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Guest Blog: Shut up! Nothing is Wrong With The Nintendo Wii U!

Posted by Hugo Smits

Goodbye Galaxy Games' Hugo Smits speaks his mind

The last few weeks there has been a lot said about Nintendo and its products. It seems every analyst out there is keen on sharing his doom scenario. Most of them seem to think that Nintendo could solve all this by simply moving their software over to other platforms (mainly mobile) and some seem to indicate that Nintendo should drop hardware all-together.

As a developer who has been exclusively developing on Nintendo platforms for over four years now, I can tell you these are all ridiculous solutions. Not only will they not fix the real problems, they will decrease Nintendo’s chances significantly.

The real problem at hand is not that the Nintendo Wii U or Nintendo 3DS are bad products. Quite the opposite, they are well made products with a lot of opportunities. Dropping great products (and thus moving out of hardware) is not going to help Nintendo, it only limits their options.

The real problem is communications and services. And when I say communications I mean both to consumers AND developers.

Let’s start with consumers. By now most hardcore gamers understand that the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS are completely new products. This was not the case when the Nintendo Wii U got unveiled at E3 2011. Early news posts and tweets talked about a new tablet-like controller. But it was unclear if this was a new console or a add-on for the Nintendo Wii system. Only later it became clear it was in fact a new console.

This issue never got resolved. To mainstream consumers it is still not clear that the Nintendo Wii U is a different platform. The name itself did not really help the situation.

The same issue is also true for Nintendo 3DS (although admittedly less than with Nintendo Wii U). The appearance and shape of the handheld and name is very close to Nintendo DS.

For Triple A developers it will be hard to add Nintendo Wii U capabilities to their current Engine, Framework and pipeline.

With Nintendo releasing new iterations for the Nintendo DS system over the years (Nintendo DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL), it is no surprise that some consumers are mistaking the Nintendo 3DS for yet another iteration of Nintendo DS.

A good solution for this problem should be a well made marketing campaign. Show consumers that they are different products and what is exciting about them. This seems like a obvious solution. But nothing like this has happened until now.

The next problem with communication is towards developers. I feel like Nintendo is targeting the wrong group. Nintendo Wii U is a very different machine compared to Xbox or PlayStation. Fans will quickly point out that the hardware capabilities of Nintendo Wii U are equal or in some cases better then Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles.

While that might be true, under the hood the Nintendo Wii U works very differently. For Triple A developers it will be hard to add Nintendo Wii U capabilities to their current Engine, Framework and pipeline. Simply because things have to be processed differently if you want to make a game shine on Nintendo Wii U.

Which means that developers have to heavily invest extra time and money if they want their games to run on Nintendo Wii U. Couple this with the bad Wii U sales figures to see why developers are not very keen on this.

Having the CEO of EA on stage telling the world Nintendo Wii U is great, is not really helpful unless EA actual decides to makes some games.

So instead of targeting those big developers that clearly are not interested, they should focus on smaller developers. Let the smaller ones make software that will compliment the special features of the Nintendo Wii U.

Nintendo should go after companies like Mojang instead of EA. Get a game like Minecraft on Nintendo Wii U. Looking at the features of the GamePad and the target audience, I think that could be a huge hit.

The game industry has matured. Indie games have matured. If Nintendo would pick up a few games like Minecraft, games that are smaller but matter, they could outweigh a big fish like EA.

Bringing software onto other platforms, or more specifically mobile, is not going to help. Nintendo will not be able to bring over enough new consumers from mobile to their own hardware for companies like EA to suddenly care or consider making games. With the release of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, hardcore gamers have better platform options for those games.

Going over to mobile also does not magically solve the communication problem Nintendo is having towards their consumers. For example it will be hard for mainstream consumers to spot the difference between ‘New Super Mario Bros. Wii’ and ‘New Super Mario Bros U’.

This does not mean Nintendo should ignore the mobile platform. Instead they should expand their services towards mobile as well as PC. Some services are already accessible through a web browser.

This should be done to more services, like the Nintendo eShop. Although speculation indicates that Nintendo has plans for this, as of yet it is still not possible. Making it easy for consumers to buy software for Nintendo systems should be a high priority.

Nintendo is currently in the process of learning how to create and maintain good services. It took some time for their competitors to learn this as well. However, Microsoft and Sony were learning this at the same time. Now that these competitors have good services on their systems, it seems all more apparent that Nintendo has not (yet).

As an example take the Nintendo Network ID. I own multiple Nintendo handhelds (3DS,XL,2DS), but I cannot share one unified Nintendo Network ID account between those systems. Instead I have to juggle three accounts, one for each system.

This affects my decision when I buy games. I mostly buy retail games because I can swap out the cartridge and put it into any of my three systems. While a downloaded version of the game can only be played on the system I bought it on.

I’m very positive that, if given a chance, smaller developers will prove that they are capable of filling the void bigger developers left in the software library.

About Nintendo’s future. Is Nintendo going to be doomed this year? Honestly, I expect them to make major progress on the above issues. I think 2014 will be a very positive year for Nintendo.

We are going to see some amazing games from Nintendo themselves (Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros.) as well as a bunch of great indie games (Shantae, Shovel Knight).

These games will increase hardware sales.

And of course my own indie game Tappingo, which I personally expect to do really well in the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Looking at the sales figures I have from various sources, those little games are really starting to thrive in the eShop. I expect this to only get better when (and I’m sure they will) Nintendo improves their services.

Improved services such as the eShop will make it easier for consumers to buy and access software on their system. In turn this will lead to more software sales, which will get developer's confidence up!

Communication between developers has been improving in a big way in the past year. Where in 2012 I barely talked to Nintendo, I had almost weekly conversations in 2013.

I hope Nintendo will increase their focus on smaller developers opposed to bigger developers. Let the smaller studios make games that truly appeal to the Nintendo audience and make the Nintendo systems shine, instead of convincing the big companies to put out weak ports.

I’m very positive that, if given a chance, smaller developers will prove that they are capable of filling the void bigger developers left in the software library.

For this to happen Nintendo systems should be easily accessible for developers. We saw major improvements in this area for Nintendo Wii U. Most notably the web SDK and Unity support (free of charge!).

The Nintendo 3DS is still a relative closed system, with expensive devkits. Hopefully those positive improvements on Nintendo Wii U will also transcend to Nintendo 3DS this year.

For 2014 I hope all these improvements will line up and drastically change the future for Nintendo in a positive way. Their systems certainly deserve it.

This article was originally posted on, and has been reproduced and edited with permission. Goodbye Galaxy Games has developed five titles for Nintendo handhelds — Flipper, Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish, Ace Mathician and Color Commando for DSiWare, as well as the upcoming Tappingo on the 3DS eShop. Our thanks to Hugo Smits.

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User Comments (177)



Captain_Gonru said:

Glad to hear someone with a constructive argument. And on the internet, of all places. Who knew it was possible?



Peach64 said:

Pretty much agree with every single bit of this. However, it's not really going against what's already been said. Not many people have said Wii U sucks, but rather the combination of difficulty porting and poor software sales make it hard to justify putting games on it.




A great perspective, and it makes a really good point.

It mentions the Nintendo Network ID system being tied to one console and handheld. This really needs attention from Nintendo. I also think this needs to be added to Virtual Console with cross-platform purchasing of those VC games that are available on both 3DS and Wii U such as the NES games. If you know you can buy a game on the Wii U, and also play it on your 3DS, it gives you more incentive to purchase it. At least, it would for me. As it stands, I really only buy VC games when we're in a game drought.

I recently had a twitter argument with someone who responded to me saying that cross-platform purchasing would devalue the Nintendo brand by 50%. His solution for Nintendo to get out of their current situation was to advertise. Advertise the heck out of Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros. etc. I couldn't disagree more. You can advertise the hell out of anything and it won't always work. The best form of advertising opinion via word of mouth. Getting Indie developers on board bringing indie games to the system that we've recently seen grab headlines such as Minecraft, Gone Home, Shadowrun, etc. I totally agree Nintendo should now be courting these developers.



CaviarMeths said:

I agree with the sentiment that Nintendo should be focusing less on getting AAA ports (because they're not going to happen at this point, let it go) and more on getting great games at a more modest budget built natively on the Wii U.

They shouldn't be going to Ubisoft or Square-Enix and saying "Hey, give me Assassin's Creed 5" or "Give me Final Fantasy XV." They should be saying "Hey, build a game on my console that makes full use of the hardware, but don't give it an AAA budget."



TheAdrock said:

WELL SAID. I have no disagreements. However, this one fact "For Triple A developers it will be hard to add Nintendo Wii U capabilities to their current Engine, Framework and pipeline," is a big problem IMO. Next console ought to be a cinch for devs to move their game from one system to another.



Jimmy_G_Buckets said:

Nice article. Although Minecraft is not my thing, it seems like a perfect fit for the WiiU. The game is available on literally every platform except for the Nintendo ones. I also expect 2014 to be a big year for Nintendo. There are too many great titles coming this year for it to not succeed.



ajcismo said:

Excellent article. The inside perspective is nice, especially since its a real persons opinion and not an "anonymous source".
Totally agree that the most important thing Nintendo needs to do is revise its marketing strategy. Or maybe get one.



alLabouTandroiD said:

I'd really love if you were right, @HugoSmits and smaller games seem to be the only chance for Ninty right now. If these really sell systems or even at least enough copies to make the platform look attractive for other devs is a different question though.

