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WiiU

The Downfall of Ubisoft on Wii U

by Neal Ronaghan - December 1, 2014, 11:41 am EST
Total comments: 81

We're at the end of this chapter of Nintendo and Ubisoft's relationship and the state of major third parties on Wii U is troubling.

At E3 2011, Nintendo’s Wii U was first revealed to the world alongside a variety of demos that Nintendo termed “experiences” because they weren’t representative of full games. The system was a mystery and filled with potential.

Midway through that E3, Nintendo hosted a developer discussion, as they usually do at the event. This one was different though. It was, according to Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, “a first during (his) presidency at Nintendo.” The third-party publisher Ubisoft was given the chance to present their Wii U lineup at a Nintendo event. While Nintendo has occasionally brought in third-party publishers and developers into their events, they rarely handed off the reins to an entire other company.

The reasoning for the curious event seemed evident when Iwata introduced Ubisoft. The third-party company was set to be a “most important partner” for Nintendo, showing “stronger support than ever before.” This was supposed to be the start of a bold, new direction for Nintendo, one that encouraged third parties instead of chasing them away.

Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot certainly was passionate for Wii U at the time. "When we saw this console and the controller, we thought it was, for us, a good time to create all new product for that console,” he said. "We think it will take a lot of new gamers to the industry."

Guillemot’s reasons for optimism actually lined up with the direction that, in retrospect, Ubisoft went. He was excited for the concept of combining touch screen gameplay with traditional controls, as it allowed for potentially more social gameplay than ever before. With Ubisoft’s recent releases, most of which weren’t scheduled for Wii U, they all used smartphones and tablets to let players use a companion app that adds bonuses to the game. In 2011, Guillemot was hopeful that Nintendo’s system would have been the catalyst for all of that.


At that E3 2011 event, Ubisoft discussed their five in-progress Wii U games. The flagship title was Killer Freaks From Outer Space, which later became the launch title ZombiU. The other major title was Ghost Recon Online, which was actually the only third-party playable demo at that E3, and so far, Ghost Recon Online has not come out on Wii U. It was released on PC earlier this year and as of 2012, the Wii U version has been on hold. We reached out to Ubisoft but heard no update about the game. It’s assumed it’s still on hold, likely never to come out. The other three games were a new entry in the Assassin’s Creed series (which became Assassin’s Creed III), a new entry in the Rabbids series (which became Rabbids Land), and Sports Connection (which became a largely forgettable launch title).

One quote from that event has a little bit of a bite given what has happened to Ubisoft’s Wii U support. Hugues Ricour, one of the producers working on Ghost Recon Online, said adamantly that they were excited to work on Wii U because "Nintendo has proved with history that they can really redefine entertainment."

There wasn’t much official information on Wii U between E3 2011 and E3 2012, but when the floodgates opened up Ubisoft was still just as boldly supporting Wii U. At E3 2012 Ubisoft actually got to first show off the console publicly at their press conference. ZombiU, Rayman Legends, and Just Dance 4 were huge focuses of Ubisoft’s show, with all three hugely leveraging the GamePad.


During that same E3, even EA pledged their support to Nintendo. EA’s then-CEO John Riccitello proclaimed that EA and Nintendo were undergoing a "breakthrough in (their) relationship based on a stunning breakthrough in game technology."

Riccitello spoke of new gameplay opportunities, unique control methods, and a persistent online community. "What Nintendo's new console delivers speaks directly to the players of EA Sports and EA games," he said, declaring that the Wii U would kick off “an unprecedented partnership between Nintendo and Electronic Arts.”

Then, the Wii U came out and support from Ubisoft and EA fell apart.

At launch, Ubisoft had several games ready, including the flagship mature title ZombiU. By every conceivable metric we know of, ZombiU bombed. It bombed so hard that its aftershock was felt three months after launch when Ubisoft delayed Rayman Legends six months so they could launch it on other platforms in addition to Wii U. Rayman Legends wound up being the only major Ubisoft title that sold respectably on Wii U, as even the second holiday season filled with Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin’s Creed IV barely moved the needle. Wii U games in general made up less than 5% of Ubisoft’s total software sales.

EA’s about-face was even quicker. They had Madden, FIFA, and Mass Effect 3 ready for the console’s release. Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, launched in March 2013, was the last game EA ever released on Wii U. Like the Ubisoft games, sales are hard to track, but by every metric, every single EA game bombed and bombed hard.

Likewise, Activision’s Call of Duty games sold poorly, though the publisher has found a sizable Wii U success with Skylanders. For example, Skylanders: Trap Team on Wii U has outsold every other version of the game aside from the Xbox 360 and Wii versions. Activision seemingly played Switzerland in this entire storm, quietly supporting Nintendo with the properties that made sense and slowly fading out the possibility of any other kind of support without making a big stink about it.


We’re at a point where looking forward to the Wii U lineup in 2015 is filled with even more uncertainty than ever. We know of a wide swath of Nintendo-made games, made up of new entries in classic series as well as games such as Splatoon and Devil’s Third. Those games all look very good, but aside from that, the Wii U library is a bunch of self-published eShop games and little else. The eShop isn’t a rosy proposition either. Numerous Nintendo-loyal developers, while active on 3DS, won’t touch the Wii U with a 10-foot pole. There are countless horror stories of companies putting effort in to a Wii U eShop release, only to see it sell a pittance. On the flip side, the Wii U eShop does have success stories, but it seems like that’s the exception, not the rule.

We might not know it, but the last major third-party release on Wii U may have stealthily released last week in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. Unfortunately, the Wii U version of Watch Dogs is doomed to be nothing more than the answer to a trivia question or a footnote in gaming history. There’s not a large group of people craving to play a six-months-late version of a game that they can get for $20 cheaper on almost any other home console. The inevitable sales implosion of Watch Dogs is a fitting end to the Wii U’s flirtation with being a home to major third-party releases. Third-party sales on Wii U seem like they’re going to end where they started: sad and alone.

Talkback

kokumakerDecember 01, 2014

There's really no one to blame but the Wii U players who don't buy third-party games.

Nile Boogie ReturnsDecember 01, 2014

Rayman Legends sank Ubisoft with so many Wii U owners. Remember This?


▶ Rayman Legends Wii U Trailer - YouTube




and even though the output on Wii U is solid if not great, I still feel like a lotta folks never got over Rayman getting delayed for other platforms (and still selling best on Wii U at last check)



Qbert FarnsworthDecember 01, 2014

I loathe the "blame the consumer" attitude that 3rd party companies have with Nintendo consoles. Ubisoft basically offered consumers the same experience on the Wii U that they offered on the other consoles. If you liked Assassin's Creed, you probably owned a PS3/360 already. Why buy it on the Wii U, or buy a Wii U at all for that experience? ZombiU was an unpolished experience with some unique ideas that were not executed the best. This lead to mediocre reviews, and a lot of people won't spend $60 on a game with mediocre reviews.

Rayman was outstanding - certainly an experience as good or better than New Super Mario Bros U. If you bought a Wii U early, chances are you like New SMB U. You could buy two well-reviewed platformers, and Rayman certainly would have had a higher attach rate because there was nothing else to play. Instead, the delay angered some fans. Nintendo basically had 9 months of bad press from post-launch up until around the time Rayman came out, and then Rayman came out right when people were buying Pikmin, Wind Waker HD, Wonderful 101, and if they owned another system GTA V. Perhaps if Rayman releases in the launch window, and ZombiU releases in the early fall so it's flaws can be fixed, they have two great 3rd party exclusives on the system instead of one mediocre game, and one great game which turned out to be a timed exclusive.

