Forum > Blogs > Wii U might struggle Next gen
Wii U might struggle Next gen
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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 12:36:38
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There some analysts out there, I don't know if you've seen them, but they are harsh, scaremongering doomsaysers about how Wii U is going to sink like the Bismarck and Nintendo is going to go the way of Sega etc.

Whilst I believe that their 'analysis' is harsh and that their opinion holds the weight of the average internet forumer - some of what they say I can sort of agree with.

I believe that Nintendo is going to have it much tougher this round of consoles than it had with Wii. For a start, motion gaming was a much more appealing concept for everyone to grasp hold of and it was much easier to understand. What Nintendo showed with Wii U was a combination of functions that left most people watching the presentation thinking: wha? whoa? who? what now? Oh.

Now Wii U is going to be much more expensive tech than Wii was, the controller has to cost a bomb with all the functions and then it's going for wireless image streaming and a console that is, by reports ranges from  either 40% more powerful than PS3, to 5 X the power of the 360. A higher price point is a crushing factor when it comes to selling a product and Nintendo is going to have to drive sales whilst looking over their shoulder to see what the other guys are coming out with.

They also shot their load early. With Wii, DS and 3DS their in built hardware USPs were revealed fairly late in the game, too late to easily copy by the other companies. You can see with Move and Kinect how the other platform holders are willing and able to mimick the features of another console to their own advantage. Wii U showed off their tablet design at E3 2011 and less than a year later we hear that Microsoft's Nextbox is in tablet form too with a wireless base station. The naive among you may try to disassociate one piece of news with the other - the more cynical wont. Regardless of whether the competing machines have a tablet form or not, you can bet that when the research guys who are making those machines saw Wii U's tablet, a lightbulb went off in their heads with ideas about what they could do with that kind of tech too. Especially if they were struggling with what 'new' features they could incorporate into the next gen so it wasn't just more of the same.

Then there is the specs gap, if there is one.

IGN is reporting that Nextbox will only be more 20% powerful than Wii U and the Sony machine has to be in the same ballpark unless they want to nuke themselves with a super high spec machine. But rumours are that Wii Us memory is going to be 2GB or less and the Frostbite engine guys recentely said that 2gb wasn't enough, 4 gb would work and 8gb would be ideal.

Will Wii U be able to use the engines of the next generation to the full or will there be a noticible gap? No one knows at this point. Mark Rein said that if a machine couldn't handle UE4 they could do Samaritan with UE3 and just use the new effects to whiz it up to Samaritan level. But then recentely Rein said that UE4 made Samaritan look like crap.

Software wise, some good support has been announced and just because it has good hardware specs, it is getting games like Assasin's Creed 3, Ninja Gaiden 3 and the newest Battlefield game. It's easy to port from 360, but will it be easy to port the games from MS and Sony's newest machines?

Ultimately balance is what is needed, whenever you see predictions about how a console will fare, it comes down to balance. Launching with what we would assume as a 1 year headstart, first year sales might not be great, the price will be high and the software and killer app might be elusive. But assuming it does have that years headstart it might afford them the prospect of dropping the price before or at the launch of the competitions machines and by then, having a few killer titles that would make the gaming audience cave and get one.

Like the 3DS, the games have to be there and the price has to be there. Then its a question of having sustained software support. Will 3rd party sales continue to drag? How will Nintendo adapt to the next gen, will they be able to scale up and manage vastly more expensive and potentially time consuming projects?

At the moment, Wii U looks solid as hardware, but its success or failure is looking more uncertain. My prediction is that the real sales will take off once the machine reaches the right price with the right software, 1st year, not great IMO.

Edited: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:28:05

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:06:16
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It will not be the success that the wii was, that is for sure. Your fears are valid and I do believe Nintendo will be caught in that weird the limbo again causing most 3rd parties to ignore it.
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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:16:49
+1

I believe console wise, even if the new Nintendo is on par with the others, the cool kids will still buy into MS and Sony's bullshit. I also believe I will be doing most of my gaming on the PC anyway, so the new Nintendo with all Nintendo's exclusives sounds like the most appealing console to me. Lastly, vagina is tasty.

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:18:23
+1
You don't have to be an analyst to see that Nintendo can't just port the same games for another decade and expect to continue to grow, while falling behind in terms of graphics, online play, etc. The nostalgia is going to run out at some point.

