Nintendo

Reggie Talks About Why He Thinks The Wii U Didn’t Do So Well At First

The Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, has sat down in an interview with Polygon to talk about the Wii U and its somewhat troubled start. Reggie reckons the bumpy start for the Wii U is down to the lack of good games that showed the console off at launch. Miyamoto has also been speaking about the struggles of the Wii U and what factors he thinks are responsible. The sales tend to speed up and slow down again every so often, but they’re hoping the current momentum will continue. He said:

“This industry is all about content. I can map out why the Wii took off at launch, it had two killer pieces at launch: Twilight Princess, Wii Sports. Look at our DS business. Our DS business was OK, but it was the launch of DS Lite, the launch of Nintendogs, the launch of the first New Super Mario Bros. where that system sort of dramatically took off.”

“So what happened with Wii U? Once the software came that showcased the capabilities of the system, guess what happened? The hardware took off.”

“I think it began holiday of 2013 as we prepped those launches that gave us some momentum. Then Mario Kart 8 hit, then it was Smash. I think it really was holiday of ’13, when we started to get the momentum.”

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109 comments

    1. Right. It´s still too far away from what would be “average”. And the last E3 didn´t do well for the future of the console.

      Like

    2. Wii did well bc motion controls are innovative at the time and touch screen phones were just launching. .. tablets also didn’t exist. Casual gamers went crazy for the fad bc wii was something easy to pickup and put down. When wiiU launched, aside from the terrible name, all the casuals had moved on to their phone and tablets.. and a chunk of the core moved on to higher powered systems that offered what gamers were clamoring for. . ie graphics, multiplayer, online, ect

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Obviously you don’t know how to translate it well to the internet because most people can tell what and when sarcasm is.

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  1. >>>And of course the name, the civilian cattle is too primitive to understand the concepts, no Wii brand whatever you do please or we will get this situation again>>>

    Liked by 4 people

      1. It was stupid to use Wii branding again. I always thought the other codenames were cooler like Cafe, Stream and whatever the others were.

        Nintendo Stream would have been the most fitting name since the controller streams content from console.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Nintendo Stream for its name is the smartest idea but again, since when Nintendo ever use their fucking heads to think and listen?

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      3. Nintendo Cafe sounds cooler but cafe has too many casual connotations. Nintendo Stream would have been THE perfect name for the console, so I agree.

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      4. Khange your name. I was the first Jester before I started showing support for King K. Rool. It will khange back to Jester once he’s in the game, or the voting ballot is done for.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sad that the Wii itself had better support and library than its HD counterpart. How the fuck was that even possible that the predecessor is better?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. While most of wii’s games might be 4th party garbage indeed, The wii had many many good games aswell. It has so many games, that it had many bad games and many good games, and the latter matters.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Only Nintendo games on Wii were amazing and there’s only a handful of third parties that don’t suck like RE4 Wii port.

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      4. I’d put Red Steel 2 in that list of good 3rd party games for the Wii. Too bad Ubisoft had to turn it’s back on us for bullshit reasons when it came to the Wii U. I’d be more respectful toward Ubisoft if they didn’t practically stab us in the back, twist the knife, then drag it down our back while it was still in us.

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      5. Ubisoft is still giving us Just Dance so let’s give them some respect! They’re even porting over the Zombie game so the other companies can have fun with it =)

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      6. Pfft! Why should we give Ubisoft respect for giving us one of the biggest party games in the history of video games when we are dissing Nintendo for turning Metroid into a bloody party game?

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      7. I just brought it up because I saw some posters bashing it in the article. Ubisoft is one of the only companies who is still standing by Nintendo. They admitted that they will only give us family games, but that’s still something and Just Dance actually isn’t terrible. It’sa decent game.

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      8. I won’t buy Just Dance, but it’s not bad. I’ll take it over The Last of Us, Bayonetta, or Halo any day. Since I don’t play M games or ones that have so much content, a kids game works for me.

