Nintendo continues to blame Wii U for its financial woes

The company only sold 2.72 million consoles, falling short of their own revised figures. "Wii U hardware still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits," the company said in its latest financial report. "Unit sales of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently."

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The above image visualizes what we've known for a while: Nintendo is a company on the ropes. Earlier this year, the company braced investors for bad news: Wii U is doing much worse that it had anticipated. How much worse? It expected to sell 6 million fewer Wii U systems than originally forecast. With the financial year over, did they meet their target? Not quite. The company only sold 2.72 million consoles, falling short of their own revised figures. "Wii U hardware still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits," the company said in its latest financial report. "Unit sales of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently." Admitting that Wii U still faces "a challenging sales situation," Nintendo says that they will try to reinvigorate the platform by "providing software that takes advantage of the Wii U GamePad, utilizing its built-in functionality as an NFC reader/writer, and adding Nintendo DS Virtual Console titles to the Wii U software lineup, Nintendo will seek to enrich the value of the Wii U GamePad, the most important differentiator of Wii U, and as a result of the Wii U platform." Nintendo is still hoping Wii U will take off. Their forecast for the coming fiscal year (4/14-3/15) is 3.6 million Wii U systems, an increase of over 30%. Games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros will likely give the console the boost it needs--but ironically, neither do much to take advantage of the GamePad. Of course, if there's a silver lining, it's that Nintendo is still filthy-rich. Even the past five years have barely made a dent to their war chest. Nintendo can weather the Wii U--but investors won't necessarily be happy along the way.

Nintendo has a long way to go

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    May 7, 2014 6:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Nintendo continues to blame Wii U for its financial woes.

    The company only sold 2.72 million consoles, falling short of their own revised figures. "Wii U hardware still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits," the company said in its latest financial report. "Unit sales of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently."

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 6:34 AM

      Somewhere in Nintendo, they better have started figuring out how to gracefully exit the WiiU business.

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        May 7, 2014 6:35 AM

        Gotta be rough over there

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        May 7, 2014 9:03 AM

        Fuck that I just bought one. They better release Zelda and Mario kart.

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          May 7, 2014 9:36 AM

          Well, you're definitely getting Mario Kart, they've finished that game. Webistes already have their review copeis.

          And you're probably getting Zelda. Probably not much else though.

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            May 7, 2014 11:57 AM

            How is it that the console has been out so long and doesn't have any classic Nintendo franchise games for it? Mario Kart still not out. No new Zelda game. No new Metroid game. No Kirby game. WTF are they doing?

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              May 7, 2014 12:12 PM

              they've been doing this for generations now, they cannot get their software and hardware launches aligned. It's great that they're willing to give the games time to be as good as the brand demands but they have to do a better job of helping build their platforms with it.

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          May 7, 2014 6:21 PM

          Yeah, where the fuck is Zelda?
          I wouldn't mind seeing a GOOD Star Wars game exclusive to the Wii U also. Nintendo used to have such great 3rd party games.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 6:36 AM

      ouch

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      May 7, 2014 6:37 AM

      I remember that I didn't even know that Nintendo was coming out with a new console until I walked by an EB Games and saw it sitting there being sold. As far as I could tell there was absolutely no logical reason to buy one if you already had a Wii.
      I don't think I even saw 1 single advertisement about the system either, and I literally can't even name 1 single game on the system.

      Basically the only thing that I know about the system boils down to the following thought: "It is more powerful than the Wii.... but still weaker than the Xbox 360 and PS3... what the hell is the point?".

      Poor marketing, poor execution, poor everything all around from Nintendo.

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        May 7, 2014 6:48 AM

        No logical reason to buy one if you had a wii? It's vastly superior to a Wii. The problem is that it's not vastly superior to a PS3 or 360.

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          May 7, 2014 6:50 AM

          I think his point is that Nintendo did a very bad job of making it clear that the WiiU was a new system with new games and much more power. To the average Joe, it looks like an upgrade you buy for your Wii.

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            May 7, 2014 6:51 AM

            Yeah, the marketing sucked. I think the name only helped that confusion.

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        May 7, 2014 6:52 AM

        It's actually more powerful than the ps3 and 360.

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      May 7, 2014 6:45 AM

      MAKE. SOME NEW. FUCKING. IP.

      You're on mario kart EIGHT. YOU MADE SEVEN OF THEM ALREADY IM FUCKING DONE. You know why i bought a 3DS? Because Bravely Default, because Fire Emblem. I know those are sequels of sorts, but fuck if im going to buy anything featuring Mario or Liink or Samus any time soon because that shit is played out.


      Call me back when nintendo makes some original shit. And i say this as a guy who fucking loves those franchises, but i want to love the games they're in, not just go 'oh ill buy it because i like Link'.

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        May 7, 2014 6:47 AM

        MAKE. YOUR. IP. ON. MOBILE.

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          May 7, 2014 6:50 AM

          For the most part free to play is so fucking shitty. I'd rather see nintendo's IPs die rather than be subjected to those schemes and touch screen interfaces.

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            May 7, 2014 7:08 AM

            It doesn't have to be F2P, and they have plenty of IP that would work great on iPhone and iPad:
            Mario Party
            Advance Wars
            Pokemon
            WarioWare

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              May 7, 2014 7:13 AM

              F2P revenues are destroying paid app sales. If they compromised their IPs to cash in like that then they'd likely go where the money is.

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          May 7, 2014 7:05 AM

          Oh hell no are you fucking insane?

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          May 7, 2014 7:20 AM

          I would be happy if they had cross over stuff on mobile. Something like the street pass with Pokemon battles or an endless runner Mario game could be cool. Mobile controls would degrade it to much for a strait Mario brothers port but they could do some cool things fairly easy.

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          May 7, 2014 7:22 AM

          I wish people would stop suggesting this. It wouldn't work. It would devalue Nintendo's IP. If they wanted to make a quick buck, sure, they'd vomit a bunch of Mario and Zelda games onto iPhone. But the games would play like shit, which would damage Nintendo's brands.

