News Article

Nintendo Executive Suggests Wii U is at a "Tipping Point" Towards Success

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"We have a lot of great content that is about to be released"

The Wii U, it's fair to say, is currently enjoying its most positive spell of coverage and attention since it launched, with strong sales numbers for Mario Kart 8 combining with an excellent E3 showing to deliver some serious buzz. Perhaps unsurprisingly it's all about first-party games and products, with some other titles developed elsewhere but published by the Kyoto company.

Nintendo of America executive VP of sales and marketing, Scott Moffitt, has been discussing just that topic with gamesindustry.biz, emphasizing that he feels the company's line-up will drive consumers off the fence and into stores, equating it to a similar turnaround with 3DS — albeit acknowledging that the system's price cut also played a role.

We had the price cut in August [2011], and then we had Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, which really drove sales that first holiday, and on 3DS we haven't looked back. So we've had momentum ever since that first holiday and we've got now 260 some games in the library and some of the best, most highest rated, most highest quality content we've ever had on that platform. Everything we launched seems to do above forecast and surprises us on the positive side.

As I look at what we have coming this holiday, now with Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, plus the innovation of Amiibo, I think we are right at that tipping point where we have a lot of great content that is about to be released for that platform that's going to tempt gamers into buying the system. From the comments I'm reading online, and following gamers' comments, I think there are a lot of people that are going to have a hard time resisting buying a Wii U once Smash Bros comes out. I think that's going to be a major hardware driver for us. So that's the narrative we hope that plays out and that I think we are starting to see play out.

Moffitt also acknowledges that it's Nintendo's responsibility to sell units and make support from third-parties financially viable, while also referring to a "steady flow" of third-party download content. One other major topic addressed was the GamePad, though given Nintendo's focus on the controller at E3, his answers regarding its fate with the Wii U are entirely unsurprising.

We think [the] GamePad is the only innovation that's come in this new generation of consoles. So we have the only real point of difference. Certainly graphics are faster, graphics are better. This is not a real innovation for gamers. We are fully committed to leveraging the GamePad, to keeping it bundled with the system.

We recently outlined what we felt were the biggest retail games coming in 2014, hopefully demonstrating that there's plenty on the way in Fall and Winter, in particular. Are you confident that Wii U is at a 'tipping point' ahead of strong sales?

[via gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (67)

WiiLovePeace

#2

WiiLovePeace said:

I love my Wii U & the games I own. I'm excited for the upcoming releases too & for me, that's all that matters.

Goginho

#3

Goginho said:

Nice, but don't get too cocky, as that sort of mentality could be costly and make you slack.

mostro328

#5

mostro328 said:

Can't wait for new content hope to see wiiu succeed it deserves it, idc about best graphics it doesn't make the best games

JumpnShootMan

#6

JumpnShootMan said:

I really feel like it's on the tipping point too. It's kind of hard to ignore the great games already out AND the great games on the horizon. Plus, you won't find another system out there cheaper. Until Sony and MS (and 3rd parties) pull support for PS3 and XB360 and go full-on next-gen, I think (hope) more and more people will decide to put their console money into a WiiU.

unrandomsam

#7

unrandomsam said:

For what they are saying to happen I think more of what they have listed for 2015 needs to be released in 2014.

NintendoLee

#8

NintendoLee said:

I wish gaming companies would stop saying things that aren't innovative are innovative.

WiiULoveSquid

#9

WiiULoveSquid said:

At a tipping point for success... I've said that to myself about life many times...Here's hoping the Wii U fares better lol

Guybrush20X6

#10

Guybrush20X6 said:

I hope for the best.

Personally after I get the WiiU Smash 4, anything else is extra. Though Splatoon may be an essential.

PvtOttobot

#11

PvtOttobot said:

SPLATOON!! Sorry. 2014 will be great purely thanks to smash bros., but 15-mid16 will be the Wii U's glory days. Mark my words!

GregDavisBlows

#12

GregDavisBlows said:

If Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, amiibo, and the amazing 2015 lineup can't make the Wii U successful then nothing will.