What could they do to show people they should get a Wii U even though they already have a Wii? Well, aside from showing side-by-side comparisons of Wii und Wii U graphics, the Miiverse, as many games as possible and maybe explaining GamePad-heavy games like Nintendo Land better i have no idea.



DualWielding said:

I'm pretty sure by the time Minecraft shows up in the Wii U nobody would care..... Wii U needs exclusive games not available anywhere else, that's what's selling the 3DS unfortunately third partys and even Nintendo itself are not willing to invest on high profile exclusives for Wii U



Kolzig said:

Minecraft Wii U has been on my mind for a year already.

I'm very sure that Mojang has thought about it, it's an indie game, but it is a guaranteed system seller. It has sold millions on every platform it has been released on. For Wii U it would be a perfect match since with Wii U there is the gamepad, and the possibilities it brings are so many that other platforms just can't compete in the same way.



HugoSmits said:

@ferthepoet Minecraft just got released on PlayStation 3 last month and already sold more than a million copies.

I Honestly think development time on Minecraft WiiU should probably take around 5-6 months. So we could play this game before the end of the year if Mojang and Nintendo really wanted us to

I’m pretty sure gamers will still care if it comes out this year.



Snes_is_king said:

I think nintendo should have their entire backlog of games available on wii u and 3ds, and should have something similar to netflix. 9.99 a month for access to all of it. I would subscribe for sure. It would bring them a lot more revenue.



Phle said:

This guy is right. Bring the commercials Nintendo, I still haven't seen one where I live! Not one! People need to know that Wii U isn't a Wii because I'm tired of explaining it to people that see my Wii U.



XFsWorld said:

Minecraft will probably come to WiiU probably like in 2016 (lol)

@ROBLOGNICK Yup, I agree with you. There needs to be a cross-buy feature with 3DS/WiiU....that's why I haven't purchased Super Mario Bros 2 yet because I'm not sure what system to get it on.

I agree with a lot of stuff in this article, but Nintendo should still try to target bigger developers. Don't dare go telling Nintendo we just want indies, I do not want the WiiU to become a first party and indie system.

Indies are important tho, especially during droughts. BTW I am gonna get your Tappingo game.



8bitforever said:

The account system is very important. I can buy a PS1 game in PSN on my PS3 and then download it for free on my Vita, this also applies to a lot of other titles. I almost buy all my digital games there now because of the way Nintendo handles their accounts. I would love to buy more eshop but not until this is fixed. Plus, the VC is dry and dead right now. There just isn't an excuse for the slow releases that have been coming out. And GBA on WiiU! Why? How about both 3DS and WiiU! Makes more sense, but I swear if you can only buy GBA on WiiU then I am done with VC.



HugoSmits said:

@XFsWorld I agree. But that’s the beauty of it. Once the WiiU starts to pick up steam with games like Minecraft and the userbase grows; companies like EA will start putting games out.

Those big companies do not run on sentiment or emotion. If they think the userbase is big enough for them to make money, they will jump at it.



DualWielding said:


The game itself may sell, people who are primarily Nintendo gamers and don't own other platforms may give it a try...... but I doubt anyone, would go from I don't care about the Wii U to Wow Wii U now has Minecraft gotta buy one



rjejr said:

I just cant imagine indie games selling systems. People dont buy smartphones to play cheap games, they just need phones. Minecraft would sell well, but people arent buying a Wii U to play that either.
If MK8 and SSB get out soon people may still buy a Wii U, but if MK8 slips past Q2 and SSB slips past "planned 2014" people will move on. The longer it takes for those games to come out the bigger the price drop eill need to be. Gamecube sold poorly, and a lot of yhose happened after the drop to $99. Not saying the Wii U needs $99 but $199 may be necessary unless some AAA games show up pronto.



HugoSmits said:

@ferthepoet @rjejr
With kids totally hooked on the game it will influence their decision making.
It will not make them run out and buy WiiU’s. But when they are considering buying a console it will steer them away from WiiU, because Minecraft is not an option on there.

In the same way there are a lot of sport fans out there that take games like FIFA or MADDEN really serious and won’t go for a console that does not offer those games.

A indie game alone might not sell a system, but many will. Indie games get in the news constantly. If people are reading about positive and innovating new stuff happing on the WiiU on weekly basis, that will influence them to buy one.

Right now, next to Nintendo’s own titles, there are barely any noteworthy titles. Not really exciting when you consider buying the console.

Indie games are also good in showing off and explaining the WiiU innovating controls and features.



kwandar said:

Single smartest thing Nintendo could to would be to pay significant cash in terms of joint marketing for AAA titles, to ensure they arrive on the WIi U, and that people see the features available on Wii U (The gamepad is great for those games)



HugoSmits said:

@Kwandar Without the user base being big enough that is not going to help. As long as sales are below par for companies like EA, they won’t put their products there.

I rather see Nintendo invest 1,2 million into indie games a year. That amount of money is very small compared to big titles and barely noticeable for Nintendo. However, you could fund 12 big indie projects at 100k each. Which means you have an awesome big indie game out every month!



StarDust4Ever said:

Great write up. Well said! However, indie games are the dessert of owning a games console, not the main entree. Ouya was advertised as an Indie games console and it hasn't performed well, not that it really needs to. Wii-U is 3 times as expensive and is capable of so much more.

As to the issues regarding multiplatform game development, devs have gotten lazy. The SNES and Genesis were both highly successful but had vastly different CPU architectures (the Genny had a simple but fast CPU while the SNES CPU was slower but had a more versatile instruction set), and none of the developers back then bellyached about the necessity to develope games twice. If you released a game for multiple platforms, you had to develop it separately for both consoles. Porting involved rewriting the game from scratch and companies were fine with it.

EA and other devs are lazy. If Wii-U was that hard to program for, then why are the indie developers so good at it? Another issue, devs don't know their audience. The people who like Mario Bros may not like FPS or sports titles and visa-versa.



MoonKnight7 said:

"I’m very positive that, if given a chance, smaller developers will prove that they are capable of filling the void bigger developers left in the software library."

Well said. It's pretty apparent at this point that Nintendo is going to miss out on the AAA games this generation. Pushing indies is a very smart way to revive the console. Is one indie game going to persuade someone to buy a Wii U? The short answer is no, but with enough indie games collectively? Well, you might have something there.



Kirk said:

"Shut up! Nothing is Wrong With The Nintendo Wii U!"

Well, going by the title alone...

Here is a person who is totally out of touch with reality.

Under powered compared to the competition, uselessly paltry hard drive, no analog triggers on GamePad, crappy battery life in current iteration of GamePad, no basic CD/DVD/avi/mp3/4 or even Blu-Ray playback, terrible third party support, convoluted eShop system with separate accounts that really should be unified, overpriced console for what it is and relative to the competition's value propositions, over priced VC games...

All of those things are "Wrong With The Nintendo Wii U!" for a start. Some of them directly with the actual physical console itself.



maneauleau said:

While I agree with the propositions (improving communications, marketing and eShop) and surely agree that founding indies would help a bit too, that is still not going to be sufficient to make some profit. What Nintendo need is to go after the categories between indies and AAA. Invest in some western studios, in some mid size japanese studios, this will be an investment not only for the Wii U but for the future too. Capitalize on your current users by improving 3DS and Wii U interactions with cross play and cross saving. In the meantime work hard on your next machine and reward faithful Wii U owners with free transfer (or cheap) of their library on next machine.



Jaz007 said:

How much will going after small developers do though? Sony already has indies in the bag, I'm not sure how Nintendo can hope to compete with Sony on smaller developers. I don't see that many indies choosing Wii U over PS4. I don't see anyone buying a Wii U for what another system does better, and actually gives third-support, Nintendo can't rebound with indies here, they already lost that battle. You also tell people to shutup about Wii U and that nothing is wrong with it, but then proceed to show that there is a lot wrong with it.



FritzFrapp said:

No, he's right. There's nothing wrong with the Wii U itself – it's a great machine. It's Nintendo's handling of it that is at fault – from marketing to user accounts, software pricing, and their inability to find a system selling game.



Kirk said:

I repeat:

Here is another person who is totally out of touch with reality.

Under powered compared to the competition, uselessly paltry hard drive, no analog triggers on GamePad, crappy battery life in current iteration of GamePad, no basic CD/DVD/avi/mp3/4 or even Blu-Ray playback, terrible third party support, convoluted eShop system with separate accounts that really should be unified, overpriced console for what it is and relative to the competition's value propositions, over priced VC games...

All of those things are "Wrong With The Nintendo Wii U!" for a start. Some of them directly with the actual physical console hardware itself and specifically it's features and capabilities etc.

The really frustrating thing is that quite a few of those things could actually be addressed/fixed without changing the physical hardware fundamentally.

A few more indie titles certainly aren't going to save the Wii U.



