News Article

Soapbox: Nintendo Could Have Ruled The Micro-Console Market With Wii

Posted by Damien McFerran

Has Nintendo missed a trick by dropping the Wii so soon?

In January Sony officially discontinued production of the PlayStation 2 console after selling an incredible 150 million systems over a 12 year period. Despite the unstoppable march of technology, Sony had managed to keep its best-selling console running — albeit in a much diminished capacity — alongside its successor the PS3, which itself will be surpassed by the PS4 at the end of 2013.

Think about this impressive lifespan when you digest the news that Nintendo has announced that Wii production will soon cease in Japan — seven years (and 100 million consoles) after it hit the shelves.

The Wii U may be coming up to its first birthday and arguably needs all the attention it can get right now, but I think that Nintendo has abandoned its previous console — assuming Western territories follow suit, which seems likely — much too soon. Walk into your local video game store and there are still rows of Wii titles, suggesting that a healthy demand for software still exists — despite the fact that no new games are coming.

Every hardware manufacturer wants its customers to focus on its latest products, that much is obvious. But the fact of the matter is that not everyone upgrades the moment a new system is released; there will be millions of families all over the globe who will cite the original Wii as their "main" system right now. Surely releasing a few games here and there wouldn't have hurt — and with 100 million consoles out in the wild, any new titles wouldn't have to sell massive numbers to scrape a profit. The other bonus is that Wii U owners would also be able to play new Wii titles, thanks to the console's backwards compatibility. Having a few AAA Wii titles in 2013 may well have helped Wii U owners get through the software drought which has impacted that machine.

I also think that Sony's recent announcement of PS Vita TV should have Nintendo's executives kicking themselves. Vita TV is a low-cost micro-console based on the company's struggling Vita handheld, and it's aimed squarely at parts of the world where no single company has managed to crack the set top box idea yet. Reaction from both the press and gamers has been incredibly positive, suggesting that Sony is really onto something with its new device.

Nintendo should have been thinking of this approach years ago with the Wii. Instead of giving us the Wii Mini — the system no one wanted — Nintendo could have launched a super-cheap micro version which removes the disc drive and connects to a new and improved Wii Shop Channel. Every single first-party Wii game could have been made available for download — at reduced prices, naturally — and stored on internal memory. Third parties would be given the chance to republish their popular Wii titles — allowing them to essentially make money for little effort — and the fact that the Wii has seen seven years of Virtual Console releases would mean a massive selection of classic content would be available from day one. To top it off, upscaling could render Wii games in HD, and movie streaming services such as Netflix could be supported — all built around that intuitive Wii Remote interface we know and love.

Such a move would have allowed Nintendo to maintain the Wii's popularity with developers, too; a cheap micro-console with motion control would provide the perfect breeding ground for innovative indie studios, especially as Nintendo has now relaxed its indie development policies.

Sony is aiming the PS Vita TV at developing Asian markets such as China — which has millions of potential customers — and Nintendo could have done the same. Given the brand power of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, it would no doubt have been a massive seller — adding valuable cash to Nintendo's bank account at a time when the Wii U simply isn't delivering. Such a console would also help maintain momentum in the west, where systems like the Ouya and GameStick are threatening to sneak into the living room and steal market share away from the likes of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.

A revised Wii system in a smaller case and low price point — complete with the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Metroid Prime Trilogy — would surely be more attractive to potential buyers than an Android-based console plagued by freemium experiences and half-baked mobile ports.

Granted, most Wii games look pretty poor when compared with the kind of graphical masterpieces modern consoles are capable of — this is a system which is based on the GameCube, after all — but mobile games have proven that visuals aren't the bottom line when it comes to popularity. With the aforementioned upscaling in place, the disparity in graphical quality would be less blatant, anyway; it's fair to say that the very best games the Wii has to offer are easily as playable and enjoyable as anything we've seen so far on the PS4 and Xbox One.

You can't hold onto the past forever, of course — and Nintendo's focus on making its current machines as successful as possible is commendable — but by closing the book on one of its most popular pieces of hardware so soon strikes me as a mistake. The Wii has provided millions with hours upon hours of entertainment, and has the legs to keep going — if repackaged in the right form and armed with the right online store.

Would you buy a "Wii TV" if Nintendo released one? (324 votes)

Yes, it sounds like a fantastic idea!


No, I think it's a terrible concept and Nintendo should focus on the Wii U


I'm not sure either way


Please login to vote in this poll.

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User Comments (107)



Squashie said:

I really like the idea of a Micro-Nintendo console, it could really work. The likes of Mario Kart and Skyward Sword are ten times better than what the Ouya and it's competition have to offer.

Nice article @Damo and have you considered applying to Nintendo as a hardware engineer? You have some great ideas in that front!



WingedSnagret said:

If the Wii U already has backward compatibility, then there is not much reason to keep the Wii around. Unlike Sony, Nintendo can't afford to have a previous gen console cannibalizing the current one. The Wii U needs to be front and center, and removing its predecessor should help in that respect.