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            May 7, 2014 10:34 AM

            huh? yes, the objective is to make a quick buck, and they are ruining their brands on their current track.

            look, they need exposure and sales. by restricting things as they are, are they hurting or helping their brands?

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              May 7, 2014 10:39 AM

              Restricting. That doesn't mean shitty touchscreen games are the answer.

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                May 7, 2014 10:44 AM

                And the control schemes now are... good for the brands? Uhhhhh no. Further you assume they are automatically shittier on mobile. As people were worried about facebook monetizing on mobile, nintendo could do the same. They need to get their heads out of their asses and sell on IOS right fucking now.

                You are projecting their brands would be going down a bad path on mobile. The correct observation is they are ALREADY on a bad path.

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                  May 7, 2014 11:23 AM

                  Yeah, their brands are on such a bad path that they're winning GOTY awards left and right. It's terrible.

                  Also, please tell us how their current control schemes are bad. Is that supposed to be a years-too-late dig at the Wii?

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                    May 7, 2014 12:17 PM

                    This. Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pikmin--all of Nintendo's brands are fine. They just need a more stable console.

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                    May 7, 2014 12:33 PM

                    Why are they sounding the alarm, then? Those awards don't show up on the balance sheet. Wow awards, awesome. Grats.

                    The control scheme comment was a dig at his red herring of the "what if" the control schemes migrate to mobile. It's shallow and meaningless.

                    Meanwhile,

                    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/wii-u-sales-slow-to-a-crawl-as-nintendo-posts-457-million-loss/1100-6419475/

                    http://www.gamespot.com/articles/wii-u-sales-reach-6-17-million-as-nintendo-reveals-best-selling-games-to-date/1100-6419486/

                    No one is reaching for old digs. I'm looking at current digs. Look at all those Nintendo core brands that are their entire revenue stream. Why are they NOT going to mobile???? People keep trying to exert why it's a bad idea... yet... everyone else is doing it. The burden is on you to explain how they are better served by staying on their own hardware, which is shrinking in relevance.

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                      May 7, 2014 12:46 PM

                      "Everybody else is doing it" has never worked for Nintendo. Nintendo is at its best when it is working to change the way we play games. People love to bag on the Wii U, but the Wii was the most successful console of the last generation in terms of sales, because it did something different. Because it appealed to the largest demographic possible.

                      By spreading Mario & Co. to other platforms, Nintendo would dillute its brands. Until Nintendo bows out of hardware, Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pikachu, and all their pals absolutely will not appear on other platforms. Nor should they. When Nintendo is doing well, people buy their hardware because they know they'll gain access to the absolute, unparalleled, best in IPs. Spreading those brands around would give people a reason to invest in hardware other than NIntendo handhelds and consoles--and, again, Nintendo has not said it wants to get out of that arena.

                      The idea that Nintendo should “just dump its old games on iOS for free money” is Underpants Gnomes logic. It takes time, effort, talent and care to create successful mobile games. It’s not free money, it’s a significant diversion of resources from Nintendo’s platforms. Moreover, while “mobile” may be an effective shorthand for describing Nintendo’s current problems, the company’s hardware is not the fundamental problem. It’s not as if the tablet is an incredibly attractive gaming form factor that is manifestly superior to 3DS or Wii U. “Nintendo should go mobile” is a profoundly unimaginative statement. Videogames, man-machine interfaces, are evolving rapidly in countless ways. With all of the many, varied things Nintendo could attempt in order to change how we play games, why would we want to railroad it into slavishly following the current trend? -- http://www.wired.com/2014/01/nintendo-mobile/

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            May 7, 2014 10:45 AM

            do you think the mobile Rayman games are devaluing that IP?

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            May 7, 2014 11:29 AM

            The games would play like shit if they just lazily slapped existing designs onto hardware not suited for it, yes. But honestly I think Nintendo is smart enough to be able to make good games designed from the ground up for a touch screen if they really wanted to. It's not like they don't have experience working with unconventional hardware.

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          May 7, 2014 7:42 AM

          Ugh, worst idea ever.

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          May 7, 2014 9:13 AM

          Ugh no.

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          May 7, 2014 9:58 AM

          W. R. O. N. G.

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          May 7, 2014 10:26 AM

          despite what the folks "feel", you are definitely right.

          The explosion of mobile gaming has also hit Nintendo, analysts said, as it failed to cash in on its popular franchises. Global revenue from mobile gaming is expected to $22 billion by 2015, according to technology research firm Gartner.

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          May 7, 2014 12:56 PM

          Worst idea I've ever heard.

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        May 7, 2014 7:04 AM

        shut up, you're dumb. good IPs should live forever.

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          May 7, 2014 9:23 AM

          I'd agree, except that is all Nintendo does now. Time for some fresh blood too.

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            May 7, 2014 12:28 PM

            Think about how one studio might make its subsistence on one successful IP. Nintendo has dozens. It's tricky to throw in fresh IPs all while maintaining the existing beloved IPs they already have. But, they made it work with Pikmin back on the Gamecube. They didn't have to introduce a new IP but they did because Miyamoto had some inspiration. All I'm saying is that there's no reason for Nintendo to give up on any of its IPs, so why would they?

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        May 7, 2014 7:08 AM

        Fire Emblem is a new IP?

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          May 7, 2014 7:14 AM

          I know those are sequels of sorts


          The last Fire Emblem game i saw was on the SNES. Its been generations for me, so its new again. Compared to 394th mario platformer that everyone reviews as 'EH. ITS MORE MARIO. THERES A CAT SUIT SO THATS OK I GUESS'.

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            May 7, 2014 7:25 AM

            Except Fire Emblem got releases on GBA, GC, Wii and the remake of the first one on NDS...

            It's no Mario, but Fire Emblem has more title in Japan than Metroid and as many in the West since SNES.

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            May 7, 2014 11:02 AM

            "394th mario platformer that everyone reviews as 'EH. ITS MORE MARIO."

