The Wii is Both the Best and Worst Nintendo Console of All Time

IWATA REMOTE CONTROLLER

Depending on who you ask, the Wii was either the saving grace of Nintendo that revolutionized the gaming industry as we know it or the sorriest excuse for a console ever and the beginning of the end for Nintendo. Gaming journalists have positioned the Wii in the number one spot on lists of both the best and worst consoles of all time. Analysts have pointed to it as both the greatest success of Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata and the reason he should be removed from power.

So is the Wii the greatest console in a rich Nintendo history, or is it the company’s most glaring shortcoming? By taking a close look at the impact the Wii has had on Nintendo’s success in both the short term and the long term, we can see that the answer is…well, both.


Nintendo’s Most Successful Home Console Ever

Iwata and MiyamotoWhen Satoru Iwata inherited his position as the Global President and CEO of Nintendo, he was tasked with the responsibility of turning around an ugly downward spiral of hardware sales. The NES netted an impressive 61.91 million in units sold, helping popularize video games and firmly establishing itself as the leader in the industry. At 49.10 million units sold, the SNES was still very respectable, but tough competition from SEGA and Sony had started to chip away at Nintendo’s market.

The N64 declined further to 32.93 million, and it was clear that the seat of power had shifted away from Nintendo. The Gamecube, launched just prior to Iwata’s promotion, saw Nintendo hardware sales hit rock bottom as the struggling console only managed around 21.74 million units sold.

Nintendo wasn’t facing stiff competition anymore; they were getting dominated. The enormously popular PlayStation 2 sold more than seven times as many units as the Gamecube, and even the Xbox – Microsoft’s first attempt at a home console – managed to outsell the Nintendo brand. With Sony and Microsoft preparing to launch powerful HD consoles with a focus on online gaming, Nintendo opted for a change of pace. Rather than attempt to directly compete for an already divided market, Nintendo carved out a brand new market with the Wii.

Originally codenamed as “Revolution,” you could argue that the Wii was exactly that. The Wii was instrumental in making video games truly mainstream. People who had never even considered themselves gamers before flocked to the console in such great numbers that it was nearly impossible to walk into a store and find a Wii on shelves for almost two years.

While Microsoft and Sony got off to slow starts with their super-powered $500-$600 gaming machines – losing money on each unit that they sold – the Wii offered a cheap, fun way to play for people of all ages and backgrounds, and Nintendo was racking up around $100 per console sale. Not only was Nintendo selling consoles as fast as their top two competitors combined; they were making bank. In a few short years, Nintendo’s market capitalization had risen astronomically from around $16 billion to over $75 billion.

To date, the Wii has sold just shy of 100 million consoles. By comparison, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have each sold in the neighborhood of 77 million. In terms of both units sold and profits generated, the Wii was a complete success and thoroughly bested the competition.

The Console That Cost Nintendo The Industry’s Respect

Wii MusicThis past generation was arguably the biggest stepping stone in video game history. For the first time ever, you could experience impressive HD graphics and a robust online experience on a home console…unless you bought a Wii. Microsoft set the new industry standard with the launch of the Xbox 360, and Sony pushed things even further when they launched the PlayStation 3 a year later. Meanwhile, the Wii offered only moderate improvements over the Gamecube in terms of processing power and graphical capabilities, and its online experience was limited at best.

The Wii’s underwhelming specs and online experience cost the console what little third party support they had left from the “hardcore” gaming market, and Nintendo was unable to support many of the biggest and best games of its generation. Many of the multiplatform games that were ported to the Wii had to be stripped down significantly to the point that they were almost completely different games.

The Wii craze, impressive as it was, began to die out as the system aged. While the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 continue to sell at a fairly healthy rate late in their life, the Wii has declined from selling nearly 30 million units a year to just 15 million units in the last two years combined. As the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have dropped to a more competitive price, being cheap is no longer enough to keep people interested in the Wii.

Of course, any console is bound to see some decline in hardware sales as its life cycle comes to a close, but the Wii’s situation shows a steep software decline as well. A look at the highest-selling Wii games shows that just one game (Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword) has managed to crack the top 20 in the past two years, and no recent Wii games have managed to sell more than 3.52 million.