Peach64 said:

I don't agree that the Wii was in the same market as these android consoles or PS Vita TV, but I do think they're crazy to stop production when it's still selling so much better than Wii U.

People are excited about Vita TV because it allows them to play all the stuff from their Playstation ecosystem, and the android consoles are the same. They don't have to buy stuff again to play on their microconsole. Nintendo doesn't do things that way though. Are they ready to make it so if you buy Super Mario Bros you can play it on you Wii, Wii U and 3DS without having to buy it again? I don't think so, and until they're willing to do that, I don't think there would be much interest in a Vita TV type device from them.



Windy said:

I play the Wii Quite a bit these days and was really hoping that we would see a Dragon Quest X release in the west as a last game to say goodbye to it. A Dream Crushed by the announcement that Dragon Quest X would be released on PC in the West **Crys**



Mahemoth said:

If Damo could have come up with this in his spare time, I'm pretty sure Nintendo has considered the options but chose to do what they are doing now which to me sounds like the better plan.



Zach777 said:

Seriously? The Wii U is struggling as it it, yes they should dominate their focus on supporting the Wii U.



Emblem said:

The major argument is that this medium has yet to make any really profit. Ouya didn't take off as well as people thought it would, Apple TV completely missed sales estimates, and while the new Vita box sounds promising it hasn't yet been tested in the market.

Also Wii production will soon end in Japan not in the west, since the Wii sold mostly in the west and continues to do so it makes sense to close the Japan production down since they are not selling enough to justify continued production.



rjejr said:

The Wii could be sold for $100, and it's pretty small to begin with, so it's pretty much already a micro console, so i don't see the point of this at all.

"To top it off, upscaling could render Wii games in HD"

The Wii U doens't even upscale Wii games, why would a cheaper micro console?

The Vita tv plays handheld games on a big screen tv. If Damo wants to support some type of 3DS tv out via odngle or cable I'm all for it. Sign me up right here, right now.

Sony kept the PS2 around b/c it was sitll selling, companies were making games for it, and the PS3 was too expensive.
The Wii hasn't been selling THAT well, it hasn't had new games in 2 years, and the Wii U is only $299 now compared to the $399 PS4 and $499 X1.

So a Wii isn't a PS2, it isn't a TV Vita (though I would love a 2/3DS TV) and Nintendo needs to focus on the Wii capital U.

If Damo wants to argue Nintendo should keep the Wii around for a couple more years just to keep some cashing rolling in OK, I can understand that, and the Wii mini is a terrible joke, but I think it's better they drop it and focus it all on getting people to upgrade to Wii U. And then sell them all the Gamecube games in HD - see Windwaker.



cookiex said:

" I think that Nintendo has abandoned its previous console — assuming Western territories follow suit, which seems likely — much too soon. Walk into your local video game store and there are still rows of Wii titles, suggesting that a healthy demand for software still exists — despite the fact that no new games are coming."

So? They can still sell them just as before. Wii U is perfectly capable of playing every retail Wii game out there, provided that you have the necessary controls and accesories. You may argue the lack of GC support, but A) the controller is not mandatory for any Wii game I know of and B) more recent hardware revisions of the Wii (Family Edition and Mini) already dropped that functionality anyway.

And don't get me started on how Wii's continuing existence has only further perpuated the confusion among casuals. Naming its successor like that was a terrible idea indeed, but its far too late to change that. However you could minimize the damage by getting rid of Wii systems from shelves and thus not make people buy Wii systems who will then try to play Wii U games on them. There is no harm in having it the other way around (only Wii games remain on shelves and people buy them to play on Wii U) 'cause as I said, Wii U is fully backwards compatible with them.

"Having a few AAA Wii titles in 2013 may well have helped Wii U owners get through the software drought which has impacted that machine."

Why would diverting resources to make new Wii titles do anything but further delay development of Wii U games? Nintendo even admits that they didn't have enough resources to keep a steady stream of Wii U titles coming (due to them underestimating the needs of HD development), which is a major reason the system is struggling. Wii U needs all the help it can get right now, and seeing Nintendo keep cranking out Wii titles would give existing Wii owners less of an incentive to upgrade.

"Nintendo should have been thinking of this approach years ago with the Wii. Instead of giving us the Wii Mini — the system no one wanted — Nintendo could have launched a super-cheap micro version which removes the disc drive and connects to a new and improved Wii Shop Channel."

A major difference between that and the PSVita TV is that the latter is in my view essentially a way to save the Vita by following the Android market and offering something the 3DS can't. Wii has done its course and doesn't need saving. You are correct that this should've happened years ago, but the key thing is that it didn't, since at the time there was no real market for it.

And I have to recite the problem with resources. Upgrading Wii Shop channel, putting every Wii game on digital and maintaining said infrastructure would take away resources Wii U (and to a small extent 3DS) desperately needs.

"Such a move would have allowed Nintendo to maintain the Wii's popularity with developers, too; a cheap micro-console with motion control would provide the perfect breeding ground for innovative indie studios, especially as Nintendo has now relaxed its indie development policies."

