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Ubisoft: Wii U's Unique Selling Points Are "Really Hard To Get Across"

Jonathan Lester
Nintendo, Ubisoft, Wii U, ZombiU

Ubisoft: Wii U's Unique Selling Points Are "Really Hard To Get Across"

According to Ubisoft, the Wii U's unique features and gameplay opportunities are incredibly exciting, but actually explaining it to consumers is an absolute swine. Leaving games like ZombiU high and dry.

Xavier Poix, managing director of Ubisoft Annecy, Montpellier and Paris, suggested that ZombiU's disastrous sales performance is due to the difficulty in conveying features like asymmetrical multiplayer and MiiVerse to potential customers. Whereas the Wii's motion control gimmick was easy to market, the Wii U's unique draw is almost impossible to understand without  trying it first hand, let alone advertise effectively.

“ZombiU was designed to be a game for core players launching with a new Nintendo console,” Poix explained to Gamespot. “We should have communicated better in this respect to let people know what kind of experience to expect. It wasn’t obvious enough that there would be a new controller and new gameplay and a new skill set to develop.”

“The depth of what you can do with that console is really hard to get across unless you play with it."

“It’s different from the Wii, where seeing was believing," Poix concluded. "With the Wii U, people really need to experience it. The whole idea of the asymmetrical gameplay and using two screens to do two very different things is not simple to explain to people.”

We've raised similar concerns over the last few months, suggesting that the Wii U's unique selling points are bafflingly esoteric compared to swinging a WiiMote around to make the tennis racket move. With luck, Nintendo will find a way to market their new console to a wider audience before third-party studios start to lose faith in the platform.

Especially since ZombiU, which is currently tanking hard in terms of sales, happened to be a moody and miserable masterpiece. We rated it 9/10 in our full review.

Add a comment5 comments
Late  Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:21

Hi, we're Nintendo, and we've come up with a new machine. It's hard to explain and really it needs to be seen to be properly understood. If you see it you'll want it - if you don't then you'll not be interested.

It was launched around three months ago, but we decided not to bother advertising it on the TV or in the popular press, and we've not set up cabinets etc. up and down the country so people can actually have a play with one. It seems like the obvious thing to do - but we're Nintendo and we like to be a bit different!

The console and it's games aren't selling very well, and our company keeps making losses, but we don't know why. Not to worry, though: I think our stealth launch strategy is going great guns, we aim to continue in that vein, and pretty soon we'll dominate the market. Probably.

Quietus  Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:38

the Wii U's unique features and gameplay opportunities are incredibly exciting


Genuinely LOL

I still feel a little sad that Nintendo has gone this way, since I loved the NES, SNES, N64, and even the Cube, to some degree, but the Wii and WiiU just seem like they want to suicide by alienating their most worthwhile audience - those that come back to keep buying games.

RiKx  Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:13

so much ^THIS. Epic comments here. Is it just me or do all technology companies seem to be run by lazy not even linear thinkers that seem compelled to lose market share and squander opportunity. I can't say I'll be that gutted when everyone plays on steam boxes, but I will when everyone has to work exclusively on apple products. I'll be a sad at seeing things go that way due to incompetence and ineptness.

rookieoftheyear  Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:18

There are demo units in shops, but frustratingly they've only made Rayman and Mario Bros. playable. They just can't seem to get out of their own way. And the features being touted as most interesting and groundbreaking are actually turning away those families were made the Wii a success. The dual screen stuff is too complicated and the asynchronous multiplayer is bizarre and unwanted by a customer base who's used to having identical remotes for each player doing simple gestures to perform equivalent actions in-game. It's a very difficult sale for us retail staff despite solid launch titles like Zombii U and triple-A IP, simply because it's not as easy as the Wii and there's little to no support or fanfare from Nintendo. I have probably a dozen people a week thinking that it's an peripheral for the original Wii or a new handheld.

davidpanik  Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:22

I actually liked the Wii, it was just no one but Nintendo knew how to make games that actually suited it.

Had a go of the WiiU in HMV the other day and really didn't get what I was supposed to getting excited about.

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