News Article

Sales Data Demonstrates a Slow Wii to Wii U Transition Compared to Past Generations

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The little system goes on and on

Over the past nine months, since the Wii U arrived on the scene, we've seen the inevitable launch day sell-outs make way for a drop-off in sales. As a trend that's fairly common, though in the case of Nintendo's system the loss of momentum was pronounced by an absence of killer software, and it's endured some unfortunate headlines as a result of its predecessor, the Wii, continuing to outsell it in some regions.

In the early days of a new system its predecessor does have advantages, as it'll be a lot cheaper and have a large library of games. It's not simply a case of new hardware arriving and the old simply disappearing from the face of the earth, with the more affordable last-gen potentially continuing to earn new fans well beyond its conventional lifespan.

Utilising sales data from financial reports, Gamasutra has assessed console transitions with the past few Nintendo systems, showing the trends and percentage of lifetime sales picked up after the launch of a successor. The table below shows that, generally, a successor prompts a severe drop-away for the previous console, though with its greater install base the Wii is performing better — this is despite its negligible software output of the past year or more.

Below, meanwhile, are the annualized (trailing twelve month, or TTM) sales rates for each system, which give a useful indication of sales momentum over periods of time, and emphasize the Wii matching up to the slow sales (up to June 2013) of the Wii U.

Even when you combine current-gen struggles and decent late momentum for the Wii, it's clear that Nintendo consoles generally become a much smaller draw once a successive system arrives. The case of Sony is fascinating in its differences — 29.9% of PS1 sales came after the PS2's release, and 31.2% on PS2's lifetime sales came after the PS3 hit the market.

The Wii's sales do assist Nintendo's bottom line, naturally, and what raw figures rarely do is consider the context in the marketplace. Both the Nintendo 64 and GameCube were having a modest time — by Nintendo standards — in the market, so their longevity was questionable. The Wii was a huge success but, perhaps unlike the PS2, saw a more rapid decline in sales and software support than Nintendo would have hoped; nevertheless it may continue to contribute for a little while yet. It's also the case that the trends don't reflect favourably for the current system, though the company aims to reverse the trend with plenty of major software in the second half of the year.


From the web

User Comments (63)



LordGeovanni said:

Would love to see the PlayStation and XBox charts.

Anyway why is this surprising? I would say the same. All the Wii games work (or so I think) on the Wii U so it isn't a case where it is a "whole new system". At the same time, I still don't have a Wii U for the reason that my Wii still works and I don't have the fiscal capabilities to get a Wii U yet. When I do, (probably at Christmas due to that Wind Waker Wii U) I will happily get the 4+ games that were already released that I want. The fact is that the games that I want are not really going to disappear before I get my $ into shape. I think many others feel the same.



rjejr said:

I like the chart. You can clearly see that at the time of each new systems launch there is a sudden drop in the old systems sales, but then the sales slide eventually levels off. The difference w/ the Wii and Wii U is that the Wii leveled off above Wii U sales, not way below. It's like people went shopping for a Wii U but then bought a Wii instead. Which is really impressive since no new Wii games have released in a long time. (I wonder if Operation Rainfall will try to take credit for that as well?)

On the bright side, Wii U should reach Gamecube and N64 lifetime sales. On the downside, it will always look bad compared to the Wii.

Rather than just launching WiiHD or Wii2 w/ better Wiimote Pluses, Nintendo tried to catch lighting in a bottle twice w/ a new gimmick, the Gamepad replacing motion, and it hasn't worked. Can't really blame them for trying out a new gimmick though after the Wii's success, the alternative was probably a Gamecube drubbing. The Gamecube and N64 were both more powerful than their competition and faltered, the Wii was weaker and dominated. No wonder they went w/ a weak system and Gamepad. It makes perfect sense. Who knows, maybe it will work in the long run. Maybe.



ikuwill said:

when the games, bundles and peoples finances get in line it will sell well.
written on the wii u gamepad.



kevinaa said:

I would say its do to poor advertisement. People go to the store and u have a wii and a wiiu. With little to no mainstream advertisement. They think its the same thing with a pac but 3 times higher. Im sorry parents r buying these for kids and they sure r not reading wiiu blogs to see what a wii and wiiu differences r.



tchaten said:

PS3 to PS4 and 360 to X1 will be a slow transition too - I think this generation has something fundamentally different ...



rdrunner1178 said:

Another reason is price of the Wii. I know parents that have bought another Wii for their children so they do not have to share one. Plus the Wii Mini is $99! I'm sure that is a big factor in the regions that have it.