The new market carved out by the Wii is both the system’s greatest strength and its most glaring weakness. Attracting a “casual” crowd allowed Nintendo to sell millions of consoles quickly, but the majority of the Wii’s consumer base simply isn’t that interested in purchasing AAA titles. A large percentage of Wii owners didn’t buy the console with the mindset of wanting to make it their primary gaming device. Many of the members of Nintendo’s new market bought it as a machine that lets them play sports from the comfort of their living room and watch Netflix.

Skyward Sword LinkAs many gamers moved on from using the Wii as a gaming device (or never really utilized it as one in the first place), quality Nintendo software has undersold in the last few years of the system’s life. For comparison’s sake, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess sold nearly 6 million copies on the Wii as a launch title (despite being available on the Gamecube as well) but The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword only sold 3.52 million copies towards the end of the Wii’s life.

Millions of Wii consoles across the world have started to gather dust, and it shows. Meanwihle, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 continue to have a strong user base late in their lives, and there are still top-selling AAA titles each year.

Still, the immense amount of revenue that the Wii generated early on is more than enough to cancel out the dismal late-life numbers that the console has put forth. However, the case can be made that the Wii’s casual nature not only damaged its own longterm success, but the longterm success of the company in general.

Since the early days, Nintendo has seen its perception by the video game market shift. Nintendo was unquestionably the most respected and powerful video game company in the late 80s, but Sony was able to steal quite a lot of its thunder in the 90s. By the time the Gamecube rolled around, it seemed that Nintendo had been rebranded as the retro gaming company, only appealing to the dedicated Nintendo fanbase. With the Wii, that perception has been downgraded again, and Nintendo is now perceived by most as the casual gaming company.

This puts Nintendo in a hole with the Wii U, as they are attempting to appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers alike. Nintendo is having a hard time maintaining the casual audience of the Wii, because they have been groomed and conditioned to expect low prices, but the Wii U and its games are a little more expensive. Meanwhile, third parties are hesitant to bring their core titles to the console, because they don’t believe the fanbase is there. This creates an ugly downward spiral, as there’s no reason for hardcore gamers to buy the Wii U if it doesn’t have the hardcore titles they want, and there’s no reason for developers to bring hardcore games to the console if they don’t believe hardcore gamers are interested in it.

Essentially, the Wii has branded Nintendo as the casual company, but the casual market isn’t very sustainable. Your grandparents may have bought a Wii, but they don’t want to buy a Wii U. Between the Wii and the ever-increasing popularity of social and casual gaming on smartphones and tablets, most of the casual fanbase already has their needs met. Meanwhile, most of the hardcore fanbase remains unconvinced that the Wii U is capable of meeting their needs.

This puts Nintendo at the risk of being back where they were in the Gamecube era, as it limits their range of interest to just the dedicated Nintendo fanbase once again. Accordingly so, Nintendo’s stocks have slipped back to where they were in the Gamecube era as well, and that $75 billion in market cap is back down to around $15 billion.

The Reality of the Situation

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So when its all said and done, was the Wii the greatest success in Nintendo history, or was it an enormous detriment to the company’s reputation? As is often the case when two extreme views are commonplace, the truth involves a little bit of each. The Wii brought Nintendo out of its lowest point in history, but it also made it harder for Nintendo to attain sustainable success.

The fact of the matter is that if Nintendo had not launched the Wii, the company would likely be in much worse financial shape than it is now. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo is strictly a video game company. They didn’t have the luxury of being able to borrow money from their non-gaming divisions in order to finance a powerful, HD console. If they had taken the same route as their competition and launched a state of the art gaming machine that sold each unit at a loss, they would have run the risk of bankruptcy. If they chose to launch an HD console without selling at a loss, they would either have to place an extremely high price tag on the system or make it (still) significantly less powerful to cut costs. Either way, the console would not be able to put up much of a fight against the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

By opting for the cheap and fun Wii, Nintendo was able to pad their bank account to well over $10 billion. If you think Satoru Iwata is feeling the heat right now over the fact that Nintendo has lost a few hundred million dollars over the past two years, imagine how bad things would be if Nintendo didn’t have that $10 billion safety net.

So was the Wii a success or a failure? That depends on how you look at the situation. From a financial standpoint, the Wii was a massive success, and may have saved the company, but it came at a cost. Nintendo now has a tough task ahead of them with the Wii U: They have to find a way to make the gaming market take them seriously again. Thanks to the Wii, they have plenty of money at their disposal to figure out how to do that.

  • Colin McIsaac

    Yeah, there’s a little bit of both in there from an industry standpoint. But there’s one more hugely important factor I think you neglected to mention: games.

