News Article

Satoru Iwata Emphasizes "An Opportunity" for the Wii U This Holiday Season

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The importance of variety

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Wii U once again served up the most damaging headlines from Nintendo's Q2 financial results. From 1st July to 30th September just 300,000 units were sold worldwide, adding to the Q1 results to account for 460,000 console sales in six months. Despite these figures Nintendo is standing by its projection of nine million system sales for the full year, no doubt placing a great emphasis on the Holiday lineup and the early 2014 release (February in North America) of Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze; it's unclear where Mario Kart 8's "Spring" release will fall in the financial year ending 31st March 2014.

In his financial results briefing, Iwata-san outlined key products upon which the Holiday performance of the Wii U rests. Super Mario 3D World was described as the "key title" and "central pillar", due to its ability to offer both single player and multiplayer experiences. Wii Party U and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games were then listed together as titles perfect for those playing together.

The most emphasis, perhaps reflective of the Japanese audience in particular, was given to the upcoming Wii Sports Club and Wii Fit U, which are both now available in Japan — an important detail to note is that Wii Sports was a retail title sold separately for Wii in Japan, not bundled with the system. Iwata-san explained that the eShop offerings would affect initial sales, with the free trial and Meter offer for Wii Fit U potentially meaning "initial sales and profits will suffer". However, with Nintendo's belief that — in Japan — "500,000 people are still using their Wii Balance Boards on a daily basis", the purpose of the eShop distribution and Wii Fit U promotion are to drive existing and new consumers towards the Wii U with attractive and familiar offerings.

Finally, Satoru Iwata emphasized the efforts Nintendo is going to with upcoming Wii U bundles, with the aim of increasing the value on offer. While mentioning the Mario & Luigi Premium Bundle in the West, Iwata-san also described pre-orders for the family bundles in Japan — which do look like exceptional value — as showing "promising signs", while Nintendo is stepping up marketing efforts in its homeland. With the weekly Wii U hardware sales at dismal levels in Japan and struggling worldwide, it's clear that these bundles and offerings are a priority in all territories.

Overall, the message is that Nintendo is aiming to be proactive and promote upcoming games and bundles aggressively to revive the Wii U's fortunes. Let us know what you think of the current plans and strategies in the comments below.


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User Comments (49)



ungibbed said:

They should throw in a Pro Controller for good measure.

I just hope sales drum up for a steady flow of new games.



Ungravitify said:

For Nintendo's sake I hope all these upcoming bundles and games help them drum up some great sales. I know you can do it Nintendo!



ajcismo said:

Opportunity... you know what I saw on TV while watching (American) football all day this past Sunday? PS4, Xbox and CoD commercials. I didn't see a single Wii U spot. How about TV watching with the wife when she's watching her shows on Monday and Tuesday night? Its also different programming than sports, aka different market... Hint: More PS4 and Xbox commercials. Two companies are taking advantage of opportunity. One doesn't seem to be. Mr.Iwata needs to go.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

@ajcismo It's the marketing people that need to go. Nintendo's really not trying very hard when it comes to marketing, and it's pretty sad. They wonder why they're not getting sales, yet I see no commercials on TV.



ajcismo said:

It starts at the top, and there are plenty of head-scratching decisions that have been taking place for years under Mr.Iwata's leadership. I find it hard to believe Ninty's marketing dept at NoA thinks everything is going to be fine without TV advertising. MS/Sony are killing it over here.



Gerbwmu said:

How bout watching kids programming. I work from home and watch my boys and haven't seen 1 Wii U commercial.....shouldn't they be all over kids programming......not that Nintendo is just for kids but lets be real.....Nintendo is a family product and getting kids intrested means parents buying.



zool said:

When the Wii was released I mostly played the Wii. Six years on and I mostly play my 3ds and games on my Android phone. I have a Wii u but there is not much in the way of games that I want to play on it.

I will buy the new Zelda game and maybe Bravely Default for the 3ds this year and I will still be playing Candy Crush and Plants and Zombies 2 for free on my Android device.

I refused to buy Wind Waker for the Wii u because of the high price Nintendo set it at and if they do the same with the new Mario game I will avoid that as well.

I think the new Xbox and Playstation sales will also struggle because a tablet and free games are a better option for the casual games.

Nintendo have to set their games at a more affordable price and not charge over the odds for downloadable games, which have no value once they have been played.

I can afford to pay £45/£50 for the new Mario Wii u game but I won't, unless the reviews were all so good that I could not resist. And then I would not buy another Wii u game until Mario Kart 8. In other world I would limit my spending on Wii U games.

While I am playing the very good and free Plants and Zombies 2 on my Android device I am not a Nintendo game....and their lies Nintendo problem. If Wind Waker had been sold at a more reasonable price I may well be playing that instead.



Wolfgabe said:

@ajcismo They have a commercial for Sonic Lost World and Mario and Sonic. Two games that are mainly aimed at the younger crowd and families. I don't think a football network is where you would see those



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@Gerbwmu @ajcismo They need commercials on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, on Cartoon Networks regular programming, and Nickelodeon. I hope to see some Super Mario 3D World spots rather soon, as it's only 3 weeks away. At this point most marketing funds should go towards Wii U, as the 3DS is already huge. I expect a big push around the time DKCR2 and MK8 arrive as well.