So now, Ubisoft says that Watch Dogs is their last mature title. It should sell poorly, and deservedly so. It received less than stellar reviews on the other consoles, and they're asking full price for a six-month-old game that could have, but does not, use the Wii U in a unique way. Somehow, this will be the fault of the Nintendo consumer.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 01, 2014

Quote from: kokumaker

There's really no one to blame but the Wii U players who don't buy third-party games.

How about blaming third-party pubs for not making games that cater to the Wii U audience?
How about blaming third-party pubs for sabatoging their Wii U releases? (looking at you ME3).

It's a bad business model to blame customers for not buying your stuff.  It's your job to figure out what people want and how to sell it to them.

SorenDecember 01, 2014

Ubisoft sealed their fate when they delayed Rayman Legends. A company that pulls the eject button less than 3 months after launch is not a company that was looking to support Nintendo in anyway. It was only hoping the Wii magic would strike again.

StratosDecember 01, 2014

Quote from: Soren

Ubisoft sealed their fate when they delayed Rayman Legends. A company that pulls the eject button less than 3 months after launch is not a company that was looking to support Nintendo in anyway. It was only hoping the Wii magic would strike again.

That probably explains the support in the early stage.  But as soon as they saw the writing on the wall they bailed.

WindyManSteven Rodriguez, Staff AlumnusDecember 01, 2014

Reminds me of the Capcom "exclusives" for the GameCube.


At least we got Resident Evil 4 out of that. (And this.)

NeifirstDecember 01, 2014

EA:  Within weeks of releasing Mass Effect 3 on Wii U, Mass Effect Trilogy was released for PS3/360 at the same price.  Which would a consumer choose?  Need for Speed Most Wanted U came out 5 months later than PS3/360 at full price, while on other systems it was routinely marked down to $20-30.  Which would a consumer choose?

Ubisoft: My understanding is Rayman Legends sold better on Wii U than PS3/360/PS4/One.  It probably would have done even better if it had released in March as originally planned.  Who exactly is to blame there?  ZombiU got mixed reviews, at best.  And I'm sure new Wii U owners had memories of the original Red Steel.  Fool me once...

Frankly, these Western developers can keep their noise; I'm much more interested in offerings from Japanese developers like Square Enix, Capcom, Konami, Bandai Namco, etc.  Give me real entries in series like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Mega Man, Castlevania, Ridge Racer, etc., and I'll be there with my $$$ day one.  And I'm sure there's a lot of other Wii U owners that feel similarly.  If only consoles hadn't completely imploded in Japan, we might get games like Bravely Default on Wii U instead of 3DS.

sisibakbakDecember 01, 2014

I'm really interested, what are the eShop horror stories? I've always wondered how well indie games do on the eShop.

KhushrenadaDecember 01, 2014

The odd thing is that in the past week, I've just bought 5 Ubisoft titles.

I got Raving Rabbids Party Collection (which is the first three Rabbid games on one disc), Just Dance, Just Dance 2 all for Wii and Just Dance 4 and Just Dance 2014 all for Wii U.

I also finally picked up Sonic and the Secret Rings and Wii Sports Resort for Wii and Injustice for Wii U. All lesser games I've been slightly interested in but at a price that was right for me. I also picked up Tale of Symphonia for Gamecube as it was an original edition (no bestseller yellow) and in great shape at a $30.00 price tag. Aside from Wii Sports Resort, it's been a 3rd party extravaganza of purchases.

SorenDecember 01, 2014

Quote from: Neifirst

EA:  Within weeks of releasing Mass Effect 3 on Wii U, Mass Effect Trilogy was released for PS3/360 at the same price.  Which would a consumer choose?  Need for Speed Most Wanted U came out 5 months later than PS3/360 at full price, while on other systems it was routinely marked down to $20-30.  Which would a consumer choose?

To be fair Most Wanted U came with the first DLC pack included, plus you can tell it had substantial development work behind it. Still, late port came late, with no post-release support.

SorenDecember 01, 2014

EDIT: Most Wanted U was also released on the same week the Origin store had it's big sale. Many people (including people on these forums) took advantage and got the game at half price.

Most Wanted was a fantastic port, but it was still either too late or priced too high.

ejamerDecember 01, 2014

As much as I'd like to blame third party publishers (who often made poor choices if they seriously wanted Wii U games to sell well), there are also good games out there that people simply didn't buy. Try to assign blame in a situation like this and everyone walks away a loser.

ShyGuyDecember 01, 2014

Quote:

Numerous Nintendo-loyal developers, while active on 3DS, won’t touch the Wii U with a 10-foot pole. There are countless horror stories of companies putting effort in to a Wii U eShop release, only to see it sell a pittance.

could someone elaborate on the these two points?

Quote from: ShyGuy

Quote:

Numerous Nintendo-loyal developers, while active on 3DS, won’t touch the Wii U with a 10-foot pole. There are countless horror stories of companies putting effort in to a Wii U eShop release, only to see it sell a pittance.

could someone elaborate on the these two points?

The specifics of what I've heard are all in confidence/off the record. I'll just say look at the companies that are active on 3DS and aren't really touching Wii U. Or the companies that released a Wii U eShop game and then didn't announce a follow-up.

SorenDecember 01, 2014

Off the top of my head the only companies I can think of are Renegade Kid (Mutant Mudds Deluxe, Cult County failure) and Gaijin/Choice Provisions (Runner 2,nothing else announced). And Renegade Kid's situation was probably biting off more than they could chew. Level-5 still hasn't released a game on Wii U but they've been working on something since last year for consoles.

If there are horror stories it isn't stopping most developers from releasing their games or helping port other people's game in the case of Curve Studios and Broken Rules.

ShyGuyDecember 01, 2014

Hmm, doing some research that would be Renegade Kid, probably Double Fine, maybe Nicalis (still waiting on 90's Arcade Racer) and maybe Frozenbyte.

SorenDecember 01, 2014

Frozenbyte had one of the better selling eShop games if the charts to be believed. They also announced they were bringing the first Trine to Wii U.

The eShop is still going to be extremely hit or miss when it comes to projects and quality. There were articles a year ago touting how many projects were announced for Wii U on crowdfunding sites. Those that were funded (like 90's Arcade Racer, remember the dude got it funded, then Nicalis stepped it) still faced an uphill climb because they were being developed by small teams with limited experience.

ShyGuyDecember 01, 2014

Never Mind, Double Fine recently released Costume Quest 2.

If there are good games that people didn't buy, that fault still lies on the third-party publishers and, to a lesser extent, on Nintendo. These companies are set up to sell games to people. As a publisher, that is job number one. Watch_Dogs may not be a great game, but Ubisoft did a fantastic job selling it on the other platforms. It's a shame they didn't give that kind of push to ZombiU or Rayman Legends.


There is no rational basis on which to blame consumers here. This is foremost a strategic error by Nintendo (making a system with similar horsepower to dying competitive platforms, thus ensuring afterthought ports before the market just moves on entirely). Following that, it is the fault of publishers who still don't understand how to make games for Nintendo's customer base, despite literally hundreds of examples across several generations of successful first-party titles.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Nintendo has a history of making consoles designed to only sell their own titles. 3rd parties have a history of leaving because they're tired of neither Nintendo nor Nintendo fans supporting them. Nintendo fans have a history of entitlement complexes, where they demand specialized versions of 3rd party games catered to themselves and the gimmicks of their chosen platform, but they never show up when it comes time to purchase the games that would encourage such projects. In other words, it's business as usual.  I look forward to this little dance starting all over again in a few years where Nintendo goes around asking what Konami and Capcom want in a console, but doesn't speak to Ubisoft; EA; or Bethesda at all.

