Iwata Admits Nintendo Didn't Try Hard Enough To Make Wii U Success

Iwata Admits Nintendo Didn't Try Hard Enough To Make Wii U Success

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Nintendo of America's new CEO starts his reign with an apology, and a plan for the future.

"We feel deeply responsible for not having tried hard enough to have consumers understand the product," says Satoru Iwata, Nintendo of America's new CEO, as he outlines where he thinks Nintendo's Wii U strategy let the company down. Nintendo had hoped that its latest console would have more of a presence in the market by now, but harsh reality has set in, and Iwata acknowledges that much more effort is needed after the Wii U posted sales results of just 390,000 units sold since Christmas. Some may think that the Wii U is just a Wii with an extra peripheral but, Iwata says, that misconception needs to be dispelled.

The lack of a killer app, something like Wii Sports, is what really dragged down Wii U sales, Iwata thinks. A new console needs something to draw in the customers, and - so far, anyway - there really hasn't been that much for Wii U owners to look forward to, nor have people really been able to get to grips with the Gamepad. "We would like to take time to work thoroughly for its penetration," says Iwata, "by making various efforts to have many people understand its product value as well as enriching the software lineup."

While that bit about enriching the software lineup might give potential Wii U purchasers pause, Iwata didn't go on to detail a list of titles. No, that kind of announcement has to wait for an event like E3, so no peeking at the product list until June. Iwata promises a slew of new key titles, to come out later this year and early next. "We have many titles whose release dates are yet to be announced," says Iwata. Whether or not the promise of new titles is enough to boost Wii U sales is an open question but, if we're waiting till E3 to find out what's on offer, then sales until then might just remain flat.

Source: MCV

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Every gaming piece of software has now become an "app". I remember when they were games.

Well, they're probably right. And I'm glad they admit to it. I just hope they can turn things around.

The question is exactly how to get third party software on the Wii U.

Pikmin 3, Game & Wario and, Wonderful 101 would help move some units but only 2 of those have release dates in the US. Game & Wario seems to be doing well in Japan too so hopefully it'll do well enough in the West to really move consoles. More info on the next Zelda and, Yoshi will be greatly appreciated and hopefully someone will shed light on the F-Zero rumors that are starting to swirl around.

And by consumers you mean you didn't work with game developers enough to ensure there would be any games to play on it by at least six months later after it's launch (and even now it's looking abysmal). I mean why the frig didn't you hold off in that case!?

The 'average consumers' were fine... we were all with you on this... until suddenly there were no games to play.

This mindset of short term profits and booting projects out of the door to coincide with the holiday season is why you suffer down the line!

What we understand about your product is that PS3 and Xbox360 have more games.
Sometimes it seems like Nintendo turned out like the polar oposite of SEGA: now SEGA only makes games and Nintendo only makes consoles.

I've pretty much accepted that I'm just not in the market demographic for the Wii or WiiU, but I'll be honest - I don't see any appeal in the WiiU over the Wii.

So, it uses the exact same motion-sensitive controller as the Wii, except that it also has a Tablet with joysticks and buttons on it... is that thing used in conjunction with the Wiimotes; do you have to switch from one to another mid-game, or do you only use one for certain games but the other for other games... or what?

I think after the Wii's success, and to a lesser extent the DS, Nintendo now feels the need to add some kind of zany "innovation" to all their new consoles. For my money the best Nintendo console was the SNES. I think if Nintendo, as it exists today, were to go back in time and redesign it the fucking thing would have used the Super Scope (The bazooka light gun) as it's primary controller. And even loving that thing as much as I do (Still play it to this day) I still wouldn't want to use it to play every single game.

The Wii, was lightning in a bottle. Nintendo needs desperately to get back to the basics and worry about all the superfluous shit later on.

EstrogenicMuscle:
Every gaming piece of software has now become an "app".

"Killer app" is a phrase which predates the current app craziness.

Also, all games are applications, so it's not exactly untrue.

