Episode 362: The Day the Music Died

by James Jones, Jon Lindemann, Jonathan Metts, and Guillaume Veillette - December 15, 2013, 1:47 pm PST
Total comments: 42

We hardly knew U.

Download in AAC Format

Subscribe to AAC Feed

Download in MP3 Format

Subscribe to MP3 Feed

Subscribe via iTunes (Please rate and review, too!)

Subscribe via Zune Marketplace

We started recording this show immediately after learning about Nintendo's U.S. sales numbers for November. So, rather than jump into what we've been playing, the episode launches directly into our writhing reactions to this dire news. Wii U is already a market failure of historical proportions, and in the month where we hoped and were told all year that the console should finally turn around... it didn't. Even with December likely to top these dismal numbers, the trend is pointing nowhere good. Sorry to start with such a bummer discussion, but it's current, it's critically important to the future of this platform and company, and it's emotional for us. We care about Wii U. So, we have to tell you when the system is on emergency life support.

After that segment-long commiseration, we take a break and come back for New Business and just a tiny bit of Listener Mail. Fortunately, we've all been happy with what we're playing, so this half of the show shifts to a much happier tone. James thinks Rayman Legends is the best Sonic game ever, while Jonny finds Wii Fit U to be curiously motivating despite the closet full of accessories required to play all of its contents. Jon gets old-school with 3D Space Harrier, but Gui trumps that showing with a hot combo of 3D Super Hang-On and 3D Galaxy Force 2. We swing back around to Jonny for a supportive review of PS4's Knack before a solitary email brings thematic closure with memories of the Super Mario Super Show and the late Danny Wells, a.k.a. the original Luigi.

There's at least one more episode before 2013 closes, and with so much to discuss, we're sure you have thoughts and questions on the state of Nintendo and its wonderful games. Hit up that email link to feed the beast!

This podcast was edited by Guillaume Veillette.

Music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is used with permission from Jason Ricci & New Blood. You can purchase their newest album, Done with the Devil, directly from the record label, Amazon (CD) (MP3), or iTunes, or call your local record store and ask for it!

Additional music for this episode of Radio Free Nintendo is copyrighted to Nintendo and is included under fair use protection.

Talkback

ClexYoshiDecember 16, 2013

I bought a Wii U last month.

yoshi1001December 16, 2013

I'm glad I listened to the first part of this episode tonight and not tomorrow at work. One thing I wanted to say is that I would like to buy a Wii U for my Mom (who still has an SD TV, by the way)-the problem is I'm not sure what to get her besides the pack-in NSMBU (the other problem is then I have to buy my sister something in a comparative price range). She'd probably like Duck Tales Remastered and a fair bit of VC stuff, but other than that I'm not sure what to get her.

yoshi1001December 16, 2013

Finished listening to the episode. Danny Wells will be missed-I actually remember a lot about the SMBSS (by the way, episodes 1-24 are on Netflix instant and the entire series is purchasable on iTunes). I actually got to see it twice some days because I lived in an area overlapped by two TV markets (Madison, WI and Rockford, IL).  It wasn't really that great (DiC really only turned out two excellent VG cartoons-Sonic Sat AM and Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego), but it's perfectly watchable. Speaking of dubs, look up the Italian theme song for SMBSS-it's completely different and a really cool full song.

Great episode, and I think not listening to the first segment is doing yourself a disservice.

You pretty much covered all of my thoughts on the issue with Wii U, with one addition: game quality. It would be one thing if Nintendo's system was failing because of message alone, but none of the flagship games they've released make me excited about the mythical "Nintendo magic" I hear so much about. NSMB U? NSMB in HD without a ton of innovation. 3D World? It is an immeasurably safe sequel with all of its new features (short of the cat suit) being recycled from previous games. DKC: TF? Returns is one of my favorite platformers ever because of how different and refreshing it was, and not only is the sequel mad safe -- its fourth character is a shameless Ducktales rip-off. I don't go to Nintendo for sequels. I go to Nintendo for excellence, excitement, and innovation. In my opinion, none of their Wii U games reflect that right now.


ejamerDecember 16, 2013

I bought a Wii U this past year when the basic consoles were being blown out for $200. My thought was that it probably wouldn't get much cheaper, and the outlook for Nintendo's newest console wouldn't get much worse.  This week (in Canada) you can buy the Zelda deluxe bundle for $210 from chapters.ca -- less if you price match at other stores. As for the general outlook... well, let's just say I was wrong on both counts.


