Miyamoto on Wii U's poor sales - "people didn't understand the system"

Poor Wii U. Given the lack of games shown off at Nintendo's E3 2015 conference last week, it's easy to see how far the console has fallen. In a frank interview with NPR, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto is honest about the challenges that the console has faced. When asked about the price hike between the Wii and the Wii U putting people off upgrading, the team doesn't see that as the only factor.

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Nonscpo1274d ago

Or and here's an or, you folks didn't understand the market you were coming into this gen?

Eonjay1274d ago

LOL, or maybe people understand it too well.

Abash1274d ago

Nintendo already talking about the Wii U in past tense, what a shame.

Transporter471274d ago

This is making me want to sell my Wii U...

Crimzon1274d ago

I think people have learned now that buying a Nintendo console is a waste of money because there's just no software support. Yeah you're guaranteed a Mario platformer, a Smash Bros game, a Mario Kart and that's about it. You have to wait too long for these games to come and the whole time the console is gathering dust.

Nintendo should take a look in the mirror rather than pointing the finger of blame elsewhere. People buy video game consoles for games, if you don't have the games then people won't be interested, it's as simple as that.

I think we all know the next Nintendo console will suffer the exact same problem as well, because Nintendo isn't willing to hire more staff for their small amount of studios to get games made faster. They're not willing to open more studios to make more games either, so they're just going to fade further and further into obscurity. Eventually, even their most loyal fans will tire of buying their consoles just to play the same Mario Kart and Mario platformer games.

Griever1274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

Wow. Nintendo is always in its own delusional and self-righteous world. Did it ever occur to them that they are the ones who did not understand the customers? Why do the customers, who are spending their hard-earned money, need to understand anything? It is the business/seller who has to understand the customer's needs and demands and then offer a suitable product. Isnt that how the rest of the business world operates? Even Apple gave into customer demands and created larger screen for iPhone 6. Why cant Nintendo change by building a powerful home console without resorting to gimmicks and courting third party developers?

BitbyDeath1274d ago

@abash, Agreed, wasn't that long ago Nintendo was saying the NX won't be a replacement to the Wii U. Looks like things are changing fast over there.

InTheLab1274d ago

Just proof that Nintendo has no clue. Particularly Japan. Chances are, they're going full on mobile because that's what's hot in Japan and Nintendo is always on the hunt for the next gimmick.

Instead of going out and asking gamers and devs what they want in a console, Nintendo pretends like this is 1989 and they know what you want.

Nintendo just knows they made a wonderful console but we are all too dumb to realize it. Sure Nintendo. 3 out of 6 console failures says Nintendo has no idea how to make a proper console.

ABizzel11274d ago

People understand it's overpriced ($299 still), under-powered, lacking games, has not 3rd party support outside of JP, has bare minimal online and multimedia options, and is being ran by a company who is absolutely clueless about the western markets (the largest console game consumers in the world).

So yes people didn't understand. They didn't understand the point in getting your console, and moved on to PS4 and XBO.

TheTwelve1274d ago

Cut it's price by $100 and people will understand it a lot more I'm sure.

XisThatKid1274d ago

Damn, I've NEVER seen so many N4G comments in agreement.

XisThatKid1274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

I guess Nintendo was like
"Aim for the bushes"
Seriously though, Mostly I can't agree more with most comments.
I know so many people that didn't know Wii U existed. Most thought it was another gimmicky attachment.

ShinMaster1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

Nintendo keeps blaming everyone but themselves whenever they make mistakes.

People knew EXACTLY what the Wii U was about. The problem is that the casual audience that they keep pandering to are not gaming enthusiasts.

The Wii was a hit. It had the right novelty at the right time and was marketed to the right people.
But casuals are like nomads, going from one trend to the next. They're gone.

The Wii U lacks the performance to let it keep up with PS4 and Xbox One with third-party games like Batman:AK, Fallout and doesn't have a large enough userbase like PS3 and 360 for most cross-gen titles.

badz1491273d ago

So...basically what he's saying is "please understand"? Isn't that Iwata's punchline?

Braid1273d ago

Oh it's our fault now, huh? How about we go over it, and see if we understood it well enough:

1. An archaic sytem in terms of hardware compared to its counterparts.

2. A friggin' tablet for a controller that nobody asked for. Seriously?

3. Uninventive first party developers that push out the same old, same old with the lack of courage to invent new IPs.

4. No third party support. Like, none. Nada. Zero.

5. Higly overpriced for a system that contains all of the above.

Did we get it? No? Well... sorry for that.