Plus, it's Nintendo. If anyone's going to rip off Apple's mentality, it's the other guys famous for making shiny white products that claim innovation while ripping off the ideas of others.

That's right, get to work mother fucker! And for fuck sake, don't rush the games for an earlier release. Make sure they're all almost perfect like most of the top Gamecube titles. Oh, and start up a new franchise if you can.

EstrogenicMuscle:
Every gaming piece of software has now become an "app". I remember when they were games.

The term 'killer app' has been around and used for games for at least 20 years.

OT: The marketing message for what the Wii U is has been terrible, in Game I heard two customers ask the clerk why the new Wii controller was so expensive. It's going to take a pretty big advertising campaign to reverse the consumer perception that it is just a new peripheral.

You mean no games and no marketing won't sell units? I never would have guessed...

With a great deal of the audience for the Wii having been people new to the market, Nintendo did a terrible job advertising the WiiU. AS dedicated gamers, we understood well in advance when it was coming and what its capabilities are, but a great deal of the people who bought a Wii were not dedicated gamers and don't hunt gaming websites for product details.

Nintendo has failed to explain to their consumer base what the product is and more importantly, why they should buy it. I would be unsurprised to find that many people who bought a Wii don't even know the WiiU exists. The advertising campaign for the Wii was a case study in success while the Wiiu's has been a disaster. Add in the fact that the people who count gaming as a core hobby don't see much value in the system due to a lack of games being released or because the more powerful Sony and Microsoft offerings are near enough to wait, and Nintendo is really failing to capture any segment of the market here.

As I am neutral when it comes to brand loyalty, the whole fiasco is disheartening. I want to see as much success by as many different console makers as possible. Competition in the games market is always, always good for the consumer.

I have a Wii U. I like my Wii U. Now if only I had some games to play on my Wii U.

Seriously Mario Kart or Zelda should have been launch titles to head off the PS4 and the new Xbox. Instead we got a couple ports from other systems and a very good Mario game. Aside from that I can buy low res Wii games, but why would I want a low res game when I have a HD system.

It really seems like Nintendo saw that they had to beat Sony and Microsoft to the market with their system, so they got the system up and running, but weren't ready with any software.

DVS BSTrD:
What we understand about your product is that PS3 and Xbox360 have more games.
Sometimes it seems like Nintendo turned out like the polar oposite of SEGA: now SEGA only makes games and Nintendo only makes consoles.

If they keep going downhill they may end up just like SEGA. I don't want that.

Nintendo started throwing third parties since the Nintendo 64 and it hasn't gotten any better.

Ok, admitting your problems is the first step to solving them.

You know, I'm tired of big companies going "Oh, we know our product didn't sell that well. But honestly, we weren't trying hard enough. Sorry!". Why do companies release half assed products into the market? oh, that's right, to make a quick buck.

If they think the WiiU was ready for launch and for some reason people just don't wanna buy it, fine! They tried their best, their demographic is somewhere else, cool deal. But to say they released it and admit it probably could have done better if it had this or that, then that's just wrong. Look at Bioshock Infinite; it was pushed back who knows how many times and it was totally worth it. But you had to be the first next gen. console, right? How's that working out for ya, big N?

Sorry, but I'm just tried of Nintendo sucking and being all "Well, my bad! But remember when we used to be cool? Keep looking forward to that!". I'll never buy a WiiU but I still have a soft spot for Nintendo. I don't want them to end up like Sega. They can do it, they have every single element to be the best console of this generation. But they won't do it.
I'm glad I switched over to PS.

I don't think they really thought about the name. Wii-U vs Wii? The only people who are really going to care about that difference is probably a demographic that doesnt really care about Nintendo in the first place. My wife saw the latest nintendo commercial last night on Hulu and was telling my about this nifty gamepad you can get for the Wii. It took me a few minutes she was talking about about the new controller for the Wii-U.

Sidney Buit:
do you have to switch from one to another mid-game, or do you only use one for certain games but the other for other games... or what?

