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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."

News by Pete Davison, .

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.

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Comments 18

  • Avatar for cscaskie #1 cscaskie 3 years 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 cscaskie
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #2 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 years ago
    @cscaskie I'm actually planning on picking up a Wii U as my next gen console of choice since Sony's offerings don't seem to be all that appealing anymore. But when I went to actually buy a Wii U the other day I asked myself "...So where's the controller?...Wait, so you actually have to BUY one?" So I think it's going to be a hard sell for anyone interested in buying a Wii U, even "hardcore" gamers. I mean, I understand it plays games but how exactly it does that with the game pad is a bit strange to me; I just want something that I can hook up to the tv with a controller to play on. I don't really want a tablet-like device.Edited October 2013 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for pjedavison #3 pjedavison 3 years ago
    @cscaskie Nothing wrong with supporting ailing hardware -- they often play host to some great games! And consider the Wii -- although it was a big success, it was mostly ignored by self-professed "hardcore" gamers and yet still managed to come out with three of the best JRPGs of the generation, possibly of all time.

    I think Nintendo and the third parties who do support Wii U will probably be fine, but it looks increasingly likely we're looking at another Gamecube here rather than another Wii.
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  • Avatar for pjedavison #4 pjedavison 3 years ago
    @Funny_Colour_Blue I was a little concerned about that, too, but the GamePad actually makes for a very comfortable controller even if you ignore the screen entirely. Sure, it's bigger than most pads, but it's not too heavy and it feels nice in your hands thanks to some well-designed contours. Give it a chance!
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  • Avatar for jeremycarrier12 #5 jeremycarrier12 3 years ago
    Its nice to want things
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  • Avatar for transmet2033 #6 transmet2033 3 years ago
    I am hoping that I will get a Wii U this holiday season. Nintendo's first-party offerings have always made it worthwhile to pick up their consoles at some point. I am curious if any of the big third party franchises will be best on the Wii U.
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  • Avatar for Exhuminator #7 Exhuminator 3 years ago
    The Wii U was ill conceived because it attempts to capture zeitgeists already past their expiration dates. Mario Kart 8 and the next Super Smash Bros. will move Wii U units sure, but the Wii U will never be another amazing seller like the Wii was. The 3DS will take up the slack for a while, but Nintendo's best future is in a legitimate handheld/console hybrid. Nintendo knows this, and that's why they combined their handheld/console studios preemptively.
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  • Avatar for pjedavison #8 pjedavison 3 years ago
    @transmet2033 Old game, I know, but the Director's Cut version of Deus Ex Human Revolution looks nice on Wii U. That said, a lot of its neato second-screen features are also available on other platforms -- though they're probably most convenient on GamePad.
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  • Avatar for Stealth20k #9 Stealth20k 3 years ago
    I hope so. I like my wii u
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  • Avatar for cscaskie #10 cscaskie 3 years ago
    @pjedavison I consider the Wii very often. :)
    I'm one of the hardcore guys out there who champion the Wii until my throat is hoarse. Even setting aside the rainfall trio and 1st party Nintendo titles, there's so much to love on the console. The No More Heroes games, Muramasa, Little King's Story, lightgun treats like Ghost Squad & House of the Dead, the lovely updated version of Klonoa, Chocobo's Dungeon, Fragile Dreams, & Baroque. There's so much to love on the Wii. A huge part of my lust for a Wii U is for its backwards compatibility, and the prospect of playing Xenoblade on the gamepad.

    In all honesty, I wouldn't mind another Gamecube either. Gotcha Force, the best version of Phantasy Star Online, P.N.03. I seem to have much more fond memories of that lil' box than most. I guess I'm just an optimistic gamer. I look for reasons to celebrate a console, and hold on tight when I find them.
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  • Avatar for cscaskie #11 cscaskie 3 years 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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  • Avatar for docexe #12 docexe 3 years ago
    I think they will have a good holiday season, at the very least I expect the console to sell better than in the last few months. Super Mario 3D World is looking great and might attract some of the family audience and the Nintendo faithful that have been reticent to buy the console. Some of its other exclusives might also get some additional sales (especially Wind Waker HD and Sonic Lost World). And they still have the more important 3rd party offerings from some western publishers like Ubisoft and Activision.

    That being said, the momentum of the next gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony is so large that it’s inevitable that they will be overshadowed by them. And despite their best intentions, it seems unlikely they will expand the install base enough for most 3rd parties to support the console afterwards. I think a few publishers like Ubisoft and Warner Bros. might still support them, as they are among the few that usually make money on Nintendo consoles. But it’s incredibly unlikely that EA might come back, or that companies that showed no interest in the platform like Bethesda and Take Two will look at it in the future.

    As things stand, the Wii U is definitely looking like another Gamecube. It won’t spell doom for the company, it will still have some amazing games, and Nintendo will carry on with it for a few more years. But for their continuous success, betting on their next home console might be a better option at this point.
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  • Avatar for brionfoulke91 #13 brionfoulke91 3 years ago
    Right now, Wii U is the most appealing of the next gen systems, just because it has more interesting games. Bayonetta 2, Mario, Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, Wind Waker, X, Smash Brothers, Mario Kart... all games I'm gonna need to own. The lineup of the other next gen systems just can't compete yet, as far as I can see. I think it'll gradually start to do better.
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  • Avatar for unclemonkey #14 unclemonkey 3 years ago
    I swear Nintendo are on another planet and so are their fans.
    I think the WiiU is an interesting system but it seems more of a novelty destined to be a curio of the games industry after a few years.
    My mate bought one at launch and the only game he's got for it is zombieU. 300 odd quid to play one average looking game and he's still defending the machine. From what I hear it's NEXT year the console will really take off but what I have to ask I'd why Nintendo hasn't got themselves together enough to have their own ips ready for their own console launch?
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  • Avatar for unclemonkey #15 unclemonkey 3 years ago
    I swear Nintendo are on another planet and so are their fans.
    I think the WiiU is an interesting system but it seems more of a novelty destined to be a curio of the games industry after a few years.
    My mate bought one at launch and the only game he's got for it is zombieU. 300 odd quid to play one average looking game and he's still defending the machine. From what I hear it's NEXT year the console will really take off but what I have to ask I'd why Nintendo hasn't got themselves together enough to have their own ips ready for their own console launch?
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  • Avatar for adamscottprenger78 #16 adamscottprenger78 3 years ago
    @unclemonkey They always get crap for being too good, that 3rd party games have no chance to sell. I'm sure you have heard that only Nintendo games sell on Nintendo systems. They tried to give 3rd parties the opportunity to hold up the system the way they do on other platforms and it failed. I think Nintendo has noticed and has seemingly moved towards the idea to have close collaborations be how they help 3rd parties succeed.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #17 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 years 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!
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #18 Ohoni 3 years ago
    Are they planning on giving them away then?
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