Iwata Takes Blame For Meagre Wii U Sales

wii_u_console_and_controllerNintendo’s President Satoru Iwata has taken it upon himself to say “we are to blame” for the disappointing Wii U sales since the home console’s debut last year. Nintendo’s CEO has never been one to shirk responsibility when it comes to poor sales, as in 2011 he announced he would take a 50 per cent pay cut due to lacklustre 3DS sales, and this time he’s saying their marketing efforts were not up to scratch.

We’ve seen how sales have boosted with the Nintendo 3DS over the coming years, and with titles such as Super Smash Bros. and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD due to arrive on the home console very soon, as well as a current fiscal year forecast of 9m sales, there’s most certainly a silver lining. So, in an interview with CNBC and as reported by GameSpot, Iwata has explained exactly why the Wii U has seen such a dip in sales:

“We are to blame. We relaxed our [marketing] efforts, so the consumers today still cannot understand what’s so good and unique about the Wii U. We have been unsuccessful in coming up with one single software with which people can understand, ‘OK, this is really different.’ As long as people have hands-on [experience], they can appreciate the value of the Wii U, but because there’s not software that’s simple and obvious for people as ‘Wii Sports’ for the Wii, potential consumers do not feel like trying the Wii U.”

96 thoughts on “Iwata Takes Blame For Meagre Wii U Sales”

    1. 3rd party support isnt here for wii u because it doesnt support their desire for extra liscening fees. it doesnt support their architecture. 3rd parties want higher developement cost so they can charge more for each game. its only because of Wii U that games are not 100$ a title at retail. Some games after DLC reach well into the 100$ range. Why xant people see that Nintendo is trying to help them?

  1. I have a Wii U and so far I am not very pleased. Same with 3ds… But now I am very pleased with my 3ds. Lets hope the Wii U does the same.

    1. $300 is too much for a new Wii controller.

      I’ll just wait for the next Nintendo console to come out, and skip this WiiU controller rave.

          1. No, the Wii U is a new console dude. If you’re not going to operate in reality, then don’t have a discussion with people who are.

  2. They just need to do the same thing with the 3ds. It had a slow launch but a year later there is a great library. It wasn’t 3rd party things that saved the 3ds either so they do have it in them to do it again, they just need to get the games out.

  3. Excellent, High Command realized the main problems and now it can only get better from now on…

    When our sacred games are released, the power of the 3DS will shift more towards the Wii U and in development there are probably games that will define the machine alot better than any game released so far…

  4. So he should!

    He should have been more aggressive in business, poaching IPs or developers like Crytek. Definitely should have moved far away from the Wii branding and given it a brand new name. And as SOON as the PS4 was announced at $400/£350. The Wii U should have dropped to £250/$300. Thank christ ASDA has the £250 price point here in the UK

        1. Meh , skyward sword was never as good as any other zelda game . As for kirby game , well , I didn’t play it so I can’t judge it (( notice that I said super exciting not good games as most of Nintendo games are good games ))

              1. Xenoblade is first/second party. It could be debated.
                The Last Story is third party.
                However, both are exclusives. And good ones at that.

          1. i am so sick and tired of iwata taking the blame, and admitting its his fault, and saying “please understand” ” we are very sorry”,
            i don’t want to hear this garbage any more, i want iwata gone, i don’t care how much money he has helped nintendo to make, i only care about what they have done for core gamers, and its not allot, after the 3ds launch debacle, they promised wii u would be different, and that it would have lots of 3rd party support, and would not have software droughts, and lo and behold the wii u launches, and 3rd parties abandoned it, and nintendo themselves have not even bothered to release any core first party games, or even bothered to advertise it at all!!

            All we have gotten is lazy rehashes of recycled 2d content!! its disgusting! we still don’t even have a game pad proof of concept game! WTF NINTENDO? we get a console which is supposed to be next gen, ant out the gate we get a console which dont have a Ethernet port, a Dolby codec, a proper hard drive, no blue ray play back, or DVD play back, it costs a substantial amount of money to bring the wii u up to spec tech wise with my 7 year old PS3!

            6 months after launch and we still don’t have wonderful 101 and pikmin 3, which were both supposed to be launch window games, LMAO! that’s got to be the biggest launch window i have ever seen!
            Stop saying sorry nintendo, get rid of iwata and get the core gamers interest back to nintendo consoles!
            And for the love of god, hire a decent western team, who can go out and get the western 3rd parties on side, i miss the old days! oh nintendo how you fail us! most of the worthwhile games of e3 are for 2014, and so this year is filled with rehashes!