            What are you smoking? That's not how it was reviewed at all. http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii-u/super-mario-3d-world

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            May 7, 2014 12:29 PM

            Squigs, you're a cool dude. But, you're way off-base here. If you're tired of Mario, you're tired of Mario. But, that's your opinion, not a result of Nintendo milking the franchise.

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              May 7, 2014 12:40 PM

              :: points above to nintendo hemorrhaging money ::

              Then whats the problem?

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                May 7, 2014 12:51 PM

                Nintendo has a number of issues affecting its business. Your perception of the Fire Emblem series and SMW3D's general reviews is an example of how your analysis of Nintendo's issues may be swayed by ignorance or assumptions.

                Many of the issues are mentioned in this thread: poor VC support, poor marketing, slow release timetable, subpar 3rd-party support, lacking online infrastructure. There are many ways in which Nintendo is losing to the competition. The fact that they can survive and do well is because their specialty is managing their stable of IPs.

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        May 7, 2014 7:16 AM

        Why? Seriously, given the overall ability to deliver top notch experiences using those existing IPs, why should the focus be on new ones? Hell, each of the top experiences of Nintendo's console generations has been an old stalwart.

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        May 7, 2014 7:28 AM

        While I agree, outside of indie titles it's not like you're getting a unique experience with most AAA games on other platforms either. It's mostly the same old gameplay with slightly new tweaks or characters. Sequels sell regardless of platform and publishers know it.

        While Nintendo does have quite a few titles that justify the 'lol rehash' criticism, they also have a ton of spinoff titles that offer different gameplay but just happen to feature their familiar cast of characters. I think people just unfairly lump them together through association.

        There's still no excuse for not having a new 3D Metroid by now though. :(

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        May 7, 2014 7:31 AM

        Sure they need some new IP but it's not so bad they keep recycling, it's kind of a gold seal of quality with some names. People don't buy Mario Kart not knowing what they are getting.

        I didn't buy a PS4 because I want Destiny or fuck I don't know what - I got a PS4 so I'd get more Uncharted, more God of War, more Pixel Junk games - existing stuff. Stuff I know is good.
        They need to attract 3'rd party developers but I think the ship has sailed, personally I think they are proper, proper fucked.


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        May 7, 2014 7:42 AM

        I'd love to see HD remakes of all my old NES and SNES favourites even if it were limited to just Nintendo first party games.

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        May 7, 2014 7:51 AM

        i'd like that too, but that's obviously not the problem. They might be on mario kart 8, but the first one came out in 1992 or so. Call of Duty is on their 18th or so game (if you include handheld titles, which you should because mario kart does) and that series has only been around for about 10 years. final fantasy has had 17 or 18 games in the time that mario kart has had 8.

        i'm just saying that coming out with sequels isn't an issue since it seems to be totally fine elsewhere

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          May 7, 2014 7:54 AM

          Nintendo has a gun to squigiliwams' head forcing him to buy its sequels.

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          May 7, 2014 10:56 AM

          Yeah, it's hypocritical. The entire fucking industry is built upon iterative sequels but only when Nintendo does it, is it called a bad thing. The rest of the industry gets a free pass.

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            May 7, 2014 1:34 PM

            The other consoles (and even moreso the PC) embrace indie titles. That's where the variety is and honestly where most of my game time is these days.

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              May 7, 2014 2:01 PM

              Well, that's true. I was thinking of the AAA sphere. Nintendo really needs to be more developer friendly, the indies that come to their systems are there DESPITE Nintendo, not because of them.

              http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/207218/The_brick_wall_No_close_encounters_with_Nintendos_indie_exec.php

              There's a lot of ways in which Nintendo does need to get their shit together. I'm well past sticking my head in the sand and insisting that everything's perfect. I still love Nintendo though, in fact it's precisely because I'm a fan that I want them to do things better.

              There's definitely haters, but there's also a lot of goodwill toward the company and they shouldn't squander that. I've seen a lot of Kickstarters that promise a Wii U version for seemingly no other reason than the developer likes Nintendo. It's certainly not because they're chasing some lucrative Wii U gravy train.

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        May 7, 2014 7:55 AM

        Hasn't there been about a dozen Fire Emblem games dating back to the NES days?

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        May 7, 2014 7:58 AM

        Have to agree with some of this.

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        May 7, 2014 8:50 AM

        it seriously is played out.

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        May 7, 2014 9:00 AM

        You realise that as far as big publishers / developers go there really isn't anyone who's as adventurous and experimental as nintendo right? They reason they can do that is because of their recognisable IP. They use their cast of established characters to try new things, if they were building totally new IP all the time you'd see the same conservative gameplay we've seen before.

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        May 7, 2014 9:19 AM

        The SNES era was truly glorious.

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        May 7, 2014 9:31 AM

        Yeah, I got tired of the same old Nintendo shit years ago.

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        May 7, 2014 10:05 AM

        I'll take a new good Metroid though

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        May 7, 2014 10:53 AM

        I wholeheartedly agree with your desire for new IP but not your disparagement of their existing franchises. They make ONE Mario Kart for each system. Never more. That's not excessive.

        I also think it's unfair to say Mario and Zelda are "played out". In case you don't remember, this very website gave Mario and Zelda their #1 and #2 picks for the best games of 2013. A Link Between Worlds beat out The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V for GameSpot's GOTY as well, which is impressive considering it's a handheld title in a franchise that's as old as it is.

        I think they continue to prove that they still know how to deliver great games, and from what they've said, their future games, Zelda specifically, will be aggressively shaking up the conventions of the series. If you love those franchises then I don't know why you're dismissing them out of hand as no longer worthy when the rest of the world begs to differ.

        Nintendo only has so many development resources, so maybe they should indeed put Mario and Zelda on the back burner for a bit to focus on new IP. But that doesn't mean that those franchises are no longer relevant.

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        May 7, 2014 11:25 AM

        They have, wii sports, brain age, wii fit - it's just they don't make new IPs for gamers anymore. They put all their eggs in one basket and the basket broke.