JimLad said:

What rjejr said. Nintendo seems better suited as the underdog with lower specs and an affordable price. Sadly the Wii U is missing half of that equation.



nisshoku said:

^ what they said. It's okay to have lower specs than the competition if you're affordable, but the Wii U doesn't really have that, it's only $100 less than a PS4 which can act as a media center plus as a powerful gaming rig. It's a tough sell unfortunately. It's that damn gamepad that's driving the cost up for Nintendo. I'd have been completely okay with them sticking with the Wiimote and bundling that Wii U Pro controller in.



Darknyht said:

One problem is that most of the games selling for Wii U have a Wii version also. If you look at the packaging of them both, there is not much to distinguish between the two.



startropics3 said:

Nintendo is probably the most courageous console developer, especially with the gamepads, which gives them high respect even with unrealized successes. No other console had a three-pronged controller with a thumb stick. No other console had a handle and bright orange colors (my fav). No other console had a remote control with motion detection. There are plenty of other brave ideas from Nintendo (Virtual Boy), that told the industry they didn't always need to play it safe. When you take risks, eventually you'll get a hit, as with the Wii. I am repeatedly unimpressed with the competition and their predictable consoles.

If games sell systems, then Wii has a leg up on the WiiU, but I wouldn't count out WiiU. The WiiU doesn't have a Super Mario World or Super Mario 64 yet, but things could change once Nintendo releases that game that has people going, "Wow, I need to play this!"

If Nintendo were truly worried about their financial situation, I think they would profit from the HD conversion of most of their GameCube and Wii library. They also wouldn't have released something like the WiiU without a system-selling game.



banacheck said:

PS3 to PS4 and 360 to X1 will be a slow transition too - I think this generation has something fundamentally different ...

It's funny you say that as the PS4 has broke records out selling pre sales of both the PS2 & PS3, myself i think Sony is back on form after there little slip with the PS3 launch.

I think the Wii U will sale but nothing like the Wii, i just hope the Wii U does start selling in 2014. Also this xmas is a make or break for Wii U to do with 3rd parties.



tchaten said:

@banacheck Launch month will be NUTS for all of these - even the Wii U had a crazy launch - but the transition isn't about presales and initial numbers - it is about that first year or two - it will be a slow one for sure!



element187 said:

@rjejr Nintendo hasn't even tried to sell the Wii U yet... They just kind of put it out there a year early to test the waters to see what their fan loyalty looks like.... and the answer is its pretty drab.

Does everyone really expect that Nintendo could have put out killer software at launch? It doesn't happen at the drop of the hat, it takes a little bit of luck at the right time. Just because that killer app isn't out yet, doesn't mean it wont ever come. It could be 2 years before that killer app is released, and it wont be the end of the world.... so all the sky is falling hysteria is unwarranted. Nintendo will be just fine, the Wii U will be just fine.

I don't know where anyone got this idea that a console must sell gangbusters at launch to be successful from, but its just not true. Nintendo has 4 or 5 years to sell these things before they start downshifting and getting ready for the next console. That break out hit might come at the end of the generation for all we know, so getting up on a soap box so early in the generation to declare Nintendo the loser and Sony/Microsoft the winner just seems foolish and short sighted.

160,000 consoles sold in a quarter and Nintendo hasn't budged on their goal of 10 million systems sold by April 2014.... Delusional or an ace up their sleeve? i'm going with the latter.



Nintenjoe64 said:

In summary: Nintendo consoles are normally completely dead by the time they release a new one.......

....although the Wii should be dead but for some reason keeps selling with no new games being made.



Sentinator said:

I bet it won't be any different with the others either. Its not so easy to sell consoles anymore. Wii U not selling isn't an indication that the masses don't care. If they didn't care sales wouldn't go up every time a new game comes out. Its more an indication just how hard it is to stand out any more.

Think Xbox One and PS4 are going to sell gangbusters and Wii U is an exception here? You are in for a rude awakening.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I don't see the Wii U doing anywhere near as well as the Wii, simply because it doesn't have the same appeal. The Wii was simple enough for anyone befuddled by traditional consoles and controllers to pick-up and play, right down to using "channels" on the menu. The only way for them to do that now is to pretty much ignore the Gamepad, which would be rather pointless now.

