Wii U Name “Abysmal,” Reason Behind Poor Sales, Says Former Nintendo Employee

GR: Dan Adelman, the former Nintendo employee who just recently parted ways with the company, shared his thoughts on the Big N's latest home console and the reason behind its less-than-stellar performance.

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DanielGearSolid1115d ago (Edited 1115d ago )

I agree it could be one reason, it adds unnecessary confusion, I think the same thing happened wit the Vita...

Ppl are still wondering when the Psp 2 is coming out

iamnsuperman1115d ago

No the Vita is unpopular not because of its name but because of the type of market it went after. The names may be stupid but people aren't waiting for a 2 version. Consumers are not that brain dead. People are used to new products with weird PR names attached

DanielGearSolid1115d ago (Edited 1115d ago )

Well in my experiences, parents & kids have been asking for the Psp2. Even have one customer that calls his Vita a Psp

I repair game consoles, so customers always talk games with me. I estimate less than 5% knew wat a Vita was b4 I told them

I'm not sure how you can say No with such confidence... It's not like you've conducted any research on the subject

darthv721114d ago

Wii-U does seem like it would throw people off but they wanted to have some prior connection to the success of the Wii. Its been like that since the NES and its followup the SNES.

The first name is the brand/company and the second being the platform. With sony and the success of the "playstation" brand, its no surprise that all of their platforms continue that trend with branding then platform name or number.

Sega, nintendo and Atari are the only ones that use their name AS the brand. Atari 2600, 5200, 7800. Sega Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast. Nintendo NES, SNES, N64.

ShinMaster1114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

Nintendo dropped support for the Wii in its last 2 or so years at the end of its lifespan. This made it so the casual gamers that were attached to the Wii name went elsewhere for their entertainment, and it made it so any momentum Nintendo would have had going into the Wii U was dead.

You can't bet on casual audiences. They're like nomads. They go from one trend to the next. Nintendo got lucky with the Wii. They had the right novelty at the right time and marketed it to the right people.
Without the casuals, the Wii U is exactly how it would normally sell. Just look at the Gamecube(22m total) and to a certain extent, the N64(33m total).

Also, naming it something a lot better would have helped solve this problem.
They could have at least named it the "Wii 2" if they wanted to recapture the Wii audience.

rainslacker1114d ago

After the Wii U first released, I witnessed first hand on two occasions people who were confused by it. One who thought Wii U games would work on the Wii, and another who didn't realize it was an entirely new system.

Most people don't keep up on stuff, but I honestly doubt that the naming confusion is causing a hugely significant drop in sales this long after release. Anyone who was confused before has likely become informed by now.

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colonel1791114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

The Wii U name was a much bigger mistake than the PS Vita. Also, Sony might have disqualified PSP 2 because 1. It might not look good (logo, etc), and 2. Because it could have cause a little bit of confusion with the PS2.

Wii U is a horrible name. The whole idea of the 'Wii' was that it meant "together". However, Nintendo did the only logical thing since they wanted to continue the success of the Wii. They must have thought that by keeping the name, people would still be interested. That's why the Nintendo 3DS didn't get rid of the Nintendo DS brand.

With the Wii U though, it was a huge mistake. One that started with the horrible reveal. After having so many peripherals for the Wii, Nintendo's decision of revealing just the controller was awful. Obviously people was going to get confused. The name Wii U also didn't fit, since the console is another concept entirely from the Wii. People that bought the Wii (mothers, sisters, grandparents and other people that had never played video games before) had it only to have fun and they just played a couple games. The Wii U is more of a traditional console, targeted more to gamers than to casuals.

The Wii U being a more traditional console is also a mistake from Nintendo, not because is a traditional console, but since it is, it should have had more power. They were trying to get back the hardcore gamer, but those are the people that focuses on RAM, graphics, online, etc. and Nintendo does not have that.

Nintendo is in a difficult position. The Wii U is not casual enough like the Wii to target casuals, but it is also not "hardcore" enough to target old-time gamers.

Justindark1114d ago

I don't focus on graphics, Ram or online... i focus on game play.

zeuanimals1114d ago

Sure, kids and parents might be asking you about the PSP2 but it's likely they haven't even heard of the PS Vita because of Sony's reluctance on advertising it. If Sony actually advertises the thing, they could get some sales.

colonel1791114d ago

Don't count on that. With the PS4 success, they will focus entirely on it.