Where did Nintendo go wrong? To me, it's telling that even "Nintendo faithful" aren't excited about the console or excited about recommending it to others. Wii practically sold itself. Giving people an opportunity to play accessible games like Wii Sports or Mario Kart quickly led to strong word of mouth, viral ads, "mommy blogger" recommendations, and people begging to come over and see what the hype was about for themselves. Wii U doesn't capture the imagination, doesn't ever feel intuitive, and is hard to recommend to anyone but the most hardcore Nintendo nerd. There is no advertising, no word of mouth, no clear message about Wii U really is, no excitement or hype... so of course there are no impressive sales figures to talk about.


The one thing that scares me most is that Wii U might just be written off entirely at some point in the near future. (Not just by third parties, but by Nintendo themselves.) With such a small install base, will Nintendo of America take any risks by continuing to release games that might not sell? Xenoblade almost wasn't brought over despite being already translated and ready to publish... how can anyone expect the sequel to sell better? If X doesn't get a western release, I'll be massively disappointed. That's the reason I bought in relatively early, and I'd have a hard time buying a Nintendo console in the future if I get burned on this one.

EnnerDecember 16, 2013

Doom!


Great show. It was really fun (I guess I'm weird?) to listen to the first segment. I'm not as down as some of you are. I've already made my piece with the dire straits the Wii U and am looking forward to Nintendo recovering.


I just hope the recovery doesn't include cancelling Monolith Soft's X or something horribly drastic.

azekeDecember 16, 2013

I recommend people who have trouble with Murphy levels on Wii U check the replacement control scheme on Xbox360/PS3. I think it's the superior experience.

Galaxy Force 3D sounds amazing. Might get that over Space Harrier (sorry, Kamiya).

Still can't get Wi Fit U. First i had trboule downloading the trial, now i am searching for board.. Just last night i missed three items on ebay because i overslept or something. And anyway all of them went overboard my safe price in the last hour of the bidding anyway. And here i thought i am the only one smartass who only bids in the very last minute...

DjangoDecember 16, 2013

That sales talk was boring!  ::)

Felt asleep.

Pixelated PixiesDecember 16, 2013

I have the feeling that this will go down as a historic episode, one which I will probably want to go back and listen to in a few years time. I dig it when RFN does in-depth discussions on a particular topic and thought this episode was awesome.

Great work guys!

Jonny said something this episode which certainly rings true for me. If Nintendo can't convince me, an ardent and longstanding Nintendo fan, to buy a Wii U, even after the release of games like Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World, and Windwaker HD, then the platform truly is in trouble.

At my mum's house my sister has a Wii U, and I've spent quite a bit of time with games like NSMB U, Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends etc, and I've enjoyed those games, but the actual platform itself is so unappealing to me that I can't bring myself to buy one. I don't like the gamepad as a controller, I think the online integration on Wii U still lags behind it's competitors, and the third-party support is woeful.

Those are the specific reasons I would cite for not wanting a Wii U, but I do think there are also less tangible reasons for why people are shunning the platform. I can't quite express it, but the Wii U feels...pallid? Meek even? It's just not a platform I enjoy engaging with. Even with some great games, I simply can't connect with the console for whatever reason. Nothing about it feels fresh or vibrant to me (which I acknowledge is probably just my perception).

I will be amongst that group of people who will probably purchase a Wii U when the price drops (or whenever X or Metroid Prime 4 are released, whichever happens first) but for the time being I'm happy with the 3DS providing my Nintendo dosage.

PlugabugzDecember 16, 2013

Jonny's passion was clear in the first segment. If it wasn't for Beyonce suddenly releasing an album last week - and my twitter timeline being jam-packed with frustrating stans talking about it for 72 hours solid - he'd have been the most passionate person, of any topic, i'd have seen all month.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half. And i laughed so hard thanks to Jon's Altered Beast gag. Too much. Too much.

