Wii U - The Beginning Of Nintendo's Second Decline

by Stephen Heller Featured 23 Comments 29 Votes 2249 Views 27/06/2012 Back to Articles

Despite a strong showing at E3 this year, there is a big question mark surrounding Nintendo and their upcoming Wii U console. Some say it will be a triumph for the company, while the majority state that the Wii U lacks the innovation needed to truly cause a blow to their competitors Microsoft and Sony.

The launch of the Wii U mimics the progression from the NES to the SNES, in more ways than one. While some of you might be excited by this statement, I look at it from a very cautious angle.

First of all let's talk about branding. Back in the late 80's and early 90's if someone mentioned gaming everyone immediately thought of Nintendo. They single-handedly ushered in a brand new generation of home console gaming, and while Sega and Sonic were stalking the shadows, Nintendo was the name even mums and dads were familiar with.

When it was time for a new console, Nintendo thought better than to announce a radical new name. Instead they stuck with what they knew, placed the word "Super" at the front, ensuring that non-gamers would be familiar with the product, and understand that it was the next model up. That's exactly what they are trying to pull off with the Wii U. Non-gamers will understand it is a new console, have fond memories of their time with the original Wii, and want to join in on the new Wii experience.

While naming is all well and good, my concern about the Wii U launch stems from console sales. While the NES sold by the bucketload, every console proceeding it declined considerably. The company was never able to reach the same level of success, falling to new lows with the Gamecube which only managed to shift 21.74 million units.

With such a lukewarm reception less than six month from launch, I have a feeling that the Wii U will start Nintendo's second decline in the video-games industry, one that could set them back a number of years, or even force them out of the home console market.

Besides Ubisoft, E3 revealed one very important thing about the Wii U - lack of third party support. Without system-selling games like Call of Duty the console will never stand a chance against Microsoft or Sony's offerings, but from all accounts the latest console won't even be seeing titles such as Borderlands 2 anytime soon.

Why would a "core" gamer rush out on day one to purchase a console that doesn't have games that appeal to them. Sure, I'm excited to see what Rocksteady have done with Batman: Arkham City on the new hardware, but I've already played through the game and I don't want to purchase it for a second time. For me, Aliens: Colonial Marines and ZombiU are the only titles that tickle my fancy, and those don't warrant a new console purchase.

All reports from E3 reveal that the Wii U feels like it's playing catch-up with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with our own Ben Salter stating that "it feels like Wii 1.5" from his time with the console. Microsoft and Sony won't be too far from announcing their next consoles, and with the right dynamic, they could truly bury the Wii U before it even starts.

Are we at the dawn of Nintendo's second decline, or will the rise to the occasion and deliver a triumphant console that defies the odds. As much as I love Nintendo, and despite the fact I'll be picking up a Wii U at launch, I severely doubt it.

By Stephen Heller - Bio

Link to us http://wii.mmgn.com/Articles/Wii-U-The-Beginning-Of-Nintendos-Second
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Tags: Decline Launch Nintendos Second u Wii
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Wii U - The Beginning Of Nintendo's Second Decline Comments

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They could stop the recline repeating by releasing the vitality sensor.

I mean, come on, we've been waiting forever.

l3ailey said: They could stop the recline repeating by releasing the vitality sensor.
I mean, come on, we've been waiting forever.



It's the key to saving Nintendo!
I don't think the Wii U could possibly perform as well as the original Wii. But I don't think it's going to slide back as far as Gamecube territory either. A big problem I think for Nintendo this time around is device convergence. It took quite a while this gen for Microsoft and Sony to come up with their answers to the Wii Phenomenon. This time before Nintendo could even get the Wii U to launch, Microsoft announced Smart glass and Sony touted Ps3/Vita Crosstalk. I don't think the Wii U concept seems as unique as motion controls did first time around. Nintendo's loyal fanbase means there will always be an audience for Nintendo's first party titles. Let's not forget that even with a user base as low as it had for Gamecube. Nintendo still made a profit. Just remeber though, even though hype seems low for Wii U right now - You can NEVER right off Nintendo. ;)
I don't think it'll sell as many as the Wii, like the SNES did to the NES as you stated.

But I also don't think that if that's the case, N will die a horrible death.

