News Article

Wii U Name Isn't To Blame For Poor Sales, Says Reggie

Posted by Damien McFerran

"The consumer understands that we have a new system"

The Wii U hasn't had the start that Nintendo would have wanted, with sluggish sales and a slow stream of software making the Wii successor's first year a pretty torrid one. Some critics have pointed out that the name could be to blame, and claim that many consumers aren't even aware that the Wii U is a new console — they see it as a peripheral for existing hardware.

Speaking to Kotaku, Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime contested this viewpoint, stating that other factors are to blame:

The challenges we're facing with Wii U are not issues of the name. The issue is the lack of a steady rate of software launches to motivate the consumer to drive buzz and engagement and to highlight the wide variety of uses of the GamePad. That's the issue.

The consumer understands that we have a new system. But the consumer is saying: 'What am I going to play? And what am I going to play that's a new and unique and compelling experience vs. what I can do today, whether it's on the Wii or any other system?'

And that's why experiences like Pikmin 3, like Wonderful 101, like Zelda Wind Waker HD, with the off-TV play, experiences like Super Mario 3D World — that's why it's critical that we launch those, have consumers experience them in malls across the country, which we'll be doing. It's critical that the consumer see for themselves the range and breadth of compelling software for the system.

Here at Nintendo Life we personally know several people who assumed the Wii U was an additional controller for the original Wii until we put them right, so Reggie could be underestimating the level of consumer confusion. However, the reasons he cites are arguably more likely to be bigger problems.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Reggie has a point, or is the Wii U branding simply not distinct enough? Should Nintendo have gone with a different moniker, possibly one which avoids the name "Wii" altogether, or did it make sense to connect the console to its predecessor — which was the best-selling hardware of its generation, lest we forget? Sound off in the comments section below to share your views.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (145)

Phantom_R

#1

Phantom_R said:

No, Reggie, the consumer doesn't know that you have a new system, because your commercials are so vague. I've been asked by more than a few people how I fit those discs into my gamepad.

Kodeen

#2

Kodeen said:

I don't know that the name is that confusing. What I could see people getting confused about is pictures like the one in the article, with a Gamepad placed prominently in front of something that looks like a Wii.

Portista

#3

Portista said:

I also have had to explain to people that it isn't just a small upgrade to the Wii...I do kinda think they should have picked a different name for that reason. Besides that I think the name is pretty sweet!

ferrers405

#4

ferrers405 said:

Really? Of course the normal consumer (not gamers) doesn't understand WiiU, it hasn't commercials, very few good games, almost the same name of it's predecessor and the advertising is too weak..

bezerker99

#5

bezerker99 said:

I've not seen one TV or radio spot about Wii U here in North America. I think marketing would help. That and new games.

Burning_Spear

#6

Burning_Spear said:

The name is not the problem per se. The problem is that a lot of people don't know the console exists and that many of the people who do know are not thrilled by the lineup of games that are available. They could have called it anything and sales would not have been any different without a better advertising/marketing campaign and a better lineup of games.

TwoSmoove

#7

TwoSmoove said:

Software and branding seem to be the issue. I had to explain multiple times to one of my friends that the WiiU was a brand new system. He thought that it was just the gamepad added to the Wii. I had to sit my White Wii next to my Deluxe WiiU before he got the difference. I imagine many consumers may be having that issue as well.

Peach64

#8

Peach64 said:

I know several people that have seen it in a store and thought it was a handheld device for the Wii. They had the same problem with the 3DS, with a lot of people thinking it was a DSi style upgrade or not the next new console.

NbaJunkie

#9

NbaJunkie said:

Of course the casual consumer doesn't understand what the WiiU is. The only commercial I have ever seen for the U was at launch with a what looked like a rave for families. Just bad. The name has never helped any. If they wanted consumers to indentify with the wii brand they should have fazed the original wii out. But you cant have it both ways Nintendo. Greed gets you no where

shuis

#11

shuis said:

I had to explain to a mom just the day before yesterday what makes Wii U different from a Wii, which she already owns. She was curious and excited afterward. I hope Nintendo distinctively names the next console.

DarkKirby

#12

DarkKirby said:

How is someone working at Nintendo Life and didn't know what the Wii U is? Are you talking about people who work there at jobs unrelated to gaming and don't play games in the 1st place?

The casual market has moved on, they think the games on their smartphones are the best thing since sliced bread. To continue to attempt to appeal to them is a waste of time.

Kodeen

#15

Kodeen said:

@DarkKirby

I think he meant that the people at Nintendolife know of other people (friends, etc...) that don't know the difference.

chaos_

#16

chaos_ said:

Yea casual gamers think it's just an ad on to the original Wii. I would have called it Wii 2 or Nintendo HD.anything but Wii U

DualWielding

#17

DualWielding said:

nahh name its not the issue, yes there are lot of people who don't know what the Wii U is but those are people that wouldn't be interested in the Wii U in any case... Wii U problem is the same every Nintendo non-handheld has had since the N64, no third party support

idork99

#18

idork99 said:

"'What am I going to play? And what am I going to play that's a new and unique and compelling experience vs. what I can do today, whether it's on the Wii or any other system?'"

I can understand Reggie. It's true, people have too many electronic devices to distract them that the need for another one is never a thought. Nintendo is just having a fight with the times. People are too distracted to really find out the Wii U difference is because upon brief look it all seems the same of what's out there already.

EvisceratorX

#19

EvisceratorX said:

Really, Reggie? Then why has every single friend that I've shown the Wii U asked me where I bought the gamepad for my Wii?

WiiULoveSquid

#20

WiiULoveSquid said:

Reggie is right to focus on this side of the issue. Without games people want to play no one is gonna care about what the Wii U is or any of it's hardware features in the end.

Once they see the small collection of shiny new first party games that's when they will care to educate themselves. Nintendo can advertise all it wants but it's the consumer who has to decide to buy. That decision will come meaningfully when enough software presents itself. Then the consumer will care enough to know what the gamepad does.