lolmonadeDecember 16, 2013

I want to just express that despite the apocalyptic tone, I REALLY enjoyed the discussion in the first segment.  A lot of people may not like the business talk, but the business climate for a video game company can often set the tone of what we can expect out of them going forward. 
It was heavily expressed that neither Nintendo nor most people know what caused the success of Wii as well as what they’ve done to make the Wii U such a catastrophic failure thus far.  While I can’t claim to be a video game business expert, my background is in business, and I think that coupled with my interest in video games might allow me to provide some educated guesses.  Bear in mind that both the Wii & Wii U’s levels of success are based on several factors, not just one.  Apologies in advance for the block of text.
Wii Success Factors:
·        Wii Sports + Motion control - It can’t be stressed enough how critical this was to the Wii’s success.  You only need to see it to understand it because the motion control is tied into sports that everyone knows & understands intuitively.  This coupled with the general population making assumptions that it was an “active” way to play video games helped it catch fire outside of the traditional gaming market (parents, grandparents, nursing homes/retirement centers)
·        Perceived bargain pricing - $250 was half the PS3 & Xbox 360’s pricing at that point.  This coupled with you getting a game with the system not only made it an easy choice for gamers to add as a “2nd console”, but also a no-brainer for the large swath of non-gaming buyers who used it as a “Wii Sports machine”
·        Profitable from day one – Nintendo made approx. $6 in operating profit per Wii unit sold in 2007.  Because of this, it mattered less that 3rd parties rarely put any effort in a Wii version of the game, because a large portion of Wii sales went to people who were never going to buy anything else.  Even if the system sold at Wii U levels, it would be netting Nintendo profit.  This is a big deal for an industry that has adopted the razor blade strategy for some time (sell first razor at a loss, but sell replaceable heads at a healthy profit).

Clear & clever marketing campaign - Joke all you want, but the "Wii would like to play" advertising campaigns were clear, sometimes humorous, and straightforward about what you were getting with the Wii.  It said "this quirkly little console from Japan is coming to your house, and will provide a unique gaming experience at a reasonable price that you can't get from anyone else.
Wii U stumbles:
·        Jack of all trades, master of none – John offhand mentioned the Wii U has a similar problem the PS3 faced, in that it doesn’t have a clear messaging that’s easily understandable by the gaming market, much less anyone outside of it.  It’s a console whose game has several different input methods available, has a relatively confusing user interface, streaming apps that are less than optimal, a Tvii service that’s half-baked with no signs of improvement, and…
·        Iterative or Niche Gaming Experiences – Pikmin 3, Mario/Luigi U, Wind Waker HD, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, & Mario 3D World are all great games, but suffer the same issue of being too much like their predecessors.  Nintendo doesn’t realize that NSMB Wii was successful because of how long it had been since a 2D Mario game, and while the “U” games have refined them to be some of the best 2D Mario experiences, they’ve been released with not enough time between them.  New experiences like The Wonderful 101, and upcoming games like Bayonetta 2 & “X” are great for people who love these experiences, but aren’t games that’ll ignite the wider gaming population to buy-in to the Wii U. 
·        Nintendo’s conservative nature – This ties directly into the above issue, but also involves Nintendo’s hardware/software choices.  The gamepad was the most risky venture they took, but this in of itself is borrowed from the DS handheld’s “two screen” strategy.  Nintendo has been so reluctant to dip its toes in the water of online gameplay, digital software, and other service offerings that their attempts seem feeble & antiquated compared to their competitors.
·        Speaking to the Choir – This to me is probably one of Nintendo’s biggest failings.  Nintendo has relied so heavily on Nintendo directs to announce everything.  The problem with this?  Only Nintendo acolytes invest the time to watch these videos, which means only Nintendo enthusiasts are informed of what Nintendo is doing.  I’ve stated on these forums before that Nintendo replacing their E3 presentation with a Direct wasn’t a big deal, because news outlets would still cover the announcements that came of it – I was wrong.  In addition to this, Nintendo hasn’t bothered to advertise the Wii U until this holiday season, where their messaging is simply “It’s the Wii U!  It’s not just a controller, but a new console!  Look, it has Mario!  Tell your parents you want one!” 
I have a few ideas as to what Nintendo could do to turn the Wii U from a catastrophic failure to just a minor one, but don’t think most people here would have interest in reading another block of text.  I sincerely hope they do so, though, because if Nintendo ends up aborting this console after 2-3 years, I’ll have much less confidence in being an early adopter of their hardware offerings moving forward.

lolmonadeDecember 16, 2013

My obnoxious amount of text above aside, I think the smartest thing Nintendo has done with the Wii U so far is replacing Nintendoland with Mario & Luigi U in the box. 

SorenDecember 16, 2013

To Jon: Idle Thumbs have been talking A TON  about 3D World the last month. So...that's two podcasts talking about it.