Right now the games aren't substantially different than those on the Wii either. They're different but not enough to make people think they can't a similar enough experience on the Wii, which is much cheaper and in this economy right now price and value make big difference.

The price isn't even low enough compared to the competition, especially the PS4. The Wii/w Wii Sports was $250 with the Xbox 360 being $400, thats a $150 difference. The closest between next-gen is $50 less for the deluxe Wii U vs the PS4 for $400. Thats out of the box by the way, your average consumer won't think to piece together their own "bundle".

Not saying the Wii U can't or won't succeed, just that as it stands things aren't working. I doubt any one console is going to blow the competition out of the water, but this holiday is going to be really interesting thats for sure.



Nintenjoe64 said:

@Sentinator I've been saying your last point for a while, people seem to think that "number of comments on IGN = sales" when it comes to Sony and MS consoles. I think Nintendo will have taught the other two to constrain supply a bit more to keep demand looking high because after the sell out at xmas, most rational consumers will wait for price drops and a clear winner before making their decision.

Most Nintendo fans have had a hard time in the last 12 months but we all know that luck can turn on any of the consoles and I will gladly be giving "I told you so"s to people if it happens to Sony and MS too!



Samurai_Goroh said:

For the general consumer, consoles are a €300 market at most. Most people won't pay more than that, nevermind if the machine does grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. They just won't, if the new generation is too expensive they keep with the previous one. It's not like the difference between generations is that evident any more, were not in the 16 to 32/64 bit quantum leap. Paying up to €500 just to play the same game but with more facial hair and detailed lighting effects, it's not compelling, the wow factor is lost.
That's what were seeing with the Wii and that's what will happen with Xbox and Playstation too. With still many 3rd party support coming to 360 and PS3, I don't see the masses moving to the next generation any time soon. Pre-orders may be through the roof, but that's just the loyal fans and early adopters. Same happened to the Wii U, but it fades months after.



rjejr said:

@element187 - "I don't know where anyone got this idea that a console must sell gangbusters at launch to be successful from"

I think they got the idea from that red Wii sales line

I agree w/ you though, Wii U marketing has been subpar at best. They did launch Wii U w/ NSMBU and they probably figured that would be enough for awhile, until Rayman came out in Feb or Mar (I forget which) and Pikmin 3 in March (it was a launch window title, then Q1 or Q2). I'm not the doomsayer I once was though. Ownership has converted me. Well ownership, the holiday line-up, and Kart 8 and SSB next year. And whatever it is you think they have up their sleeve



GiftedGimp said:

The general consensus for this (the next) gen transition from the current gen is its going to be a slow transistion, regardless of the platform, even Ms/Sony are telling people that most games on the next gen systems will appear on current gen and will continue to do so for a good number of years.
System improvments are more to do with features rather than graphical leaps, all current gen and next gen systems are getting the same games (inc WiiU once those publishers with thier heads up the behinds of MS/Sony get a sudden jolt of reality next year) and like it or not iOS and particularly Android are also taking a chunk of the gaming public, especially with the likes of Ouya and Shield systems out now/soon.
Todays Gaming Marketplace is in a totally different place than it was 7/8 years ago and untill something major comes along that makes gaming take a massive leap again as it was going from 2D sprites to 3D polygons then on to HD graphics there won't be a transition from one generation to the next as fast or as strong as previously seen.



taffy said:

Can't say i'm surprised that that the Sony consoles continued good sales AFTER the launch of their successors cause Sony supported them. God of War 2 came out during the launch period of the PS3 and it also received several ports from the PSP later on(ironic when you think that at the beginning the PSP was filled with PS2 ports). Then look at the nintendo consoles, the software support usually ends about a year BEFORE the new console arrives!



Ryno said:

@banacheck "It's funny you say that as the PS4 has broke records out selling pre sales of both the PS2 & PS3, myself i think Sony is back on form after there little slip with the PS3 launch."

You know what these "records" tell me? Everyone and their mother thinks they are going to make money off of preordering multiple consoles then trying to resell them for a profit.