MadAdam81

#21

MadAdam81 said:

I don't know of anyone who thinks the Wii U is an add-on for the Wii. If you step inside a game store and see the disc cases, it's obviously discs for a new console.
And Nintendo haters said the 3DS will fail as people will think it's a DS add-on... Even if it's true, over time those uninformed consumers will learn.

TruenoGT

#22

TruenoGT said:

Whether people are confused or not, I'm glad that they're taking the high road and saying that lack of compelling software is to blame. This rationale brings the strongest incentive to create new, great games and everyone wins there. If they simply renamed it, continued to have a software lull and then blamed poor sales on the naming, nobody wins.

I think if you have awesome products that people want (and can demonstrate it effectively), customers WILL seek the system out regardless of the name. Would Wii 2 or something have been better? Maybe, but getting great games and at least generating interest in dedicated gamers is a way more important start.

zeldagaymer93

#23

zeldagaymer93 said:

He is right that the lack of good games is the biggest problem. However, the name is also a big problem, too. I have 0 friends that own a Wii U. Every single one of them asked how the "new controller" for the Wii was when they saw it on my coffee table. I told them the Wii U is a new sytem and they still seemed confused.

Nintendo needs to create amazing ads for the Holiday system that addresses this issue and play them on major television networks.

ultraraichu

#24

ultraraichu said:

I wouldn't worry about the name since they're knowledgeable youngsters out there to tell the "grown-ups" it's a new system. I remember explaining to my parents the difference between a GBC to a GBA and PS1 to PS2.

Pretty sure the people who don't know about the Wii U don't really care about the system unless recommended by someone they know or as a present, like a gift to grandma.

Dreamcaster-X

#25

Dreamcaster-X said:

Yeah it's a combination of several factors. Reggie pointed out one of it's most glaring issues being a lack of software and he'd be right but the name issue & the system looking similar to the old Wii is still very confusing to some people. I think he overestimates consumer intelligence. If anything, I think they have learned to drop the "Wii" moniker on their next console and to have a steady stream of software.

DarkCoolEdge

#26

DarkCoolEdge said:

I disagree. Most people doesn't know the difference and thinks that is just an accesory.
It has been one of Nintendo's most stupid decisions. And not being that enough, they make it look almost the same. Well played...

King47

#27

King47 said:

I think it's the consumers' fault for not knowing that it's a new system. I mean with all the commercials and ads they better know the difference. It's not like the name is confusing or anything, right?

The name isn't the sole reason, but it does play a role.

LUIGITORNADO

#28

LUIGITORNADO said:

There is always consumer confusion when it comes to electronic products. I remember reading comments online (Yahoo!) that someone was furious that they could not play Mario 3D Land on their DS. I also recall listening to a mother demanding a Gamestop employee to tell her why Mario Kart wasn't out on 360, and when he explained to her the nuisances of exclusives and how you must own a Nintendo console to play Nintendo games, she wouldn't here it.

Confusion is accounted for, and Reggie is right: it's not why the Wii U has stalled sales. Wii U needs games, it is simple as that. Haters only have perpetuated the name problem because they dislike the Wii brand.

Watch the insults please — TBD

DarkCoolEdge

#29

DarkCoolEdge said:

@King47 You tell that to my mother. She knew what was the Wii and asked for one. She doesn't have a clue about what is WiiU and there is no way she is going to say "hey, let's see if this is a new console!" Why should she?

gloom

#30

gloom said:

Literally everyone that I've talked to about the Wii U had no idea about it and got excited once they knew about it. THE PUBLIC DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT IT BECAUSE NINTENDO HAS NOT PROPERLY ADVERTISED. GET SOME COMMERCIALS OUT THERE! BE ACTIVE IN THIS BEFORE IT TO REALLY TOO LATE!!!!!!

rmeyer

#31

rmeyer said:

Just have a commercial with a guy on the toilet playing Call of Duty Ghosts=win

bofis

#32

bofis said:

It's ALL about marketing in this economy and everyone I've talked to has responded by asking me, "there's a new Wii?" and do not understand that it's a whole-new system. I mean certainly some people do, but parents, who may end up buying this thing for their kids, do not necessarily realize there's a difference.

WiiULoveSquid

#33

WiiULoveSquid said:

Don't get caught thinking like Nintendo once did, after the big success of the Wii and DS that people will naturally seek out and buy their successors because they are new. The consumer does not do this. Neither the majority of gamers who will come to own the system or the casuals. No matter how much they know about it's "newness".

Kirk

#34

Kirk said:

I'm sure some of the consumers, not all of them, do understand you have a new system, Nintendo.

It's clear that most of them don't really care however.

Note: The Wii is only the best selling console of it's generation SO FAR but the generation isn't nearly over for the other consoles. If history has taught us anything it's that the PS3 for sure will continue to sell for years to come and if history repeats it will sell nearly as many consoles in the future as it already has thus far*. Assuming history does repeat, in terms of sales trends, I actually think the Wii will likely end up selling less than the PS3 in total and could even end up in last place this gen.

*This is not historically the case with Nintendo systems where sales of their current system pretty much stop dead once their new system comes out.

Nintenjoe64

#35

Nintenjoe64 said:

The name isn't why people are confused or in the dark but it doesn't help anyone. They should call it the U-Wii and claim the U stands for Ultra. Super Wii or Swii would have been perfect but it's too late for that. It's strange that gaming sites keep bringing up the name thing and the accessory thing. They've known the name and what it is since June 2011. I sometimes wonder if Sony and MS paid the mainstream sites to keep saying they were confused to make people jump on the I'm confused bandwagon or just get confused by being told to be confused.

Although we're being told it is scary times for the Wii U because of poor sales, the lack of marketing accounts for so much of the lack of consumer awareness. Before the Wii was released, they had a full blown campaign which evolved into lots of celebrity endorsements. News programs spoke about games to explain about this new revolutionary console. So far the Wii U has had none of that, just the odd late night advert. Get the Beckhams playing Mario Kart 8 against some other famous families and people will want to buy it.

@rmeyer that is definitely better than what they've had so far.