I listened to the opening segment twice. I have to agree with all of you, specially Johnny. I love my Wii U but I have to admit, I thought this Christmas we would see a turnaround. And it's not going to happen. I've resigned myself to the fact that Wii U didn't just have an abysmal launch, it's a complete failure now. I'm scared the December numbers will be the same , if not worse. I already know I'll need a second console for sports gaming,  there's a very real possibility there will be zero third party support apart from the games already announced. We've reached the point where I would believe any bad news about Wii U.

That being said, playing Wind Waker HD,  Wonderful 101 and 3D World back-to-back-to-back makes for a very fun holiday break.

roykoopa64December 16, 2013

I don't know what to say about the Wii U failure discussion, although I do appreciate hearing everyone's opinion on the matter in this episode. I guess I'm one of those Nintendo fans 'living in fantasy land' of sorts: I simply enjoy playing the Wii U very much and wish I had more time for all the games on the system that appeal to me. I had heard about these bad sale numbers in recent days but figured "Hey, Nintendo knows what they're doing, right? And what else can they really do to convince people to play awesome Wii U games if people have already made up their minds not to give it another look." It seems strange to me to hear from the Nintendo fan community itself that this system doesn't scream 'come get me,' but yeah, I can see how that is possible after listening to this episode. After hearing you guys talk about it, I can definitely see Nintendo should be doing a better job driving the reason WHY people should be excited. And James made an excellent point: Nintendo can't really do this until they're absolutely clear themselves what the message is in the first place.

Personally, the Wii U is an easy sell and has been a constant source of satisfaction since launch day simply because it has games that I love playing, and one year later, that library of games has only grown larger and will only continue to get larger. Therefore, I am absolutely happy being a Wii U owner. Of course, given the current state of the system, I am concerned about the Wii U's future. Someone on the show said it well: it's not about what can the Wii U do to save Nintendo, it's what can Nintendo do to save the Wii U.

In all honesty, the best any of us can hope can come out these awful sales numbers is that Nintendo will work harder than ever before and really create the products that will appeal to the gaming community. I find it sad that the gaming industry at large has become synonymous with the words 'Xbox' and 'Playstation' (well, not true, I know: Steam is a big thing too) and not much else, really. I feel like the game industry has become so large and mainstream that Nintendo has a very tough road ahead to find a way to set itself apart somehow.

------------

As for games discussed on the show:

Wii Fit U: I wasn't excited about it much after having played the demo a little, but hey, it sounds like there are actually some fun activities! Maybe I didn't give the demo enough time, as all I was experiencing was the balance test found in the first game, as well as some of the same strength and yoga exercises.

Hey, thanks for mentioning on the show you can import your friends' Miis on Wii U just by going through friend list. Didn't know that!

Hey Guillaume, you've sold me on 3D Galaxy Force II. I had never heard of this arcade game either, but seeing some video of it now: it looks great indeed! I'm sure it looks fantastic in 3D.

RIP Danny Wells. I loved watching that show as a kid.

HairyChestDecember 16, 2013

Loved the episode!
I love hearing about sales numbers and the console wars whether its positive or negative because it tells us about our outlook and changes etc.


I often read people saying "no one knows what the wii u is" and i thought that was an exageration until my own coworker asked me if i play 360 or ps3. I said wii u. He said oh that controller thingy for the wii? How does that work with the wii games? AND HES A ZELDA FAN! I couldnt believe it.  Nintendo is sucking soooo much on marketing and releasing games.


When ps4 came out i was soo excited cuz it was a shiny new thing crazy graphics potential, etc. (killzone looks amazing). When wii u came out i didnt feel like that. I didnt feel like "NINTENDOS NEXT GENERATION SYSTEM IS HERE AHHHH!


Dear nintendo, i DO care about graphics! Id pay hundreds for a graphical powerhouse zelda and metroid dammit!


Keep the 3D world games on 3Ds. give me graphical power house mario galaxy 3 or mario 64 2, metroid prime 4, zelda melt my faceoff gannon crazy graphics game, and a few third party heavy hitters.  Then your wii u will sell. AND MARKET YOUR DAMN CONSOLE. fyi your loyal fanbase isnt 5 years old and doesnt give a shit about USING THE GAMEPAD TO HONK YOUR HORN

sisibakbakDecember 16, 2013

Loved this episode (Jon's Altered Beast comment made it).


