Respected online gaming publication Eurogamer has written an article declaring that the Wii U and the PlayStation Vita are our new Dreamcasts. However, the publication says this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as despite neither achieving commercial success, they both have a good back catalogue of games.
“Commercial success may evade them, but these ailing consoles are future classics.”
“It’s one of the odd phenomena seemingly exclusive to video game fandom that some people really do care. Sales figures are used as self-validation for those that have picked the most popular side, and there’s no shortage of morbid mobs prematurely ringing the death knell for struggling hardware. The strangely partisan behaviour of players who pledge blind allegiance to corporations is a matter for another day, though – what’s important is to forget about all that, and embrace some of those commercial failures while they’re still around for us to celebrate them.”
Hugo Smits, a game developer from Goodbyegalaxygames, has written a blog post titled “Shut up! Nothing is wrong with Nintendo Wii U!” which attempts to defend the Wii U. Smits says the real problem with Nintendo is communication with consumers and developers coupled with Nintendo’s own services. Smits doesn’t think the Wii U is a bad console, but thinks it was just marketed poorly. He goes on to say that the same thing happened with Nintendo 3DS as consumers thought it was just a revised Nintendo DS after all the iterations of the Nintendo DS systems. You can read his post, here.
Online gaming publication Eurogamer has written an in-depth article looking at who to blame for Nintendo’s current predicament. The publication has decided to point the finger at legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, saying that he’s partly to blame for Nintendo’s current woes. You can read the whole thing, here.
“It seems unlikely that Miyamoto himself isn’t aware of this situation. His own record as an innovator suggests otherwise. Perhaps, in greenlighting so many sequels, offshoots and retrospective curios, he is just trying to keep fans tickled and sales ticking over until Nintendo’s next magic bullet is in the chamber. It’s said that he is working on a new franchise for Wii U, as is the Tokyo A-team – perhaps one and the same project. News of what they are up to cannot come soon enough, and I hope it proves me wrong.”
“But even if it does – even if, within Nintendo’s walls, Miyamoto is fighting the company’s more conservative instincts rather than preserving them – perhaps it is time to consider whether his richly deserved legend hasn’t become a gilded millstone for the game creators working under him. He’s a star that cannot be outshone, and his original creations have become needs to be serviced by those who follow him, rather than inspirations for them to find their own voices. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the great man agreed with me, but it never seemed to him to be the right moment; his successors never seemed to be ready. Perhaps they won’t be until he steps aside. Perhaps he, and they, and we, just need to let go.”
David Jaffe, the game director behind God of War and Twisted Metal, has said on Twitter that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata should be allowed to fail given his past success with the Wii and the Nintendo DS. You can read exactly what Jaffe had to say, below.
“Calling for Iwata to step down [misses] sight of what makes Nintendo great. You’d never get the Wii-type successes if you don’t allow a guy like Iwata to fail hard as well.”
“…that failure can be a sign that a person has lost ‘it’ and needs to go OR a sign that a person is still very much relevant and has tons of great work left in them but is taking the same sorts of chances that — in the past — have lead to great successes but are now — temporarily — leading to some failures. You MUST fail if you want to grow and have new successes.”
“My point is, you WANT a person who fails for these latter reasons and you want to lose one who fails for the initial reasons. I feel Iwata is the [latter] and he’s certainly earned the right to fail more than he has to this point. And that’s from a gamer AND stockholder perspective. If you [want] make money, back the folks who fail properly. Failure isn’t just an option, it’s desired if the goal is big success. And investors who don’t value failure are idiots.”
“Many thought Wii 1 was a bad move at first as well. Point is, so what it’s a bad move? Investors need to be thinking BIG PICTURE and LONG GAME with a company like Nintendo…companies that I admire are the ones that don’t only play for the short term win. you can look at the up and down history of the company and see that if you want to invest in a company like Nintendo, those ups and downs are part of what makes them great.”
“Imagine throwing out ALL of that wonderful knowledge and understanding and HARD lessons learned by cleaning house at Sony [because] the PS3 did not perform as well as investors would have liked. Yes, sometimes the [solution] is to clean house, sometimes it’s to clean a bit of the house, but damn, I think people are losing sight of the value of failure.”
Famed Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes one of the solutions to Nintendo’s dilemma would be to temporarily release their games on competing consoles such as the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Pachter thinks that by doing this in the short term – while they’re getting ready to bring a more competitive console to the market – they can then withdraw support and once again focus on their own platform.
So what’s the solution for Nintendo? In Pachter’s opinion, the company must swallow its pride and start publishing its first-rate software on competing platforms. Then, once Nintendo is ready to bring a more competitive console to the market, it can withdraw its support from the other systems and focus on its own platform again.