And I've said it before but I'll say it again: EA promised an "unprecedented partnership", and that's exactly what we got. :P

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Yes, damn you Nintendo fans for not buying the same stuff we shovel out everywhere else and demanding higher quality games.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: UncleBob

Yes, damn you Nintendo fans for not buying the same stuff we shovel out everywhere else and demanding higher quality games.

Nintendo fans (as a community) bitch when they get versions exactly the same as the other versions ("why aren't you taking advantage of our system's unique features?! We're Special!"), and they bitch when they get versions that are too different from the other versions ("Ugh! This isn't the version that everyone ELSE got! BOYCOTT!"). The only things consistent in the whole situation are that Nintendo fans bitch, and that Nintendo fans don't buy the games in the end. It's a no-win scenario, and if I'm a 3rd party why should I even bother when I know no one in this market has my back and there's a high probability that I'm going to lose money on the effort?  3rd parties skimp on Nintendo consoles because they know they're not going to make money, and you know what? They're right more often than they're wrong.

Are there 3rd parties who traditionally don't put in parity effort between the different versions? Of course there are. But when you have Nintendo out there courting and making deals with minor (in the global sense) Japanese 3rd parties like Sega and Capcom while outright ignoring (in the planning stages) every Western 3rd party out there, can you really blame them for being skittish on supporting Nintendo?  Nintendo fans always seem to find a reason to not buy 3rd party games, and Nintendo doesn't give a shit because they built their console to sell their own games, and those (as usual) are doing just fine.  The only way this turns around is if Nintendo actually works with 3rd parties going forward, involving them in the planning and development of the console and the marketing of the games. But what would require Nintendo actually caring how any other company performs on their consoles, especially outside Japan.

SorenDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

Nintendo fans (as a community) bitch when they get versions exactly the same as the other versions ("why aren't you taking advantage of our system's unique features?! We're Special!"), and they bitch when they get versions that are too different from the other versions ("Ugh! This isn't the version that everyone ELSE got! BOYCOTT!"). The only things consistent in the whole situation are that Nintendo fans bitch, and that Nintendo fans don't buy the games in the end.

Everything you just said there can be applied to consumers of the other consoles out in the market.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: broodwars

Nintendo fans (as a community) bitch when they get versions exactly the same as the other versions ("why aren't you taking advantage of our system's unique features?! We're Special!"), and they bitch when they get versions that are too different from the other versions ("Ugh! This isn't the version that everyone ELSE got! BOYCOTT!"). The only things consistent in the whole situation are that Nintendo fans bitch, and that Nintendo fans don't buy the games in the end.

Everything you just said there can be applied to consumers of the other consoles out in the market.

The sales of the Xbone and PS4 (and their associated software titles) say otherwise. Sony & Microsoft fans buy 3rd party games. That's why the 3rd parties are there. Nintendo is no longer a major player in the console market, and the Nintendo fanbase is a niche audience with very particular tastes. That's why the 3rd parties are not there.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

I, frankly, don't give two craps what Western Developer X or Japanese Developer Y thinks.

Frankly, it is their job to convince *me* to give them money for their product.  If they can't do a good job of it, then that means they have failed.  Period.

As big of a Nintendo Fanboy as I am, I'm willing to give money hand over fist to a third party developer who is willing to create a fun product - and it doesn't even have to make special use of Nintendo hardware.

Let me introduce you to Skylanders.  You might have heard of it.  It's developed by a third party - Activision.  While it doesn't really do much in the way of Wii/Wii U special features, the franchise sells boat-loads on Nintendo systems.

It's like it is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what you're saying.  I've not really heard fans complain about a lack of Nintendo-forced features, nor have consumers failed to buy the game on Nintendo systems (in fact, the Wii version of the latest game came with a download code for the Wii U version because so many folks were still buying it for the Wii and Activision really wants folks to trade up so they can stop making the Wii SKU).

Weird how that works.  You make a game that Nintendo fans enjoy and they buy it.

You make your new franchise into an on-rails shooter or you give us a year old port (while releasing a fancy new collected edition elsewhere for the same price) and 'meh.

It's like Madden.  You could say it's Nintendo Fans' fault that it isn't being released on the Wii U, since not enough folks are buying it.  Or you could say it's the Sony/Microsoft fans' fault for buying the same freakin' game year after year with roster updates.  Maybe if EA put some freakin' effort into making an evolution of their game, more folks would buy it.  Maybe Nintendo fans are just smarter than that.

Oh, New Super Mario Bros. Wii U sold how much?  Never mind.

Quote from: broodwars

Sony & Microsoft fans buy 3rd party games.

Of course they do.  That's because there are no real first party games to speak of on those systems.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Congratulations: You found "a" 3rd party game that sold well on Nintendo consoles, and one that played to Nintendo's core fanbase of 5 year old toy collectors (*eyes Amiibo*). There are plenty more that didn't. There was nothing wrong with the Wii U versions of Assassin's Creed 3 or CoD: Black Ops 2 at the Wii U launch, and Ubisoft & Activision have come out and said those didn't sell well, nor did CoD: Ghosts or AC4: Black Flag a year later.

And incidentally, it's 2014 and a completely different console. I think people can stop bitching about Dead Space Extraction at this point.

sisibakbakDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

Congratulations: You found "a" 3rd party game that sold well on Nintendo consoles, and one that played to Nintendo's core fanbase of 5 year old toy collectors (*eyes Amiibo*). There are plenty more that didn't. There was nothing wrong with the Wii U versions of Assassin's Creed 3 or CoD: Black Ops 2 at the Wii U launch, and Ubisoft & Activision have come out and said those didn't sell well, nor did CoD: Ghosts or AC4: Black Flag a year later.


And incidentally, it's 2014 and a completely different console. I think people can stop bitching about Dead Space Extraction at this point.

I agree there was nothing wrong with AC3 or Black Ops 2 but the reasons they didn't sell are pretty obvious. Firstly there was a new Mario game at launch so if anyone was going to buy just one game, it was always going to be that. Add on that that these versions, though technically sound (and offering some great functionality in regards to Black Ops 2) did nothing to convince the people who are passionate about these games (namely people who already own consoles that could play the games already) to migrate over. There also wasn't any sizeable marketing push for either of these versions, though Ubisoft can be excused from that since they did give ZombiU a fair chance in my opinion. It's a shame but the odds were against them on those titles.


In the case of Ghosts, the complete lack of DLC and support for Black Ops 2 soured a lot of people on it (it being slightly ho-hum also didn't help, I'm sure). And again, they had no marketing push for that version in any way whatsoever. No screens, no video, no information until launch. My local GAME store received 2 copies and they weren't even on the shelves- they were hidden behind the counter where you had to ask for it. It wasn't revealed when the other versions were confirmed and was announced a good while later on Nintendo's Twitter account with a simple "CoD Ghosts is coming to Wii U!" It didn't even get the pre-order DLC that the other versions got until early this year. Neither Activision nor Nintendo tried in the slightest. AC4 suffered the same issues as CoD but I think Nintendo fans had already been thrown into a tizzy by that point over Rayman Legends and just didn't want to buy anything with the Ubisoft name on it.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

There was nothing wrong with the Wii U versions of Assassin's Creed 3 or CoD: Black Ops 2 at the Wii U launch, and Ubisoft & Activision have come out and said those didn't sell well, nor did CoD: Ghosts or AC4: Black Flag a year later.

You mean, aside from missing features/support that the other systems had?

"Hey everyone!  Go buy a brand new system so you can play a worse version of the game you can buy on the system you already own."