Kirk said:

Also, something like Minecraft is not a "system seller". It's just a game that sells well on whatever system it's on and it's already on basically just about every other platform now anyway so the Wii U is already late to that party. It's not going to sell Wii U systems in the slightest imo but I'm sure many of the 5 million or so people that already own a Wii U would buy it and be even more pleased with and convinced of their decision to get a Wii U. That however really isn't going to make any difference to the Wii U's situation whatsoever imo.



FritzFrapp said:

'UNDER powered' consoles have won every previous hardware generation. That's not say it will happen this time as well, of course, and it's not looking likely. Again, I don't find much wrong with the hardware itself – though I would have liked analogue triggers or buttons for racers.
THE 32GB is fine, I believe – if you want more then add your own. I don't find that a problem if it keeps down prices.
GAMEPAD battery – it's not amazing, but it's certainly not terrible and the charge cable is plenty long enough for me.
THE media stuff is no issue at all. The PS4 is pretty ropey at media too, I just use my excellent PS3s for that.
ESHOP and accounts – yes, as I said. And have been saying ever since the Wii launched. Nintendo have been woeful with this. But it's not the Wii U itself at fault for that.
SOFTWARE pricing – as I said. I've long argued that games should be the same price as DVDs. PAL re-released VC games should be a £1 for NES games and slightly upwards for more recent consoles, topping out at about a fiver for Cube games if we ever get them.

I do agree that Minecraft wouldn't be a system-seller now – it could push a few extra – but not in major numbers.



FritzFrapp said:

I've been saying this for ages. All that western talent that's available and on the scrap heap. Nintendo have the money to build an EAD US and an EAD Europe. Guys who could make the games that are fashionable in the West and that Nintendo themselves don't want to make or simply can't.
It's baffling how insular Nintendo are – and it's becoming their undoing.



rmeyer said:

The 299 price tag instead of 250 for the holiday season was terrible. The Wii sold really well at 249 it was just a bad move by Nintendo not to mention at launch the thing was 299 and 349.



hYdeks said:

Wii U is actually a great system, I had one I should know, the problem is the lack of games and third party support, simple as that I traded my Wii U in just to get a butt-load of PS3 games, cause that system GETS the games I want, Nintendo basicly only delivers Nintendo games, which isn't enough anymore.



Darknyht said:

@Kirk - Most consumers don't care about how powerful a system is, just if the games are fun on it. Fanboys get caught up in which is more powerful, has more polygons, more RAM, etc. and will argue endlessly about it. The rest of us just want to play games.

I don't want a HDD included in my system, I am capable of buying my own with a lot more storage at a much more reasonable price. Xbox 360 HDDs run $50 for 250 GB while the market price is more around $50 for 500 GB. Plus, I already have plenty of old drives lying around that I can use if I choose.

Do I really need yet another device in my living room that can play Blu-Ray, Vudu, CD, MP3, DVD? Besides, I would rather use another device and make use of the Off-TV play to browse the web or game while I watch my content.

I agree with the article, Nintendo needs to build a new generation of Third Party support of companies that share in their vision and beliefs. Activision and EA are not those companies. They also need to change their own internal focus so that they are producing both Full Release and smaller Mid-Tier releases.

Never had an issue with the Gamepad battery, unless my wife leaves it off the dock running Netflix with no one in the room for hours, and analog triggers are only useful in genre's that tend to not be present on Nintendo consoles (FPS, Racing Sims, Flight Sims).

I do agree that their account system is a mess. I have quite a few hundred dollars in Wii Virtual Console games and WiiWare that I will never see again thanks to their horrible policy. But that is something that can and should be fixed.

As for the price of Virtual Console games, they sell them at what the market will pay. If they didn't sell at that price, then the price would be lowered. Same goes for the console.



Reala said:

Well hopefully they can attract some decent mid size developers, otherwise its basically a somewhat more successful version of ouya with the benefit of nintendo's IP's in the mix.



Socar said:

There are a lot of great exclusive games made by small devs like Shantae, Cave Story etc for Nintendo.



Kirk said:


"Most consumers", as in the majority of people buying consoles these days, beg to differ. Certainly in the home console space.

Wii U = 5.5 million sold thus far (after a year on the market)
Xbox One + PS4 = 7.8 million sold thus far (after far less time on the market) (Let's just assume these figures are accurate enough for now).

Yet, those systems currently have far less games that Wii U.

You'd see the same result if you looked at last-gen too, where added together the two more powerful systems, PS3 and Xbox 360, sold far more units that the far less powerful Wii, even with it's motion control USP.

More consumers apparently find/found those more powerful, capable and versatile home console systems more attractive than the less powerful ones.

Now, I'm not saying power is the only or indeed the main factor but clearly it's absolutely part of the equation.

Same goes for HD, Blu-Ray and all the other stuff YOU deem unimportant or whatever.

You are wrong and in the minority and the sales are a perfect testament to this.

If these things really didn't matter then people wouldn't bother buying the newest and most technically impressive and feature complete TVs, home consoles, phones and tablets, etc etc etc. Power, is just one of those "things" that factor into this.

If all those things I mentioned weren't an issue in the first place I can absolutely guarantee you 1000% that the Wii U wouldn't be in the dire situation it's in right now.



TromaDogg said:

Hugo's hit the nail on the head there IMO, I've said similar things myself before. I also feel that Nintendo should be targeting smaller developers as the future of gaming, innovation and getting the most out of hardware like the Wii U rather than relying on the tired old dogs like EA and Activision who are only really interested in the most powerful consoles with the highest userbases. Nintendo really should've have their online account system sorted out YEARS ago though, really no excuse for how poor it is in this day and age, especially when everybody else (Sony, Microsoft etc) seem to have done a great job with theirs.



R-Moss said:

Well, the Wii U still is expensive.

But if something is wrong, I would say "the games".

Wii U had awful games. Need more accessible games now and this niche games (Mario 3D, W101, Pikmin 3...) later.



Daemonite said:

A whole article about how there's wrong with the WiiU? And i thought fairytales were a thing from the past! Disney should make a movie out of this story!!!



TromaDogg said:

@Kirk How is that in any way a fair view of the market though, to add the combined sales of two other systems against one? Most people did not buy both an Xbox 360 and PS3 as the vast majority of the games available on each are the same. And in terms of individual format sales, the Wii destroyed the pair of them hands down for years.

Similarly, I'm not denying the success of either the Xbox One or PS4, but most people aren't buying both of them, so it's ridiculous to use their combined sales figures to try and make the Wii U situation look even worse than it already is.



banacheck said:

Cave Story wasn't a Wii U exclusive it was out on other platforms first, I can tell you an excellent indie game Don't Starve.



HugoSmits said:

@Kirk Minecraft is not a system seller but it will influence the decision on which console to buy. A lot of kids are playing Minecraft many hours a week on PC. Being able to play that on your console is a big deal to them. Not being able to play on WiiU will steer those kids to PlayStation or Xbox.

Also, it’s a combination of things. Right now EA isn’t putting anything out, at the same time we don’t have games like Minecraft either. If Nintendo cannot get EA on board at least get Minecraft.



Daemonite said:

@HugoSmits Minecraft won't come to WiiU... which really is hysterical since even the Vita's gonna get Minecraft in a couple of months... THE VITA!!!



Alucard83 said:

We don't need Mindcraft! We need a good old STRONG RPG! A game that everyone needs to get!



HugoSmits said:

@StarDust Developers are not lazy. They are companies, they need to make a profit. PlayStation and Xbox both have different hardware as well. It really comes down to how much money those companies can make.
To keep in style with your 90s argument:

Back in the 90s, how many of those SNES and Genesis games also got a Atari Jaguar version?

Same problem as today; SNES and Genesis just like the Xbox and PlayStation have a big user base, Atari Jaguar and WiiU do not. Therefore potential profits are minimal and so it does not make sense to put in the extra work for a WiiU version.



HugoSmits said:

@Alucard83 Minecraft is only named as an example. The WiiU need games smaller in scope than Call of Duty but that are still meaningful and can attract lots of players. Whether it’s a building game like Minecraft or a awesome RPG.



MysticX said:

Wow, that's a pretty over-optimistic article...

Indie-games do not shift systems, most of them are published on several platforms anyway (Ooh, do i want a WiiU with Minecraft? Or a XBone, PS4 or even PC with Minecraft and third-party games? decisions, decisions!), people buy a console for the big games, indie-games are a bonus really.

The WiiU may well be a great machine (I'm a 3DS guy myself), but if its architecture makes is troublesome and expensive to port to (Games are a tad bigger and more complicated than they were in the early 90s), that spells trouble.

On some points it's better to follow the other guys than to do your own thing (A practice that has been biting Nintendo in the backside since the N64, the Wii just rode the pre-facebook/phone casual wave)



withoutdk said:

to this date i have only seen one advertisment on tv... and it was for skylanders or something.... PS4 shows how it is doing with assassins creed... well.. graphics does matter.



Fearsome said:

Very well thought out observations. I agree with pretty much everything the author has said. I attribute poor marketing for the less than stellar sales of Wii U. The commercial that I've seen just don't get one excited about purchasing the console.



Mrclaycoat said:

Great article, I totally agree! And I'm super happy to hear someone else speaking on the importance of a unified account system!



Marshi said:

@CaviarMeths well said,thats what I was going to say. The one reason I loved my wii was not for the shoddy ports of cod,but for the exclusive games by third parties. Xenoblade, silent hill, red steel 2, conduit, the last story. A shadows tale. All made with modest budgets but really filled up the wii's library beyone the usual mario and zelda.