Ashlen1273d ago

Wow, I can't believe he's still saying that.

They released a console that was competing with the prior generation when everyone knew the new console generation was starting in less than a year. And they bundled it with an expensive gimmick that drove the cost up.

WiiU might have succeeded if they had released it as soon as the Wii started dropping off, aka 3 to 4 years before they released it.

sinjonezp1273d ago

Nintendo made a bajillion dollars with the wii. My thing is , with all the revenue they made, why they couldn't deliver? You have all the money in the world, you have some of the best first and second party games around, how could they simply missed the mark? The wii U launched with games that were not that stand out system seller. We have yet to see a true Zelda game, no metroid game, no f zero, no Starfox Until now and it looks like a 3ds game, no wii sports type games that makes magic with the wii U pad, no Mario that have stuck, and now they just missing the mark on everything. You would think they had enough money throw a ton of money at hardware and software to make the company the top game console of this said generation. Now Nintendo just seem like they are lost and don't know exactly what they are or what they want to do. Smh and I'm a big Nintendo fan and it hurts so...

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3-4-51274d ago

* If they would have the graphics capabilities be at least what the competition is bringing, nobody would complain about a few failed gimmicks here and there and it would allow them to still experiment, whilst being complained about less.

Get_A_Job_Foxtrot1274d ago

Graphics are not the issue. There are a dozen issues wrong with the modern Nintendo. Graphics are least of it.

mp12891273d ago

@AvaDevine...Correct, compare Little Big Planet 3 to Mario Kart 8. The graphics there are about the same and enough for the party games Nintendo is good at producing. Nintendo doesn't need to spend big bucks for AAA games like Bloodborne, the hardware capabilities are not the issue.

3-4-51273d ago

* O sorry, I don't care about graphics..I still play NES/SNES games and think they look awesome.

I'm saying OTHER people, the kind who care about graphics, wouldn't be able to complain about that, if Nintendo's console was on par with PS4.

* 3rd party dev's......wouldn't be able to complain about it not being powerful enough.

* 3rd party dev's would have to then step up and make games for it, otherwise they were lying and we caught them on the lie.

Either way, selling all my Wii U games...keeping it for Mario Maker & Legend of Zelda U, but yea I'm going to go buy a PS4....

I held out until the last possible second for me, but I can't deny what E3 is or what..

Just really disappointed in my favorite company, so I can't justify supporting the Wii U anymore honestly.

They gave up.....What makes me want to stick around outside of Legend of Zelda.

Sucks because now they will HAVE to port it to the NX, because so few people will play what could be an awesome game.

By the time it releases, there will be more PS4's on them market and less Wii U's.

This sucks, because I had such high hopes for the Wii U.

I'm not a graphics snob, the Wii U games look beautiful to me, but not all of them play beautifully.

Tony-A1273d ago

At this point, it's not even the graphics that bother me.

Seriously, Nintendo? People didn't understand it? Stop with the blame games already.

We understood the system just fine. It's essentially a powerful Gamecube with Internet capabilities, only instead of a normal f*cking controller, you decided to stick a screen on it so people can play it when the TV is off.

If anyone in the audience didn't "understand", it's the audience that made the Wii so successful - the casual - that didn't understand. And it wasn't that they didn't understand, they just outright DIDN'T CARE.

People fell for the gimmicks of last generation for a few years because it was launched during a rush of new, exciting technology and the Wii was just part of that rush.

Motion control, advanced camera motion tracking, Blu-Ray, High Definition displays, social media, smartphones, tablets, netflix... all of this was around in some way before 2006, but not nearly as functional as they were post 2006, and Nintendo was just lucky enough to fall into that category when it mattered.

You didn't save the industry in the mid-80s by relying on gimmicks, you did it by making a strong gaming console with a strong library of quality IPs.

They need modern thinkers at Nintendo.

aLucidMind1273d ago

I don't think that's it, I feel it is more along the lines that the Wii-U doesn't have much utility at all in addition to having relatively few games and their obsessive need to innovate to an excessive extent... basically innovating for the sake of innovation, despite there being no need for motion controls.