Samurai_Goroh said:

@zool You know what they say, quality comes at a price. Console games have always cost around this much, but now the developing costs are going even higher. So, why should they sell their games cheaper when they spend considerable resources on them?
Feel free to play whatever you want on Android, but whenever you want real games, be prepared with your wallet. Comparing Wind Waker with Android games, ROFL.



Goginho said:

Speaking of bundles, they should release Luigi's Mansion U sometime in the future with an accordingly-themed Wii U system. Hopefully they consider LM for the Wii U, as that has a lot of potential (I won't get into that now though). Of course, nothing before 2015 ..obviously
So for this to happen, and other new games to be considered, I hope, not only for Nintendo's sake, but for the sake of me and gamers alike, that these upcoming bundles get the sales going a bit more. It's funny at the moment, while the Wii U is struggling, the 3DS is bringing in all the profit for Nintendo. While Nintendo is sinking in quicksand, the 3DS is steadily pulling it out with a rope ..and the Wii U is too tired and sits to the side lol

How long can this last?
Like I always say, slow and steady wins the race. Patience and composure are key. Everything else will come automatically. There is all this hype and anticipation for the upcoming consoles, but what happens after they get released? What happens after all the "hardcorers" get their system? Are average gaming consumers going to consider an expensive (possibly overpriced) piece of technology, with most likely a lack of content? Not to mention, their respective predecessors will live on and continually release new games ..soo, what's the point for the average buyer??
Well, that's where Nintendo should take the opportunity and get the spotlight to shine on them. Hype is just a fad



Burning_Spear said:

So Iwata recognizes an opportunity and yet he STILL DOESN'T ADVERTISE. Wii U should be all over the media, to the point that people are sick of seeing it.



ajcismo said:

Cripes I'd take advertising on the Weather Channel and Food Network right now. Anything is better than what they're doing just to save a buck.



kereke12 said:

Like I said Nintendo can do better, lets us hope they become a little successful during the holiday season.



Kirk said:

I just don't think a few bundles and the few games they've got is going to be enough.



Boxmonkey said:

Nintendo have six months to save the wii u, if sales haven't dramatically increased by the time mario 3d, mario kart, ssb, wii fit u, wii part u and donkey kong have been released then there would be no saving the wii u. I'm still loving mine but it's depressing how bad things are at the moment.



LoveSugoi said:

A rare event just occurred.

I just saw a Wii U commercial for Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.




rjejr said:

If not now, when?

No PS4 or X1 in Japan this holiday.
$299 Wii U bundled w/ NSMBU & Luigi levels vs. $399 PS4 and $499 X1.
(also $299 Skylanders Swap Force bundle for the kids)

As others have said - where are the commericals? I don't watch too much tv but I've seen plenty of commercials for PS3/4 and Xbox360/X1. Mostly COD, AC4 and B4 but still.

Know what else I also see a lot of commercials for? The Olympics.
Know who has an Olypmics based game coming out NEXT WEEK w/ 2 of the biggest vidoe game stars in the industry - Mario and Sonic? Nintendo.
How is this game not being advertised? The Olympics are a huge event. Some Americans even know what curling is. And this game is out next week. It even has online mulitplayer. There are no commercials, no in store ads. Nothing. For an Olympics game starring Mario and Sonic game that comes out next week. Why even bother making the game?

Wow, double mind blown, ninja-ed by a commercial

Anyway, if Iwata doens't see "an opportunity" this holiday, they might as well stop Wii U production now. It's pretty much now or never at this point.




Nintendo needs some in your face advertising. No huge marketing building a giant Wii U, just good old fashion commercials.



bizcuthammer said:

I'll take a wait and see approach. But if Wii U doesnt sell at least 3-4 million during the holidays, its in huge trouble. The big test will be next year though, when Mario Kart and Smash Bros hit. If those dont move a substantial amount of units, Ninty may as well close up shop on Wii U and prepare its successor for E3 2015.



withoutdk said:

what does bundles help if people dont know that the wii u is here...

wow.. you got a wii ?
yeah.. a wii u... it is awesome..
what is that?
better than the ps3 wii !



bizcuthammer said:

Also, Wii U wont sell in Europe without FIFA. If EA wont at least give it that, Ninty may as well abandon its attempts to sell consoles in the region.



zool said:

@Samurai_Goroh You have missed my point. I do buy Wii u games but not as many because of the price. Windwaker is overpriced to make the bundles seem more attractive. The casual buyer who bought the wii now has Android and it is those Nintendo has lost. Why spend £250 for what is a wii with HD and a gamepad when a tablet is half the price.



mercurio2054 said:

well so i don't see tv then, i dont's see commercials from no company.
only Pokemon in discovery kids.



heathenmagic said:

Only just bought a Wii U after being a heavy Wii user. Being in the UK, not seen many adverts at all for it, so its got to be the key really for any success this xmas.
I think TVii might help add value to it, still no word on when it is out!



real_gamer said:

Super Mario 3D World looks awesome and I hope it changes the Wii U around like it did for the 3DS. Hope after this game they give Mario a break (personally I think Nintendo release way too much Mario games lately) and perhaps work on other franchises, perhaps Starfox?