Ryno

#36

Ryno said:

Never been a fan of the Wii name but Wii 2 would have left no doubt.

Xiao_Pai

#37

Xiao_Pai said:

...You think people are choosing to be confused over the name? Just like with the 3D DS? (seriously, its 3DS, not a DS with 3D, lol) Not to mention they showed off some games and people STILL THINK its a Wii/DS game. >.>

Spectator

#38

Spectator said:

Nintendo has terrible marketing right now, I can't blame them, they would have to have games worth marketing. That was their problem to begin with. Now that they have actual games coming out they have to actually start marketing.

ueI

#39

ueI said:

The WiiU's name isn't any more confusing than the names of the SNES, XBox360, and Gameboy Advance.

WiiULoveSquid

#40

WiiULoveSquid said:

XBOX One is also not a good nor descriptive nor informative name. But people care about Xbox brand even before it has any games library to play.

Guitardude7

#41

Guitardude7 said:

Despite all the things I constantly defend Nintendo over.........I have to disagree with Reggie on this one. It might not be the biggest problem (lack of software is mainly responsible) But if ads from Target can confuse the Wii and Wii U then the name is definitely an issue. A name change is not necessary though. They could get past this if they could clearly state that the Wii U IS a new system but their commercials are definitely lacking.

skywake

#42

skywake said:

The Wii U's name is LESS confusing than the XBox One or Apple's decision to call the iPad 3 the iPad. Plenty of "bad" names for products that ended up doing very well indeed. All you need is a good reason to buy the thing and people will know they want to buy it.

I'm sure we all remember the labels on old games reminding us that it only worked on their new console. Gameboy Color games that could be played on the Gameboy Advance and the Gameboy Color but not the Gameboy Pocket or original Gameboy. And we think "Wii U" being "confusing" is a problem? :S

datamonkey

#43

datamonkey said:

I think Nintendo were smoking something the day they choose the Wii U name.

They must have been smoking the same thing the day they decided to design the console almost identically to its predecessor too!

Gioku

#44

Gioku said:

I had a friend who thought the Gamepad was another handheld... he asked me 'so what's the difference between the 3DS and the WiiU?' He didn't realize that the WiiU was a home console...

BossBattles

#46

BossBattles said:

Your average person can't comprehend what a Wii U is. It is an issue, no doubt.
There is also media hatred for the company that has gained momentum in recent years.
Nintendo has to re-brand the console and aggressively make surprising moves to make people take notice.

C7_

#47

C7_ said:

The fact is that the consumers I run to often DON'T know it's a new system, but just another peripheral for the Wii that improves its functions. He's right that the main issue is games, but the other important issue is that they've pretty much failed in marketing in their target audience has no idea what a WiiU is. If they had called it a Wii2 they would've solved a lot of the problem, but if they had continued with the same bad marketing they'd still be in the same place.

ToniK

#48

ToniK said:

Adding a new number after a product's name is fine but try to add a letter and people get all confused. I guess you should never overestimate the humble brains of man :/
I think Wii U is a great name. More ads would've helped though.

Mytoemytoe

#49

Mytoemytoe said:

Nintendo gave their console a pretty stupid name (Wii) and it did just fine. While I think there is possibly some consumer confusion, I agree with Reggie that it isn't a primary reason for low sales.

WiiULoveSquid

#50

WiiULoveSquid said:

The majority of Nintendo gamers haven't bought the Wiii U. And they know it's not a Wii.

Reggie's on to something. HINT: He's talking about Nintendo fans, people. He knows the dopey casuals left the party! He's talking about millions of 3DS owners that haven't bothered to buy a Wii U but owned a Wii and DS!

FX29

#51

FX29 said:

I don't really think the name is the problem. Gamers and Nintendo fans understand that the Wii U is a new system. The casual gamer has no clue what the system even is, the same goes for the Xbox One. The obvious problem is the games, if you got no games the system ain't going to sell. Another problem is the marketing for the Wii U, it's been almost non-existent. I haven't seen any commercials for the system on TV where I live.

Dr_Corndog

#52

Dr_Corndog said:

Even if he's wrong on the name issue, I love it that Reggie and Iwata are so up-front about the system's shortcomings.

TheAdrock

#53

TheAdrock said:

Its not the only issue, but its part of it. I don't know anybody who thinks its a good name. Names are important as they need to communicate what the product is. "Play Station", "Xbox", "Game Cube", "Nintendo Entertainment System"... these all give your mind an instant understanding of what it is.

What the H is a "WiiU" and how do you even say it? Is it a dichotomy; both "we" and "you"? Its unclear.

But names aside, if the system had revolutionary hardware that broke new ground and could handle all 3rd party engines for the next 5+ years then it would have caught people's attention. As I've said, WiiU is about 3 years too late to market.

Unit_DTH

#54

Unit_DTH said:

They say that "Ignorance is bliss", if that's the case then Reggie must be soaking himself in bathes of ignorance and blindness! The name "Wii" didn't carry the weight you had hoped, but your too deep in it now to change the name, so try explaining the thing a little better to get more people interested and stop flaunting your stupidity!

WiiULoveSquid

#55

WiiULoveSquid said:

I love reading the dozens of comments on game sites from Nintendo fans who dont own a WiiU themselves but blame the lack of sales on grandma who hasn't seen a good commercial yet for the Wii U. XD

Dark_Link

#56

Dark_Link said:

Sorry Reggie but I have talked to many people that had no idea the Wii U was a new system. They thought it was an added accessory for the Wii and said they didn't need an extra accessory. When i told that it was a new Nintendo console and backwards compatible with the Wii they were really excited to check it out.

Dogpigfish

#57

Dogpigfish said:

I agree with Reggie 100%. Everyone knows it's out there. My dad bought a wii, but he doesn't care to buy a wii u. Wii already does what he wants it to; plays Netflix and golf. The high price and the power doesn't excite the average consumer. The wiimote was revolutionary, but there isn't anything new about wii u that is as compelling as wii.

