The Causes of the Epic Failure of the Wii U

Posted on Feb 20 2013 - 10:00am by Phil

Wii U Gameplay

Based on various Wii U review and news sites, the next generation game console of Nintendo is definitely a big disappointment to the company. Despite the critical success of its predecessor, which is the Wii, the Wii U came as a big failure.

Just look at the sales figures alone and you will see that it is a flop. It is quite embarrassing that it did not even outperform the Xbox 360 in the US.

Here are the reasons why the Wii U was an epic failure:

1. Poor Marketing Campaign

Do you ever recall a mind-blowing advertisement by Nintendo about their new game console? Apparently, they were confident that having the Wii name alone is enough to catapult their new product in the market. There were no major advertisements in the TV or billboards about it. As a result, many gamers were left scratching their heads on what this product is really capable of. Some even thought of the device as an accessory to the previous Wii console.

2. Low Sales

From its launch date up to January, the Wii U never picked up in the market. It was overshadowed by the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. In January, the Wii U only sold 55,000 units as compared to the Xbox 360’s 280,000 figure. One reason of the condition of the video game console is the poor marketing that we have mentioned earlier. The other factors that can be linked to it can be found in the sections that follow.

3. Few Selection Of Games And Few Exclusive Titles

The Wii U only has a small selection of games in its library. To make it worse, almost all the games featured in the Wii U can also be found in other consoles. In addition, there are only a few titles that are exclusive to Nintendo like the Super Mario Bros., Zelda and the gimmicky Zombi U which lacks the appeal that can be found in survival games like Resident Evil.

4. Lack Third-Party Support

According to a survey conducted by IGN, 63% of the developers that they asked said that the Wii U is very complex and challenging to work with. The difficulty in incorporating games with the console is mainly attributed to its unique controls. There are speculations as well that famous developers are considering about boycotting the console altogether due to its complexity.

5. Unappealing Design

Although the design of the Wii revolutionized the gaming community, the Wii U failed to do the same. The controls are just too long and its features are so plain. It’s like having an oversized PSP or a tablet in your hands. And personally, I would prefer a tablet or PSP over the controls of this one.

6. Lacks Technological Innovation

As compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360, the graphics in the Wii U is just pretty much the same. Considering that the Wii U is already a next generation console, Nintendo should have at least enhanced the graphics and performance of its games. So, by the time that games for the Xbox 720 and PS4 that demand high specs are available, the Wii U will only be left out with obsolete games.

Source: WhatCulture

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  • dmccall

    Ummm….the reason we didn’t buy this console is that we cannot fathom buying a dedicated tablet that is locked down to that system when we have iPod touches and iPads lying around the house.

    The console that integrates these existing devices (maybe even by snapping into a button/handle frame) will be the dominant player in the next generation of gaming.

  • Vigo the Carpathian

    I think the main problem is the incredibly poor marketing in the face of strong competition from their rivals who already have loyal fans who will happily troll Nintendo to make their choice of product seem more relevant. Also the price is high compared to the Wii which came bundled with a killer app.

    The name is stupid too. Wii 2, released in 2010 would have smashed the xbox and PS3 out of the park before they’d really taken off but instead they waited til the competition were nearly ready to release their next systems.

    You’ve not spent a significant time with one if you say it lacks technological innovation. There’s loads of capabilities in there that Sony and MS will try and struggle to copy with their machines. The controls are almost identical to PS3/Xbox to use, unless you’re lacking any real gaming skill (although some of the 3rd party ports have actually gone out of there way to make controls that damage the experience). There is no Zelda game available except the minigame in Nintendoland. You’ve also given low sales as a cause when surely it is an effect not a cause.

    I doubt this will be an epic failure over the course of the next 5 years. It will probably hit 4 million sales soon and by xmas there should be lots of Nintendo content available. I doubt they’ll win the generation but it’s Nintendo so they will be able to stay afloat whilst also pleasing their fans and most of the gaming press with a couple of stellar games per year.

  • Vigo the Carpathian

    Apple TV?

  • Mighty Shouter

    Surprise, surprise. Another Nintendoom article…

    1. I somewhat agree with you here. Nintendo needs to step it up with their marketing. I don’t think they should’ve used the original ‘Wii’ name in the Wii U.

    2. As a journalist, you can’t ignore facts. Which leads me to question why you’ve ignored the fact that the Wii U outsold both the PS3 and 360 for November and December, in a tougher economy too. The Wii U hadn’t sold so well in January because consumers are still broke from the holiday season, and Nintendo has no big releases around this time (partly due to game delays, causing Nintendo to slash their sales forecast).

    3. The Wii U has the 2nd-largest amount of launch games in history, so if you’re dissatisfied with the number of games, you were dissatisfied with nearly every other launch. And are Nintendo just going to spunk out all their big 1st-party titles straight away? What would there be to play years from now? Do we want to see owners complaining about a lack of games towards the end of its life like they did with the Wii?

    4. Yes, the only ‘research’ you use in this article is a ‘survey’ by IGN, which anonymous developers took part in, was written by a pro-360 journalist, is pro-360 throughout and is negative towards Nintendo and Sony.

    5. The Wii U failed to revolutionize the gaming community, EVEN THOUGH it is basically the bottom part of a DS, which DID revolutionize the gaming community and is the highest-selling system EVER. Oh, and when Sony and Microsoft copy the GamePad, I look forward to you gushing about how it;s so revolutionary and unique.

    6. As compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360, the graphics in the Wii U surpass them. At launch, you never see the full potential of graphics as developers aren’t fully used to the hardware. Remember the 360 launch games which looked like high-end Gamecube games? And why don’t you look at what developers like Criterion are doing with the Wii U port of Need for Speed? Have you seen the gameplay and screenshots? They’re basing it off the PC version and it COMPLETELY blows the PS360 versions out of the water. And if you think there’ll be such a huge gap between the 720/PS4 and Wii U as there was with the last-gen consoles, you’re an idiot. They won’t be able to afford it this time round, not to mention that graphics are almost at the saturation point.

    So you haven’t really justified why the Wii U’s such an ‘epic failure’. You haven’t talked about its positives like Miiverse, which if rumours are to be true, will now be the only free online system out of the ‘big 3′ next-gen consoles It’s been on the market for 3 months, give it time. You’re jumping the gun way too early. Give it at least a year, wait till Nintendo’s E3 and their big games, which have already been announced, are out. Stop trolling for hits and act like a real journalist.

  • A Rock

    lack of launch games?

    The wii u has something the PS4 will not…and thats backward compatibility…so right out of the gate it can play all the wii games.

    the launch titles of the wii u are actually better overall than when the wii came out. What it doesnt have is the “revolution” that came with the last console and honestly no matter what they do they are not going to match the biggest console in history (which probably continues to sell).

    Give the wii some time…people didnt flock to the 3DS either and now its fine.

  • Anonymous

    Umm it’s not a tablet, it was never ment to be a tablet, Nintendo never said it was a tablet they actually asked people not to call it a tablet, it a game console control with a screen

  • Leo

    I bought a Wii U. People keep saying there’s no games, but I have more games for it than I have time to play them all (Mario, NBA 2K13, Trine 2, Balloon Fight, Sonic Racing, Scribblenauts, Tank Tank Tank, Nintendo Land, F-Zero, and I wanted to download another one last night since the Ubisoft games are 30% off, but I decided I already have lots of games that I haven’t finished yet.) My wife and kids love playing with me. In fact even my 3-year old daughter loves to play Mario she uses the GamePad and puts blocks in and taps on the bad guys and loves doing it.