The tablet is the only one you need. The Wii Motes are mostly for backwards comparability. However, if you're playing Nintendo Land you may have to change to the Wii Motes because NLand really is just a collection of mini games. With the exception of NLand I've never had to switch controllers mid-game. They really should have stressed the Pro Controller more, but then again the pro controller is just the tablet without the screen.

I have a crazy idea for nintendo: change the name of the console and fire the man or woman who thought that wiiU was a great name.

I remembered when Nintendo consoles would launched with a plethora of must own high-quality first and second party games.

What happened to that?

Gotta hand it to Nintendo for humility. You don't really see much of those on Sony's vita.

But does iwata really think wii sports is a killer app? Did people buy them outside wii bundle?

erttheking:
Ok, admitting your problems is the first step to solving them.

By that logic Nintendo really took their time iwith that first step.

Just give us some information on the next Super Smash Bros, and I'm sure you'll pick up sales on the wii u. Pretty please?

That's okay Iwata. I'll buy your console when I actually have the financial means to afford the console. But for now here are a couple of suggestions to you and developers.

1. Don't feel forced using the Gamepad. Yes it's a nice piece of equipment but let having me be able to use just the wiimote or a pro controller to navigate around and more importantly play games was a major design flaw with the wii. You developers couldn't take the hint that maybe just making games for just the wii mote in a nintendo style or having consumers invest in a classic controller was a bad thing. Kinda hard to have fun when every game requires a lot of motion controls.

2. Allow consumers to port over games they bought before. One of the major gripes I've had is that there isn't a single place to buy games. I own a wii I have to go to the wiishop, I see a DS they have to go to a different shop, a 3DS has to go to the eshop and so on. There is no convergence or consistency. It really sucks in this digital age where I bought this game once, I have to buy it FOUR more times.

i've been saying this since the original Wii became the world's best selling and most expensive paperweight... Nintendo is circling the drain. they kep throwing gimmicks out there and novelty is not a business model in an industry that relies on long term strength.

my prediction:
this will be nintendos last console, they will focus on the handheld market where they have always been the indisputable king. however, handhelds are dying at the hands of mobile gaming. failing to realize that in time, nintendo will throw everything into another underwhelming handheld, probably paired with a wireless company, virgin mobile seems likely, then eventually devolve into a software company. but by then hopefully people will be sick of buying the same damn zelda and mario games ad nauseum so they will fail at that too.

you were a great part of my childhood nintendo, but its time to die.

Pfft, the moment that 'X' game that looks like a sequel to Xenoblade gets confirmed for European release, then i'll get a Wii U, otherwise i'm not convinced by Nintendo

I'm sick of hearing that excuse. Are we, the consumers failing to understand the Wii U? Or did Nintendo fail to understand consumers? I'd say the second.

Gorrath:
With a great deal of the audience for the Wii having been people new to the market, Nintendo did a terrible job advertising the WiiU. AS dedicated gamers, we understood well in advance when it was coming and what its capabilities are, but a great deal of the people who bought a Wii were not dedicated gamers and don't hunt gaming websites for product details.

Nintendo has failed to explain to their consumer base what the product is and more importantly, why they should buy it. I would be unsurprised to find that many people who bought a Wii don't even know the WiiU exists. The advertising campaign for the Wii was a case study in success while the Wiiu's has been a disaster. Add in the fact that the people who count gaming as a core hobby don't see much value in the system due to a lack of games being released or because the more powerful Sony and Microsoft offerings are near enough to wait, and Nintendo is really failing to capture any segment of the market here.

As I am neutral when it comes to brand loyalty, the whole fiasco is disheartening. I want to see as much success by as many different console makers as possible. Competition in the games market is always, always good for the consumer.

It's Actually Worse than You Think

You made an astute point, but the Wii U launched earlier than forecasted by Nintendo because of the Wii's steep decline in software sales. That three year golden period was over. This basically meant that old and young people bought it, and bought it for their friends and family, who all played maybe one or two games, and then got tired of the nunchuck gimmick and packed the console in their closet.