I love the Wii U and I'm so disappointed that it's failing so badly. None of the parties who should be ensuring its success cumulitavely have done a good job at all. Nintendo of course are the biggest culprits of this (lolmonade's post sums up their failings well). Beyond Nintendo though, there's the third party efforts. Ports are great (I've enjoyed the hell out of Batman Arkham City, Black Ops 2 and Mass Effect 3 on Wii U mostly thanks to Off TV play) but at launch and throughout this year, they've given little to no reason to buy them if you already have a system that can play them. If you're a PS3/360 owner, getting a new console for a few Nintendo exclusives and a bunch of games barely updated over versions they can already buy just isn't going to be all that appealing. Add on that we never know for certain if a game is going to get DLC and the Wii U just looks like a joke to the crowd those games are made for


Finally, retail presence has been abysmal, at least here in England. My local GAME (biggest game retailer in the UK) has the whole left side dedicated to Xbox (complete with green banner stretching the length of the shop) and the right side for PS3/4. The Wii U has a bit of a shelf facing inwards at the PS4 section so you wouldn't even see it at first glance coming into the store. They're not trying to push it at all. Oh, and when the biggest third party game hitting the Wii U this year (CoD Ghosts) doesn't have Wii U listed on posters or even have a placeholder box alongside the PS3/360 versions at launch and you have to ask a clerk to see if they have it in, don't be surprised when that version sells like crap.


I really hope that by some chance of luck all of this doom and gloom will look as bizarre as the early 3DS horror stories do today.


Leo13December 16, 2013

Could prices like these turn the Wii U around?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3G616K1046&RandomID=517072093323313520131216120602
It just convinced me to get one as a Christmas gift

reginDecember 16, 2013

It's getting the sales it deserves. I mean, what exactly did they do during this year of awful droughts and apologies? Did they drastically boost the size of the VC library? No. Did they announce a lot of new games and partnerships? No. Did they add tons of new features to the WiiU OS? No. Did they do anything outside of that january Nintendo Direct to get people excited about the present or the future of this console? Of course not. It's the usual silent treatment and "see you at the next game release just a couple of months from now!".

Quote from: Leo13

Could prices like these turn the Wii U around?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3G616K1046&RandomID=517072093323313520131216120602
It just convinced me to get one as a Christmas gift

There's a post on NeoGAF that asked if people would buy one for 100. More than a handful said no. The issues with Wii U go exponentially beyond price.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=735103&highlight=100

sisibakbakDecember 16, 2013

Quote from: Webmalfunction

Quote from: Leo13

Could prices like these turn the Wii U around?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3G616K1046&RandomID=517072093323313520131216120602
It just convinced me to get one as a Christmas gift

There's a post on NeoGAF that asked if people would buy one for 100. More than a handful said no. The issues with Wii U go exponentially beyond price.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=735103&highlight=100

They'd sell a shit load at $100 if that was the price right now, absolutely no doubt. Just a shame they can't afford to that huh?  ;)

Pixelated PixiesDecember 16, 2013

Quote from: Webmalfunction

The issues with Wii U go exponentially beyond price.

Huh?

pokepal148December 17, 2013

I feel like we need a corrections segment next week,

Quote from: Pixelated

Quote from: Webmalfunction

The issues with Wii U go exponentially beyond price.

Huh?

-Messaging/Advertising
-No games that are like nothing we have ever seen before
-substantially underpowered while being overpriced because of its controller
-even a good chunk of their own fans aren't excited about it
-an online situation that still needs an assload of work
-multiplatform games that are laughably unsupported both by the developers and by the consumers
-one of their biggest features (off-tv play) is now a check box on the PS4. While there are some differences like the fact that Wii U is only one cost and the screen is bigger, the Vita streaming works better across longer distances and supports a significantly higher percentage of PS4 games.

These are just off the top of my head.

jrlibrarianJeffrey Trewin, Associate EditorDecember 17, 2013

While I'm disappointed with the news as much as anybody, I certainly appreciated hear you guys talk about it in length. I'm among the Nintendo fans who still haven't picked one up, and I don't see myself doing so anytime in the near future (although this has less to do with my desire to get it, and more with my money situation at the moment).


I loved the Altered Beast joke (callback to 103, anybody?).

ClexYoshiDecember 17, 2013

Okay... I've finally given myself some time to let this simmer a bit.

First off, I would like to say that this is a great episode of RFN and one I have even been showing off to others who tried to convince me that I'm a stupid stupidhead for wanting a Wii U.