Wii U's future seems to be based on first/second-party titles and indies right now, and by giving the latter a concurrent non-portable system they can develop on isn't going to do Wii U any favors. Not to mention that the indie infastructure of Wii Shop would need to be re-tooled (which, again, need resources) since it wasn't that attractive to begin with.

"You can't hold onto the past forever, of course — and Nintendo's focus on making its current machines as successful as possible is commendable — but by closing the book on one of its most popular pieces of hardware so soon strikes me as a mistake."

It strikes me as a mistake that they hadn't closed that book earlier.

TL:DR I get the idea behind the article, but I think it would do more harm than benefit.



Sceptic said:

@Goginho: I think the opposite is the case. They are way out of their depth. Which is why the fewer consoles they try their best to focus on, the better.

They're pretty much asleep at the wheel regarding the WiiU, maybe this will free up some brain power and ressources.



Shiryu said:

It's never too late, I still use my Wii regularly due to it's amazing homebrew capabilities.



mamp said:

I think someone's over estimating the Wii, Considering the Wii mini was at the end of the Wiis' lifespan I don't know how or why Nintendo would have rebuilt the Wii shop just to provide downloadable games for a console nearing its end. Considering they were currently working on the eShop to try and make it something worth while I don't get why they would want to focus in the Wii shop which was dead the day it started. I feel like Nintendo is really at a point right now where they can't afford to focus on the Wii. The Wii U needs some serious steam to get it going and the 3DS just needs to keep up its pace. You can say people still have the Wii but it's steadily dying (unless of course you have homebrew) so there's really no point in investing money on it.



withoutdk said:

we have phones for gaming when it comes to microconsoles.... just bring on the damn support for the wii u.... blow away the ps4



Samurai_Goroh said:

I think Vita TV is a terrible idea, so no Nintendo should just continue manufacturing the current Wii models like it has, rather than making the mistake of their competitors. But software development and marketing efforts should be focused only on Wii U.



Blue_Yoshi said:

Ya see this is what Nintendo SHOULD have done at some point in the past but right now it would be a horrific idea given all the shovelware that the Wii was given due to lack of third party support. It's almost like everyone but a few old fashion companies stopped giving the Wii support. Nintendo is a a juggernaut when it comes to game design but it takes more than just first party titles to really push a console. That's why I bought a 360 2 years after the Wii was released. I needed to play better, normal games and it was a perfect alternative to the expensive-at-the-time PS3.



Jese_1 said:

If I didn't own a Wii U, the idea might be appealing, especially to the more budget-conscious gamer.

I have no problem with the concept, but the micro console market is still one that hasn't proved that it has that much potential to it.



Dogpigfish said:

Some could argue that the discounted ps2 slowed the advancement of the ps3 which drifted quickly into last place in a time when modern business was booming. The only reason the ps3 is doing well now is because of big price cuts and 3 cheaper models later. Wii continuation would only confuse customers more. They need to get them off the shelves; same with the ps3 and Xbox 360 if we hope to get people to upgrade.



artofmana said:

I think you make a compelling argument. In fact, even though we own a Wii and a Wii U, I would buy an additional micro console version of the Wii.

Right now the Wii U and the Wii are both hooked up in our living room. The plan is to move the Wii to the den with our older systems. However, once there, it will be far harder to unhook and bring somewhere. A micro console would be a great way to bring a fantastic gaming experience to friends' houses and to events.

Also, I would keep it in the living room when not traveling so that the Wii could use the main TV when the Wii U is using off-screen mode. If there was the HD upscaling mentioned in the article, it would also mean Netflix and Hulu Plus in HD could occupy the TV while New Super Luigi U occupies the GamePad. This would be a fantastic setup for us as we rely on our Nintendo products to stream video content to our TV. We do not have cable nor any channels over the air.



grekkoo said:

I think they should make a "3ds tv" instead of a 2ds for the youngsters.. a control mix with wiiu and steam controller..



JJtheTexan said:

Yes, this is a good idea - for Wii U. Release the entire Wii library digitally via the Wii U eShop, upscaled into HD with GamePad support, and you'll drastically increase the value of the Wii U. Sony is already planning to do something like this with PlayStation 4, allowing in the near future for gamers to stream PS3 and PSN games via the cloud.



OrangeSmoothie said:

There should be an option in the poll along the lines of "It's not for me, but it's definitely a good idea." That's my vote.



