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Nintendo: Wii U Games Drought To Blame For Slow Sales, Not Price

Jonathan Lester
Nintendo, Wii U

Nintendo: Wii U Games Drought To Blame For Slow Sales, Not Price

"The Real Issue Is The Lack Of Software"

Nintendo has once again squashed hope of a Wii U price drop, placing the blame for sluggish sales squarely at the feet of the trickle of software.

Well, he's got a point.

Ninty President Satoru Iwata explained his reasoning to CVG, rubbishing price as a factor since more users buy the more expensive premium edition as opposed to the basic set. “If the price is actually an issue [with Wii U], then there is some contradiction between the current sales balance between the Basic and Premium versions of the Wii U. The basic version should have sold a lot, but the fact of the matter is that people are buying more of the premium version. So the issue is not there.”

“I understand that the real issue is the lack of software,” he added, “and the only solution is to provide the mass-market with a number of quality software titles.”

The Wii U has some cracking games, such as Pikmin 3 (which I'm finally reviewing since Nintendo just sent us a loan copy), but they're in cripplingly short supply. Third-party publishers tend to dismiss the console out of hand, meaning that almost every multi-platform release has skipped the Wii U since its November launch.

It's hardly surprising, since Nintendo really hasn't been selling many Wii U's lately. I'd drop some figures, but apparently I keep banging on about it. Sulk.

So, dear reader, here's a question for you. Once Nintendo's big hitters like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros release next year, would you be tempted to buy a Wii U... or would you get involved now if the price was lowered? Or will it have to be both?

Add a comment3 comments
Tsung  Aug. 12, 2013 at 11:51

Neither, to me it looks like Nintendo are going the way of the SEGA. They no longer have a gimmick that other consoles cannot do. I'm trying to see value in their offering and there isn't any.

Price drop now or when the other consoles come out I cannot see any future for the Wii U.

Late  Aug. 12, 2013 at 12:20

You've got some dodgy logic going on there, Iwata.

Sales would indeed be higher if there were more games available. But they'd also be higher if the console were cheaper. (That doesn't necessarily mean profits would be higher, though.)

Arguing that price can't be a major factor because the premium is outselling the base model is just silly. If you're going to buy a wii U it probably does make more sense to pay that extra fifty quid to get the additional game, charger/stand, storage etc.

Assuming base model £230 and premium model £280 (fairly typical prices, I believe), you can easily see what you're getting for that extra £50, and make a judgement call - and I can understand people opting to go for that model. If I wanted a Wii U I'd probably go for the premium version.
It's the forking out the first £230 for the console that's the sticking point for most people. I don't want a wii u. Not at £230 core / £280 premium. And not at £150 core / £200 premium - prices we've seen on occasion.

So despite your dodgy reasoning, Mr. Iwata, I agree with the main point: the Wii U needs more games.
So do something about it!

If Mario Kart, Mario World, Smash Bros, and a new Zelda game were all released today would I buy a Wii U?
It'd certainly be a much more enticing proposition - but no, I probably wouldn't. Prices would need to be lower. Much lower.
You see, there's some "proper" consoles coming out in three months' time, and I need to buy myself one of those. Need.
Plus it's Christmas around then, and I should probably get something for the wife and kids. It's an expensive time - I can't justify spending money on an underpowered console that has a handful of decent games. (And I certainly can't justify spending money on an underpowered console that has a pretty much no decent games. Yeah, I'm sure Pikmin and Lego and Wonderful 101 are all good fun - but not to the degree I'd buy a new console.)

Fantasy world:
Bring out a premium version that includes a new Zelda game and costs £120 and I'd definitely go for it. I might even do £140.
£160? Nah, I'll pass.
Real world:
Premium version includes a so-so party game and costs £250-£280.
Lol, Nintendo. LOL.

phil16  Aug. 12, 2013 at 12:23

Its both price and lack of games. The only game out for the WII U I really want is lego undercover but not enough i'd spend £200. I think i'd struggle to pay £100 right now and thats coming from someone who still plays games on WII once in a while...

Even when Zelda etc are available I can't see myself spending £200 for a console I'm only like to buy two or three games for.


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