Oh great profit ABizzel1


CRank: 5Score: 0

The confusing state of the Wii U

Over the weekend I had a chance with an extensive session with Nintendo’s new console. I can say that overall my experience was pleasant. The Wii U is takes full gaming session before it can really impress it’s audience. Every game I played felt decisively Nintendo. Nintendo Land, The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, and Donkey Kong all played great and instantly that sense of nostalgia kicked in. That being said the Wii U still has a very long and hard road ahead of it to be the success Nintendo wants from the console.

I’m a fan of Nintendo, but I'm a fan of Nintendo as a developer not as a console manufacturer, and honestly I think a good portion of Nintendo fans can agree with that. Nintendo makes great games that EVERYONE can enjoy. The problem is their consoles as of late aren't up to par with the expectations of natural evolution (technically speaking).

The NES was a competitive console, the SNES was a competitive console, the N64 was a competitive console, and the GameCube was a competitive console. The Wii and Wii U not so much. Many gamers and analyst point to the N64 and GameCube as low points in Nintendo’s console history (again console not games), but the reason those consoles weren’t nearly as successful was because of stronger competition and once again poor choices made by Nintendo. The N64 chose to stick with cartridges rather than CD’s, which opened the doors for Sony and the PlayStation brand. The GameCube stuck with Mini DVD’s which didn’t offer enough space for 3rd parties and caused unnecessary additional disc fees or features being cut to accommodate the GameCube’s disc storage capacity. The Wii U suffers from a similar problem, but not in the form a dated disc format. The Wii U suffers from dated hardware and lacks that next-gen WOW that gamers coming from the PC, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360 expect to see in a new console.

It's mind boggling how backwards Nintendo as a company has been regarding the Wii U. Nintendo had the perfect template laid out for them by Sony and Microsoft on what works, what you need to be aware of, and how to streamline an HD console to the masses. Microsoft’s online, 3rd party support, and connectivity combined with Sony's commitment to new ideas, games, and services are all Nintendo needed to channel to mold the Wii U into a success or at least on par with todays HD consoles software wise, but Nintendo adopted none of that. They're online is still a generation behind, 3rd party support is almost dead on Wii U, they refuse to make new IP's (mascots), they continue to make the same fundamental games generation after generation (which is fine for fans, but impossible for bringing in new gamers), and Wii Ware just isn't up to par with PSN and XBLA offerings.

This is all a management problem. I agree with Adam Sessler comment about Nintendo needing to get rid of their top management, at least as far as their home console is concerned. Split the console and handheld divisions into two teams and hire new top management who understand the demands of todays home console market, and aren’t lost in Wii Land. Bringing in new management will help Nintendo overall in the coming years, but it can’t help with the Wii U’s main problem. Underpowered Hardware.

The hardware in the Wii U is sub-par no matter how fans or developer try to spin it. The Wii U is barely a bottom end gaming PC, and was only mid range when its parts were new back in January 2009. A common complaint amongst gamers is that if the Wii U hardware is awful than so is the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. My response to that is yes all 3 console are underpowered by todays standards, and because the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are going on 7 and 8 years old that’s exactly why we have a PlayStation 4 and XBox One. The PS4 and Xbox One are also not cutting edge by today’s standards (except the PS4’s 8GB of GDDR5), but they are mid-range gaming PC’s by today’s standards compared to the Wii U being mid-range back in 2009. With the Wii U being in the same ballpark as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 it shows just how little Nintendo put into making a true next-gen console in terms of hardware specs, and rather focus on an entry level price, and finding that next big selling point. Which is exactly what they use to make themselves different and affordable to the masses, but this time the innovation back fired on them and has been panned as a gimmick controller that raises the price of the console manufacturing cost from a potential $249.

While I enjoyed playing with the tablet controller, I believe it was the wrong choice for Nintendo to make over a cheaper price or putting the money into better hardware. The current set-up of the Wii U mimics a DS / 3DS / 2DS with the touch screen affecting things that happen on the viewing screen (or a map / inventory). It seems like a great selling point considering how successful the DS brand (and their entire handheld brand) has been. But that also brings in a dual interest concern, by offering two similar experiences (Wii U and 3DS), with games being the only difference, than the cheaper option (3DS) is almost always more likely to win. If price was their greatest concern I think Nintendo would have been better off allowing the Wii U to stream to the 3DS and use the 3DS similar to how the PS4 and PSVita plan to work, rather than focusing R&D on a dedicated tablet controller that has a poor batter life and low resolution screen.