PinkSpider said:

No one I know is still playing the original Wii any more, I hate to admit and I know this is off topic (as I am a huge Nintendo fan and usually always defend them) but unfortunately Nintendo are never gonna be the great company that they used to be in so many peoples eyes. There business plans are not good they make stupid decisions (not all the time) and unfortunately people these days want more than just a games console.
Third party developers are not supporting them (since I have come on to this page today I have already read 3 more negative articles on the Wii U)
I hate to say it but the Wii U unfortunately is gonna go the way of the GameCube if not sooner if they don't change there ways.
I've been taking my son to the child minder for the last year and in that year they have bought a Wii U and sold it for a Playstation 3 (because of no games) they then 3 or 4 months later bought another one as they thought the time was right and then within less than a month they had sold it again. And what did they replace it with? there old Xbox (not the 360) they dug out of the attic.
She said ''theres still no games''
There is not one person at my work I know of over 450 people that own a Wii U most people own Xbox 360 or PS3 and when the time is right will be moving on to the PS4 or Xbox One.
I know I have gone of track and this is not really what its about but needed to air views. I'll probably get some flack for this but trust me I am a huge Nintendo FAN. I own 167 Original Wii games but sometimes even I need to see sense.
I will continue to support Nintendo and Wii U until it's end.... I just hope its not as soon as it feels its gonna be.
And to the question on topic lol... No to micro Wii no its time for Nintendo to start pulling out the fingers and focus on Reclaiming the market and a bit of glory. Its gonna be a long struggle and an interesting one hope it doesn't come to late....



DESS-M-8 said:

Absolutely not. But they should release the wii virtual
Console and wii first party titles to download at a reduced price on the wii u to help full the software drought and promote the use of eshop web further. With so few titles across the whole of 2013, if the likes of skyward sword, mario galaxy and some n64 and GameCube made available since launch I would have bought an downloaded ALL and not felt the drought of wii I software in tr slightest.
They dropped the ball massively by providing relatively nothing in the wii u's first 12 months, where they could have shovel wared some back catalogue very quickly an provided a supply tons crying demand.



Jazzer94 said:

Nintendo is struggling to advertise Two devices at the same time already adding another device to explain as a concept to the general public would be disastrous in the long-term.



Nintenjoe64 said:

I think Nintendo should have had their HD console ready in 2010 with TVii and phased out the Wii up to now. They'd be laughing now if they had. Milking their Wii shaped cash-cow is partly what got them into their Wii U mess.



JebbyDeringer said:

Makes a LOT of sense. a $99 console with cheap downloadable games. A $99 with disc based games that aren't being made any more and stores are likely to stop carrying makes much less sense.



yuwarite said:

No. What Nintendo NEED to do is, hurry up and release GameCube, N64 and even Wii games on the Wii U Virtual Console.



Doma said:

I pick “No, Nintendo should focus on the 3DS (entirely)”. I think i'm done with their home consoles tbh. They just can't compete anymore.



faint said:

@Damien McFerran
Sony stated that one of the main reasons ps2 was able to sell long past it's life cycle was the dvd player. If you lived in Mexico or similar territory this was the most affordable way to get a game system for your kids and watch dvds. The Wii mini was crippled by lack of wifi. The Wii mini was a terrible idea.



Araknie said:

They still release games like Skylanders on the Wii, so it's not like it's not ruling the micro-console's market.
Heh, for some months it was even ruling the Wii U.

I don't think supporting and old console is a good strategy for Nintendo, they simply don't have the resources that Sony and Microsoft has, it would put them in major loss and make their investors more pissed off than they already are because Nintendo is not going multiplatorm nor iOS.

So please, stop about this thinking that since they can't compete the home console market they should focus elsewere.

Gaming isn't about competing to rule the market, it's about giving fun and creative experiences to the final user.

Look at Beyond: Two Souls, it has not gameplay and the story is poorly written, hence 70% of the PS3 fanbase is skipping it.

Gaming it's also NOT about pleasing the market but about giving gameplay, Beyond was done to please the reviewers and also most reviewers hated it.

This could be done only with a console that has 100% Cloud System retrocompatibility with all Nintendo's software, that's were you win with non-gamers.



unrandomsam said:

@Squashie Jet Set Radio / Crazy Taxi are better than Mario Kart Wii (Which lets you win straight away on the hardest setting so it is utterly pointless). There is also Sonic CD / Final Fantasy III/IV/V / Chrono Trigger / Afterburner Climax / All Stars Racing (Which at least doesn't let you win) / All the Metal Slugs / Blazing Star / Ikaruga. Here is the kicker you can likely get them all for the price of a single Wii game.



unrandomsam said:

@Araknie For Microsoft it is all about trying to extend the monopoly above all else.

For Sony it is all about stopping the company imploding as it is doing so badly in so many areas (and it is so big). They wouldn't give a way all the games they do if they were not desperate.

Nintendo just make sure they make money overall which is a strategy that will more than likely keep them around indefinitely. Problem is they are so risk adverse that what they make is becoming stale.



unrandomsam said:

Still not enough I want on the WIi U as of yet. (I got my 3DS XL too early. No point in having a console with no games you want).

Probably get Tropical Freeze / All Stars Racing Transformed (Cannot tell the difference between PC and Wii U and I would like to use the Wii Wheel even though I already have it). Might get Sonic Lost World but I want 10 exclusives that I really want before I will get the console. (Probably get other stuff as well but they should be able to sort that out. I am in no rush and I will probably buy them all at once).

