In a typical year Gamescom is a vibrant show, undoubtedly, but not necessarily one that draws a mini-E3 level of headlines. Yet if you're following Microsoft or Sony, this year's show has certainly delivered. It's all about circumstances, and with the two companies launching new hardware no high-profile opportunity can be missed to build hype, and that's exactly what's happened. Plenty of news has emerged to reveal more about the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One, as well as a price cut for the PS Vita, so it seems like a good time to take stock and consider where the Wii U and 3DS are placed at this moment in time, and how major moves from rivals disrupt or focus their strategies.
To start with the Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One reveals in Germany have solidified the details either revealed or guessed upon during E3 2013 and the weeks that followed, with launch lineups, bundles and release dates appearing in one form or another. Both systems now have confirmed launch lineups which, for the most part, reflect what was already known, though both companies used presentations to reveal the odd surprise game beyond launch day. What mattered for many, however, were launch dates, bundles and some exclusives. Microsoft weighed in with a pre-order offer of a free copy of FIFA 14, which offsets its higher retail price in comparison to the PS4, to an extent. While Microsoft also secured other deals on huge franchises — such as dedicated servers for Call of Duty: Ghosts — Sony's approach has been to reinforce its message, while promoting its system's lower cost and emphasizing a larger launch lineup and substantial Indie support. Most notably Sony gave release dates for the PS4, with 15th November in North America and 29th November in Europe being scribbled into some gamer's diaries, while Microsoft didn't reveal its equivalent dates.
So how have these presentations and media blitzes changed the shape of the competition from the Wii U's perspective? One argument is "not much", as it's tempting to look at Nintendo's hardware and software lineup and place it in a category on its own, seeking to recreate the buzz that gave the Wii such an identity with various consumers. There's an element of pessimism to that perspective, perhaps, to suggest that the Wii U isn't going toe-to-toe with its upcoming opponents, but the argument can swing either way — Nintendo's separation in approach, policy and content from its rivals gives it a refreshing edge, or alternatively it can be said that struggles to achieve parity with powerful third-party publishers and games, such as the behemoth that is FIFA 14, means that in economically tough times some may choose systems that have substantial, big-name online experiences.
Here at Nintendo Life we generally prefer the optimistic approach, and Nintendo has shown in recent years, with the DS family, Wii and recently 3DS, that it can carve an identity for its systems into the market, primarily driven by first-party content and supplemented with a dash of major third-parties here and there and, increasingly, Indies. It's been debated endlessly whether the Wii U's concept will be enough of a hook to become a sales success, but Nintendo's giving it an opportunity with a number of exciting exclusives that, once they accumulate on shelves, will play a part in attracting attention.
Nintendo will need to, naturally, placate and charm retailers into giving these games and the console visibility in stores, with the market naturally wary of a system that's endured a poor 2013. The company may have held games back for an impact in the second half of the year and to guarantee quality, but it'll need to ensure that consumers see these products when and where it counts. Nintendo brands thankfully still have clout and recent sales successes to show, so even with PS4 and Xbox One systems on shelves Nintendo's platform will hopefully be visible.
And finally, rumours of a Wind Waker HD hardware bundle look far more convincing this week, and perhaps represent the first shot in the battle for value. Even ignoring the fact that enthusiasts may snap up most or all launch stock of the One and PS4 — pre-orders are already closed in some regions for the PS4 — potentially leaving few systems for those still undecided, the Wii U will need to look like attractive value. In the likely event of the retail price staying the same for the hardware, Nintendo's port of call will surely be bundles, where a hit is taken on some software sales. The Wind Waker bundle will apparently cost $349.99, and our hope is that this will also include Nintendo Land; if Nintendo's generous it should throw in an extra Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk, too.
That bundle (particularly the extra controllers) is probably over-ambitious, but it's applying irresistable value — to complement the shiny new big-name games — that could be vital, especially with families. To use U.S. prices as examples, the bare-bones PS4 package is $399 and is a system and controller, though there are some free-to-play offerings included such as The Playroom; The Xbox One comes in at the higher price of $499, so we can expect some incentives to accompany that system. The plus for Nintendo is that it can position the Wii U as the more affordable option, especially for those ready to move on from Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360, but the more that's included in the box the better. Quite how far the big N will go with bundles is yet to be seen, but it wouldn't be surprising if more appear in time for the Holidays, while we'd hope that losses on software would be accepted in making a play for a larger userbase.
So where does the 3DS come into the Gamescom discussions? In this case it's all about Sony's moves with the PS Vita, coming in with a fairly meaty price cut to $199 in the U.S., with equivalent reductions hitting other territories. That brings Sony's system in line with a typical 3DS XL / game bundle, and it's anticipated that a Pokémon X & Y offering will arrive with that title in October. While a price-cut and some promising planned releases will likely see a solid increase in sales for the Vita, it's here that we're less convinced of any notable impact on Nintendo's portable. The reasoning is twofold — the 3DS and Vita have very little in common, with very different games libraries, and the second point is that the 3DS is on a roll regardless. While Nintendo will aim to prove that software and brands can drive a substantial increase in hardware sales on the Wii U, it's already proven the point with the 3DS.
To be clear, the 3DS isn't likely to trend at DS family levels over the next 2-3 years, but the comparison is a tough one due to the sea-change in the portable gaming space with tablets and smartphones. Moving beyond like-for-like comparisons, the 3DS is performing strongly, charting at the top in Japan every week, recording the top hardware sales in the U.S. over the past three months and also drawing positive headlines in Europe. On its own terms and in the current market the 3DS is doing an admirable job, while contributing much to keep Nintendo profitable during the Wii U's struggles. With Pokémon X & Y likely to be a sales phenomenon and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds sure to get Nintendo fans rather hot and bothered, Holiday momentum shouldn't be an issue.
We'd also argue that it's in Nintendo's interests for the Vita to get back into the game; two capable portables on the market is arguably healthier than one, especially as the concept of dedicated gaming handhelds will take any reassurance on offer. The target audiences for both platforms also seem far apart — though both are perhaps scrapping over the Indie download game market — and while the same can be said for the Wii U versus its competitors, the home console has two dedicated gaming system rivals, last-gen HD systems and poor momentum to tackle. Succeeding against these challenges, and others, is not beyond the younger Wii U, as we've argued regularly, but is a different scenario to the more established 3DS, regardless.