ToniK

#14

ToniK said:

Yes, I think Wii U still has a small chance to be a moderate success. Either way, I have enjoyed my Wii U like there is no tomorrow and it is probably my all-time favorite console. I still have many things to look forward to and if I need some of those immature "mature" titles, I will buy a PS4 or a pc. Which I probably will. But I've been satisfied and busy with this console and while I hope long life and prosper for the U, I and the other Wii U owners will have a decent amount of quality games which in the end is the most important thing to us as customers. Ok, off to Mario Kart then :)

NintyMan

#17

NintyMan said:

I certainly hope Wii U turns around soon. Reading the 3DS doom and gloom was irritating, but even more so with Wii U. If Super Smash Bros. can't bring up Wii U, then nothing will. The amiibo figures will also be an interesting test. This holiday season is just overall critical for Wii U.

Shadraw

#18

Shadraw said:

I think it is at a tipping point. I have enjoyed the games released on the system so far and I am greatly looking forward to the games coming out. It is nice to have some games to look forward to rather than hoping they announce something of interest soon. Any delays for games this year, I'm staring at you SSB Wii U, could cause some serious problems and set Nintendo back again. I hope they space out their game releases well for next year. I know my wallet would appreciate that as well.

james_squared

#19

james_squared said:

I think that more consumers need to realize that the Wii U is a very different experience from the Wii and, of course, from the Sony and Microsoft boxes.

tysonfury

#20

tysonfury said:

He says that he's been reading comments online, and users will find it 'hard to resist'..
I think that points towards a price cut just before Christmas.
What do you think?

XCWarrior

#22

XCWarrior said:

I own like 15 retial games, not to mention 10+ digital games. And I don't even have all the 1st party offerings. There is plenty to play on the system now, PS4 and XB1 are still hurting in terms of content. Nintendo needs to take advantage now.

rjejr

#23

rjejr said:

Problem w/ a tipping point - you can tip either of 2 ways - success or failure.

If SSB gets pushed back until Feb or March, that's tipping the wrong way.

Wii U should be able to be somewhat successful this holiday, but Ntinedo still needs to do a much better job of advertising things like Sports Club - online play front and center - and Wii Fit U and Just Dance 2015 for the casuals, and Bayonetta 1 + 2 and Hyrule Warriors for the gamers. And Lego Batman 3 and Disney Infinity and Skylanders for the kids. And the system is currently $100 cheaper than it's competitors. Just doesn't seem like Wii U is even in the conversation.

It's only June, so they don't need to blow their holiday budget right now, but they need to have a well organized campaign to get people interested in all the games they have.

And did I mention SSB needs a DATE.

jrob23

#24

jrob23 said:

Truth is Mario Kart needed to boost sales by 1-2 million and it hasn't. It sure is a great console with lots of great games and more on the way. But people are not buying. Yes they are buying Kart the game..in droves. But not the console. Smash will be another driving force but it isn't as universal as Kart. So after two of Nintendo's biggest system selling franchises the Wii U will be lucky to have sold 10 million. It's done guys. Kart was always going to be the barometer. It was always going to tell us whether the Wii U would sell or not. It isn't. We can't keep pointing to the next game and hoping for sales. Kart was it. Barring a $100 price drop we are probably not going to see Wii U in 2017

electrolite77

#26

electrolite77 said:

Seems to speak a lot of sense and the stigma of failure round the machine seems to be lifting. Let's hope he's right. Given how much of what we're looking forward to is 2015 it's all on Smash Bros.

erv

#27

erv said:

@XCWarrior I agree the wii u is one of the best consoles nintendo has had in terms of great content.

However, games need development time. People always talk about "nintendo needs to do starfix or something" as if games are done within a few months. Most of the quality games we know and love nintendo for take years. Too many people seem to think you can create a game in two months or something.

dumedum

#28

dumedum said:

Mario Kart really boosted the sales and got the momentum going so I think they're on the right way.

audiobrainiac

#29

audiobrainiac said:

I certainly believe we're at a tipping point too. So much goodness coming. Dat bass 'bout ta DROP!