VolcanoFlames

#58

VolcanoFlames said:

Wow, A lot of dislike. I actually like the name Wii U.
But TBH, When I first heard of the Wii U, I knew it was a new console, but I only saw the controller, so I called it ¨a Wii in your hands, with HD!¨ But some few days later I was told that was just the controller. I was even more hyped than I was first.
Wish people'd just play it, and see it's potential. Although I'm patiently waiting for Ninty to announce ambassador status for early U's.

element187

#61

element187 said:

The name probably hurt it when it first launched, but I believe today most consuemrs realize its a totally new console... maybe 5% of potential customers think its an add on.

Reggie is 100% right, the main problem is the software. Fix the software problem and you sell systems.

JebbyDeringer

#62

JebbyDeringer said:

Nintendo of America sucks...Really they need new management. They are very out of touch with gamers.

Squiggle55

#63

Squiggle55 said:

I'm sorry but Reggie is wrong. The name is undoubtedly part of the problem. It might not be the biggest part of the problem, but it is part. The casual consumer they so desperately wanted to keep by retaining the wii brand are exactly the consumers that have no idea there is a new console, partly bc of the terrible choice in name.

Shworange

#65

Shworange said:

Bad name, not enough games and most importantly, not enough television marketing! They like making viral stunts and whatnot, but you need to kill tv viewers with ads. That is the key.

tanookisuit

#66

tanookisuit said:

Reggie no, sorry you're wrong. When Resident Evil Revelations hit the system the supervisor in the area of the Meijer I went to did not know what the Wii U was at all. Paraphrasing as I can't quote him, "I thought Wii U was the tablet for the Wii and not a new system." To which I replied something like "Really? No man it's a new system that's a bit more powerful than the PS3, the tablet controller is just the controller for a unique system and any game with the blue box on it is made only for it and won't work on there." He was basically like wow and started looking at is as he got curious about it where it was an overpriced controller addon to him minutes earlier. You know what monthe RER came out, and that was a good distance after last years late year launch. He wasn't the only one I've had say that too around me. Wii U is a terrible name and should have been at the worst 'Super Wii' like SNES or something entirely different as it's confusing.

The lack of any real form of TV or print ads is burning them badly, the price wasn't helping being $50 off the upcoming PS4 either, the white gimp model was undercutting and confusing people too (white Wii U and Wii, easy mistake there seeing above.) THen you have them not releasing much hoping third parties would, which instead threw the under the bus not making games playing the unique (give the base first, then games) angle which no one has had to tolerate before which is wrong.

Drop the price, check, get more games, semi-check, fixing the name impossible so work on some true ad awareness NOW.

LeVideoGamer

#67

LeVideoGamer said:

The name is part of the problem, but it isn't the biggest issue.

The marketing campaign is horrible; not enough emphasis on the fact that it's a new console, too much on the new controller. Not enough heavy-hitting exclusive games for the system yet. No real explanation on why the Gamepad is a necessary and relevant innovation. Certain regions are still missing applications on the console.

The price cut next month fixes the price issue for some people, being $100 cheaper than the closest 8th generation console. The games are coming. Just get the advertising right and there will be a ton more sales come this Holiday season.

izmaster244

#68

izmaster244 said:

I had to explain to so many people that it was a new console, and the Wii U wasn't a portable device. Nintendo, you should've named the Wii U something else, and for crying out loud, make some actual ads explaining what the thing is!

FleetwoodMackin

#69

FleetwoodMackin said:

But you'd have a lot more 'consumers' if they knew what it was..

Horrible name, terrible marketing..

But they're an awesome company and i love them..

VoiceOfReason

#70

VoiceOfReason said:

@rmeyer
That would sell millions of systems! The people who don't know much about the WiiU, but just don't want one because it's a "Nintendo" would see what looks like a semi-portable Call of Duty on an HD system that you can play on the TV, too. Nintendo would do well to hire you as their head of advertising.

rjejr

#71

rjejr said:

This is the 2nd time today I've agreed w/ Reggie (meh being the first).

People not knowing about it is lack of advertising, doesnt matter what they call it when nobody knows about it. The Wii had that E3 tennis footage on every major news outlet, it was "it".
Making the console look like a Wii is bad, have you seen the Target ads? But thats not the name, its the design. The Gamepad leaning against a purple Gamecube would have been better.
The Wii stood for "we play tennis together", the Wii U stands for "you play VC alone on the Gamepad".

The name is ok, everything else they did - price, game delays, 2 different systems, no Wii Sports "it factor", console design - was bad.

Nintendo gets a 2nd chance this fall, lets see if they can get it right this time.

Rafie

#72

Rafie said:

@Nintenjoe64 "I sometimes wonder if Sony and MS paid the mainstream sites to keep saying they were confused to make people jump on the I'm confused bandwagon or just get confused by being told to be confused"

LOL Everything isn't a conspiracy against Nintendo. It's their own fault that they didn't advertise the way they should have. Plain and simple.

WiiUExposed

#74

WiiUExposed said:

That's a blatant lie. The name is a huge problem. Nobody outside of the hardcore know that Nintendo has a new machine. Software is the biggest problem, but to say that the name isn't a problem is BS.

They were clearly trying to bank on the Wii's name and success, but with all the Wii accessories, it just makes confusion.

WiiUExposed

#75

WiiUExposed said:

@Nintenjoe64 "I sometimes wonder if Sony and MS paid the mainstream sites to keep saying they were confused"

There's no anti Nintendo conspiracy. Nintendo screwed up with the name. Accept that fact.

the_beaver

#76

the_beaver said:

Well, the Gamecube had a totally different name, it was a clearly different console from its predecessor, and what did they get?? Around 20 millions sales...
I think it's not just about make the console different. They will launch ads, of course they will, once there is an interesting bunch of games out, titles that are likely to attract every consumer, like Mario, DK, Zelda, Sonic, Wii Fit and Wii Party, apart from others already released that are bound to be "re-released", like Lego City or New Super Mario U. There is no point on start creating marketing if the console doesn't offer so far a big difference, and from a gamer point of view, it's now starting to feel different, to be attractive, everybody knows that. Nintendoland didn't work, I think they are aware of that, so they might be waiting for the big hits to be released until they start making great efforts advertising the console.
But they will, there is no doubt of it. And hopefully the price cut and the new bundles (one with Super Mario 3D World would be winning!), along with a stronger marketing, will create awareness in the non-gamer people, and increase sales considerably this holiday season, although I still think that the biggest momentum will come with Mario Kart next Spring, when the WiiU will definitely take off.