But even with that feature (and possibly a strong selling point) the Wii U would still be significantly out-powered by the PS4 and Xbox One, and the only way to fix that is with better hardware. I can’t fathom why Nintendo decided to go with a 2009 GPU, and Power PC architecture, when AMD was providing APU’s for the PS4 and XBox One and had already had the AMD Llano line of APU’s on store shelves a year before the Wii U launched. Working with AMD Nintendo should have been aware of these APU’s as they were ideal for console gaming. An AMD A8 Llano APU under-clocked with a 6550d GPU offer performance slightly above the current Wii U, and at a near identical price for all the parts. While that level of power would still be a problem for the Wii U when the next-gen console truly take over, it was a better decision, because the Wii U’s architecture would have been near identical the PS4 and Xbox One, and a low end PC port would have been significantly less expensive and time consuming by not having to get code running on Power PC tech, when everything uses basic PC architecture.

But for a real jump in power and performance over the PS360 while remaining competitive with the PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo should have gone with either AMD’s Trinity APU’s (7660d) or the rumored HD 6670 GPU and 4GB of RAM (5GB total with 1GB GDDR5 with a 64GB/s bandwidth found naturally in the 6670). Those processors would have stuck the Wii U right in the middle ground of the current-gen consoles and the next-gen consoles. The Wii U could have launched with games like Assassin’s Creed 3 running in 720p @ 30fps on PS360 while 720p @ 60fps or 1080p @ 30fps with better graphics on Wii U. While next-gen games like Battlefield 4 are aiming for 1080p @ 60fps on PS4 and Xbox One with medium-high PC settings, the Wii U could have been happy with 720p @ 60fps low settings and still offer an enjoyable experience and not feel left out. With these hardware spes. There would have been no excuses for developers to not have Wii U versions of multiplatforms outside of potential hardware sales, but with these specs. the Wii U would have shown a Day 1 difference from the PS360 that the Wii U has currently failed to do, so sales could have potentially been higher. And all this could have been possible for a similar price of $349 if the tablet controller was replaced with better specs.

But there’s one more problem the Wii U has to face, or should I say display if Nintendo wants to get this ship sailing. At $299 with a game bundled in The Wii U is a fair sale. However, with the competition of the PS360, PS4 and X1 they're trapped between two groups of highly competitive consoles all varying for the same dollar and gaming space.

The PS360 both have almost 80 million users, they cost less, have established libraries of games, continued developer support (80 million talks), have console SKU’s with actual Hard Drives in them (8GB and 32GB are unacceptable in 2013), and the 360 is a DVD player while the PS3 is a blu ray player. On top of that those gamers looking for a next-gen experience as far as hardware specs. then the PS4 and Xbox One has the Wii U beat by miles, and at a slightly higher initial price (in the case of the PS4).

These are all serious problems the Wii U has to overcome. Wii U sits at almost 4 million consoles sold, so developers aren't going to risk bringing exclusives or for that matter games to the console when there are consoles with 80+ million users already on the market, and two consoles with probably the greatest amount of launch hype in the history of console gaming. The Wii U’s dire lack of first party games aren’t doing the console any favors either. Thankfully the first party game dilemma is being answered, but again most of the big first party exclusives are scheduled to launch until 2014. Finally Nintendo needs to put a real HDD into the system for DLC, digital downloads, apps, and more. Buying an external hard drive for the Wii U puts it price back in the range of the PS4, which just isn’t worth the comparison so bite the bullet and stuff even a 120GB HDD into the Wii U.

Nintendo is in a hard place now, and it's completely their fault. Nintendo has failed to take advantage of their one year head start by delivering a console with 3 year old bottom-end hardware, a lack of must have first party software upon launch, pushing Miiverse (a decent social experience) over a true online gaming network, awful load times (which is something next-gen consoles plan to eliminate all together), and a $299 and $349 price tag with a measly amount of storage. Again a lot of the Wii U’s problems are easily solved. It’s too late for anything hardware related, but there are some things Nintendo can do and they need to get these things fixed as soon as possible.