MuchoMochi

#30

MuchoMochi said:

@jrob23 While I agree with a lot of what you are saying, to criticize Mario Kart 8 for not selling 1-2 million consoles in what, 20 days? That seems a bit ludicrous. Nintendo dug themselves quite a ditch the first two years, and it's probably going to take just as much time to get out of it.

jrob23

#32

jrob23 said:

It's not being critical. Just stating facts. The Wii U has struggled since early 2013. All along we have been saying this game or that game will propel sales. THE game that was a system seller is Kart.If that fails to sell consoles in sufficient numbers it means the console won't remain viable. The majority of a game releases impact happen at launch and through its first 10 days. People bought the game...nobody can deny that. But consoles? No. And any bump Kart was going to give has been felt.

For instance...when Halo drops, there will be millions of Xbones sold. Sony doesn't necessarily have a system seller like Halo or Kart but they are in the lead and the sheer number of quality games both 1st and 3rd party get people to buy it. But Nintendo doesn't get the same amount of support so its 1st party massive system seller games need to do their job and sorry, Kart has not resulted in the sales we all hoped it would. Seriously...this bundle needed to be $249 with Kart and then I could see 2 million or more. But the bundle was too much, the economy sucks, people have their Wii U, PS360 already or have moved to PS4 and Xbone or even moved to mobile...so there just isn't a large market for the Wii U.

I have a Wii U..I love it..but it's not selling. Smash will help and Amiigo may a little as well but I can't see 20 million in sales at this point before they move on from or make a new console.

dkxcalibur

#33

dkxcalibur said:

@Guybrush20X6 I said the same thing about DKC:TF & Kart. Now there's Smash and the E3 games!

I'm happy with what I have so far. I'm content with the games I've yet to buy and play. I'm excited for the games being released. IMO, I've already gotten my money's worth in the Wii U.

IceClimbers

#34

IceClimbers said:

@jrob23 Kart 8 was never going to sell millions of systems. All Kart 8 was needed for was to spark momentum, which it did. No one game will sell the Wii U. It takes a combination of games and a strong, diverse library to do that.

Oh, and Sony is selling PS4 on hype alone, which will fade out.

jrob23

#35

jrob23 said:

that's just not true. There is a reason why there is a term called "system sellers" and that is because certain games not only spark momentum and conversation but more importantly sell systems. Wii Sports, Mario Kart, Zelda, Smash and Mario are Nintendo console system sellers. What will be the excuse come next Spring after Smash? Will we be saying Metroid and Zelda will finally get people to buy? Kart is the most accessible of all the system sellers. If it was going to happen for the Wii U it'd be happening right now. There has been only a slight bump in console sales. It's over. It doesn't mean we can't enjoy our Wii U and all the great games. But it won't last till 2017 and if Nintendo was smart they would hold off on another Metroid, Mario Galaxy and any other big hitters until the next console less they find themselves in exactly the same predicament they were in with the Wii U. Launching without a system seller and becoming a non factor in gamer's eyes.

ikki5

#36

ikki5 said:

I really want to believe him but these droughts are not helping. If they want to keep momentum going, they need to get rid out these massive droughts.

arnoldlayne83

#37

arnoldlayne83 said:

1) price cut before xmas holidays
2) bundle 1 amiibo with copies of SSB
3) hurry up with the games revealed at e3
4) get more exclusives like bayonetta and devil's third
5) now that u have amiibos, what the hell are u waiting for a pokemon game on wiiu? this will make kids crazy....

sinalefa

#38

sinalefa said:

While the Japanese break their necks having great games ready, do your part NOA/NOE and advertise them. A lot.

The interesting part is Amiibo. As they will not only have games this holiday, but also figurines. Even if you never use them for NFC, they are beautiful.

IceClimbers

#39

IceClimbers said:

@jrob23 3DS is proof of my previous comment. No one game saved the 3DS. No one game will save the Wii U. Also, we have NOT seen the full effect that Kart 8 had on system sales in America. We've only seen two days worth. Word of mouth and that Luigi's Death Stare meme will have taken longer than two days to take full effect. Wait until July when we get the June NPD results for a better look.