What they should have done was made the Wii-U into a hub for the living room similar to how the XBox One is. You can already control your TV and cable/satellite boxes via the GamePad. Add the ability to control your surround sound system as well, if it isn't directly linked to your TV's volume like a sound bar is.

Allow for internet browsing on the same level a regular tablet can. Enable us to plug our 3DS/DS games to the Wii-U so we can play, say, Ocarina of Time on our TV. Port as many Gameboy, NES/SNES, and NES64 as possible onto a Nintendo Network and have it work like a Gamefly/Netflix service. Rent the game for a fraction of the price, pay the rest if you want to buy it. Example, $2 to rent for a week or $10 to buy. If you choose to buy it before the end of the 7th day, you only need to pay the remaining $8.

Release an attachment that you can plug your old cartridge games into, which copies the data onto the console so that the cartridge's battery isn't an issue. Already own the game? You have it digitally and physically now.

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Xb1ps41274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

Nintendo needs to mature... Mario's and Zelda's are awesome but they seriously need to stop being scared about mature rated games, look what's going on with devils 3rd.. Nintendo May drop that one mature game every couple of yrs and that doesn't cut it..

It's time to broaden your market Nintendo... I can't imagine the gems Nintendo could make if they stepped outside teens and under games.. Nintendo makes great games it's just time to mature a long with everyone else..

And please let go of that stupid wii name... Just simply call the next console "Nintendo"

Magicite1274d ago

Maybe Miyamoto didn't understand consumers?

Dlacy13g1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

So ....this just kinda makes you scratch your head. Miyamoto's response just speaks of suits at the top unwilling to show they are wrong to their investors.

Nintendo failed on many, many fronts with the WiiU. That hardware was designed to be on an elevated level with the 360 and PS3. It was their solution to a performance gap that had existed for many years with the Wii and was impacting that system in the later years of its life. 3rd party devs had already abandoned the Wii long before because of it. The WiiU was the Nintendo performance solution for last generation, the problem was that generation basically was ending when the WiiU came out.

Then we have Nintendos horrible, horrible reveal at E3 where almost to a person nobody knew what exactly what the WiiU was. Was it its own console? Was it just an accessory? That confused reveal remained for some time. This confusion also is wrapped around strong rumors across the board that both Sony and MS are just a year away from announcing their next systems.

It further gets ugly when Nintendo themselves fail to bring any compelling 1st party software to the table for launch and push it on 3rd party publishers as the ones that need to bear the brunt of creating something compelling for launch.

Then we have the hardware itself... configurations of 8GB or 32GB of flash Memory for storage in an era where the current gen competitor consoles were shipping with 120GB and 250GB configurations as standards by end of cycle. It came with 2GB of RAM but 1GB was reserved to OS so you effectively had 1GB of RAM between CPU and GPU which is nice compared to the 512MB of the 360 and PS3 respectively but those systems again... phasing out.

I think the failure here is all on Nintendo not understanding the direction of the industry, and understanding their own shortfalls in the industry. The consumers failed..failed to understand how or why Nintendo thought the WiiU was a good system in light of the direction of the industry.

Final note, now Nintendo has seen success with the Amibos...Nintendo is going to ride that horse until it dies just like they did with the Wii. It will leave Nintendo in an even worse position with their next console because I have no doubts they are designing that system around the belief that Amibos are going to be their salvation.

UnHoly_One1273d ago

I think one of their biggest problems is that they are convinced that they aren't competing against the Xbox or Playstation.

They see themselves as their own thing, separate from those two.

The problem lies in the fact that NOBODY ELSE sees them that way.

They can be different all they way, but all the players are still going to make a direct comparison.

Takwin1273d ago

JUST MAKE AN XBOX CLONE WITH NO KINECT AND PROPER CONTROLLERS. Add Nintendo exclusives. Tada! Second place every generation and profits!

Master of Unlocking1273d ago

JUST MAKE A PLAYSTATION 3 CLONE. Add Nintendo exclusives. Tada! Second place every generation and profits!


magiciandude1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

The Wii U is entirely fan service for the most die-hards of Mario and Zelda, and attitudes like the one displayed by Miyamoto are ruining it for the business as a whole. Most people have caught on, long before launch, that the Wii U is not the console gamers have asked for. Not so hard to understand in my opinion...

DragoonsScaleLegends1273d ago

The Wii kids went to tablets instead of the Wii U yet Nintendo is still targeting a kid audience that doesn't exist for consoles anymore and didn't buy the Wii U.