Not to mention, again, the simple concept of not understanding Nintendo owners.  You make petty jabs at "5 year old toy collectors" - Skylanders went from a brand that used the Spyro name so that it would have *some* kind of known branding to one of the largest franchises in the market.  That's not 5-year-olds.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Oh, and...

Quote from: broodwars

And incidentally, it's 2014 and a completely different console. I think people can stop bitching about Dead Space Extraction at this point.

I mention DSE because I think it's a prime example of...

Quote from: broodwars

hey bitch when they get versions that are too different from the other versions ("Ugh! This isn't the version that everyone ELSE got! BOYCOTT!").

But you're right.  That was five years ago.  Let's look at a more recent original effort release from EA for a Nintendo system.

Oh, wait...

StogiDecember 02, 2014

We can all agree that Nintendo has a problem, but the problem isn't their fans. That's ridiculous. That's like saying RHCP fans suck because they don't buy Maroon 5 albums. Get a grip.

The problem is Nintendo's consoles. That's it. If you look at the 3DS, DS, and GB, you'll see that they do phenomenally well with third parties. So what's the difference?


The main difference between Nintendo's handheld and console markets is a consistent stretch of utter domination. That's it. And third parties are going to continue to shun them if they can't reclaim and hold more market share. All these other excuses of "Nintendo not doing anything for third parties" or "Third parties hate Nintendo" are simply that, excuses. The real problem is Nintendo's inability to hold firmly to a segment of the market, console after console.

CyrianDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

  The only way this turns around is if Nintendo actually works with 3rd parties going forward, involving them in the planning and development of the console and the marketing of the games. But what would require Nintendo actually caring how any other company performs on their consoles, especially outside Japan.

So basically Nintendo should be going to third parties proclaiming how much they're just like the other guys, which they've said multiple times through multiple people that they have no interest in being, and which seems to be working out pretty well for  them, despite the semi-annual OMG NINTENDO IS THE NEXT SEGA!!!!11!!oneeleven freakouts.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: Hypotheliciously

The problem is Nintendo's consoles. That's it. If you look at the 3DS, DS, and GB, you'll see that they do phenomenally well with third parties. So what's the difference?

To be fair, the 3DS doesn't have much buy-in from western developers either.

Ian SaneDecember 02, 2014

I'm currently playing through the Mass Effect Trilogy on the PS3 and, man, the ME3 release on the Wii U really is a borderline useless product.  Playing just the third game with no way to import in your save would just take so much from the experience.  I don't know if EA would intentionally sabotage a product but at the very least that was clearly nothing more than a token effort.  Whoever green lit it probably knows nothing about the game aside from its sales figures ("that's a popular recent game of ours.  Let's port that.")

Part of me thinks that because Nintendo has had such lousy third party support for so long that their customer base has shifted more into gamers that are not that interested in third party games.  It makes sense - you don't have it so you adapt to go without it.  Or those that care about third party support stopped buying Nintendo consoles long ago.  The consumer is "at fault" in that their buying habits are largely first party but that isn't anything they're truly responsible for.  Nintendo shouldn't be in a situation where their customer base's buying trends go in such a direction.  And we all know about the "second console" situation where one buys one of the other consoles as their main console and the Nintendo console as a secondary purchase to get the Nintendo games.  Third party games won't sell to that sort of Wii U owner.

I lay the blame on Nintendo.  No sane person would buy a Wii U for third party ports of PS360 games if they already owned a console that would play them.  The target audience for such third party titles was entirely Wii only owners upgrading to the Wii U.  Had Nintendo gone with a next gen sort of jump one could assume the third party titles, even if they were multiplatform releases, would have some extra next gen pizzazz to sell them to PS360 owners (like how the PS4 is selling despite many of its titles being prettier versions of PS3 titles).  Instead the Wii U really just came across like Nintendo finally catching up to the other guys right before the other guys replaced their current consoles.

The Wii U sold like shit because it wasn't at all the product that the videogame buying public wanted in 2012.  The target audience for EA's and Ubisoft's titles didn't buy the Wii U so the games didn't sell.  If Nintendo had released a console that wasn't a flop then the third party sales would have been better and the whole mess would probably have been avoided.  Of course the third parties quickly bailing has made the Wii U sales even worse but ultimately it is on Nintendo to release a console that fits third parties' development needs and is the sort of product the public wants to buy.

I figured the big problem that would bite Nintendo in the ass is that by making a PS360 equivalent, the third party multiplatform releases would dry up quick as development moved to the new consoles.  The funny thing is that the PS3 and X360 are still routinely included in multiplatform development so on a technical level the Wii U could be as well.  Instead the Wii U just sold so shitty that third parties want nothing to do with it, even though it remains technologically feasible to include it.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: Ian

If Nintendo had released a console that wasn't a flop then the third party sales would have been better and the whole mess would probably have been avoided.

A console that wasn't a sales flop?  Something like, I dunno... the Wii?  You know, that system that was virtually perpetually sold out for two years straight?

sisibakbakDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: Ian

I'm currently playing through the Mass Effect Trilogy on the PS3 and, man, the ME3 release on the Wii U really is a borderline useless product.  Playing just the third game with no way to import in your save would just take so much from the experience.  I don't know if EA would intentionally sabotage a product but at the very least that was clearly nothing more than a token effort.  Whoever green lit it probably knows nothing about the game aside from its sales figures ("that's a popular recent game of ours.  Let's port that.")

For what it's worth, I was over the moon that they brought Mass Effect 3 over. I played the second game on PS3 and the third on Wii U and despite missing out on obvious things I still had a great time with it so they made at least one person happy! I agree though, it was a bizarre move for them to put it on Wii U without the other 2.


I agree that the decision to not make a wildly more powerful console was a mistake but it's really just a bullet point on the long list of bad choices they made and not the main cause.

AdrockDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: sisibakbak

I agree that the decision to not make a wildly more powerful console was a mistake but it's really just a bullet point on the long list of bad choices they made and not the main cause.

Basically. If Nintendo went with more powerful hardware, it would be stuck with a pricier product that no one wanted to buy and no third party wanted to make games for. That's it. Wii U was littered with issues and throwing more hardware power at it wasn't going to fix those things. Right now, Nintendo is just making the best of a really crummy situation.

Moving forward, I really don't think there's anything Nintendo can do to get consistent third party support even beyond Wii U.

ShyGuyDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: Adrock

Moving forward, I really don't think there's anything Nintendo can do to get consistent third party support even beyond Wii U.

Massive moneyhatting accompanied by parity contracts. It worked for Microsoft. Or did it?

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: Cyrian

So basically Nintendo should be going to third parties proclaiming how much they're just like the other guys, which they've said multiple times through multiple people that they have no interest in being, and which seems to be working out pretty well for  them, despite the semi-annual OMG NINTENDO IS THE NEXT SEGA!!!!11!!oneeleven freakouts.

Nintendo's spent the last 3 generations telling 3rd parties they're a special little snowflake who needs to be constantly told how special they are, and if people don't like that they can go piss off. The end result has been an erosion on marketshare; a complete abandonment by both 3rd parties and consumers; and an overall state of irrelevance for Nintendo in the console market. Nintendo's traditional dismissal of anyone else's concerns other than their own has not worked, is not working, and will not work in the future now that Nintendo's market share has been eroded to a punchline only topped by the Vita's.

Meanwhile, Sony's PlayStation division has soared with the PS4 by Sony being the absolute opposite of Nintendo: they built the PS4 with 3rd parties having an active role in the console's development and they heavily promote 3rd party games. For Nintendo to rebuild relations and establish themselves as a relevant player in the market, they have to change as well because the rest of the gaming world isn't going to orient itself around them any longer to cater to their absurd whims.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Wii U pretty much on par with the sales of the XBox One at this point?

