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?[/QUOTE]
So basically, Nintendo should take no responsibility for the WiiU's lack of success. It's everybody else! Blame congress! GTA5 sold millions, I don't think those type of games are going anywhere.
Interesting that we have lots of these Wii U discussions, but one could segue to discussing the troubled life of the handheld Sony PS Vita. Why has that not been setting up sales records, usually being beaten by Nintendo, when its been very well reviewed all around the web and regarded as most excellent cutting edge solid hardcore tech. Its targeting the hardcore audience that want console gaming on the go, not the casual crowd, so where are they? How many Vita ads have you seen, compared to 3DS ads. Is it a traditional handheld with so much emphasis on downloadable content, or an upgrade to the PS4 like a copy cat Wii U? Its name is nothing special either...Vita? Why not PS Mobile or something? Are a few exclusives like Uncharted Golden Abyss enough? Those all important memory cards have gotten the reputation of a Sony out to gouge gamers. Plus there is the coming to America soon Vita TV, a nonmobile handheld microconsole version of the Vita, which is ... I have no idea what it is, but its got that Sega vibe of putting out too many versions of things that even if they are fine ideas, it starts to feel a bit like life support for a handheld named Vita.
2. Also, it was much easier to explain motion controls using a 30 second commercial compared to 30 seconds lauding a Tablet controller.
3. The confusing branding. My Mom thought the Wii U was a Tablet to be connected to the Wii. Even something like "Wii 2" would have been better.
As far as the Wii U, I believe its relatively low tech sort of explains the curent underperformance. A year ago when it came out, it didn't exactly set the world on fire, games certainly looked nice, but no more than what could be found on Sony and Microsoft consoles. Enter the PS4 and the Xbone. Admittedly, games on these newer platforms don't look that much better than the older stuff, but the specs are there, and that's really all it takes, as people know the potential is there. Of course, gameplay is what matters, graphics aren't everything, but when good games are made available on any of the three systems, other criteria come into play, like horsepower. Then again, a good counterexample could be the original 'underpowered' Wii success. This console had two things going for it, motion controls, of course, and attraction to the casual market as a result. What does the Wii U has? The Gamepad. It's a cool device, but it's nowhere near enough. It's not that different from tablets, and some of its best aspects are also made available on PS4 via PS Vita.
I wish I could say the Wii U's saving grace might come from the quality of its games, but the competition will certainly deliver, as well as it will in quantity. It really is a good console I'm glad I own, just not sure what future has in store for it.
Specs don't matter too much; Nintendo just needed to look like they somewhat cared about technological progress, so having HD graphics was the base requirement.
PS4 and XBone will probably have about the same sales numbers at the of December as the Wii U did last year. Those two are going to need more than 1080p shooters and sandbox superhero games to get more than the niche dudebro crowd and rich absent parents in the coming year.
In the long term, the Wii U will be fine. The price is slowly coming down to Wii-at-launch levels, key Nintendocore titles have been announced, and key casual motion-controlled titles (Fit U and Sports Club) are coming out very soon -- and tens of millions of Wii owners already have their Wiimotes, nunchucks, and balance boards to play them. Have any of you seen the short video of Wii U Golf that takes advantage of the sensor bar on the GamePad? THAT is a unique experience.
Plus, what mom and pop is going to spend $660 on a non-backwards-compatible PS4, Vita and game just to get a half-assed laggy experience of second-screen gaming when one can already have the fully dedicated experience at half the price plus compatibility with all the controllers and games they purchased in the previous generation?
The other thing I also think is important is the pack-in game. I remember wanting the NES simply after seeing Super Mario Bros. Wii Sports was awesome and its sequel Wii Sports Resort are the two best Wii games in my opinion.
The PS4 and Xbox One have already sold more in a few weeks then the Wii U has sold in over a year, hardly what I would call a "niche" crowd.
Whether it's "laggy" depends on your TV, and the Wii U is just as prone to lagging from what i've heard.
Phone games have evolved tremendously, as have phones and tablets. At the moment though, the experience is mostly a solo one on the touchscreen. What is missing is the living room television, and party games. Another poster advocated a combo handheld/console, which is a nice idea. There are handhelds that have some a/v out, or phones/tablets or microconsoles and Bluetooth controllers with HDMI out, but I'm thinking Nintendo could build the premier example of such a device. Maybe roll it out as the next 3DS model...
Christmas time brings out office parties, and where I used to see Wii parties, now I am seeing Kinect parties. Casuals want party games, and the Wii U just does not seem to be the answer.
I think what Nintendo does right is in not being a third version of the same thing, and focusing on family fun. I think what they did wrong was taking all the criticism to heart and switching focus back to more serious, solo /online gamers at the expense of family gaming.
In retrospect, the tablet controller seems to either have been a tremendous and expensive blunder, or the software developers could not find ways to best leverage it in their gameplay. We often say the software libraries make or break consoles, but obviously controllers do too. Past Nintendo controllers have been great, or at least pretty good, but while innovative, the one controller only/asymmetric controller thing has not bloomed for a family friendly console.
Do you double down on the tablet controller now, get game developers to create the kind of gameplay that makes best use of it while convincing your audience its the Kate Upton of controllers, or do you Virtual Boy it and focus on the 3DS library while building the next big thing that much sooner. All of that knowing that mobile games will continue to evolve...
Whatever happens with the Wii U, it will be a disappointment with respect to the lost opportunity after the Wii. Here is a year old article reflecting on the Wii.
The subtitle is how the Wii turned everyone into a gamer, and 'the hungry masses of the Nintendo tribe include the old as well as the young, girls as well as boys, and extroverts as well as recluses. Gaming has not only grown larger, it has grown diverse in its players and its forms and its functions. And that's thanks, in large part, to a phenomenal turnaround by Nintendo. [after the Gamecube]'...'like any smart company that knows it can't keep up with its bigger competitors, Nintendo changed the game. Nintendo came up with the Wii. The console had worse graphics and a slower processor than its rivals, yet it destroyed them in sales, and it drove the company to new heights of popularity, praise, and profit.'.. and then praises the Wii motion controller as the most important element of that success - - futuristic but nostalgic, interactive and intuitive.
'Nintendo didn't have billions of dollars on hand to make a state-of-the-art machine, but it could, at least, make a fun machine. Nintendo found a niche, stayed there, and outsold its rivals.'
So, in the end, what has hurt the Wii U the most was changing directions away from intuitive fun hardware, to more state-of-the-art (what could be more state of the art than a tablet).