With its userbase now comfortably beyond 30 million units and a sense of positivity and momentum, Nintendo will surely steel the 3DS against what the Vita throws up with its price drop; yet the challenge isn't so severe. We've spoken about the younger Wii U needing to establish its identity, but that's far less of an issue for the 3DS. Its games library is becoming increasingly unique, and its form factor and focus is far different to the Vita and multi-functional formats. Besides, if the Vita does come into the game with a revival, it will keep Nintendo's teams on their toes, which is often the scenario in which they perform at their best.
Overall, the Gamescom reveals are unlikely to prompt more hand-wringing in Nintendo HQ than was already taking place, as promotions and new game reveals had an air of inevitability. The lack of Nintendo news is unsurprising, either, as the company now prefers, rightly or wrongly, to leave almost all major announcements to Nintendo Direct broadcasts. Rather like at E3, attempting to make noise against two brand new systems in Germany may have been futile, in any case.
The closest thing to a Megaton game changer was the Vita price drop, yet the status of the 3DS positions it well against the additional challenge. The PS4 and Xbox One have some extra incentives that they didn't have before, but the overall task for the Wii U remains the same — capture the imagination with software and increase the value of the system in the eyes of the consumer. Our primitive suggestion for the Wii U this Holiday? Bundles, bundles, bundles.
The free copy of FIFA for Xbone pre-orders in the UK is genius, the Premier League has just kicked off and there's a World Cup coming in june.
Football Manager for Wii U would be a perfect fit, Mii and Miiverse integration would tip it over the edge..
Good analysis. However, I still don't see the value in the release of the twins. They simply aren't compelling. Perhaps the best announcement was minecraft for ps vita, but everything else was hype. A release date and or packaging really doesn't mean anything.
WiiU needs games of all kind but especially something capable of wooing the people, it needs a new and powerful exclusive IP. It could be somethinglike Wii Sports or like Uncharted, doesn't matter, it just needs something unique and captivating.
Agreed on the bundles and on including Wiimote & Nunchuk in them. New SMB U would be a prime candidate for a bundle game.
A pre-loaded Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party would be nice too.
only thing i need is to at least get art,trailer or something for FE X smt and the other game X.
"irresistable value"? I wouldn't use that adjective for a bundle whose chief selling point is the inclusion of, essentially, a 10-year-old game...
...of a beloved franchise with updated graphics and best of all, no extra cost.
@Tornado You're right about Wind Waker HD, but it would be two games, and most importantly, a Wiimote & Nunchuk, at the same price the current Premium is going. Those extra controllers would add to the value and send a different message compared to just the Gamepad, yet it doesn't cost Nintendo much to produce Wii controllers.
Couldn't agree more. A price drop for the Wii U is unfeasible, so bundles are the best way to go.
While I don't think the Vita will displace the 3DS as the top handheld, this price cut will help it gain some much needed momentum. Plus, Sony does not need to win the handheld wars to have a successful system. The PSP sold over 70 million units in its lifetime which is well below what the DS family sold by a sizable amount.
But here's something people need to keep in mind, the PSP has already outsold the NES, SNES, Genesis, Xbox, and N64. For a system that people love to deem a failure in the face of the DS, it tends to be forgotten how much of a market the PSP managed to create last generation.
Sony does not need to worry about taking the crown away from Nintendo at this point. That ship has already sailed. Rather, the Vita needs to focus on catering towards the market that Nintendo does not go after with their handhelds. The Vita could easily sell 50 to 80 million this gen and still be a success. The PSP proved that last generation.
Sony has taken the right step by dropping the price, now they just need to get the games onto the system.
As for Nintendo, I see nothing changing. I agree with what the article said. The 3DS and Vita are not going after the same market, just like how the DS and PSP targeted different markets last generation.
The 3DS is a solid handheld and I love mine. But it is rather nice to see Sony finally wake up with the Vita. I loved both my DS and PSP since both systems had strong libraries of solid games.
And if the Vita can catch some momentum and get the support it needs, it is good for the overall industry. It will give us two strong handhelds and finally shut up all the analysts who keep going on and on about how "Mobile gaming is the future!".
And that is worth seeing both the 3DS and Vita become strong systems with tons of support. Maybe we can finally prove that dictated handhelds are still around and going strong.
Nintendo needs to lower the price and make it a more economical option then the PS3 and 360 because right now it isn't.
yes I know Wii U is "next gen" along with the ps4 and xbox1 but the public perception is that it isn't. the public view is that it is last gen tech labeled as next gen. I don't care to argue the specs but in marketing perception is reality and currently the Wii U isn't an economically an attractive offer.
Nintendo should realize that outside of the "fanboys" most of the people who buy Nintendo are either families or gamers looking for an auxiliary console. Family buyers are going to be looking for the best deals which the Wii U isn't and gamers looking to pick up Nintendo exclusives probably won't shell out $349 plus the price of a game in order to buy a Wii U.
at the end of the day it comes down to price. if Nintendo won't budge on the price I honestly don't see them selling many more units this holiday season because most of the "fanboys" already own a Wii U.
if they dropped the price of the Wii U to something like $250 then everybody would own one.
What drives me crazy is all the reactions I've seen to the launch lineup for these consoles. I haven't seen many that were "OMG this is amazing," but most aren't bashing it...yet it consists of mostly the same kind of stuff as the Wii U launched with: ports, reiterating franchises, a few indies, and not many new IPs. In fact, I feel that the Wii U offered more variety in genres than these consoles are...but I guess that just reflects the audience that each of these companies are going after.
@Caryslan I don't think the price cut is really going to make a difference.
The device is just dying. Sony doesn't care about it. A price cut does nothing for a system with a weak exclusive lineup.... The most positve thing anyone can say about the device is it has a lot of indie games. well so does my smartphone and ipad.
If Sony really wanted to save the Vita they would a do a full court press with 1st party titles, and actually take it seriously instead of just throwing it bones here and there.... I cannot and will not buy a device if the manufacturer refuses to make quality software consistently for it.