I was fully expecting wii u to recieve the same treatment from third parties and starting with rayman legends and lego city undercover things looked very promising. Then...nothing happened or has happened since. If nintendo can find someway of bringing in the third parties to make smaller more unique games for the wiiu,like they did with the wii,then il be alot more confident on the future of wiiu



WaveBoy said:

I agree with one of the previous comments. EA, even capcom & Konami, along with several other big name developers 'these days are tired old dogs banking on the call of duty/zombie smasher trend on high powered consoles. I don't give a hoot about 90% of 3rd party devs these days, they've crumbled to the waste all because of the mighty westernized dollar.

Creativity and orginality is sorely lacking outside of the indie scene with only a teeny tiny handful of notable exceptions. Yet even the indie scene is mostly a giant cesspool of Plagiarized poop-quality hipster junk layered in different yet forgettable 'new' skin.



Turbo857 said:

Indie-games may not shift consoles... yet. But they are gaining traction and certain sweeten a consoles library pretty well. Innovation comes at a great price in this industry and I applaud Nintendo's decision to prioritize this in each piece of hardware they release.

That being the case I think this article is correct that Nintendo should favor reaching out to indies rather than AAA developers when it comes to getting exclusives on the Wii U. Indies share Nintendo's view on innovation and I feel they will ultimately be the ones to make better use of the Wii U's features.



HugoSmits said:

@MysticX I think you are wrong on this one. I think indie games do sell systems. But even if you would be right; at this point it’s pretty clear the big triple A games aren’t going to happen on WiiU. Now that PS4 and Xbox One are out, it gap will only get bigger (since the WiiU hardware lacks behind on almost every point compared to those systems).

But again, I do think indie games will sell systems. Especially when it comes to the WiiU. I want something that makes use of the uniqueness of the WiiU Gamepad instead of it being used as a inventory screen by big games.

Don’t forget that indie games are also marketing. If the big games sites would report every week on exclusive and innovating indie titles for the WiiU, people’s perception of the console will change.



millarrp said:

I agree with this article. I don't recall much advertising for the Wii U at all.



BossBattles said:

It's easier to just not care about all this and play the games you like on the consoles you have



TourianTourist said:

It's interesting, how the title reads "nothing is wrong with the Wii U", while the article points out exactly what is wrong with the Wii U...

Also, small or not, Minecraft is the biggest gaming phenomen of the current generation. No super third party AAA title can compete with that. Nintendo doesn't need Call of Duty. It needs Minecraft. It has the spark that Nintendo used to have in its NES / GameBoy times. The game is pure magic and for today's kids Minecraft will be what Mario and Zelda were for us. Don't underestimate it.



WaveBoy said:

This. The very same people spend 80% of their time complaining and 20% gaming.
Anyways, most gamers have piss poor taste these days. They'd rather play Call of Duty 99 instead of something as awesome as Shovel Knight.



Yorumi said:

I don't know if indie games shift systems yet exactly. However, they are improving quite a lot and you're starting to see some pretty ambitious projects. Some indies have gone on to put out some amazing high quality AAA games, so courting favor with them now will only help later.

The only thing I would disagree with in the article though is the line about how hardcore gamers have better options in the ps4/xbone. I really feel like we need to take back the term "hardcore" or just turn it into somewhat of a slur. You watch what people do with competitive pokemon, smash bros, mario kart, or the speed run communities etc. Now those are hardcore gamers. I just feel like limiting hardcore to only playing a certain type of game does a disservice to gamers.



A1234 said:

Nintendo games should stay on Nintendo systems. if Nintendo should release Nintendo games also on non-Nintendo systems, then Microsoft and Sony should release their games on Nintendo systems, right? imagine that. that reminds me when there was an attachment made for Colecovision to play Atari 2600 games. and yes, Nintendo should continue to make consoles. of all of the companies they are the greatest inventors.



KillerGBH said:

nintendo need a BIG pokemon game on WII U not only a fighting game but a true pokemon game. this should do a difference i think cause pokemon game sell a lot of hardware ^^. add that to the mario kart / smash bros and i think the WII U gonna rise from ashes like a phoenix



HugoSmits said:

@Yorumi Agreed, a hardcore gamer is somebody who plays game hardcore. Whatever those games might be.

But in the context of EA and triple A games, I think it is pretty clear I meant the Call of Duty type of players. WiiU is lacking behind in the hardware department, so as developers get more comfortable with PS4 and Xbox One hardware there will be a gap in gameplay and graphics for those specific games. And thus PS4 and Xbox are better options for those hardcore players.



gregrout said:

The move to mobile would spell the end for Nintendo. What sells Nintendo more than anything else are the exclusive games. As much as I'd love to see Minecraft on the Wii-U, it's not going to be a system seller. There's nothing exclusive about it and every console except Nintendo has it. Now if Nintendo could take Minecraft and Pixelmon it, (Minecraft addon) you have yourself an exclusive that would sell. Nintendo should be looking to indie developers and funding game play ideas and branding that make their software unique from what they have already released on PC/Smartphone/Tablet. Just recycling and porting over iPhone/Android titles to the Wii-U opens up a purchasing decision that will hurt Nintendo more than help it. The last thing Nintendo needs is consumers comparing their console to multi-functioning smartphones/tablets with $0.99 games.



KillerGBH said:

@HugoSmits well skylanders dont sell more WII U i think well maybe a few but this isnt a Nintendo exclusive . big difference with pokemon where the only console u can play is on a nintendo console . In few months pokemon x/y became the no.1 selling game on 3ds so i think a big pokemon on WII U can make a diff. no one agree?



Darknyht said:

@Kirk By your logic, the Xbox 360 would have been ground to dust because it lacked a Blu-Ray Player. Yet, all signs now point to it being the winner of the last-gen console war as it finally is outselling the Wii. Those things don't matter as much as you want them to. If anything it is the power of marketing spin and buzzwords at play.

I don't know anyone, except those who wanted a first DVD player with PS2 and a Blu-Ray Player with PS3 (when both were the cheapest player on the market), that made their console purchase solely on does it play DVD/Blu-Ray? That is an added value, especially in a world of $50 Blu-Ray Players and Streaming Video boxes, and not a system seller.

Most people care more whether the game they want to play is on the system (be that Madden, FIFA, Call of Duty, or My Little Pony) and whether their friends/peers are playing it on that system.

That is why the Wii U has stumbled and the Xbox One and PS4 are doing well. MS/Sony already have your friends list waiting for you to start a party chat, and it is simple to hop into an online game of the latest Madden/FIFA or Call of Duty.



MysticX said:

@HugoSmits A lot of indie-games are ported to multiple platforms though, if not immediately, then in a month or so, not much advantage to be had there...

Secondly, the big money in gaming is in the masses (The people who don't browse gaming-websites and stuff, turns out we're the weird ones ), when have you ever seen indie-games advertised outside of occasional banner-ads in gaming websites? (Even those are mostly for freemium games) Whereas "Call of duty: Dudebro Xtreme edition" gets advertised on TV and stuff, and what sways consumers more? relatively unknown indie-games or widely advertised AAA-titles?

As for Skylanders: Pokémon (I shall call them: Pokélanders ), i think that would sell like hotcakes, if Digimon-rejects and Disney-characters can sell well, Pokémon can make a fortune



audiobrainiac said:

One thing that always lingers in the back of my mind: How do we know that these "analysts" aren't in the competition's pocket (i.e. Sony, Microsoft, mobile service providers, etc.)? Its just too big an industry to assume that NONE of them wouldn't have something to gain, dropping pebbles of doubt in the water that have ripples making their way to third party devs. A conspiracy in my mind.



TingLz said:

@Kirk The Playstation and Playstation 2 were underpowered. The Wii was underpowered. Explain why this is a bad thing



bizcuthammer said:

While i agree that going mobile and abandoning hardware are the wrong answers, this article is not the right one either. As much as i love indie games like SteamWorld Dig, Mutant Mudds and Shantae, they are absolutely NOT a substitute for AAA games from companies like Ubisoft, EA, or Square-Enix.

Every gamer i know is buying an xbox one or PS4, but not a WiiU, because of three reasons they cite to me:
1 - Nintendo's online services blow compared to xbox live and PSN. Miiverse is a joke compared to what Sony/MS offer.
2 - AAA third party games. XBO/PS4 have em, WiiU doesnt.
3 - PS4 and XBO have better hardware. Not just in terms of graphical output, but controllers as well. ALL of my gamer friends prefer traditional controllers to the GamePad and definitely over the Wiimote.

Nintendo is already doing a great job of appealing to indie developers, but those games do NOT move consoles off shelves. They only supplement digital libraries that also include great, AAA experiences. People buy consoles for stuff like Call of Duty, Destiny, Halo, Zelda, Smash Bros, and Assassin's Creed.

I know lots of people that love Shantae and SteamWorld Dig, me being one of them. But no way would i have bought my 3DS just to play those games. I bought my 3DS to play the AAA first party and occasional AAA third party games for it like Mario, Kid Icarus, Pokemon and Monster Hunter. Home consoles are a different beast in that first party content alone wont sell them. Third party support is needed.

