The latest firmware update for Wii U has already arrived in North America, and the biggest addition is that gamers can now enjoy Wii games on the Wii U gamepad. The update also allows for USB keyboard support, and updates to the Wii U internet browser, including the ability to read .pdf files on it. New additions to Nintendo Network and the sound capabilities of Wii software round out the reported updates thus far. The system update, which was rumored early on Monday, arrived even earlier than expected. Stay tuned for more details.
A long-standing patent infringement dispute taken out against the Wii and Wii U systems and their controllers was won by Nintendo late Thursday. The case, brought against Nintendo by themed adventure park owners Creative Kingdoms, would have blocked Wii and Wii U consoles from being imported into the United States. It asserted that the motion sensor technology used in Nintendo’s Wii remotes infringed upon a similar technology employed by magic toy wands that were used for casting spells on TV screens at Creative Kingdoms attractions. According to Nintendo’s press release, the International Trade Commission found that Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems do not infringe Creative Kingdoms’ patents. The commission also found that Creative Kingdoms’ patents are invalid.
The Creative Kingdoms case dates back to March of 2011. After ruling in Nintendo’s favor once, the judge overseeing the dispute was asked to reevaluate his position, and has again decided in Nintendo’s favor, declaring Creative Kingdoms’s patents invalid and stating that the Wiimote is not a hollow “toy wand”. Nintendo had reportedly also argued that the Wii U should not be included in the lawsuit, as it was not released until afterwards, and therefore was never directly inspected by the judge. Richard Medway, deputy general counsel for Nintendo of America, had the following to say about the ruling:
“We are pleased with the commission’s determination. Nintendo’s track record demonstrates that we vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we believe we have not infringed another party’s patent. Nintendo continues to develop unique and innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others.”
The Wonderful 101 producer Hideki Kamiya has revealed that the well-received Wii U game almost started out as a Wii game. Kamiya says that when they first came up with the unique concept the Wii U system hadn’t even been announced, so the game was originally destined for the original Wii. However, Kamiya says the game wasn’t necessarily for any particular platform, but when they approached Nintendo they decided Wii was the best fit.
“Initially, it was based on the idea of using these Nintendo characters. At the time Wii U hadn’t been announced yet and there was no knowledge of it. I can’t say with certainty, but I believe this was something that we think of potentially for Wii. And so it was put on hold. Then, one year later, when we came back with the idea of creating this as a superhero game… At that time it wasn’t necessarily based on any specific platform. But when we took it to Nintendo, the discussions went from there, and we decided to put it on Wii.”
Three of the best-selling and best-reviewed Wii games of all time are now available at a new low price. Starting today, Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Sports Resort are available at a suggested retail price of just $29.99 each.
The new price represents one of the many steps Nintendo is taking to provide shoppers with the best value and variety across all its systems through the end of 2013. The games can also be played on the Wii U home console, which can play the entire library of Wii games.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is tied with Super Mario Galaxy as one of the best-reviewed games of all time, with a Metacritic score of 97. To date the game has sold more than 2.7 million in the United States alone. New Super Mario Bros. Wii has sold more than 9.4 million in the U.S. and Wii Sports Resort, the follow-up to the game that introduced motion controls to the world of gaming, has U.S. sales of nearly 7 million.
Activision Publishing recently revealed that Cabela’s African Adventures will be released on the Wii this fall. The game is an open world hunting adventure in which the player tracks down leopards, rhinos, elephants, and other exotic game. In addition to the campaign mode, Cabela’s African Adventures also features multiplayer “Hot Seat” mode, and a shooting gallery where gamers can test their firing abilities. The game will be sold for $29.99 on Wii, a full $10 cheaper than other consoles.
Following this and Activision’s announcement of a new TMNT game for Wii and 3DS, Wii U owners may be wary of the fact that third party companies continue to skip Nintendo’s next-gen console in favor of the Wii. A much larger base of Wii owners, in addition to a continued hesitation to become acquainted with developing for the newer hardware, seem to be the motivating factors staving off developers from Nintendo’s latest console. With Wii U repeatedly left out of announcements for new games, along with several of the system’s titles lacking the online multiplayer modes featured on rival consoles, Wii U players are wondering if their gamepad-driven console will ever be given a fair shake.