Mario-Man-Child said:

I agree with what your saying. I think the current generation PS3, 360 and even Wii have hit a standard which is very high. Where as in the past consoles were always underpowered and gamers were always eager to get a more powerful system which they hoped could handle the game of their dreams. This is is not the case anymore.



brucelebnd said:

it's pretty simple lower the price of the Wii U.

if they don't by Christmas in NA they pretty much write the Wii U off, because 3rd parties totally will.



tchaten said:

@Falco Also you had a much longer generation this time around 10 year olds that grew up on this generation will be happy to play their systems for another year or two until there are good games for the next gen



GiftedGimp said:

@Samurai_Goroh Pre-orders seem to be through the roof, particularly for Ps4. However Sony were saying months ago about not being able to meet pre-order demand and at that time most places weren't taking pre-orders.
I smell Manufacturing throttling going on. It happened with Xbox360, which was denied but proven to be the case once the actuall sytem sales figures for the launch period were published.
It's always looks good to have headlines saying system X sold out due to demand beyond expectations, even if a couple of monts down the line Figures show demend could of been met.



blaster_man said:

@nisshoku it's only $50 less than PS4. You can't find the Basic units any longer because they've been recalled. The Wii U is $350 now.



DualWielding said:

You cannot compare the Wii to Wii U transition to that of other console the Wii was considered a death console long before the Wii U release with not even Nintendo itself supporting it..... that's why its is so pathetic that the Wii U is being outsold by the Wii no because it is its previous iteration but because it is a console that has been dead for about a year now...... The PS3 and 360 would outsell the xbone and the ps4 for a good while but that's normal because those are consoles that are very much alive and would continue to get support for at least a year after their succesor releaseses



banacheck said:

Don't worry you'll be able to buy one at launch, thay've kepted some back for that very reason, but i would be quick tho.

8 years this year actually, the same will apply to these consoles. No console will be out for a decade, without a new one releasing in that time, technology forbids it, thats why thay'll be a new Wii out around 2018-2019 depending on sales.



tchaten said:

@banacheck I think Nintendo like to have 5-6 year console cycles no matter how successful it is. I think historical data backs that ...



Caryslan said:

@ferthepoet I'm still not very happy with Nintendo over how they treated the Wii in 2011 and 2012. After 2010 ended, it felt like the Wii became an afterthought while they pushed the 3DS and Wii U out the door. There were some great games that did come out, but overall it was pathetic. Virtually all the third-party support had dried up and there were long periods where the WIi got nothing on it.

And then when the Wii U launched, the Wii was tossed out the door. I understand they want to push the Wii U, but why can't Wii owners get some new games? Back when the SNES launched, the NES had good support for several years. Now, we're lucky if a Disney game comes our way. I'm a bit surprised Pandora's Tower made it over here.

One thing that has to be said about Sony is that they do not toss their older system to the curb once the new one arrives. The PS1 and PS2 both got great support after their successors came out.

But the Wii's lack of support over the past few years bothers me. Nintendo just has a really bad habit of tossing their older consoles aside when the new one arrives. And as a person who bought two Wii consoles, I find that very insulting.

And I don't really get it. The Wii was the best selling system of its generation. Can't Nintendo put out a few games on the system and keep the services running for a few more years? To be blunt, Nintendo kinda sends the message to the millions of Wii owners that they don't matter unless they upgrade to a Wii U



banacheck said:


Wii U 2012 - Wii ? 2018-19 6-7years highly doubt 7years with weaker Wii U tech.
But if its doesn't sell i'm not saying that will happen, thay'll be focused too release a new console or not sooner.



element187 said:

@banacheck yeah and the Wii U sold out at launch too.

There is only a planned 1 million PS4's on launch day. Sounds like they are undershipping to get the headlines of high demand.... the test of how well recieved a product comes is after everyone who wants one this xmas gets one.... i don't think the demand is that high for a games console in 2013.

E3 was an absolute bore to Joe Q Public, if they even paid attention. none of my friends with xbox's and playstations really cared too much.. If thats the opinion and excitement for the average gamer, than both consoles aren't going to make a big splash. The only people excited for xBone and PS4 are the hardcore that follow every second of gaming news every single day... those numbers aren't that large... we are also dealing with an economy still circling the drain. The situation in 2013 is even more precarious than it was in 2008. Gallup just reported the unemployment number jumped from 7.7% to 8.9% in less than 30 days. Thats nothing to sneeze at, that means 3 million Americans lost their job last month... for comparisons sake that nasty recession in Sept 2008 only saw a drop of 700,000 per month. I really don't think that is going to play well at all this christmas when it comes to luxury items. Nintendo has the stock and the exclusives to do well this Christmas, and without a doubt will sell more consoles than Sony and Microsoft...