SilentNegotiator1114d ago

People aren't buying Vita because it doesn't have all that much going for it.

strangeaeon1114d ago

I agree, they should have just come up with a new name, nearly anything would have been better than Wii U, it just didnt sound new.

greenlantern28141114d ago

I agree the Wii U name confuses some, mostly casual gamers who don't go online to find video game news. I still to this day answer the same questions about Nintendo.
1) isn't Nintendo releasing a new console to?
2) why is that tablet controller for the Wii so much money?
IMO the biggest problem for Nintendo is lack of advertising. And the Nintendo directs don't help because only people looking for Nintendo news will see them.
Off topic I personally have a great time with my Wii U

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-Foxtrot1115d ago (Edited 1115d ago )

I think we all knew that the second it was revealed. Even if it was called "The Nintendo U" then it would of been better.

I really think they should of had two bundles at launch, one with the gamepad and one with a pro controller (a gamecube styled one for Smash Bros U in the future). They could of seen then which one sold more.

I mean if I could of bought my Wii U without the gamepad but with a pro controller at a lower price then I would of bought one a year ago

Silly decisions in my opinion, it's why Iwata needs to be demoted.

iamnsuperman1115d ago

But the gamepad was the big sell. Nintendo needed to sell it that way since they didn't blow anyone with any content (bar Zelda tech demo). Nintendo wanted a reason for us to get it and having 2 completely different skus would have made things worse for Nintendo. Though the tablet controller was a huge mistake for future proofing the system. They should have looked into doing a remote play style service but worked with any tablet. Making their own dedicated tablet controller was a mistake at it bumped up the systems price/cost

-Foxtrot1115d ago

I can see your point but to me a standard controller like the pro controller is much better the Gamespad when playing games.

Sure it's got it's uses but you can never beat traditional gaming.

Even then as a consumer I would of liked a choice in bundles. A lower price bundle would of hopefully boosted sales. I just don't want Nintendo to keep relying on gimmicks big or small to sell their consoles.

N4g_null1114d ago

Foxtrot I can agree with one thing you said. You can't beat traditional gaming but sony has many times. Sony is not traditional gaming. They are their own brand and ms is just copying them.

randomass1711115d ago

But the gamepad is basically a traditional controller with a screen in it. It doesn't really hamper the experience at all IMO.

-Foxtrot1115d ago (Edited 1115d ago )

When you place the Gamepad in your hands then switch to the pro controller the difference is unreal...I mean the pro controller is so comfortable, much better then the Gamepad and it feels better when playing.

I can't describe just feel it when playing.

Such a huge difference. The problem with the Gamepad is that it's not an all rounded controller. Some people with different size hands get cramps or pains when playing for a long time, it really depends on the game aswell with what buttons you are holding down longer.

gerbwmu1115d ago

-Foxtrot - I actually prefer the feel of the gamepad over the pro controller. I think a lot of people look at it and assume it is a bad controller to use but at least for me it works great. My pro controller rarely gets used.

N4g_null1114d ago

I don't know foxtrot the 3ds xl gamers love it. It even has two joysticks and a bigger screen.

SteamPowered1114d ago

I was not impressed with the gamepad when I was playing Deus Ex. It definitely has it's drawbacks for fps.

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pcz1115d ago (Edited 1115d ago )

it doesnt help that the wiiu is a console with poor tech inside.

it doesnt help that it comes with a pointless and gimmicky controller.

it doesnt help that controller costs a fortune.

it doesnt help nintendo try to sell the console on the strength of the controller and yet dont offer any support for it.

it doesnt help that the wiiu has no third party support.

it doesnt help that the games it does get from third parties come a year later.

it doesnt help that nintendo doesnt have many games of its own to put on the console.

it doesnt help that the games nintendo do release are games nobody wants... ie party and gimmick games.

it doesnt help that nintendo doesnt advertise the console.

it doesnt help when they do advertise it they do it very badly.

it doesnt help the console looks identical to the wii

etc i could go on forever listing the wiius problems.. its name is just one of the many failures.

-Foxtrot1114d ago

Shhhhhhh...your not allowed to say too many things like that in one comment.