            When some one says sorry they are supposed to understand what they don’t wrong, and never do it again, in Nintendo’s case they fail at even this! whats the point when your going to make the same mistakes again and again? 3rd party support or the lack of it has been a problem since the n64 days, nes and snes were fine in this regard, but after n64 launched the problems started, why is it after so many hardware launches since the n64 nintendo still has not figured out why it is that 3rd parties don’t support them? that’s another EPIC FAIL in nintendo management! oh nintendo i love you and HATE U!! when will us nintendo fans who have supported you over 30yrs get the Nintendo we all once loved and respected? nintendo fans are so delusional its actually sad to see!

    1. Wat are you on about luigis mansion 2 was amasing,so was skyward sword and fire emblem and animal crossing they’ve made good games since then and smg 2 wasn’t that good thefirst will always be the superior one cause of its music and characters especially rosalina, I never thought a character so enriched with background and personality would appear in a3d mario title

  5. they gotta make an aggressive marketing campaign before xmas! but i think MS and Sony wiil struggle the same…best combo, imo, will be wii u with a good PC!

    1. A man after my own heart, Wii U and a good gaming PC and you are set.

      The PC is the best backwardly compatible games machine ever, and I’ve played most of the games that have come out on 360/PS3 on my PC with higher fidelity and the same controller, plus a bit of Skyward Sword in 1080p for good measure.

      Local multiplayer game is alive and strong on the Wii U, a real strength of the console, especially with Mario Kart coming out next year.

  6. Putting “Wii” in the name definitely helped with the consumer confusion, and it deterred core gamers who were skeptical of the Wii to begin with. The branding was poorly handled. Unless you are informed, the Wii U gamepad really does look like peripheral. Brand recognition is effective, but not in this case…truly a misstep. They were between a rock and a hard place with the Wii on its way out the door, they had to usher into the new generation with little HD experience, and by no means expert with online. They may justify local multiplayer, but online play is very useful to expanding sales, or so I believe.

    When Smash Bros. and the Zelda Wii U title roll around, the Wii U will definitely pick significantly. Nintendo will have a great handle on its online structure, and HD when the system is being fully realized. This may seem in some ways an optimistic view of how things will turn out, but really it is quite an average estimate. Nintendo is known to swing in strange directions.

  7. He is a truly lousy CEO. He spends all his time apologising and making up excuses for his poor decisions, both to gamers and shareholders. In the end, he is a designer, not a businessman. He should have stuck with what he knew best. I honestly think it’s about time the shareholders forced him out and brought in somebody who can revitalise Nintendo; both in terms of their offerings and reputation. Because at the moment, both are weak. (keeping in mind I am referring to their home console business. The 3DS is doing fine. Which is very lucky considering.)

    1. 2 of the 3 most successful gaming systems ever, not just from Nintendo, but ever, were released under Iwata’s reign. And the 3DS is well on it’s way to being another DS in terms of success. That seems pretty good to me. He makes mistakes, as everyone does, but he seems to be doing pretty well overall.

      I like that he actually acknowledges problems and apologies for them. If MS or Sony were having these problems their CEO’s wouldn’t apologise or take a pay cut, they’d most likely demand a £10million bonus to fix the issues.

      I think it’s about time, we realise that Iwata knows more about business and Nintendo than us. We haven’t released 2 systems that sold over 250million units combined. Nintendo, under his rule, have.

      1. Agreed, apologizing highlights that something went wrong, so people see it as a weakness. I find other companies weaker when they refuse to acknowledge anything that went wrong.

        1. @Iceazeama- Dude NONE of us wouldve been able to make millions for anybody lmao, thats why we are on a forum about video games every day, because we obviously put our effort in2 playing, not making millions… so people need 2 stop the BS already. Everybody is an ANAL-yst, everybody knows better than the proffessionals, everybody thinks its a piece of cake. Quit being so stupid. I bet nobody here can even make a decent PACMAN game for Christ’s sake! How the hell can you talk about the pros who do it every day? If Microsoft is still here (Which is the true Miracle), how the hell can someone expect Nintendo of all companies to go under? Its ridiculous.

          1. hate microsoft…… they destroyed the all mighty rareware and they have nothing good besides milking all there ips in one generation, oh and they are all now dull just like most fps are. just like how sony started to ruin squaresoft but not all the way like mocrosoft did to rareware!!!!!!

      2. Iwata got lucky, because the technology behind those systems was pitched to other manufacturers too. Nintendo didn’t invent it, they bought it. WiiU is 100% Nintendo. And look where it has gotten them so far.

