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Topic: If the Wii U launched without a gamepad and was $100 cheaper......

Posts 1 to 19 of 19

blaisedinsd

......do you think it could have at least had a similar sales level to the gamecube? (1)

OR was it simply too underpowered right before PS4 and new xbox one game out? (2)

I don't know if Switch is really all that more powerful than it, is it 100000% the hybrid feature that is the difference (compared to the dead weight of the gamepad dragging down the Wii U)? (3)

Does the hybrid feature still hold enough cache in itself to keep switch 2 a hit or is the power of the system also going to be a critical factor or does it need some third thing to make it a success? (4)

4 questions, answer them 1-4

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Tayrailbridge

(1) MORE than the gamecube! Do you know how successful the Wii was? If they had marketed it better as a 'sequel' to the Wii it would have sold like crazy.
(2) The Wii's main demographic was casual gamers, and they don't really care about performance. And besides, with a good game roster, console power means nothing.
(3) Dunno lol
(4) As we see from the Playstation line, absolutely nothing changes apart from power in each instalment.

Tayrailbridge

Buizel

1. Maybe. I still don't think it would've sold well, but maybe Gamecube levels of success might've been attainable.
2. Certainly. Remove the gamepad and you remove the one thing that made the Wii U stand out from the competition. Wii and Switch, despite being underpowered, have had unique selling points (as have their handheld consoles).
3. Yes, as well as the series of killer apps that Nintendo has been putting on the system. Software is ultimately what matters and I think Nintendo combining their handheld and home console output has only done wonders for the Switch.
4. I think the hybrid feature is enough. Nintendo has the opportunity to ride the current momentum of the Switch. They have little to no competition in the hybrid/handheld space currently, and due to diminishing returns the power gap between Switch 2 and home consoles will be less relevant now than it was 7 years ago.

Jumping back to the Wii U's failings for a second...I think people like to attribute it to a single cause (e.g. poor marketing), but really it was a combination of factors that ultimately meant that the Wii U was a mismatch for the market at the time. Conversely, it seems everything aligned for the Switch to be a success.

Edited on by Buizel

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VoidofLight

The Wii U didn't fail because of the Gamepad making it too expensive. It failed because the console wasn't marketed well and released without any massive launch titles. Not releasing it with a Gamepad would basically make things worse, given people thought the console was a Wii with a tablet attachment and not an actual Wii console. It's why they didn't sell Gamepads after release of the console (like they originally planned on doing).

"It is fate. Many have tried, yet none have ever managed to escape it's flow."

VoidofLight

Buizel wrote:

4. I think the hybrid feature is enough. Nintendo has the opportunity to ride the current momentum of the Switch. They have little to no competition in the hybrid/handheld space currently, and due to diminishing returns the power gap between Switch 2 and home consoles will be less relevant now than it was 7 years ago.

Not really true. The Steam Deck is also in the hybrid market and its seen as competition somewhat to the Switch.

"It is fate. Many have tried, yet none have ever managed to escape it's flow."

skywake

I'm honestly not sure what Nintendo could have done to make a console in that period successful. In hindsight maybe they could have come out earlier with "just" a HD Wii and use WiiMotion+ as the non-graphical hook. Maybe with improvements that weren't possible on Motion+. But fundamentally the thing that held them back was the hardware itself, not the GamePad but the physical architecture, and the lack of first party content

In an ideal world they probably shift to x86 because at the time ARM wasn't really viable. Just to distance themselves from the limitations of PPC. Probably include an actual HDD so it's more viable to install large assets on disk. Obviously they wouldn't go full PS4 spec by any stretch but a more modern architecture with 360+ like specs? Surely would've gained more third party interest

Honestly the controller discussion is just a distraction from the actual problem with the Wii U. Games, timing and developer support

Edited on by skywake

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Samalik

The gamepad itself was the least of the systems concerns. the whole marketing was a mess and the main culprit for the initial failure that lead to 3rd parties fleeing followed by poor system adoption

Samalik

Matt_Barber

There were so many things Nintendo did wrong with the Wii U that it's hard to single out just one of them.

The one thing that I think they got right with it was the games, some of which are still mainstays for the Switch, a decade after they debuted on Wii U.