    Gaming is all about having high-quality software, and in that regard, I think the Wii is one of—if not THE—best console around.

    • lunchbox87

      plentyof great games to find on the Wii

    • Ghabulous Ghoti

      I disagree. I liked Mario Galaxy 1, Twilight Princess, Sonic Colors, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Smash Bros. Brawl.

      That was it for the entire console.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Killamaster0 Anthony Conner

        Red steel 2 was pretty good, though red steel 1 wasn’t the best, sports, DK country skyward sword galaxy 2, Super mario Wii. It just depends on the gamer you are, I go from hardcore to casual, I play on Wii, Wii u, xbox 360 and my Gaming rig. I love it all sometimes I like to relax and play a fun Wii or Wii u game that I can play with friends who are actually here. Because I have them.

        • Ghabulous Ghoti

          I forgot Mario Kart Wii if I was in a casual mood.

          I’m an incredibly picky gamer :p

      • Colin McIsaac

        Super Mario Galaxy
        Twilight Princess
        Skyward Sword
        Kirby’s Epic Yarn
        Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
        Metroid Prime Trilogy
        Metroid: Other M
        Punch-Out!!
        Donkey Kong Country Returns
        Xenoblade Chronicles
        The Last Story
        New Super Mario Bros. Wii
        Super Smash Bros. Brawl
        Mario Kart Wii
        Wii Sports
        Fortune Street
        Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

        I’d say the Wii is locked in combat with the SNES for the best first-party library Nintendo’s ever put forward. Throw in some of the top-notch third party content, like No More Heroes 2 and RedSteel 2, and the Virtual Console’s offerings, and and I repeat that it’s one of, if not THE best software library and game console has ever had.

        • Nevan Lowe

          Other M deserves to be taken off.

          • clanky

            Nope. Wrong.

            • Nevan Lowe

              Other M sucks. People are considering rebooting the Metroid series because of Other M.

          • awsomeMrlink

            Other M was nice. It just isn’t nice if you look at it from the Metroid story standpoint, other wise it was a fun game.

            • Nevan Lowe

              I guess maybe. One person says as a stand alone title its an actually okay action game, but as a Metroid title it falls flat on its face.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roy-Lagendijk/770149065 Roy Lagendijk

          Pandora’s Tower

        • Ghabulous Ghoti

          Didn’t like Galaxy 2 because it was just rehashed concepts from the first game and linear levels (I loved Mario 64 and Sunshine for their exploration), Skyward Sword had a lot of great ideas in it but was brought down by level design that just turned me off completely (HATED the overworlds in this game, and the dungeons were meh), and neither game had a soundtrack that lived up to what I expected from those series. Kirby’s Return to Dreamland was kind of dull in my opinion, because I am VERY picky about platformers, Metroid is a great series, but just not my personal style, Other M was horrible because it completely ruined Samus’s character (I’ve seen a few cutscenes from the game because I generally like the plots of Metroid games, but I couldn’t take it anymore), Punch Out didn’t interest me in the least bit, DKCR was alright, but there’s the whole “I’m just picky about platformers” thing, XC, TLS, and PT were great games I’m sure, but I’ve never been a huge fan of RPGs (I am actually just a really picky gamer overall :P ), NSMBW was entertaining, but nothing special, I totally forgot about Mario Kart, Wii Sports was pretty mediocre after you realized that the motion was hardly anything at all in that game, Fortune Street didn’t interest me, and I just got into Fire Emblem with Awakening, and have yet to play Radiant Dawn. The rest of the games I mentioned liking.

          Virtual Console, though, was the thing that really made me proud to be a Wii owner, as that was one of the best services I’ve ever seen in the gaming industry, if not the whole electronics industry.

          So, you are entitled to your own tastes, but I am just picky about everything and didn’t enjoy a lot of those games.

      • Nevan Lowe

        Metroid Prime Trilogy. Your argument is invalid.

        • Ghabulous Ghoti

          I was never crazy about Metroid. It was okay, but just not my style.

        • Erimgard

          Two of those games were on the Gamecube first.

          • Nevan Lowe

            I know. But they are on the Wii as well.