And if I'm correct, didn't the original XBox and the GCN come pretty dang close?

And, of course, the Wii far outsold the 360...

How is Nintendo any more irrelevant than Microsoft?

Xbox One and Wii U hardware sales are close, but take a look at how the third party games sell. I don't have Xbox One specifics, but I'm sure its killing the failure of the early third party Wii U games.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: UncleBob

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Wii U pretty much on par with the sales of the XBox One at this point?

I didn't realize it was an achievement to be selling (with a year's sales head start) roughly the same number of Wii Us as the worst-selling and worst-marketed next-generation console.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Xbox One and Wii U hardware sales are close, but take a look at how the third party games sell. I don't have Xbox One specifics, but I'm sure its killing the failure of the early third party Wii U games.

I'd guess that has something to do with the lack of any real "first party" Microsoft titles.

With that said, I believe the Wii U has a 4 Million Plus title, something the XBox one hasn't done yet (and the PS4, being such a superior seller and all, only has two).  Sure, it' a first party title - but it proves the potential is there.

Just like with last generation, something like five of the top selling games OF ALL TIME (like, forever and ever) were Wii EXCLUSIVE titles.

It shows that the customer base is there and is buying games.  What makes third parties so unable to sell games on Nintendo consoles?

Quote from: broodwars

I didn't realize it was an achievement to be selling (with a year's sales head start) roughly the same number of Wii Us as the worst-selling and worst-marketed next-generation console.

So... being roughly comparable with half the competition is a horrible thing?

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Quote from: UncleBob

So... being roughly comparable with half the competition is a horrible thing?

It is when you had a year's head start, and the best you can do is maybe selling as well as the year-younger next competitor up, who has been plagued with terrible marketing; poor pricing; and a horrendous PR strategy.  It's pathetic.

And the Wii U having a couple better-than-mediocre-selling titles that have sold well doesn't "show that the customer base is where and is buying games." It shows that a group of people bought a few games. Like everything else about the Wii U, it hasn't been consistent, even across Nintendo 1st party titles.  There has to be a proven history on the console to justify supporting it, hence why the Wii got so much 3rd party support despite the filthy casuals only ever buying a handful of titles. There was enough consistency across the library as a whole that it made economic sense to support it.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Just taking a moment to register my continual annoyance at the lack of an edit button in Talkback.  :@

Quote from: broodwars

And the Wii U having a couple better-than-mediocre-selling titles doesn't "show that the customer base is where and is buying games." It shows that a group of people bought a few games. Like everything else about the Wii U, it hasn't been consistent, even across Nintendo 1st party titles.  There has to be a proven history on the console to justify supporting it, hence why the Wii got so much 3rd party support despite the filthy casuals only ever buying a handful of titles. There was enough consistency across the library as a whole that it made economic sense to support it.

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

In retrospect, I suppose it's fitting that the Wii U would be matching the Xbone in worldwide sales. Both are overpriced, underpowered boxes that (for their first year) had their price largely inflated due to packed-in, tacked-on hardware that no one wanted. Both are also vanity projects spear-headed by the egos of their largely-incompetent management.

Continuing the trend, maybe if Iwata is finally sacked like Mattrick was ousted from Microsoft, the Wii U can recover. Maybe.  ;)

broodwarsDecember 02, 2014

Also, of course, both the Wii U & the Xbone had "TV" as a huge part of their original design, and in both's cases it's been a feature that's largely been ignored since. And both had incredibly poor PR and marketing strategies that led to consoles that were never in danger of selling-out in the early going.

KhushrenadaDecember 03, 2014

There's PS4, Wii U, XBone, 3DS, PSP.

I can only buy one system. What system should I buy Broodwars and why?

broodwarsDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Khushrenada

There's PS4, Wii U, XBone, 3DS, PSP.

I can only buy one system. What system should I buy Broodwars and why?

I assume by "PSP", you mean "Vita"? :P Honestly, it depends on what kind of games you prefer and whether you're looking for short-term or long-term satisfaction. Right now, the Wii U is the best pick for short-term satisfaction. Of the 3 major platforms (plus Wii U), it has a worthwhile number of exclusives that can entertain you for a few months, but the system has no future. If you're looking long-term, PS4 is easily the best pick. No contest. The exclusives & "made for next-gen" titles are rolling out slowly, but surely.  I play the long game and I play 3rd party titles, so PS4's satisfied me in the one year I've had with it. For others, it may be too little too slowly.

KhushrenadaDecember 03, 2014

Sure Vita. That shows how well Sony has distinguished their handhelds to me. I thought like the 3DS continues the DS line and name, the Vita continued the PSP line and name.

Now a couple questions. You mention "Of the 3 major platforms (plus Wii U)". What are the 3 major platforms?

Also, you went with Wii U and PS4 as the choices. (Despite only asking for one recommendation although your answer seems to indicate they are different from each other to require you to make two recommendations.) Is this because you do not regard handhelds as being able to equal the satisfaction of playing console games or because neither have the short term or long term satisfaction that the Wii U or PS4 could provide?

broodwarsDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Khushrenada

Sure Vita. That shows how well Sony has distinguished their handhelds to me. I thought like the 3DS continues the DS line and name, the Vita continued the PSP line and name.

Now a couple questions. You mention "Of the 3 major platforms (plus Wii U)". What are the 3 major platforms?

Also, you went with Wii U and PS4 as the choices. (Despite only asking for one recommendation although your answer seems to indicate they are different from each other to require you to make two recommendations.) Is this because you do not regard handhelds as being able to equal the satisfaction of playing console games or because neither have the short term or long term satisfaction that the Wii U or PS4 could provide?

PC, PS4, and the Xbone are the 3 major platforms right now. I may not care for PC gaming, but it's still a big deal. As for the 3DS, I've never been altogether impressed by its software, which is a pale shadow compared to its predecessor and doesn't suit my tastes like the Vita's games do. As for why I made 2 recommendations, that was partially because everyone's tastes are different and partially because in my mind the Wii U is a good secondary console to complement a PS4 primary console. Nintendo bothers to release a worthwhile game on average about once every 3-6 months, and inbetween those releases you have the PS4's constant deluge of titles.

Evan_BDecember 03, 2014

What is this? The PS4 has a steady stream of games and the Wii U doesn't?

I mean, unless you're counting third party releases, which is kind of foolish because I sure as hell don't buy a console for third party releases. I play PC for that.

SorenDecember 03, 2014

Last year I would have said PS4 was miles ahead of the competition. But this year Microsoft had the better Black Friday deals and honestly, if companies continue the practice of locking game specs to the "inferior" Xbox hardware like Ubisoft did with Assassins Creed Unity, I can see it being a toss up.

KhushrenadaDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

PC, PS4, and the Xbone are the 3 major platforms right now. I may not care for PC gaming, but it's still a big deal. As for the 3DS, I've never been altogether impressed by its software, which is a pale shadow compared to its predecessor and doesn't suit my tastes like the Vita's games do. As for why I made 2 recommendations, that was partially because everyone's tastes are different and partially because in my mind the Wii U is a good secondary console to complement a PS4 primary console. Nintendo bothers to release a worthwhile game on average about once every 3-6 months, and inbetween those releases you have the PS4's constant deluge of titles.

PC gaming isn't even a thought for me either. I can't think of anyone I know who is a serious PC gamer. Usually, it seems that everyone I know just plays one game on PC like StarCraft, WoW or Civilization and had a console for the rest of their gaming. I suppose you're right since I always hear of so many people buying games from Steam but I can't think of the last time I heard of a PC game making big sales since WoW and its expansion packs. At the same time, a PC is a bit different animal too. Most people will buy or own a PC for a lot of other uses and being able to game on it is a bonus or after-though. Generally with a console, the primary reason of buying it is to play games. Casuals are more likely to buy a PC for other needs as a game console is more of a luxury item. Thus, my question still works in that regard of what would you'd recommend as a purchase for such an item.

