1. Obviously the name. Update? New system or what?
2. No blu-ray. Hey, I'd be more interested in it if it played blu-ray.
3. Limited 3rd party support. Ever since the N64 Nintendo has been getting less 3rd party support than their competitors. That hurts & people come to expect it.
4. Tablet controller? You get only one of them? It doesn't sound very innovative, yet it does sound expensive. How much for a second tablet controller? You may not need it, but then why does the system come with it?
5. Timing. I think timing is huge here & that's where I want to elaborate. A year head start was not good for the Wii U. I think many people played the "wait & see" approach. Kinda like what happened to the Dreamcast. I think many people thought the PS4 & Xbox was going to have awesome graphics and that the Wii U was going to be behind the times like the original Wii. Based on what I've seen the improvements in graphics for the PS4, Xbone & Wii U are all modest and fairly equal. I'm not impressed with any one more than another. However now at this point its common knowledge that Wii U sales are poor. Now many people who waited aren't going to get onboard with a system that isn't doing well.
I would say the apperance of the system as well, it dosen't look very impressive at all next to the PS4 and Xbox One, it's one of the most bland and unappealing designs for a console i've ever seen(not Virtual Boy bad but it's definitely up there, basically it looks like one of those removable disk drives) that combined with the name makes it sound like it more of an upgrade.
I don't really care about Blu-Ray, but DVD playback at the very least would be appreciated by some. The tablet controller might come across as an unnecessary gimmick to some.
Timing probably was an issue also, (though the initial sales for the Dreamcast at launch actually were pretty impressive, the Wii U didn't even have that). the Xbox 360 was impressive enough to actually benefit from it's year head start, even the RROD crisis didn't seem to slow it down.
Third party support looks like it's going to continue to be a thorn in the big N's side, there is Bayonetta 2 coming out next year, but i'll be surprised if that game actually sells well.
1. Game price erosion from tablet/mobile gaming undercutting their software sales, which is to say, a large part of the game market is content with cheap, crappy games, and may not reinvest in game consoles.
2. The continuing degradation of mainstream game culture, in which Nintendo, with family friendly products of the highest quality, sticks out like a sore thumb and is not appreciated for their industry leading game play. As in, this significant portion of this game audience would rather watch a violent game movie with a lowest common denominator plot of cursing and fanboying than play an extremely polished video game that is not focused on cinema. They may not invest in Nintendo, or may only do so eventually, as a supplemental console.
Nintendo is getting burned at both ends from dramatic, opposing shifts in game culture. Hopefully they will hold out and keep their console division alive while the violent cinema driven end collapses under its own weight. The mobile end is not going anywhere. if Nintendo invest in that, they will dominate it, and hurt many of the major game players that are currently in it, such as EA.
Nintendo is not going anywhere, but what will happen to console gaming?
Second, the lack of a pack-in game. Wii Sports isn't compelling as a game, but it did a great job of showing new users how the Wiimote functions as a controller and differentiating the console from the pack. You only got a pack-in game with the Wii U if you bought the Deluxe version, and that pack-in game wasn't nearly as compelling as Wii Sports was for the Wii.
Third, taking things too far. The Wiimote was a brilliant 'one-up' of your standard controller, familiar enough to old-school gamers and intuitive to non-gamers. I think Nintendo figured they could strike gold yet again with the tablet controller - but they were wrong. It's large, bulky, intimidating to many, and nowhere near as intuitive as the Wiimote. It has a short battery life that inhibits long term gaming sessions. Plus, they only gave you one. Considering their entire mantra is about getting the family together, giving a single controller per system was a huge mistake.
This Christmas season is their last gasp. The system wasn't selling well before the new PS4 and Xbox One came out; if they can't turn it around (and will most likely need a quick price cut to do so) before the end of the year the Wii U will be relegated to the garbage bin of gaming past.
My 10 year old nephew has always been a big Nintendo fan, and even he didn't know exactly what the Wii U was. Same with his classmates.
This is a huge failure on Nintendo's part. I suspect they may have assumed they could ride the wave of popularity generated by the Wii, but that's long gone.
I disagree with the C64 Critic about this holiday being make-or-break. Many consoles survive after a slow start - the 3DS being one of them.
First off, let's take a look at a Wii launch commercial from 2006.
- Wii has awesome SAMURAI GAME with motion controls!
- You are playing ZELDA with motion controls!
- You are playing METROID with motion controls!
- Japanese People are AWESOME!
And now for the Wii U:
- You are playing MARIO with a Tablet!
- Wii U has Kareoke!
- You are playing LEGO CITY with a Tablet!
- Nintendo ... TV?
2. Poor selection of games. For a console like this- Nintendo didn't release very many killer apps at launch, the Wii at least had Zelda. After all this time, the Wii U still has very few games which isn't helping gather all the Nintendo fans, who are probably waiting for another price drop and a solid selection of core titles. Still, many consoles have poor selection of games right off the bat, PS4 and the Xbox One both did as well.
3. Their target audience-- casual gamers. Casual gamers have already been beaten to death since the original Wii launched. Back in 2006 or whatever, the audience had been largely ignored. Since then they have been hit with the Wii, 360 Kinect, and more. I don't feel like those types of gamers are really looking to spend money on a console consistently, leaving Nintendo targeting an audience that simply doesn't care about gaming like hardcore gamers do.