It appears like Sony figures since the sales suck, they are just going to concentrate fully on PS4 instead... .that sends a pretty ominous message to anyone who was considering purchasing a Vita..... Sony is going to have to pull a Nintendo get a long laundry list of titles announced, but to date they haven't done that yet.
And lets talk about proprietary memory cards... This is the only reason why the Vita is less than $300 currently. They pack in such a small amount of memory compared to the average size of games intentionally to gouge you on the memory card, and its those sales of these WAYYYY over priced memory cards that is subsidizing the reduced price of the handheld. I don't think the Vita can be saved, its a trainwreck. The amount of money it would cost Sony to save the device is probably too high for them at this moment when they are in the midst of releasing a new console. I mean they are selling buildings just to tread water, no way they could afford the 100 million or so dollars it would take to put 12 games per year into development for the Vita, PLUS drop the price of the memory cards PLUS drop the price of the unit itself. The Vita is going to be in rough shape until Sony decides to spend some money on it.
@brucelebnd I understand the point you are trying to make, but even if the wii u had 12gigs of ram the twins are going to continue to try and market its weaknesses. Nintendo's best bet is to ignore them.
People are used to buying very expensive electronics nowadays. iPads and the like. The $350 price point isn't going to hurt Wii U. What needs to happen are more games, which are coming. Nintendo games sell Nintendo consoles.
Now, the thing that interests me is if Nintendo is actually going to bring out the "new types of games" that Iwata hinted at in the Investors meeting awhile back. Nintendo is still the #1 family entertainment name in the gaming market, if they can bring in something like Wii Sports U and maybe some new casual friendly IP's, then they could gobble up tons of casual gamer sales like they did with the Wii. For all the bellyaching about the price point for the Deluxe system, it's still going to be the cheapest on the market by $50. And that comes with a good game in Nintendo Land. And potentially Wind Waker.
Another well-rounded piece TW. Couple of comments.
Funny you should mention "The Playroom" as free on PS4 b/c it requires the Eye which is sold separately. I know Sony left out the Eye to keep price down but including this is just really odd.
Why bundle a Wimmote w/ Windwaker, its a 1 player game? I know you meant w/ Nintendo Land in the box but I doubt that will be the case. It still sells for $60 in the US even though its included w/ every WiiU sold, no Basics here, so they need to replace it. Dont know if replacing it w/ a 10yr old port is the right move but it seems to be a given. Still think NSMBU is the way to go, they can still sell Luigi for $20/$30.
Question - any thoughts on a SM3DW date? Anybody get to play the demo this week? Its my most wanted Christmas present so Ild really like to know it will be out by then.
@SkywardCrowbar But there is far more value in a tablet.... the tablet can accomplish many tasks including gaming.... The Wii U really can only offer a games system with a few apps sprinkled in and the pretty nifty drawing program.
Most people wont pay more than $250 for a games console.... The 'core' gamer will purchase the ps4/xbone, but Sony and Microsoft will have a heck of a time selling their boxes to most of the public..... My guess is they will sell out their preorders and then have a rough first year on the market as everyone who was looking forward to one already purchases theirs.
Nintendo will probably have the best holiday season this year considering they have more exclusives than both of its rivals, plus with the price advantage is HUGE for families/parents.
@element187 I agree with you a 100% on this one. The price cut will help, but it can only carry a system so far. The reason why the 3DS' price cut did so well was because it came during a time where Zelda, Star Fox, Mario Kart, and Mario 3D Land were coming out. People had a reason to buy a 3DS.
I think a price cut will carry the Vita for a few months, but the same issues will catch up to it eventally. Cutting the price was a great first step, but Sony needs to get serious about the handheld and its future. Get God of War, Gran Trusimo, and other major first-party titles on the system. Cut down on the number of PS3 ports and focus on making games that are tailor made for the Vita and its hardware.
And Sony really needs to get third-parties on board that really want to put out good games. Make the Final Fantasy V and VI remakes exclusive to the Vita. Put a proper Call of Duty game on the system that does not suck and is not rushed out the door.
The problem with the Vita is Sony's approach to it. As I said before, they don't need to take Nintendo's crown away to be a massive success with their handheld. If they could do PSP numbers, they would do well.
It's kinda sad to see the Vita in its current state since it has tons of potential as a handheld. Its got a great form, a nice screen, button placement and dual analog sticks is awesome, and its has some nifty features.
The main issue is the games. PS3 ports are not what this system needs. Yes, Mortal Kombat on the go is nifty, but how many people are going to buy a Vita for that.
Where is the Vita's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, or its Peace Walker? Where are the JRPGs? For better or worse, the PSP had those games during its lifespan. Why is the Vita nothing more than a PS3 port machine?
I think the price cut is a nice first step, but Sony still has tons of work ahead of them.
Needs gamecube for virtual console
@element187 - I think Sony is counting on PS4 remote play to promote Vita sales. Not saying it will work, just saying it hasnt been completely abandoned, more like re-purposed.
With everybody complaining about the lack of games on PS4 I think they need to focus on that more. PS4 needs to drive Vita sales.
@element187 Of course a tablet has more value than a games console overall, but it still doesn't have comparable value as far as gaming is concerned. I think that the casual market can still be successfully courted by Nintendo with the likes of Wii Sports, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Mario Kart. I think that the casual market can see, contrary to what some people think, the difference in quality between games for tablets and smart phones and games on a dedicated gaming machine from Nintendo, a company they are familiar with and trust.
I absolutely agree about the pre-order situation with PS4 and XBox One. They'll have a big holiday, but then struggle with a weak game release schedule and the fact that their consoles are very, very expensive. Remember, you also have to pay for good online support with both consoles.
Nintendo needs to keep the big game a month strategy going throughout 2014 on both 3DS and Wii U. That will bring in consistent sales and keep the console in the minds of potential hardcore gamer buyers who just blew all their money on a PS4 or an XBox One for holiday 2014.
@Caryslan A price cut without big name games following it up will only increase sales for 2 or 3 weeks... They just cut the price in Japan a few months ago, and it increased sales by 50% for 2 weeks and then it fell further from where it was before the price cut.... i don't think there is any evidence of a price cut helping without something else there to communicate long term value.