Tasuki

#77

Tasuki said:

Honestly does he believe the stuff that is spewing from his mouth.

He doesn't even know what hes talking about anymore. Please Nintendo for the the sake of the company get rid of Reggie.

I have had to explain to several people, co-workers, family members even people on the internet that the Wii U is a new system from the Wii.

I think Reggie is just being naive to the troubles Nintendo is facing now and doesn't want to admit or even believe how bad they are doing.

fluggy

#78

fluggy said:

Here's an ad idea (for the thickos) ... A picture of a Wii U and writing beside it ..... "Wii U, the new console from Nintendo"! Solved!!! I've yet to hear of anyone having trouble with "Xbox One" which is infinitely more confusing!

Goginho

#79

Goginho said:

I see the name to be a minor factor, one that only plays a role in the beginning. Once the games get out (by mid next year), then uninformed and ignorant people will know about it, since many more consumers will have the console in their homes, therefore being able to share experiences. From then on, it's all exponential.
Right now (or at the very beginning at least) the ones that didn't know the Wii U is an actual, new console, are either some dudes living in their basements most of the time, gaming on their PCs, xBoxes, w/e... and adults I can imagine, since a lot of them don't follow tech trends (or at least gaming trends for that matter) ..unless they have kids who've seen commercials and what not, begging for them to buy one :P aahh, I remember those days :D

Ralizah

#81

Ralizah said:

And now we have the 2DS.

I'm not sure Nintendo isn't just trolling casual gamers at this point.

Turbo857

#82

Turbo857 said:

No the name is not the issue. Like it was stated earlier, name confusion is only significant in the beginning. The Xbox One is a far stupider name for the Xbox 360's successor. Even still, nothing that a good marketing campaign mixed with some compelling exclusives can't fix.

Was the Gameboy Advance name a detriment to that system? Did people think the Super Nintendo was and add-on for the NES? Bottom line is the people who are confused by the Wii U name are the same people who aren't compelled to buy one yet. Whether they think it's a Wii add-on or a new system is irrelevant.

Once there's software that motivates them to get a Wii U in order to play it, they will damn well know what a Wii U is at that time. Games and marketing is the issue with the Wii U, that's it. More so games

feelthesarcasm

#83

feelthesarcasm said:

It's not the name, it's the vagueness of the system! Wii U is no different if they used Wii 2. That's what the other systems have been doing and no one's had a problem with them. When I first heard about the Wii U I thought it was just the gamepad. And I was confused because I was like "Well the 3ds just came out, why would they have another handheld"

When I finally found out what it was, I didn't get one because of the games and because I still don't understand it. You still play with the Wii controller and nunchuck? Or can you do it with the gamepad?

VoiceOfReason

#85

VoiceOfReason said:

@Tasuki
Get rid of Reggie? Are you crazy? Nintendo would get a lot more hate from all the Reggie fans than they ever got for hiring Reggie. He's good PR. I'm not saying I agree with his worshippers, but he has a huge fan following.

Also, Nintendo as a company isn't doing bad. They just haven't many WiiU yet.

demonta4

#86

demonta4 said:

He is right.The name isn't the problem, do sony or microsoft have to change the playstation or xbox names?

gatorboi352

#87

gatorboi352 said:

The biggest problem Nintendo has with the Wii U isn't the name itself (although its pretty bad), its the fact that they're trying to repeat the magic Wii had. Stop thinking the Wii U is going to be the Wii all over again, Nintendo. Nintendo Land is not Wii Sports. Wii Fit U will not sell 10s of millions of copies. Casuals and Non-gamers don't want a Wii U. They already have their Wii. It still does exactly what they want it to. They don't care about 1080p.

Nintendo should have just called it Wii 2 or Super Wii.

Rafie

#88

Rafie said:

@demonta4 They still kept Playstation and Xbox within their title regardless of which surname (PS1,2,3,4..Xbox,Xbox 360, Xbox One). The public is already use to seeing their names within a new system. Unlike Nintendo.

Melkaticox

#89

Melkaticox said:

"The consumer understands that we have a new system"

No, they don't. Consumers are morons.
Change the name to "Ultra Nintendo Entertainment System" or "U.N.E.S". There. 100 million consoles sold.

Rafie

#90

Rafie said:

@gatorboi352 Not true. Nintendo fans do want their games to run natively in 1080p. To be fair, Nintendo doesn't have a problem with games. Not at all. It's when the games come is the problem. Nintendo always have great games planned. It's just that drought before hand. The other platforms go through the same thing and will go through it. It's just how it is these days.

Rafie

#91

Rafie said:

@Tasuki "the troubles Nintendo is facing now and doesn't want to admit or even believe how bad they are doing."

Well Nintendo is actually doing pretty good. The Wii U is off to a slow start, but it will pick up. The 3DS market is the best selling console for the past 2-3 months straight. It's doing really well. So Nintendo is on good standings.

Kaine_Morrison

#93

Kaine_Morrison said:

The Consumer DOES NOT know that it's a COMPLETELY different System.
Heck, I was in Target the other day and the Electronics Associate was on the Phone with a Customer saying that it's only a Wii Add-On. And that It won't play Wii games...

Turbo857

#94

Turbo857 said:

@ Luigifan141

It's because the folks at ABC don't feel compelled to buy one. Parents will know what a Wii U is when they're kids want a game on it. Casuals will know what a Wii U is when there is a game they want on it.

It's not the name, they... just... don't... want... it... yet....