Intranquill1273d ago

That's a fair argument, but their track record indicates they never really cared to compete 1:1, for at least two generations prior. Third party support was pretty abysmal for both the Gamecube and Wii, which were also both underpowered compared to the competition. With the Wii U not picking up like they wanted, and the frame rate/resolution wars full swing, I think their next system will not only compete on a graphical level, but also third party releases.

And if it doesn't? Say hello to another flop.

avengers19781273d ago

At this point I think flop is the a safe bet... Cause all anyone I know can think about there next console is, what crazy gimmick will they try next, and most people I know that own a Wii u are feeling pretty screwed by Nintendo...

pcz1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

no no no, nintendo. consumers completely understood the wiiu, they simply didnt like it. take responsibility, stop being in denial and shifting blame to consumers for your failure to grasp the market.

if nintendo doesnt change their approach, the NX is going to be a very expensive funeral

UKmilitia1273d ago

hmmm i think people understand to much is the problem.

but saying the proble mwith your device is the consumers being stupid(basically what he saying)isnt great PR imo.

Kidmyst1273d ago

Nintendo understood that Moms, Dads, Grandmas, and Grandpas that don't play games made Wii successful and thought all would return to buy a WiiU. The problem is Nintendo distanced themselves from Core gamers which is where the money is at with Wii and pointed the finger at gamers being the ones who abandoned Nintendo. We all get Nintendo does their own thing and that's what makes them great but the WiiU was the first Nintendo home system since the NES I didn't buy and by the sales #'s I hope Nintendo got a wake up call to go back to what they were good at.

KakashiHotake1273d ago

That's a very true statement. They got so used to casuals on the Wii that they lost touch with their core audience.

MonsterChef1273d ago

@KakashiHotake not only that but when the Wii first came out it had no competition from the Mobil market, the iPhone was only a couple of years away from release and even when it did release there was no app store, no games for it. The second the app store open, the second quality games started coming out for Mobil platforms that was the second that Nintendo's primary consumer ditched them and instead bought games for their phones, essentially killing their vision and profits. Nintendo is having a hard time figuring out that the parents of the 90's the ones that bout our games are no grandparents and that the parents of today are more likely going to buy tablets and games for them to keep their kids occupied.

n1kki61273d ago

Not only that, but who's fault is it that people didn't udnerstand the system. Maybe Nintendo's since there marketing department continues to make mistake after mistake.

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Thatguy-3101274d ago

No one can enjoy the system unless they're a Nintendo fan. That's the problem with Nintendo's consoles. If you want success broaden you're audience because the fans can only take you so far.

mcstorm1274d ago

You are right but this is not all Nintendo fault its also 3rd partys fault. For example look at black ops2 for example. They gave the wiiu a poor port no DLC and then complained about poor sales. NFS they made look amazing as good as a high end pc version but asked full price for a game that was out on everything else for 6 months. FIFA 14 on wiiu again a poor port.

Its not all Nintendo fault I mean how many of Nintendo IP's on the wiiu have needed a day one patch or don't work fully for months?

All 3 have had faults this gen some have got away with it better than others.

The biggest mistake the wiiu has is its name. Everyone who has been to mine and played on the wiiu have loved it but always thought it was a Wii add on.

I hope Nintendo support the wiiu for another 2 years and then look at giving us its new console as for me I loving the console and games so far as it feels like Nintendo are back to doing what they do best with there own games which I felt were lost with the Wii but it is each to there own.

Get_A_Job_Foxtrot1274d ago

Just stop. Sick of the excuses.

mcstorm1274d ago

How is it an excuse? You saying both Microsoft and Sony have done nothing wrong this gen? I am not saying Nintendo are fully to blame? Its not all them its 3rdpartys too. The industry should be pulling together as one not ripping gamers off like we have been so far this gen. I am not happy about project cars on the Xbox one its a mess and unplayable in parts. Yet it get voted as one of the best racing games this gen? Gaming is strange some times. Yes Nintendo have to make some changes to the there home consoles just like Sony need to with the hand held but the PSV has also has lack of support from 3rd party's look at cod and FIFA.

monkeybizz1273d ago

I own a Wiiu, but so much damage control by Nintendo after their rubbish e3 showing.
Tablets took over - ok, people don't understated the system - ok , we are always thinking games - ok .
So show me all of the above then lol

CaptainFaisal1274d ago

We didnt understand the system? Maybe its you guys who dont understand the consumers needs and wants... Releasing a slightly upgraded ps3 and slaping the next gen title on it as its their new console! Nintendo are great at making fun games and characters, but their latest console is a disapointment in terms of hardware. The next one "HAS" to blow our minds and developers in order for it to succeed and not be anothet failure, and dont blame the customers as customers are always right 😉

dotwithshoes1274d ago

While I agree with some of what you are saying, let me address a few. Customers are hardly ever right, most are self entitled twats who think their opinions are the only ones that matter.