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  2. Explains why it still hasn’t 10 million yet…. Stop bullshitting and just say it was the hardwares fault, the advertising’s fault, YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Lol C’mon Reggie. 10 million in worldwide sales isn’t “taking off”. Yeah it actually started moving units but it hasn’t gone anywhere. After Kart & Smash sold their share of systems, the plane landed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nintendo’s marketing department seriously screwed the pooch in this one, big time. The only places we saw the Wii-U being advertised were on the Nintendo channel on our old Wii, and on Youtube. We saw nothing as far as TV commercials went. Most people had no idea what it was or how it was different from the original Wii.

    Heck, that might not have been so bad if they had pushed to get more games out for this thing. The first year or so it was out, Target could barely fill an end cap with games for this system.

    We saw the same thing with the original Wii though, a serious lack of games for the first couple of years it was out.

    We won’t be buying the next Nintendo console. This has been such a complete disappointment and Nintendo shows no sign of acknowledging what their actual screw-ups were.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. After the lack luster Digital event i hardly see the SSB-Splatoon momentum working. they better step up their game for August and october directs to try to restore the trust they lost during E3

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pretty much only Nintendo fans follow the Directs, the whole gaming world follows the E3. That’s why, if they have anything to show or tease for the next 2 years, they should do it there.

      This interview makes me think that what Reggie is saying is that this time, with the NX, there will be more games at launch. Which might explain why they’ve dialed down the Wii U -development. (Which does not encourage me to get the NX)

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  6. All marketing in my opinion… Should have been easy to make it happen, and probably would have been easier just to call it Wii HD as that is basically what it is, and yes the gamepad, but that is more of an addition as opposed to the whole system as I can do plenty without it. I love it, but it isn’t necessary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lack of good games?!?!

    •Assassin’s Creed 3
    •Mass Effect 3
    •New Super Mario Bros. U
    •Nintendo Land
    •Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
    •Lego City Undercover
    •Tekken

    Get real Reggie, there was a better launch lineup for Wii U then there was for the 3DS. The excuses are getting ridiculous…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nintendo needs to understand that the system sucks, no one wants to use a big tablet to play a system, and people don’t wanna use two screens. They want one and a controller. That’s what works. The 3DS works because you can see the entire 2 screens and controls like an actual controller. Nintendo is losing me as a customer. I’m getting a ps4 and telling them fuck off until they learn

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love the gamepad. I do most of my gaming on the gamepad. If they gave the rest of you the option to run the machine without it, I’d be fine with it, but I personally enjoy console gaming without being tethered to a TV.

        Of course, there would be games you can’t play without the gamepad, soo. IDK.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If it wasn’t so dependent on EVERYTHING like system settings, Netflix, browser, and such plus having a suck ass battery that’s somehow worse than the 3DS (original), then it wouldn’t feel kinda forced on people.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah. It took my Wii U days before it finally loaded the motherfucking recent Wii U update while in sleep mode. If I didn’t snap & break my Gamepad, I could have updated it sooner.

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      4. Ugh! I want to use my 3DS as a secondary Gamepad so bad. At least for settings & Gamepad essential stuff. I can use my pro controller for everything else.

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      5. Now that’s fucked up. It seriously can’t work on its own right without the fucking game pad. lol

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      6. Yeah, I’ve gotta disagree there. I love the system and love the game pad. Games that embrace it and really take advantage of the capabilities of that gamepad are pretty awesome. I love how ZombiU integrated it so well. That was by far my favorite game of the year, creepiest and most immersive zombie game I’ve ever played, but because it was a Wii-U exclusive and Nintendo dropped the ball on marketing, ZombiU was all but a flop.

        I don’t think the problem was the hardware at all. I’m convinced this was a marketing snafu. If only Nintendo would own up to it and change their game plan, but it’s clear that they have no intention of doing that.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Razor’s Edge was soon ported to the PS3 and Xbox 360.
      Tekken 7, is that coming to Wii U?
      Mass Effect 3 was a port of the original series on PS3 and Xbox 360
      Assassin’s Creed 3 was just terrible.