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        May 7, 2014 12:24 PM

        I'm as bored with the nintendo IP's as the next guy but to each his own. If Zelda fans want another Zelda then give them one.

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      May 7, 2014 6:47 AM

      Don't care, still getting my Zeldas, Mario Karts, etc. I'm not buying Nintendo consoles for the FPSes, yo.

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      May 7, 2014 6:51 AM

      I, and everyone else, knew it was going to be a negative impact on their profits as soon as the hardware was revealed.

      The only reason I bought in was the promise of the monolith studios game and Zelda.

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        May 7, 2014 8:20 AM

        I picked one up recently and I'll be playing all the old Wii games, and these two that you mention.. I also picked up Zelda Wind Waker HD (never played the orig) and Tropical Freeze (Really good game!)

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      May 7, 2014 6:58 AM

      Worst name ever.

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        May 7, 2014 7:28 AM

        I really think that's a huge part of it. All they had to do was call it "Wii 2" or "Super Wii" (lol) and it would be instantly clear to the people who bought the "Wii Sports machine" that this was a new console.

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      May 7, 2014 7:19 AM

      Who saw that coming? Produce a console 1 year before the next generation consoles get released with more or less the same power as an Xbox360/PS3. Have only a few games worth playing and charge $300 for the bundle.

      Once they bring this thing down to $200 i'll consider it but currently, it's not worth it IMO.

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      May 7, 2014 7:26 AM

      Very sad business case. They are stubborn and seem to echo Blackberry step for step. They want to sell their fancy software, which might not even be too bad, but the underlying hardware is ancient and completely passed over.... which is their real focus. Software to drive the hardware. Can they make a software+hardware bundle on a gangbusters sale and be profitable?

      Plus, if they are admitting their software is high margin, the ultimate solution is on the wall - they will end up licensing it and selling it to other platforms.

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      May 7, 2014 7:27 AM

      Many fans, critics, and pundits have discussed how the name "Wii U" confused consumers, making them think the standalone console was an upgrade to the Wii rather than a successor. I'm genuinely curious: if you agree with that stance, where do you feel Nintendo went wrong with the Wii U, when the "Name +1" strategy worked so well with the Super Nintendo?

      As a kid, I immediately understood that the SNES was a new console, not an upgrade to my NES. So why the trouble understanding the difference between Wii and Wii U? What made "Super" so easy to understand, but "U" so opaque?

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        May 7, 2014 7:30 AM

        Because "U" has no meaning whatsoever.

        When you look to other console "upgrades" as each generation builds, there's obvious progression (Playstation), random progression (XBox), and Nintendo's prior progression (NES -> SNES).

        Iterative numbering or brand new names attract attention and say "This is new!"

        Wii U, with a system that looks pretty much like the last one at a glance (keeping in mind how many Wiis were sold to casual and/or "new" gamers), save the big tablet, looks more like an upgrade to the console you already own.

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        May 7, 2014 7:53 AM

        Nintendo DS, DSi, Nintendo 3dsL,

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          May 7, 2014 7:54 AM

          And I totally fat fingered the post button but all their recent releases support the constant revision mentality.

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        May 7, 2014 8:02 AM

        Possibly the similar look between the Wii & Wii U base console.

        Look-wise, the Wii U is a Wii with rounded corners.

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          May 7, 2014 8:56 AM

          That's an excellent point. The first time I saw a Wii U display unit, I remember observing that the U looked like an elongated Wii.

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        May 7, 2014 8:03 AM

        I agree with Grayson. The name is ambiguous and for most people, entirely meaningless. For the console itself, it uses the same controllers and the new addition just doesn't sell it for most people. The release games were scant and it's still not a comparable console to the features and powers that the others provide.

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        May 7, 2014 8:09 AM

        SNES looked and seemed drastically different. Wii U commercials still showed Wiimotes and Wii Sports looking stuff.

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        May 7, 2014 8:20 AM

        as VC said, "U" has 0 meaning whatsoever to anyone. they might as well have called it the WII J.

        Super, well, means its super. Superior. Super Nintendo. Its a superior version of the nintendo.

        Nintendo 64. hype at the time was the bit wars, and 32 was the killer number. But here comes N with the N64. twice the bits that anyone else was really claiming.

        My humble opinion is that Super Wii was the name that should have been used. Its so painfully obvious to me, that when i think about it it makes me ache a little bit over how utterly stupid the decsion was to name it the Wii U.

        The other option that i think would have worked would have been to just call it...... the Nintendo. That word is something N has never really directly capitalized on even though its part of human language now. For decades people have said "lets go play nintendo" and it referred to multiple game systems that everyone associated with quality. Perhaps calling it the Nintendo 2 would have made more sense. Its been pretty in vogue with marketing the past several years to harken back to the past in naming schemes. The new Star Trek is a great example of this and there are many others.

        All things considered, Wii 2 would probably have been the best choice, because of the relevance of the Wii name in the current market.

        Wii U is probably the worst name for something i could imagine. I say it means nothing, but its not a far stretch for someone to look at it, and see "Wii" followed by a meaningless capital letter and simply thinking its another exercise board or dance pad or some other wacky Nintendo peripheral, because nintendo has a reputation of that kind of thing too. They failed to cash in on the ungodly powerful marketing force of their own creation either with the Wii name or going modern retro with a callback of some sort to the glory days.

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        May 7, 2014 8:22 AM

        While this likely didn't help, I think its the lack of games. They've given consumers very little reason to purchase it by still not having their biggest titles on it.

        I have one, and I preordered Mario kart, and I love smash bros, but when it came out and they were like 2+ years from now we'll have new versions of your favorite games, I wasn't in a rush to get it. I waited for a sale.

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        May 7, 2014 8:23 AM

        The naming scheme is terrible, seriously. My cousins are in their early 20s and have gamed for a good period of their life and really had no clue what the Wii U was, what it does differently, etc. Confusing name and poor marketing has NOT helped their console.