The price advantage extends out because of the bundling of a game or two. Both PS4 and xBone do not come with a free game. If Nintendo has the backbone to offer bundles with one of their premier games + Nintendoland or Game and Wario, their product will look mightily attractive up against much more expensive consoles that do not come with a game.... Sony/Microsoft are concentrating on young adults who can purchase their own system, and even then only the absolute diehard is going to get these units at launch.... Nintendo is going to target the family this Christmas. If I had to guess I'd say Nintendo sells more consoles this holiday than Sony and Microsoft combined.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Dang. This only reminds me of how much of a noob i've been until the late Gamecube days. Quite a few gems i missed out on that, the NES and the GBA because of my stupid casual interest.



Senario said:

@Nintenjoe64 Agreed for the most part. I'm actually a pretty patient person so I don't really care too much about the amount of games the Wii U has thus far. I've already had way more than enough fun with it.

That and I had a launch week PS3 and that was the mother of all terrible launches XD. 2 Years no games? The Wii U is actually doing great compared to that example in terms of games.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Tech doesn't forbid anything, and nothing is set in stone. I agree that its more likely to technically be a 10-year supported cycle like this one is supposed to be, but with the way things are right now with the economy and everything its certainly a possibility. Times have changed and theres no way to tell for certain how things will be 6-7 years from now.



startropics3 said:

I plan to use my Wii for a long time, even if I do find myself purchasing a WiiU, mostly because Nintendo finally supported backwards compatibility with the Wii. Even games that are not released in the VC can be emulated on the Wii through homebrew apps. The GameCube and Wii have an excellent collection of games to play for years, especially the GC. Part of the interest in replaying old titles years later is in reflecting on the parts that made the games work so well or on what didn't. You can also notice things you may have overlooked in the past, such as sexist or violent overtones, or you may find places where a new game directly referenced some aspect, like the town names in Zelda 2.

I find it surprising when console developers state that new games will continue to be made for an old console after a new console is released. That only seems to be true when development began prior to the new console's release, but there are exceptions as we saw with startropics 2 and mega man 6, among others, which were released three years after the SNES came to the US. Developers sometimes move or port games onto new systems if development is within this console transition window. If you'll recall, Eternal Darkness was slated for a late N64 release, but switched to the GC as a release lineup. Twilight Princess took advantage of two consoles, although I prefer the GC version.

I have no issue with Nintendo putting their efforts into new games for new consoles. That said, I might agree with you that Nintendo, and others, leave the last generation unsupported, but not only the consoles. I wish they would create more 2D games, like they did with New SMB. I thought Kirby's Epic Yarn was a great idea, visually, but the pretty visuals aren't necessary. There is something simple yet still enjoyable about side-scrollers that gets lost or complicated when made into polygons with 3D environments. I think Fez approached the interplay of the two very well, and it is a game that wouldn't require a new console or a big dev team.

Nintendo is in situation where they can and should take risks due to handheld and Wii sales. They still need to show they are relevant in home consoles with the WiiU, but they don't need to emphasize it as their only option due to their impressive back catalog and licenses. It's almost an arrogance you have to admire. They have been around the longest of the bunch and seem to play by their own rules, sometimes to the detriment of third party relations (remember cartridges?).



Rafie said:

Congrats to the Wii. I applaud their continue success. While it isn't my favorite console, the games on it are one of my favs though. That's what pushed the console to the heights the PS3 and 360 haven't seen yet. Those counting the Wii U out will be in for some humble pie. Slow start doesn't automatically mean failure.

I personally loved the Gamecube. I believe it's a beautiful piece of hardware that I still hold dear to my heart. Very underrated if you ask me. It was on par with the Xbox (which both were more powerful than the PS2). Good job, Nintendo. I hope to see more success from you all. I'm forever a fan!



AngryTaxman said:

There is something in this that seems real in economic theory that goes beyond filling out, potential realising itself and so on. It is about realistic expectations about people's powers to enjoy themselves more between different console generations.

And it's almost like we are getting more distinct in our demand for new things, like there is greater information in the market at the same time. if we already know that, for us, WiiU is not so much better than Wii, we may be happy to just buy the same old games or turn to bargain gaming. This is encouraging the longer life of one console, it doesn't allow for such megalithic views of the hardware of the console. They may get harder to build monopoly around.

When you also think about all of the small and flash games flooding the arena, and the takup of franchising - even though there is some brand loyalty now, it is almost genre loyalty, and things are looking more or less competitive. I mean, the Wii is perhaps competing with its successor.

