• The_Tingler - March 28, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    Excellent article Henry, hit everything right on the nose. This is the first Nintendo console, home or portable, I've not bought at launch since the GBA (which I bought later). I'm seeing good prices for the Wii U now and again but I'm holding off because there simply aren't any games I want. I'm still shocked Ubisoft delayed Rayman Legends, I might well have purchased a Wii U for that alone - now I'll probably get it on 360. As for Smash Bros, I'm personally more stoked for the 3DS version... but then again I'm still hoping they do "Nintendo VS Sega" with the next one! That way they can keep the formula exactly the same, but everyone will still buy it!
  • GoldenEagle1476 - March 28, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    If the Wii U can't turn around by the time Microsoft and Sony release their consoles, it never will.
  • SDHoneymonster - March 28, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Hasn't the whole avatar awards thing already been done by Microsoft? Getting certain achievements in games unlocks clothes/accessories etc - I have a portal gun for completing Portal 2 on mine, for example. Then again, you could say MS ripped off Nintendo by using the avatars in the first place, so why not just rip off right back? Eye for an eye... As always though, it's the lack of games that means I haven't even considered a WiiU. As loads of people have pointed out, the advertising campaign has been horrible too - no one really knows what it is. Just lacks imagination too - surely the setting of ZombiU should have been used for its marketing here in the UK? It wasn't even mentioned. The only thing I'd consider one for would be Bayonetta 2, and to be honest, at the rate it's going, I can't see that staying a WiiU exclusive.
  • SveedishFeesh - March 28, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    Strange, I don't remember Gamnesradar being bought out by SEGA HD...
  • DirkSteele1 - March 28, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    This comment is cribbing heavily from what I wrote yesterday on the news story that Battlefield 4 is not planned for the WiiU but is appropriate given the subject matter. Announcements like Battlefield are very reminiscent of the Dreamcast and Electronic Arts stating they will not develop for the system, and that did not end so well for Sega as a platform holder (Still my 2nd favourite console behind the Mega Drive/SNES as a tie for number 1). I made a prediction on Gamesradar quite some time ago though Nintendo will, within a couple of years become a 3rd party developer for living room consoles (they will still rule in the handheld space though tablets etc are eroding that market). I believe this for a few reasons. Nintendo have alienated a good portion of the core gamer market with the Wii (mine has not been switched on in over 2 years), 65 yr old grandmothers who bought a Wii will not understand while they need to upgrade to an HD system for the 6 times a year when the grandchildren visit, another demographic don't understand that the WiiU is a new console rather than a new peripheral (same problem when the 3DS first hit the shelves) as Nintendo insist on clever plays on existing names. Wii2 or Wii HD etc would have eliminated that problem). They need fair better marketing to get that message out. Finally, because of the lack of 3rd party successes on Wii, more and more developers will not develop for WiiU, when development costs are so high, a certain level of sales are needed or you go out of business. There is one great difference between the Dreamcast and the WiiU though, and that is the financial state of the Nintendo and Sega. Nintendo currently sits on cash pile of some $11.5bn and has next to no debt which means it can sustain cash burning operations for quite some time (and in this regard, differs dramatically from Sega who were heavily in debt post the Saturn). What is interesting about the market valuation however, is looking at the Enterprise Valuation (Market Cap + Debt - Cash) is only $3.8bn (the market cap is $15.4bn), so currently investors are only valuing the intrinsic business at 32% more than its cash (Apple for example, not that I am saying the market is right about Apple, values the business at 310% of its cash balance implying a strong belief there is value to continuing operations), which is not showing great confidence in Nintendo. As for cash burn, there are no doubt special items, and being at work, I don't have time to read the last annual report, but over the financial year ended 31 March 2012 (waiting for the new annual results to come in a few weeks), Nintendo has burnt through $4bn in cash (including paying $502mn of dividends). A cash flow proxy we use in the financial markets is EBITDA. Last 12 months this was minus $314mn. Only a few years ago this number was more than $4bn. And this before capital expenditures and other investing activities that are amortised over many years through the income statement (and have often exceeded $1.5bn per annum). They have the financial resources to carry on for some time, but to make money, consumers need to get on board to grow the user base to profitable levels, which leads back the problems mentioned above... I am sure I will incur the wrath of a number of Nintendo fanboys (though I consider myself a Big N fan). A dramatic change of fortunes will be needed to stop this from coming to pass.