@rjejr well if Sony thinks the Vita will take off because of the remote play feature, they are simply delusional... It might entice a few die hard fans to pick it up, but $200 to have the option of playing remotely on your $400 console + $60 game will be a very very tough sell for most of their customers.
I'm still curious how well that remote play is going to work, if they use just the Wireless N to connect through your home wireless network, the lag is going to be very annoying.... the Wii U has two wireless chips in it both running at seperate frequences. one using your home network and the other strictly for streaming content from the console. And its because of this ad-hoc connection that there is pretty much no latency, which is incredible.... If the PS4 has two wireless chips in it, it might be able to mimic the same feature... if not, and you have to connect through your home network to use the feature, be prepared for some pretty hefty latency, up to 50ms on a local wireless N network both ways.
@SkywardCrowbar of course nintendo can grab the casuals, and I don't think they will have any trouble 3 or 4 years from now doing so. but the first few years of the Wii U will probably almost casaul free.
I think the public is more receptive to purchasing a $500 device that does just about everything over a $300 dedicated system to only one task.... Gamers will always see the value in a games console, but the public at large doesn't..
The motion controls were such a hit that it brought in non-gamers by the 10's of millions. Ninty is going to need another hit on that level of buzz to draw the non-gamers attention back in again, and I don't think flashier graphics will be it. So hopefully Nintendo can do something crazy like their own version of Occulus Rift... they are just acting way too cocky not to have something cooking behind the scenes that will ignite the publics interest.... After a quarter of only 160,000 consoles sold, they haven't changed their target of 10 million systems by fiscal year end. They are either scenario 1, are delusional, or scenario 2, have something up their sleeves, and both scenarios are plausible when it comes to Nintendo.
Times like this, I wish Ninten didn't underestimate how long it would take to develop HD games but I'll be honest, there's nothing all that appealing to me about the other systems due to all that appears to be boosted is each systems' ability to produce better more realistic graphics and definite detail.
I guess this is because I've been spoiled by Ninten's methods of unique ways around the traditional control and gameplay methods; which is something that I keep expecting from the other systems..
The Vita is done. It doesn't matter what Sony does. Their chance to beat the 3DS is long gone at this point. Close up shop and move on.
Great article. New to the site so it's a good first impression!
I completely agree with your assessment of the 3DS. There's really no forseeable issues for it. It's selling very, very well right now, in a market squashed by tablets and smartphones (lovin' Angry Birds...) and as you said, with Pokemon X + Y and Legend of Zelda coming out later this year, it looks like it could be massively successful at christmas. If Ninty can do a 3DS + Pokemon bundle in time for Christmas they will have a massive winner on their hands.
The Wii U is in a bit more trouble, I think. It's stuck in a bit of a no-man's land. It's too expensive and lacks the 'does everything' aspect of the Xbox 360/PS3 (the PS3 is currently the most popular hardware used on Netflix, for an example) to appeal to a truly casual market. Particularly this is because where the Wii had a low price, massively hyped motion controls + Wii sports (enough to offset the disadvantage of not being an all-in-one console), the Wii U is unfortunately only $100 less than a PS4, and its controller hasn't yet demonstrated to the mainstream market that it's worth the RRP. It also lacks the power and third-party support of the PS4/XB1 (for example with FIFA 14) so it doesn't appeal to the really hardcore gamers either.
None of this would be a problem if it's RRP was low enough that the Wii U could be seen, as the Wii was often seen, as a supplementary console; a console that you buy ALONGSIDE a Playstation or Xbox. But unfortunately it isn't, its price largely (as I think some reports have indicated) inflated by the expensive manfucaturing process for the Gamepad, which as I mentioned hasn't caught on with the mainstream market.
I don't really know what the answer is with the Wii U. All I can say is that if they'd made 'The Wii 2', a 1080p Wii with cloud-save storage and the improved Wii U OS, improved Wiimote and bundled 'Wii U Pro controller', at a much lower RRP, I'd have snapped it up in an instant. Nobody's buying the Wii U because they see it as a revolutionary console, they're buying it to play Nintendo games. They need to make that path very unobstructed.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts on it. I enjoyed the article.
Please watch the profanity — TBD
@element187 All Nintendo needs is one killer app. Something like Wii Sports to show off the Gamepad. I think they might be sitting on it, waiting for what they think is the right moment to unveil it. We'll see.
@KnightRider666 Thing is, the Vita does not have to beat the 3DS in sales. The PSP proved that a generation ago. If Sony would play their cards right, they could have a pretty successful system on their hands and never have to worry about dethroning Nintendo.
A system does not have to be in first place to be a success. The PSP sold over 70 million systems, had tons of third-party support, and has one of the best game libraries of any handheld or console. And it was up against a competitor that outsold it by a wide margin.
The Vita does not need to ever outsell the 3DS to be a successful system. All it needs is create a solid place in the handheld market and get some great games. If it can do what the PSP did a generation ago, then it will be alright. Something to keep in mind is that the PSP has sold more systems than the NES, SNES, N64, Game Gear, Genesis, Xbox, and Gamecube.
Sony does need to step up their game with the Vita, but the PSP proved that you don't have to be at the top of the mountain to be a success.
As usual Tom, an excellent read that highlights some key points. I agree that the 3DS has little to worry about at this stage. However, the Wii U has a far more difficult battle ahead. It's a challenge that Nintendo can meet though, they just need to make all the right moves.
A big name like Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U will be enough alone to provide a big buzz for the console along with an everlasting online experience.
For me the problem with the Vita is that Sony has not marketed it as an unique console. It seems to be either a portable PS3, or a way to remotely play with PS3/4.
Nintendo, on the other hand, gives exclusive games and franchises to 3DS: Kid Icarus, Luigi's Mansion, Mario&Luigi, etc. Things you wont find on Wii U. So each system offers a different thing.
And regarding Wii U, those playable demos show a pretty strong line up. They leave the games do the talking. Here is hoping for more eShop demos.
@Caryslan in comparison to the last decade, the 90s were less comparable with now in terms of potential buyers (demographic).
we can't compare the 90s with the easy way to get a hardware this years (2004 psp).
