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Nintendo Believes Wii U Will Have "Strong Holiday Season"

"We want Wii U to be the console every developer wants to publish on."

By Pete Davison. Published 6 months ago

Wii U is in a tough situation, stuck as it is between two console generations.

This particular affliction certainly didn't hurt its predecessor the Wii any, mind you, with scores of people who wouldn't have normally thought to try out a games console flocking to the machine despite its lack of horsepower compared to its peers. Nintendo has struggled to replicate this success with Wii U, however, with high-profile third-party publishers such as Bethesda abandoning the console and its guaranteed hits such as Smash Bros, Mario Kart and a new Zelda game still being a while off yet.

Speaking with Forbes, though, Nintendo of America's EVP of sales and marketing Scott Moffitt remained confident in the machine's prospects.

"We have strong relationships with third parties and have a strong lineup of upcoming games from key partners such as Ubisoft, Disney, Sega and Warner Bros, among others," he says. He does, however, admit that the Wii U's relatively small install base needs to grow in order to show developers and publishers that it's worthwhile putting games out on the Nintendo console. He believes the upcoming holiday season will have a crucial part to play in getting more Wii U systems in more living rooms. "We're confident that we have the games necessary -- both first- and third-party -- to have a strong holiday season and expand the audience for Wii U."

Despite some great games and innovations like the GamePad, Wii U has failed to resonate with the gamer masses.

Some argue that Nintendo's first-party efforts are strong enough to carry the platform on their own -- perhaps not to make it a big success, but at least to keep it afloat for a few years before the big N either goes truly "next-gen" or focuses exclusively on its more successful handheld systems. Moffitt doesn't agree.

"We want Wii U to be the console that every developer wants to publish on," he says. "A key way to make that happen is to grow the installed base of Wii U owners, and we know that current Wii U owners are very happy with their purchases. Our great lineup in the second half of the year will create more buyers, and beyond that third-party support is important to attract as diverse an audience as possible."

It sounds like a bit of a vicious cycle, though -- the Wii U needs a greater audience in order to attract third-party developers, but third-party developers are reluctant to come to the console because of its small audience, though Moffitt is keen to point to Wii U-exclusive experiences that simply don't exist on rival platforms.

"In Pikmin 3, you have what might be the only real-time simulation strategy game," he says, stretching the definition of "only" a little. "Similarly, The Wonderful 101 defies simple description. At a time when some people clamor for new intellectual properties, these could be viewed as new forms of gaming."

A lot is riding on this coming holiday season for the flagging platform, then, and with the more expensive, more powerful Xbox One and PlayStation 4 soon to hit the market Nintendo has something of a storm to weather in the coming months and years.

The best community comments so far 19 comments

  • cscaskie 6 months ago

    Whether or not the Wii U will be successful this holiday season is a tough call. It's certainly poised to do better this year than it did last year. There are simply more games, and the price drop makes things more tempting. As has been discussed before, I think the Wii U's greatest hurdle is how confusing the console is to anyone who doesn't read game news all day. I've never met anyone outside of my hardcore gamer circle who understands it - either that it's a new console, or what its capabilities are. This confusion is a decidedly non-Nintendoesque thing. Very strange.

    I know that I plan on purchasing one just after Christmas if the cash-gift gods are kind. Between Wonderful 101, Super Mario 3D World, Sonic Lost World, and the eventual promise of Monolith Soft's "X," I'm willing to finally make the plunge. Of course . . . my support tends to be a bad sign for commercial success in consoles. My favorites include the Saturn, Dreamcast, and Neo-Geo. lolEdited October 2013 by Unknown

  • Funny_Colour_Blue 6 months ago

    @lonecow

    I'm in the process of getting my PS3 repaired currently for the 4th and final time, so I know how that feels... :(

    After this I'm just going to give up, there's no point. I always took this "wait and see" approach to owning a Playstation 3 but outside of a handful of games like Demon Souls/Dark Souls there wasn't really any particular game that appealed to me that made purchasing a 600 dollar console worthwhile.

    The 60GB PS3 itself though, was such a magnificent system! Never before had I owned a console that had actually encouraged me to seek out the classics from previous generations. It made multi-tap adaptors from previous system obsolete and the memory card converter became the swiss army knife for old playstation one save files, so I could take my progress with me on the go on my PSP.

    I just wish they had designed these models better so it break down so much. My Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 still work to this day. It's just this Playstation 3 that's so many problems, it's heartbreaking. I don't know about you guys, but I don't really want to own 5 systems. I just want one that I can play everything. Just one!

  • cscaskie 6 months ago

    @Funny_Colour_Blue Different strokes for different folks I suppose. I consider the Wii-U's gamepad a console sized extension of the principles of the DS, which is a line of handheld I'm very fond of. The gamepad is part of the draw for me. As someone who has to share TV time with a wife, I find myself gravitating more and more towards handhelds. The Wii U's ability to broadcast some games to the pad makes it possible for me to enjoy a full console game much easier than I normally could.

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