(N64 had Waverace / Gamecube had Luigi's Mansion they was always something somewhat different up until recently).



Bali said:

I think they should focus on the Wii U, but i'd love to see a 3DS TV. Especially if it could record gameplay as videos, and it would be able to display 3D with glasses. Though i don't think it will happen.



sketchturner said:

This sums up exactly what I've been thinking. Nintendo jumping ship so prematurely [practically back in 2011] on the Wii was a huge mistake given that it is one of the best selling systems of all time. If there was even a small trickle of decent games being released, I'd still be buying them. I am still holding out unreasonable hope for Rodea the Sky Soldier...



Mahe said:

Nintendo killed the Wii because they wanted Wii owners to move on to Wii U. Bad strategy. New Wii games like Wii Sports 3 and New SMB Wii 2 could still have sold millions of copies, and Wii consoles have still been selling more than Wii U even without games like that. Wii and Wii U should have coexisted, not competed.



MikeLove said:

The Wii may have sold 100 million consoles in its lifetime, but almost half of those sales came in the first couple years. By the last few years of its existence, it was dead in the water and was outsold by a large margin by the PS3 and 360. Not to mention it was the most widely pirated for system since the PS2. There was no money to be made on software by the end.



Dreamcaster-X said:

Sony was able to keep the PS2 on the shelves so long because it had extraordinary 3rd party support. The Wii did not so that's why the Wii died much sooner than it should have. There's no contest in title support of PS2 vs Wii.



BestBuck15 said:

To stop making the Wii this early is crazy but it could be to do with the fact Nintendo don't manufacture hardware, unlike Sony. It must be to do with cost, because it's not a good idea.



VeeFlamesNL said:

@Doma Sigh...

Anyway, though. The Wii U plays Wii games... so I say focus on the U. We have fantastic looking games on the way, plus a lot of games already in the back seat.

EDIT: Ugh. I hate negativism.



Damo said:

Thanks for the comments, guys. A lot of you who seem critical of the idea are missing the point (although I'll admit I could have made this clearer in the original piece) — a micro-console Wii wouldn't really be aimed at existing Nintendo fans, but at those who are being tempted by the likes of the Ouya, Mad Catz MOJO and PS Vita TV. These are likely to be newcomers or people who are after an all-in-one device which plays games, accesses the web and connects to movie streaming services.

While existing Wii owners - who have already played their Wii consoles to death - may be better off upgrading to the Wii U, people who are new to the industry would snap up a Nintendo micro-console in a heartbeat. Given the ageing nature of the tech - not to mention the massive library of games - the Wii is the ideal candidate.



jayclayx said:

No way!, the wii has its time and its old now, Nintendo did the right decision to let the wii dies and go to the next page the wii U,



VeeFlamesNL said:

@Damo I get it, but it may look like Ninty's trying to kill off the Wii U, with such a console(Wii TV). To give newcomers an option, they should make U sales rise. Then make the Wii TV an option for those who want a cheap m-console and who want to try out:
1. The motion controls.
2. Wii gems such as SMG/2, Sonic Colors, Brawl, LoZs etc.... for a cheap price!



ToxieDogg said:

"Such a console would also help maintain momentum in the west, where systems like the Ouya and GameStick are threatening to sneak into the living room and steal market share away from the likes of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft."

You are joking, aren't you? After some initial hype around the Ouya, pretty much everyone lost interest and now it's sinking faster than a lead balloon. I can't see the Gamestick faring much better and even if it does, it's hardly likely to make a dent in Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft's market share.



TenEighty said:

I think they should come out with a "Little Wii Box" that only has access to virtual console games. There wasn't many Wii Ware games that I care for.



Kirk said:

There's so much Nintendo could do in so many areas with so many of it's properties, be it consoles or games or whatever.

Unfortunately it isn't doing much of it other than the obvious and sometimes not even that.



Damo said:

@ToxieDogg The fact that we're seeing so many micro consoles appear in such a sort space of time would suggest it's far from being a joke.



Nintomdo64 said:

I think the thing this artical forgets is that Nintendo has limited resources. They can't afford to take the kind of risks and side ventures that Sony and other larger diversified companies can. Letting an obsolete unsupported console with a nearly identical name as the new console your trying to raise awareness about doesn't seem smart. Wii U plays Wii games, so Wii games will remain relevant for years to come. No need to risk long term success of the U for what could only be short term mediocre profits.



ecco6t9 said:

It's a great idea, but it would confuse the general public more.

"I'm looking for that Nintendo Portable Mini Handheld System" as opposed to "Wii Micro".



MitchVogel said:

I think they canceled this in an effort to boost Wii U sales. Every person I've talked to who isn't in the know think the Wii U is just a peripheral for Wii. Taking Wii off the shelves would definitely help to single out the Wii U.



Dogpigfish said:

@Damo It's a cool idea, but I think we all agree the Wii U needs little distraction at this point. Let's not confuse ma and pa by putting another Nintendo on the shelf.