  • larkan - March 28, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    I was pretty excited for the Wii, got one on launch day. It seemed like everyone knew about it, and wanted one. To this day, in my modest circle of friends and family, I don't know one of them who has either bought, or really knows what the PiiU is all about. Nintendo has become a company that gambles with gimmicks, and while it was successful for the Wii, they lost a lot of fans in the process once the system became stale (basically after 4 good games and 1000's of shovelware). The PiiU is just another gimmick, and this time no one is buying it. The 3DS is failing because it's a playstation 1 with 3D severely overpriced, and honestly, 3D is a joke, and has been since the 80's. The graphical horsepower has nothing to do with the PiiU, but more the fact that Nintendo just doesn't have their shit together. Packages are confusing to most, the online system is so far a mess, and it just doesn't look appealing. I think with PC gaming making a comeback, and the release of the new systems (even though the PS4 looks like garbage), Nintendo just signed it's death warrant with the shoddy release of this system.
  • CitizenWolfie - March 28, 2013 2:10 a.m.

    I was thinking about getting one for my birthday in May but after reading this, I'm not so sure. My 3DS is currently gathering dust due to a lack of killer apps for it (although Luigi's Mansion looks good) and I get the feeling that Wii U is going the same way. Zombi U looks alright and I love Scribblenauts but (and this is to going to you Wii U owners here) are they really going to keep me going until the Autumn/Winter release windows? Especially with The Last of Us and other stuff coming out over the summer and PS4 expected before Christmas. So I'm genuinely asking everyone here - is it currently worth it? Or should I wait for a Premium price drop and the better games coming in?
  • Rub3z - March 28, 2013 1:26 a.m.

    I'm still pretty optimistic about the U. The wee thing (pun absolutely intended) isn't broken, it's sitting right here on my desk, doin' just fine. I think a lot of the strengths for the U will come into play in the long haul, as it seems that it's going to be the home platform with the lowest barrier to entry on the consumer AND developer side. The development costs of the U are laughably low in comparison to the 360 and PS3, and the cost for developers to create games for their next iterations can only be higher. Also, it seems like Sony and MS are pulling for ways to further constrict the consumer's buying power, by locking out used games and the like. Developers are going to have to weigh whether producing games for the newer consoles is worth the financial risk and development costs of banking on consumers (especially the enthusiast ones such as ourselves) taking well to blocked used games, not to mention the undoubtedly higher asking price for the console in question. Heck, some are even talking about a price increase on games for next-gen, that would be a death knell for the new consoles. The holiday months are still a ways off, and by the time the new ones come out the U already has a larger install base. That can only grow larger as the fall months draw near. If anything, with the lower dev costs, the U will at least be poised to be a haven for more independently-driven studios or developers looking for a way into the console market at the lowest cost.
  • Dingleberrypiez - March 28, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Lower development cost is meaningless without a large enough install base for profitability. This is exacerbated by the Wii U's unique hardware and dated internals that will likely make cross-platform development between Wii U and Xbox 720/PS4 impossible or at least challenging. Who cares if your game is cheap to make when you can only sell it to the ten people with a Wii U? As for the indies, it won't be any more expensive to develop downloadable games on the xbox 720/ps4 than it is with the current generation. Nintendo lags way way way behind in the indie content, there's no reason why this would change. If you're talking about lower development costs for full release games, fine. Let them have the shovelware. That's what happened with the Wii. Although like with my last point, it will be unappealing to developers large and small because of the small install base. I think you're right that higher priced games would hurt the market. But this isn't going to happen. They've figured out the DLC model pretty well as a means to get extra revenue from games. If anything, it's Nintendo who needs to start taking advantage of DLC opportunities to offset increased development costs, which aren't exclusive to xbox/ps. As for locking out used games, I don't think this will happen either. The tide of public opinion is too strong for the questionable gains this would provide. I could be wrong, but we'll see. As with my last point, there's no reason Nintendo couldn't hop on this band wagon either, should it happen (which it won't). Wii U will be a niche success fueled by first party exclusives. This is just like the 3ds, gamecube, and to a lesser extent N64 before. Nintendo has tons of cash and they'll do fine. Up to them if they want to actually maximize bucks by going the software route a-la Sega.
