Nintendo is in full baby mode. Why aren’t they trying to be a more prominent feature at E3 this year? Gavin explains.
Ah Nintendo, just saying the name brings to mind the kind of joy one can only achieve by dominating your friends in Super Smash Bros. with nothing but a Pikachu, or running through a castle collecting P-Wings with a raccoon tail that curiously makes you fly.
At one point in time (a big point if I’m honest) Nintendo was king of the mountain, no other brand could topple them, Atari, Sega, even Sony couldn’t match Nintendo in it’s glory days. In 1985 Nintendo launched the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in North America after a huge breakthrough success with Donkey Kong, they unleashed Super Mario Bros. and propelled themselves into a frenzy of successful hardware and game creations, including Zelda, the entire Super Mario series, Contra, Duck Hunt – Nintendo stuck it’s finger into almost every classic game we hold dear. Now 30 years after they gave birth to the video game revolution, pioneered mobile gaming with the GameBoy, and invented the D-Pad we still use today – they could be on the way down the sewer pipe for good.
If you’ve been paying attention recently, you’ve probably purchased an Xbox 360 or PS3 or maybe your holding out for the holiday release of the Xbox 720 or PS4, what you most certainly are not doing is waiting to buy a Wii-U. In fact, Nintendo is sell more of it’s standard Wii consoles than the new Wii-U systems, and that’s not good at all.
Here’s some math, follow along it’s a short lesson:
Wii (launched in 2007) Sold 4 million units since November of 2012.
Wii-U (launched November 2012) – Has sold 3.7m units in the same time frame.
That is the most epic failure of a console that I can think of in recent memory. A 6-year-old console is outselling a brand new “updated” version of itself. The biggest problem with the Wii-U is that Nintendo is flat out not supporting it on the level they should be, and it has no real blockbuster titles that will make people want to throw $300 at it, when they can take that same $300 and get an Xbox 360 or PS3 currently and it will be bundled with a couple of relevant games to start with.
See for yourself:
Wii (2007): $129.99 @ Best Buy
Wii-U: $299.99 @ Best Buy
PS3: $299.99 @ Best Buy
Xbox 360: $299.99 w/ 2 games and Kinect
Now it makes sense that just this morning Nintendo announced they wouldn’t have a major expo at E3 this year, the first time in what seems like forever that they will be taking the small road, and conserving their energy. No more big shows and grand speeches by CEOs or Presidents of the company, it will now be smaller marketing people and nameless product holders smiling as people walk by their booth on the way to the Microsoft stage for a glimpse of the future.
For a company with the collective brainpower it has, we expect more from them. If the Wii-U is all Nintendo can put out at a $300 price point, then they should pull the plug early and stick to making merchandise and cartoons. What was once a titan of the gaming industry, and a pillar of innovation is now just an old man sitting on his porch, watching the whippersnappers fly by.
Fun Fact: Nintendo owns the Seattle Mariners, who are fairing just as well as a Nintendo earnings report.