GrimSh

#97

GrimSh said:

I know the name isn't Wii U's biggest issue; Lack of software obviously takes the spot. But I do feel that Nintendo's marketing attempts regarding Wii U is incredibly weak. I am surrounded by PC gamers, and virtually no-one around me knew what Wii U really was. A few thought it was an add-on peripheral for the original Wii, some thought it was a handheld console that could play Wii games, and some had no idea what the hell Wii U even was. Mind you this is among the gaming crowd (mostly Dota, PES, and Starcraft players). As a marketer, I am truly baffled as to the direction that Nintendo NA is choosing to take. With an already vague name like Wii U, shouldn't they be doing a lot more to spread awareness? Wii U is no PS4. The name doesn't communicate on its own!

LegoNintendo12

#99

LegoNintendo12 said:

I think that the name "Wii U" is bad only because of the commercials. If the commercials explained more about the console itself and emphasized that it is a new console then it really doesn't matter what you name it

Mahe

#101

Mahe said:

Reggie is right, the name isn't the problem. For me, the biggest problem is the Gamepad. I was using the system today, and on several occasions it once again turned up how poorly implemented the Gamepad is. Having apps like the eShop be usable only by the Gamepad is ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the Gamepad is limiting my enjoyment of Wii U, and it's a big reason why I'm not as keen to recommend the Wii U to other people as I did with the original Wii.

AntiGuy

#102

AntiGuy said:

"Hey man, do you want to play with my Wii U?"

Should've been different Nintendo! you reap what you sow, but I'll always support you, and some day, Iwata wil have to leave and a young and fresh mind will take the lead and finally give us a real successor to Super Mario 64.

JaxonH

#103

JaxonH said:

Yes, there are still a good many people who don't know Wii U is a new system, although it's slowly getting better. Others may now know Nintendo has a new system, but they don't really know anything about it.

I think the biggest challenge Nintendo must overcome is the stigma attached to their name right now. People lost interest in the Wii BIG TIME, and most are just collecting dust now or for sale on Craigslist. Shovelware did it to them. They let their good games get drowned by shovelware. Now when people hear Wii U they automatically equate that to new system, same shovelware. This problem could prove extremely detrimental over the course of this gen.

Nintendo needs to release as many great games as possible, and advertise the living heck out of em. And we should all do our part and tell our friends, co-workers, and classmates about what new Wii U games we just can't wait to get our hands on. I hate to admit it but word of mouth might be the ONLY thing that can remedy this situation, and it's not gonna happen overnight. But the sooner we spread the word about the excellent lineup, the sooner Nintendo can possibly recover.

I don't think people realize the extent of the damage that will be done if Wii U flops this gen, and what that will mean for us as gamers after the fact. It is imperative we, as fans, do what we can to keep our cherished Nintendo above water with the Wii U.

CaviarMeths

#106

CaviarMeths said:

No, Reggie, I'm pretty sure your consumers don't understand. I try to tell people how great the Wii U is, and I'm met with confusion. They think it's either a portable accessory for your Wii or an HD upgrade for your Wii. Marketing has been so poor that even retail outlets don't understand that the Wii U is a brand new console. Amazon.ca lists all Wii U games as Wii games. Many flyers print a picture of a Gamepad with a Wii.

You think Nintendo would have learned from the slow start of the 3DS, but they've been emulating the 3DS life cycle every step of the way. The difference now is that I see tons of commercials for the 3DS, but none for the Wii U.

Emaan

#107

Emaan said:

There's so much more to the Wii U problem:

1. Make the commercials not lame
2. Remove the "demo stations" in stores that just have a GamePad that just sits there while people can scroll through and watch videos of gameplay. I can't even count how many times I've seen people walk over and then lose interest because the demo station does nothing for a consumer that doesn't know what exactly the Wii U is and what the GamePad adds to the experience. It's very frustrating as a fan of Nintendo to see such ridiculous mistakes being made by their marketing team.

S_M_T_IV

#108

S_M_T_IV said:

@gatorboi352

I believe the Nintendo should make a HD Wii Sports, bundle it free with the new systems full size case, disk with a manual so it looks like a quality product (no more cheap paper sleeves), allow free downloads via E Shop & also sell it at the retail stores for 10$. Then the next step is market the hell out of it, in doing this they can use this as an example of what is different from Wii Sports & WiiU Sports, this would give everyone a foundation of comparison that Nintendo needs. I believe the reason why this has not occurred is that the the solution sometimes is so simple that that it can easily be overlooked by the brightest minds.

thanos316

#109

thanos316 said:

well the name wii u really sucks.they was trying to bank on the wii name. but the name wii was a bad name from the start. the revolution was definitely a better name that everyone was expecting. but poor sales are from the lack of games. the lack of a push in the early months.

XxGame_LoverXx

#110

XxGame_LoverXx said:

Thank God we finally getting some good games and another thanks goes to Nintendo for dropping the price on Wii U......man if Nintendo could deliver 3-4 solid games a month along with some good eShop games man it'll all work out for em and we'll all be happy
Watch the profanity please — TBD

XCWarrior

#111

XCWarrior said:

No they don't Reggie. No they don't. Been to too many stores in the past year and heard people say it was a Wii add-on. They don't get it Reggie.

Williaint

#112

Williaint said:

The name confused a lot of people. An Average consumer probably wouldn't understand, comparing it to other consoles "revamps".
When I demonstrated it to friends (last year), often I got the "What's so different from the Wii?" "Well... HD, better online, a Wii Emulator, the G-Pad..." Playing Nintendo Land didn't prove anything, Graphic-wise — or anything too interesting about the G-Pad. It would have been great if there was an HD Wii-Sports combo attached with Nintendo Land.
I find it quite irritating when people say "I heard it is just a Wii Ad-On" or other misinformed statements like "I heard it isn't even better than the PS3".

Lord

#113

Lord said:

The wii u is great but why sell a new wii for £129 and the wii u for £149 all that is happening is the consumer thinks that they are the same but one has a game pad for the extra £20 then they buy the wii because they think 'I don't need a game pad'.