TulipWaltz said:

@rjejr "The Wii hasn't been selling THAT well, it hasn't had new games in 2 years..."

Kirby's Return to Dreamland? Rhythm Heaven Fever? Pandora's Tower? The Last Story?



MikeLove said:


It's called a 'fad'. None of them have been remotely successful so far anyway, so no reason for Nintendo to jump into a market that doesn't even really exist.



ToxieDogg said:

@Damo They can appear all they want. If barely anybody buys them, then they're not going to make an impact into Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft's market shares. The Ouya has failed, to all intents and purposes....sales of both the hardware and software downloads have been abysmal. The Gamestick isn't out yet, but I'm doubtful as to whether it can be any more successful. In the long run, they're not being viewed by the general public as being much different to those Plug & Play joysticks that were flooding the market with not so long back, especially without a big recognisable brand name behind them.

I do agree that Nintendo have missed a trick with regards to creating a Wii Microconsole that they could've marketed in the likes of China, and that a Wii Microconsole would also be a lot more attractive than an Android based console, but I certainly don't think consoles like the Ouya and Gamestick are ever likely to be a threat to any of the big three in the West.



ToxieDogg said:

@ActionMan Wikipedia has this to say about The Last Story

"The Last Story topped the Japanese charts, with 114,722 units in its first week – which also includes sales of a version that comes bundled with a Wii system. By the end of 2011, the game had sold nearly 160,000 copies in Japan. After the release of The Last Story in North America, Xseed Games's Executive Vice President Ken Berry stated that "The Last Story has become our most successful title to date." Plus that doesn't even take the European sales into account.

That might not exactly make it a Call Of Duty or GTA V level of success, but I'd still say it was a good seller.



DilMan33 said:

Sony kept the PS2 going because it screwed up backwards compatibilty for the PS3!!

Nothing to do with a micro-console concept!



FJOJR said:

I'd rather take that effort and integrate Wii and GameCube games to the Wii U VC. Not to mention the whole unified account and crossplay features for 3DS and Wii U.



StarDust4Ever said:

Ouya rocks as a micro console btw. I'm sticking to Wii-U and Ouya.

What's the deal anyway? Nintendo sold the NES alongside the SNES for 4 years. Wario's Woods 1994, anyone?



MikeLove said:


100 million Wii owners, and around 500,000 copies sold of The Last Story.

I would say that's pretty dismal actually. The original Bayonetta sold three times that and was considered a commercial failure.



JaxonH said:

This article fell flat the minute the author cited the press and gamer's strong reaction to Vita TV as proof of demand. Um, the press ALWAYS reacts strongly to new Sony gaming products. When was the last time you read negative press about a new Sony gaming console or handheld before it launched? And the only gamers who reacted strongly were uber-Sony fans. I read the polls. Even on Pushsquare, only 1 out of 4 said they'd buy Vita TV. And that is Sony's MOST dedicated fanbase saying that.

Vita isn't selling because of one thing- its stunted library growth. And Vita TV doesn't change that. It's the same old Vita library, just on a TV. If gamers didn't want to play the Vita handheld, what makes anyone think they'll want to play it blown up on a TV screen? These kinds of devices are PROVEN no-sellers. People are kidding themselves if they think Vita TV will do anything spectacular, because it won't. Only a robust library of amazing Vita exclusives will sell the Vita brand- it's as simple as that. I own a Vita, and I have a day-one PS4 on the way. And I have no interest whatsoever in Vita TV.

The ONLY thing Vita TV has going for it is the ability to stream games from the PS4 to another TV. But I'm not sure how many people are going to cough up ANOTHER hundred dollars to do that after blowing over half a stack on a PS4, accessories and games.

Having said all that, the reason no one wanted a Wii Mini is because no one wanted a Wii. It had run it's course already. Sales have stagnated, and Nintendo was right to abandon it in favor of shining the spotlight on Wii U. No micro console would have changed that fact. The Wii is spent, and that's the crux of the matter that the author fails to realize. Nintendo screwed themselves by allowing all that shovelware onto the Wii. But what's done is done. The shovelware turned consumers off from the console, the effects of which are irreversible. Time to move on.



SCAR said:

In regards to The Last Story. It may have sold less than 250,000 copies, but there probably weren't that many copies to begin with.

Xenoblade Chronicles only had 500,000 copies, I think, and it basically sold all of them, which was also part of the same fiasco in Operation Rainfall.



JaxonH said:

What's becoming stale? Their games? I beg to differ- I play a lot of Nintendo games, and have been playing them for over 20 years. And nothing's stale to me. The name of the new Mario Kart game is Mario Kart 8. It's named that because it's the 8th Mario Kart game to ever release since the inception of Nintendo gaming. Now think about that. 8 games in what, 30 years across the span of 8 generations of TWO lines of gaming devices- home consoles and handhelds. We got 8 Call of Duty games just in the last gen alone. We got damn near 8 Assassin's Creed games just in the last gen alone. THOSE are games at risk of becoming stale- but even then, as long as the game's premise isn't dull, even annual releases can stay fresh.