“We believe that it should reconsider its ‘all proprietary, all the time’ model, and should consider making its proprietary console software available on other platforms until it is able to release a new console. Once Nintendo has a new console on the market, we think it would make sense for the company to pull all of its software from the PS4 and Xbox One, and go back to being a proprietary software maker. In the meantime, we believe that the company has a problem that it is not acknowledging or addressing,”
Hirokazu Hamamura, who is prolific within the Japanese video game industry, has told the Mainichi Shinbun that he personally believes that Wii U could bounce back provided Nintendo continue to release killer games for the system. However, he is of the opinion that Nintendo are finding it too difficult to juggle the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U at the moment. At the end of the interview Hamamura wondered if the Wii U can be “resurrected.”
“Associating the growth of smartphones and the slump of the Wii U is difficult. Two years ago the handheld 3DS was called a failure, and then it bounced back. Of course they are in competition to keep a hold on the users’ time. It can be boosted if killer content is released. However developing a lot of games for both the Wii U and the 3DS is difficult… That’s a fact.”
Trade publication Games Industry has listed what they deem to be the losers of 2013. Among those listed are Insomniac Games, Microsoft, Digital Pricing, and Nintendo’s latest home console, Wii U. The publication says that Nintendo as a whole are fine, but they believe that the Wii U is technically over as the big hitters failed to substantially drive console sales. Here’s what they have to say.
“Nintendo is fine. But the Wii U is over. It didn’t really begin, to be fair. It’s not going to sell 9 million units in this financial year as predicted by Satoru Iwata. Nintendo has its head in the sand. I will be surprised if the Wii U is in stores next Christmas, apart from knocking around the bargain bins and/or the retro sections, where delusional Nintendo fanboys refuse to accept the inevitable. Apart from a handful of games that are in Nintendo’s own house there’s nothing to wait for. And that myth that Nintendo games sell Nintendo consoles is clearly just that. It’s a myth. Wind Waker HD, Pikmin and Mario may be great games but they haven’t been system sellers.”
“The big question earlier in the year was whether new consoles from Microsoft and Sony would follow suit. They didn’t; both have gotten off to a flying start past the two million mark. Over a year from release and the Wii U is shuffling along with no support from third parties. Again, the Nintendo faithful point to in-house development, but it’s clearly not enough to shift units. Nintendo hasn’t heard the advice to fast fail. This holiday season is the last roll of the dice – the bundles on offer are good value for money – but the system looks out of date sat next to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. To the consumer it’s not clear what differentiates the Wii U. It looks cheaper, it has a tablet that’s barely used and once again it’s surrounded by those all too familiar cartoon faces. Nintendo preaches to the converted but the converted aren’t enough to sustain the Wii U business.”
“I’ll say it again to be clear; Nintendo is fine, but the Wii U is over.”
UK gaming publication Videogamer has listed their all-time favourite Nintendo 3DS games. The list itself is rather good, but oddly it’s missing Super Mario 3D Land, which is widely regarded to be one of the best games available on the platform. You can take a look at their hand chosen picks in the list below.
- Fire Emblem Awakening
- Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
- Mario Kart 7
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
- Super Street Fighter IV
- Resident Evil Revelations
- Donkey Kong Country Returns
- Cave Story 3D
- Metal Gear Solid 3
- Zelda Ocarina Of Time
- Zelda Link Between Worlds
- Luigi’s Mansion 2
- Pokemon X & Y
- Animal Crossing New Leaf
- Mario & Luigi Dream Team
Famed industry analyst Michael Pachter has told MCV that he believes that Wii U hardware sales will fall 65 per cent year-on-year. This means that Wii U US November sales are estimated at 149K by Pachter. The news comes ahead of the November NPD results which should indicate just how well the console has done against the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. However, it should be noted that last November is when the system launched, so sales should be higher.
Pachter added that Wii U is expected to have suffered significantly as a result of the launches, with hardware sales falling 65 per cent year-on-year. Xbox 360 and PS3 sales are predicted to have fallen 44 per cent and 28 per cent respectively
US video game publication Games Radar thinks Nintendo should admit defeat and ditch the company’s Wii U console. The publication says that it’s now time for Nintendo to cut its losses and start again with a more powerful console, presumably to compete against the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They believe that Nintendo could have a new machine ready by 2015. Of course, if this ever did happen, there would certainly be a lot of angry and disheartened Nintendo fans.
“But Wii U is not next-gen. It’s still stuck in 2005. Sure, it’s a got a superb, high-res touchscreen, which is technically superior to Sony’s PS Vita Remote play (at least at present) and this comes in the box with the console, but essentially Wii U is technically on a par with last-gen machines, aping the Wii’s winning tactic from the previous era. But where Vita was never intended to be an intrinsic part of PS4 and has just turned out to work extremely well with it, the GamePad was meant to be a big part of the Wii U experience. And it hasn’t proved its worth in that respect.”
“But is it worth that struggle? Maybe it would be better for the company to cut its losses and start again with a new console. If developed now, a new Nintendo machine would likely be ready in time for Christmas 2015. By then, it would be too soon for Sony and Microsoft to counter it with another launch, giving Nintendo the chance to offer a more powerful console at around the price of PS4 and XO right now.”