A number of high-profile executives have made several negative remarks about Nintendo’s Wii U recently.
Former Sony developer, Kenny Linder, has come out saying that he does not expect the Wii U “[will] see another Christmas.” He is not alone, either. Former head of Naughty Dog and THQ, Jason Rubin, has also chimed in, calling Nintendo “irrelevant” as a hardware manufacturer. He has also suggested that it is criminal that the venerable developer does not publish titles on other systems.
Linder has contended that retailers will operate with a four major console model. This model centres around the PS3/4 and Xbox 360/One, supplemented by the DS. Such a move would leave the Wii U off shelves and could kill the console.
Nintendo has often claimed that “software sells hardware” and may be true. Pokemon, Zelda, and Mario have all been known to achieve amazing feats in the past. This year, however, things were different. A mistake on releasing Super Mario 3D World the same day as the PS4 proved to be costly. Swallowed by the console launch, SM3DW barely scratched 14th place on the UK charts, behind titles such as PS4 exclusive Knack.
Such a fate may already be coming to pass. UK supermarket chain ASDA has pulled the console from its shelves. This is following the retailer’s cessation of stocking 3DS online. Although not necessarily recent, the development could be a nail in the coffin for the struggling console.
After only a year on the market, the Wii U may find itself buried by the Xbox One and Playstation 4. Without significant sales, Nintendo has had a rough time and been relying on the 3DS’ improved trading to account for the shortfall generated by the home console. To put it into perspective, since its release in November last year, the Wii U has sold somewhere around the four million units mark. The Playstation 4, in its first week, closed the gap by 2.1 million units.
It may not be all doom and gloom for the superstar plumber. Its popularity among children may prove to be a saving grace for the Wii U. Alongside the iPad, it is one of the most talked about presents for children this Christmas. But with major titles Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze delayed and Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart not scheduled until next year, it may not be enough to save this Christmas.
So readers, what will be under your tree this Christmas? Are you in team Microsoft or Sony? Or are you joining forces with plumber in the red hat and the hero in green and buying a Wii U? Do you agree with the doomsayers? If Nintendo’s Wii U is not a success in the next two weeks, will the fat lady be warming up her vocal cords?