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        May 7, 2014 8:25 AM

        There was probably a shit ton of marketing jammed into your child brain making damn well sure you knew that the Super Nintendo was a brand new thing that you had to have. Not so much for the Wii U, let alone the fact that it's a terrible name.

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        May 7, 2014 8:53 AM

        I was one of those people and I honestly can't explain it, but the name made me think it was some kid of iteration. The first thing I thought was that it would maybe just be a Wii with some new controller, and then I saw that it had a new controler and that reinforced the idea. I actually had to research to find out if it was a new console or a Wii with a new feature.

        Something about the name makes that come to mind first.

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        May 7, 2014 8:55 AM

        Do you think naming it the Super Wii would have been better?

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          May 7, 2014 8:57 AM

          Not at all. I was just curious and wanted to compare and contrast marketing strategies.

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        May 7, 2014 8:55 AM

        Everyone in my family genuinely did not know that the Wii U was a new console. They either thought it was some sort of add-on or an iterative upgrade (like a ds lite or something). If they called it a Super Wii, that might have been slightly more clear? Who knows...

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        May 7, 2014 8:59 AM

        there is very little marketing for the Wii U. at least where I am. my sister in law thought it was a peripheral and she only knew about it from her daughter who wanted a specific game

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        May 7, 2014 9:06 AM

        Super vs U

        NES vs SNES
        Super Mario Brothers vs Super Mario World
        4 button controller + d-pad vs 8 button (including 2 *shoulder* buttons) + d-pad
        Slide in push down clumsy pos system to get a game working vs slide in from top and working right away

        I can go on. There were many significant differences that made the SNES stand out above the NES. Nintendo banked on the waggy stick for the wii and then again with the wii u. That's it. Basically the same criticisms being applied towards the wii is being applied the wii u. They didn't fix anything that was fundamentally broken about the wii. In essence, the wii was different from the other two consoles - a good thing. However, the wii u isn't all that different from the wii.

        They didn't need to be on par with the xbone/PS4 performance wise. They just needed to release something more than waggy stick 2.0.

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          May 7, 2014 11:46 AM

          "They just needed to release something more than waggy stick 2.0."

          That was supposed to be the GamePad, but they're hardly even using it. It's idiotic. If this is the way it's going to be then they should have just forgotten it and put that cost towards better specs or a lower price point.

          I love Nintendo but they have botched this thing terribly* and even I have to admit that. IMO their games are as good as ever which makes their business missteps all the more tragic.

          *no marketing, confusing name, weaker specs, and an expensive peripheral that they're not even using. Again, I want to play Zelda Wii U more than anybody but there's no denying the mistakes.

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        May 7, 2014 9:14 AM

        I think people would have got past the name if there was a killer app.

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        May 7, 2014 9:20 AM

        I always thought it meant Wii "Ultimate". It was really a bump from Wii to Wii HD with a screen controller. It never seemed like Nintendo's "Next Gen" answer to Sony or Microsoft.

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        May 7, 2014 10:08 AM

        I bought the Zelda bundle for WW HD, and that's the main reason. Otherwise it was only a slight upgrade graphically to the Wii with a much higher price tag. I think this is their main failure. Lack of titles isn't a thing, it's plagues most new systems. Turns out I really enjoyed the SM3DW and Disney Infinity titles though.

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          May 7, 2014 10:09 AM

          That and the controller is huge and bulky. It really was off-putting until I got my hands on it and got used to it a bit.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 10:41 AM

            I'm still amazed by how light and comfortable it is.

            • reply
              May 7, 2014 11:31 AM

              I only kind of wish it had a sharper resolution.

            • reply
              May 7, 2014 3:38 PM

              does anyone else's index finger go numb after playing with that a while? I have long fingers and my left index finger feels weird after an hour of gameplay resting on that top left button.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 11:51 AM

          But it's not a slight graphical upgrade* to the Wii, it's a big upgrade. If anything the problem is that it's only a slight upgrade from the 360 and PS3.

          *Wind Waker HD is still a GameCube game at its core. It's not the best demonstration of the system's capabilities.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 3:40 PM

            I think some of it is in my head because of the art direction of most Nintendo games.

            I will say also that the performance in the toybox of Infinity is god-awful. A busy split screen chops up like a Quake on a dang 486.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 10:21 AM

        the name itself is not the problem, the lack of marketing was. No one should have to infer from the name what the Wii U is relative to the Wii, they should've seen commercials explaining it all over the place.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 10:24 AM

        The games don't look significantly different and the WiiU uses the same controller as the Wii.

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        May 7, 2014 10:52 AM

        because their "Wii" was sold as "We want to play" while "Wii U" was the polar opposite for the self centered player. it just didnt make ANY sense at all.

        then pump out a console that literally looks the same with a different controller? assumptions are powerful, and the general populous of their target industry thought it was just an upgrade and not an entirely new console.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 11:29 AM

        My mom thought that the Wii-U was like an OS upgrade like Windows 7 or 8 for the Wii. She asked me how to get it for the Wii. Also I'm sure she saw what one looked like and it didn't look that much different than the Wii so it probably looked like just a refresh model.

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        May 7, 2014 8:25 PM

        The Wii was a weak console imo. Attaching the name to the new console made me think that it would be more of the same. Cheap kids games with the occasional IP. I may be broken but I'm not all that impressed with Nintendo's latest offerings either. The new Mario game is kinda boring and really not very fun.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 7:59 AM

      Blame management and the buggered up Nintendo Virtual Console decisions. Mofos.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 8:23 AM

        This. All they have to do is say "Oh hey btw we're releasing our entire back catalog on VC TODAY", and I will head down to the store and pick up a Wii U.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 8:26 AM

          I've been seriously disappointed with the virtual console as well. I got decent use out of it on the Wii and everything.

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          May 7, 2014 8:57 AM

          Oh fuck yeah. If they did that, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat.

          Of course, if they had a coherent and unified account system to share VC games across 3DS and Wii U, that'd help too. I can't believe we still don't have SNES games on 3DS.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 9:03 AM

          seriously.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 9:05 AM

          But that makes way too much, as does making a centralized account service where games are not tied to hardware.