      • Churze

        As long as you ignore Metroid Prime 3, Monster Hunter Tri, Xenoblade Chronicles, Skyward Sword, Sin and Punishment Star Successor, Lost in Shadow, Wii Sports Resort, Super Mario Galaxy 2, NSMB Wii, The Little Kings Story, Red Steel 2… the list goes on and on. Just because you may not really like any of these games doesn’t make them bad. I don’t really like Animal Crossing, but that alone wouldn’t justify me giving it a bad score.

        • Ghabulous Ghoti

          I get what you mean in that Animal Crossing statement. I don’t personally love Metroid Prime 3, but I have to give it a fair score. However, even trying to look from other perspectives, I fail to see what so many people loved so much about Skyward Sword and Mario Galaxy 2. They may be enjoyable, decent games to some, but I’ve seen so many people list them as the best games in their series, and I just can’t seem to grasp why. They were boring. Linear. Too easy. Galaxy 2 was nearly void of new concepts (and yes, I’m aware that everyone else seems to think it was the most innovative thing they ever played), and Skyward Sword was bent entirely around a single gimmick that would have been way more impressive in 2006 or 2007 when the Wii was new.

          Why the heck did you list Wii Sports on there?

          • Churze

            I’m really noticing a pattern with you (please don’t think I’m saying this in an offensive tone). You seem to think that just because you didn’t enjoy a game, it must be bad. I for one, did not enjoy DKCR. I just didn’t really like that style of platforming. BUT. Should that stop me from acknowledging it as one of the best platformers of the generation and the 5th best Wii game? Hell no. Also, I don’t really see how Galaxy 2 was a rehash or devoid of new concepts. Did you play all through the game? True, it is a bit to similar to it’s predecessor, but Galaxy 1 was near perfect and all Galaxy 2 did was refine it to perfection. True, the level design was copy pasted, but there were plenty of new level concepts that are insanely creative usually. Like the drill. And linearity is not an inherit flaw in a game. Just because you prefer non-linearity does not make it any better. One is not better than the other. As for Skyward Sword… I’m not going to get into that. The Zelda series has a serious identity problem right now, so it is all pretty much preference. And I listed Wii Sports RESORT. That game amazed me and I have gotten well over 50 hours out of it. Shame it didn’t have online or even leader boards. Then I would have gotten over 100 hours in.

            • Ghabulous Ghoti

              I wouldn’t exactly say that. Galaxy 2 and Skyward Sword are really the only popular games I think are bad, because I don’t see ANYTHING redeeming in either game. There are plenty of games I dislike that I will admit to being decent games. Off the top of my head, the Paper Mario series comes to mind. I don’t like them at all, but I see them as well designed games. They just aren’t my thing.

              Yes, I played through all of Galaxy 2. I didn’t see anything new. It was entirely too easy, and filled with ideas from the first game. The only new things I saw were the Drill power up and the Cloud power up, both of which I actually think are very good ideas. But there was nothing else in the entire game. I’m not even calling out Yoshi as an old character, however, the way he was used was old. Yoshi activated a new kind of Pull Star? That’s not that creative IMO. The Green Stars were tedious and annoying, and I hated every one of them, but I stuck with the game in the hopes of it getting better. And I did enjoy A Perfect Run. That was a fun level. I’m not saying it’s bad because of the non-linearity, I just don’t like that. I am saying that it’s not as good as most other Mario games because it was lacking new concepts. The whole thing felt like DLC for Mario Galaxy 1, and felt like it should have been more like $15 than $50.

              I knew that you said Wii Sports Resort, but for some reason I omitted the “Resort” part when I wrote my comment. Apologies for the confusion there. That game was just a tech demo, though, for the Motion Plus. I didn’t find it at all fun, or engaging. It would have been really cool had they pulled it off back in 2006 when the Wii was new, but it really didn’t seem like anything special.

              As for your second response, typos happen. That’s why there is an edit button to fix them :P

              • Churze

                I think the idea of Galaxy 2 was that it was an expansion pack. Many fans of Galaxy 1 simply wanted more Galaxy, and thats what they gave us. And I think the game was well worth $50. Anyway it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy Wii more (it’s my favorite console) but I hope I hear a different story with Wii U. It is a mess right now, but it looks like things are shaping up.

                • Ghabulous Ghoti

                  Don’t feel ashamed for me, we all have different tastes. Yeah, the Wii was a let down, and in it’s recent years I spent more time on GCN games as well as more mature PS2 games I had missed while growing up, but I don’t think the Wii was a bad console overall. I did thoroughly enjoy it. Brawl introduced me to a large number of franchises, and I’m going to say even led to life changing events.

