There have been a lot of talk lately about Nintendo's unsuccessful launch of the Wii U and its subsequent dismal hardware sales. The numbers of units sold is underwhelming at best, which is unfortunate seeing as the new console is a decent gaming platform. It is strange how the company that revolutionized the gaming industry for decades has failed so monumentally at marketing the Wii U. There are many people today that still do not even know that it exists, and think that the new Game Pad is an add on to the original Wii.
Alas, what are the soaring masses to do when a major company makes a major misstep without even grasping that their North American market has shrunk considerably? Well, speculate on the fate of said company, that's what. With Disney buying up the lot, it is only natural for people to assume and deduce that Nintendo may be the next on Disney's hit list. This is never going to happen, by the way. There may be fight in the Mushroom Kingdom still.
For years, Nintendo has been one of the leading titans in the gaming industry, and for over a decade, was a fierce competitor in the arms race between Sony and Microsoft. There was a time when the three companies were named the "big three" in gaming. All that has changed since the Wii U was launched, and now it seems to be a fight between the X Box and Playstation, leaving Nintendo as a vague afterthought. Nintendo has been failing to realize the shifting views of gaming and seems to be unhindered and unwilling to change with the times. Additionally, the giants of Japan barely seem to know what to do or how to market out here in the west.
Nintendo is in dire need of reshuffling if they are to maintain their seat among the big boys. Fortunately for them, they have greatly turned around the shaky launch of he 3DS, making it one of the top selling pieces of hardware on the market. To date it has sold over 42 million units and over 150 million units of software. As an owner of the 3DS, it is by and large one of the most worth while gaming system on the market. If Nintendo could do it for their handheld, they could certainly turn it around for their console. And something makes me think this could very well happen.
With the console delivering a slim variety of software in the beginning, this is quickly changing. Even though the Nintendo is known for being a one trick pony, relying massively on their first party games, this is ironically the only saving grace for the Wii U. After a slew of uninspired Mario games, they are finally coming out with more of their top sellers. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze just came out to stellar reviews, although this game alone is not enough to push units of hardware. It will not be until Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros are released that we may see a spike in Wii U sales. These titles are by far one of the most highest selling games and may encourage people to run out and finally purchase the last gen console. Along with the aforementioned titles, there are quite a few third party games coming out soon including the stunning X, JRPG which looks simply amazing.
Even though these new titles look great and promise strong software sales, they will not get Nintendo out of the embarrassing condition they are otherwise in. The house of the rising sun must start marketing the Wii U in a far more intelligent way. Thus far, there are a ridiculously low amount of commercial spots for the Wii U, and if you do happen across these adds, they still do not mention the hardware and its capabilities. This is marketing 101, and they are not grasping these fundamentals. How about showing the public that it supports Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube. That it can switch the picture on the television to the Game Pad so that another person can watch their favorite show or a movie. Or that the Game Pad can turn into a remote control, take pictures of yourself, and carries a sensor for scanning IR for certain games.
Literally none of these facts are portrayed in the Wii U commercial adds. Marketing is the basic template for success and Nintendo of America, Japan and Europe are slipping considerably. The Nintendo logo does not sell units on its own anymore. Americans need more these days, and Nintendo is not delivering. They have become complacent and lazy. If they are going to change with the times, they must learn how to go back to the basics to prevent any more losses. Fortunately for Nintendo, they have billions in the bank or they would have gone the way of the dodo long ago. However, while they frugally sit on thousands of millions of dollars, there status and credibility is flying out the window.
Strangely enough, Nintendo is the only gaming company that is still creating gaming consoles. Unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo continues to produce hardware that sticks primarily to video game playing. This interestingly is both hurting and might ultimately help them in the end. At least Nintendo is not focusing on creating computers rather than a system to play games, which is what this is all about, right? If they can continue to pump out fun and amazing titles, then they may get out of the deep canyon that they have dug for themselves. For the sake of gaming in general, this author hopes that they do.