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          May 7, 2014 1:06 PM

          I really wonder what they are thinking with their strategy or lack thereof for this. I don't think solely releasing all these games will be the big solution, but I don't understand why they haven't. It is basically free money. It is embarrassing for them how few games they have released on there.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 1:07 PM

            What really pisses me off is the Wii VC library was incredible. We got three games every week--at least one big name, plus two other games. And then it just... stopped.

            • Zek
              reply
              May 7, 2014 2:58 PM

              I have to assume that it wasn't actually very profitable. But they never experimented with prices or new business models, they just abandoned it. The VC was my biggest disappointment from Nintendo bar none.

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                May 7, 2014 3:34 PM

                have they trained the average Nintendo owner to look in the eShop? When I start up my Nintendo systems am I going to immediately see that there's digital content I can buy? How hard do I have to look to find the latest big eShop release? I know everyone rages about ads on the home screen but that's the kind of thing that helps make online services successful, especially if people aren't conditioned to open up the shop already like they learned to do on mobile devices.

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              May 7, 2014 4:40 PM

              This blows my mind. Do you hear me Nintendo? I want to give you money!

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 1:12 PM

            they've been backwards on online services and digital distribution for a decade+ now

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      May 7, 2014 9:00 AM

      Its a damn shame. If there were more games and a more promising future for the console Id be tempted, but the fact that the console is too close to the price of the other two, yet doesnt have close to the potential scares me away and Im sure a lot of other consumers as well.

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      May 7, 2014 9:01 AM

      Gee, maybe if you tried release more than 5 games for it, it would sell well. Where the fuck is Zelda, Wario, Super Smash, Mario Golf, Mario Soccer, etc.

      Nintendo can basically print money but they are too retarded to do it.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 10:08 AM

        I'm really surprised they didn't go for a Mario Super Strikers in time for the World Cup.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 9:12 AM

      Nintendo is stupid. They were stingy and arrogant. When you look at their stuff, it doesn't look like they spent too much money to make it. They tried to extract as much money as possible from the market while putting the minimal effort required in.

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      May 7, 2014 9:17 AM

      They had the biggest handheld and then kinda sorta made an HD living room equivalent. They did not however capitalize on the strengths of either.
      * Cross Buy. I have so many Vita games just because I also got that PS3/4 game.
      * Use the DS like a controller.
      * Some kind of Air Play screen mirroring. I mean goddamn, that one was just duh.
      * If you you fail everywhere else, be the cost leader. A Wii U isn't this massive amount cheaper than a PS4, and the games are pretty much the same prices.
      * Once it became clear that the games weren't coming from outside, start dumping HD remakes. The Wii U has been out for like 2 years. There is no Zelda, no Metroid, no Animal Crossing... I mean damn, try anything. Give me a $20 HD Excitebike.

      It's like Nintendo let loose this super nasty fart and then spent the last two years pretending it didn't do it, but they won't crack a window or light a match. I want to love my Wii U. It's got stuff none of the others can do. Nintendo just won't *do anything*. Get weird, the DS is always getting nutty stuff.

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      May 7, 2014 9:50 AM

      Maybe they can sell it to the same company that buys the xbox. Then that company can call the new console the XWii

      Or UWiiX. Mebbe WiiX-U. X-UWii.

      Something like that.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 9:53 AM

      need to hear Russki Snajper's take

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 10:14 AM

      The Wii U Gamepad has an NFC writer/reader?!

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 10:16 AM

        Yep there was some rumor about small skylanders-like Pokemon figures working with it but not much other than that.

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      May 7, 2014 10:22 AM

      CNBC coverage: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101650276

      But the Japanese technology company plans to make a comeback in the $93 billion video games market by launching a host of new games—including "Mario Kart 8" and a beat-'em-up called "Super Smash Bros." Nintendo says that, as a result, it will post an operating profit of 40 billion yen this financial year.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 10:29 AM

      System needs more murder simulators. The only game my cousins (all aged 14 and under) is the yearly CoD.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 10:39 AM

        It looks like Spy Party will likely see a WiiU port, as a comment on the FAQ page confirms the creator has a WiiU dev kit. However the game has to be finished first...

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 10:45 AM

          god, that game is a natural fit for the gamepad.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 10:47 AM

      New sub-thread: can Mario Kart 8 pull the Wii U out of its downward spiral? I'm not talking a complete 180. I'm more thinking a bumpy landing rather than a total crash-and-burn scenario.

      I realize Nintendo fanboys have claimed several games can save the Wii U. Zelda. Mario 3DW. As much as I love those games, I didn't expect them to make a dent. But Mario Kart 8 has a chance to save some face. Hear me out.

      Mario Kart is Nintendo's biggest, most popular series. It sells millions of units on every platform because it appeals to everyone: not everyone likes fantasy games or platformers, but everyone can sit down, learn Mario Kart in minutes, and have a blast.

      What do you think? Can Mario Kart salvage the Wii U?

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 10:51 AM

        that will be a blip, yes. however they need a pipeline strategy of releases, and a couple here and there will get lost in the noise of thunderous things for XB1 and PS4. they need several major titles, spaced wisely, and then some huge bundle sales. as they've said, their (stubborn as fuck) goal is to sell hardware. so, they better get a lot wiser to accomplish that.

        mario kart 8 bundle with 2 other games would be a good start.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 11:03 AM

          To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised to see two things happen at E3.

          1) Nintendo unveils the new Zelda, which has been in development since 2010-ish. This will happen; Nintendo confirmed it last fall.

          2) Nintendo announces a new console to be released Christmas 2015, and confirms that "New Zelda" will launch on that console and skip the U entirely.