Matt_Barber

Dogorilla

Without the GamePad it wouldn't be the Wii U. As underused as it was, the dual screen functionality is the best thing about the console.

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NinChocolate

I actually think if the gamepad had been miniaturized (similar dimensions to DSi XL) and for sale as separate purchase in fun colors, like their handhelds did, it’d have done well. Pitched as a DS-sized handheld but capable of far more advanced graphics, even though yes, tethered (they could have made the base console more portable friendly to smoothen that concept). They bet on a more shareable tablet-like form with an asynchronous idea working with the TV, but they should have just made off-TV play in a fun little personal form factor the central pitch. Nobody cared about gathering around the gamepad, because it wasn’t elegant or impressive, just a bulky controller around a low-res screen (I loved the gamepad, just to note)

NinChocolate

AnVold

(1) Nope, GameCube have more great exclusive and multiplatform games.
(2) Sure, it was relased just before them.
(3) Switch is not much more powerful then Wii U, but you can use it as handheld console.
(4) Hybrid feature is not enough. I want it more compact (like PS Vita or Switch Lite), because I never used Switch as a home console.

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blaisedinsd

Wow, great responses. Appreciate you all sharing your thoughts

1) I think Wii 2 HD still would have been in way far in third place in the big 3 but I do think the gamepad hurt the wii u by increasing its price way higher than it needed to be and also if they didn't design it as included they could of put more resources in to the base console.

2)being underpowered wouldn't have been a problem if they didn't screw up everything else

3)Hybrid feature was definitely a hit. But yeah marketing and especially killer software in that first year and getting indies on board early which than eventually also drew strong third party support.

4)I definitely think this is the first time since Super Nintendo that console power is absolutely the critical factor for Nintendo on switch 2 success and just being a hybrid is not enough. It has reached a point similar to the Wii where multi-platform games are WAY worse on Nintendo and games are struggling to run. The most critical factor besides seamless consumer friendly backwards compatibility is noticeable performance improvement in how it runs game.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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skywake

The key point of difference between Switch and Wii U in this context isn't the GamePad. The difference is that one had Mario Kart, Splatoon, Zelda all the first few months and the other had New SMB, Nintendo Land and a demo of Rayman Legends

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SillyG

Have people forgotten that the Wii U had already launched with a cheaper SKU?

The writing was on the wall very early on with abysmal third-party support, not helped by Nintendo leaving the Wii to wither away for so long as its audience either grew out of the novelty or just migrated to Sony/Microsoft in order to play the latest and greatest by the time the Wii U had come along. And people were so ignorant of what the Wii U even was (even to this day) that many don’t even know that it exists, or had misconceptions about it due to the propagation of falsehoods, or we could lay the blame on Nintendo for a lack of marketing and/or clarity as to what the console was.

I thought it was a great concept with a decent but modest library. I used to wonder if the Wii U’s fortunes could have been turned around if a blockbuster like Watch_Dogs had launched alongside the other platforms (whose release coincided with the original Mario Kart 8). A console bundle with the two hottest games on the market (one which still is!) could potentially have swayed many, but we’ll never know now.

Another thing that could have really helped the console is compatibility with DS/3DS cartridges. Imagine if you could insert a cartridge into the Gamepad and use it as the bottom screen while playing in TV mode? I can’t believe I’d never even thought of this until now. I understand that the “guts” of the Wii U is in the console itself (not the Gamepad), but surely Nintendo could have figured out a way to make it work. I guess we’ll never know that either.

Edited on by SillyG

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Mgalens

Power wise the gap between wiiu and ps4/xbox one wasnt nearly as big as the switch and ps5/xsx/s and that aspect felt like it would have been less of a barrier when it came to porting games as it did with switch, wheres in terms of first party games it was still hitting 60fps frequently like the wii only now everything was HD.

as cliched a take as it is the wiiu felt like it was doomed from that reveal trailer,with the constant focus on "the new controller" and the games shown iirc were all modified wii games and more used as proof of concept, in general it kind of felt like it threw everything at the wall when it came to features.

comparatively the switch reveal trailer managed to avoid pretty much every issue the wiiu reveal had, it put great emphasis on the system itself and what its "gimmick" was, showed practical uses of said "gimmick" (it was a console you could play on the TV but also take with you) the concept itself was also extremely simple so people who may have been turned off by things like the wii's motion controls and the wiius dual screen concept were accounted for, plus having a brand new 3d mario shown in the trailer alongside ports of a highly anticipated new zelda and a port of mario kart 8 showing new features.

in short the switch kept things simple with its reveal and concept and felt like it had a much broader appeal than not only the wiiu but also the wii itself.