Even with the price cuts the Vita memory cards are still too expensive. I would love to get one and want to download my games like I do with the 3DS but £80 for a 32GB card is just way too much. My 32GB SD card I use for my 3DS only cost me £15!!!
Jeez...And people were saying my topics are poorly presented
@Onett I would agree with you a 100% were it not for the 3DS version of Smash Bros. I have a horrible feeling that the 3DS version of Smash will cannibalize sales of the Wii U version, especially given both will have the same roster. I think that most people will go for the cheaper 3DS version to play the newest Smash Bros game, especially since many of them might already own a 3DS. Not to mention, a 3DS is much cheaper than even the cheapest model of the Wii U.
I'll be honest, I was looking forward to Smash Bros on the Wii U until I read that both games will have the same roster. Now, I've decided to get it on my 3DS and not bother with a Wii U right now. Since the 3DS version will likely have online play, I don't feel like I'm losing anything. Plus, I can take Smash anywhere I go, which is something even the Wii U gamepad can't offer.
I think the Wii U version of Smash Bros 4 will sell very well, but I think it will not push systems as much as people think given a cheaper and portable version will be on the market as well.
@taffy That was Sony's biggest mistake with the Vita. They should have either stuck with the Memory Stick Duo(this would have helped PSP BC) or just gone with SD cards. Creating their own card format and charging a fortune for it was a bad idea.
Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the Memory Stick Duo that the PSP used. Sticking with that format would have really helped Sony, and would have made PSP BC a lot smoother.
Since almost no major 3rd parties want to work on Wii U. At this point, I'd like to see Nintendo try to expand and create a TON of fresh new and exciting IP that can ONLY be played on Wii U. And really give emphasis that these games are exclusive.
Let monolith finish X, thats when we have the first really irresitable exclusive in the bank, since JRPGs are almost dead on other consoles. The PS3 gets some NIS ported games then and now, but most of them are regarded mediocre at best even by hardcore fans and Tales of... is also considered to be a dying franchise with downward spireling quality.
If X is AS good as Xenoblade, we have a must have for WiiU owners, if its BETTER, we have a definite system seller bar none when it comes to JRPGs.
@Caryslan: Well said. I own a psp + over 100 games, and guess what? It collects dust. My 3DS XL on the other hand gets DAILY use.To your credit, the psp did have quite the exclusive and diverse library though. Too bad the UMDs were poorly made and easily broken. As for the Vita, I'm not impressed; and I refuse to own one, let alone buy one. As for not being on top in the handheld market, who really wants to be second best?
@Caryslan: It's called greed, my friend. Sony wanted us to pay as much money to them as possible. Using SD cards would have took money out of their pockets.
@mercurio2054: Another good point.
@KnightRider666 Yeah, and it really backfired horribly. Like you said, using SD Cards would have taken money out of their pockets, and even reusing the Memory Stick Duo might have lost them money as well since PSP owners who wanted to upgrade to the Vita would have just reused their Memory Sticks.
But it bit them in the behind since the prices of the memory cards scared off a lot of potential customers. I have seen numerous people online say that they came close to getting a Vita, but the price of the memory cards scared them off. Last holiday season, I came very close to buying the Assassin's Creed Vita Bundle before the memory card prices gave me second thoughts.
I think the price of memory cards is what has burned Sony the most with the Vita.
I recently got my own PSP so I'm kinda curious about something. Were Memory Stick Duo prices anywhere near the insanity that Vita Memory Cards cost?
@element187 : I agree Nintendo will have the best holiday sales but specifically in one territory, Japan. I feel like that this has been their plan. Conquer their home country with the Wii U and move out to the secondary territories as next year progresses. I think the US is looked at as 1A, while Europe and the other territories are looked at as second tier for now. Looking at the last few months, the 3DS seems to be overtaking Japan, and taking up a huge chunk of the US market. Even if the Wii U sells nothing, the 3DS will probably the #1 selling console during the holidays. This is a win win situation.
Well Asia is only going to be a battleground for Nintendo and Sony since MS decided to have a delayed launch in the region, which in hindsight was a massive mistake considering the most populous county in the world (China) is about to re-enter the console market. There are restrictions and the danger of rampant piracy but i believe Sony & Nintendo are in the best position to work around them and turn a profit.
I'm still convinced PS4 and X1 sales are not going to live up to any of the predictions being made, the sooner they are released and people stop with wild speculations the sooner we will be able to tell just how well the Wii U will be able to compete, In the mean time all hail the mighty 3DS .
@SkywardCrowbar They need something more than Wii Sports U. Slap on online play and i'll buy it in a heartbeat... but the mass market already had their fill on Wii Sports..
Remember Iwata's comments that, and I'm paraphrasing, "We have a new way to play games, but we cannot reveal this until its closer to its release out of fear we will be copied by our competitors"
It sounds like they have something far more impressive up their sleeve than something that includes the gamepad. I'll stand pat with my prediction of their own version of a head mounted/tracking display.
I think Wii U could easily come out as the top seller this Christmas. PS4 and Xbox One will probably sell out their allocation, but they're going to be limited by stock. Wii U doesn't need to reach ground breaking sales, as just doing some solid sales figures should be enough.
Personally, there's nothing on any of them that makes me want to drop any money this year. The 360 and PS4 just have enhanced ports of current gen games, and Nintendo is focusing on casuals. I think a lot of people on here have no clue about what sells either. X being a system seller? Have you seen the Xenoblade Chronicles figures? It's the very definition of cult hit.
Regarding the Wii U; Nintendo needs to do a lot more.
ONLINE ONLINE FOR THEIR GAMES LIKE MARIO 3D WORLD IT CAN HAVE A ONLINE MODE FOR MULTIPLAYERS COUP ONLINE OK
Just a thought:
Now that Nintendo is falling behind from a technical standpoint, the market might soon divide into 2 categories: one where all the PS4 and XBone games will show up and present their outstanding visuals - and another one which mostly consists of Nintendo and the indie market as well as some late-time devs for PS3 and X360.
At this point, some developers might have to reconsider their positions and how much they can actually afford for game development in order to find the right platform. Smaller companies will not be able to simply keep up the ridiculous pace of XBone/PS4, and instead turn to their predecessors to secure their fanbase, or switch to the WiiU to mark a change in thinking.
