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Charles Herold

Nintendo's Plans for Wii U Success: Ramp Up Software, Communicate Value, But No Price Cuts

By February 4, 2013

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In Nintendo's latest Financial Results Briefing, president Satoru Iwata discussed the Wii U's weak sales and the company's plans to turn things around.

Iwata gives a few reasons for the new console's weak showing. Development delays meant a lack of a planned-for continuous supply of software this year, blunting the console's momentum, and the company failed to convey to consumers exactly why the Wii U was worth buying. It seems that Nintendo was counting on word of mouth, with early adopters persuading others to buy: "we delivered Wii U to those consumers who we thought would be the first to buy it, but information has not successfully been passed on to those consumers who we think will be the next people to buy it."

Looking forward, Iwata insists that there will be no early price cuts for the Wii U. Instead, the focus will be on "communicat[ing] the value of our product." Game releases will ramp up throughout the year, particularly around the midpoint, although the company hopes to persuade the public of the Wii U's worth ahead of this ramp up. Iwata offered no details on how they were going to sell consumers on the console.

Iwata also said Nintendo will continue to partner with third party developers to create more Wii U exclusives. The company considers exclusives crucial in selling their hardware, and is working to ameliorate the risk for third parties in producing single-platform games.

Iwata pointed out that while consumers instantly understood the appeal of the Wii, this was not the case with the DS, which also met with early resistance from the public.

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