    2. How is a CEO in charge of bringing out new games? He isn’t. They probably also have a separate marketing department. As CEO he spends his time apologize for departments that he doesn’t run himself. It’s not like the entirety of Nintendo is one person who makes games, does the marketing, and designs and produces hardware.

    1. What they need is your input to make them better. Sure, they haven’t done a great job, but with more fans complaining maybe they will turn things around.

  8. It’s more than that Mr. Iwata, Nintendo has not made games that lead the industry in technical and artistic value. Nintendo can not ignore games that offer online multiplayer competition. Furthermore, none of the games that will sell the system like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros U need the Gamepad and Nintendo Land should have used actual Nintendo characters and should have had online multiplayer functionality.

  9. Im too tired of this shit! Trying to be nice “gamer” playin with all consoles, but all i want to say is FUCK Sony,Microsoft and Nintendo. I want SEGA making consoles again so i can play with one platform and be a fanboy. FUCK YOU ALL FUCK THIS WORLD FUCK EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR DONT BELONG DONT EXIST DONT GIVE A SHIT AND DONT YOU EVER JUDGE ME.

  10. Nintendo lost me. I liked the old Nintendo that used to make games for the ones of us who aren’t interested in all these Mario clone games. (Mario games never interested me, and I been playing on Nintendo consoles for a very long time, no offense intended to anyone, it just my opinion). I liked the old Nintendo who had Rare (Goldneye, Perfect Dark, Conker and etc., even Jet Force Gemini I liked ). Silicon Knights (makers of Eternal Darkness),Left Field (Excitebike64). The good relationship they had with Factor 5 (Battle for Naboo on N64, Rogue Squadron games on the GC). Retro when it worked on all the Metroid games (now they put them to work on another game that doesn’t interest me, Donkey Kong).

    But now Nintendo only makes games that don’t appeal to me (“kiddie games”, no offense intended to anyone). They haven’t made a game that appeals to me in years. And don’t bring up Xenoblade,Pandora’s Tower, The Last Story etc, it took “Operation Rainfall” to convince Nintendo to release those games in the west, as Nintendo didn’t believe in them. Nintendo is clearly out of touch.

    1. Agreed, remember when Nintendo didn’t try to stuff innovation down your throat slapping there once great franchise down with, I mean I would prefer mk 64 over mk 8 anyday, because its simple but still one of the roughest games out there, its even worse they now put innovation and gimmicks in Zelda, skyward sword is an example why doi want to waggle some dildo thinking its a sword, but the thing that made me worked was when super mario 3 d world was announced why would Nintendo put a talented studio on some 3 Dr, I swear Nintendo at this stage doesn’t care about the hardcore Nintendo gamers, I mean yeah n64 and gc didn’t sell that well, but it had about every ninendo franchise on it, it was great, I was hoping Nintendo would do this with Wii u but yet again they go to casuals, I hope nintendo next system is normal, no gimmicks 4 k hd, great graphics great online, new ips, and franchises we know and love

      1. I agree to an extent, ummm, have you played Super Mario 3D Land, Skyward Sword, or Mario Kart 7? Yes, they’re made for everyone but even core gamers got stumped in Zelda and had a blast while racing.

        Don’t blame the games that are coming out or have been out. The developers worked really hard to ensure causal and hardcore players can enjoy them, even 3D Land gets ridiculously challening the more you play. It’s not these games that are the problem, it’s the fact that Nintendo only seems focused on these games. But don’t blame these amazing games for the company’s faults.

  11. In case you’re all wondering, the reason they didn’t market was because they rushed their console to the market and were hoping third parties would carry the flag until they were ready to go full force. Needless to say that plan failed, so it’s back to basics, just like it should be.

    Furthermore, don’t beat yourself up with a dead horse Iwata. Time to move forward! The Xbox 1 looks horrible right now and Sony’s lineup’s appeal is restricted to part of the market. Don’t apologize and drill yourself. JUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!

  12. It’s his fault, the marketing department’s fault, and mostly the backstabbing third-party developers.

    Mostly the third-party developers and publishers.

  13. The only bad thing bout the Wii U is the cotrollers. the wiimote definetly sucked. so I was exicted for the Wii U gamepad I was like yes now we can get off the stupid wii remote. then they say it can only support 2 and it still uses wii remotes. AND THERE’S ALMOST NO WAY TO GET ANOTHER GAMEPAD AND THERE’S NO GAMES THAT SUPPORT 2 GAMEPADS!!!