As much as I love Nintendo, they need to stop with all the quirky gimmicky shit and fire most of their "more of the same" team and bring in some fresh new inventors to churn out the next innovative console, like the ones they were known for in the past... NES, SNES, and N64, even Gamecube to some extent, as well as the game titles that made those systems what they were.

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:52:24
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Yarcofin said:
You don't have to be an analyst to see that Nintendo can't just port the same games for another decade and expect to continue to grow, while falling behind in terms of graphics, online play, etc. The nostalgia is going to run out at some point.

It already has with me.

Yarcofin said:

As much as I love Nintendo, they need to stop with all the quirky gimmicky shit and fire most of their "more of the same" team and bring in some fresh new inventors to churn out the next innovative console, like the ones they were known for in the past... NES, SNES, and N64, even Gamecube to some extent, as well as the game titles that made those systems what they were.

This.

Edited: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:53:27

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 16:13:29
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I think it will do well enough to make a profit,  but not appeal to third parties, just like it's predecessors.  Nintendo needs to make the effort to make more adult, mature type games themselves.  That it is the only way they'llstart to garner respect from certain types of the gaming community and some third parties.  We all know that's not going to happen.  

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 17:39:17
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Ravenprose said:
Yarcofin said:
You don't have to be an analyst to see that Nintendo can't just port the same games for another decade and expect to continue to grow, while falling behind in terms of graphics, online play, etc. The nostalgia is going to run out at some point.

It already has with me.

Yarcofin said:


As much as I love Nintendo, they need to stop with all the quirky gimmicky shit and fire most of their "more of the same" team and bring in some fresh new inventors to churn out the next innovative console, like the ones they were known for in the past... NES, SNES, and N64, even Gamecube to some extent, as well as the game titles that made those systems what they were.

This.

You guys don't think this new system can do that?

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 18:05:09
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edgecrusher said:

You guys don't think this new system can do that?

Time will tell, I guess. Personally, I don't like the Wii U controller much. It seems even more gimmicky than the Wii Remote, and it'll cost a hell of a lot more too. Meh.

Edited: Sun, 11 Mar 2012 18:07:12

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Sun, 11 Mar 2012 19:57:23
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I can't think of many types of games where I'd benefit from having a goddamn book in my hands for 3 hours rather than an ergonomically designed controller.

6 years of Wii... what good games have we got really... a new 2D Mario game, a couple 3D mario games, a new Donkey Kong, a new Zelda, a new Mario Kart, a new Smash Bros, a new Metroid, that's about it (is there a new Resident Evil? not sure.) Throw in a few really good 3rd party games and that's about it, I just feel like they will need to do a lot better than that to stay competitive next  generation.

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Mon, 12 Mar 2012 00:03:29

It amazes me how people fail to see facts and get caught up whatever the hell the gaming media decides to report. Is Nintendo is trouble? Not really. They've already picked a direction for the future, and they're in fact going towards it right now. Look at what they're  doing this very second. The 3DS has done almost nothing other than cater to a more gamer focused audience instead of a lot of the kid games and casual play like the DS did for much of its existance. Look at what they're doing with Kid Icarus. That game is hardcore as hell, and it's getting a massive push. Look at whats on the 3DS eShop - Sakura Samarai, Dillon's Rolling Western, Mutant Mudds. The Wii's last days will be featuring JRPGs as opposed to more Wii Sports titles.  And as far the Wii U goes, it'll have the biggest launch game ever in Japan - Dragon Quest X. That'll set the tone for system and ensure it'll sell quite nicely for a while.  America is still a little cloudier of a future, but if they show off a cool way for the new controller to be used, they'll be able to generate enough curiosity.

Plus they're not going to abandon any of the Wii/Wuhu Island games or the audience that likes those games. I just think they'll play a smaller role, and won't be the main focus of the console like when they got carried away with them around 2008 and 2009. As far as the system's price, I think that if Nintendo starts seeing the 3DS gamble pay off they may also try selling the Wii U at a loss, and keep the cost reasonable at a sub $300 price, not much higher than what the Wii was and that'll ensure that the Wuhu audience sticks around. I don't see how they'll be anything but fine for the long-term even if some of the classic franchises have lost some of their luster.