Round 1 - Fixes: Get more first party games out (2013 - 2014 will fix this), get Miiverse on 3DS and mobile, reduce load times for the OS, and add an actual 120GB+ HDD into the console. With those changes the Wii U becomes more appeasing to Nintendo’s core fanbase who should be around 20 million strong (based off GameCube sales). All of these changes need to be done before E3 2014, so the basic complaints about the console are gone, and the focus then changes to improving the console and providing great games for gamers.

Round 2 - Improvements: Create first party games and get 3rd party developers to push the hardware to it’s limits and find ways to take full advantage of the possibilities of the tablet controller to show just how the Wii U is good enough and different. Graphically speaking games like the new Xeno game and Zelda HD concept are the only “games” to show graphical improvements over similar genre offerings compared to the PS360. E3 2014 needs to be about game WOW Factor, Uniquely Wii U (Nintendo) games, and new IP’s. Improve Miiverse with features from the best forums on the internet, and get a contemporary functioning online gaming network running.

It's frustrating and infuriating for fans and developers alike looking for possible opportunities for Nintendo, but until Nintendo understands today’s gaming market (outside of the handheld division), we may soon see Nintendo’s console turn into a Nintendo only gaming platform, or potentially no home console at all. Thankfully the core of the Wii U is there and it’s a good core to build upon. The console has fun games and experiences with the best soon to come. Currently I still have no desire to buy a Wii U personally, because while I enjoyed the games it was an enjoyable experience equal to playing the Wii Fit (Wii) and with Kinect Dance Central (Xbox 360). Fun at the time, but not necessarily something I want to pay hundreds of dollars for to keep in my house. However, with these changes and the right amount of work, dedication, games, price, and content Nintendo can turn the Wii U around from being another GameCube sales wise into the success they need it to be.

Monolith Soft's X

Wii U Zelda Tech Demo

The story is too old to be commented.
Software_Lover1658d ago (Edited 1658d ago )

I wouldn't have a problem with the wii-u, to continue to play the great Mario games, but the price for what you get is ridiculous when compared to, even the yet to be released ps4.

If the Wii-u came out at 199.00 AND WAS NAMED DIFFERENTLY, I believe it would've sold millions. The name is confusing to most people outside of the gaming websites.

If Nintendo wants to continue to compete, and they are not willing to play with the big boys on specs, then they need to concede that they will be a secondary console and price/market themselves as such, or they have 2 other options.....

1)stop making consoles and just stick to the handheld market

2)stop making consoles and become a third party dev for Microsoft, Sony, Android, IOS.

zerocrossing1658d ago

I might not agree with you exactly, but you make a good point.
Nintendo messed up with the naming of their new console and failed to gain sufficient 3rd party support.

It's not game over for them but they need to make steps in order to fix their image.

dark-kyon1658d ago

agree with you,is obvius what nintendo is not gonna make a machine in par with ps4 to the developers third party only can make use,with the actual spect of wiiu is more what enought to make the nintendo games look better,the problem is the price,200 us is the price what nintendo must sell his console how complement of a ps4 o xbox one.

Jay70sgamer1657d ago (Edited 1657d ago )

Why is everybody saying the wii u should be 200 dollars when the wii which is way less powerful and can't do half the things the wii u can and was 250$when it first came out ...wii u does more than the wii so why would it be cheaper ....that doesn't make any sense..the issue isn't price there was no games ..but that issue is over now ....nintendo will be alright..also nobody really knows how powerful the wii u is even developers said that its way more powerful than people think it is ..sorry to bust people's bubble but no game system ever is gonna come out less than 250 dollars anymore it makes no (cents)...

ABizzel11658d ago


I agree with some of your points, but I don't think Nintendo has to compete directly with Sony and MS, they just need to make a console that has similar architecture and enough power to house the games developers want to make.

Sony's aiming for high end laptop market, M$ is aiming for good enough, Nintendo needs to aim for off the shelf APU's for that generation if they want to stick with having a lower price.