I love indie games, i really do, but Nintendo absolutely needs to appeal to AAA third party developers more. Its too late to do that for WiiU, but its a must for their next console. Leaving AAA third parties out of the picture in favor of indie devs will doom Nintendo. It already is starting to. They have to appeal to ALL developers to become relevant again.



Rafie said:

@Darknyht Well I don't know about the 360 "winning" the last console race because it's still going. So far the PS3 and 360 are neck in neck. The PS3 caught up to the 360, and even by a sliver is ahead of it. In the U.S. the 360 is top dog. The Wii may have sold the most, but it's in no way the most popular.



HugoSmits said:

@MysticX Nintendo should at least have the multiplatform indie games to not fall behind. And at best they would invest in some exclusive indie titels for WiiU.

The masses are currently playing more indie and casual games then big games. Just compare Call of duty (with all its advertisement) against for example Angry Birds (who had zero advertisements in the beginning).

The thing is; Call of Duty is a game that appeals to a really specific part of the market. Indie games and casual games have a much broader appeal. So you can market Call of Duty all you want, but my dad is not going to play it. He is however going to play Tetris or Angry Birds.

Please note I’m not saying triple A is not interesting for Nintendo. It would be great to have those games aswell...I just don’t see triple A happing on Nintendo WiiU. They tried that but EA and Activision are not intrested. So now move on, and get the indie front covered.



Shambo said:

Can't argue with that. Unveiling was bad, but the systems are some of, if not THE best ones available now, and Nintendo games are mostly superb. I too care more for original games than I do for most AAA third party games. I love many games out now, and the future line up looks incredible, albeit somewhat wide spread... I would, however, really like more indie games (bundled, if needed) in physical form. I'm a collector, of timeless (hidden) gems. And those need to be physical to be timeless and collectible...



Rafie said:

@bizcuthammer You think Miiverse is a joke? I actually happen to like Miiverse. It's a gaming social network that's unique and the other 2 aren't doing it. I guess different strokes, different folks.



Sean_Aaron said:

Agreed Hugo. I don't know what some people are thinking. Without a transferable account Nintendo cannot sell the existing userbase a console upgrade and I don't think you'd convince anyone to upgrade this early in the life of the system. There's also no way to guarantee the big publishers would come to the party even if you did so it could be a spectacular waste of money.

Given Sony's financial woes I honestly wouldn't worry about them "stealing" indie content from Nintendo. Slow and steady wins the race here I think. Portable accounts, easier eShop purchases and positive experience for indie devs are key.

And that's me having signed the Minecraft petition. I don't know if Minecraft would sell Wii U's, but it might make the system more attractive given the otherwise family-friendly profile of Nintendo generally versus Microsoft and Sony's offerings. I know I'd prefer it just because I would mean my kid wasn't buried in her tablet playing it and my partner could stop fighting with Windows/java trying to get the damn thing to run on her laptop!



HugoSmits said:

@bizcuthammer Well, I think you need to look at it from another angle. I agree that gamers are not buying WiiU and instead opt for PS4 or Xbox One. And I agree with the three points you cite.

Especially point three is not fixable. So even if Nintendo would be able to get those games on their systems, hardcore gamers will not be interested since it’s always a less optimal version.

In other words; stop trying to appeal to a market that does not exist on your system. Instead they should focus on casual and indie games.



Doma said:

The claim that games like Shantae/Shovel Knight will increase hardware sales.... is ridiculous, to say the least.

edit: Another thing. Why do people just assume that unified accounts will be implemented as an end result of the Network ID?

Iwata has a reason for tying purchases to the hardware they're bought on - it's all about exerting control over consumers (same as the region lock). There's NO point in criticizing this aspect if you still buy from eShop regardless. You're part of the problem.



Sean_Aaron said:

I think the argument is that a quality library of independent titles + great Nintendo games = better Wii U prospects than a system with Nintendo titles alone.

If the big publishers are staying away then fill the gap with new blood. The Apple Store is bursting at the seams and a tough marketplace. The Wii U eShop is just starting out and has a userbase that is potentially receptive to paying more than 99p for a game. Seems like a decent bet to me!



Volmun said:

" I own multiple Nintendo handhelds (3DS,XL,2DS), but I cannot share one unified Nintendo Network ID account between those systems. Instead I have to juggle three accounts, one for each system." that line bugs me its worth pointing out you can only have 1 PSN on 1 Vita (as in you can't do the old PS3 trick) - I do see the point though



HugoSmits said:

@Volmun I know this. But at least I can sign out on my PS3 or Vita and sign in on another PS3 or Vita. With 3DS this is not possible. You can only change hardware 5 times and you have to format your system to do so



HugoSmits said:

@Doma Not alone. But put all these indie games together and they will. Just look over at Apple or the tablet market in general. More than enough parents are buying tablets for their children because they can play games easily for a very reasonable price. In fact, that market is going so well that most toy stores (at least in the Netherlands) are selling tablets now.

I’m not saying triple A isn’t important. But it’s clear by now it is not going to happen on WiiU. So why not at least try to tap into the indie/casual market?



WaveBoy said:

Soccer mom's united will disagree......And Amanda Bynes. I absolutely love the Wii. Anyhoo, i think it's about time i stopped reading these click bait articles, while this one is clearly on the positive side, it still generally turns into another tired Wii U doom & gloom situation with a giant sea of NintenZoids posting little Pro-analyst mini novels. What we need is more Shovel Knight. SHOVEL KNIGHT!!! rawr rawr!



HeroOfCybertron said:

@ HugoSmits I think they got rid of the 5 times limit for 3DS hardware when the 3DS Miiverse update came if I'm not mistaken, I could be wrong though.



MysticX said:

i'm just afraid the "Casual games" ship has sailed, people are playing "Angry birds" and the countless match-3 games on their phones or tablets now (Because almost everybody has at least a smartphone by now, why buy a console for that?), if Nintendo wants to work with indie games, they need to go for the B-market: indie games that have a bit more depth than the usual phone/tablet fare (And as such can command a higher price than 99 eurocents), a bit more like the games on Steam than the stuff that's clogging up the app-store...

But whatever Nintendo does, they need to get started quickly, their reputation is taking a beating right now, and that is another big factor in buying decisions.



Yorumi said:

@HugoSmits yeah I understood your meaning. What really bothers me about all this, and you're not really at fault, I'm just using this as a launching platform it's mostly aimed at everyone. We're essentially giving up the title of gamers, and giving up control over the language and what defines gaming to a fairly hostile media.

For example everyone talking about how indie games don't sell systems, they arn't advertised, and don't offer the quality of the AAA games. Well wait just a moment, in a side by side comparison there's only really two main differences between indie games and AAA games, graphics and price. Indie games are every bit as hardcore, often times way more creative, way more fun, much more affordable, a far greater value, oh but they don't have flashy graphics and billion polygon character models so they're not real games.

As gamers we shouldn't be putting the entirety of all our emphasis on graphics. It's just not right that so many people will voluntarily pay 3 to 4 times the price for less game just because it has flash graphics. I think indie games should be system sellers, they're often times far better quality than the junk that is considered system sellers. We really should be telling people there are better games out there instead of giving up control to the media and major publishers to push junk on us and screw with us all the time. Too many people, even the ones that do play indie games seem to treat the games as like some kind of second class citizen, when in reality they should be the focus of the industry.

They're great games for gamers who love gaming and enjoy fun creative games as wonderful value.



DarkKirby said:

The article writer says over and over again the importance of Indie games, but how many people actually BUY A CONSOLE for INDIE GAMES? A good library of indie games make a console purchase more worthwhile, but very few people actually BUY a console to play indie games.

Minecraft is a terrible example if an indie game for console as the PC version is vastly superior to every version of MInecraft that exists, not only because it's updated way, way WAY, ahead of every other version, the entire Minecraft community is based on the PC version of the game, and PC is the version where you can have skins, texture packs, mods, map packs, adventure maps, online server communities, everything.

And PC will ALWAYS be the best platform for indie games because the barrier of entry is practically nonexistent. No need to get approval for your game, or patches.



WYLD-WOO said:

I really don`t want to see 3rd party games on my Wii U. I`m quite happy to play my 3rd party stuff like FIFA on my Xbox/PS. I bought my Wii U for all of Nintendo`s games, not indie games. My 3DS is the only piece of hardware that I play Indie titles on and believe the handheld/smartdevice/PC market is the best place for that. What`s important this year is for the top Wii U titles to arrive like Mario Kart 8, Zelda U, SMB, X, B2, Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem etc. I don`t see that much advertising from Nintendo but I never have really. I don`t think the target audience for the Wii U is unaware of the system and they are most aware of the 3DS. The people who are going to buy a Wii U understand the console is out they are just waiting for the right games.



BinaryFragger said:


I agree that the PC version of Minecraft is vastly superior but the console versions are nonetheless very successful. The Xbox 360 has sold more than 10 million copies and the newly-released PS3 version has already passed the one million mark.