          As well as I believe MKart and Smash Bros will sell on Wii U, I think Nintendo is going to abandon that sinking ship. (You could also argue that Smash will do better on 3DS since it's faring much better than the U.) IGN reported on rumors of a new Nintendo console to be shown at E3, and Zelda: Skyward Sword fell far short of sales expectations in 2011 because most gamers has packed up their Wii a year earlier. At this point, releasing a Zelda on the U would be like letting a horse race with a broken leg. Migrating story and design over to a new platform that can utilize better tech, and positioning Zelda as a launch title for that platform, would start a new console off on the right foot. It would need other strong games right out of the gate, obviously, but it's a good start.

          Nintendo is also in a great position to make one last big push in the console space. Sony and Microsoft won't have new boxes ready for at least 10 years. All Nintendo has to do, all they NEED to do, is +1 the competition. That will get them developer and publisher support, which will earn them consumer support as well. A Nintendo console with unarguably the best exclusives in the industry, plus CoD, BF, etc? What's not to love?

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 11:14 AM

            There is no way this happens. How long do you think it takes to design a console from start to finish? (and have games to launch for it hopefully...) Even if it only took 2 years (lol) that means Nintendo would have had to have decided to outright give up on the Wii U 6 months ago already. If you think it takes 3 years or more to develop a new console then they'd have had to decide to kill the Wii U in Christmas 2012, which they obviously wouldn't have done. In addition, Nintendo has repeatedly shown an inability to line up their major IP launches with console launches, and that's when they have 6+ years to get it together. Now on a 2-3 year clock they've going to come out swinging? If their big launch game is a repeat of the Gamecube->Wii Zelda launch title then that's not exactly blowing anyone away.

            Do you think the Wii U's failure is really the straw that broke the camel's back to make Nintendo believe that hardware power matters? They knew what +1'ing the competition meant every single generation on horsepower, online services, developer relations, etc and they repeatedly choose not to do it.

            Finally, what does a new console launch that quickly do to consumer confidence? Their biggest fans are today's Wii U owners and they're going to burn all those people. Are they just going to turn around and buy the next Nintendo console immediately after just spending $500 on a Wii U bundle?

            • reply
              May 7, 2014 11:20 AM

              I was just writing an addendum that the major obstacle standing in the way of my scenario is what killing off the U right now would do to the loyalty of their consumers. You're absolutely right: pulling the rug out from under the console now would turn Mario Kart and Smash into nonstarters.

              I guess I should say that I'm maybe 40% convinced my scenario comes to fruition. I just think Nintendo is between a rock and a hard place: they need to abandon the Wii U, but they can't. The Zelda fan in me doesn't want to see Zelda U overlooked just because it came out near the end of the life cycle of a dead console, which is roughly what happened to Skyward Sword.

              • reply
                May 7, 2014 11:29 AM

                Yep, they are between a rock and a hard place. If they want to sell hardware, they need to ramp up the hardware releases!!! DERP. What they are doing is a direct fuckup to their strategy. If they want to emulate Apple, get the consumers used to constant releases and upgrades.

                Apple killed the iphone 5 in the next fucking release cycle. Nintendo can do that. They can and will pull the rug out from anything and everything to start some shorter sales cycles. They have to - if they want to stay true to their goal of selling more hardware.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 11:15 AM

            New console is not gonna happen anytime soon.

            They will shift their entire focus to bringing more games to the Wii U.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 11:19 AM

            Yep, they are poised to pounce - however I think they need a major hardware refresh. They want to sell hardware, so.... let's see that. They emulate Sony now, instead of Sony emulating them (referring to handheld + console). So, sony has upgraded and remains diversified with multiple revenue streams.

            Here's a kicker: does Nintendo have an internet portal that people will pay for? Devs and Pubs want channels to sell new things quickly and effectively. Nintendo doesn't provide that. They are just wasting away like Blackberry, not being responsive to the market.

            Nintendo has to get capable of twitch, youtube, skype (lol j/k), facebook, etc etc. Does that also dilute the brand? Nope, not anymore - it's an expectation of cross platform availability and the "one device that can do it all". Nintendo is extremely stubborn and won't allow for that, so they are drying up.

            I agree that Zelda could equal the thunder of the releases on the other consoles, if they can command the message. In my opinion, they go full on Zelda overhaul, and sell it in a mother fucking gold package and use gold media.... just like the NES days. And it has to be a bundle. If they are going to be steadfast in selling hardware as a primary goal - they must pump out more hardware. They cannot emulate the long lifespan of Sony and MS. They gotta crank stuff out at an Apple pace.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 2:22 PM

            Nintendo would be repeating Sega's mistakes if they released another console so soon.

            I remember a year after the Wii came out everyone was nagging on Nintendo to release another console just so it could compete with the HD capabilities of the PS3/360. It didn't happen then and I don't think it will happen now.

            Nintendo has kind of backed themselves in to a corner. They aren't selling hardware and most of the AAA devs have already turned their focus away from the Wii U. Nintendo will either have to crank out some more first party games or attract a lot of indie devs to produce games for their digital storefront.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 7:34 PM

            I hope not. I love our wiiu but I'm really disappointed that Nintendo hasn't made better use of the game pad. Such great concepts on ninetendoland but they still haven't had a major game released that uses the gamepad for couch coop like that.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 3:32 PM

          like they've seen with every game the develop, there will be a blip. They seriously need third parties on board and to make more games

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 11:08 AM

        I think the U is going to have a really long lifespan. Which is not to say that it's going to set the world on fire or meet expectations, but unlike the Wii, I don't think the hardware is really an impediment to continued success.

        Basically, being SD cut the viability of the Wii very short. Even 2D indie games looked like garbage. To the extent that 'Wii' was already synonymous with 'junky looking graphics', it was always going to be tough going to sell people on a new machine with the same name.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 11:11 AM

        I don't think it'll make enough of a dent that anyone will notice. I've never thought MK was much of a system seller, myself, but what do I know.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 11:12 AM

        I think that Mario Kart 8 will be the killer app because of online multiplayer.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 11:16 AM

          lord knows the existing Wii U base is just dying for online multiplayer games...