The problematic nature of this... thing that Nintendo has put out is really, REALLY showing now. I often don't know how the hell to explain this thing to people and why it has the potential for greatness, and now I don't think I really could if people are openly making the Virtual Boy and Sega Saturn comparisons.

the idea of plans accelerating for the next bit of hardware doesn't set me at ease either. If anything, the fat would really need to be trimmed and the backwards compatibility needs to go right out the window in lieu of just making something with a very acute focus. Miiverse could maybe stay as it's a rather elegant way to do things without drawing you away from your game too far with using a separate device for like... GameFAQs or something, but... this blanket spread of ideas that don't gel well needs to go and they just need to have a device that gets the job done without complicating the process with multiple control schemes, dodgy online services, or... really, anything that they've really failed to showcase in a meaningful fashion with the Wii U.

This is something I wouldn't normally want, but usually they're good about the whole idea of making the software fit the hardware, and that hasn't been happening outside of... ZombiU? Maybe Nintendoland? I think of they just had this straightforward "It plays games with some sticks n' buttons!" kind of device that they'd at least be forced to like... do innovative stuff on a software level first instead of having hardware that they have no idea of what the crap to do with it on any tier of their corporate structure.

I think rather than Super Mario 3D world that we needed something that at least would have proven the Game Pad's worth that wasn't in Mini-game collection territory. something that's similar to say... Kirby Canvas Curse or Contact or Henry Hatsworth or... SOMETHING! a port of the PS3 version of Ni No Kuni where a PDF of the spellbook is on the Gamepad? That Mirror's Edge sequel that EA teased where the Gamepad is just a view of what's at your feet that you can look down at when you're unsure about your footing?

I am rambling. it is 2 AM. I think I'm still kinda pissed off about this and how my friends are not going to let me hear the end of how much of a stupid person I am for drinking the Nintendo Kool-aid the moment before the populace knew that it was arsenic-laced.

bleh...






Also, the idea of depth perception in Space Harrier does excite me. I might have also picked up 3D Sonic 1 if it were based on the Christian Whitehead port for iOS and Android.

... and then my tired mind went to the idea of 3D Sonic 3D Blast.

I hope I just made James' head explode.

Pixelated PixiesDecember 17, 2013

@Webmalfunction

My 'Huh?' was in regards to your use of the word 'exponentially'.

What do you mean by 'the issues go exponentially beyond price'? Are you saying that beyond the issue of price other issues are increasingly important? Exponential is normally used to indicate that something becomes more rapid or pronounced as a result of a factor. Are you saying that the Wii U's issues are becoming increasingly pronounced and that the factor which accounts for that increase is price?

Or are you simply saying that Price is the least of Wii U's issues. If the latter, I don't think 'exponentially' really makes any sense.

Not trying to be the grammar police. I legitimately want to understand your intent.

brianblivesayDecember 17, 2013

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2013/12/wii_u_hardware_sales_take_a_significant_leap_in_japan

ResettisCousinDecember 17, 2013

There was always a good chance they were going to fail this generation after the corner they put themselves in with Wii (and I LOVE Wii). I thought they were in a fair position leading up to the launch. Then I waited a year to buy one until it was $100 cheaper and there were 3 or 4 'must get' games and 5 to 8 'solid' games. Now, I'm glad to have it and if it died with the day after MK 8 would be released, it wouldn't be the worst $250 I've spent. (And I got an HDMI Wii out of it!)

CericDecember 17, 2013

One of the problems the WiiU has is epitomized with Wii Fit U.  To Many Options.  Simply put you can control a game with, GamePad, Classic Controller, CCPro, WiiMote, WiiMote + Nunchuk, Balance Board, etc.  That's a full what 5 straight up controllers with different buttons amounts and layouts.  Thinking about it.  Sort of intimidating for me.

Sometimes too much Freedom is worse than being limited.

lolmonadeDecember 17, 2013

Quote from: Ceric

One of the problems the WiiU has is epitomized with Wii Fit U.  To Many Options.  Simply put you can control a game with, GamePad, Classic Controller, CCPro, WiiMote, WiiMote + Nunchuk, Balance Board, etc.  That's a full what 5 straight up controllers with different buttons amounts and layouts.  Thinking about it.  Sort of intimidating for me.

Sometimes too much Freedom is worse than being limited.


That's a very good point.  Options are great for us gamers.  For non-gamers, more options means more confusion. 


I don't think that articule disproves anything about what's been said either in the comments or on the podcast.  Technically, Wii U's November sales were a 300% increase over October, which makes it look more impressive than it actually is.  This article is using the same tactics to make a modest increase in sales look more substantial than it actually is.