Sony goes with 7950m (HD 7850 - 7870 range)
M$ goes with 8870m / 6950m (HD 7770 GHz - 7790 range )
Should be Nintendo with Trinity APU (HD 6670 range)
What they did 4670 (HD 3850)
PS3 / 360 (HD 3730)

cyguration1658d ago

Except the Wii WON the seventh gen of gaming and right now the Wii U has a 3 million SKU lead on the competition. So... technically, Nintendo is still winning if we're looking at numbers and market share.

zerocrossing1658d ago

Winning against no competition is nothing to brag about.

Once the PS4 and Xbox One are officially released then we can talk numbers and market share.

Jay70sgamer1657d ago

@cyguration are absolutely correct in what your saying ..I've been saying this for the longest in reality ....nintendo has been the number one console and handheld leader for the last 8 years that is a fact not fiction ...debate them facts .......wii 100,000,000 million units ,wii u 3,600,000,3Ds 30,000,000 plus ...debate them numbers can disagree all you want but numbers never lie this is a fact

MEsoJD1657d ago

While the Wii made a lot of money for Nintendo, it didn't for third party. Today the console is dead while Sony/MS consoles are still pumping out content with hardcore fans that buy a lot of software. It's about the long term.

cyguration1657d ago


Yeah but we can't ignore that Nintendo completely won 7th gen with the Wii. Technically the PS3 lost (until earlier this year) and the 360 will go out the absolute loser when it's all said and done.

Fanboys can try to spin the numbers anyway they want but Nintendo won and they're winning now just based on numbers, and until either console surpasses that number, that's just how it is.

devwan1657d ago


"we can't ignore that Nintendo completely won 7th gen with the Wii. Technically the PS3 lost (until earlier this year) and the 360 will go out the absolute loser when it's all said and done."

You can. You can forget all that. Because none of that is relevant now. This is Wii U vs ps4 vs xbox one and still vs ps3 and xbox 360.

At the current price point and with the library of games and lack of 3rd party support, it is not going to sell better than any of these 4 machines. ps360 are *massive* value propositions right now - 199 bundled with top games and a massive library at affordable prices - they'll continue to sell healthy numbers.

If you really want to look back at generation 7 - do so when they cease producing ps360 - that 20m sales lead won't look nearly as strong and as for software sales, not even close!

zerocrossing1657d ago (Edited 1657d ago )

@ cyguration

You make a valid point but it's about more than just the numbers, if it wasn't then Nintendo would be a lot more popular and well respected amongst gamers right now.

Nintendo were successful with the Wii because they developed a console they could profit well off of and had a fantastic new gimmick, motion sensor gaming made doable with the Wii-mote & nunchuk, they also gained a completely new demographic (the casual crowd) as well as retaining many loyal Nintando fans, but they also fell out of favour with many "core gamers" due to the Wii lacking in 3rd party support and only being able to do display graphics in SD as apposed to HD, something their competiton boasted a great deal about, not to mention poor online support.

I'm a huge Nintendo fan but I have to be honest, Nintendo haven't been doing themselves any favours lately either, naming their new console the "Wii U" caused many who disliked the original Wii to assume that Nintendo are still on the same narrow and to them unappealing path they were on with the Wii, and the fact that they also appear to be marketing toward the casual crowd and with their child friendly ad campaigns hasn't helped shed that old stigma of "Nintendo is for kids" either.

It's true that Nintendo are doing well financially but if you look around they certainly could be doing better as far as securing 3rd party support goes, releasing fresh and appealing content and fixing the disconnect the original Wii created when Nintendo appeared to have dropped the very loyal core gamer demographic in favour of the much more easily impressed but fickle casual crowd.

In short, sales numbers and market share don't account for popularity and and good PR.

ABizzel11657d ago


Nintendo sold the most consoles yes, but what was the last Wii game anyone bought new?

As @MEsoJD said, the PS3 is still going strong sells more console per week than any other "CONSOLE", and both the PS3 and Xbox 360 are eating up the software charts as we speak.

Nintendo won the race to 100 million, but they're losing the war as we speak.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1657d ago
+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1657d ago
PopRocks3591657d ago

I can get behind a lot of points here. Nintendo doesn't push hardware boundaries, that much is true. But they are a very stellar game developer. The truth of it is a lot of their actions this past year has put their console into a nasty rut; there's no getting behind that.