WaveBoy said:


Sorry Brah, i'll exchange the COD insults in favor of BroBattlefield and every other shooter that relies on Zombie expansion pack DLC



Volmun said:

@HugoSmits that's a fer reply (it may just be me reading it in a wrong way I can never be sure) -ppl beat me to it lol but the 5 transfer limit has be removed (yay lol) but as i sed i do get the point your making a full Acc system would be fantastic would save stressing over if you brake / lose your machean = loseing all you d-load stuff .



Volmun said:

@Yorumi wow someone who is sain! I completely agree and tbh im sick of hearing "AAA" as a game lable.. as more often than not I don't like throws games and alot of the games i like ppl always say are "crap" or "Childish" and? the something calld FUN! you know? the POINT in playing a GAME (-_-) -so excited for Shovel Knight!



WaveBoy said:

So games that are soaked in blood, marines, drizzled in a post apocalyptic setting and violence a plenty warrants mature? That type of mentality is IMmature. If you truly think franchises such as Mario, Zelda, Metroid and what have you fit the child only profile, then you're doing it wrong. they're universal....

I like a bit of horror in my gaming diet as much as the next guy, but i prefer to play those intelligent designed super colorful, vibrant and fantasy based video games that make the current world that we live in look like a pile of boring drab sh**



Cuddles said:

@WaveBoy I don't think Ni No Kuni has blood. Did the Portal games have any violence in them? Barely. What about Mirrors Edge? Seriously. Open your mind up. You're narrow mindedness is disgusting to read. That's all I'm saying.

I'm sorry you want to make this world look like a pile of boring drab poopy



Caryslan said:

Why is everyone acting like indie games is the answer for Nintendo's woes? I know there has been a massive push for indie games, but lets not fool ourselves, Sony is also making a major push for indies, and Microsoft has supported "build your own games" on the 360 for years, although they have had some issues with indies in the past.

What major indie titles does Nintendo have that is still exclusive to its platforms? Mutant Mudds is now on the PS3 and Vita, Shantae is coming to the Xbox and Playstation, and Sony is getting tons of indie games for their platforms. Yes, Nintendo is getting stuff like Shovel Knights, but Sony is also getting their share of exclusive indies games as well like Proteus.

Cave Story is pretty much the big one that Nintendo has managed to keep exclusive.

But let's not ignore the elephant in the room, Minecraft is nowhere to be seen on the Wii U or 3DS. This is one of the largest indie games right now, and a million seller on every platforms its shown up on, and it has yet to grace Nintendo platforms. Where are indie games like Terraria?

How are indies the saving grace of Nintendo if Sony and Microsoft have them on their platforms? Something to keep in mind is that Sony has embraced indies with open arms just as much as Nintendo, and they are arguably having just as much(if not more) success with getting indie developers on board.

I'm not saying indie titles won't help Nintendo, but let's stop with the illusion that Nintendo alone has discovered the untapped goldmine and is light years ahead of its rivals in this regard. Microsoft has done some questionable things to upset indie developers, but Sony has done a great job catering to them and getting them onboard making games for the PS3, Vita, and PS4.

And this is the key, if Sony manages to get indie developers on board and keep the AAA developers as well, it could be a dangerous thing for both Nintendo and Microsoft.



WYLD-WOO said:

I do wish people would have some respect for each others taste in games. From CoD - Mario Bros, fruit phone games - Shovelware. Sure have an opinon by all means but let`s not start to assume people are like this or that, based on the type of game they play.



Rafie said:

@WaveBoy lol Man you be having dying over here with the Amanda Bynes jokes. Anyway, I guess soccer moms did love the Wii the most last gen. I was speaking more towards the gamers that always play games on the norm. I wasn't taking anything away from the Wii (launch day buyer here), just going by the many opinions of gamers over the years. Its al good though. I agree with the articles here.



Rafie said:

@Caryslan Cave Story is also on other platforms. Actually Nintendo was one of the last ones to get Cave Story, correct me if I'm wrong. I agree with pretty much everything else.



WaveBoy said:

What i'm saying is that there's too much of an emphasis on realism & video game violence, along with everything that i pointed out in my previous comment that's eating up the industry. It seems even worse now on the PS4 & XBOX One. And i don't want to make the world seem drab and poopy, that's what happens when you experience the power and lush worlds of NIntendo.

The PS3 and XBOX 360 obviously do have games outside of the violent heavy description i laid down earlier, you just have to look for them. most of which are Indie downloads on the either the PSN and XBOX Live. I personally didn't care for Mirror's Edge, I played the Ni Nu Kuni demo and it seems pretty great for what it is but i'm just not an RPG-fan and i never got the chance to play Portal. I'm not a fan of first person 'anythings' these days unless they support motion pointer controls.

Metroid Prime 3 spoiled me emmensely. Ground breaking experience it was indeedy.



Laxeybobby said:

At last a positive independent unbiased point of view. Good to hear a developer speak out and on many points re-affirm what members here alluded to in posts over the past week on the status of the WiiU



DarkKirby said:


I know that Minecraft sold well on the 360, but how many of those people actually purchased a 360 to play Minecraft? Minecraft was sold on the 360 after the 360 already had a well established and very large customer base who all already owned the console.

The Wii U right now is struggling to get people to even buy it. And indie games are not going to do that.

Personally, I do not understand why people would spend money to buy a console version of Minecraft with it's extreme limitations and it being extremely outdated. Do they no understand the PC version is far superior, just not used to PC gaming, or is their PC too terrible? Minecraft while oddly demanding for what it is is playable on lower settings.



Caryslan said:

@Rafie Well, Cave Story is on several computer platforms, but I was speaking about consoles and handhelds, and for the moment, Nintendo's platforms are the only ones that have Cave Story.

Which I will give Nintendo some credit for that, they have held onto a major indie game for several years and it seems like they and Nicalis have a good working relationship.

I'll also say that I applaud Nintendo's efforts so far, they have done a really good job getting indies onboard. But Sony is also making a major push as well, and I still think Nintendo has some room to improve.

Out of the big three, I would say Sony has done the best job of getting indies on board. Nintendo is a close second, while Microsoft has burned their bridges with indies and upset many of them.

Indies may be the wild card in the next generation, and I think Nintendo has gotten their feet in the door with them. If they can score the major ones like MInecraft and others, they could really set themselves up to fill the third-party gaps to some degree.



Caryslan said:

@DarkKirby For me, the console version is just easier to get setup and play. I have never been a PC gamer, and all my PCs are unlikely to handle Minecraft that well. I have the PS3 version, and it plays well and is still enjoyable.

I'm sure the PC version can do more, but for my tastes in gaming, the PS3 version does the job well enough. I'm sure others feel the same way.



SecondServing said:

I'm but could you imagine a Minecraft Wii U bundle? It'd loving sell some Wii Us. A system with Mario, Smash Bros, and Minecraft. That'd be my dream if I was a kid.
Please watch the profanity, we won't ask again today — TBD



WaveBoy said:

You know me, Amanda Bynes and I go way back, now she's staring at white padded walls in a sonic the hedgehog straight jacket playing Dance Dance revolution with Felix the cat. Livin the life.



zool said:

I don't think you are giving enough credit to Nintendo console buyers. They do understand that the Wii u and the 3ds are new systems.

People just do not want to purchase the Wii u.
First a bad line up of release games.
Bad publicity about the Wii u.
A lack of games after release.
The gamepad.
Expensive download game price.
Lack of memory in the console.
Tablets and smartphone are in competition for consumers money.
The 3ds is also in competition with the Wii u.



Yorumi said:

I am getting so sick of hearing about the internal memory in the wii U. Sony and microsoft are charging for the hard drives in their systems, and they're charging more per gigabyte than the market value of storage. This is what is so beyond my understanding, people are criticizing nintendo for NOT ripping them off and saying what nintendo needs to do is start ripping customers off.

It's no wonder it's so hard to sell creative games, people whine when they're given a value.



sleepinglion said:

Some very good points.
Nowadays things have to perform IMMEDIATELY or they are hailed as failures.
I noticed it for the first time years ago when 'Firefly' was cancelled.
Quality has nothing to do with it, it's all about what makes the most cash right out of the gate.
Nintendo is more of a slow and steady company anyway. They'll have the last laugh =)



Rafie said:

@Caryslan Oh I definitely agree with everything you said friend. I actually have nothing to add. Lol A first, right? Hehe Anyway, Cave Story is also on Playstation 3. I know because I have it. That's what I was talking about.



WaveBoy said:


If Shovel Knight came out during the NES era there's a big chance it would of been a hit. These days? Neither will push anything. It's going to take another Pokemon and Zelda to get things moving. As for now, Mario Kart 8 is nintendo's ultimate weapon.



HaastMK7 said:

Bringing Minecraft to the Wii U would bring a considerably large amount of players to buy the Wii U.



NintendoROCKET said:

Minecraft is practically made for 3DS & Wii U yet Mojang hasn't said a single thing about either consoles!!



zool said:

......another reason the Wii u is not selling. What are the new games we have to look forward to this year? I can name about six Nintendo games which will be spread over the next 12 months.

They will all get big built up and previews, but there could be a couple of not so 'hot' games when it comes to the reviews or the odd game release pushed back yet again. Of those six games, not all gamers will want to play 'all games' that Nintendo puts out. Those six games will not be for every one, younger, older, male, female, family or hard core gamers.

