84 They said from the start that the Wii U was an exclusive based console with much hardcore material.
It's only natural that after the casual feel that the Wii gave this Wii U will need at least one year.
It's no use to make a talking point once a week if we already know all this stuff from the latest 3DS Direct.

No console, apart from the NES, has ever avoided a first year of sadness in software and, sometimes, even in hardware sales. I'm not talking about only Nintendo consoles, about all of them.

Don't forget the past.



ThomasBW84 said:

I'm very clearly looking at different ideas that can be used in future, and could have benefitted the launch, based on translated comments from Iwata in recent days. The context and ideas being discussed are different from some previous talking points of a similar nature. There are nuances and different ideas, so if we feel they're worth debate we'll write about them.

Please consider the specific points being made in articles, not cherry-picked paragraphs or headlines.



Smug43 said:

This is one of the reasons for the slow start with regards to Wii U sales. There are a lot more.. gamers have stopped "early adopting". Paying a premium for little to no software. . And this post launch draught has got to be the worst ever for a console...




Why would in not be realistic to expect Nintendo to have more games finished at this point? They have money don't they? Why don't they invest in more personnel and new development studios? A huge game company like Nintendo should be able to produce more than one game a month. Why don't they produce any low-cost games for the eShop? They should have the capacity to produce a lot of games like that with new and creative ideas.



RikuzeYre said:

Because spending alot of money and constantly switching people around brings you into development hell.



ccanfield1 said:

I would like to see a cross-buy/cross-play function be brought in between the 3DS and the Wii U, similar to what Sony is doing with Vita and PS3. Wouldn't it be a nice feature to entice 3DS owners to pick up a Wii U if all the Virtual Console titles coming for Wii U were cross playable with the 3DS. Then you could game on the go and at home. If you already owned them on the 3DS it would allow you to have a small library of games available to you and might increase the value seen in the Wii U.



RikuzeYre said:

They already have a unified OS in development for their next home console/handheld duo + the third machine they plan to introduce. The PS3/Vita thing just has crappy looking vita games on it. The 3DS and the Wii U dont need to compete with each other any more



Sceptic said:

They're selling PacMan for $7. Seven Dollars! If anything has made me lose hope it's their ridiculous pricing on these 'classic' titles that they should be giving away for free at this point to make people feel less stupid about buying their console. They have a product they don't know what to do with in a market they don't understand.

I should have bought a mini-tower PC for the money and I would be running high resolution games with deep gameplay off my Steam account at as little as $2 a pop, tied to my user account, play from anywhere, no questions asked. Most of my tablet games would outplay most of what's on Wii U right now. I don't see how they are going to turn a mess like this around.



DePapier said:

Quite frankly, the argument is not meant for Wii U owners but for Wii U buyers. At this point in time you either have to be a dedicated Nintendo fan or to be rather wealthy to invest in or own a Wii U; there is no purpose in buying one right now for those who are neither one nor the other. I belong to the dedicated Nintendo fan category, and I'm happy with my system and with all the games it allows me to play right now. Yet even though I admit my 3DS is making in hard to boot my Wii U right now (Fire Emblem), without a PS3, an Xbox 360 nor a gaming PC, I still have already too much to play.



DePapier said:

...And there is hardly any lesson to teach to a company that has been relatively successful in this business for over 30 years.

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