This blog is one of the few that seems to approach the matter critically but very objectively. It's not the same stupid "it's not selling well because of poor specs" or "Wii U is dead because Nintendo is an awful company" or the same tired crap I see in the comments anytime there is some bad news in regards to the console. No, this actually looks at the situation, takes in what went wrong and points them out in an accurate and (more importantly) tactful and respectful manner. Actually this blog reminds me a lot of Dboi's views on Nintendo (shout out, btw :p).

I don't agree with everything said here necessarily, but otherwise this was a very interesting and thought provoking blog. Thanks for adding something excellent to the site.

ABizzel11657d ago



If I'm critical of something I try to be a fair as possible. I think Nintendo missed out on making the Wii U an amazing console by not giving it enough power, but I still think the Wii U has the potential be a great console, because what matters most are the games that make up it's library, and how they evolve the console over time.

jcnba281657d ago

Good blog but I disagree when you say Nintendo should stop making hardware. How long will it take for people to realize that the amount of power a console has does not determine how successful it will be? PS2 was the weakest but won its gen, Wii was the weakest and won its gen (with very little third party support) same with DS and 3DS. If Nintendo made the Wii U as powerful as PS4 it would still be in the same position as it is in now besides having a higher price tag.

ABizzel11657d ago (Edited 1657d ago )


I didn't say they should flat-out stop making hardware. I said they need to stop if they continue this trend of underperforming hardware for the sake of finding a niche.

I never said the Wii U should be as powerful as the PS4, that would be a losing battle for them as proven with the GameCube. I'm saying they need to offer a console that is up to todya's and developers standards.

The Power PC architecture is a complete waste of time for developers to have to learn, which means games aren't being made as fast as they could with a traditional x86 which PC's, the PS4, and the XB1 use. People like convenience and since the Wii U isn't a convenience developers won't port their games to it which is why it will be a Nintendo only console (which is fine for Nintendo fans who only buy a few Nintendo games per year, but not for the majority of gamers).

On top of that a nearly 4 year old mid-range GPU (at the time of release, now nearly 5 years old) doesn't cut it. By today's standards that's a bottom end GPU, why would you put that in your console as expect someone to call it "next-gen". Add in 2GB of RAM equal to the PS3's 2006 RAM thanks to the added eDRAM, and the Wii U is apparently only "next-gen" in releases and being a successor to their previous console.

As you said power does not determine success, but it does provide developers with efficient hardware to work with, it provides games with the technology they need to evolve as a franchise, and it allows games to graphically show evolution to people who don't have any idea about improved physics / AI / and level design with new graphical features like tessellation, real-time reflections, ray tracing, and HDR lighting. These are all things the PS4 and XB1 can do within one game. The Wii U has to pick and chose it's battles thanks to "lesser hardware", and it just doesn't work for developers.

As far as the Wii goes, yes it was a hit. But the Wii sold millions, because casual gamers got into motion control gaming, giving them an easy 50+ million sales that they never had before. The best selling Nintendo consoles are as follows:

Wii: 100+ million
NES: 65+ million
SNES: 50+ million
N64: 35+ million
GameCube: 25+ million

Wii U: Currently 4 million.

On average their consoles sell only 55 million (excluding Wii U). Casual gamers made Wii a success FACT. If you put them in order it also shows a consistent decline of sales for Nintendo from the NES to the GameCube (65m -> 50m -> 35m -> 25m), so where does that leave Wii U.

Handheld wise Nintendo has consistently done amazing averaging over 100+ million in sales per handheld release (excluding 3DS). Their handheld business isn't going anywhere as it's their preferred gaming platform among gamers, but as far as consoles go they need to get it together or their going to get put down.

If they aim for 1/2 the power of the PlayStation or Xbox they'll be fine. It'll be "next-gen" enough for most developers and gamers, they'll still win the price war the entire generation, and they can still add their niche innovations into their consoles.

But if they don't care about power then they need to focus on being an inexpensive second choice console ($199 - $299).

Donnieboi1656d ago

Sup bro. Yeah I agree with much of the blog. But with Iwata combining the portable and console departments, I think the Wii U can do alright. The main thing though is that I hope they don't take away too many resources from the 3ds's focus. Thanks for the shout-outs ^_^

310dodo1657d ago

I really enjoyed your blog piece.
very good points a lot of people refuse to see.