Mgalens

blaisedinsd

skywake wrote:

The key point of difference between Switch and Wii U in this context isn't the GamePad. The difference is that one had Mario Kart, Splatoon, Zelda all the first few months and the other had New SMB, Nintendo Land and a demo of Rayman Legends

Do you think Switch 2 needs a killer first year software lineup to not be a flop?

Could perhaps unlocking Switch 1 titles performance improvement, like removing underclocking giving better framerates or resolution when you play them on Switch 2, be a killer feature to move the new hardware. You know like basically how on PS4 the pro model played PS4 games better and smoother.

Would Nintendo ever consider such a thing or are they too in to trying to re-release switch 1 games at full price like $40-$60 4k Breath of the Wild.

I definitely think the first strategy is more sound if your trying to ensure your new hardware continues your momentum selling games. Even being more powerful Switch 2 is not going to be running games as pure tech demo eye candy, I don't think 1080p to 4k jumps are going to make people want to completely rebuy and replay a game and switch 2 is supposed to have trickery to make it 4k not be true 4k I have heard speculation.

I think they would be wise to give us enhanced backwards compatibility as an almost across the board feature of playing Switch 1 games on Switch 2 and even releasing Switch 1 games for a long time alongside Switch 2 versions. The goal is to maintain sales momentum of software. The problem is the Switch 1 has fallen way behind on the multiplat titles and even first party titles are somewhat showing they could use more power on the console. Buying games should remain seemless and the desire for performance upgrades should be the driving foce behind sales of the new hardware.

The Wii momentum was pretty dead at the end of its cycle and that was huge factor in the Wii U stumbling out of the gate. Switch has slowed downbut it's still going strong, people have just been wishing it was more modern hardware under the hood. They love their Switches they just want them to be more powerful. They need to do all they can to basically make it play the same games but to be desirable as an upgrade. I mean there has to be a switch 1 version of the new PokieMan game right because install base right? What about all games going forward for the first 3 years of Switch 2 are playable on both but play much improved on Switch 2?

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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kkslider5552000

I think it was that Wii U was an underpowered console one year before next gen that tried to sell itself as a new Wii with a badly marketed machine and name without focusing on the core appeal of the Wii and after the Wii casual audience had largely evaporated to play games on mobile. Also it launched and focused on games that are just like games you could play on the cheaper Wii or 3DS and hardcore 3rd party games people already bought elsewhere. Just an impressive combination of bad ideas.

It is (kind of) a console for hardcore Nintendo fans and almost no one else, and Nintendo's done way better pandering to hardcore Nintendo fans on the Switch.

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NinChocolate

@kkslider5552000 this comment probably resonates with me the most. In fact, for FY 2014 projections for the Wii were actually increased. So as you said, Nintendo gaming was being done on other Nintendo machines and alternative options of mobile and other consoles were stronger than what the Wii U offered. It just didn’t have an audience.

I do think that if the hardware was elegant and impressive that more would have bought into the promise of the system even if the games weren’t yet there, and then another boost when the software finally hit. That was the case with the 3DS, which stalled after the ‘promise buyers’ had gotten the system, and then ended up doing okay when the library did take shape paired with a lower MSRP on hardware. The 3DS had a long life for a console with a bad launch.

But yes, Nintendo took a lot of slack for themselves when transitioning to HD development after their success with the Wii (they took that same slack with the Wii after the GC, declining to go HD but then had a hit on their hands with the pack-in experience). They clearly thought the brand had bought them development time, that the games could hit later than sooner and they’d save money not sharply ramping up payroll and office space to tackle HD development demands. But that barren launch was deadly and after after Iwata admitted the Wii U was a failure they did finally physically scale their operations for modern development and have done so again after the launch of Switch. So as far as the software side goes, lesson learned for NCL.

Edited on by NinChocolate

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