      So really you only mentioned 2 good games and one decent title.

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      1. Mass effect was a hellava port. Straight Right did an amazing job, plus we got all the extra updated content before the other consoles.

        Put Mass Effect 3 back on the list!!

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      2. No. It needs to stay off. Now if we had gotten the Mass Effect Trilogy, which was sold on the PS3 & Xbox 360 for the same price as Mass Effect 3 for the Wii U, then it could stay there… but it wasn’t. EA completely railroaded Mass Effect 3 with that bullshit.

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    3. Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U while at the same time PS3 and X360 got Mass Effect Trilogy for the same price.
      New Super Mario Bros U was… meh. The worst of the bunch. And NSMB series is not that great, despite DS and Wii sales.
      Nintendo Land was okay.
      Assassin’s Creed 3 was also everywhere.
      The rest aren’t system sellers.
      So yeah, no killer titles there.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. Lego was not launch. That came in March, Wii U launched in November. Unless Nintendo wants to claim that as part of their “launch window.” Ninja Gaiden and Mass Effect 3 were old ports and I think Assassin’s Creed was too. Nintendo Land was ok but nothing spectacular. New Super Mario Bros. U was decent, but not a great launch title. Launch was crappy as far as new games went. Ports were good although I only had Batman and Darksiders 2, so I cant speak to the others. Oh, and ZombiU was pretty good. So basically old ports and some new mediocre stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. They always mention how their ideas are just ‘not understood’ as if an entire country of people doesn’t understand technology. To refuse to accept that Nintendo, as individuals and as a business, made some poor decisions, shows an incredible lack of responsibility.
    Get out of the way and let someone else take over. Maybe someone that can analyse data, or not constantly defend their sub-optimal decisions.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yep, Nintendo´s speeches in nutshell, “we arent understood” or “We are aiming the blue ocean, we are using blue ocean strategy”

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    1. It’s too late for that. They killed the Wii U at barely half of its life when they mentioned NX and porting the next Zelda to NX.

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    2. More like WITH Kate Upton. I’d be lying if I said the Game of War commercials with her in it weren’t a very tempting reason to play it. Even though I know she won’t actually be in the game. lol

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  9. Reggie is full of shit. Software doesn’t sell hardware. No one brought wonderful 101. That’s software thats great. No one brought Bayonetta and the game wasn’t even shipped a lot because of the low expectations the game had when selling for the system. No one brought Donkey Kong because it was the same as the Wii. No one brought Zombie U. No one brought Watch Dogs. Software doesn’t sell hardware when hardware sucks.

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    1. Games like W101,Bayonetta2 didnt sell because there was barely any advertisement for these games, heck i havent seen one in my entire lifetime for either of these games. It has nothing to do with hardware. Nintendo just refused to show people that their system has great exclusives and make them wanna buy it. But hey, lets cheap out on marketing and put that money aside for Zelda Fashion Party and Federation Faps.

      Im glad though that no one bought WatchDogs that sorry excuse of a support and game.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I brought the PC version of it. But I was waiting for the review of the Wii U version before I decided to buy the game. When I learned that the wii U version just add the map on the gamepad after a delay of 6 months…. well I went for the PC version.

        To be fair it’s not Nintendo’s fault on that one cause Ubisoft did not even mention in their ads, even on their website it was really obscure.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. No one bought WATCH_DOGS because Ubisoft went full retard be delaying the Wii U version, releasing every other version before the Wii U version, and releasing the Wii U version within a week of Smash Bros. Wii U’s release.

      That one is entirely on Ubi’s shoulders.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. No one bought watchdogs because it was a shit game. On every system. WiiU fans should be grateful Ubi stalled so they didn’t waste their money. Lol. (In all fairness, I didn’t play it)

        Liked by 1 person

    3. It’s not the hardware’s entire fault. It’s the fucked up management of it all that made it a mess. Watchdogs flopped because of Ubisoft’s BS towards the fans alone. Wonderful 101 didn’t do so hot because the fans probably didn’t accept its gameplay much. When I played the demo, it didn’t really click to me. Bayonetta 2, although claimed to perform better than the first game on two systems, was a bit let down because of low shipment you mentioned so you were right on that one.