This is going to be interesting, but also worries me a bit. But I hope the competition remains strong.
If I may troll, all I know is, the PS4 isn't launching in Japan in Tier 1 (and neither does the Xbox One): don't know what the Japanese think of it, though, but I know it means for a splendid Wii U holiday season.
@Peach64 X will be the first-gen next-gen JRPG. At least in Japan, I call that a system seller.
Agreed Thomas, the Vita' price reduction will not negatively affect the 3DS at all. I would like to see the Vita's sales take an upturn though, because if it can climb up another good 10 million or so consoles sold worldwide, we could potentially see third parties bringing games to both consoles simultaneously - both handhelds are receiving poor third party support, regardless of sales.
okay ninty needs to come out guns a blazing. they can't hold back right now. a price drop would be great right now. but the wind waker bundle is a right step. the ps4 and xbox one will be stiff competition but they will be doing fierce battle between each other. i don't see people having a ps4 and xbox one.. so maybe ninty can slip the wii u in there. the wii u can be a game changer.. lets see how it goes
@Kaze_Memaryu This is point not many have considered, however its going to take a while before developers start to feel the effects of increased development costs and stagnant or reduced profits.
Yeah, Nintendo needs to be more aggressive with their Wii-U strategy. The system has enormous potential, so Nintendo has their work cut out for them. Not too much information has been revealed at Gamescon, luckily, there's always Nintendo Directs.
@Slapshot You might want to specify Western third-party support there. The Japanese have more than enough games in and incoming both for themselves and for the Western markets on the 3DS: that would explain why it is selling worldwide, and selling significantly there too.
@DePapier I don't think that's quite necessary, as it is practically common knowledge that third parties in Japan have greater support in its home territory.
@brucelebnd The Time Is Not Right for a price cut yet, This would harm nintendo a lot. I think they are waiting to see how this holiday season goes, and then they will do a price cut when mk8 comes close.
This media-driven contest is Sony's to lose. The only people who are excited for MS and its spybox are the people who work there and EA.
The Wii U will wind up being a good companion console to the PS4, which I don't have any problem with. Wouldn't put it past Ninty to do an unannounced price-drop sometime around, if not the day of, one of the other launches too. A Windwaker 32GB bundle for $299 would make consumers take notice.
The PS Vita is getting a price-cut?!...oops, wrong site.
All of this possible information is well-and-good, but there's only one piece of Wii U-related news that interests me at the moment: when is Nintendo going to announce the white Wii U Premium for the PAL region? Seriously, it's the only thing stopping me from getting a Wii U (well, that and a lack of funds)! D:
I just watched the E3 2011 reveal of the Wii U, and in it footage was shown of a "Wii Sports U" type game, using the gamepad's gyroscope and screen to catch pop fly's, catch pitches, etc. The gamepad was also set on the floor and displayed grass with a golf ball, while the gamer used a Wiimote to swing and "hit" the ball off of the gamepad screen and into the fairway on the TV.
Wii Sports U is real, and I've got a feeling it's coming this holiday season in a bundle. Nintendo just stated not long ago that it had unannounced games coming this year, games that were so unique they didn't want the competition to copy them before release. Games that weren't listed among the "core" reveals for serious gamers. I've got $20 right now that says Wii Sports U sees a holiday 2013 release. Any takers?
But we have new ip on wiiU W101 this game is a masterpiece!!!!
@Caryslan: I have a 16GB Sony brand memory duo stick for my PSP. I got it used for close to $80 from GameStop several years back. They were really expensive when they came out. I'm guessing the 16GB was at least $120 new or more when it came out. I will never use that much memory, but better safe than sorry I always say;) I have a 32GB SD card for my 3DS XL, and I'm certain I will never need anything bigger than that. How much did I get a new one for you ask? Try $20! See what I mean? Sony is greedy, plain and simple.
@JaxonH : you might be right but I think what you said happens next summer of 2014. Everything for this year from a physical release standpoint is set, and I think the real surprise will come in the e shop. Just as they threw Eartbound out of nowhere, I expect something similar in the winter.
@JaxonH I hope that acually comes out even if its not this Christmas
@brucelebnd That is not the public perception, it's xbox and sony gamers that think that. The public barely knows about the Wii U.
We can hate on the Vita but it's in the same boat as the WiiU. The "value" of it (or existence all together) isn't immediately apparent to anyone but the most seasoned geek, the library isn't there and the marketing is bad, if there is any. Because it's not OUR baby, who cares. The 3DS is owning handhelds and if you have a choose why would you get a Vita over 3DS? The same will be true of PS4 and WiiU; why bother with WiiU when the price will be comparable and it will actually do stuff?
at this point I think is clear 3DS will be number one and PS4 and Xbox One would be solid second and third places with very little separating the two. The real console war is between the Wii U and the Vita to see which of the two does not end up being remembered as the worst flop of the generation.... while none would set the world on fire I think the Vita would overall do a bit better than the Wii U thanks to it at least having good sales in Japan.
Rather than greedy sony tried to make a stupid move with the Vita and try to make up for loses in the price of the console by overpricing memory cards. That was a very bad move, people would be willing to pay a bit more for the Vita because they can recognize is top end hardware but people refuse to pay 100 (no 80) for a 32GB Memory card as a matter of principle.... I recently got a Vita because found a very good deal for it on Ebay and even though I still think the 3DS is much superior I find a lot to like about the Vita.....but those damn memory cards are a really turn off
I will definitely get a PS4 when it comes out, my brother and I are looking forward to it. I am also upset about the Vita price cut because I bought one a few months ago
I am tempted to get a Wii U too so I can relive Wind Waker and play a Monster Hunter with proper online capabilities but then I don't know if I can really put all this time towards these consoles when I know I will be playing X&Y and ALBW more than others. Plus KH: HD and FF X HD......
That new Legend of Zelda link between worlds looks beautiful. Gee I cant wait to play it. for me console wise the Nintendo 64 is the bees... I havent enjoyed a nintendo home console as much since. I do however have high hopes for this Wii U.
Im just so impatient.