ToastyYogurt

#114

ToastyYogurt said:

If they were trying to bring back "core" gamers, they really shouldn't have called it Wii U. I would think that a lot of people expected Nintendo to give their console an entirely different name if they wanted to change their image to support "core" gamers equally alongside the "casual" ones (a task that seems rather challenging, and perhaps impossible). I do admit, though, that it would seem weird to not go off the Wii brand, since the console does/can use pretty much any Wii peripheral you can throw at it (as long as it doesn't plug in through the Gamecube slot) like they were all made specifically for Wii U.

DanielWW

#115

DanielWW said:

i agree with all that the name is stupid but... he understands.... i mean i already have my wiiu but im doubting the same thing.... "what can i play here?" "could it be better than in other consoles?"

Lord

#116

Lord said:

Also my local supermarket chain has three major issues, 1) the buyer for the Nintendo product is not interested in nintendo and what they buy (if at all), 2) they mix wii and wii u together in the chart (confusing consumers), 3) they bought to much stock of 5 launch titles and are still selling these at full price (refusing to buy any new titles until those old sell out) so even if Nintendo pump out loads of new titles they won't be available from my local! so NO need for speed, w101, splinter cell, ac3 or ac4, bayonetta 2, infinity, Rayman and so the story goes on. No sales because there is not stock on the shelves!

Lord

#117

Lord said:

The fact the wii u is backward compatible and uses the wii remotes and sensor bar makes me believe that nintendo saw the wii u as a progression of the wii, but calling it wii 2 would have been better for consumers to understand this was a NEW console, and not an add on.

WaxxyOne

#119

WaxxyOne said:

Sorry, Reggie, but I've personally had to explain to several people that the Wii U isn't just an expansion, new controller or upgrade to their existing system. Most people I talk to about it don't know it's a new system that can render HD graphics. I think there are three things working against them. One, the name sounds like an upgrade to the uninitiated. Two, the new controller being at the forefront of the advertising makes it seem like that's all it is, and three the system looks too much like a Wii so when you see images of it (always hidden behind the new controller, of course), they think that's what it is.

The average consumer may understand now, close to a year after the system's launch, but I think it was a big hurdle to the console's early sales, which in turn led to lack of 3rd-party support, prompting more lackluster sales, leading us to the mess Nintendo's in now.

Lesson learned: When you have something new to sell, make sure your consumers know about it!

Kaine_Morrison

#121

Kaine_Morrison said:

I think part of the problem is that it LOOKS like the Wii!
They should've changed the way it looks!
Also, maybe they should've called it either:

  • Super Wii
    or
  • Wii Squared (sorry, I can't get the "small 2" to work...
Luigifan141

#122

Luigifan141 said:

@Turbo857 It doesn't matter if ABC doesn't want a Wii U. They cared enough to report on the Wii U price cut, but they made a mistake and called it a Wii instead. You just don't want to admit that the Wii U is a stupid and confusing name, as I've seen some people that thought the Wii U controller could be bought seperately for the Wii. Also, I doubt many parents would really know the difference between the Wii and the Wii U, either, since I saw a kid getting New Super Luigi U at GameStop for his "Wii", when he didn't know it was a Wii U game. The only way that a parent can know for sure what the difference between a Wii and a Wii U is if they're a really cool tech savy dad or something, as I haven't seen a lot of parents that know the difference.

@theadrock13 I know right? She even said that the "2D's" has a lower resolution. XD

Minny

#123

Minny said:

I feel this all stems from the the faults of the Gamecube. I understand many people have fond memories of that console, but that was when many people that grew up on Nintendo felt Nintendo no longer appealed to them (whether it was the Gamecube's design, the fact the designers made noticeable changes to the first party games). Nintendo gambled and won early with the Wii and how insane things were the first 2 years of that console. However, as more people purchased HDTVs, along with software that didn't appeal to them, the choice became obvious that Nintendo did not resonate with consumers as they had years ago. The biggest issue now for the Wii U is not the name. It is the fact that Nintendo is 7 years behind creating HD software as well as lacking in on-line capabilities (from their handling of the eShop to multi-player games).

TenEighty

#125

TenEighty said:

I have enjoyed Nintendo since the 80's but I think calling the current system "Wii U" was a stupid idea. It makes googling for the "Wii" an issue because it also pops up Wii U information. Sorry but this was a bad call by Nintendo.

TenEighty

#126

TenEighty said:

Maybe they should have called it N1080 and gave it an upgraded N64 look. :D

While I like the game 1080, I'm talking about the HD resolution and not the game. As it's the first Nintendo system to feature HD.

ferrers405

#127

ferrers405 said:

@earthwormjimx3 It's just my opinion and i listened to some people that i know who not usually play many games but buy consoles and some have Wii and they don't know exactly what is a WiiU, i know - you i think know, but the normal consumer maybe don't.

WaveBoy

#128

WaveBoy said:

The Wii U would be doing pretty great if Tablets didn't exist and touch screen gaming wasn't the norm which includes the DS & 3DS. But since all of these technologies ARE the norm, the gamepad on it's own isn't exactly anything special or unique...but when in use with your HDTV it opens up the doors to a slew of ideas. This type of experience cannot be found on any other console. :*

Yet they should of called it WiiDream, and the PS4? Spicy Tuna SaladStation 4

Turbo857

#129

Turbo857 said:

@Luigifan141

Dude, seriously. Let's get this one thing straight: I never said the Wii U wasn't a potentially confusing name. I also never said I didn't acknowledge that some people think it's an add-on for the Wii. My point... is simply that the name "Wii U" is not the reason for the console's failure at this point in time. If people are made to want something bad enough, it doesn't matter what its name is.

Also with the kid at Gamestop, his mother should've taught him how to read names on a box before he buys something on his own. Mistaking the Wii U for a Wii add-on is one thing. But if you're in a store and you pick up a game that clearly says Wii U on the top of it, I can't blame the confusing name for that one. That kid needs to be properly educated.

kyuubikid213

#130

kyuubikid213 said:

No. The name isn't the issue. Anyone with sense should notice there's a U on the end. And the commercials say "The all new Wii U." And even if someone's confused, most of the world today has access to the internet and can look up the information.