Nintendo games are FAR from stale. Pikmin 3- last game was a decade ago, and only 2 other games previously released. Wonderful 101- brand new franchise, gameplay, concept and premise. NSMBU- excellent level design and just enough "new" to keep it from feeling like the last game in the series. Zelda Link Between Worlds- first Zelda game in 2 decades to offer top-down gameplay. Super Mario 3D World- well, that last trailer speaks for itself.

Point is, that accusation gets thrown around pretty often, but it really doesn't have any merit. OTHER companies, THEY are the ones with some stale games. I mean, have you seen any Madden or FIFA game in the last 5 years?



PokemonManiac said:

The thing with playstation is that there is limited to no backwards compatibility while the wii u can play wii games. With the wii u struggling right now (don't have one cus I'm 15 with no money) I think the only thing it should be advertised as is backwards compatibility



WanderingPB said:

About 100 million "old" Wii's sold already…

The "new" Wii U has backwards compatability to play all the Wii's library and of course all the brand new Wii U games…

I understand why some would think keeping the Wii would be a good idea but i believe Nintendo should focus on properly marketing the Wii U and getting everyone in the world to know the difference and why they need this new console.

I believe Iwata said in a recent interview that Nintendo doesnt compete with the present but challenge themselves with a different future as the DS and Wii has done to their prospective competition.

They should focus on the Wii U, 3DS and their games



AtomicToaster said:

Yeah, but then people would argue like they did with the DS that they need to kill it off so that people buy the new console. I think it would be even more confusing to consumers. They're like Sony. They don't need a third platform (or a fourth in Sony's case), they just need to focus on making the two they have more successful!

I think it's lame they are killing off the Wii so early, though. They could have kept that thing around for a few more years while the customers transitioned to Wii. But like I said, then people would argue that the Wiiu's worst enemy was the Wii!



AtomicToaster said:

I agree with yah that they probably should have kept Wii running longer. But I think the micro console idea is rather meh and confusing. Plus how much more micro does it need to get when you're already the Wii or Wiiu? The darn controller is almost biger than the console! Haha!



DerpSandwich said:

I think that Nintendo abandoning the Wii is evidence that, while they're really awesome, they can be extremely stubborn and ignorant, and overall quite stupid as a company.

Like, what do you do when you've got one of the largest install bases in the history of gaming consoles? You stop producing software? Wow, good idea, Nintendo.



thanos316 said:

micro console market i think not.. nintendo has this habit of doing strange things. like now with the 2ds. the 3ds is selling like hotcakes so why disrupt it and confuse people with a 2ds. but a micro console makes no sense. nintendo just needed to make a powerful console. and better marketing in the early months and they would be in great shape with the wii u now



Williaint said:

A micro console would create greater confusion around what the Wii U is.
Since Wii is compatible with Wii U, they might have just gotten rid of the console — or micro console — which would inevitably caused greater sales of the Wii U.
Shouldn't there be some reference to iQue?
I would like to see some "Super 3DS" app from Nintendo. I'd pay for it, even.
I'm not apt to pay for a new '3DS TV', however.



kereke12 said:

Wii Mini should of been the Wii U console base, as for the Wii Tv I wouldn't buy it. Now if Nintendo, did what Sony did with the Ps Vita Tv. Nintendo would of been the king again.



ToastyYogurt said:

Nintendo can't afford to keep the Wii on the market when the Wii U is struggling. I still feel that there is confusion between the Wii and Wii U among casual consumers that buy stuff for their kids. I could imagine the Wii U being viewed as a "Premium Wii" like some average-consumer-level products have in tiers (i.e. Roku, iPhones), rather than a successor to the Wii that will get much more support in the coming years than its predecessor. Getting rid of the Wii could solve that problem.



Ruthven said:

The "Wii TV Edition" without a disk drive would be the perfect option for China Market and other emerging and/or piracy heavy markets.
Nintendo just need to make the "Wii TV Edition" compatible with a new Universal Nintendo ID/eStore. A new universal Nintendo ID/eStore would be of massive benefit to the Wii U/3DS in primary markets and perfect for tackling China/emerging/piracy markets
Nintendo what are you waiting for?!?



rjejr said:

@TulipWaltz - Kirby's Return to Dreamland is probably the last one, and it was 2 years ago, Oct 2011. I love me some JRPGs but those aren't going to sell systems or sell a ton of copies.



Slapshot said:

Very good piece @Damo - I hope to see more like it in the future here at NL.

I think the main issue with this piece of hardware is the Wii's terrible online attachment rate, but this type of console would have forced attention onto it, which could have potentially rectified that issue as well. With that train of thought - could it be possible that the Wii U and it's improved online infrastructure could be benefiting from this missed opportunity as well? I think it's feasible to think so.



VeeFlamesNL said:

@JaxonH Sigh... someone who finally agrees that Nintendo still dish out fantastic games. Wish there were more people like you, JaxonH.