Personally I love the tablet controller, but console decisions concerning power and features really have me scratching my head.

ABizzel11657d ago

Thank you.

I enjoyed the tablet controller as well, but if it came down to system hardware vs. the tablet controller I would have gone with the GPU upgrade.

dragongod641655d ago

The tablet controller needs to have games that you can take on the go.
A Wii U on the go tablet, not just a controller.

ABizzel11655d ago

For the disagrees, would you rather have a tablet controller or more developer support?

Because a a better GPU, x86 CPU, and better + more RAM would have provided better developer support.


Someone already said this and I agree. Nintendo should pull a Sony or N64 and turn the Wii U into a Nintendo 3DS / 2DS hybrid. Make a new tablet controller with a 3DS card reader and let people play their 3DS games on the Wii U.

I could possibly eat away at 3DS hardware sales, but these companies make most of their money on software sales not hardware.

TV = top screen
Gamepad = touch screen

devwan1657d ago

Good and fair write up on the whole, at least as far as the current state of play, but there are a couple of points to make:

"The PS360 both have almost 80 million users" - 80m sales each, but not 80m users of both formats - much less.

"and add an actual 120GB+ HDD into the console" - too late, devs work to base specs.

"With those changes the Wii U becomes more appeasing to Nintendo’s core fanbase who should be around 20 million strong (based off GameCube sales)" - not going to happen. When thigs go as far as they have, there's no turning them around, not when the competition from all sides is so strong.

"get 3rd party developers to push the hardware to it’s limits" - 3rd parties rarely push a platform to its limits - that's the job of 1st party or a dedicated teams such as Sony's or Microsoft's that exist solely to aid 3rd parties. But like you said, there's not much pushing for hardware that was out-dated even before it launched.

"E3 2014 needs to be about game WOW Factor" - realistically, how will that happen when ps4/xbox one will be well under way?

ABizzel11657d ago

PS360: Users vs sales is a true point. There are less users than sold consoles.

HDD: The 120GB HDD is more so for gamers so they don't have to buy an external, because that puts the total cost of Wii U right back where they stated and too close to PS4 price wise.

Sales: I feel the Wii U will hit at least 30 million. The GameCube was Nintendo's worse selling console and it sold over 25 million. The Wii U has a strong line-up of games coming and if they can fix a lot of these issues and keep the price down I don't see why the Wii U won't be at worse on par with the GameCube sales wise.

3rd parties: I was speaking towards games like "The Conduit" which pushed the Wii to it's limit by a 3rd party developer. Nintendo needs to make more exclusive deals for games on their console.

E3 2014: Pokemon MMO, Zelda, True 3D Mario, Kid Icarus, Earthbound, Star Fox, Metroid, Wii Sports U / Fit U / etc..., Mario Party, Animal Crossing, and F-Zero.

An "announcement" that those 12 games are coming between holiday 2014 and 2015 would be enough to send Nintendo fans into an Wii U revival uproar, and with Mario Kart, Super Smash 2 of their biggest franchises are releasing this spring it would be enough to push Nintendo out of this rut their in.

devwan1657d ago

"HDD: The 120GB HDD is more so for gamers so they don't have to buy an external" - but what will they fill 120GB with exactly? Games don't install for quicker loading times - see Blacklist.

"Sales: I feel the Wii U will hit at least 30 million." - Well we're both just offering opinion there, I can't see it beating the fairly impressive GC that had stacks of top titles.

"Nintendo needs to make more exclusive deals for games on their console." - Nah, Nintendo are more than capable of making their own great games without moneyhatting.

"E3 2014:..." no doubt we could make similar lists of far-off next gen sequels to existing IP on ps4/xbox one.

"An "announcement" that those 12 games are coming between holiday 2014 and 2015 would be enough to send Nintendo fans into an Wii U revival uproar" Maybe, assuming there are all that many Nintendo fans left who haven't gone elsewhere since the whole Wii thing turned many away.

dragongod641655d ago

Pokemon MMO, DONE GREAT, & even i will buy a wii u.
i doubt that they can even pull it off.
PS4 can do it, but not wii.