      What determines the sales of products is how you present them and how it’s made for certain demographics.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Software does sell hardware, the hw is pointless without sw afterall. As a stand-alone, Wii U just has less software than the competition, and with its weak hw, the competition ranges from PS360 to PSOne.

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  10. He is right that the launch titles were woeful and didn’t capture the imagination. But there are many other problems with the Wii U and they still haven’t addressed them. At least now there are some superb games available.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love Nintendo and I love my wii u, but really? I wish that companies would just man up and be like, “it’s not where we want it to be and its not doing well enough, but we’ll do better on our next system” that being said in about 10 years I’m sure everyone’s opinion about the Wii u will be how it is about the GameCube.

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  12. And so the take away here is that they will finally learn from this mistake they keep making and launch NX with compelling games? Now I understand why Zelda is coming to Wii U this year (and probably not at all). They are probably going to launch it with NX. As if Zelda alone will help.

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  13. what momentum?!
    seriously reggie, i love Nintendo but this is all bs.
    instead of thinking what went wrong with wiiu, you better start have meetings with third parties now and ask them one simple question: how do you want us to make this new console so that you can develop on it?
    after that you go to some of the key people at xbox live and pour on them a shitload of money so that they come to you and make the online working properly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and after that Nintendo will ask you for a yearly fees which in my point of view will be normal and make a business sense. However Nintendo seems to be left wing mentality and want everybody even poor people to enjoy the experience as much as possible even if the rich/capitalist do not like it that much….. :-)

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      1. i get that and it’s honorable. as for me, i’ll gladly pay a monthly fee for a better service. but it’s the small things you know, like playing a smash match without truckloads of lag.

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    1. They should market NX with commercial that takes inspiration from this:

      But instead they would use actor dressed as Samus while and she would kinda like be on mission to save NX from space pirates and other cool shit like that, explosions and MetroidPrime 4 at the launch.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Consumer confusion, most parents didn’t get their was a difference between the Wii and Wii U. They tried to ride the coat tails of the 250 M units the Wii sold and never came close. More power and less motion controls would have helped, along with a proper name.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I acually kind of agree with him to a certain extent. The Wii also launched with Mario Galaxy. That was the main reason I bought a Wii, the only reason I bought a Wii honestly.

    I think if the Wii U launched with Galaxy 3 it would have done better, but it still would have struggled because of the lack of third party support..

    Nintendo has always underestimated third party support. If they ignore it again with the NX it will be to thier own detriment.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I hope they learned their lesson and don’t screw up the NX. Aggressive Ads, Mario Kart NX/9, Super Smash Bros. NX, or even a Zelda U bundle.

    In other news, Reggie is hinting the arrival of the regular N3DS to North America. XD

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  17. where did it go wrong? well even before the release of the wii U, I remember that some people in the Nintendo’s marketing department say the wii U will be 3 times more powerful than a PS3/xbox 360…. then people learned it was a lie.

    Before and after the release of this console, Nintendo did not secure any games from other studio. Which has the effect we know (won’t be available on wii U). The wii U use a different architecture which does not go down very well with 3rd party. Adding this with the lack of help from Nintendo developer (which at that time had some difficulties to program in HD), and the poor marketing of Nintendo for the wii U, the big studio gave up one after the other while indie company saw it as the first step to hit PS4 and xbox 1 consumer when their game become popular on the wii U.

    The price launch of the wii U in Europe was way above the wii. For a console which considered as an add-ons first by consumer lamda due to the lack of advertising. This was the receipt which lead the wii U to go straight to failure road.

    When the product was understood after 1 or 2 years thank to people’s review on famous website and the bad press. People (rightly or wrongly) saw it has a wii upgrade which match the PS3 and xbox360 but was under the PS4 and Xbox 1 which were coming too soon.