It's interesting that you mention the Wii U as a secondary console or compliment to a primary console like PS4. I really think that is Nintendo's only play these days. Heck, the idea may have even started back in the 64/PS1 days. With the Wii, the idea definitely took off with Microsoft even promoting that thought. With the Playstation and Xbox systems often being quite similar in what they offer with a few trade offs here and there, Nintendo does stand out as more different from them. Although they are probably out there, I can't think of knowing anyone who owns say a PS4 and XboxOne only and not a Nintendo system. Generally, if they own both, they'll also buy a Wii U and just own all systems in that case. A Sony and MS only gamer is I think more of a rarity. I'd think that an MS or Sony gamer would be more likely to buy a Nintendo console for a secondary purchase myself.

With the Wii, I think it was able to reach the sales it did because of that idea of a secondary purchase and because it was different with its unique controller and the idea of motion controls. At the same time, it was able to create many brand new consumers who only bought it as a primary console and who later got bored of it. If Nintendo hadn't gotten so many non-gamers interested in the console, I still think it would have sold quite well but it would have probably been more of a close race with MS or Sony and may have even ended up second in the end depending on how long Nintendo extends the life of the system in that case of lesser sales.

If Nintendo had released a console very similar to 360 and PS3 without motion controls but just their regular output and quality first party titles, third party support would probably dry up again. It would be very hard to make it a secondary purchase as the price for it would most likely have been much higher like the PS3 and 360 were at launch. But by having a unique experience, it encouraged other gamers to buy it for a different experience.

While a secondary purchase is most likely not Nintendo's goal, it almost has to be. Even if Nintendo were to release a console exactly like the PS4, why would a long time Sony gamer make the switch over? Because he can play Nintendo games? If a person wanted that, then they'd buy a Nintendo console. In that case, Nintendo would have more market share, Sony would have much less and third parties would have to develop more and support the Nintendo console. With very comparable specs, there shouldn't be any complaints about making software for the system and third parties can continue to make the software the way they always do without having to make compromises to develop for a Nintendo console. Thus, everything should be sunshine and rainbows and work out perfectly.

Yet, if a Sony customer really wanted Nintendo games, he'd probably already be buying a Nintendo system. Most likely, they are buying a Playstation because they expect certain titles to be on it. Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, FarCry, Batman: Arkham something, etc. Very few of those titles have appeared on a Nintendo console in over a decade or at all. This customer is now supposed to take the leap of faith that they will all or say 85% of the titles will come over and appear on this new Nintendo console? What happens if he takes the leap of faith but others don't and so the new Sony console still ends up selling more and having a larger market share? With a history of third parties constantly cutting support of a Nintendo console through the 64, Gamecube and Wii U eras, why take the chance of buying the Nintendo console when that could happen whereas its practically a guarantee all those titles will appear on a Sony console? The intital slow sales of PS3 didn't deter third parties and they kept making all those games for it then.

That's the issue Nintendo faces. How does releasing a very similar console to the competition convince gamers to jump ship to them along with third parties releasing their big titles on the system and staying with them for the long haul?

broodwarsDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Evan_B

What is this? The PS4 has a steady stream of games and the Wii U doesn't?

I mean, unless you're counting third party releases, which is kind of foolish because I sure as hell don't buy a console for third party releases. I play PC for that.

Considering 1st party releases on any of the consoles are typically several months to half a year apart, if you buy your consoles to play games you'd better be buying them to play 3rd party releases. Otherwise, you're wasting your money. Just wait till the console is dead & cheap, and then stock up on the 1st party games.

StogiDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Khushrenada

That's the issue Nintendo faces. How does releasing a very similar console to the competition convince gamers to jump ship to them along with third parties releasing their big titles on the system and staying with them for the long haul?

This. It's Nintendo's biggest marketing issue.

Nintendo will always be popular if they keep making great games. Out of every developer, Nintendo has the largest and most fanatic niche. So even if the video game market were to collapse, Nintendo would probably be fine. And Nintendo is strictly a game's company, and has no external pressure to include all their other divisions because they don't exist, and that builds trust. That's what Nintendo has going for them.

What they don't have is third party support; the financial backing to trade profitability with market share; and the wealth of experience in all things IT like their competitors.

That is essentially Nintendo. And from this standpoint, I don't think it's hard to see why Nintendo made the Wii and the Wii U. The Wii U especially is like a love song to the Nintendo fan. It is powerful enough to produce beautiful graphics, it allows you to play a game even when your family or roommates are using the TV, it has a plethora of controller options for any game imaginable, and it has a network of millions of Nintendo fans playing and talking about games. In a vacuum, this system would be amazing.

So what went wrong? My personal opinion is that Nintendo truly thought it would disrupt the living room and that the gamepad would be as exciting to play with as the Wiimote. I'm sure for some people off-TV play is godsend, but for most it's solving a problem they don't have. TV's are super cheap these days, but I don't think Nintendo realized just how cheap (similar to their dismissal of HD). And as for gameplay, Nintendo really has yet to prove its advantage. God knows that if anyone could, it would be them. But they completely botched it. They went the safe route of tech demos turned mini-game compilation, just like the Wii. But unlike the Wii, it wasn't immediately understandable why these games were exciting.

With a Wiimote, I could pick it up and see my Mii swing a tennis racket and hit a ball. It didn't matter who I was playing against, how many of them there were, and whether they were next to me or online, I understood why this controller was significant. With the gamepad, the best examples needed several people. There wasn't that intrinsic understanding filling my mind with possibilities. And I still don't see the value. Does it make somethings easier? Yes, but is again solving a problem that no one had. For most games (and all single player games) the gamepad has essentially become a giant touchpad and reference point, and those ideas are not very exciting.


It wasn't well thought out and that's why the Wii U is failing. It traded in the possibility for higher specs or a cheaper price for an idea that hadn't matured.


Can they fix it? Yes. It's as easy (read: difficult) as making a game that could only be made on the Wii U. Personally, I'd make a co-op game and brand the Wii U the console for best friends and couples; take the "us two against the world" mentality and run with it. Make each person's role and the way they experience and control the game vastly different but equally important and you have an idea that can only be played on the Wii U. Now just make it fun and addicting. Easy (difficult).


Otherwise, just start selling the Wii U as an accessory to the 3DS.


Sorry for the long khush-like post, but that is my .02.

Ian SaneDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Hypotheliciously

That is essentially Nintendo. And from this standpoint, I don't think it's hard to see why Nintendo made the Wii and the Wii U. The Wii U especially is like a love song to the Nintendo fan. It is powerful enough to produce beautiful graphics, it allows you to play a game even when your family or roommates are using the TV, it has a plethora of controller options for any game imaginable, and it has a network of millions of Nintendo fans playing and talking about games. In a vacuum, this system would be amazing.

If this was Nintendo intentions with the Wii U then they were so damn far off the mark that it is no wonder the Wii U flopped.  To me the Wii U comes across as a love song to the Wii userbase, only with misconceptions of why the Wii was successful and how loyal the Wii audience is.

To me the Wii was Nintendo flipping me the bird.  "Ian, you helped make us a success but we've found this new audience that takes a lot less effort to please.  They'll pay for last gen hardware and are dazzled by a inaccurate gimmick controller.  They'll pay full price for glorified tech demos and are content with derivative sequels.  We can cut corners and make idiotic mistakes and they're so unfamiliar with the conventions of videogames that they won't notice.  They also are a much larger audience than the one you're in so we can make MORE money with LESS effort.  So if you want to stick around, go for it, but we don't really care if you stay or go.  Catering to you requires more effort and competency so we just don't see the point when we can slack off even more with our new audience."