I still think the only company that truly has to worry about next gen is Sony. They are without an identity right now. They still have Japan as a cornerstone, but in Europe and NA the PS3 is the second best console for hardcore gamers. The Vita is off to a shaky as hell start. They couldn't draw in any of the casual audience with the Move. None of their new moves paid off this generation, and it may be too late for them to go back to their old brand. But don't expect to see that article written by anyone until Sony's next gen launch is closer.

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Mon, 12 Mar 2012 00:38:30
+2

^ I'm not worried about any of them, really.  They'll all make ridiculous amounts of money next gen, and still complain that they didn't make even more.

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Mon, 12 Mar 2012 04:52:46
Not a serious topic until more is known.


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Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:35:05
Dvader said:
It will not be the success that the wii was, that is for sure. Your fears are valid and I do believe Nintendo will be caught in that weird the limbo again causing most 3rd parties to ignore it.

I think they will sell good numbers, better than GC and PS3 for instance but they wont put up Wii numbers that's for sure.

And all of this depends on what the competition do. This is the stage where what you decide now affects you for the next 5 years and is unchangable. If the other guys have less appealing machines, well you know the rest.

travo said:
I think it will do well enough to make a profit,  but not appeal to third parties, just like it's predecessors.  Nintendo needs to make the effort to make more adult, mature type games themselves.  That it is the only way they'llstart to garner respect from certain types of the gaming community and some third parties.  We all know that's not going to happen.  

I want Nintendo make the games they want to make. As for third parties, they should make what they want instead of waiting for someone else to show them the way.

Great post Robio.

aspro said:
Not a serious topic until more is known.

A valid point.

First we need to know price and power and of course Nintendo software. Then we need to hear from MS and Sony too. Really I think the biggest hurdle Nintendo has at this point will be getting the hardware out at a reasonable cost. People shouldn't question their reasources or ability to make great tech, they partner with the best american PC makers for that like everyone else. It's whether they are willing to push the razor blade model they usually shy away from. I think the success of the DS gave them some confidence to increase the 3DS hardware and I think their experience with Wii will embolden them for Wii U.

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Tue, 13 Mar 2012 06:54:43
As to Yarcofin's point about whether or not Nintendo's re-interpretation of their core properties is enough to stimulate hardware sales.

Clearly for those of us who have been through all prior re-interpretations it is an up hill battle.

But there are new generations of humans growing up all the time, for whom, perhaps, the Gamecube (or even the Wii) was their first Nintendo console. And for them the magic will remain strong enough to stimulate sales.

As one who has been there from the beginning, yeah, I'm done.  The Wii versions of Super Smash, Animal Crossing, Mario Party etc... are the last ones I'll buy (or at least I'll skip until the next next gen comes along).


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Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:16:17
I wont buy another Smash bros. This talk about Nintendo games and hardware sales is befuddling to me. The Wii and DS have been knockout in sales terms with those same 'tired' franchises you guys speak of.

Even Mario Kart Wii, another sequel in that long running line of games had explosively good sales.

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Thu, 15 Mar 2012 07:36:25
^Yeah, the Wii and DS did well because of the young ones coming up along with the boom of the credit culture.

I did not call any of those franchises "tired" for the record.  Just played out for me. Mario Party 2 was hella fun, 3, good, and from there... well how many can you play?

When N does something new, like SMG or DKC, I'm down for it, but 3-4 gens of the same thing gets old, and not just for N, same goes for Hot Shots Golf, Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Halo and Uncharted.


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Thu, 15 Mar 2012 15:34:47

Sorry I was using the term 'tired' as a paraphase of the general argument that swings around established Nintendo franchises and the general sentiment of the internet in general. Did not mean you specifically Pro.

There are games which can grow tiresome, Mario Party yeah.... big example right there. Otherwise for the other games you could lump so many other franchises into the mix from other companies, Halo being done to death, Assasins Creed done to death, Killzone and God of War 4 on the way etc.

What I was saying is that the point that Nintendo is in trouble unless it starts making games like the other guys has been swinging around for over a decade and Wii and DS are arguably two of their most sucessful and innovative consoles regardless of the same 'tired' franchises some peeps on the internet seem so bored with.

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Thu, 15 Mar 2012 15:36:29

I think it's more important for them to balance system features, specs and price and innovate within franchises like Metroid Other M, Super Mario Galaxy etc and do more to court western devs.

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Fri, 16 Mar 2012 08:18:19
I can't wait to find out more at E3. A lot has happened since last year's E3 in the tech world so it will be interesting to see how N has responded.


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