back to article Wii-U boat torpedoes Nintendo's '¥20bn profit' into ¥20bn loss

Facing a looming $219m loss, Nintendo today restated its mission “to pursue its basic strategy of compelling products that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age, gender or gaming experience”. This is marketing speak for targeting occasional players, in particular the very young and the old, folk who might not normally be …


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  1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    The Wii-U isn't something I'd touch. That's pretty telling for a Nintendo product, given that I've owned most of the things they've pumped out over the years and been pretty happy with them.

    The "screen" controllers are too expensive (the backward compatibility might be there in some games but there's no real guarantee of that, and thus it's much more expensive that the Wii was for many years in comparison). The Mario game is too much about having two half-decent players trying to do everything on the same screen (which is not the thing to do in the casual market, because it either gets crowded, or you have to suffer fools, quite a lot). And I haven't seen much else that actually entices (about the only other thing I've stumbled across is that zombie game, and that's just NOT something that anyone who owns a Wii for casual gaming will rush out to buy - wrong genre, too much stress on quick action, etc. from what I saw).

    As such, I honestly haven't even looked at it in a shop. I have a Wii, it does for what I bought it for (quick, cheap console to plonk a child in front of, or to bring out at random dinner parties where random adults - mostly non-gamers - just want to bowl a few balls on something they understand even if they never game). I don't see the point of the Wii-U.

    Can I even transfer my store games from Wii to Wii-U? How does that work? Do I have to abandon the games I bought on the store for the Wii?

    Personally, I think Nintendo would have made a lot more money with a Wii (or Wii upgrade) that allowed multiple Wii-Fits, had HD graphics and let you use an Android / iPhone app to turn them into additional controllers (or even screens, maybe) over Bluetooth (though that would have hit their controller sales, it would have made the console much more appealing, especially in the "we need one more controller for everyone to be able to play" scenario).

    I didn't "get" the Wii-U. I owned a Gameboy, a SNES, an N64, a Gamecube, and a Wii. But I don't "get" the Wii-U at all.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Nintendo have been coasting on gimmicks for years now. Perhaps people bitten by all the shit accessories pumped out for the Wii vs the quality of games and are hesitant about repeating their mistakes all over again.

      1. Andrew Moore

        In fairness, their motion controller gimmick was pretty awesome. However, the article is spot on, since my daughters got an iPod (the eldest) and a Android Tab (the youngest) I don't think the Wii has been switched on once.

        In other news- anyone notice how all the kids are playing MineCraft these days??? Take that, Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Panfu, Bin Weevils and all the rest.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          "kids are playing MineCraft these days"

          *Spits out Tea*

          :O does that mean I am young and youthful again, btw did you grief my house?

    2. Chad H.

      I can see the possibilities in the Wii U controller... Fallout Fans, think Pipboy, etc.

      But its the titles, or lack thereof that bug me. There should have been a metroid or Zelda at launch... You need to have that 1 title that will make people spend hudreds.... And as good as Mario might be, it aint that good.

      1. Sooty

        @Chad H

        You've hit the nail on the head, there's a lot of great stuff it could do, but isn't used for.

        But Nintendo aren't the only ones, using your fallout example, xbox smartgalss, or ps3 remote play could be used to do a pipboy on your smartphone/ipod/ipad/psp/vita... a bit of sellotape to attach it to your arm :)

        That could be patched into the game today and most of the game's owners could use it with no extra hardware costs over what they already own

        They might have been better off providing a cheaper controller along with something more generic such as a smartphone app.

    3. Rob Beard

      So basically, you don't know much about the Wii U but you still feel the need to put it down? Hmm...

      As a Wii U owner with kids I can tell you the Wii U gamepad is a great idea. At the moment the console only supports the one Wii U gamepad, but out of the games I've tried (albeit a limited amount as there isn't really much out there right now) it works well, feels a little bit like playing on a big DS in some of the games.

      It also works with existing Wii controllers (I bought a couple of compatible motion plus controllers as my original Wii controller was pre-motion plus). You can transfer saves and downloaded games, the Wii store has an app available which downloads your content to an SD card (doesn't need to be a massive one, 2GB would probably do) and then transfer them to the Wii U to play in Wii mode, although you can't keep content on the old Wii, it's moved rather than copied. I've only briefly looked at the Wii mode and it's a little clearer over HDMI from the Wii U to the TV (42" Panasonic Plasma) than the Wii to the same TV using component video (and some rather cheap phono extension cables).

      I've got Nintendo Land as I bought the premium console, it's not a bad game, has a few Nintendo themed mini games in it. I wouldn't pay £45 or whatever it is for it but as a freebie with the console I couldn't complain. I also bought Mario Bros U and I'm enjoying that, and so are the kids. It can be played on the TV or on the game pad in single player mode or with other players on a Wiimote.

      Other than that the new Rayman game looks interesting and makes good use of the gamepad, and Little Inferno is well worth a look (and on sale in the Nintendo shop).

      As for your idea of using an Android tablet as a controller over Bluetooth? Wouldn't have worked, Bluetooth is just too slow. Wifi maybe, but then you've got the faffing around downloading an app, support costs for Nintendo if it doesn't work on a specific device and all that.

      While you may not see the appeal of the Wii U (despite not having tried by the sounds of things) others do, I personally like the idea of being able to play on the Gamepad, I can either let the kids play games on it while I'm maybe watching TV or playing on one of my other consoles (PS3/XBOX360 or even my old PS2 or Wii) or I can be playing on the Wii U on the gamepad alone, or we can be watching something on LoveFilm or Netflix... whatever, it's stopped some arguements in the house and means I don't need to run a long HDMI cable from my consoles to my desktop monitor.

