Nintendo’s last stand


Same game-plan, different results

A generation back, Nintendo jumped the gun and surprised everyone with an innovative  little console that captured the hearts of the casual audience, the Nintendo Wii. A modestly powered console back in it’s day, it offered motion controls and a wide range of party games and great exclusives for those that avidly support Nintendo. The rest is history, the Wii single-handedly spawned a generation of casual games and bent Sony and Microsoft to create their unsuccessful imitations of the Wii motion controls.

With the imminent release of next gen consoles, Nintendo has decided to aim for a headstart over Sony and Microsoft by launching the Wii U with their idea of the future of gaming, the Wii U gamepad. Our own ‘Figment’, described the situation as the following:

 Nintendo took a calculated risk by releasing the Wii ahead of its competitors during the seventh generation with the intent of using the motion gimmick to attract the consumers and it worked.  The problem with their strategy this time around is that they chose the wrong gimmick.  Touch pad technology and touch based games have been around for ages (albeit not on consoles) so it hardly makes sense to me for this technology to be passed off as a selling point like they did with the motion controls.

and sure enough, people didn’t fall the gimmicks of things and decided to wait for the announcement of the next gen consoles. Now that the PS4 and Xbox one have been announced, and seen in action, consumers only feel more justified to save their well earned money for the better investment.


A difficult situation

Super Smash Bros, Zelda and a revamped Mario game. What’s the one thing currently in common with them? They are all missing from Nintendo’s Wii U.

ITProPortal, has went deeper into analyzing the situation and mentioned that the Wii U gave users the impression that the console will ship a bunch of now-gen ports and showed no real graphical advantage over the Xbox 360 and Ps3.

Now that Nintendo has failed to convince the casual gamer to buy into the tablet idea, and hardcore gamers saw no reason to invest in a Wii U due to the lack of games at Iwata’s own acknowledgment. A price cut is almost the only certain way Nintendo can quickly push out sales to fill up living rooms with their consoles before a PS4 or Xbox One fills it’s space. Unfortunately Nintendo has made it clear on multiple occasions that no price cuts would happen. Nintendo’s Iwata mentions that pricing isn’t the issue, since most sales were the more expensive premium pack, and that the real issue is the lack of games.

Well, one huge piece of advice for Nintendo is that they have totally overlooked the Middle East, which as we have seen in the past few years has become a booming region in the world. While pricing may not be the Wii Us biggest issues in US market, it is by far the biggest in the Middle East. The main reason I reserve my purchase is due to the extortionate pricing that was set in this region, with prices of 600$ upwards. Pricing is now more reasonable in our region, but still pretty expensive. Keep in mind that the GCC region has an official Nintendo distributor.


Bargain bins

Major game development companies have repeatedly washed their hands clean from dealing the Nintendo Wii U. To top things off, major retailers have either totally or partially stopped stocking Wii U consoles. This further damages the Wii U’s image and cripples Nintendo’s ability to sell it.

If you are wondering how the console is doing in the Middle East, well, here is a recently taken picture of a Wii U now with a significantly cheaper price tag laying untouched in a bargain bin. Ironically, the PS Vita lays by its side with the same ill fate.


Nintendo, the best and worst strategies?

On the other side of the spectrum, the Nintendo 3DS have sold exceptional numbers of games and consoles alike. An abundance of great games and features such as Street Pass, have given casual and hardcore users good reason to purchase a 3DS over it’s significantly more capable PS Vita (which to date, has yet to impress me with a single title). This is a great example, where Nintendo did it all right (aside from the 3D gimmick), to get their console to sell. This may be Nintendo’s only financial backing, but will it be enough to fight off the hordes of incoming consoles and games?



Scramble to recoup

Our impressions of the Wii U’s games at E3 2013 was a huge shock for us, and a pleasant one at that. We found ourselves spending 10 folds the time we thought we would at the Nintendo booth, enjoying game after game. Sonic Lost World, Bayonneta 2, Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8…and the list of awesomeness goes on. If the Wii U had launched with a lineup as impressive as this along with the in development Super Smash Bros,  Nintendo would have a significant headstart over Sony and Microsoft as they did in the last generation. Perhaps more attention towards the games should of been made rather than the GamePad and it’s features.

With every game I grew to fall in love with, I received the equally heartbreaking response of ‘it’s coming 2014’. I for one, am convinced to buy a Wii U, despite its lackluster computational power over it’s competitors. But I worry for the company that has brought us so many good memories, are people willing to buy a WiiU and it’s games once the next gen consoles come out this year? Or will our beloved Nintendo suffer the fate of Sega, the once hardware titan.


Author: DoCWaSaBe View all posts by