This is an interesting state for markets! This and the facts that games can be back-compatible really makes for a fun industry.



Sentinator said:

@banacheck Tech inside a console has absolutely not one thing to do with how long a console lasts. PS2 was the weakest system of the generation yet continues to sell well after 10 years. PS1 was similar. DS continues to sell to this day yet the more powerful PSP has been abandoned.

Only one thing matters. Games.



banacheck said:


The PlayStation 1 sold for a decade with no other PlayStation console on the market? i don't think so, technology moves fast. mobiles would out pace consoles if thay released every decade.



banacheck said:

Sorry you can download games day one without PS+, would you like a list?

Yes and the economy which isn't really that bad as it has been depending how long you've been around, is not going to change?

Slow start doesn't automatically mean failure

Aka PS3, who said anyting about counting the Wii U out, i'm just going by this xmas and what i know. But than again the Wii U could fail and so could any other console for that matter.

Think about it according to some the Wii is no longer being supported, yet it's still outselling the Wii U. Also Nintendo has always been the cheaper console, but now its only $50 less.

The Wii U is selling great towards the PS3 did, actually its selling worse than the PS3 did, fact.



Caryslan said:

@banacheck The PS1 was on the market until 2006. It was discontinued only a few months before the PS3 launched. So, it was on the market for a good portion of the PS2's lifespan.



Caryslan said:

@Sentinator The PSP is something of an unusual story since it sold very well overall(70 million puts it above the NES and SNES in that regard) and the system was very well-supported by third-parties. Plus, there are several stores that still sell new PSP systems. The Targets in my area still sell new ones(and they aren't oldstock since the packaging has changed on them.)

What killed the PSP was not a lack of games or a lack of support. Piracy is what killed the PSP, since many owners would pirate the games instead of buying them. The PSP has a horrible software attachment rate despite its sizable user base, which means one thing. Many owners were stealing their games off Internet. The DS has a similar problem, but the PSP was really hit hard by it.

Also, the PSP Go turned a lot of retailers against the system and they simply stopped stocking the system or its games. The very concept of the PSP Go made a lot of stores upset, since it cut them out of any sales outside the console itself. It was widely reported that many stores simply gave the shelf space to the DS, or another system in response.

So, the PSP is a weird case. It's not really a lack of games or support that hurt it. Rather, it was insane levels of piracy and the PSP Go angering stores.



banacheck said:

I'm not really that big on handhelds games, i had a PSP when it first released but i played more on consoles, also had a DS but its also in the draw. Thats why i haven't got a PSVite because i know it'll not get used like my consoles, so i don't really keep up with them.

Metal Gear Acid PSP that was a good MG game, but a truned base game with cards, good game, & GOW games.



JaxonH said:

I really don't agree that the gamepad is a "gimmick". It's just not. A gimmick would be including Nintendo trading cards with every purchase, or entering customers' names in a contest for a free lifetime subscription to ONM. The gamepad is a legitimate, core feature to the system, and one which has been proven for over 30 years.

Nintendo has always been fond of the dual-screen mechanic. Even back in the 80's, Nintendo was implementing dual screens in their Game & Watch handhelds. We saw the dual-screen principle again during the Gamecube era via GBA connectivity, and many games (such as Zelda Four Swords) used that mechanic in the very same way the gamepad is used today on Wii U. Dual screen gaming was then made popular with the Nintendo DS (Dual Screen), which has sold over 150 million units to date, and was further solidified when the 3DS continued the 2 screen trend.

And now we're seeing it as a standard feature for the first time on a home console. Up until now, technology had prevented dual screen gaming from becoming a reality on home consoles, but Nintendo's vision was finally able to bear fruit in 2012, thanks in no small part to the advancement in streaming technology. The Wii U is a natural evolution, one we could all see coming for decades. Nintendo didn't sit down in a think tank and say, "Hey, what snazzy feature can we create to trick people into buying our next console in droves?" No. They did what they always do. They thought of the funnest way to experience games that hadn't been done before on a home console, and they did it.

Now, it may just so happen that one of their ideas become all the rage, but that's not to say that their ideas are not legit. Motion control gaming was completely legit, and was bound to happen sooner or later. The 7th gen was a huge leap for gaming, and we're seeing motion controls begin to mature now in the 8th gen. Dual screen gaming has been proven for years with Nintendo, so I think this gen will go a lot smoother with regard to implementation than the last gen. Last gen there was a considerable learning curve, and yes, some developers utilized the motion controls AS A GIMMICK in certain games, usually games in which motion controls has no business being in. But that's not to say that motion gaming as a whole was a gimmick, because it wasn't. It was just sometimes USED as a gimmick for games that should never have had motion controls, to help them sell.