      Oh and for me, Pikmin 3 is the killer app :-)

      Maybe considering this loss and poor sales Nintendo might even drop the price a bit like they did with the 3DS.


  2. Thomas 4

    I really wish people would stop doing this

    "The 3DS fared better, with Q4 sales up 11 per cent year on year, from 11.43 million to 12.71 million. But that’s still far behind 217 million smartphones that shipped in the last three months of 2012, according to market watcher Strategy Analytics."

    When you can make phone calls, plan appointments & meetings, send emails, send texts and take camera-quality photos with a 3DS, then it will be a fair comparison. But as it stands now, it's like comparing a car with an iPod. Both have the capability to play music but they're for two completely different purposes.

    Compare like with like, please.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

      3DS are still £130 ish though. I bought a galaxy tab 2 10 for £230 with £50 cashback winging its way to me. I could have have a tab 2 7 for £130. The tab 2 is far more flexible for most things than the 3DS. Chinapads can be grabbed for half the price of a 3DS if you are looking for kids pressies.

      Whilst the devices might not be the same, the comparison with casual gaming devices is similar. Same goes for the wii u. Only one master controller so might has well stick to the wii or get tablets for all for a fraction of the price.

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

        You make a good point about price but then you might also have to factor in a 24 month contract as well with some of the devices.

        Don't get me wrong; having seen some of the gaming phones are capable of, there will be a few 3Dses and Vitas unbought as a result (Sony, why did you have to make such a f*** up of the Xperia Play? >.<) . I guess my point is that not everyone buys a smartphone purely for the gaming capabilities of it, whereas everyone buys a handheld gaming console for pretty much only that, so comparing sales figures is misleading.

        1. Chet Mannly

          Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

          "You make a good point about price but then you might also have to factor in a 24 month contract as well"

          Those were uncontracted prices. Also smartphones are generally free if they are on a contract.

          "I guess my point is that not everyone buys a smartphone purely for the gaming capabilities of it, whereas everyone buys a handheld gaming console for pretty much only that,"

          Think you are missing the competitive dynamic here - virtually every potential Wii-U buyer will already have a smartphone, many will have tablets. If you are an occasional gamer, it may not make sense to spend an *additional* few hundred, plus the cost of games, just to get an occasional gaming fix which you can get for less than $5 by buying a game for the smartphone you already have.

          Those that want to spend a few hundred for their gaming fix will likely look at a PS3 or Xbox instead.

          Its the peril of aiming at a market that doesn't value your product all that much - far cheaper alternatives that are "good enough" will eat at your market (as any point and shoot camera manufacturer will tell you with the rise of phone cameras).

          "Sony, why did you have to make such a f*** up of the Xperia Play? >.<"

          Amen Thomas, Amen!

          I swear Sony didn't want it to succeed...

        2. A J Stiles

          Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

          (Sony, why did you have to make such a f*** up of the Xperia Play? >.<)

          So as not to interfere with sales of PlayStation 3s, obviously.

      2. Ted Dannington

        Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

        Read again: "217 million smartphones". Phones. Not tablets. Tablets are just a portion of that. Gnnhh.

      3. Ian 55
        Thumb Up

        Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

        After five minutes with a Nexus 7, I put all of the games I bought for a DS up for sale on Amazon. Had I had any shares in Nintendo, I'd have sold them. The only reason there's a DS still in the house is that my daughter likes her games on it, but no more are going to be bought unless they are very cheap s/h.

        We're keeping the Wii, but there's no chance of buying a Wii U for exactly the reasons you give.

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

      Agreed. People buying smartphones aren't going to buy a smartphone vs. gaming console; there will be somef who do, but those wanting mobile gaming might go for the 3DS or PSVita for that. In fact, the 3DS started selling strong when they dropped the pricetag, so I'm guessing the real limiting factor on those is actually related to pricetag, not to "smartphone defeats gaming consoles".

      The Wii U, however, sucks.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: I really wish people would stop doing this

      if an iPod were a ton of metal that you had to keep in a special room and sit inside in order to listen to and cost several months' pay, then you'd have a point.

      But the DS/3DS and the mobile phone do have a lot in common. They're the same size bracket, and the same price bracket. On top of that, they both compete for the same resources (pocket space and charger slots), and they both fulfil the role of 'cheap on-demand electronic entertainment'.

      The fact that the phone has a whole bunch of other functions as well just makes it harder for the DS to hang on to its niche. The 3DS was a nice gimmick, but it's only a gimmick. In the long run, handheld consoles are dead in the water - unless they can come up with something that smartphones just can't do, and they haven't managed that yet.

      I say this with regret, as a longtime Nintendo fan and owner of all major versions of the DS (one original, one DSi, one XL and one 3DS). But the comparison of sales between the DS (all models) and smartphones is not inappropriate.

  3. Joe K

    Typical casual......

    "Can i have one of those new Wii controllers please?...........

    £300?!? For a controller?............

    Whats a "console"? I thought it was a controller?"

    Nintendo have only themselves to blame, naming it like they've named every other peripheral (Wii Fit, Wii Wheel, Wii Zapper, etc), branding it identically the same, and so barely registering on the consciousness of an easily-confused, bored-with-Wii, customer base.

  4. Simon 4

    Won't take my money

    Several times I've wanted to play an old Nintendo game on my iPhone or iPad but, alas, none of these games are available in the App Store.

    Surely Nintendo could figure out a strategy of not losing console sales while selling limited versions of its games in the App Store.

    They've done this to themselves.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Won't take my money

      gameboy emulator is about the best you can do. Legality questionable of course.

    2. Elmer Phud

      Re: Won't take my money

      " not losing console sales"

      It is refreshing to see that console sales were not unleashed, thanks.

      1. Comments are attributed to your handle

        Re: @Elmer Phud

        Let's try that one again, shall we?

      2. Tom Maddox Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Won't take my money

        @Elmer Phud:

        I see what you did there, even if no one else did.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The G Bomb!

    >Sales to gaijin account for 70 per cent of Nintendo’s business.

    What exactly is the need for this? You know one of the Japanese words for foreigner... well done. Why wasn't debusshou used instead of "overweight and wheezy" while you were at it trying to inject "offensive" foreign words into the article?

    1. andy mcandy

      Re: The G Bomb!

      calm down dear :)

    2. Juillen 1

      Re: The G Bomb!

      Nothing wrong with it.. Gaijin and proud of it! And thoroughly enjoy their pride in being Japanese too..

    3. Chad H.

      Re: The G Bomb!

      To be fair, I tend to refer any large secretive insular company as a Zibatsu.....

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch

        Re: The G Bomb!

        To be fair, I tend to refer any large secretive insular company as a Zibatsu.....

        Maybe you should switch to calling them "zaibatsu". Just a suggestion...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The G Bomb!

      Is gaijin offensive? What's the non-offensive version? If I don't know it's offensive, and the person using it doesn't know, is it still offensive? The public want to know!

    5. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: The G Bomb!

      What exactly is the need for this? You know one of the Japanese words for foreigner ... "offensive" foreign word..

      Pah. "Gaijin" is only offensive if it's used in a way that's meant to be offensive. That hardly applies here. I couldn't care less if someone calls me a 外人 or a 外国人. Or a Paddy or Mick, for that matter. You should save your ire for someone who's being deliberately offensive to you.

  6. chriswakey

    DLC rip off

    I'll not buy any more Nintendo stuff after how they responded when my first Wii went tits-up due to a knackered graphics chip (a known issue on the tech forums, caused by leaving it on standby rather than switching it off - it caused it to overheat and damage the chip...Nintendo denied this...)

    As it was well out of warranty, I bought a new one and then contacted them to transfer all my DLC over to the new one.

    They flat out refused, saying I should have sent my old one to them, paid for their repair, and they would have transferred everything over to a refurb unit so basically I was screwed.

    Oh, apparently everyone on any tech forums was wrong, and there's "no issue with the Wii, and if they've had problems, then they're obviously pirates who have broken their system." (direct quote)

    Fuck 'em.

  7. Lamont Cranston

    Probably a bit early to write off the Wii-U, just yet,

    but I don't really see a compelling reason to replace my existing Wii, so I'd expect the Wii-U sales to be rather sluggish (not seen much marketing, either).

  8. Goldmember


    The Wii, and the Wii-U, are novelty products. Yes, the original Wii sold in record numbers, but the problem with novelty is that it wears off. Quickly. We bought one, with WiiFit (plus board) and a few other games. The WiiFit quickly got boring, the novelty of WiiSports wore off, and the underspecced console with no HDMI meant the other games looked shite on our HD TV. Plus, they weren't that great to begin with. The end result? A Wii that has been sat in the corner, unloved and unused for over 2 years. Will we be getting a Wii-U? Absolutely not.

    Like the article said, there are a host of other options for casual gamers, as there are for more srious gamers. If I feel like a quick, casual game, it's the Vita, phone or laptop. A longer session and I fire up the PS3 or PC. Nintendo need to get their priorities right; either crack the mobile market (by releasing Ninty games on mobiles - I'd certainly pay for an Android Mario Kart), or manufacture a serious, non-novelty console that can compete with the big boys.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Down

      Re: Novelty

      No, the original Wii sold because it offered something new (the controllers) and the ability to control a game by moving yourself instead of twiddling some knobs and buttons. An idea that was copied by both Microsoft and Sony.

      The original Wii had a big "Hey, cool, want one" factor, and was priced (£170 at launch) such that it was something people didn't mind taking a punt on.

      The WiiU has no "wow" factor, and its too expensive for casual gamers to consider. Result = big FAIL

      1. auburnman

        Re: Novelty

        "Something New" is just another name for novelty unless it gains a track record of being a worthwhile improvement. As you say Sony and Microsoft soon copied the movement bit leaving Nintendo with an underpowered console that didn't have a unique selling point.

        Many people did indeed take a punt on the Wii at launch due to it's price (myself included) but the lack of interesting titles after the launch fuss died down is the main reason that Wii's accross the world gather dust in cupboards and no-one has any interest in the new one.

      2. Chet Mannly

        Re: Novelty

        "the original Wii sold because it offered something new (the controllers) and the ability to control a game by moving yourself instead of twiddling some knobs and buttons."

        And for the Wii-U they went back to twiddling knobs and buttons again (Ok plus a touch screen).

        So they took away the key feature that differentiated them from the competition - many Wii buyers would have overlooked the lacklustre graphics etc just to get the motion controllers.

        Seems a strange business decision, but I haven't tried the new controllers - they may actually be as compelling, but I doubt it...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Novelty

      The big three console companies all look at the market differently , there is room for all of them and this isn't just about you.

      1. Goldmember

        Re: Novelty

        "this isn't just about you"

        Shit, thanks for pointing that out Mr. AC. I may not have realised otherwise.

        Anyway, my point was that Ninty got the market wrong, not that there's no room for them. The movement controllers are a novelty, and the Wii's lack of decent, playable non-movement games (and a half decent console) has banished millions of Wii consoles to dusty cupbaords/ corners/ attics. In short; the casual gamers got bored, the serious gamers had no interest to begin with.

  9. Pie

    I don't know anyone with a Wii-U, kids haven't asked for one, or even mentioned them. I had a go with one in a shop for 15 mins, some sort of platform game. The second screen could be good, but they used it in this game so you had to keep switching between the main screen and the secondary screen, my old eyes didn't like that and the game was certainly less immersive and less enjoyable as a result.

    As others have said the home Wii has long been packed away as it was just gathering dust, my mum still uses hers a bit but she hasn't purchased a game for it in over two years...

    Nintendo may be able to make the Wii-U sell but they are going to have to come out with another killer app for it.

  10. Atonnis

    Not a great time for consoles anyway...

    At the moment we're all in that post-Christmas depression where spending is down and games aren't really coming out.

    Having said that, since the Wii U came out I don't think I've actually really seen one in the flesh, so to speak. I've had absolutely no interest in some small-screen controller thing, and I'm not even sure if that's the console or if that's an addon to the console... the very fact that I don't have a clue is telling, to me, that it really hasn't made any impact. I've historically always made a point of keeping up to date and I keep an eye out daily for the PS and XBox updates and info, but Wii-U? Meh...

    But could someone actually tell me, is this small-screen like a PSP or is it just a controller, or what? I suppose I could look it up, but it's more effort than whining about it in a negative way on a comments page.

    1. Pie

      Re: Not a great time for consoles anyway...

      It's a bit of both, it's primary function is a controller, which can be used to display information to just the player using it, so you can have 4v1 battles. Only one of these controllers at a time is supported at the moment there may be a case for two in the future but not at the moment.

      For some games you can also switch the game from the tv to be played on the controller, you need to be within range of the wii-u and it needs to be turned on (it's doing the processing) but for some gamers this being able to continue to play when the other half's tv program has started is a useful feature.

  11. DrXym Silver badge

    I wonder how

    The Wii U doesn't exactly push the boat out from a technical perspective (achieving parity with the 360/PS3 6 years late is hardly a difficult achievement) and costs so much that it doesn't appear to be subsidized. How are they making such a loss?

    Anyway if they want to start shifting Wii Us they could start by dropping the price of the console and the accessories. The Wii U appeals to kids more than other consoles might but the price would make parents run a mile, especially when kids probably have a Wii or a PS3 or a 360 and there is little reason to buy another console anyway.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nintendo made a profit of M$159.37?

    "Video game giant Nintendo is back in profit a year after recording its first ever annual net loss .. Nintendo's financial statement also notes that the company is making a loss on Wii U sales" link

  13. wowfood

    My local game store has a small section I like to call "Death Corner" everything in that corner generally bombs badly. First it was the old PC games before PC games were removed from the shelves completely, then the PSPGo. there was some other stuff in between but I've totally forgotten what they were.

    Point is, the Wii U is too similar to the Wii to be sold. I've taken a look at some of the games, played the demos and honestly it doesn't feel all that different from the Wii, ZombiU is, to this point, the only game that really interests me on the console. The rest just feel like... wii games.

    Not to mention the price tag they're putting on it. £230 for a Wii U, now for a new console that doesn't seem too bad. But when you consider it lacks a library of games, the graphical quality of its games, to this point are about on par with PS3 / 360 and the PS3 costs £50 less right now well... It just isn't a good investment. That isn't to say that the graphical quality won't improve over time as the system or the libraries for the software are optimized. But by the time it gets to that point, the 720 / ps4 will be out, beating the Wii U in power from the getgo.

    Why would I buy a WiiU for £230 so I can buy a game for £50, when i already have a 360 / ps3, and I can get the same game, at the same quality, for the same (or often lower) price? I wouldn't, I don't think anyone really would. So the only draw would be the casual games. But then once again casual gamers as they were coined, aren't going to pay £230+games for a new console. They have the wii and lots of games to play on it, they have smartphones and tablets and a DS. Sure in the future when there's a bigger library of games which are very different to what's on the Wii, then there would be a reason to buy it. But right now there isn't. And the reason to buy it might not come around until the next competition consoles are released.

    I want a Wii U, I'll admit it, I'm a console whore, just not at what they have right now. I want to see at least 4 games on the console I want to play, right now it's ZombiU. What I'm waiting for are Monster Hutner 3 Ultimate. X, Shin Megami Tesnsei X fire-emblam. But none of those 3 have a concrete release date yet, one has a demo, the other two are listed as TBA, which generally means "Not until next year"

    But by next year, it might already be too late *shrugs* who knows.

    1. Kevin 6

      "Point is, the Wii U is too similar to the Wii to be sold. " umm you mean like how the PS3, and xbox 360 were too similar to the PS2, and Xbox to be sold?

      I've played a Wii U, and want one. Would have had one if I was able to locate one (the high end model not that base thing) before xmas, and now a tad too broke to get one. If I get a good tax return I might pick one up though as I like how they give the option for normal gamepads(in the games I tried on my nephews at least, and they had EVERY launch title), and the new controller I think is a good idea.

      I just hope they move away from the motion controls a bit, and make that an option in games as honestly there were a lot of games I would have bought on the wii if I didn't have to flail my arms around like a madman for hours on end to play.

      The motion controls are find for games like wii bowling or other multi-player party games, but for things like zelda no matter how much I wanted the game I refuse the have to hold my controller at certain angles to play as that is a game that lasts more than 10-15 mins at a time with no breaks in between. The motion controls like I said are fun with party games sometimes even if you are watching, hell one of the funniest thing I've seen are a pile of drunks playing wii bowling :D

  14. toadwarrior

    Mobile gaming is a joke

    Why do they insist on comparing the 3DS to mobiles? Why should Nintendo get into a market where they'd have to sell games significantly cheaper and sell fewer units?

    In case these people haven't realised most mobile owners don't use it as a games device. Angry birds is the best selling game by far and that's still only owned by maybe 5% of the phones out there.

    Mobile are poor for controlling games so its just not a good device for gaming which is why Nintendo did so well with the DS and the 3DS looks like it may out perform the DS.

    1. Kevin 6

      Re: Mobile gaming is a joke

      agree tried a few games out on my tablet, and honestly I don't see why people keep saying its going to decimate handheld sales. The on screen controllers I find inadequate for the majority of games outside stuff like angry birds or that one jewel matching game.

      And before people start chiming in you could use a wireless PS3 controller with a tablet or some other huge bulky thing that is not portable. You at that point need a dedicated stand, a surface to sit it, and something to carry the extra controller in as it doesn't all fit neat in your pocket.

  15. Semaj


    Casual gamers have messed up gaming over the past few years because of idiot developers trying to appeal to them with "accessible" (read - dumbed down and shit) games.

    The sooner they all bugger off with their phones and tablets and leave the consoles for us people who aren't going to be "confused" by having the ability to remap controls - the better.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Good

      I think your anger should be directed at the "idiot developers" rather than the casual gamers, whose only crime seems to have been to exist. Oh, and returning to the article, it looks like they *have* buggered off with their phones and tablets.

    2. TheItCat

      Re: Good


      Not because you're wrong about casual gamers ruining games, but because you claim that console gaming has ever been anything other than a casual paradise.

      What we really need is games developers to stop pandering to console limitations and start making games with depth and detailed UIs again. Doubt it will happen though.

      Console gamers have ruined everything #StillAngryAboutDragonAge2

      1. Semaj
        Thumb Up

        Re: Good

        Upvoted you because you are right. If consoles die out all together then even better. I just can't see it happening though where as they least they could do is throw the hardcore crowd a bone or two.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Good

      You want to remap controls, get a PC. (Contrary to what you may have heard, PC gaming is very much alive and well. Just ask Valve. It just doesn't appear in shops any more. Just ask Valve again.)

      Consoles are specifically for dumbed-down gaming, that's the whole point of them.

      1. Semaj

        Re: Good

        The last PC game I played was Skyrim. The remapping in that was awful. Perfect example of a game (franchise), ruined for casuals and their consoles (though that UI sucks on console as well IMO).

        I'd hope that some are better than others because chances are that I'll be avoiding the next batch of consoles for many years so PC will be my only option.

  16. Enjibenji

    "It is Nintendo’s first console for 16 years to play host to a Mario game written specifically for it"

    First Nintendo console to launch with a Mario game written specifically for it maybe

    Also as Thomas said, although i'm sure that smartphones and tablets are hurting Nintendo's core business, running off 3DS Vs smartphone sales is useful to absolutely no one

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      >>"It is Nintendo’s first console for 16 years to play host to a Mario game written specifically for it"

      First Nintendo console to launch with a Mario game written specifically for it maybe <<

      No, the quote from the article is just ridiculous, all Mario games are written for a specific piece of hardware. TBH, if the author of the article really thinks this then you may as well stop reading, they don't know shit.

      And Enjibenji, there's a game called mario 64 you might be interested in....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too many users got stung last time

    with the Wii hype of "it must be great, you can't buy it anywhere", for it to gather dust 53 weeks of the year.

    This time, they are more cautious

  18. Ben Rose

    I own one!

    I'm a sucker for a new gadget so we got a Wii U for Christmas. We got the original Wii on the day it came out and played it a lot. However, since my son was born 3 or so years ago, it hasn't seen much use. Now he's hit that PEGI 3 rating age, I thought the Wii U might appeal...I wasn't wrong.

    I'd not seen one before buying so when unboxing I was surprised by how big the new controller was. It's not heavy though, which is good for long gaming sessions.

    Set-up was quite genius and allowed me to port everything over from the old Wii. You install the Wii U transfer app on your old Wii and the Wii U and, with the help of an SD card and your internet connection, all of your save games, store purchases etc. are transferred over.

    All of our Wii games and accessories work perfectly on the Wii U, it's effectively dual boot. You tell it to go into Wii mode and it reboots to the Wii menu. Want to play Wii U games again and you click a menu item and it reboots again to the Wii U home screen. Switching to the Wii menu for the first time showed me my transferred software and inserting a game disc confirmed that all my save games, Mii characters etc. had been transferred. It worked perfectly.

    As for the Wii U gaming side of things, I'm highly impressed. We got Nintendoland, Zombie U, Sonic All Star racing and the Super Mario game for the Wii U too.

    Nintendoland is simply brilliant and consists of loads of mini games, many of which show off the new controller functions well. On some games, for example, it's effectively hide and seek. The player with the Wii U controller uses their "private" screen to see where they are on the map whilst up to four other players try to find them using the TV screen. We've had a lot of family fun doing this.

    In other games, the controller screen is used for aiming or display of maps that would otherwise clutter the game screen. In Zombie U the Wii U controller is excellent for looking at what's in your backpack, switching weapons etc. As a gamer, I love how that works without the need for pop-up menus on the gaming screen.

    Sonic All Star Racing uses the controller screen for player 2 if you're racing another local player. In fact, using this method, up to 5 people can race on the same console, with the other 4 using old skool Wii controllers.

    Mario is more of the same and can be played just like the Wii version but, if you use the Wii U controller you have increased functionality. Firstly, the co-operative function allows the Wii U controller player to use the touchscreen to build extra platforms, kills monsters and other functions whilst another player controls Mario. With a 3 year old, this is really handy. When he's about to jump into a hole and die, I can put a platform right under his feet and save him.

    On top of that, the apps from YouTube, LoveFilm and Netflix are a real winner if you don't already have a device connected to your TV for this. The buffering on YouTube is pretty good and I enjoy HD video from there often. The HDMI connection has also made it easier to hook up to my home cinema for audio and video.

    I'm really happy with all of it, pretty much, except the DVD drive is a little bit noisy when the disc is spinning. I had a to struggle to think of that fault though as we love it and it's even got us playing our old Wii games some more..

    1. luxor
      Thumb Up

      Re: I own one!

      So do I and your post pretty much sums up my experience with it too.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: I own one!

        It's good to know that people who have one are enjoying it. Don't think it'll help sales though....

        But I was a fan of the N64 (though PSone was supposedly better) and the GameCube (though ps2 was supposedly better) and I love my wii (apparently there are no games for it! My collection must be all in my head) so I don't really care if the WiiU is a big success, it just needs to be successful enough to allow Nintendo to carry on making games.

    2. Lamont Cranston

      Re: I own one!

      I want one, now! Why aren't Nintendo selling the console like this? Backward compatibility is a plus (despite what Sony seem to think), and helping the little one to play Mario is a brilliant idea.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The irony with some of the 'collecting dust' style comments , is that two of the best Wii games, (two games that could be considered hard core), only came out last year. If you've played the top bunch of Wii games listed on metacritic, you've got your moneys worth and you didn't get bored.

    Also the Wii is probably the cheapest and most pleasing form of emulation on the big screen once soft modded.

    £38 at CEX .

    The Wii's controller wasn't just a motion sensing gimmick, it was actually a decent pointing device that gamers on other consoles have been screaming out for in the form of a mouse, only Sega answered those cries back in 1999. IMO the Wii was originally cheap enough to get out every christmas for family fun and Wii sports. Smart phones that have stolen the casual gamer cost at least 3 times as much.

    The Wii U is one third of the price of an iphone, the latter that will mostly get used for texting.

    1. Sooty

      Pretty much all of my friends own a wii, and we all fall back on the same staple games, house of the dead, for the 'light guns' and mariokart.

      Both of them serve as party games for my crowd, all of whom fondly remember the snes version of mariokart. As an aside, one of my friends fired up his old snes and let his daughter have a go on mariokart, she kept crashing as the motion controls were 'broken'

    2. Lamont Cranston

      @AC, Posted Wed 30th Jan, 16:49

      I've had to downvote this, but only because you described the Wiimote as a "decent pointing device" - it really isn't: any game that involves pointing the Wiimote at the screen is about as rewarding as playing pin the tail on the donkey.

  20. system11

    You can't sell a last generation gaming experience with a gimmick, for higher prices than actual current generation consoles and games. It's just .. obvious.

    1. toadwarrior

      You mean like they did with the wii?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        The Wii was cheap

        That's the number one reason it did well.

        Cheaper than the competition, cheap enough to take a punt on.

        Also, it launched at the right time in the economic cycle, but there isn't anything Nintendo can do about that for the Wii U.

  21. dotslash

    Games are king

    time for nintendo to do a sega and become a game development house.

    Mario Android please!

    1. Rukario
      Thumb Up

      Re: Games are king

      Exactly, their main strengths are in their first- (and second-)party titles. Mario (best-selling franchise), Pokémon (best-selling RPG franchise), Zelda, Smash,... I thought Shigsy was beginning to lose the plot with the Wii (actually he began to lose it when dropping the CD-ROM deal with Sony, and look what happened there), but the Wii U, definitely.

      Oh well, Pokétards have another generation of games to look forward to in October.

      1. catprog

        Re: Games are king

        The deal was bad for Nintendo. At the point it was dropped it was the right move for Nintendo. They should of not gotten that far into the deal with that clause though

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just waiting for Eadon to come along and say the Wii-U failure is because it isn't open source and that it needs to run Android.

  23. LinkOfHyrule

    I still have some Wii games I intend to play but I rarely feel in the mood to play games these days so might take a decade or so to get round to it - heck I have some Gamecube games I intend to play too and I need the old Will as this new fangled one wont play the buggers!

  24. Not_The_Droids

    Our Wii is still used just about every day. Once or twice a month for games, every day for the rest of the month for Netflix. I'll admit, it's got a good Netflix interface (for the SD TV in the kids' playroom, of course). My kids are masters of Netflix on Wii these days.

  25. Furbian

    Dumb region coding deson't help...

    I was gifted a 3DS, proudly marketed as an official UAE product. Only problem being that getting it back home to the UK it turns out that despite the UAE being a PAL region, Nintendo have concocted their own idea of regions, and decided that the one I have will only work with games from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore (?!). Looking through the list of countries that you can set as your 'home' country, I found the US and many South American countries, so it's essentially an 'NTSC U/C' console. However some games are region coded, some are not, but there appears to be no way to tell. Googled plenty of forums, asked Nintendo etc. but no solutions other than sell and buy another.

    Net effect? We only have the one game that came with it, Resort Wings. We loved the 3D, but the Russian Roulette of whether a game will work or not, and that they are expensive second hand (PS3 and Xbox 360 games are so much cheaper) meant that we bought no more.

    .. and this company thinks I'll buy a Wii U, or anything else they'll produce?

    Oh did I mention we have a Nintendo Wii, gather dust somewhere?

    1. mickey mouse the fith

      Re: Dumb region coding deson't help...

      Softmod it, you can remove the region restrictions then. You can also rip (or pirate) all your games to run off a usb hard drive, and choose em from a nice coverflowesque menu.

  26. mickey mouse the fith


    Trouble with the wii was it didnt even do what it claimed to do very well. The motion controller was pretty unresponsive and inacurate (unlike the later ps3 move, which was great, but also a pointless toy destined to be shoved in the cupboard 2 weeks after purchase and never used again due to limited game types). Loads of games could be bested by just sitting and violently shaking the wii controller, and for anything not motion based the controller was beyond horrible and the graphics subpar compared to other systems.

    I dont think consumers will be fooled twice, not even casual gaming ones.

    As for the wii u, It just looks boring and overpriced to me, they will wheel out mario,zelda,that ape thing and a few more tired franchises onto its almost obsolete hardware, but it just doesnt interest me tbh. Shooting zombies with a touchscreen controller, yawn, hide and seek games zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, srry i nodded off there..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: yawn

      Wrong, the internal motion sensor technology worked as intended but was inherently laggy and not to everyone's taste. The pointing device part (like a mouse, that gamers cry out for) relied on calibration in the Wii menu, good positioning of sensor bar, sitting the right distance from the sensor bar, and no interference from reflections i.e the shiny plastic black stand built into our Samsung TV.

      The Wii's user interface was vastly more user friendly to navigate with it's pointer and simple graphics than the Xbox 360 and PS3's, button clicking treasure hunt. As always though, Nintendo were blind to golden opportunities.

      The movement in the FPS Goldeneye was great with the Wiimote and chuck, but hey, the graphics were rubbish so nobody actually played it to find out.

      As for the Wii U being overpriced, it's the same price as the SNES with inflation and significantly cheaper than a smart telephone, that many people use as a fashion accessory.

      1. mickey mouse the fith

        Re: yawn

        "Wrong, the internal motion sensor technology worked as intended but was inherently laggy and not to everyone's taste."

        Thats my point, the lag destroyed it for me, it was supposed to be a natural way of playing, but it wasnt, there was a disconnect between your movements and what happened onscreen. The ps3 move actually did this type of control much better, with no lag and better sensing of where it was in 3d space. I never saw anything on the wii that came close to the way you could swing,jab and twist a sword or raquet with the move. The wii tennis game was quite limited in comparison.

        I dont think the wii could ever detect full axis movement like distance from the screen could it? (dont know about the wii+ addon, id ditched mine by the time that was released).

  27. Anonymous Coward

    "Mario may soon need to go back to his day job."

    Fortunately, there always seems to be demand for a halfway decent plumber.

    Maybe Mario needs to work on some positive reviews on Angie's List or Yelp?

  28. monkeyfish

    low res wii games :(

    I was very nearly excited by the wii U, thought I'd be able to play wii/cube games up-scaled to hi def. Then ninty announced that wii games would only play in low res mode, and cube games wouldn't play at all. boo.

    I'll stick with HTC/3DS for now. Maybe they'll release an update. Maybe.

  29. Magnus_Pym


    I' enjoying reading about users who consider Wii to be a gimmick when compared to other 'serious' gaming platforms. Serious gaming? Oxymoron surely.

  30. The FunkeyGibbon

    Nintendo's problem has always been poor 3rd party games

    The term 'shovelware' might not have been coined for the Wii but it certainly became it's poster boy. Every Nintendo fanboi always buys Mario, Zelda and Metroid. The casual gamer might buy another game on top of Wii Sports. But the shovelware grinds everybody down:

    Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked

    Gallop & Ride and My Horse & Me

    Charm Girls Club: Pajama Party

    Imagine: Party Babyz

    My Aquarium

    If the casual game buys one of these, or more likely gets given one by Grandma at Christmas, they are then jaded for the rest of that ownership.

    This is how the Wii U will die too... death by a thousand party games.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Nintendo's problem has always been poor 3rd party games

      Shovelware, indicating which platform is the most successful since the PSone.

      If Wii U ends up with a catalogue full of shovelware it'll be because it has the largest installed base. The thing you say will be it's downfall will actually be an indicator of it's success.

  31. Instinct46

    Not surprissing

    Nintendo have stayed a head by creating new ways of interacting with games... this new console just doesn't contain anything new. As many people have said, its just a PS3 with a Vita as a controller... I wish it wasn't true, but it is... if they can't come up with anything new, they've killed them selves.

  32. Neil B

    I love all the commentards with their "the trouble with the Wii was..." There was no trouble with the Wii. It decimated the competition during the last hardware cycle. It was profitable out of the gate. Its innovations were such that both of its major rivals scrambled to emulate its features.

    For the Wii-U, it is a little early to write it off. The launch line-up was admittedly pretty sad. Having said that, the ability to hand off your game to the controller and go and sit in a corner and play pretty much wherever you like is a slow-burn killer feature that's starting to get some traction in the press. Nintendo still have, what, a year maybe before MS and Sony release their next consoles. Plenty of time to get the rest of their first-party catalogue into the open.

  33. xyz Silver badge

    In a nutshell, it's old fashioned and got...'s arse paddled when Kinect came out.These days, it looks like a poundland console.

    1. Van

      Re: In a nutshell, it's old fashioned and got...

      Nintendo's old fashioned consoles sold staggering well during black friday several weeks back. The total was around 1.5 million, with Microsoft selling approx 800,000 (admittedly impressive with just the one ageing console)

      Is the market really ready for the ultimate console? Looking at the comments and complaints here and on other forums. A 'gamers' console, to satisfy the majority needs would probably cost at least $800 to build.

      Only Apple can get away with that price point. Sometimes people expect Nintendo to be a charity.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      arse paddled when Kinect came out!

      How out of touch with reality are you? Kinect is a massive failure and compared to the Wii has made absolutely no impression on the general public. Everyone knows what wii tennis is, most people have no idea what Kinect is. The idea that Kinect paddled anyone's arse is ludicrous, it's no more popular than that PS3 lollipop thing. Spend some time on planet earth, xyz....

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top 15 games for the Xbox 360


    Grand Theft Auto IV




    The Orange Box


    Mass Effect 2


    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


    Red Dead Redemption


    Portal 2


    Batman: Arkham City


    Gears of War


    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion


    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare


    Halo 3

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2


    Pac-Man Championship Edition DX





    Top 15 games for Nintendo Wii


    Super Mario Galaxy


    Super Mario Galaxy 2


    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


    World of Goo


    Super Smash Bros. Brawl


    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword


    Rock Band 2


    Xenoblade Chronicles


    Rayman Origins


    Rock Band 3


    Metroid Prime Trilogy


    Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition




    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption


    The Beatles: Rock Band



    Top 15 IOS games


    World of Goo HD


    World of Goo


    Super QuickHook


    The World Ends with You: Solo Remix for iPad


    Need for Speed Shift


    iBlast Moki


    Scrabble for iPad


    N.O.V.A. - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance


    Anomaly: Warzone Earth


    Jet Car Stunts


    Real Racing 2


    Bastion (2012)


    Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge for iPad


    Dominion HD


    iBlast Moki 2 HD


  35. mertron1

    the end

    i've been saying this for years even before the wii U was even introduced....i predicted that the wii would run out of steam due to the type of gamer it was targeting but more so because of the awful games it produced.....and said that their next gen machine had to be on the same level as sony and microsofts next offerings otherewise it would fail miserably.......then when they announced the wii U years before the others had even announced theirs yet i was scepticle because the specs would already be out of date before the ps4 or 720(silly name if it is) came into play.....the touch pad was an interesting idea that would have worked if the games matched up to it...but they dont and are bland and non-existant at best....i just dont understand how they could bring out a machine of this type...their still living in the past after seeing all thats happening in the past 5 yrs with mobile and pad devices and the incredible success of titles like modern warfare and halo...but they still rely on lame mario and zelda type titles....such idiots..wont be long before they either fold completely stop making consoles and develop only like sega did or be taken over by another company...just the way it is now but they should have seen it coming years ago.

    1. Neil B

      Re: the end

      You predicted "for years" that a gaming console would run out of steam? Wow, good going Nostradamus. In the meantime it annihilated the opposition and made Nintendo reams of cash.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG you're such douches

    After reading your moaning comments, I checked to see how much one costs. Looks like I can get one for £208 So if you can't stretch to that then it looks like you're underfunded and as games cost £40+ it's not really for you anyway.

    So stick with your cheap and cheerful is 'phone games and the equally limited tablet games and stop moaning that you can't afford to get something better.

    For those that don't understand ... a gimmick is something that isn't taken on by the whole industry to the extent that it becomes the norm. By your definition cars would be gimmicks ... or so say the horse breeders and carriage manufacturers association.

  37. Captain Underpants

    Comparing the 3DS with the smartphone market rather than eg the PS Vita or PSP? *shakes head*

    Expressing shock that Wii sales are down between 2011 and 2012, when that was the 6th year in which the console was available and crucially the Window during which it was replaced by the Wii U?

    *shakes head*

    Spouting nonsense about Mario not having had an outing on Nintendo consoles for 16 years? (Hello, Super Mario Sunshine/Galaxy/Galaxy 2/New Super Mario Bros Wii) *laughs, shakes head*

    I don't doubt that Nintendo are facing problems right now from the casual-gaming market, but the failed attempts at using data in this article make its claims suspect at best.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    don't pay £40

    No need to pay the RRP if you follow the 'deals' websites

    Zombie U is £29

    77% metacritic Eurogamer 9/10 Edge Magazine 7/10

    Assassin's creed III £27.99

    85% metacritic

    Batman Arkham City £18.99

    85 % metacritc

    New Super Mario U was £29.99

    Resident Evil £29.99 on pre order

  39. codecorax

    Not enough quality games.

    I purchased a Wii U as I have been a fan of Nintendo since my NES. For the latest super graphics, multiformat games I will play them on a gaming rig either using KB/Mouse or 360 controller to the TV (depends on the game).

    The Nintendo provides me with the console experience, pick up and play and focus on multiplayer, for this Nintendo have again done a good job. The issue I have is that the IP games we all know and love seem to take an age to be released, Mario - already finished, waiting on Pikmin, Zelda and the usual suspects. 3rd party games, most folk will play on another console or PC so why bother. The age old issue of Nintendo official peripherals being extremely expensive prohibits many from having the true 4 player system it should be.

    That said, it's early days so we shall see what happens going forward. I want Nintendo to succeed, I enjoy their IP and how they approach gaming.

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