    But what’s really kill this system and really frightened the studio is the marketing aspect of it where Nintendo fails to advertise their home console even with one year head start from competitor.

    I noticed it since 2012 but now it more obvious, Nintendo gave more love to the 3DS (now new 3DS), cause they could not be bother to make more effort to do their marketing research in US and Europe where home console sell are strong than Japan /Asia. How many in this site thought: Well they should have release that game on the Wii U? Or why release that game which was on GC/wii even Wii U on the 3DS???

    In country like UK where Sony and Microsoft advertise like maniac, Nintendo did not do anything. Back in Christmas 2014 there were 30 ads for Xbox one and maybe 20 for PS4 (including the sponsorship ad for MARVEL agent’s of shield series) . I do not even mention black Friday where Nintendo were nowhere to be seen.

    If you add those factors coupled with software drought we saw in 2013 and 2015, the sensation that Nintendo has give up on the Wii U this year (just read Myamoto-san ‘s interview and npw reggie)… then here you have the reason why the wii U did not meet their expectation and also why the NX will fail.

    Sorry for the dissertation but it was needed. next question?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Oups I forgot to mention that in UK, the Wii U games which can also be found on other platform are more expensive. Watch dog is £20 on PS3/PS4/Xbox360/Xbox1 where the wii u version cost £35…. this is nothing compare to one piece unlimited world Red: straw hat edition which cost £20 on PS3 but £58 on Wii U…. So there is also that element Nintendo did not take into consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. And now it won’t do better anymore since they’re hinting that all focus is now going towards the NX and still mostly on the 3DS making Wii U utterly pointless, wasteful and worthless ala Sega all over again. That is the very last of anything Nintendo I’ll ever buy again and the Metroid fuck up from E3 just solidified my decision.

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  20. Actually, for once he is right. The ONE major thing that people kept talking about in regards to why they felt they didn’t need to buy a Wii U was that they felt they weren’t missing out on anything by not owning it.

    There were NO console selling games on the system for over a year and a half. If Smash Bros and Mario Kart were LAUNCH games on the Wii U and were as great quality as they are now, then the Wii U would be in everyone’s home.

    Once a console is idle for almost two years, it becomes black listed and no one will want it no matter what games it gets.

    On the other hand, they named it the stupid, “Wii U” which was a terrible, terrible decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This guy has a point a console may have power but with no games it won’t sell for shit these new generation of gamers and fan boys think power and graphics make a console sell they are incorrect games what sell a console with no good games the system fails

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  22. So the wiiu has no games super smash bros Splatoon Mario kart 8 Mario party 10 wind weaker HD captain toad treasure tracker bayonetta 2 hyrule warriors Kirby the rainbow curse donkey Kong tropical freeze super Mario 3d world ray man legends new super Mario bros u monster hunter ultimate 3 news remix black ops 2 sonic boom batman Arkham origins Deus ex watch dogs so saying the wiiu has no games are just making excuses all these gamers only care about cod GTA halo and battlefield most are fan boys

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  23. 1. The system wasn’t explained better to the masses
    2. Lack of advertisements on the scale of the wii
    3. No big 1st party and current 3rd party games at launch
    4. Too many droughts
    5. I’m sure much more I cant think of right now I’m playing need for speed on the vita

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  24. Reggie is the one who thinks holographs aren’t fun. For that, I am not taking everything he says seriously.
    However, I still think the lack in Wii U sales are partially due to the amount of games that have been released that appeal to people. Couple this with the fact that the Wii U is SO STINKING EXPENSIVE, plus the fact that Nintendo’s advertising for the Wii U games hasn’t been all that great.
    And Reggie still thinks that the Wii U is doing great now?? Seriously, dude.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Reggie, you & Iwata seriously need to fucking be kicked out of Nintendo or something because you’re both practically Ahab obsessed with your white whale & you are just going to get us all killed along with your foolish ass who won’t give up his fucking pride!

    Liked by 2 people

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