The same goes for the gamepad. It's the next logical step for gaming on a home console, especially considering how much value 2 screens have brought to the table in the handheld arena. Gaming is just better with 2 screens. Not all games necessarily need 2 screens, but all games can benefit from them. Look at Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon or Fire Emblem Awakening- both could have been done on a single screen, but they're definitely enhanced by using 2 screens. Other games, like Mario & Luigi Dream Team, simply wouldn't be possible without a second screen.

Sorry for the long post- this is just a topic I feel very adamant about and wanted to share some perspective on.



Caryslan said:

@JaxonH I have to agree with you 100%. People throw the word gimmick around way too easily without stopping to think about the potential of the technology. The Wiimote, Kinect, Dual Screens, Touch Screens, rumble, or analog sticks are not gimmicks. They are all new ways to play a game, and each one has made a major impact in one way or another.

When done right, each of these technologies has the potential to enhance gaming beyond the control pad. Look at all the applications the Wiimote and Kinect have found since they were introduced? And for the better, both the Wiimote and Kinect got people up and got them move involved with their games.

The classic control pad will never go away. There are certain types of games such as action, fighting, and shooters that play the best with classic gamepads. But to dismiss new technology as a gimmick because a few lazy developers use it the wrong way is missing the point.

Just like gaming controllers evolved from a joystick and a single button to the modern controllers of today, so does the way we interact with the games we play. The so-called "Hardcore" can laugh at Wiisports and call it a gimmick. But let's keep in mind it brought an entire audience to video games who had never touched the controller of a modern system. What is wrong with that? If the wiimote allowed some older people to enjoy video games, than more power to it. Video games are about having fun, not calling everything a gimmick and crying online that grandma is now playing games.

Nintendo has kept the classic control pad for the Wii U. It's not like Nintendo is saying you have to use the Gamepad for everything. The 3D can be turned off on the 3DS, and you can own an Xbox 360 without ever touching a Kinect.

But people need to stop with the gimmick stuff. It's all about having fun in the end, and if the Kinect, 3D, or the Wiimote allow that to happen then what's the problem?



rjejr said:

@JaxonH - OK, gimmick was perhaps a poor choice of word. I'll try again:

After the success Nintendo had w/ motion control as the central focus of the Wii, emphasized by the inclusion of Wii Sports in the box, it tried again to bring a new innovation to home video games by relying on a visual touchscreen as the Wii U's main focus and including Nintendo Land in the box. So far at least, the new touchscreen focus has not proven as effective in selling the Wii U as motion was at selling the Wii.

I think if you like it then it's a new innovative focus, if it doesn't sell well it's a gimmick. One man's focus is another mans gimmick so to speak.

My wife, reading over my shoulder, could only say : wow, that's a long post.



rjejr said:

BTW - here's the Meriam Webster definition of gimmick. I see nothing in it, well except #1a about a gambling device, that could not be applied to the Gamepads touchscreen.

Definition of GIMMICK

a : a mechanical device for secretly and dishonestly controlling gambling apparatus
b : an ingenious or novel mechanical device : gadget
a : an important feature that is not immediately apparent : catch
b : an ingenious and usually new scheme or angle
c : a trick or device used to attract business or attention <a marketing gimmick>

Just b/c some people tend to use the word gimmick in a way you don't like doesn't mean the proper definition doesn't also hold true. The touch screen is an ingenious novel device in the home console video game world that is an important feature and made to attract peoples attention. Now if you get the definition from an "urban" dictionary gimmick is most certainly seen in a negative light, hence your ruffled feathers.



Funny_Moblin said:

Sorry if this is a bit off-topic, but is the Sonic Lost World Deadly Six Edition a replacement of some boss fights, or are the original boss fights still in the game?
Thanks in advance



MadAdam81 said:

It took approx 3 years for the Wii to hit its sales peak, and the Wii juggernaut is so strong of course it's going to take awhile for the Wii U to steal all its momentum.