After seeing the poor sales of the 3DS, then seeing it rise to become one of Nintendo’s best-selling handhelds, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s President, said that the company learned a lot from its launch. Regarding the upcoming Wii U, Iwata stated that Nintendo
“won’t make the same mistake that [they] did with the 3DS, which was considered a relatively high [price] by consumers.” Unfortunately though, the reality is that they’ve gotten themselves into an all-too similar situation. The Wii U’s sales are abysmal, even being outsold by its predecessor. The price point is high considering that the PS4 (a system significantly more powerful) will be a mere $100 more at launch. But what’s most important is that the Wii U is lacking something. It’s obvious to consumers as well, given the poor sales:
Where are the games?
Right now, we’ve got a few fun games, a couple “must-haves” with Pikmin 3 having just launched, but that isn’t nearly enough. The Wii U is in a dangerous place with its price point. When coupled with the lack of games, this is what happens: Awful sales. Consumers aren’t interested in buying one, obviously, and it’s because of the things listed above. And not to mention, the confusing name: Wii U. Too many consumers just aren’t aware of exactly what the Wii U is and the fact that it’s available. But, we already know these things- they’ve been discussed many times by bloggers, and critics, and analysts. The question we’re discussing is this:
What will save the Wii U?
Does Nintendo need a price cut to remain competitive? If there isn’t one, the PS4 will only be $50 more later this year. Does Nintendo need to advertise to their consumers just what the Wii U is? Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Wii U on a commercial or ad. Most importantly, how will Nintendo survive the onslaught that will be the holidays? Will their first party lineup be enough, or does the suffering Wii U need more?
What do you all think? What will save the Wii U? Does it have the ability to come out on top this holiday season without a price cut? Sound off in the comments!
US retail chain GameStop has acquired a number of copies of the critically acclaimed Japanese RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles. However, the retailer is selling the game pre-owned for a staggering $90. There are apparently a number of coupons floating around online that should take the pricing down a little. Would you pay $90 for Xenoblade Chronicles?
As today, August 4th, marks the release of Pikmin 3 in North America, Nintendo has posted a video to their YouTube page detailing the basics of the game. The video is obviously aimed at the many people who are new to the Pikmin series as it goes in-depth into all the different facets of the game’s controls and basic mechanics.
So of you who already own the game, how many of you are playing the Pikmin series for the first time? Also can this game be enough to give the abysmal Wii U sales a nice jolt? Sound off on all things Pikmin in the comments!
Thanks, He-Man Forever
Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata was asked recently whether he believed that Nintendo was making ‘pieces of art’. Surprisingly, his response was as follows:
“It’s not like we are making pieces of art, the point is to make a product that resonates with and is accepted by customers.”
Now it makes perfect sense that his answer would highlight Nintendo’s concentration on the consumer as its main goal, but interestingly, Iwata appears to disagree that Nintendo’s games should be considered art. Whether or not games are art may be an abstract question, but it’s a question that won’t stop being asked anytime soon.
It appears that, despite promises to the contrary, Nintendo may be in a sticky situation with their latest console release. Though the Nintendo 3DS suffered from poor reception at first largely due to its high price tag, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata made a statement reassuring their fans (and stockholders) that the Wii U would not suffer the same fate and that Nintendo wouldn’t “make the same mistakes that [they] did with the 3DS…”
Well that statement was made about a year ago, and here we are with sales figures suggesting the exact opposite. The Wii, that six-year old console that lacks HD-support and has been available since 2006, managed to outsell Nintendo’s brand-new Wii U console for the first and second quarter in 2013. One could argue that it’s the lower price point of the Wii causing this “cannibalization” of their new home console- and that person would probably be right. But what’s even more worrisome is the overall huge drop in sales the Wii U saw from its launch to this year.
So is the Wii U going to need a price cut to survive just as the 3DS did?? All that is certain is that Nintendo needs to do something to ensure its home console can be competitive this holiday season! Sound off in the comments!