We have to dig deeper and know the context of what's being reported if we want to get the full-scale truth from a Nintendo enthusiast website.

nilcamDecember 17, 2013

The Wii U is a strange beast and that has been the biggest challenge. It's hard to explain to anyone regardless of their interest in video games. Nintendo has also dropped the ball on one of the console's most compelling features: backwards compatibility. The Wii U is the only console that can play last gen games and use last gen controllers. For those of us who like arcade sticks for fighting games, that is a big deal.


The other big problem is the Wii itself. By the end, many gamers didn't feel like that console catered to them anymore. I honestly abandoned the Wii platform after Wario Land Shake. There was a period of 6 months with not a single game that interested me. It seemed like a good time to sell off the system and get a PS3. Part of what made the Wii U a good purchase for me was the backwards compatibility. I bought the system for $200 and hit up a Gamestop used game sale and got 6 Wii games for less than $50. I had a lot to catch up on since I sold my Wii.


All that said, it comes down to content. For my money, the only must-have console on the market is the 3DS. The PS4 and Xbox One don't have a single game between them that I'm interested in. The Wii U gets a lot of play due to certain VC games (Earthbound, Mega Man X) and a few downloadable titles as well as Mario 3D World. I cannot even consider the Vita when the 3DS is in the picture. If Nintendo could learn to use the VC better as a crutch during the slow months, the Wii U would be much more attractive to retro gamers. Hell, putting more rare games out on the VC, like Earthbound, would help as well.

Stoeff.atDecember 17, 2013

Great show once again guys!

To comment the first part of the show:

I think the day the music died was actually when Nintendo first teasered the WiiU on E3.
Everyone knew it was way to weak to compete with the comming console generation and even would be worse then the ps360 when it comes to ports - as always with Nintendo hardware.

When the final specs were out and the gamepad did clearly not come with a game to showcase what it would be worse, really everyone should have gotten it.


There are at least 5 hardcore Nintendo fans in my friendcircle and not a single one of them has a WiiU (a lot of them have 3DSs). I baught Gamecube and Wii on launchday and was not really sure to buy a WiiU.
What f*ed me up in the end was my experience with ZombiU at the Vienna "Gamecity" fair.
Bad graphics, unprecise motion controlls and the second screen on a TV based system sucked - even ZombiU making the most of it.
The only person I know that owns a WiiU writes reviews for a german internetcommunity and he will of course get a PS4.

As a hardcore Nintendo fan I feel like everyone who still bought a WiiU did not think about it twice. It is way overpriced (whatever Nintendo says it costs them to build it), was old when it launched and the promised 3rd party support is the same old Nintendo bullshit as always since the N64.


I will now go back to play awsome games on my 3DS - yeah there is a Nintendosystem with GAMES out there people!

RodrigueDecember 17, 2013

Quote from: Webmalfunction

-Messaging/Advertising

Yes

Quote:

-No games that are like nothing we have ever seen before

Same holds true for the other platforms, except it's even worse because of fewer (good) exclusives

Quote:

-substantially underpowered while being overpriced because of its controller

So they should ship without a controller?

Quote:

-even a good chunk of their own fans aren't excited about it

That's not an "issue" with the system

Quote:

-an online situation that still needs an assload of work

It really doesn't

Quote:

-multiplatform games that are laughably unsupported both by the developers and by the consumers

Many of those multiplatform games are better on Wii U than on other platforms and that didn't stop the DS Wii and 3DS from succeeding as the third party games always come mostly from Japan and after the platforms start seeing success instead of before. Anyway "unsupported by consumers" is also not an issue with the system and they are supported about as well as any other port by the developers, in some situations better.

Quote:

-one of their biggest features (off-tv play) is now a check box on the PS4. While there are some differences like the fact that Wii U is only one cost and the screen is bigger, the Vita streaming works better across longer distances and supports a significantly higher percentage of PS4 games.

nowhere near comparable due to the points you outlined yourself and the fact that it costs 250 dollars while you claim the wii u controller is overpriced at 100 with better screen & controls (vita is missing buttons and requires the use of the inaccurate and obnoxious rear touch pad to compensate).

Hey Einstein!December 18, 2013

Well.... I am surprised at how many are leaving positive comments about the Wii U discussion.


I've loved the show for years but this wasn't for me. My favorite part of the podcast is always New Business because I just like hearing the guys getting excited (or angry) about video games and the reminiscing it brings on (LOVED John's Altered Beast quip).


