Playing the blame game

With sales flagging and third-party support very thin on the ground, the Wii U is certainly having a hard time of late. It's only been on the market for half a year, yet many within the industry are ready to write it off completely. Coming off the back of the incredible success of the original Wii, the new console's failure to get consumers interested is somewhat embarrassing for its creator.

Thankfully, Nintendo hasn't stuck its head in the sand and ignored these issues — in a recent interview, CEO Satoru Iwata admitted that much of the blame lies with his company:

We are to blame. We relaxed our [marketing] efforts, so the consumers today still cannot understand what's so good and unique about the Wii U. Because we're always trying to be unique, it takes some energies on our side to [make] people understand the real attractions about whatever we are doing.

We have been unsuccessful in coming up with one single software with which people can understand, 'OK, this is really different.' As long as people have hands-on [experience], they can appreciate the value of the Wii U, but because there's not software that's simple and obvious for people as 'Wii Sports' for the Wii, potential consumers do not feel like trying the Wii U. Our challenge today is with the software lineup we are introducing now, we have to encourage [people] to experience the Wii U in the first place.

I do not think we should become too pessimistic about the current situation with the Wii U. I think we should pour that time and energy into our [development] efforts, so eventually we can encourage third-party [publishers] to want to support Nintendo.

It's refreshing to see Nintendo admit to dropping the ball on this one, and we're confident that the new titles revealed at E3 are good enough to turn things around. However, Iwata seemed to rule out the idea of a price cut, saying in the same interview:

Because from the very beginning we came up with a very aggressive price point. We do not think [a price cut] is a very easy option to take.

Going into Christmas at its current price could make things tricky for Wii U, as Sony and Microsoft are lining up more powerful systems in the form of the PS4 and Xbox One. The Nintendo difference obviously counts for something, but a lower price would make the console much more attractive to festive buyers — and could potentially give it a considerable boost.