The startling announcement was made last week that Nintendo were anticipating an operating loss of $335.2 million for the financial year (ending in March), with their stock almost dropping one-fifth for a time as well. This has largely been attributed to the abject failure of their Wii U console, which launched in November of 2012 and has simply failed to gain much traction in the gaming market since. The popularity of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the last two months has made it clear that the Wii U has quickly been edged out of the eight-generation console war, and is going to likely be taking a place in history as a regrettably epic fail, alongside the likes of Sega's ahead-of-its-time Dreamcast. Unfortunately, the same claim can't be held to Nintendo's console however, which has been a victim of so much negative press over the last 14 months that its small victories have pretty much gone unnoticed. One could go on and on about the reasons why the Wii U has failed, but there are 10 core, underlying facets that ensured the console was always destined to self-implode. Feel free to chime in with your own reasoning, and if you're a Wii U owner, let me know what hopes you have moving forward!
10. Relying On Casual & Non-Gamers Too Much
Nintendo's Wii was a work of marketing and engineering genius, selling itself not just to the core Nintendo gamers who would buy every console as long as it featured Mario and Zelda, but also those who have never picked up a video game controller in their lives. I'm primarily talking about middle-aged folk who may want to just play a game for 20 or 30 minutes to unwind after work, or to entertain their friends at dinner parties. Promoting itself as a console for the whole family, the Wii ended up scoring roughly 100 million hardware unit sales, but the question that Nintendo never failed to adequately answer was - why on Earth would they buy another one? This is the problem with gearing yourself so far towards a casual market. They don't have a scrap of brand loyalty, and generally will purchase in a trend-based manner, going by what the mass media feeds them. The Wii was something unique and totally different, so it caught their eye, but would a middle-class family who plays their Wii for maybe 2 or 3 hours a week really feel the need to buy another console when they still get plenty of fun out of their current one? Do they really care about a fair graphical upgrade and the various other bells and whistles the Wii U boasts? Absolutely not. By relying so heavily on these audiences, Nintendo shot themselves in the foot, with market analysts predicting that the Wii U's lifetime sales will only reach 25 million, a mere quarter of the original Wii's.
Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes).
General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.