JaxonH said:

Haha, ruffled feathers... I don't know why that made me laugh so hard lol

Anyways, fair enough. The definition that is commonly used in gaming implies a negative connotation- some cheap trick used in a feeble attempt to squeeze a few extra sales out of something. So naturally when I hear the term I usually assume that's what is meant. In my opinion, what it all boils down to is "Is feature X a cheap trick that brings nothing to the table, or a legitimate, substantial mechanic that adds value?"

I'm of the firm belief that everything Nintendo does, is done for the right reasons. They're the one company that I feel truly puts the gamer first. Like with their software- they hold every game to rigorous quality standards because they want only the best for the consumer. I think that kinda translates into their hardware too. I don't think they would ever casually implement some cheap feature just to bleed a few extra sales.

Unfortunately, the Wii U hasn't caught fire yet, leaving Nintendo vulnerable to endless criticism from all angles. A lot of gaming journalists, like Adam Sessler, have a "kick em while they're down" mentality, and are really going for the jugular in their attempts to make Nintendo irrelevant by convincing gullible young gamers to not take Nintendo seriously as a viable platform. One of his many recurring insults has been that the gamepad is nothing more than a cheap gimmick, which definitely "ruffles my feathers" when I hear HIM say it publicly during interviews That guy...

[tell your wife that post was nothing, we're just getting warmed up here lol]



Sentinator said:

@Caryslan It was only very well supported by third parties during the early days. Then when it became apparent the reality wasn't living up to the dream people had for it they stopped buying games for it. Piracy has been a problem for both DS and 360 for years and it didn't stop games selling well on them.

Here is the truth about PSP. It saw very few releases from Sony. They were too busy pushing PS3. They knew it had to go places but they couldn't do anything besides make it stand out. So what was cast aside? PSP games. They put so many resources into PS3 they were forgetting about their handheld. People were trading them in as it became clear Sony didn't care for the system. If Sony don't care why should anybody else? Sony stopped making games for a period of time then tried to use a redesign to restore interest. That is what killed the system.

PSP is not the only "weird case" where power didn't keep it alive. Xbox and Gamecube were losing life long before their successors came out. All that a system needs to be kept alive is games. Not how powerful it is.



FleetwoodMackin said:

And because no one knows what the hell a Wii U is...

If they had to keep 'Wii' in it.. needed to just add a 2... The Wii U is still either unknown or thought of as just a Wii add on to the overwhelming public...

Oh well... it'll catch on eventually. Nintendo just uses games to sell systems.. instead of the other way around. As soon as Zelda and Mario are out people will say.. 'Hold on.. this isn't for Wii? Guess i'll just have to get the new one...' Problem solved... imo.



Zombie_Barioth said:

The interesting thing about the PSP is it actually did pretty well In Japan even after it pretty much died everywhere else.

Yea I know handhelds are big in Japan and it had Monster Hunter to keep it afloat, but it still managed to outsell the Vita for a while there. It was still getting games well after it died elsewhere and shows just how much a good selection of games matters.

Granted the 3DS now has both Pokemon AND Monster Hunter, but you know theres a problem when even Japan doesn't want your handheld.



Sentinator said:

@Zombie_Barioth I think PSP's failings outside Japan were down to audience perception and Sony's backing. It saw support in Japan because the attach rate existed. Outside Japan though you would have better luck selling a Wii game. Sony didn't back it enough so people got rid of it. The attach rate went down. The other problem is the western audience for their handhelds have different expectations to Japan. They expect big budget, great graphical eye grabbing games. What they got was half baked ports with features missing. Then it dried out when people got rid of it.

The main problem with PSP lied with Sony not being fully committed to it and setting examples of the types of games that make PSP gamers go "WOW!" Piracy was only a contributing factor. If you want people on board your system (both gamers and developers) you flood your own games on there.



Ren said:

what does this graph mean to me? it says that with WiiU and old Wii sales about even now thats still a cash trickle, which gives them about 2 years to make a choice how to save the new system or let it go. The 3DS will always help too, but the WiiU clearly doesn't have the appeal that Wii did and they need to come to terms with that and do something drastically different. The game market is so big now and so fractured that no one can just sit on a name anymore, they need to make moves.



JimLad said:

@JaxonH There's a lot of truth in that long post of yours. I loved the Wii, but felt like it never really reached it's full potential. I personally think Nintendo should have kept persuing motion controls with motion plus. But instead they all but abandoned the system and left it to rot in it's final years. That's when I bought a 360.
Those dual screen games you mentioned are a great example. They're also a great example of the kind of software there should already be on the WiiU.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...