Bundles? Meh. Europe need football. And an official price cut (both for Wii U and 3DS, since Vita is getting a reduction too). That's the truth. Nintendo should have convinced EA (or Konami, most likely) to release Fifa (or PES, for Konami) on Wii U, if they cared about winning Europe over.
Just do it proper with the games that scream out online... Specially these mario titles ! Its not all little kids playing at their friends house need some multiplayer interaction.
Raises the stakes? Not by much IMO.
A $50 price drop for the Vita, no compelling AAA exclusives at launch, and multi-platform ports of current-gen games. I see absolutely no reason to pick up a PS4(or a X-Bone) at the moment.
I'll pick one up when FFXV, KHIII, and MGSV drops, til then I'll have a ton of WiiU, 3DS and PS3 games to work my way through.
What Nintendo needs to do is take the advantage, that Xbox doesn', because if they don't well I don't know what's going to happen but, if Nintendo has advantage-point....
If you pay enough attention to online gaming sites you may have heard of some WiiU exclusives that are brand new like Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101, and and... well that's pretty much it. But it's only been about a year, that's perfectly normal for the first year. or if you're under 10 there are plenty of Disney games, I mean Mario games.
@DePapier I'm not sure being the first is enough. Look at the Western market. Supposedly obsessed with FPS, but Perfect Dark Zero didn't exactly set sales records when it was the first FPS of the new generation.
PC ALWAYS wins with multiplats in terms of raw power and optimization, I'm always so baffled why everyone dismisses this by saying "PS4 has 8GB of RAM!!!" Annnnnd my PC has 16 GB...how long are we going to do this?
And another point on the price point for Wii U: Bundles. WW HD bundle will make it so you end up spending $290 on a Deluxe...that's a sweet deal if you're interested. Want a price cut? Sounds pretty close to me. The 10% credit on the deluxe is also really nice. I've already made $15 buying games I would've purchased anyway or came right in the Wii U box. Sadly, I had to spend that much on my Xbox Live account (PS+ will soon be the same). Wii U gives you money. Xbox One and PS4 will be constantly taking it away: att least $350 if the lifespans are anything like 360 or PS3...you could buy the WW bundle with that.
It's a shame Nintendo didn't have a bigger presence at Gamescom. After Sony's dud of a show, I really think Nintendo could've gained a ton of positive headlines had it held its own press conference and shown off the first party heavy hitters. Not that stuff like Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World won't do well enough to change the perception towards the system when they release but showing them off more here, on a big stage, wouldn't have hurt.
Nintendo is safe as long as Microsoft is still around.
I agree that competition is healthy and it's great for us consumers as we get better deals etc.
I've just picked up a Vita for £144 new (zavvi) and a 32Gb memory card at £43 (sainsburys) which is still expensive but much better than the £70 it was selling for! No doubt there were many people in my position just waiting for a memory price/console price drop before picking up a Vita.
It has some great looking games and will be the ideal companion to my 3DS. Now I just have the painful wait for the delivery to arrive!
@rjejr Fair point on the Play Room, I was driving at the fact there are a few free-to-play options and mentioned it, but it was a bit throwaway. The main point is that PS4 owners will have a few things to play around with right off the bat, thought I'm not aware of it being anything overly thrilling.
I spoke about the Wind Waker bundle because it's the only one we sort of know about, without Nintendo confirming of course. As I said in the article, I think there have to be more bundles, possibly with Mario 3D World and something like Party U. I've said Wii Fit U as a preference to Party U in the past, but the fact it's still awol in demos etc makes me wonder whether it's going to be quietly bumped into 2014, we'll see!
I think that to make all bundles good value, whatever the pack-in game, they should have Nintendo Land and a Wii Remote + and Nunchuk, as regardless of the main pack-in (Wind Waker or whatever) those extras ensure some level of multiplayer fun even for those that don't have a load of Wii controllers lying around. It's just the impression it gives, too. $350 for a new-ish system, two games and extra controllers isn't that bad in the Holiday season, whereas buying either of the One or PS4 will cost a lot more if you add another game + a controller.
They shouldn't include controllers, lots of people probably already have enough sets from the Wii era, just a Wind Waker HD + NintendoLand bundle, and later on SM3DW and Mario Kart 8 bundles. Maybe include a download code, or some special discount in the eShop
The real problem reamains one: that group of people that can't even think of a console with two screens because is stupid and than they buy the 3DS.
It's like the last Patcher video, they don't want the Gamepad so they can play their games in the usual way, even if i don't what this is.
I find the PS4 and Xbox One really boring, beside graphical power they don't offer nothing new, i really get bored of using the some controller over and over to do the same exact things i was doing with the PS1 or 2.
How's that a sign of a healty market and how's Nintendo the broken apple i don't know, i dont' get this.
@ferthepoet: No really, it was greed. This is Sony we're talking about here buddy...
I love how amazing games are getting realises in the Wii U... But i got the feeling that is not enought.
We need to see a bunch more of exclusives first and thrid party titles. Where's my new Metroid prime?? Where's a new starfox? Where's the new Mistwalker title... well you get the point.
Nintendo is doing an incredible job now with the console for the chrismas Season... But the other 2 are catching up too. Nintendo NEEDS to drop bombs... like big ones...
Are bundles really the right answer? What about:
1) New Nintendo IP franchises for the Wii U
2) Listening to fans' outrcy and making a new:
B) Star Fox
3) Better third-party support.
4) Cross-platform eShop support. (Buy for Wii U, play on 3DS too/and vice versa.)
5) Pokemon Z on the Wii U
That is all I can come up with ATM. Tired... Zzzzzzz.....zzzzz.....
I totally agree with brucelebnd and nisshoku. WiiU needs a price drop to make any real impact at this point, I still believe they're waiting until just before christmas to do it.
Sure they've got great games coming and possibly bundles, but it won't be enough on it's own. Xbox1 and PS4 are not the threat, Xbox360 and PS3 are the threat, they always have been because they are simply better value HD systems.
I have no doubt XB1/PS4 will struggle for the first few years, but their predecessors will still be there to pick up the slack for years to come, getting all the third party support that Nintendo should be getting right now.