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Outsold by PS3, Xbox360, Nintendo 3DS and even the Vita in it's opening months.

This is why Super Mario Galaxy 2 and other exclusives broke sales records but could not maintain annual revenue. In other words, Nintendo had no line-up like COD/Battlefield to sustain constant annual software sales. Because Nintendo fans only really want Mario and Zelda, and these don't come around very often.

Here's an example in numbers

Only two Super Mario Galaxies -- one of the greatest hits for any console -- came out for the Wii, and which totaled to an impressive 17 million units. And Zelda's two installments The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword & The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess moved 11 million units world wide.

Alternately, the SONY exclusive NaughtyDog developer launched the entire Uncharted Trilogy and a PS Vita spin-off for a total of over 14 Million Units with each successive sequel coming out 2 years later. And they aren't even done with the Playstation 3 -- i.e Last of Us.

The Microsoft-exclusive developer Epic Games launched their Gears of War Trilogy, and which totaled 17 Million units in sales with each launching, again, 2 years apart.

Nintendo's two titles sold the same, but didn't spread the love around. It's always better to have medium blockbusters than silence for several years. And I doubt Super Mario Galaxy 3 or the next Zelda is coming to the Wii.

My point, you ask?

Nintendo just does not understand pacing with it's exclusives. What is taking them so long to dish out major system-seller titles!?

Want to see a model done right?

Look at SONY and Microsoft. Their consoles, exclusives and 3rd party titles are selling so strong in their late stage that they can comfortably roll out next-gen hardware stress free. Those companies learned from their mistakes and took the necessary steps to avoid the dumpster fire that the Wii U has become. What I mean is, Microsoft and SONY forecasted and adapted to this tech/software age.

Nintendo just assumed that 100 Million Wii console owners knew "what was up".

So maybe Nintendo doesn't deserve to recover from this. It's mistakes aren't the problems that SONY faced in it's Playstation 3 launch. It's easy to speculate that Nintendo is going to be feeling this mistake for the duration of the console.

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Iwata (paraphrased): it looks just a little better, i swear!

Maybe it will be economic justice serving them a cold dish of hard-capitalism. Nintendo is rich, but their Console isn't selling at a profit like the Wii was. They desperately need third party support more than any time in their history. But the only systems sellers they have are Mario and Zelda, and neither of which are on the horizon.

I doubt the Wii U will sell even 40 Million Units within 5 years. Unfortunately, with Iwata's misguided promises, I doubt he'll be working at Nintendo for that long.

It's called get games on your system. The 3DS is just starting to get some goods games on the system that's why I bought the system. There is nothing motivating that will make me want to buy your console. All you have to offer is a large tablet that has the ability to play games on it, Apple has the same type of product you know.

mysecondlife:
Gotta hand it to Nintendo for humility. You don't really see much of those on Sony's vita.

But does iwata really think wii sports is a killer app? Did people buy them outside wii bundle?

erttheking:
Ok, admitting your problems is the first step to solving them.

By that logic Nintendo really took their time iwith that first step.

A lot of people bought a Wii for the single purpose of playing Wii Sports.

Iīm a little concerned that the only thing Nintendo is going to announce will be first party titles. While a new mario, zelda and metroid would be nice enough it really isnīt enough to convince me, i need thirds party titles and i need lots of them. I know there will be plenty on NextBox and Ps4, but it really doesnīt look too good for WiiU.

They have to get games on the thing. I'm interested.
Coming out 1st does have a downside: will the PS4 have much better looking games? Wii U looks like PS3 level graphics. If PS4 really outshines Wii U in that department, I'll be looking at one of those. Price is an issue.
Wii U pro cost about $350. I love the tablet idea, that my family can watch TV while I stream a game to the tablet.
But the PS4? Dunno what the console will cost. Rumors put it in the $600 range again. But to have that tablet ability, I need to buy PS Vita separately (or one day they bundle, but for now...) that Vita with memory card is about $300 by itself!

Makes me think I'll just stick with my PS3 and a laptop when family is using the TV.

 

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