So the Wii U was Nintendo trying to make another Wii to sell to the audience that loved it.  But Nintendo couldn't recreate that motion control magic.  They also failed to realize that their new audience has no passion for videogames and thus has no standards and no loyalty.  Ooops.  "So, Ian, we're still friends, right?  You're going to buy the Wii U, right?"  But I haven't forgotten them flipping me off with the Wii and they're not even making any gesture to win me back.  The Wii U isn't a product for the audience I'm part of.  They're coming back because they're desperate.  The audience they took for granted is the only audience that buys a videogame console in this day and age and they're stuck with a product for a different audience that bailed on them.

So this ain't no love song.  This is a loser coming back to his estranged wife because his mistress dumped his ass and he ain't even smart enough to have brought flowers.

KhushrenadaDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Hypotheliciously

Sorry for the long khush-like post,

Thanks for the drive-by. Ha ha ha.

AdrockDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Hypotheliciously

So what went wrong? My personal opinion is that Nintendo truly thought it would disrupt the living room and that the gamepad would be as exciting to play with as the Wiimote. I'm sure for some people off-TV play is godsend, but for most it's solving a problem they don't have. TV's are super cheap these days, but I don't think Nintendo realized just how cheap (similar to their dismissal of HD). And as for gameplay, Nintendo really has yet to prove its advantage. God knows that if anyone could, it would be them. But they completely botched it. They went the safe route of tech demos turned mini-game compilation, just like the Wii. But unlike the Wii, it wasn't immediately understandable why these games were exciting.

Wii U wasn't even a good Nintendo console for its first year and a half. It was slow, buggy, and it didn't even have many Nintendo games. The meager sales it managed were from fans who knew Nintendo would release decent games eventually. That's never going to be a successful plan.

The GamePad is a really interesting idea; the technology just isn't there for it to be a good one in practice. For some, it's too heavy for extended use. The battery life sucks. And even though two GamePads are possible simultaneously, there isn't any software to back it up. If Nintendo wants the concept to work, it needs to be cheaper. It needs to lighter. It needs to last at least 15 hours on a two to three hour charge. And it needs to support four simultaneously at 60 frames per second at launch. If Nintendo can't do all that next generation, don't even bother. Introducing something new has to be easy; it has to be transparent. With Wii U, you get one GamePad and you can't buy an extra or replacement in stores. You can't even buy the AC adapter in stores, let alone the official first party extended battery. It did the opposite of every impulse everyone had when buying controllers for the last 30 years. I like the concept of the GamePad, but Nintendo bunted the execution.

pokepal148Spencer Johnson, Contributing WriterDecember 03, 2014

I like video games.

KhushrenadaDecember 03, 2014

Hey Ian,

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/7781/1626677-wallpaper_74982.jpg

Get it?

StogiDecember 03, 2014

I genuinely laughed out loud, Khush. Cheers for that one!

Quote from: Adrock

I like the concept of the GamePad, but Nintendo bunted the execution.

Despite the things that are wrong with it, Nintendo still should have given a reason for its existence. And off-tv play isn't cutting it.

Quote from: Ian

To me the Wii U comes across as a love song to the Wii userbase, only with misconceptions of why the Wii was successful and how loyal the Wii audience is.

That could be true,, but Nintendo fans and the Wii userbase are not mutually exclusive.

The point is, they botched the launch and it had a dreadful impact on their ability to market and inspire confidence, not just with us but with developers as this article points out. It's sad really, because it was all so unavoidable.

So how would you fix it? And is it unfixable?

StogiDecember 03, 2014

Actually let me rephrase that, Ian.

What would a Nintendo love song sound like to you?

KhushrenadaDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Hypotheliciously

I genuinely laughed out loud, Khush. Cheers for that one!

If you liked that, wait until you see this!

Quote from: Ian

This is a loser coming back to his estranged wife because his mistress dumped his ass and he ain't even smart enough to have brought flowers.

That's right. He brought an axe instead since its more effective!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d95/TKush/NWR/WiiU_zpsa318c24a.png

Sorry EA, you should have released a version of Madden 13 that wasn't garbage and had a broken franchise mode.  You also shouldn't have released Mass Effect 3 on a console that never had either two of the prior Mass Effect games before, just as you were releasing the whole trilogy for $20 cheaper on other consoles. 


Ubisoft's issue with Watch Dogs is the same.  It's now months after the initial release, which saw massive bad press on the internet for being an overhyped game that looked better in E3 trailers a year ago than the final product.


Say what you will about Wii U owners only buying 3rd Party games, but I personally would be more inclined to buy some on Wii U if almost all of them weren't garbage ports that are gimped compared to their counterparts.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: Adrock

Wii U wasn't even a good Nintendo console for its first year and a half. It was slow, buggy, and it didn't even have many Nintendo games.

Can I say, this is probably the biggest reason the Wii U has had such a bad start?  It was a rushed, half-ready project with no games at launch.

I feel if they had waited another year to release it, it would have done better.

AdrockDecember 03, 2014

Quote from: lolmonade

I personally would be more inclined to buy some on Wii U if almost all of them weren't garbage ports that are gimped compared to their counterparts.

That's essentially how I view all games from every company, ports or exclusives. They can have my money. I'd be happy to spend it, but they have to earn it. I'm very rarely disappointed in Nintendo's releases. Unfortunately, many third parties don't see it that way, particularly on Nintendo consoles. I get the feeling that their attitude is that lowly Wii U owners should count their lucky stars to get even table scraps.

I don't expect perfection. However, if they want my money, I demand they give a shit. I don't care about exclusive bonuses (though I wouldn't turn them down), but I want parity. Crapping out a late, lazy port then having the gall to charge full price can get the fuck out of my face.

Quote from: UncleBob

I feel if they had waited another year to release it, it would have done better.

The problem with that is Wii U was already at least a year late, meaning Nintendo was at best two years behind. Nintendo didn't build off the momentum of Wii. It let the momentum die then tried to re-enter the race with a broken car. It's too late to do anything about that now, but I certainly hope Nintendo learned a valuable lesson from this and comes out swinging next time.

Evan_BDecember 03, 2014

I'm glad Ian sees himself as an estranged housewife.

Honestly, I'm confused as to why you consider the Wii to have half-baked and over-gimmicked gameplay ideas, though. Because honestly, the major releases on Wii were huge departures from what you describe and many of them weren't rehashes at all. If anything the Wii U is more like what you described, but the games are still good.

Anyway, your analogy makes no sense. Nintendo was discussing Bayonetta 2 with Platinum in the early phases of Wii U and that means they didn't "discover" their player base from the Wii wasn't committed to them, they made a conscious shift beforehand. You're kinda just making stuff up.

ShyGuyDecember 04, 2014

No lie, the Xbox One has a better library right now than the PS4. And I'm no XBone fan, but it's the truth!

Wii U is currently better than both

Quote from: ShyGuy

No lie, the Xbox One has a better library right now than the PS4. And I'm no XBone fan, but it's the truth!

This is true. I own a PS4 because of remote play, but if not for that I'd own...neither.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Wii U is currently better than both

And this is absolutely true as well.

broodwarsDecember 04, 2014

Quote from: ShyGuy

No lie, the Xbox One has a better library right now than the PS4. And I'm no XBone fan, but it's the truth!