    1. Well if there are no games that support two gamepads… why would you want a second har har har!! Also, many would disagree about your take on the Wii Motes. Many people LOVE them! They are very accurate in what they can do. 💋

  14. If this were Microsoft they would never admit their mistakes. They would find someone else to blame. A lot of American companies do this. It’s more common for the CEO of a Japanese company to take blame, I mean everyone knows its their fault. They made the hardware so they are responsible for it. He’s acknowledging there is a problem and they have more than enough plans for how to operate going forward to try to fix that problem. All of these games getting ready to come out for the Wii U starting August will sell systems. We all know they will.
    A lot of Americans would think that apologizing in any form is a sign of weakness… which is just ridiculous. He is taking responsibility for the console they are trying to sell to us, not shifting blame to competition or the gaming market. These things are always around and once companies start blaming bad sales on that instead of trying to do something about it, THAT’S when a company starts to lose it’s consumers.

    The people who think kicking out all of the Nintendo executives and developers who have been there for years and just magically find the best people in the industry to take their place have no idea how to run a company like this.

  15. I may get a huge storm of tomatoes after saying this but, I have to say that the actual situation of the Wii U is the consequence of the success experienced from DS, 3DS and Wii; and is Miyamoto and Iwata’s fault.

    Why? Well, Iwata is the main responsible for bringing any games to the platform (whether 3rd or 1st party games), because if he plays bitch and says to all Nintendo studios “You’d better bring those games ASAP!” and negotiating with 3rd parties and even paying some licenses to them. Secondly, marketing is part of his job; and seriously, the Wii U’s marketing has been pure shit: little to no advertisements even before the console was released. Marketing is something that Nintendo could learn from Sony, TBH. Sony really advertises his PlayStation (there’s no freaking UEFA Champions League match that doesn’t have a “PS(3)” add!).

    And why Miyamoto-sama’s fault? The truth is… He’s over confident of his good job (I can’t even believe I’m saying this…….); he thinks that as long as those games are “Made in Nintendo”, those shits are going to be excellent and sell millions in no time (which most of the time, that’s how it is); and secondly, he firmly believes that the only way you can manage to bring unique experiences is through hardware uniqueness; which to be honest, at least in my opinion, is not like that. You can manage to bring really unique experiences without using a Wiimote, or two screens in your handheld, or even a Gamepad. Heck! You can even make legendary experiences without analog sticks! You just have to think and work harder on how to make unique games with your standard controller. The problem is that Miyamoto fears that the Gamecube event happens again: Nintendo made a really powerful machine, but it was beaten by PS2’s monopoly. But times have changed, now, and sadly, people really give a shit about hardware specs and the games! I’m not saying the Wii U is weak, no way in hell, this baby has good rawpower on it. But any smart person knows that 8GB RAM against 2GB RAM is huge.

    In my opinion, Nintendo should stop making new controllers and stay with the actual Gamepad. This thing is a brilliant masterpiece with almost endless possibilities. Hell! Even I, that I’m no game developer, have some crazy ideas for even Super Smash Bros. U! Now can you imagine the craziness that Sakurai is developing for it?! The Gamepad should forever stay in any other home console from Nintendo.

    1. That would be cool if (in the very distant) future. When Nintendo comes out with their new hardware, it is all about raw power and cost as mich as the Wii U, BUT it utilizes the Wii U Pad so it still keeps it’s innovative aspect to it. Then Nintendo could really compete with Sony and Microsoft. Only thing is…. Nintendo doesn’t “want ” to compete with “power.” So I don’t see this happening. 💋

    2. I mostly agree with you. At the moment an important competitor of Wii U is Wii !! It is outselling the first (Japan is the exception), if you add up the sales worldwide of both the number is not bad, but people do not see a difference between them besides the price. If Nintendo starts to work AS SOON AS possible in a way to transfer the interest on Wii to Wii U and together with the arrival of the new games its sales would start to rise imediately before the arrival of PS4 (since in my opinion XBONE will not be a big problem after Microsoft new games sales policies).

      NINTENDO!! PLEASE FIND A WAY TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO BUY A WII U INSTEAD A WII AND HURRY WITH THE NEW GAMES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Criticisms to this ideas is mostly wellcomed!

  16. They should really start advertising now then people would know about it! Also did Wii U sales increase after E3? Just wondering.