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 11:17 AM

        I currently have 4 wii u games and 3 3ds games I want to buy but nintendo games almost never go on sale or lower in price and I have plenty of other games to play. If there were a b2g1 free sale (with games actually in stock, fuck you target) I'd have bought 6 nintendo games.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 12:07 PM

        IMO if anything can save the Wii U it will be an amazing new Zelda. Mario Kart 8 looks awesome but it doesn't have the same creative potential. 1080p eye candy, great, antigravity, great, new items, great, but at the end of the day it's still the same zipping around wacky tracks in go-karts.

        Now imagine a Zelda that isn't limited by GameCube level hardware. Something with the scope and fidelity of say, Skyrim, but fresh new Zelda gameplay and charm. Not just better graphics, but a ambitious new generational advancement in what Zelda can even be. Now that's a system seller.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 12:13 PM

          Mario Kart is a far bigger system seller than Zelda and that will always be true

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 12:16 PM

          As much as I love Zelda and am chomping at the bit for Zelda U, it won't move consoles. Zelda will be a tremor to Mario Kart's 8.1 earthquake.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 12:17 PM

        Nope.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 12:23 PM

        No, and I love Mario Kart. I can't justify paying $300 yet.

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        May 7, 2014 12:32 PM

        no and neither will smash bros (though maybe that's more of an obvious statement since SSB is coming to 3DS)

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 12:33 PM

        No, the game that will save them has to be Bayonetta 2.

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        May 7, 2014 12:59 PM

        No, I don't think it will do anything for the U. It will increase sales slightly for a month or two at most, but it will be back to business as usual once the hype fades away.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 1:49 PM

        Yes. I won't bother with my reasons why. I'll just be told I'm wrong.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 2:08 PM

        Mario Kart 8 makes me raise my eyebrows, but I'm still not buying a Wii U. I just dont see a way a Wii U could bring me in. I currently dont own a current gen console, just a PS3 so I might not be the real demographic of it anyway since I play primarily PC but if I was to get one it'd be a PS4, then an Xbox one then a Wii U...

        I dont really know what else they could do. The only draw of a Wii U to me appears to want the first party IP and I guess I just dont want it enough. The console has less power than the others, the virtual catalog is a mess, just not appealing to me.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 2:15 PM

        What they need to make is Super Mario RPG 2.

        BAM. Wii U Saved! You are welcome Nintendo.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 3:07 PM

          That would be enticing as hell for me. Mario RPG is one of my favorite Nintendo games of all time.

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 3:15 PM

            me too, Super Mario RPG is one of the best games ever IMO. I'd really begin to consider it.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 3:11 PM

        Not by itself, nope, but it will certainly move some systems like Super Mario 3D World did. I'd like to see how they're doing once Mario Kart, Hyrule Warriors and Smash Bros are all released.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 5:22 PM

        Its not a system seller. Its always been an evergreen sale where it just sells forever

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 10:50 AM

      As long as the thing is a device dedicated to playing games solely from Nintendo, it won't be profitable. I've never seen a console be successful that had a software lineup primarily made from one developer.

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      May 7, 2014 10:53 AM

      Nintendo only has themselves to blame

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 4:03 PM

        The wii has been sitting on my shelf as an albatross, forever reminding me to not buy another Nintendo console.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 6:54 PM

          Because you hated all the great games for it?

          • reply
            May 7, 2014 6:56 PM

            I bought them and enjoyed what little I played of them, but Nintendo's bone headed insistence on gimmicky waggle control has destroyed my enjoyment pretty rapidly.

            For the record, I own both Mario Galaxy games, NSMB, DKC Returns and wii sports.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 10:59 AM

      Come on, just hold out long enough for Bayonetta 2's release. I'm seeing used Wii Us on eBay for $130 or so.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 11:09 AM

      i seriously didnt even know wii u was a console system until like a year after it came out. i assumed it was some kind of learning software for the wii.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 11:17 AM

      They need to make games for it. Make games and people will buy stuff.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 12:48 PM

      Going Multiplatform would be their saving grace.... Guaranteed millions of copies

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      May 7, 2014 1:06 PM

      Unleash the VC flood Nintendo -- UNLEASH IT ON MY FACE

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 1:25 PM

      8 years of motion control. No new Mario Golf. No new Super Sluggers. No new Mario Tennis. The only games that would actually be more fun with motion control, and still no sign of them. Instead they release Mario Golf on a handheld with old school tap & tap control.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 5:41 PM

      Nintendo blames Wii U because it doesn't ever take the blame itself for what it should. Stupid asses.

    • reply
      May 7, 2014 6:14 PM

      RE: Losses

      Did people have the same amount of apathy and gloom and doom when Sony posted a 1.3 BILLION loss?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/02/business/international/with-pc-exit-sony-expects-additional-loss.html?_r=0

      I like all the systems and it would be best if all of them were in the black. Nintendoomed trumps everything, I guess.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 6:30 PM

        Sony's losses have generally not been driven by their gaming segment. In addition, even if the PS4 were currently generating losses the fact that it's selling very well provides an obvious route to future profitability (1st and 3rd party software sales on a large install space, online subscriptions and digital sales to a large install base). The Wii U shows no ability to do that with its current sales trends in hardware or software. Nintendo has no big 3rd parties that look to infuse the platform with money (all those CoD and co games selling 10s of millions is a lot of money for the platform owners) and hasn't shown an ability or strategy to monetize online services.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 6:59 PM

          Unfortunately, some are calling for Kaz to step down (Analysts). You're right. I Bernice the gaming division posted a profit. That said, it's not enough to carry the rest of the company.

          Nintendo needs to right the ship. No question. They will be fine, though assuming they can right the ship. 8 billion is nice padding for now.

        • reply
          May 7, 2014 7:06 PM

          Also Blu-Ray sell through has declined. People are not buying them in the numbers Sony needs.

      • reply
        May 7, 2014 6:58 PM

        Sony back in February 2014 announced the exiting of their PC business. The associated inventory write downs there make up a huge percentage of their losses. Also, Sony said in their earnings report that their Playstation business continues to be profitable (and is propping up the rest of the company).