Eh...I think they're pretty close at this point. Sunset Overdrive is, without question, the best exclusive available on either console, but LittleBigPlanet 3 is excellent in its own right. Master Chief Collection would be an amazing value if it worked, but it doesn't. Meanwhile, Titanfall was one tremendous dud and Infamous Second Son was merely...OK.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, December 04, 2014

LittleBigPlanet 3 isn't exclusive. It's on the PS3, meaning that's another reason I don't need a PS4. Most of the best-sellers on the PS4 are for cross-gen or remasters of games I've already played or have the ability to play on my PS3.

CericDecember 04, 2014

Quote from: Phil

LittleBigPlanet 3 isn't exclusive. It's on the PS3, meaning that's another reason I don't need a PS4. Most of the best-sellers on the PS4 are for cross-gen or remasters of games I've already played or have the ability to play on my PS3.

And that right there is shooting this Gen in the foot.  The availability of everything worth owning on the previous Gen.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, December 04, 2014

Quote from: Ceric

Quote from: Phil

LittleBigPlanet 3 isn't exclusive. It's on the PS3, meaning that's another reason I don't need a PS4. Most of the best-sellers on the PS4 are for cross-gen or remasters of games I've already played or have the ability to play on my PS3.

And that right there is shooting this Gen in the foot.  The availability of everything worth owning on the previous Gen.

Agreed. I'm of the mindset that each platform has a great weakness, whether it's the Wii U and third party retail releases, PS4 and its lack of compelling exclusives, for instance.

Ian SaneDecember 04, 2014

Quote from: Hypotheliciously

Actually let me rephrase that, Ian.

What would a Nintendo love song sound like to you?

Something where Iwata would never say "please understand".  How about a console that compares well to its competition and treats controllers as practical tools and not marketing gimmicks?  I would want to see some evidence that Nintendo acknowledges their past mistakes and is actually attempting to address them.  I would want the first round of games to be creative and ambitious.  Ideally Nintendo would reveal their new console at E3 (revealing it at the industry standard show would be gesture in itself) and everyone would just be blown away - not just Nintendo fanboys but gamers that had long ago written off Nintendo.

It would actually be big deal if Nintendo came across as TRYING to win over customers.  Too often it feels like they just assume we'll all buy their product because they're Nintendo.  If there was a Nintendo console launch without the typical Nintendo hubris we would probably pick up on it.

AdrockDecember 04, 2014

Quote from: Ian

Ideally Nintendo would reveal their new console at E3 (revealing it at the industry standard show would be gesture in itself) and everyone would just be blown away - not just Nintendo fanboys but gamers that had long ago written off Nintendo.

Let's not kid ourselves. No, they wouldn't.

broodwarsDecember 04, 2014

Quote from: Phil

LittleBigPlanet 3 isn't exclusive. It's on the PS3, meaning that's another reason I don't need a PS4. Most of the best-sellers on the PS4 are for cross-gen or remasters of games I've already played or have the ability to play on my PS3.

If you're going to throw out LPB 3 because it has a PS3 version, then you also have to throw out Titanfall because it has a better-selling 360 version. :P

PhilPhillip Stortzum, December 05, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Phil

LittleBigPlanet 3 isn't exclusive. It's on the PS3, meaning that's another reason I don't need a PS4. Most of the best-sellers on the PS4 are for cross-gen or remasters of games I've already played or have the ability to play on my PS3.

If you're going to throw out LPB 3 because it has a PS3 version, then you also have to throw out Titanfall because it has a better-selling 360 version. :P:

I'm perfectly fine with that.

The level of Xbox One exclusives is higher than the level of PS4 exclusives, but that's not saying much. PS4's exclusive library is weaker than the Wii U's third party library.

marvel_moviefan_2012December 06, 2014

On the topic of Ubisoft, I own a PS3 and a Wii U, and I occasionally game on PC, so I get my third party fix without Nintendo. On that note, Ubisoft doesn't make a single product I care about period. Haven't as long as I can remember. EA is hit and miss for me, I too, got Mass Effect Trilogy and have no use for the Wii U version. I currently own one lonely 3rd party game for Wii U, Avengers Assemble, that is because it was actually the same price as the PS3 version and did have some Wii U features so I got it instead. That is it. On Game Cube I had far more 3rd party games than Wii U and Wii was a mess. Wii had all the PS2 games Game Cube SHOULD HAVE had all along, that wasn't support that was BS. Nintendo DID make a console on par with competitors, Game Cube, and supported the hell out of it, and they still lost support and their audience. Game Cube did far better all around than Wii U and was still considered a failure and here Wii U is not even trying to be half as decent as Game Cube.

At this point though, I don't care 3rd parties are not coming back and I gave up hope they ever would. I don't even care that PS4 gets ports of PS3 games because every new generation goes through that phase in the first year that is nothing new. PS2 was still getting games up till last year.

Nintendo could have done more with Wii U but ultimately they won me over with games, as they always do. Keep making great games I will buy your machine, stop making great games, or games I want, like Wii, and I lose interest in your machine. What I find odd is how divided the fanbase is, people like me who didn't like Wii for different reasons still find Wii U acceptable but some people liked Wii find Wii U unacceptable. Game Cube was my all time favorite Nintendo console so maybe I am just weird or maybe there is not consistency in the fanbase and we all do things for odd reasons?

I think it all boils down to changing tastes really, some Nintendo fans have moved on to the types of games the industry has moved on to like Ian wants, those gamers aren't interested in what Nintendo is offering. I have not changed my tastes, I still like the same games I always have, its just I don't like what the industry as a whole has become so I stick to the familiar because that is what I want. For me I would rather a New Super Mario Bros games than a Call of Duty, but there are other 3rd party games out there, like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Elder Scrolls, Diablo, Tekken, Final Fantasy, that are still familiar too that I want. Nintendo used to get all of those even if they didn't get the GTA stuff. Well okay not all of them but they used to have better support than they do now. What changed? We did, we split into those who like the new stuff and those who like the familiar safe stuff.

PS4 happens to have enough of both, new and old, to appeal to me plus it has the technology it has the media features Wii U lacks and it is a suitable replacement for my PS3. Wii U is nothing more than a Nintendo box, which is why I have always felt the price is a major concern. But considering how Nintendo has to be profitable they can't drop the price too soon but they could get more creative with their bundles.

As for Xbox One and Wii U having comparable sales, Wii U has been out a year longer so if Xbox caught up that quickly do you honestly think Wii U is not going to fall behind now? In a year from now things could be different. Sure Splatoon will change things for some folks, Smash has energized the base and if Captain Toad can keep the holiday momentum going and Splatoon kicks ass Wii U might have a shot of staying afloat one more year, making Nintendo enough money to focus on whatever the hell comes next.

To be fair though, Game Cube had a shot in the arm when it was dieing, it had a massive price slash, coupled with a Zelda Special edition fans went nuts for, and it had Game Boy Player to help justify the purchase. Wii U needs something like that, a peripheral that enhances the machines value to make it worth buying coupled with a reasonable price cut.

And while we are at it, sure MS and Sony are both tech giants, Nintendo is no stranger to partnering with other tech giants to get a product to market, they could just as easily cut some deal with Panasonic or Samsung, especially Samsung who is kicking Sony's ass everyplace else. If they partnered with Samsung to make a new product, or a even some add on that boosted Wii U features, they could recover they have to consider the long haul but right now they need to get all the games they can out next year and re-evaluate their strategy once the holiday dust settles.

Personally I think Nintendo needs to write off the Wii U and get their next machine out ASAP, and they need to partner with a tech giant to get it out there so they have some extra know how on their side because they can't cut it going solo any longer. The stakes are too high. Or if they have the money buy smaller tech companies to assist with the things they suck at.

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