                  I have no positive predictions for the Wii U, but I’m sure I’ll find SOME games I like. Who knows? Shortly after the 3DS’s launch, I regretted buying it, and I currently feel that it has the strongest library of any console after it’s first two and a half years, maybe second only to GCN. While Smash Bros. is so far the only thing on Wii U I’ve seen that I’m interested in, I’m 100% sure Nintendo will surprise me with something.

          • Churze

            O great I just noticed I spelled too wrong in “True, it is a bit to similar to it’s predecessor…” Ugg, I hate messing up on grammar. If you are going to criticize or contradict them, you better have perfect grammer while doing so.

    • Caden Collier

      The only good games on the Wii were Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros. Brawl, Skyward Sword and Metroid Prime 3. Right now Nintendo’s best consoles software-wise are the Gamecube and 3DS.

      • Merchiodos

        You forgot Mario Kart Wii

        • Guest

          Some more good games are Mario Galaxy 2, No More Heroes, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Kirby: Return To Dreamland, Little Kings Story, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower, The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess [released months before its GameCube counterpart], Donkey Kong Country Returns, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Punch-Out!!, and Sin & Punishment: Star Successor.

        • clanky

          Mario Kart Wii would have been fun if it could be controlled with a controller.

          • Nevan Lowe

            And it could. Its called a Gamecube Controller..

      • Ghabulous Ghoti

        Skyward Sword was pretty bad, IMO.

    • Erimgard

      In terms of first party content, yes.

    • obiwan362

      This is coming from a fan of Nintendo who bought a Wii U at launch: while that may be subjectively true to you, that’s solely because Nintendo knows how to make games. It still leaves the problem that was already posed by this, as well as many, articles about third party support. Don’t get me wrong: the Wii did have some great third party games. The problem is the qualifier “some.” With the other two consoles having complete third party support and Nintendo lacking terribly in that area, that prevents hardcore gamers from buying it. If they never buy it, then they never experience the high-quality software that Nintendo puts out. And when gamers can get their fix for basically everything they want on another system, you’ll be hard pressed to find people willing to make the switch for some games they can play on systems they already own.
      Heck, I bought Injustice on Wii U to support Nintendo when, objectively, I should have bought it for 360 so that I could get my free DLC and could have actually bought one of the special editions (which were sorely lacking with Nintendo). Simple fact is the Wii was great for those of us willing to find the diamonds in the rough, but Nintendo will have to show people that it’s a contender against what is coming out in the next year if it even hopes to show off these impressive, high-quality games we know it will put out.

      • Churze

        The Wii had a TON of great third party games. They were never very popular due to their status as Wii games. Also many of these games were very hardcore. The problem is almost every non-Nintendo Wii game that was good was a hidden gem.

  • lunchbox87

    but then after the Wii both Microsoft and Sony came out with their motion ad ons as well so how do they come out looking like a joke when the other big companies followed and did the same damn thing

    • Erimgard

      Motion controls were never mentioned once in this article as the reason the Wii wasn’t taken seriously. Lack of graphical power and online ability were.

    • obiwan362

      Because everyone knew those were gimmicks designed to try and take a little bit of Nintendo’s casual market. As Ermigard (and the article) said, the issue was lack of power and online that forced games to be stripped down to nothing in order to be on it, thus creating a lack of third party, and the fact that it focused on a casual crowd which no longer needs a console to fulfill its gaming fix.

      • Churze

        There are PLENTY of hardcore games.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kirstinangel Kirstin Furman

    Here’s a hint… Make the games harder and less focused on little kids. (I’m looking at Ocarina of time as a beacon of hope) that game was hard… Hard bosses, good strategy and had blood on the walls. In what game nowadays from Nintendo do you see that?

    • Caden Collier

      Ocarina of Time wasn’t hard at all unless you were like 5 when you played it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/TheAngelQuietus Chris A Skidmore

        Majora’s mask was harder that OoT. And even it wasn’t very hard.
        It’s often not even about the difficulty. OoT’s appeal was that it was a new concept. Zelda in 3d?? NONSENSE!
        The same thing worked for metroid. 3d? HERESY! and yet they all faced massive success. It’s about garnering interest rather than ramping up difficulty.

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.lashomb Paul Lashomb

        It was if you played Master Quest.

    • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

      Every single one of the PS exclusives except Demon Souls are very easy games.. Idk what you are talking about.

