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Is the Wii U a failure?

by Viredae   //   2:20 PM on 04.24.2013

By now you've probably heard the news about Nintendo's sales projections, and how they've essentially failed, but did they really?

Well, here's the thing, the answer is a bit of a yes and a bit of a no at the same time.

See, the best way to describe this is that Nintendo, in this scenario a Spy young 8th grader who's working hard in school to get an A, but after all the hard work it put in, it only managed to get a C, now a C is by no stretch of the imagination a failing grade (barring special circumstances), but to Nintendo, it won't get that shiny new toy it was begging its parents to get for them if they got an A, it's a good effort, but they really wanted more.

And that's the situation we have here, Nintendo actually made money this year, but they were expecting to make much, much more than this, and so they essentially failed at the goal they set for themselves.

But if that's the case, then why the hell did Nintendo have such high expectations for themselves? The answer lies in two Words:

The Wii.

You see the Wii U isn't technically a failure, it's only one as far as it's stacked against the Wii.

Here's the thing though, the Wii is kind of an anomaly, I don't think any other Nintendo console (or ANY console, for that matter) has had as successful a launch as the Wii, normally there are always pitfalls in the first year.

What happened here isn't so much a failure as unmet expectations; Nintendo's projections assumed that since the Wii did phenomenally, the Wii U will also do just as well if not better, that's how sales projections usually go, unless there's some reason to believe otherwise, but that wasn't really the case.

What was the case is that the Wii U got its hardcore audience who would buy the console right off the bat on faith, and is still waiting to shift units on those who want to wait and see what the console has to offer, ideally that gap doesn't exist because you have a good line-up of games to continuously attract costumers, and Nintendo sorta flubbed that.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, this isn't an unavoidable mistake, Nintendo should have been able to see the differences between the Wii and the Wii U, both in terms of the market surrounding it and the climate of the video game industry.

Of course, I'm sitting here talking about this with hindsight being 20/20, it's easy to talk after the deed is done, but then again, I'm not a marketing executive, I'm just a guy sitting on an armchair (literally) typing away at his screen watching the fallout.

So does this spell doom for Nintendo? Well no, I'm pretty sure things will pick up once Nintendo releases Pikmin 3 at least; the company's one strong suit has always been its first-party releases, and I doubt that will change any time soon, what will be the big tipping point is if Nintendo can actually encourage third party developers to actually create stuff for them, and I'm fairly optimistic about that.









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