You need to understand what the term 'next-gen' means, and the Wii U, for Nintendo, was a next generation console.

And I completely agree, their next console does need to blow our minds as far as what the system is, what it can do, and what they price it at.

If they release a console that is on part with the PlayStation 4(or slightly better) and price it at or around $200, in 2016, that will be enough to make it sell. If they double the hardware specs of the ps4, and sell it at the same price as the ps4, that will make it sell.

Now, my above statement is partially true, it will ONLY sale if Nintendo gets their heads out their ass with the naming of it, and understand that you have to mass market your product to mass sell it. Go head long against Sony and MS and advertise against them.They need to do, what Nintendon't.. ADVERTISE!

MrSwankSinatra1274d ago (Edited 1274d ago )

Actually customers have every right, as we are the consumer. We are the ones who put down our money for the product. Saying otherwise makes you look like a corporate shill.

forkymental1274d ago

CaptainFaisal is right. Miyamoto is upset that Nintendo's videogame gimmickry didn't work for two generations in a row. Most of the casuals did not follow them from the Wii, to the Wii U. Despite the system being considerably weaker than its competition, it was the controller that doomed it. They tried to combine the DS with a console (rather than developing a powerful system), and fell flat on their face. Those who designed and approved the controller should probably be kicked to the curb. The young kids I saw jumping around and having fun with the Wii remote a few years ago didn’t know what the **** to do with the Wii U’s controller. Also, blaming the consumer shows a general misunderstanding of economics. The consumer slapped down Nintendo’s poorly designed console with their hard earned money. By calling people who make intelligent decisions with their money “self entitled twats”, adds the descriptor “immature” next to the general misunderstanding of economics.

1273d ago Replies(1)
GarrusVakarian1274d ago

Ahhh, the old "the customers don't understand!" excuse. Nintendo must be getting PR tips from the EA handbook.

SilverClock1274d ago

Nintendo in general just can't seem to admit that they simply do not have many good games on the Wii U. That is what sells systems. The Vita may be a much better handheld functionally but it can't hold a candle to the 3DS library. And I'm saying this as an owner of both handhelds.

PhucSeeker1273d ago (Edited 1273d ago )

What are you talking about ? The Wii U have loads of awesome exclusive games. The thing is most of these games were niche titles and they didn't get much exposure.

Also, different than the Vita, The Wii U try hard before giving up (in the west at least).

Neonridr1274d ago

while I will take that answer as partially correct, the Wii U was hard to grasp on the consumers side. However, that goes back to the poor marketing and ridiculous decision to attach it to the Wii system. Had it had a completely new name we probably would have avoided a lot of the early snafus of people thinking that it was a tablet controller as an addon to the existing Wii.

Hell if they even called the system the Wii 2 they could have saved themselves a lot of headaches.

I understand Nintendo tries to be different, and that is one thing I truly love about them, but I feel that with the past two consoles they have stopped caring about what the consumers wanted and decided to build what they thought we all wanted. They didn't consult, they didn't interact, they made an assumption and ran with it. Twice now they have been proven wrong - the Wii is a hard egg to crack only because it had runaway success with the casuals. But the Wii U has been clearly a failure to launch in regards to mass appeal and 3rd party support. I love my Wii U and I have so many great games on the console and there are still plenty more coming out, but Nintendo really needs to go back to the basics with this NX console. They need to approach the third parties and find out what they would like in a new console. Getting the third party studios involved and on board will make them eager to want to develop for their platform.

At this point I hope Nintendo just swings for the fences and does something a little bit out of their own comfort zone. They would do well to win back many a gamer if they were to release a console that had more power than the PS4 and were able to get back some of their former 3rd party glory. I could only imagine a Zelda game in line with the graphics of the Witcher 3.