      • clanky

        Demons souls is a cake walk

        • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

          Mhmm sure, i am sure you you only died like 5 times throughout the game your first playthrough. Sorry “Mr.Badas*, but even the highest person on the leaderboards on Demon Souls died over 100 times. Now stop being a try hard.

          • Kill Yourself.

            No one will take you seriously when your use the term “try hard”

            • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

              Well you might now, but either way i am right.

    • Ghabulous Ghoti

      If you want hard, play Adventure of Link.

    • Churze

      The only time I was anywhere near dying in Ocarina is when I did a three heart run. And putting blood on the walls automatically ups the games quality?

  • http://www.facebook.com/RomeroKarurosu Carlos Romero

    Wii is definitely the Nintendo’s biggest mistake. As you claim, Wii was nothing but an experiment from Nintendo to try to recover some lost millions during the Gamecube era. I don’t get Nintendo, they are the oldest videogame company out there and they behave like if they were new. First namig Wii U still as Wii, then making a cheap HD console with no upgrades over PS3/Xbox360 and now missing this year’s E3… what’s going on? I know we should support it as fans, but all Nintendo is doing with this falsesteps is spiting us in the face.

    • obiwan362

      I’m going to have to disagree with a large part of this.
      I don’t see the problem with naming it Wii U just because it has Wii in the title. XBOX = XBOX 360. Playstation=2=3 (probably)=4.
      Second, while yes, the internal hardware isn’t much (if at all) better than a PS3′s, developers who have spoken about working with it claim that while it might technically have the same amount of power, that power is more easily accessible and thus they can utilize it better than with the other two consoles. While it would have been nice to see something that could crush the coming systems, that would have cost even more, and people would have bought less. Plus I heard enough whining about price where it was, let alone had it been any higher. Also, the gamepad, though a lot of people were skeptical (myself included), is pretty fantastic and provides a very different experience than playing the games on the other consoles. So, I personally consider that to be an upgrade by definition. But that may just be me.
      And while I agree Nintendo not having a huge event at E3 this year will be sad and missed, they aren’t skipping out on E3, just the big conference that they normally do. They are still going to have a strong presence there and have two different conferences there instead of the one large one.
      So, I don’t think I would go so far as to call anything they’ve done “falsesteps”, let alone claim that they are “spiting us in the face.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/RomeroKarurosu Carlos Romero

        Wow, first reply without fanboy detection. I really applaud that man!
        Ok, I get what you say. I really don’t care if Wii U is similar to PS3′s power, we buy a console for it’s games not for it’s power specs, but right now, Wii U’s most important struggle is the lack of both, first and third-party titles. It’s too early to say that Wii U (and even Nintendo) has failed, because everything is about time, but indeed, Nintendo is behaving very conservative, instead of what we saw during the N64-PSOne era. I know that times change, but Nintendo must do something to keep their fans or slowly, they’ll lose it just like SEGA.

        • obiwan362

          Haha, I’m a huge Nintendo fan, but that doesn’t make me blind.

          No, I definitely agree. The Dreamcast was actually a great system (at least in my opinion), but that didn’t save SEGA, and I would hate to see Nintendo go that route. But I would harken back to what the article pointed out: N64, though it had a bunch of fantastic games, had to face off with other consoles and was losing ground. I think Nintendo is trying to focus on making the games as great as they can be so that even if we have to wait, it will be well worth it. I agree, I would be much happier if we had more games out there (even though my wallet wouldn’t be). Personally, I want Bayonetta 2 and Pikmin 3 to be sitting on my entertainment console the minute I finish my last final, but alas, that dream is not to be (this semester, at least). I agree, they are having a really slow start, but I’m hoping (more like expecting) that their track record for great first party titles will start to show and once that causes more people to get Wii Us, third party developers will see that the support is there, and start with the support as well.
          But I will fully admit, that is a lot of hoping.

        • Churze

          What was conservative about the Wii? It is a far better example of Nintendo taking risks.

    • Churze

      The Wii’s software line up was better than GameCube, N64, and maybe Super Nintendo. No denying it. And do you honestly think having a powerful console wins a generation. The N64 and Gamecube were more powerful than their competitors. Remind me of how that turned out?

  • http://www.facebook.com/coolkangarooo Gabriel Gomez

    Well take PSY for a bad example, once you create the most popular song on the internet with 1,000,000,000 (billion) views, you have to create a video better than the already #1 one video on Youtube or else you will be a big disapointment. I think that is what the Wii U is, a disappointment compared to the Wii.