MJKOP said: for today only have a 32GB Wii U with four games, including ZombiU and Zelda WW HD for £249.99



Darknyht said:

Christmas will be make or break for the console in terms of third party support. If it doesn't pan out, I expect them to go the second party route like they did with the Gamecube. Either way, we will get some interesting games.



JimLad said:

I get the feeling that Mario 3D World won't make as much impact because they've oversaturated the series recently. Once upon a time you got one new Mario adventure every four years+ and it was a truly special event. Now they're crammed down our throats so often I'm not sure the general public will care so much.



Ren said:

all these things. Iwata needs to go, and whoever comes in needs to pump some money into adverts. I can't see how it would hurt Nintendo overall to release a couple classic games to mobile too. Keep it limited and it would still sell like hotcakes without watering down the hardware and might give them the market share and visibility they desperately need right now. (classic SMB, and zelda games? overnight million sellers on mobile, not to mention other nes classics).



Senario said:

@ajcismo And do you know what games football watchers are interested in? Not anything nintendo so it isnt a surprise that ps and xbox are blanketing that channel. Doesn't matter to me, PC and steam out advertise anything PS or Xbox put out. It is all war games, sports, and racers so the same usual boring stuff for those consoles.



Sceptic said:

The fact that Nintendo is keeping Iwata indicates someone has a death wish.



brucelebnd said:

Nintendo has commercials but they are on kid shows in the morning. nickjr stuff like that. they know their demo graphic.

I think Christmas will be make or break time for the Wii U. Parents aren't going to spend $300+ on a whim. Parents do most of their big spending for Christmas and birthdays.

the other systems appeal to a different demographic. if your a 20 something 30 something gamer you have a job and can buy a game or a system whenever you want. if you're kid you can't and you have to wait for Christmas and birthdays.



IxnayontheCK said:

Outside of people on this website, Mario is not going to make Wii U fly off shelves. People want variety, they want GTA, AC, Skyrim, Borderlands, battlefield, etc and some Mario/DK but Wii U doesn't offer a wide enough variety for the masses.



Ricube said:

I see that the problem with low commercials is anywhere, not only here in Italy. In one year I have NEVER seen a WiiU commercial and only tonight I've seen more than one ps3/4 and xb360/1. Even an arkham origins trailer not mentioning the WiiU version... In stores the WiiU and it's games are hidden in a corner and a lot of internet shops still have wiiu games in the Wii section. Even had no WiiU section until a few months ago!



Wolfgabe said:

@rjejr They do have a TV commercial and in case you didn't hear they are teaming up with Snowboarder Jamie Anderson to promote the game



ajcismo said:

I'm sorry, but you're not getting my point. Advertising is advertising. Its not that it was football, or Once Upon a Time or some show about vampires... ALL of those things had MS/Sony commercials and two of those are TV shows designed for women ages 15-40. You mean to tell me that all 3 brands only want to target one specific core audience and Nintendo gamers don't watch football? Zero advertising at no audience means you will not sell anything. Opportunity lost by Nintendo.



Lord said:

I think the times have changed and kids don't want a wii or wii u any more. Time to focus on the fan base and make metroid, star fox, f-zero then you will sell consoles! And if they did an metroid edition bundle.........well I'd buy one for every one I know! Go on Nintendo stop with the poopoodoodiecacapoopledoodoo and start milking the fan!
Watch the profanity please — TBD



rjejr said:

@Wolfgabe - "teaming up with Snowboarder Jamie Anderson to promote the game"

Works for me, but I didn't know.

A quick Google check later - ah, very nice, a 100 day tour w/ a celebrity and champion in her sport, much better. Thanks or the info.



Uberchu said:

I have never seen a PS4 ad except for the taco bell one...

I haven't seen a XB1 add as well, I have seen a few pokemon ones and thats about it...

Before I saw the pikmin 3 one a lot, and I saw others around the launch of the system but I think thats about it...

no wait I saw FE:A on adult swim, LM:DM too.



BlackStar9000 said:

@Ren but to do that nintendo would have to give up 30% of its mobile profits to apple or android and that just aint happening, seriously, but a nintendo made tablet in a partner ship? Instant buy for me. or they could make a free app and charge in house prices for games, that could work...



Kolzig said:

Nintendo needs to pull out all the guns and go for aggressive advertising before Christmas. With the Wii U Premium Mario&Luigi U bundle it could sell a lot if it really starts to advertise stuff.

Of the next gen consoles, only one that I've seen to really have a presence is PS4, since they have that huge hype promotion with Coca Cola going on at the moment at least in Europe.

Of course again mostly the blaim in Nordic countries goes to Bergsala AB.

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