E3 sparked a LOT of interest in the Wii U. Oh, and Nintendo has the benefit of a stronger lineup this Fall/Winter than PS4 and XB1. Not enough exclusives for those two systems when half of the games are on 360/PS3.

arnoldlayne83

#40

arnoldlayne83 said:

@jrob23 the console launch from nintendo was abysimal, i agree with u, a 2d mario instead of hd mario galaxy 3 and the tech demo Nintendoland killed the baby in the womb

unrandomsam

#42

unrandomsam said:

@arnoldlayne83 You are ignoring the fact that more people like 2D Mario than 3D (As can be seen by the sales figures for them). Regardless of how little effort goes in they sell more.

SavoirFaire

#44

SavoirFaire said:

Really hope we see more than just interaction like smash bros for the amiibo figures. $10-15 sandbox games that are pieces of a larger ensemble (ala sports) would be a good way to go. Heck even some well done sports games using your amiibo figures to make a team could really take off with proper online support. A football* game where your defensive line is the likes of wario, bowser, donkey kong, etc... Just seems the amiibo concept has the potential to take the sports sims that EA has locked down and churn out annually or pick up the ones we don't see so often (hockey!!!)

*americanfootball mind you. I know zip about the other football!

3Daniel

#45

3Daniel said:

the fact that after mk8 theres really nothing outside of indies on the eshop or wiisports to look foward till september/october isnt going to help the momentum. in fact i predict most people who havent made the jump to the system will once again forget its existence. even if E3 was great. maybe I'm just bitter that Nintendo cluttered all the titles I wanted into a 2 month span and is forcibg me to pick and choose which to get, which to wait and which to forget.

JaxonH

#46

JaxonH said:

@james_squared

SO true. The Wii U really IS a completely different experience than the Wii, and I think the biggest problem Nintendo has been facing up until this point has been the Wii image. It's only natural to assume the experience would be similar, and to an extent it is, but the Wii U is considerably more "gamer" oriented than the Wii ever was. And the quality of the software is actually impressive compared to the Wii as well. Wii had some great games, which makes Wii U all the more impressive, because, at least imo, the games are a lot better.

gage_wolf

#47

gage_wolf said:

I must say I haven't been feeling this optimistic about my Wii U or Nintendo in a while. This year's E3 did a lot to change that, and for me, it had less to do with content and more so the tone and vibe of the delivery. The previous E3's felt a bit "out of touch" with the execs in cat ears last year, and Reggie spewing buzz term nonsense about the Wii U the year before. This year they managed to seem more up to date and modern than the Sony conference and yet still keep their classic "fun for everyone" mantra in place. Let's keep this momentum up Ninty!

JaxonH

#48

JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam

Right. Cause the thing is, people don't care about the effort needed to make the game, they just care how fun it is. Could be a very simplistic game (relatively speaking, of course), but if it's funner, it's funner. And 2D Mario games are indeed a lot of fun. I certainly like them at least. Personally, I probably like the 3D ones more but yes, the majority feels otherwise as noted by sales figures.

Windy

#49

Windy said:

The only reason I haven't picked up a Wii-U besides being broker than I ever have been....is lack of RPG's , my game of choice these days. I guess I don't have an excuse since the PS3 got most of them last gen and I still didn't buy one sticking with my Wii. I guess as we get older we slow down a bit and just enjoy a good story. At least that's how its been for me.

Windy

#50

Windy said:

@gage_wolf I hope they can. I really thought Microsoft had a great E3 as well. They have some heavy hitters coming out and their presentation was pretty straight forward showing off their stuff. Of course it seemed most of their games were 3d shooters.

jrob23

#52

jrob23 said:

how am I clueless douche? if after three Holiday season into this gen the install base is only 10 million how long do you think they keep this going? Don't answer, you suck and offer very little so I don't need your response

Kirk

#53

Kirk said:

"Nintendo Executive Suggests Wii U is at a "Tipping Point" Towards Success"

I'm not sure it is and I think this is just a little bit of PR Marketing bull to be honest or a little bit of overly enthusiastic optimism.