Pit-Stain said:

Nintendo should focus on the WiiU also they need to release new and fresh games. DO YOUR BEST NINTENDO! WE LOVE YOU!



siavm said:

This would have maybe been smart two years ago. Now it would be stupid. The has been going down since 2011 even before the wii u was a thing. It would have help that year. Now wii u and 3ds are the priorities. The vita tv exist because Sony is very desperate. The vita is tanking bad. And no games are in site to fix that. The wii u is not doing great but unlike vita it has some big games coming next year that will push up wii u sales. So unless you want a super downgraded wii or wii u this idea does not need to be liked at.



SneakyStyle said:

Honestly I think it would be a waste of time and effort to continue wasting resources on the Wii, they need to focus on the WiiU and 3DS and things will be fine, and all these lazy donkey developers need to make stuff for WiiU instead of skiping it out..... Freakin lazy devs annoy the hell outa me, and I think the WiiU has got the short straw when it comes to that so far.

So if nintendo throw some more help to the devs that keep giving us half finished/never to get DLC so they actually finish their freaking job. (For example Injustice we get no DLC etc)..... sad
Watch the profanity please — TBD



ICHIkatakuri said:

What Nintendo should focus on is not just linked accounts but being able to play 3DS games bought on the eshop on your wii u. A quick way to add tonnes of excellent games (like the GBA player was) to a console with a smaller library. People would love to play Pokemon on their TV's!



SanderEvers said:

We need Wii games on the eShop. I think it's possible: launch a Wii game, the Wii U "mounts" it as a virtual disc and launches it using the Wii Menu.

Thechnically this is possible.It's what those pirates been doing using the Homebrew channel for years..

@ICHIkatakuri: Nah that wouldn't work. The Wii U misses some of the hardware the 3DS has. For instance a backward facing camera, a "sleep" mode. And the Wii U might not be powerful enough to emulate the 3DS.

The GB Player used additional hardware to play GB(C)/GBA games on the GameCube.

Also to the linked accounts thing. I don't think it's coming. It's not a technical limitation, it's a policy driven one. And there is your problem, unless Nintendo changes their policy.. it's not gonna happen.



Zael said:

If nintendo had launched a much powerful console to support third parties on december 2013 (after one month from ps4 x1) then I think nintendo would have ruled this gen.
This because when you have a console where you can play all the multi platform and third parties games and more all the nintendo exclusives then it is the best choice for everyone.
It would have been the first console in terms of sales
Nintendo has missed the chance to return the best console at 360 grades
I think that the wii tv would be a stupid thing but the 3ds player for wii u, like the gameboy player on gamecube, would boost the wii u sales because many 3ds player could use their games un wii u and on tv, and also to resolve the lack of third parties support
In a strange way Vita tv is a kind of gameboy player (to play portable games on tv) and I think could help the sales of vita software



PinkSpider said:

To make a glaringly obvious point why do we need the original Wii still when the Wii U can perfectly emulate the Wii. There's no reason they have to stop production of the games is there.



andreoni79 said:

@Damo "a micro-console Wii wouldn't really be aimed at existing Nintendo fans, but at those who are being tempted by the likes of the Ouya, Mad Catz MOJO and PS Vita TV"
Who is tempted by those things, I mean what's their target? Casual gamers don't even know what they are and hardcore gamers have their consoles to play with...



TulipWaltz said:

@rjejr - The other 3 were released last year actually. Xenoblade was another release within the last 2 years which most assuredly sold well, as did The Last Story. They might not have been system sellers but were successful enough on their own to keep the system very much alive.



erv said:

Nope. Micro-consoles dangerously translate into cheap and easy quick experiences, even if they don't have to. The low price point and the ease of access means lower mental investment from your users. Brand diluting value making nintendo weaker after the big buck has sailed as the nintendo you know and love is no longer the nintendo everybody remembers as their name is at that point no longer synonymous for the best of videogaming.

Nintendo is wise to kill off the wii in time before it becomes the poopiefoofledingdongderrydoodoopoops after-thankyou the market would make it to be in time.
Watch the profanity please — TBD



ShortSleevedNook said:

I like the idea, but I've built up a great library of physical Wii titles, and I'm buying a Wii U it would be useless to me, and all the other Wii U owners out there. Bad idea and good idea.



ajcismo said:

Ninty has dropped the ball and will continue to kick it away in a comedic style until it makes its ENTIRE catalog of games from all of of its past systems available for digital download.



shinpichu said:

I wish there was a poll option that said "It's a good idea, but I wouldn't personally be interested in it."



Darknyht said:

I think providing backwards compatibility in the Wii U is enough. The WiiWare and Virtual Console games are not enough to carry the system, and I do not see how they would redesign the system to allow installs of full games and still manage the price point. Plus, you would have to convince stores to carry old software that for the most part can be found in the used market at a much more reasonable price.



Gameday said:

Its wii u time to shine lets show it some respect / love as its birthday is coming up as stated ~

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