So I’ve owned my fair share of Nintendo consoles (NES, N64, Wii, and a Wii U). So last week when the Wii U price dropped to 299 with a copy of Zelda (and Newegg was having a 10% off everything sale). I went ahead and bought a Wii U with out really thinking about it. I made the assumption that like previous generations, Nintendo and a few 3rd party console makers would of make some pretty good games for the Wii u in the 9 months that it has been out.
So i got my Wii U almost a week ago, and i cheek the games, and there really nothing. The overwhelming majority of games are either old 2-4 years old port of great games that you already own, or great old games from the SNES/NES days). Even the Zelda game Nintendo is release as there new flag ship game for the console is a 10 year old Gamecube game.
I went through the entire game library and the only real new games that might be worth anything are Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends and the Wonderful 101. Nintendo where is the game? It 9 month and your own company doesn’t even have it own flagship games ready to go with the console. While i love what they have down with the console Nintendo doomed there own console.
Let go back in history for a seconds as most of Nintendo mistakes has been falling behind it commentators and having to play Catch up. In the 4th generation the SNES was the console of consoles. Nintendo was on top of the world and made bad choices. They backed out of a deal with Sony to add a CD add on to the SNES. Sony took what they learned from this and created the Playstation, which used a CD (which had more space and was much much cheaper than ROM cartridges Nintendo was planing to use in the N64). Sony also went to with easy to understand c libraries for there console. For third parties this meant the cost to develop for the playstation was much less than Nintendo. And so playstation sold 102 Million copies while Nintendo 64 sold 32 million.
The Sixth generation comes along. Nintendo had there butt handed to them in the last generation, but still makes mistakes. Instead of going for 12cm disk everyone else was using they went with 8. Meaning again if you wanted to publish for Nintendo you had to use a different method than everyone else. Sony move past the disk and went with DVD. This was a great move as games could now be 4GB in size instead of 700MB, while Game cube games were limited to 350MB or less. The problem here again is Nintendo went and did there own thing that ended up being a barrier for entry for developers. Sony Sells 150 Million PS2, Microsoft beats Nintendo and sell 24 million Xbox and Nintendo is in 3rd place with 21 Million consoles.
The seven generation comes along. At this point if you remember, Sega Died the previous generation, Nintendo’s “revolution” consoles was going to be the consoles that made or broke Nintendo. Wii Sports and the new controller saved Nintendo. The idea that you could get up and be part of the game was revolutionary and people bought the console like mad cakes. Hardware wise the console wasn’t much more than a repackage Game cube that could use a full disk. The fact Nintendo was selling so many consoles came as a surprises and every third party rushed to get there games out on to the Wii. And this is where a problem arouse. While lots of people were buying Wii the amount of games Wii players where buying 1 game for every 3 games bought on PS3/Xbox 360.
On top of that developing a game for PS3/Xbox 360 was very similar. Similar controller and hardware specs meant 95% of your development cost would be shared, while the Wii had much slower hardware and a lot of the development and test would have to be done again. This results in a lot of 3rd parties release crappy port on the Wii or not supporting it at all. While the Wii was the top selling consoles from 2007-2010, at one point it had sold 4 times as many consoles as the next competitor. Over the next 2-3 years sales dropped to near 0, and sales of both the xbox 360, and Playstation 3 went up and have almost caught up to the Wii
And so here we are at the start of the eight generation. Wii u has pretty much no games. The hardware again is different than what the PS4/Xbox One are going to have, meaning development cost are higher. It also uses it own type of blu-ray like disk, instead of using the standard. Developers are going to look at the previous data that show Wii players bought less games, and the sales are much lower and see cost are higher to make games for the wii U than the other 2 consoles and are going to go with the other consoles.
So in the last 12 month how have sales been?
- PS3 5.7 million
- Xbox 360 3.7 million
- Wii 1.3 Million
- Wii U 1.2 Million (yes the Wii U is being out sold by it older version). This bring the WiiU to 3.5Million since launch. Which at it current rate (assuming it doesn’t slow down) will have it selling less than 10 million.
Nintendo is dead, they just don’t know it yet :<