Me, I would buy maybe 4 of them if the reviews were ok and they were not being sole at £50 each. So what do I buy for the rest of the year? For get the e shop, my Wii u does not have enough memory thanks to the large update.

I will leave the Wii u to gather dust and play the 3ds or Android games.....
unless someone can tell me what third party games I have got to look forward to.
So when a friend asks me 'should they invest in a Wii u', I would have to say........not really, it may not be here his time next year.



Kirk said:


It's this simple; In terms of overall home console sales across the industry over the last couple of generations, more people were/are interested in and bought fully powered, fully featured entertainment consoles than they were/are in under powered and under featured consoles.

Ergo; That's what the larger segment of the video games consumer market was/is clearly after.

Ergo; This is ONE very real and valid reason why the Wii U isn't selling to many of those consumers imo, including me.

It's that simple.


Well, yeah, getting Minecraft is at least better than not getting it or not really getting anything for that matter. I won't really make any difference though because one game that is on basically every other platform already does not a system seller make.


By your logic you'd think I only mentioned ONE SINGLE THING as being the issue with Wii U.

All those things clearly do matter because as someone who's telling you those are many of the reasons why I haven't bought a Wii U I telling you they do matter.

There's other things too but all those things together are a big problem and without them the Wii U could only be a more attractive value proposition regardless of all the other stuff too.


It's ONE THING OF MANY and it's a problem for exactly what it says on the tin; under powered.

This means certain games simply can't work on it. Developers have to work harder and spend more to port next-gen games too it. Many developers simply ignore it because of this. Games don't look as good as they do on the competition. Many people overlook it because the games don't look as good. Many people who own it are less satisfied with multi-platform games on it if they know the games don't look as good as on competing machines. The list goes on and on...

If you ask any reasonable person if they'd chose their console to be under powered compared to the competition or not they'd clearly choose not. If it weren't under powered it wouldn't even be an issue or a factor. It's just basic logic.

ONE of the Wii U's problems is that it is under powered. It is under powered. What is there to debate here?



Doma said:

@Yorumi Nintendo not including sufficient internal memory in the WiiU is about on the same level as not including a charger with 3DS XL, or including a crappy default battery for the Gamepad. All of this was done to cut costs to them, not the consumer.

Trying to argue that they're offering value is laughable.



andrea987 said:

Wow, it takes a positive article (or at least a positive-looking title) to bring all the trolls out of their holes, I



Yorumi said:

@Doma they would be charging you for it just like sony and microsoft does. What is truly laughable is all the dupe that thing microsoft and sony are running charities giving away free hard drives. They're charging more per gigabyte than market value.

I guess when so many people beg for anti-consumer practices it's no wonder we get so many of them.



CapeSmash said:

Judging by the comments, a lot of people hate the Wii U. The Wii U gets more hate than the Xbox One DRM. All people care about these days is the power, and not the games.

Remember when we would buy a console to play GAMES?



Williaint said:

@Doma Complaining about the internal memory is about as laughable as your claim... 2 TB External HDs aren't that expensive.
Why they don't put the better batteries in the G-pad, is the same reason Kinect didn't come with the 360, or Rumble Paks didn't come with every N64 controller.

Attracting Indie devs is a good plan, and being an attractive to them will be very positive.

Last I heard, Mojang was NOT planning on Bringing Minecraft to Nintendo.
However, it isn't just Minecraft that will appeal to the 'general' crowd, it's games that are popular. FIFA '14 and CoD on Xbox are the only games celebrities play (Not actually proven fact). For all those "hardcore" gamers out there, there are millions more who are "casual", sold simply on being "part of the crowd". That's how the Wii sold, that's how the Wii U didn't sell.

When I think of this current generation, I think of The PS4 and Xbone as huge giants with guns pointed at each other, trying to get everyone's attention, and the Wii U as dwarf, yelling "Hey! Hey! Look at me! I'm here, too!" While everyone is paying attention to PS4 and Xbone, who are firing and making a huge amount of noise, a few notice the Wii U and begin following it completely ignored by everyone else.

@SockoMario Yes, yes I do remember.



Yorumi said:

@SockoMario what's always made me laugh is the POWER crowd never actually buys the most powerful system. The argue incessantly over which is most powerful and any pc gamer is sitting there laughing at the idiots. It would be nice to see these people actually take action, but that would require them being informed and that's not going to happen.



unrandomsam said:

@Yorumi A big thing Nintendo made a big deal about was the Wii U being silent. Once you have a harddrive it is no longer silent. (Could use an SSD but it is a huge waste due to the usb 2.0 bottleneck). Plus it is easier for the cable to be knocked out or whatever if it is external. An expansion port and a bit of plastic to put the thing in could have solved all those problems. Nintendo sells premium priced stuff but the quality is definitely going down hill. (Up to the Gamecube was fine (Very well built / basically silent / right trade off speed over capacity for the disks), These days the trade offs are whatever is cheapest)



MamaLuigi said:

Very constructive criticism! Do you think however, Hugo, that big publishers like Square Enix who at least want to give small devs a chance through their DNA program might use Wii U to their advantage? I believe it's just another sneaky way to get you guys to expand a major corporation's portfolio.



JebbyDeringer said:

Unlike some people here I do like a lot of games not on Nintendo's platform including shooters. I don't however like so called "AAA" games for the most part. They are just like "AAA" movies. Poor overly dramatic story that you are supposed to care about but don't and are constantly interrupted by Quick Time Events. There's usually a long tutorial and constant on screen display of what controls to press. Usually fighting and jumping in these games is computer aided so that your punches or jumps are slightly "assisted" so you rarely miss. Women are usually treated as purely eye candy and the games feel like they are probably just printing money on the back end. 'AAA' titles, about as deep of a gaming experience as a slot machine in Vegas.



electrolite77 said:


You can't compare development in the early 90's to development now. Huge difference in size of team, amount of code required, complexity, time pressure and cost.



Yorumi said:

@unrandomsam um my hard drive is silent, it's a 2 TB external and it doesn't make a sound. It was $50 for the HD, and it's not like the wiiU is a portable system, you're not going to knock out a usb any more than you would a drive in some expansion port.

Beyond that while a usb 3.0 would have been nice, it's not needed. usb 2 is faster than the disc read speed, it's just as fast as stock ps3 and 360 hard drives. The reason the ps3 and 360 needed installs was because their disc read speeds are so terribly low. The ps3 reads at around 9 mb/s, the wiiU reads at 22mb/s, and usb 2 is 35 mb/s. The ps3 and 360 also had much less memory, which meant more page faults, and more times the disc/drive needed to be read. The wiiU has much more memory, much less page faults, and that is why running a game from the hard drive has virtually no effect on load times.

Finally, saying nintendo benefited from it has absolutely no relevance to the discussion. Of course they did, when I buy things from them we both benefit, that's the way business works. I benefited from them not putting a hard drive in because I got more storage for far cheaper, and people who don't need a hard drive at all benefited because they don't have to buy one.

It's also a little funny that people whine so much about download games and going physical only, and then we get all the complaints about the hard drive.

Nintendo actually tried to do something that helps the customer and they catch all the flak for it. It is utterly terrifying to me to think there are so many entirely uninformed customers out there that are driving business decisions.



electrolite77 said:


People have always wanted the most power for their money because it (theoretically at least) allows for greater possibilities in games without further investment in hardware. I've got Amstrad Action, CVG and Mean Machines magazines from the 80's and early '90's and there's plenty of discussion of hardware power.



JaxonH said:


Many people don't need or use an external hard drive. I have 35 physical games, many of them AAA with half gig and full gig updates, and 20+ digital games and still have over half my hard drive space available. I did, however, buy an external for use if and when my internal fills up. I've tried using it and it doesn't make a peep. We're talkin pure silence. And it's your average $45 WD 500GB hard drive.

As for quality, the only thing I've noticed to be in the sub-par range is the fact the Pro Controller doesn't have a headphone jack (which sucks), but that's more of a lacking feature than sub-par quality. Other than that, the quality of Nintendo hardware is one of its greatest strengths.

Don't you remember the 6th gen damage tests, where G4TV dropped a GC, PS2 and Xbox from 30 ft, slammed each one with a sledge hammer, etc? And every time, the Gamecube still powered up. That's still true today. I bet you my 3DS and Wii U will still fire up 20 years from now. The memory in the Wii U may only be 32GB, but it's quality, solid state flash. Top of the line. The screens are nice and durable, the finish plastic is evenly coated... it's all very high quality compared to other consoles.

My PS4, on the other hand, has a crooked USB port, and the matte finish is darker in some areas and lighter in others. It's an unevenly applied finish, and it looks cheap. I know that's cosmetic, and doesn't affect the actual performance, but it's indicative of the standards of quality used in each system. The fact Nintendo has never had a major defective issue like the BLoD on PS3 or RRoD on 360, speaks volumes. You can say alot of things about Nintendo, but you can't say they don't make quality product, both software AND hardware.



BinaryFragger said:


Modern harddrives have noise levels of about 30 decibels (Seagate claims to have drives that produce as little as 19 decibels), which is equivalent to a quiet bedroom at night. Optical drives and cooling fans tend to be the loudest components, not harddrives.
The PS4 has a 500GB harddrive and the console is virtually silent when running.



