Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wii U a Prime Example of 'Too Little, Too Late'.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, the Wii U has proven to be their worst console release ever.

Sorry Mario, not even you can save the Wii U.

This isn't to say that the Wii U doesn't have quality game titles. In fact, the Wii U sports some of the finest first party software around. Games like Splatoon, Super Mario Maker and Mario Kart 8 offer phenomenal experiences, something that Nintendo really shines at. The sad reality is that the greatest software in the world can't save a game system that most consumers don't want to purchase. This has been the biggest hurdle for the Wii U -- the average gamer simply hasn't been interested. Whether the limited game library or confusing name is to blame, who knows. More than likely, there's multiple factors that hurt the system. Numbers don't lie, though. The Wii U is living on borrowed time.

Nintendo recently released financial numbers for the sales period between April and December of 2015. In that time span, 3.6 million Wii U systems were sold worldwide. This was actually a bit of good news for the Wii U; the surge in sales was much needed. The holiday season was a positive one for the Wii U, which saw a price drop at most national retailers. Yet, this burst comes too little, too late. Barely three years into the lifespan of the Wii U, Nintendo is already prepping their next console, currently code named the NX. We can expect to see more information about the NX throughout 2016. Many game industry insiders suspect that the NX system will actually begin production later in the year, possibly for a late 2016 or early 2017 release. Historically, Nintendo consoles have been given at least a five year lifespan before moving on to the next batch of hardware... but the Wii U may be a special case. The argument could be made that the Wii U has become a lame duck, considering the limited number of future game releases. With the next console lurking around the corner, the incentive to generate new software for the Wii U has become less and less realistic. More so, consumers have increasingly fewer reasons to purchase the Wii U with the death of the system looming on the horizon.

Here are the worldwide sales totals for all of Nintendo's home consoles, ranked by total volume.
  1. Wii - 101.63 Million
  2. Nintendo (NES) - 61.91 Million
  3. Super Nintendo (SNES) - 49.10 Million
  4. Nintendo 64 - 32.93 Million
  5. GameCube - 21.74 Million
  6. Wii U - 12.6 Million
At this point, I would suggest that the best alternative Nintendo has with the Wii U is to drop the price and push their remaining stock out to consumers -- even if they have to do so at a loss. They'd assuredly recoup their investment on software sales and regain some much needed capital. And hey... if Nintendo does decide to sell the Wii U at a discount, it would be a great opportunity to pick the system up for cheap! There are some phenomenal games on the system that everyone can enjoy.

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