    1. I’m not sure. I would think not, because people are literally waiting for the last oppertunity to buy a Wii U. They are waiting for the exact day Wind Waker HD comes out, or Pikmin 3 or Super Mario 3D World, etc. They are all hoping by the time these games come out, the Wii U will have yet ANOTHER price cut. 💋

  17. If they realized that, we are going to see some nice pieces of advertisement from now on! A bit late, but better than never! Good luck with that Nintendo, I want to see Wii U sales boosting like after the Xbox One was announced!

  18. Wish he “took the blame” months ago when the Wii U released so they could fix it. Now it’s a little late lol! Lets all hope Nintendo gets the sales they need this holiday season. 💋

  19. They need new guy with dragonballs in charge. Yamauchi had those, Iwata just whines and apologises”we are ignorin sony and ms because they have lots of support and games and wii dont so we are not doing anything forward to get the titles like ffxv in our system because we are ignorin everything whats happening outside of our buildin and targetin casuals i hope you understand”.

  20. Dude, I have a Wii U and I cannot understand what’ so unique about it.
    Seriously, I was hoping that Nintendo used the gamepad with creativity, but I don’t saw any title at this e3 that even MENTIONED the gamepad.
    That’s why the gamers don’t understand what’s so unique about wii u… BECAUSE IT DON’T HAVE NOTHING UNIQUE

  21. the only thing thats not unique about the wiiu is the games..the only good game i have with high replay value is nsmbu…everything else are shitty ports

  22. ITS CUZ NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY ON A STUPID GAMEPAD I TRIED THAT SHIT OUT WAS THE DUMBEST THING EVER. POINTLESS. USELESS TECHNOLOGY THE SCREEN ISN’T EVEN HD AND IT LOOKS HORRIBLE AND CLUNKY

  23. The Wii created such a buzz when it first saw the light of day, from it’s name, to what it could do, we even got zelda twilight princess day one, ah the good old days! :D

    The wii u is dead in the water, just… dead.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see the back end of Iwata, HE’S MAKING MIYAMOTO MISERABLE FFS!!!

    I believe Iwata has old man syndrome, where you become so attached to one thing, you cannot move on to the next thing. The Wii u is a big ball of history taped together, it is a DS copycat, A Wii copycat, and now with mario 3D world, a 3DS copycat. The wii u itself is nothing. I dislike the wii u’s name, there is no love in this system. Donkey kong is a Wii game clone which should not exsist… yet. Wind waker is not all that, most zelda fans don’t see it as good. Smash bros lol 2014, I didn’t want smash bros till 2015, but I can now see the desperation in Iwatas eyes. Mario kart has turned out good, but should have come out in a much needed bundle this year, christmas is going to be a poor show for many this year. The ps4 will sell, everyone knows about it, the console name is popular, and easy to remember :)

    Nintendo need to nail christmas sales next year, but I can only see a further struggle for them, to hold, to keep, and interest new people. If there will be one disciding factor, it will be how E3 turns out next year. But I don’t want Iwata in my face, spewing crap, and screwing with the things I love.

  24. I don’t give a FUCK about your fucking self-blames. You say you’re gonna take responsibility, then TAKE IT. This is the same fucking apology spoken ad nauseum over and over every single year. “We’re to blame for the 3DS not selling well,” “We’re to blame for the Wii not selling well,” “We’re to blame for the Wii U not selling well.” Same fucking thing year after year! What good is an apology if you don’t own up to it?

    On another related note: Nintendo has been so busy trying to have the hardcore system that accommodates all games, that they have forgotten the central appeal that made the Wii so damn good: Simplicity and focus. The Wii U is a smorgasbord of all these things that I don’t know what it is anymore, while the Wii still remains what it is: a gaming system meant for less heavy-handed fun. Despite naming the Wii U after its predecessor, the Wii U today is doing so many things that’s making its moniker highly redundant. Nintendo figured the Wii U would benefit from the same sales as the Wii solely by its name, but you can’t gain anything out of such a superficial relationship. You have to maintain the same core appeal that the predecessor had. Because anybody can see that the Wii U’s link to the Wii is only by a flimsy thread.

  25. Once the real Wii U games come out (Super Smash, Mario 3D World, Sonic and the Lost World) then the console will definitely start selling better. They just need to make sure that the gamepad isn’t a crucial part on those games and that you can play without it

  26. Okay…so what are you going to do about it Iwata? I say let people download the E3 Demos in the next few weeks and their friends can come over and see and play Wii U. Also Starting August 4th with Pikmin 3 START ADVERTISING Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 and Windwaker HD and DKC TF and 3D World and AC4 and Watch Dogs and COD Ghosts….unfortunately as well as Batman Arkham Origins.

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