Nintendo should Take NintendoLand and the Wii-Sports series and make them with online play with all the bells and whistles. Online ranks, Friendlist drop in play. I really think this would sell Wii-U's and should have been available out of the box. I still have not purchased a Wii-U because there is still not 1 piece of software I'm interested in. I've been watching Dragon Quest X and the Xenoblade Sequel. It might be coming around for me. I was pretty disappointed when square announced Dragon quest X would be coming to PC instead of Wii-U in NA. I was also disappointed to see that Castlevania is not coming to wii-u, even though not a system seller its still a fun game. These are small things that are adding up and keeping the Wii-U down. Really over the last year or so all the home consoles haven't seen any amazing software releases. It seems the industry is in a funk where the consoles are concerned. If I buy one of the next gen systems it will for sure be Wii-U. I may have bought my last home Console.......who knows. I have a Wii and an Xbox 360. I still play the Wii quite often and I use my 360 as a doorstop LOL Not true but that was funny. I do play the Wii more often. The 3DS is just so good it's hard to put down
Obviously quite a lot of people haven't been keeping up with the PS4, this xmas i really don't think the Wii U will do to well. it will sale some systems, but the PS4 i know well sell well over this xmas. But the PS4 doesn't start untill early 2014, with big name games, and thats when Sony will start announcing some more of exclusives. The sales will slow down but to nothing like the Wii U sales. Nintendo's biggest problem is that people hardly know anything about the system, mainly because of Nintendo Directs. Also Nintendo has no other games coming out until spring 2014 after xmas, i hope thay got some announcements for there sake, for Q1. Also with Nintendos lack of software which thay know, thay haven't got 3rd parties to help while first party games are being developed. And this is where value for money comes in,
Sorry, but Mother trilogy was finished and no more games are coming out of that series. Which is great cuz I don´t want it to be like New Super Mario Bore. New F-Zero though, that'd be awesome.
@ThomasBW84 - SammyB is a big fan of Playroom, I'm sure he'll be glad to tell you all about it.
A SM3DW bundle is probably the only one that would make me regret my Wii U purchase, especially if it also included NL. I'm ok w/ Fit, Party or WW HD. I've actually accepted the $350 price. A month ago I really thought it would drop but the line-up looks much better now - Pikmin 3, W101, DKC:TF, WW HD, Rayman and Sonic. Still don't think it can pull a 3DS-like turn around, too much competition, but it's still viable.
I really enjoy playing on my Vita. I actually bought it for the PSP catalogue but am now close to 100 hours of Persona 4 Golden. I think it is shame that Sony puts so little effort behind it. Never bought a PS3 because that one has not much games I like. I have a PS2 however. Lots of good Squeenix and Atlus games on that one. On the other hand I also don't have a WiiU yet. That will change however this Christmas. Than there are too many games to ignore it any longer
It's all down on good games. I love Nintendo but I also like playing on Sony gear. No Microsoft for me though.
1. The Vita will sadly die.
2. 3DS will continue to rock.
3. WiiU will sell respectably from the holiday season on but will not match either the Wii nor the PS4.
There not exclusive games, Sony has hardly announced there exclusive games & thay won't this year. There main focus this year is the PS3, 2014 is the start of the PS4.
If this was true the pre order numbers would no way pass the PS2 & PS3, pre order numbers. So what hope does the Wii U have with Nintendo still supporting the Wii?
ZombiU, Batman very much dark & gritty same old shooters, we haven't been playing the same games, trust me.
Keeping the controller consistent across console generations is actuallly a smart move in an era where there is a huge digital market for retro games
Technically, Wii U is gonna get the best exclusives-games this holiday season. PS4 and XOne are just exciting because is new hardware, but honestly both would not have attractive games at launch, at least not for me. Most of them are multiplatform and some of them are going to be on Wii U as well, like CoD, Watch_Dogs, Assasin's Creed, etc. So if Nintendo announces a bunch of bundles for Wii U, with their big games like Zelda Wind Waker and Super Mario 3D World the sales would raise tremendously and it can even be the most sell console this holiday.
So is there any actual data on what "casuals" think or is everyone just assuming?
Placate and charm? Surely not. It needs to 'go biG'!
The PS4 launch & the Wii U launch are two very different things, for one Nintendo had old ports of games releasing at full price when we where getting them games alot cheaper.There where only a few Nintendo games at launch, 2ndly its games that sell consoles. Sony is releasing 33 titles by the end of 2013, yes some of these are on the PS3. So by the early 2014 there are games you can only play on the PS4 and thats before Sony announces more of there first party titles. Unlike the Wii U which had games delaying hence no games to play hence the drop in sales, the PS4 on the other hand doesn't have a problem with software.
The PS3 was far from the underdog if you follow games, in fact its done what no other consoles has, outsold a console that had a one year head start. Plus the PS3 at the time was the highest costing console, this just goes to show the power of the PS brand if anything.
actually i really didn't know the Wii was not getting supported, but yet its still outselling the Wii U, that doesn't look good far from it.
I didn't say ZombiU wasn't any good i own the game if fact its an excellent game, this is my opinion. also i've never said the Wii U wasn't any good if it wasn't i wouldn't of played full price for it, this is where the fanboy comes out of people. This also reminds me of months back when Nintendo fanboys was convinced the PS4 was going to be priced $500, yet there was evidence of it being priced for less.
Anyone being truthful will tell you that was a fad, otherwise other Nintendo consoles would of sold well on each gen, not the same numbers but well. the GameCube & the Wii U isn't, but look at the PlayStation history.The PlayStation was the first console to ship 100 million units, PS2 over 150 million units, PS3 late 2012. 75 million units and by the time its put to bed it'll be over 100 million units likely.
Like you said Casuals don't care for specs. but what thay do care about is value for money. When thay see a shelf full of games than the Wii U shelf for $50 less you really think thay'll go for the $350 with far less games?if thay didn't care about games you really think thay'll be buying a console in the first place, thay will not care as much as some of us, but thay'll care.
Sorry again misinformed people you can buy a PS4 for £349/$399 with no games or PlayStation+, and download a few games day one. I own NintendoLand as it came with the system but no i'm not really into them sort of mini games, but yes if you want more games your going to have to spend cash just like any other system. I do like most games i'm not the one saying i'm a PC/Nintendo gamer, and PC is so much better.
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