JaxonH said:


And the REAL kicker is that the "power crowd" only started caring about power so much when their preferred console became the most powerful, which was last generation. Ever notice we never had these discussions before then? That's because their console was the least powerful back then. All of a sudden, when their brand of choice flips the script and makes the MOST powerful console, well now that's all they care about. Now a game isn't even worthy of play if it's not on par with the most powerful console. Strange I never heard them say that before. Strange they didn't take that stance when their console was the weakest. Strange that power wasn't an issue for them then.

And what REALLY gets me, is that back then is when power mattered the most! Back when games really WERE greatly limited by hardware. Nowadays, not so much. Sure, I've heard the silly arguments like "well it can give you more characters on screen and yada yada yada", but that's small potatoes (besides, when was the last time you played a game and thought 'man, if only there were more characters on the screen this game would be really great'?) Games, with the exceptions of small details, can be developed for any console nowadays. Power has never mattered so little as it does today, and yet now is when they decide it's the all important factor.

I'm all for power- the more the better. I like good looking games, I do. And I would be thrilled if Nintendo made a beast of a console next gen that rivaled Sony and MS. I'm not saying I don't like or want power. I'm just saying it doesn't matter that much anymore, and while it would be nice, I really don't care much either way. Sony could have announced the PS4 would be a continuation of PS3, and I probably wouldn't have even cared. Games look good enough nowadays. Heck, even back then- as much as power mattered, it was still no match for a genuinely fun game. Power never has, and never will, hold a monopoly on fun.



Yorumi said:

@JaxonH well it's also even worse with the "we can do more with power" because they never do. All they ever do is push more polygons, the gameplay is being cut more and more and more. I would care more about power if devs were using it for advanced AI, better particles, destructible worlds, or advanced physics, but they're not. The power devs are just pushing more polygons and taking away more and more gameplay.

It is definitely ironic that you're right now is the time power means the least and it's suddenly all anyone cares about.



unrandomsam said:

@BinaryFragger They made a compromise with both only usb 2.0 and keeping the clock low to try and make "mum not mind it being in the livingroom". I can hear an energy efficient I have a Lacie 2.5" usb / firewire hdd and I can hear it when it is spinning across the other side of the room. That is one thing Apple seems to understand silence is worth it.



MitchVogel said:

Completely agree with this article. This is gonna be a good year for Nintendo. I think all this bad press and negativity is a good thing; it's a wake up call for Nintendo that's been a long time coming.



TwilightOniAngel said:

wow finally somebody not telling us the wiiu is done for and nintendo is over nintendo should read this article and actually do something with the wiiu at least they got a wake up call now this is not 1996 no more nintendo wake up we dont want to see mario or zelda or your others games for the ps4 or the xbox one just cause you didint even try.



CaPPa said:

Great blog. Do you have anything lined up for the Wii U in the future? Tappingo actually looks like it'd work pretty well.

BTW, you just succeeded in selling me Tappingo. The positive and well thought out blog made me look at the game. It looks like a similar idea to Picross (which I love) with a bit of a twist, so provided it has a fair price it'll be a day one purchase for me.



Nomad said:

I have to agree with Nintendo supporting Indie developers more. The thing I love about these smaller indie developed games is that they are more focused on pure gameplay and hearken back to the simpler, more arcade like games of previous generations.
It's good to see these kinds of games on the rise as I sometimes think that the games industry has gone too far with these big budget, mega graphic blockbuster games that play more like an interactive movies and less like actual video games.
Maybe it's the old school gamer in me but I feel like a lot of games these days are too big and overblown to be fun. Seriously, how much replay value can you get out of a game that takes fifty hours to complete? Who's got time to play a game like this more then once? I'd rather have a smaller game that I can play several times over and really enjoy.



banacheck said:

Yes I completely agree with this article, wait a minute. hasn't this guy just made an "indie" game on the Wii U, so it's safe to say he could gain a lot more with Nintendo going indie. This reminds me of that other indie guy who would slay Nintendo off, than over night Nintendo was the best thing since slice bread all because his game was coming out on a Nintendo system. Just ask the public why thay are not buying a Wii U, at least thay don't have an incentive to say nice this.



HugoSmits said:

@Banacheck I don’t have a game out for Wii U (currently I only develop games for DS/3DS).Me saying Nintendo needs to go indie is only because it’s pretty clear by now triple A is not going to happen.

Technically I have nothing to gain with Nintendo going indie. I already I’m a licensed developer and ,as stated in the article, have regular contact with Nintendo; from a business sense point it’s much nicer for me to be one of the ‘few’ games out there.



DLAROC said:

You're telling people to shut up, nothing is wrong with the WiiU? Tell that to Nintendo! They're the ones who said the WiiU was a failure. The WiiU IS a failure. Nintendo knew the next gen consoles were coming soon. Why would they invest into a gimmicky controller and not better hardware?? That was their biggest mistake and they are paying for it now. You can think the WiiU is doing fine but what you think and what's reality are two different things. A big company doesn't tell the public that their product is a failure if it isn't..



SebCroc said:

@Captain_Gonru, Eh? The internet is a big place. If you only see the bad side you haven't seen much ;P And the internet isn't an entity in itself. It's composed of people, so of course you're bound to get a mix of different opinions and responses.



HugoSmits said:

@DLAROC products can fail for various reasons without being wrong. The product (the console) itself is fine. Just like the Dreamcast was a great machine.

Having bad marketing, no luck with partners,etc can still make a great machine a failure.



Darknyht said:

@Kirk They matter to you; but you, like me, represent the hardcore gamer minority in the market (you know, the ones that live on a site dedicated to not just gaming but Nintendo gaming). We are not Nintendo's primary target for sales. Look at the advertising they use, it is never the 20's/30's demographic featured in the commercials, it is families and children. Despite lip service that says otherwise, we are not who Nintendo is trying to target. It's been that way since the Gamecube days (arguably since the SNES days).

I can tell you from experience of dealing with normal people buying consoles there are only two or three things that matter: Does it have the game that I want to play? Is it the console that my friends all own? And if you are a parent, is it the console that will make my child stop whining so I can go back to whatever else I was doing?

Those are the three main things Nintendo needs to solve to make the Wii U a success. All those other complaints you bring up, generally are only issues for people like us or points that are used to discourage others from the console. While we are Microsoft's and Sony's primary sales target, Nintendo is targeting a completely different demographic.



MamaLuigi said:

@HugoSmits @DLAROC That is true, just the same as it was with GameCube. It's hard to market things, though, what with the latest investment demographic behaving childishly like trolls or vultures.



Kirk said:


I basically agree but...

The vast majority of people buying these consoles, across all three platforms, are interested enough that I'm sure they do pay attention to things like; does it have the best graphics, can I use Facebook and Twitter on it, does it play my DVD/Blu-Ray movies and my music CDs, is it the most popular, does it have all the best games, does it have the games I want, do all my friends have it, etc etc etc.

No one will spend $400-$500 without doing a tiny bit of reading/research/asking-around on the console they are about to buy.

Nintendo is still failing on most of those accounts and the only people who Nintendo won't be failing for are either the hardcore Nintendo FANS who already know they want a Nintendo console anyway or the last-gen casuals who bought a Wii because it was the hot topic of the moment but have not even sniffed a Wii U because no one gives a sh*t.

The only way anyone outside of those two main groups is going to even know about the Wii U is if the core gamers like you and me buy it and talk about it in droves in the first place so that all the mainstream press feel they just absolutely have to cover it to remain relevant and the parents see it and all the kids in schools are talking about it with their friends and so on.

If I have the most powerful console available I'm going to tell my friends in school about it and while I'm at it I'm going to slag off the less powerful console too. If I have a console that has all the big games that everyone is talking about I'm going to boast about it at school and tell all my friends how great it is and how crap the other machine is for not having those games. If my console can do things the other consoles can't then I'm going to boast it's more capable and tell everyone the other console is gimped. If I have a console that has the "cool" factor and cutting edge games with mature content I'm going to feel even "cooler" and I'm going to tell everyone that other consoles are just for kids and mums. If my console directly links to all my social networks I'm going to post to all my friends showing off when I beat a game or get the best score and everyone that knows me is going to know about and and all their friends and contacts too. If have a console that I genuinely think is the best thing since sliced bread I'm going to let everyone know about it and at the same time make sure they all know that the other console isn't even worth bothering with. If my console has the very latest GTA game, or Minecraft or Tomb Raider (or pick one of 50 random other games that are on all the other systems but not Wii U), and yours doesn't then mine is the one everyone is going to hear about and talk about and yours isn't, not even if it has Mario because Mario is now "just for kiddies".

Note: I'm 37 years old but I'm just making a point.

None of which is happening with the Wii U, outside of the core Nintendo FAN closed circles which only has any impact inside those closed circles, but is absolutely happening with the other consoles.

Why...because all those other things I mentioned actually do make a difference in the bigger picture, the grand scheme of things, and do ultimately matter.



Bender said:

All this talk about power and "mature" games makes me pretty sick... I play games for games. 3DS and Vita? The Vita has more power and is capable of prettier graphics, but the 3DS is also capable of beautiful graphics and has way more FUN games to play... Honestly, I really enjoy my Wii U, I play it often and have plenty to play on it... goes back to play Wii U

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