    • http://twitter.com/Flovnat Flovnat

      I agree, It would take something amazing to beat Gangnam style. And it’s the same way for the wii.

  • Aiddon

    let’s face it, the Wii was Nintendo’s most successful console by far. In fact, most of the faults that can be laid on the system are more due to the 3rd parties neglecting it or just making shovelware. When Nintendo made games for it they hit all of its features out of the park with stuff like Metroid Prime 3 and Other M, Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Zelda: Skyward Sword, etc. At the end of the day, I find the excuse of “losing the industry’s respect” to be just that: an excuse, and a lazy one at that.

    As for the Wii U, all I have to say is this: it’s a repeat of the 3DS. And we all know how stupid people looked when the 3DS picked up

    • http://www.gengame.net/ Alex Plant

      Well, the difference between the 3DS and the DS is that by the time the DS was finished, people weren’t terribly disillusioned by it. Wii promised a revolution, and while it had great content, it kind of gave up on that vision halfway. I don’t think those customers will come back – whereas DS customers are probably more inclined to come back to 3DS.

      • Aiddon

        BULL. CRAP. It’s the EXACT same situation. People bitch and moan…but ultimately when the 1st party games comes the system’s critics will “well….we jumped the gun there, didn’t we?”

        • Churze

          The really sad part is that critics won’t be like that. Animal Crossing and Pikmin 3 have proved that to me. It is completely unfair that do many critics refuse to give Nintendo games above a an 8 or even a 7 just for being too similar to their predecessors. That complaint is founded though. Pikmin 3 is kind of a warning with what will happen when it comes to reviews. I literally hear people complain left and right about the game not being innovative. Is it Nintendo’s job to make every single innovation in the industry? Do they have a duty to revolutionize the industry with every single console and game they release. I don’t see anyone complaining when Sony games aren’t innovative.

      • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lefebvre.161 Aaron Lefebvre

        I actually have to agree with Aiddon, once the amazing 1st party games start releasing, it will start selling more. Please at least try to be more optimistic, it sounds like you want Nintendo to fail.

  • Bluecometsparkle

    I honestly like nintendo consoles for nintendo games, And the only Reason i got an xbox was For final Fantasy mainly, minecraft, halo. But if final fantasy was n Nintendo, I wouldnt Get Anything Else.
    But

  • HylianBadger25

    Well written Ben. Solid article. I’m amongst the nintendo fan demographic that is still hoping Nintendo can get their 3rd party act together as well as launch all the Nintendo Exclusive games we’ve been pining for. While being pro-indie games is definitely a good thing, I don’t want to miss out on the next big ‘Skyrim’ sized game because it’s not available for my WiiU.
    As a side note, there really needs to be more 3D platformers available in general. I’m seriously missing my Banjo-Kazooie-esque games, and there’s a sizable market that is seriously lacking and could stand to be tapped into.

    • Churze

      Nintendo’s relationship with third parties died a long time ago. They should focus on second party titles, which are usually of extremely high quality. I would like it if Nintendo focused on satisfying gamers with their classic series, and had second parties create new games to keep the console fresh.

  • Postman

    So long as Nintendo keep releasing great games and consoles in my opinion, I’m happy. Whether or not it was the ‘worst’ or ‘best’ Nintendo console doesn’t really matter to me, just as long as they don’t fall out of the market like Sega.

    • obiwan362

      I think that is the real concern here. Though I know a lot of people that would love to see that happen.

  • K2L

    Nintendo was damned one way or another. I feel bad for them. =(
    Sometimes I wonder if there’s people who WANTS them to leave the hardware business. But that won’t guarantee that they’ll fare better by doing that. Neither Sega nor Atari fared well when they went software-only, why would Nintendo have a better luck than them?

  • zdog

    Ben I LOVED this article, a very worthwhile read, and I very much agree with your points. GenGame never fails to deliver :)

  • http://twitter.com/YoshiRhida Ernesto Palma

    They should be more resourceful, in my opinion. They still have a huge fan-base of their franchises. If they launched more products like clothing lines, toys, fucking condoms! Whatever the fuck, and the such, they could safely fund projects from that revenue. Plus that would help with FREE FUCKING ADVERTISEMENT ON PEOPLE’S CHESTS hahaha