  • Scoob - March 27, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    I think the main problem with the 3rd party developers is that they think they need to use the screen controller. Seems like there is a story ever month about how a developer didn't want to make a game for the system if they couldn't use the controller screen. Hell, Super Mario Wii U doesn't even really use it beyond using it instead of a TV or adding platforms in boost mode.
  • dns - March 27, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    I think Nintendo will show some new games for Wii U in the next weeks in a Nintendo Direct. Don't expect something great, but a Pikimin and Bayonetta 2 gameplay, Also probably there will be a Wii U bundle with Mario Kart (or Mario 3D) for the Holiday Season. I liked very much this idea of the evolution of trophies/achievements. Nowadays I think they are pretty useless, but if I got rewarded for doing something on a gme could be more interesting.
  • C.King - March 27, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    oh and don't forget they announced they'd be a 3ds version of the next smash bros. how they aren't severe differences, i'd prefer them to be identical and compatible if possible
  • C.King - March 27, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    i'm on the fence about the trophy deal, I'm not a completionist i want unlockables with achievements if they are gonna have them like they did with smash bros vault and trophies actually if they did trophies like that.... i'd take my gaming obsession to a different level i disagree with releasing smash bros sooner or even showing us anything i want them to take thier time and stuff it with as much love as possible so that they don't even need to consider dlc(against it cause it feels like encouraging incomplete pieces or fragmenting of the whole experience) or god forbid becoming like capcom's ULTIMATE Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 really what is with them and the many versions of the same game or their own version of dlc(disc locked content)
  • Smash_Bro - March 27, 2013 5:37 p.m.

    I'd say that "dying" is a bit strong. Yes, its library is terrible and there isn't much on the horizon. However, the Wii U is (conceptually) Nintendo's strongest console, and I'm disappointed in devs for being too lazy to take a proper crack at making games for it. As for Smash Bros, I am confident in saying that there is no way on earth, in hell, nor in the U-niverse that it'll be ready for this year. If it does, it's guaranteed to be shit. Brawl's release was pushed back twice, and was well worth the wait. I'm giving Sakurai and Namco Bandai all the time they need for my favourite (first-party) Ninty franchise. I predict 2014 - 2015.
  • talleyXIV - March 27, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    It is a great console, seriously I love every game I have bought for it, but I have only gotten 3 games... I blame the horrible marketing, this is one of the worst campaigns I have ever seen for a console, people are legitimately confused about what it is. The launch was also horrible, Pikmin 3 should have been ready 8 fucking years after Pikmin 2, delaying an 8 year project is insane. Give us a Zelda, a Mario, and Pikmin 3 and I think this thing will turn around just like the 3DS did.
  • BladedFalcon - March 28, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    I somehow doubt the marketing for the Wii U has been worse than the one for the PS3 in it's first years... Do you remember the creepy baby commercials and such? But yeah, even if I didn't like the marketing for the Wii, at least that one was effective in bringing in non-players, and you saw it everywhere, I actually don't think I've even seen ONE Wii U commercial..
  • talleyXIV - March 29, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    I don't remember any PS3 commercials but I did actually quite like the Wii ones. The only Wii U ad I saw is this and it is... just terrible.
  • BladedFalcon - March 31, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    Watch and despair....
  • talleyXIV - April 19, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    What... the... what. Did they want to make sure no one bought the console?
  • BladedFalcon - April 19, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    Well... even if they didn't intend it that way, it sure did work XD Really Sony's first two years of PS3 marketing were simply dismal, and i really do think that played a big part of why it sold so bad and it took so long to take flight at first.

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