I don't know, it just seems that you're suggesting they either have to dominate or die?

N will do what they do and this time round probably means not selling as many consoles as it's predecessor but still delivering a pretty good system.
Wait and see. The console isn't out yet and Nintendo have reassured us that they have some good 3rd party support for the console, but haven't shown it yet.

Just because they didn't go for the megatonne of revealing everything at E3 doesn't mean the console's going to bring Nintendo to their doom, and doesn't mean they have no 3rd party support just because they're focusing on the launch window.

I realize it is a concern, but I think you're jumping the gun a bit here in proposing it'll be Nintendos second decline and that it'll drive them out of the console market from one system.

When the gamecube didn't do too well after a decline in console sales over the years did that drive them out of the console market? Absolutely not. Nintendo will stay in the console market until they have no choice to pull out, which I very much doubt will happen anytime soon.
Handheld consoles.

That is all.
Toki
+
Pokemon Colosseum

That is all
It's the Wii 1.5. I honestly think the next gen PS and Xbox might be at least 2 years away, maybe even 3.

Nintendo has kept the Wii tag so it can say it was never meant to be a new console. It's catch up. If it's a massive success, it'll be a different story. If it isn't, it'll be replaced quietly just after the next PlaySation/Xbox in 2-3 years and Nintendo will say it was never meant to be the next generation console.

Ben said: It's the Wii 1.5. I honestly think the next gen PS and Xbox might be at least 2 years away, maybe even 3.
Nintendo has kept the Wii tag so it can say it was never meant to be a new console. It's catch up. If it's a massive success, it'll be a different story. If it isn't, it'll be replaced quietly just after the next PlaySation/Xbox in 2-3 years and Nintendo will say it was never meant to be the next generation console.



Seems like that.

I don't know what to think of Wii U anymore. I'm more confused than I was before E3. =D
Nintendo will be fine no matter what happens. Read this. Nintendo won't go broke until 2075. Not entirely sure how accurate it is but its interesting.

www.ninfest.com/...
NINTENDO IS DOOMED

sjt333 said: NINTENDO IS DOOMED

they're always doomed

Tsunamo said:

sjt333 said: NINTENDO IS DOOMED

they're always doomed


isnintendodoomed.com/...



Blob
+
NINTENDOOOOOOOOMED!!!

I swear someone has a nintendoomed rant every week here.
If it really is just a Wii 1.5 I'm gonna be really disappointed. It might catch up to the 360 and PS3 but in a couple of years it'll be far outclassed again by the next gen consoles, just like the Wii was to the current gen. Why doesn't Nintendo realise the importance of having great hardware? The tech product consumer base focuses so much on wanting to have the most cutting edge products, and yet Nintendo release their consoles years behind the tech of other companies...

Makra said:Why doesn't Nintendo realise the importance of having great hardware?.


because great hardware doesnt give you a profit on each console sold

sjt333 said:

Makra said:Why doesn't Nintendo realise the importance of having great hardware?.


because great hardware doesnt give you a profit on each console sold


Pretty sure M$ would disagree with that.

Makra said:

sjt333 said:

Makra said:Why doesn't Nintendo realise the importance of having great hardware?.


because great hardware doesnt give you a profit on each console sold


Pretty sure M$ would disagree with that.


I'm pretty sure they wouldn't.
au.gamespot.com/...

1wiierdguy said:
I'm pretty sure they wouldn't.
au.gamespot.com/...


Ah cool, didn't know that. Still, that article is from 2005, things could well have changed in the last 7 years.
Yes it will be a decline, because it won't be able to top the Wii's Godly sales numbers, but it'll sell fine. Nintendo's first party software will carry the hardware like always. (evil)

Makra said:

1wiierdguy said:
I'm pretty sure they wouldn't.
au.gamespot.com/...


Ah cool, didn't know that. Still, that article is from 2005, things could well have changed in the last 7 years.


I'm sure things have changed since then. But it goes to show just how much of a hit Microsoft/Sony take to push powerful hardware at the launch of a new machine. A hit Nintendo avoids by having more moderate specs. It's this reason that Nintendo can launch now, whilst Sony/Microsoft are extending this gen for as long as they can.
As long as Mario and Pokemon are still around Nintendo will always make money.

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