If you’ve been keeping up with recent developments in the console market, it should come as no surprise that the Wii U has been moving units slower than a sloth on Xanax. Despite drastically cutting both software and hardware sales forecasts, Nintendo have failed to even come close to these revised numbers, with the Wii U costing them somewhere in the neighborhood of $350mil for the last fiscal year. Clearly the only ones who didn’t see this coming were Nintendo themselves, as their statements on the matter would seem to indicate.
For example, Satoru Iwata, recently appointed CEO of Nintendo, commented that the major reasons for nobody buying the Wii U have to do with consumers not understanding that the Wii U is its own console, and not a fancy gamepad for the Wii, or that it doesn’t have any big names to help sell it such as Wii Sports. The obvious obliviousness to the fact that good 3rd-party games are what move systems for the rest of the world is rather charming really, but then again, Nintendo have always kinda done their own thing rather successfully, and people just bought whatever they were selling for Mario and Zelda, so who can really blame them for it?
The really amusing part here is Nintendo’s first step to getting Wii owners to upgrade; sending everyone who owns a Wii a system message letting them know that the Wii U is a new console from Nintendo, and that you should totally buy one. Setting aside the fact that the Wii and Wii U appeal to vastly different audiences to being with, this is a move that can only be described as desperate, and is definitely not something I’d expect to see from the likes of Nintendo. And all of this is going down in what little time remains before the next console generation comes steamrolling out the gates. Best of luck getting your act together Nintendo.