Nintendo has basically one Wii U system selling game coming for the rest of 2014, Smash Bros, so unless amiibo is a massive hit and gets systems flying of the shelves (which is possible) then I really don't see how it's on the "tipping point" at all and certainly not for the more core gamers either way.

Nintendo had a great E3 show in and of itself but as I have said multiple times now; I really don't think Nintendo did much to actually address what is imo the more important bigger picture here and that's turn the Wii U's fortunes around going forward into the future or make it a system that any of the core gamers, who are mostly only interested in either PS4 or Xbox One at this time, really give a crap about.

I guess we will see...

Link506

#54

Link506 said:

@PvtOttobot You know, I looked at a picture of Splatoon, and thoughts were, "Call of Duty wannabe". But after I saw the trailer, I was suddenly really excited for the game. This and Smash bros will drive Wii U sales home.

Mahe

#55

Mahe said:

Remember the kind of ridiculous things Sony kept saying through the early years of the PlayStation 3, while it was failing hard in the market? Now Nintendo's doing it.

SphericalCrusher

#57

SphericalCrusher said:

@WiiLovePeace Sums up my thoughts exactly. I'm not interested in what everyone thinks about the WiiU's success and failures. I'm a gamer and I play games and right now, I have stuff to play that I'm happy about. More stuff coming and that's just great!

Nomad

#58

Nomad said:

@ ikki5
Agreed. It's these software droughts that could kill momentum. The Playbox14 seems to have a dearth of software too.

Oscarsome

#59

Oscarsome said:

I think they meant "Super Mario 3D WORLD" not "Land". -_- They don't even know the game. Though I can't blame them, the names for both those games suck.

Plutonian

#60

Plutonian said:

@Oscarsome
Who is "they"? In the first sentence, Moffitt is referring to 3D Land for the 3DS, which came out in 2011, not 3D World that debuted last year for the Wii U.

TheAdrock

#62

TheAdrock said:

They've been saying that for the last 6 years...
Nintendo has been tipping alright, just not in a positive direction.

Rect_Pola

#63

Rect_Pola said:

I would be monumentally stunned if there was no positive step for Wii U. Provided content comes and and comes often; I figure the worst case would be the Wii U thriving through this generation. As far as making up for lost time, and out performing PS4, that's probably more of a function of Sony making the wrong moves than Nintendo making the right ones.

Darknyht

#64

Darknyht said:

Whether or not it is a commercial success, it has been a success for me. I think it can be a commercial success, but it will never be the "winner" in this generation's console war. I also think that Nintendo isn't trying to be the "winner" the same way that Sony and Microsoft is (one console to rule them all).

AJere

#65

AJere said:

@rjejr SSB shouldn't be getting pushed back. Sakurai said that the game is "near completetion" not so long ago.

Daisaku36

#66

Daisaku36 said:

@NintendoLee yeah, that term is thrown about a lot more than I think is accurate. In the case of Amiibo's, while they aren't the exact same as Skylanders figurines, they're still close enough to warrant the "not innovative but cool," label from me. Splatoon is arguably innovative, but even then, it isn't the hallmark of creativity, it's just really cool. That's my two cents...

AshFoxX

#67

AshFoxX said:

I actually stopped playing my Wii U about 3 months ago. Somehow, when Mario Kart 8 came out, I played that for days straight, then went on to play more SM3DW and other games I had bought with the system in February. I forgot just how awesome the system was, and the firmware updates really added stability, as one of my issues was it liked to freeze. (It still doesn't really like Hulu, but I have a PS3 for that.)

Between a few rounds of MK8 online, unlocking Rosalina on SM3DW and trying to beat my first console Zelda game Windwaker HD, I haven't even touched my steam backlog since May 30th. I have to say this is so far my happiest moment as a Wii U owner.

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