The Wii U has poor sales because there's no title on the Wii U anyone desperately wants that either A) Isn't on the 360 or PS3, B) caters to Nintendo fans/fans of the franchise, and C) Doesn't have third party support that blows the PS360 versions out of the water. Nintendo knows this, though. I'm only mad that they're deciding to wait until the PS4 and One hit the scene to try and give their system a reason to be purchased. The system would have sold more if the hard-hitters coming out this fall were out sooner/on time/now.

DESTROYA

#131

DESTROYA said:

Go away Reggie.You had a great run but all good things must come to an end.
Nintendo needs some new blood with good marketing skills to get the ball rolling again, and good new IP's to go along with great games.

WinterWarm

#132

WinterWarm said:

I'm going to be blunt. It's not Nintendo's fault.

"What if all you understand, could fit into the center of your hand? And then you found it wasn't you, who held the sum of everything you knew?" -Live To Rise, by Soundgarden

People are just... Stupid. Assuming something without even a reason? Dumb. The majority of Nintendo's target audience are family and casual gamers. It seems to me those gamers would be curious enough to find out about WiiU. It's a lack of interest that's the problem. If anyone looked up the WiiU they'd know it's not a optional Wii controller. People just assume it is because they're not curious enough to find out. Nintendo needs more publicity. Outside of video game sites.

I knew what the WiiU was the instant it was announced( or, at least, the instant I heard about it), granted I've been a Nintendo fan since '08.

It's all about presentation and publicity. And personally I hear so little about WiiU outside of NintendoLife, whereas I can't go a day without hearing about the PS4.

Get your jimmies ready, Nintendo.

xKing_Koopahx

#133

xKing_Koopahx said:

Most of my none Nintendo Friends thought that the Wii U was just the gamepad that connected to the regular Wii..
Nintendo is clearly not with the program on this one.

Gamer83

#134

Gamer83 said:

For once I agree with Reggie. The reason for the slow sales is the fact Nintendo has been charging $350 for a machine that still hasn't proven much more capable than a PS3 and it has a lineup to this point that is completely 'meh,' to borrow a term from him. Fortunately things are about to turn for the better with the price drop and the big games set to arrive fairly soon now.

Gamer83

#135

Gamer83 said:

@kyuubikid213

Yup, Nintendo went with a strategy on this one that I don't love but may still work out. On one hand, it seems like a whole year has been wasted. On the other, the Wii U will still have 5 or 6 million more users than the Xbox One and PS4 the day each hit the market, so there's still a sizeable lead and if the big releases like Zelda, Mario and Sonic sell to existing users and push system sales like they should, Nintendo wins in the end. Current owners will just be happy to finally be getting a steady flow of good releases and new owners will have a lot to choose from.

Ricube

#136

Ricube said:

@Fingeldor Except for the sarcastic "better than wii 1" (really funny) This would have worked a lot better. Even in stores the put wii and wiiU games together in the same corner, and maybe a sign on the shelf that says "WiiU games are NOT compatible with the Wii". I always thought, before they showed the new console, that Wii two (read Wii Too) would have been the best name. Look at the Playstation...

FullbringIchigo

#138

FullbringIchigo said:

for once i disagree i know people who have said when i mentioned the WiiU "isn't that just a new version of the Wii?"

people think it's just a new Wii model hell it was even in the paper's here in the UK when the console first came out that people were buying WiiU games and trying to play them on a Wii because they thought they were the same thing

the name is one of the reasons for poor sales plus when the original Wii is still on sale and so much cheaper than the WiiU most ain't going to get it

i think if you stopped sales of the Wii and pushed the fact that the WiiU is fully compatible with all Wii accessory's and software hell even make it the main selling point for now, it might help increase sales

or change the name to Wii2 or something like that just so people know it's not the same thing

Araknie

#139

Araknie said:

@Kodeen Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yep.

How cannot they realize that saying everytime that the GamePad is the whole core and putting such images can cause major confusion.

There is, and that's unfortunate, people that won't even try to search a news, they see just E3 and, maybe, some PAX videos and how this mass of ignorant people is supposed to get what the Wii U it's all about?

You're totally right.

Nintenjoe64

#140

Nintenjoe64 said:

@WiiUExposed @Rafie I don't actually think there is an anti-Nintendo conspiracy but Nintendo's lack of popularity within the mainstream media shows more and more. They need to bribe websites and editors so they talk enthusiastically about the Wii U rather than let them use the Wii U as the butt of all their jokes (which the Vita also gets a fair bit of so it's not just Nintendo).
It's a crap name but hardly confusing if you've been told once or twice. Quite why mainstream gaming sites keep bringing up the name being the problem when they are the ones with the power to communicate to the masses is beyond me.
The plain and simple fact is that if the Wii U had a SMB/DuckHunt, Streetfighter 2, Mario 64 or Wii Sports, everyone would know what it was.

JimLad

#142

JimLad said:

They shouldn't have called it the Wii U, it's nothing like the Wii.
With the Wii they aggressively marketed towards casual gamers, mum, dad and grandma with a simple to use controller and even simpler software. That coupled to the low price made it a massive hit.
The Wii U is all over the place in terms of it's target audience. You've got three different control methods, a much higher price point, and no equivalent to WiiSports as of yet. It's appeal right now is mostly to seasoned gamers, only most of them aren't interested because it has the same graphics as a PS3/360 and basically no third party support.
THAT is why it's not selling.

Nintendo2013

#144

Nintendo2013 said:

What Nintendo needs to do is bring out titles like Pokemon U a straight up new pokemon for the wii u that is a 3 dimensional world that will be compatible with a DS version of the game so you can stick a memory card into your wii u and update what you have done in the game, Star Fox U which was a priceless n64 title, The Legend of Zelda U as in a ocarina of time like zelda game which i believe they are working on, Mario 3D which they are already doing, Super Smash Bros U which they are making, maybe some other classic titles like Contra U, Gradius U, Mega Man U, Double Dragon U, Battletoads U. With a Pokemon U game alone they will sell millions of wii u consoles, and the editions of everything else i mentioned would just be the icing on the cake, and they would be where they want to be.

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