But for me the show is at it's weakest when the focus is on industry analysis and speculation, which is what the whole Wii U segment was really. Greg was very strong in this area but it's not something I feel the show currently does well.


The RFN crew certainly know a lot more about Nintendo then I do and I concede that the sales figures are alarming. But personally I won't be convinced that the sky is falling in until Nintendo officially pull support, Virtual Boy style. This is a company that regularly defy standard expectations. They have squandered their lead and emerged from the shadows before more than once. The only things I believe they do with any constancy is put out games I enjoy and frustrate fans with their impenetrable business decisions.


As for the WiiU, I wish the Game Pad had a higher spec and the virtual console was better curated,  but otherwise I love the console. I am clearly a minority but I feel like it was designed just for me. Off TV Play was what sold me and I have not been disappointed. I can't afford a PS4 and although I love my Vita the analog sticks and shoulder buttons aren't a patch on the Game Pad, so Remote Play doesn't do it for me.


let's the negs begin!

ejamerDecember 18, 2013

Quote from: Hey

...
But for me the show is at it's weakest when the focus is on industry analysis and speculation, which is what the whole Wii U segment was really. Greg was very strong in this area but it's not something I feel the show currently does well.
...

I viewed it less as insightful industry analysis than a cathartic release from a bunch of gamers that are invested (emotionally and monetarily) in a console that hasn't come anywhere near reaching its potential.  Frankly, I liked hearing it because I feel the same way a lot of the time.

Quote:

... I concede that the sales figures are alarming. But personally I won't be convinced that the sky is falling in until Nintendo officially pull support, Virtual Boy style. This is a company that regularly defy standard expectations. They have squandered their lead and emerged from the shadows before more than once. ...

Not sure if this is sticking your head in the sand, or just showing tremendous patience.


The sky isn't falling, although being concerned about an extremely limited number of games (both from third parties who have abandoned the console, and from Nintendo of America who may choose not to bring out some games I would really like to pay due to small install base and limited appeal) is clearly a reasonable reaction.


Your comment about Nintendo possibly being able to "emerge from the shadows" is also borderline ridiculous if you are talking about the current generation of gaming consoles. Do you really believe they can shake off the lack of interest from consumers, developers, and retailers when going against major competition?


Anyway, no negs coming from me. I just wish I was as excited about my Wii U as you are about yours.
(IF the Xenoblade sequel comes out, I'll probably be right there with you. Until that time I'm rather nervous.)

I don't think we did a whole lot of industry talk. I think we looked at the numbers and reflected a bit on why we are where we are and what they mean.


There is a larger industry discussion to be had there than that, and we could have it. We, however, were not prepared for it at that moment. Keep in mind, Jon and I saw the numbers for the first time before we started recording. This was emotion.

Fatty_The_HuttDecember 20, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/12/16/which-console-should-you-buy-this-holiday-season/

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/12/03/why-nintendos-wii-u-and-3ds-may-be-your-best-bets-this-holiday/?__lsa=5b24-6406

http://techland.time.com/2013/12/04/10-reasons-id-pick-the-wii-u-over-the-playstation-4-and-xbox-one-today/

http://gizmodo.com/why-im-getting-a-wii-u-1469695384/1469879253/@stephentotilo

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Wii-U-Winning-Next-Gen-Gaming-Xbox-One-Or-PS4-61059.html

NOOBZ!  ;)

ShayminDecember 20, 2013

And nobody's listening to those articles.

azekeDecember 20, 2013

Quote from: Shaymin

And nobody's listening to those articles.

Because there's no audio version available, right?

Leo13December 20, 2013

There must be some disconnect where I live. I don't know a single person with an Xbone or a PS4, but I know plenty of people that own Wii U including 5 just in my office.

Hey Einstein!December 20, 2013

Likewise, I don't know anybody who has taken the plunge on Xbone or PS4 but a couple of people in my circle do have Wii U now.
I always figure what matters most is not which console sells best but which one your friends have so you can lend games to each other, get excited about new releases etc. The most fun gaming fun I've had this year was exchanging Animal Crossing progress reports via text messages with a friend.

Leo13December 20, 2013

I agree with the which console your friends have. I buy my Wii U games digitally so I can't loan them out, but I do enjoy playing a few of them online (NBA 2K13 has gotten the most online play from us) and also if my buddy gets a new game that I've been considering it's nice to be able to talk with him and get specifics about it to determine if I'm going to get it too.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement