back to article Ninten-DON'T: Wii U bomb blows Mario Kart giant off track – but new console promised

Nintendo has blamed lacklustre Wii U sales after the company finished its financial year $464m in the red. But it does have a rescue plan in mind – fresh gear for China and emerging markets. The games icon said that for the 12 months to March 2014, its flagship home console plodded along at just 2.72 million hardware units …


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  1. JeffyPoooh

    Wii U = slower than a very slow thing...

    We have one. The GUI is slower than a very slow thing. Changing context can take about 10 seconds, where it should be near-instantaneous. One is left time to ponder the question, "WHAT THE H*LL ARE YOU DOING????!!!! CALCULATING PI? FOLDING PROTEINS? SEARCHING FOR EXTRATERRESTRIALS?" It's not good. Somebody needs a good smack upside the head.

    The games, they're great. Once you get them booted up.

    1. asdf

      Re: Wii U = slower than a very slow thing...

      >The GUI is slower than a very slow thing. Changing context can take about 10 seconds

      Wow at first I thought you were talking about the PS3 after you hit the middle button and wait for eternity to bring up the cross bar. The Cell BE was such a dog for multitasking (hold on I have to flush all my SPEs praying none of them lock up) which is why Apple took one look at it and moved to Intel. Sony learned their lesson for the PS4 though.

    2. bonyjoe

      Re: Wii U = slower than a very slow thing...

      LOL!!! You win the funniest comment of the day.

      1. asdf

        Re: Wii U = slower than a very slow thing...

        Cell BE looked like a good idea (though the implementation was so so) until the chipmakers starting bolting multiple general purpose cores onto each CPU (much easier to code efficiently for) as well as all the advances in GPUs (much faster for massively parallel tasks even if slightly less flexible). Its why IBM killed the design and the PS4 doesn't use it and is in fact incompatible with the PS3. But I guess I will just take the fanboi downvotes without any real discourse.

        1. ThomH

          Re: Wii U = slower than a very slow thing... (@asdf)

          The down votes could be because there's no reason to think Apple ever evaluated the cell. Just because there was a PowerPC in the middle doesn't mean Apple were interested, any more than that they considered adapting whatever is specifically inside the XBox 360 or the GameCube. Apple went to Intel because nobody was delivering fast PowerPCs that were usable in laptops — the processing improvement curve from after somewhere around 2001 was well below the industry average. With the Core Duo and the Core 2 Duo coming soon Intel had a fantastic roadmap.

          1. asdf

            Re: Wii U = slower than a very slow thing... (@asdf)

            > somewhere around 2001 ... Intel had a fantastic roadmap.

            Intel didn't get a decent road map until about the time Apple did switch to Intel in 2004/2005. Intel was saved by their Israeli operation (Pentium M folks) as their roadmap in 2001/2002 was clocking the P4 up to 10 ghz which was an epic fail. Still the Cell BE was not good for anything but set top boxes and was never a decent general processing architecture and it showed. I will admit I now remember Apple really poo pooed POWER in general due the chipset being garbage for laptops where Apple was making a lot of its money at the time but I do also remember Jobs did take a look at the Cell BE and wasn't impressed. Also to be fair I will admit IBM did fold some of the feature of the Cell BE into their POWER line in general but even POWER itself is a bit niche these days compared to ARM and even x64.

    3. Levente Szileszky

      Re: Wii U = slower than a very slow thing...

      I'm not sure what you're talking about but even our Wii is much more tolerable than what you're describing and Wii U, when I tried in a Gamestop last time with my daughter, seemed to be working fine, in fact much faster than our Wii...

      ...Nintendo needs to dump money into SW development and show the world HOW TO USE THAT HANDHELD CONTROLLER with the second screen - that was supposed to be their new unique differentiator for this round but unfortunately they didn't even freakin' bother to explain this to game devs and publishers, they just stupidly-arrogantly assumed they will get it...

      ...well, they didn't and Iwata SAT ON HIS WELL-PAID @SS FOR 18 MONTHS NOW and watched vendor after vendor canceling even already-announced games for the Wii U or defecting the platform altogether INSTEAD OF GOING AROUND AND BRIBING/BEGGING/FLOGGING/ETC THEM to make killer use of the second controller. He took his sweet time and the results are NOTHING, OR RATHER CATASTROPHIC.

      Isn't it time for a change at the helm...?

  2. Instinct46

    Not shocking

    It doesn't shock me how poorly the Wii U is doing.

    - Firstly the Wii sold so well because its controls were uniquely interactive and amused people, now most people have tried that and don't care for the amount of energy required (The fads gone).

    - The hardware is completely out of date compared to its rivals.

    - I haven't seen a single games which has made me go, "oO! I really wanna play that, best get a Wii U"

    - Why would anyone want to buy one of the tablets; they look revolting and there bulky. Also why should people buy more tablets as controllers, since they properly have some lying around anyway.

    The control system was supposed to make you not care about the lack of technical specs, but they have it working against its self. Wii remotes require you to move and swing, while the tablets mean that you plonk your ass down anywhere (even where there's no TV)

    They should properly cut there losses and drop home gaming devices (Just encase I don't mean handhelds). The amount of money they could make from games by selling Mario, Zelda, Metroid to the other consoles.

  3. John Sanders

    There is one possible business model

    Nintendo's platforms are good for one thing only:

    Nintendo's own games.

    The pain and expense of having to maintain a hardware division just to make games is not worth it

    Suddenly if you begin using the rival's platforms + PCs your market expand 100 fold.

    Ask the Minecraft guy.

    1. Tommy Pock

      Re: There is one possible business model

      Ask the Sega guy.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: There is one possible business model

        Damn you all for not buying Dreamcasts!

        Oh erm Ask the Sony Guy

        1. Rick Brasche

          Re: There is one possible business model

          selling my dreamcast was something I did only out of the drastic need for cash.

          This is the machine that finally got me into fighting games. Soul Caliber did for me.

  4. h3

    Sony lost more.

    Still less of a loss than Sony made and across different sites the numbers all seem to be different.

    Or not include the interest on all the cash they have. (Or put the money spent on the share buyback into the figures).

    There is no way Nintendo would have made as much from the Wii if they didn't control the whole thing.

    (Wii Fit made them absolutely loads more than even GTA5 made).

    If Nintendo does go 3rd party then anything remotely interesting that they make less and less of at the moment will go.

    Look at Sega (Football Manager / Sonic / Total War / Aliens) they are no going to do anything else.

    Nintendo would end up doing Mario Kart / Zelda / 2D Mario / 3D Mario and that is it.

    Part of the problem of multiplatform is sacrificing quality for portability. (PS4 games like e.g Tomb Raider - False Advertising Edition I have tried play like PC games on a PC that is not really powerful enough.)

    They are ok for the foreseeable future anyway and the next system is going to be a common platform between handheld and console. (Hopefully giving them enough games).

    At least Nintendo are still making traditional Japanese console games. (Sony might as well be a Western company - Microsoft is a Western company which is fine). Even thought they are so easy that it is almost a waste of time. But there is nothing else. (Everybody else seems to make lifeless dull series of cutscenes with a drab game inbetween). Even the Sony or Ubisoft platformers are absolute rubbish.

    Still a long way to go before Nintendo has real problems. (Unless somehow they end up switching to a vulture of a CEO).

    1. M Gale

      Re: Sony lost more.

      At least Nintendo are still making traditional Japanese console games.

      Honestly, asides the occasional crackpot title like Parodius, why is this a good thing?

      And Parodius was/is made by Konami anyway. Probably one of the better side-scrolling shooters of the 16 bit and early 32 bit era. Not a Nintendo product.

    2. Belardi

      Re: Sony lost more.

      Nintendo has no real choice. IT doesn't matter if they make 20 game titles if there are ONLY 7 million WiiUs in the world and no more. Nobody will BUY new units to a dead end platform.

      For example, off the top of my head. There are about 80 games planed for the PS4 this year (including those already out). And about 25 announced for 2015.

      Meanwhile, for the WiiU, only 25 games for 2014 and 1 for 2015. YUCK!

      So... how is Nintendo going to survive if NOBODY is buying the console? The money spent on R&D is not recouped without money from 3rd party royalties. They sure can't afford to build a whole new Modern platform to compete against the PS4.

      Now, a stripped down WiiU (DVD rather than blu-Ray) without the tablet sold in China for $150 may do okay... thats about it.

      OR, Nintendo can make games for the PS3 and PS4 and have access to 90million customers vs. 6 million WiiUs.

      WiiU is Nintendos last console. (Not including their degraded China and Fitness consoles). Or the following option... based on the 3 options that Nintendo has.

      1 - Nintendo tries to sell the WiiU for the next 2-3 years = goes out of business. Sells off IP.

      2 - Makes their IP titles for the PS3 and PS4. (Why bother with MS? No Xboxes in Japan)

      3 - Hold on for another 2 years, release a WHOLE new console that can EASILY smack down the PS4/Xbone because their new console has 2-3x the CPU & GPU horse power.

      Option 2 is safer. Option 3, they maybe dead before then.

  5. Mage


    It's a Western name. They ditched their Japanese name nearly 60 years ago.

    Nintendo needs a better strategy or they are toast. Perhaps selling their games on iTunes for iThings and Playstore for Android and maybe on Amazon (40% of UK online purchases last year were on Amazon). Amazon has a TV box/console thing and will happily sell anyones' games for it. Probably.

    1. RAMChYLD

      > Nintendo needs a better strategy or they are toast

      I have a better strategy for them.

      Bite the bullet and go global.

      Look at Sony. PSN is available practically in any country where there is an internet connection. Yet here I am unable to buy from the eShop or get a Nintendo Network account just because I'm in a part of Asia that is neither South Korea nor Japan.

      Seriously, if Nintendo is going to scoff at people who're willing to give them money and turn down said money, they're just asking for it.

      > The amount of money they could make from games by selling Mario,

      > Zelda, Metroid to the other consoles.

      You forgot their biggest cash cow: Pokémon. That, and one cult favorite called Animal Crossing.

      1. John Sanders
        Thumb Up

        Re: > Nintendo needs a better strategy or they are toast


        Kirby's "Return To Dreamland"

        Which is a marvelous 4 player platform game.

  6. Busby

    Wii sports was the only thing that pushed wii sales in my opinion.

    Once people got it home and realised beyond the (seemingly) amazing bowling there wasn't anything else it became a dust collector.

    I genuinely could weep, some of my fondest childhood memories are of nes and snes games. But come the wii they could do nothing with that enormous IB.

    Lego Universe please come to another system I beg, your wasted there.

    Really think they should go the sega route now. PS4 and XBOXONE fans would lap up Zelda and Mario Cart I promise.

  7. csumpi
    Paris Hilton

    home fitness?

    home fitness? give me an effin break. that's their genius idea? or is this some shark jumping?

    paris, cause she loves home fitness and hasn't sold her nintendo shares yet.

  8. Ydo Ibother


    Dumbasses still haven't put out a DS version with a phone, which they could have before Apple ever arrived on the scene. Opportunity lost, as is the company...

  9. Eponymous Cowherd

    Two reasons.

    The original Wii had a genuinely new and innovative feature (the controllers) and was cheap enough for people to give it a go without worrying about it (£170. iirc).

    The "U" introduces nothing really standout different and is over that magic "hey, why not!" price point.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Two reasons.

      You forgot the most important reason: The Apple under Jobs reason that Apple has now lost, aka scarcity of product.

      When the Wii first came out you couldn't find one in the stores. I know I looked. In fact I looked for almost a full year. Then I got it home and most of the games were crap. So it sits in the basement collecting dust.

  10. P. Lee

    Market Saturation

    That's the problem.

    Wii Fit? That's nice, but those who were going to buy, already have. Another version of Mario Kart? I don't see how that will sell again.

    It's a dying platform. Port the games to SteamOS and hope to sell a few more controllers and USB-to-sensor-bar gadgets, er, connectors. Valve would probably throw in some marketing funds.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fool me once...

    That's Nintendo's problem. They sold the Wii is the best thing ever and it was shite, now it's time to sell the Wii-U consumers aren't interested, no matter how many shoddy Mario remakes they throw at it..

    Also Microsoft's Xbox One numbers are SHIPPED, not SOLD. These stores are chock full of unsold Xbone stock, so there is a huge gulf between the two numbers (upto 2m).