People could explode

KonsoruMasuta1114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

I could agree with some of those, but not the part where you claim nobody wants Nintendo's first party games.

Nintendo's first party games actually do well.

modesign1114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

konsoru, dont know if they want as more as they are forced to buy them, if the wiiu had the same 3rd party titles as ps4/x1 then you would see lack of 1st party sales. wiiu users are forced to buy 1st party since they cant get anything else.

atleast with ps4 you can tell what 1st party titles people like, aka killzone SF= 1.8 million sales vs MLB the show .33 million sales.

FinalomegaS1114d ago

concerning the gamepad feel vs the traditional controller.

this is basically your personal pref. and opinion. You have to be real about it and if the user prefers the gamecube controller to the Dreamcast then that is their preference. Same as you or me.

2 bundles would created confusion as it is, but you need to standardize what you're selling.

Wii U pro controller with no game - 249.00
Wii U with gamepad + nintendoland - 399.00

already... the mass public have this idea of the name Wii.. and they've seen some at 99$. WTH, an other one, and a more expensive... more ???? will be howvering.

The name and the concept of the name wii has been in use for all these years. If you were a core gamer and wanted nothing to do with Wii... i'm pretty F'ing sure the day you walked into a Gamestop and saw Wii again, you would be saying F'that!

I have over 1000 hours on ME3 3/4 on gamepad and 1/4 pro. you get used to the input device.if you really don't like the gamepad and you feel like it's the bane of the wiiU then my condolences.

Change the name and make the public see and love it, bring it up with advertisement. As a PR, you need to make the public forget about that old name and shine the light on the new.(look at your US presidential elections, they must spin magic)

you don't advertise then you'd be just letting fate run its course.

Smash brothers should be in the subway trains. on cereal boxes, tv commercials.Promoted with bundles and like you said he pro controller bundle! NINTENDO NEEDS to fire their advertisement dept.

Concertoine1114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

What does Iwata have to do with this article?

He didn't name the console, the R&D division did.

Plain and simple, they failed to separate the two consoles in advertisements and shouldnt have named it Wii in the first place because the Wii has a bad reputation and the Wii U is not much like it.

I definitely don't think getting rid of the gamepad would be a good idea since that's what makes the console special. I wouldnt have the same respect for the company if they killed gamepad support in one swift 180 like MS. The gamepads pretty awesome, too. Its nice to take on trips and play in a hotel (since the bastards often wont let you plug in the console to the tv).

Edit: Yeah i guess he would have to approve it. I still wouldn't pin much blame on him in this case. The name really wouldnt even be a problem if they advertised it correctly. The Xbox One is perfect example of that.

randomass1711114d ago

I think Iwata may have had the final say on the name even if he didn't come up with it. It's one of those things where it seemed simple to them and not so good to anyone else except for dedicated fans. But I agree that taking away the gamepad is a bad move. You need it for several Wii U games and features so taking it away would gimp all of that.

iamnsuperman1114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

You do realise the head of a company would have to approve the name before release of their major product. That is like saying Iwata has no say in what direction (tech wise) the Wii U went. Of course he does. He is the CEO. He would be an extremely bad CEO if he let the people under him do whatever they like without his approval (he wouldn't be needed). In the name department he probably got a range to choice from

lilbroRx1114d ago (Edited 1114d ago )

For once, I agree.

People want Iwata to be the problem because he's a current popular target for hate.

Its just like how its getting attacked for Tecmo-Koei's decision to not have online coop for Hyrule Warriors.

Sure Iwata had the final say in the things, but he still didn't make it. Nintendo doesn't have 4000+ employees for no reason. The hardware was made by their R&D deparment and the specs were decided upon by them and AMD/IBM. Yet people accuse Iwata of being the reason why the Wii U's specs aren't as high as the PS4 or XboneOne(always omitting year gap between their releases and the two year gap in their R&D/release schedule).

Iwata's primary roles are business related, not development. This is why I don't get most of the Iwata hate. The people who are responsible for all of the things that are not doing so well, like the long periods inbetween game releases, the problems with early development on the console, the third party issues are more than likely independent of Iwata and removing him wouldn't change them in the slightest as he is not the source of any one of those issues.

smashs1114d ago

You must be veryp stupid brain dead person if you think Iwata chose the name. I suggest you getting far away from here because nobody likes you.