  12. Alan Bourke

    The Wii U

    ... is not a competitor for the One and the PS4 any more than the Wii was for the PS3 and 360.

  13. ukgnome

    I think there is a difference between a family entertainment console and a games console.

    Nintendo's problem is mainly the press. If you get several sites slagging it off because they are basing the experience on the xbox or ps then it's hardly surprising. I guess they are too honourable as a company to grease the palms of the reviewers.

    I realise that makes me sound cynical, but it's the truth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Greasy palms

      "I guess they are too honourable as a company to grease the palms of the reviewers."

      One only needs to look at the motoring media, and some winners / victims of the motoring industry over the last few years to see how that ends up...

    2. Greg J Preece

      I realise that makes me sound cynical, but it's the truth.

      No, it makes you sound like a fanboy.

      "They're comparing the U's user experience to other consoles, those bastards! They should favourably compensate for the U's inferiority, but they don't, so it must be bribery."

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hee hee

    wii... p.u. I see what you did there. <snicker/>

  15. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Nintendo pissed on their most avid customers

    Nowadays "Let's plays" are all the rage, where you post footage on YouTube of you playing a game, usually with commentary. It's how I discovered Minecraft, Kerbal Space Program, Titanfall, and a bunch of other games, most of which I've ended up buying for myself.

    Don't do that with a Nintendo game. They'll sue you for copyright violation.

    Really. They sue the people that are excited about their games, who are willing to help market it for free.

    Nice business move there. As a result, I can't name a single Nintendo game other than Mario Kart and I don't know anyone that has a Wii U.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Nintendo pissed on their most avid customers

      They won't sue you for copyright violation, however they will go after the video site (presumably Youtube) and rob you of every bit of advert income you might have gotten. Same effect, really. Why do a Let's Play of the latest Mario Kart and get nothing from it, when you can do a Let's Play of Jebediah Kerman's latest mission to Jool's moons and all you need to do is say that the game is "© Squad" somewhere in your video?

      Stupid Nintendo.

  16. Jim84

    Virtual Boy 2

    Bring out a new console next year that is actually powerful enough to run VR games. I very much doubt that the PS4 is actually up to running two times 1080p at 60 to 120 frames per second.

    Give the 3 milliion or so folks that have splashed out for the Wii U a big discount on the new console as a 'sorry'.

  17. Rick Brasche

    simple enough to understand

    I love games. I love the Wii. Wife still plays it more than I do. I've 4 different Nintendo home consoles (NES, Super Nintendo, Game Cube, and Wii) and every version of their portables from the original DS up to the 3DSXL.

    But I wasn't interested in any of the latest gen consoles, much less the U.

    Why pay such a premium for such little improvement? Or the biggest killer of all: No ultimate must have butt kicking games that would make me want to spend a ton of money for a new system,

    I bought the wife a 3DS instead last month, and have had a Nvidia Shield for myself for almost a year. We're just not spending that much time in front of the TV playing games anymore.

    So basically, if Nintendo can't interest a family of Nintendo Reservation members in the U, I suspect they aren't going to interest new blood either. Hell, I was ready to abandon Nintendo's mobile platform but the wife really wants her latest Cooking and Camping Mama games.

  18. Teiwaz

    My message to Nintendo...

    Hurry the damn well up and get Majoras Mask for 3DS out!!!

    Perhaps it won't solve your woes, but I've been waiting years...

    1. Mark 125

      I want Majoras Mask II, not a remake (well ideally both, redo the first one and a whole new game opens up!)

  19. Stacy

    Wrong target audience

    When the Wii came out it was full of promise for family gaming. My partner, not a gamer, really wanted to try one. The Sports, Olympics and Wii fit were great and got played a lot. However, most of the games seemed to be Xbox or PS3 wannabes - something that did not appeal to her. And if you want to play a high action shooter in full HD then you simply buy a real console (Xbox 360 or PS3 at the time).

    Now we have the Wii U. About on a par with the 360 or PS3 from what I have seen in the shops, and an absolutely ridiculous price. If it was dropped by 100 euros then there would probably be one replacing our Wii with the hope that they concentrate on family gaming, but as it is. Nah...

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