Since before it arrived, analysts have been arguing over the future of the Wii U. A few months in many are using its slow start to declare the console, while others are insisting that Nintendo is still on track. Here, without editorial comment, is a look at what the “experts” are saying.
November 30, 2012
The gist: It’s too early to say whether the Wii U will sell, but that’s not stopping anyone from talking about it.
Representative quote: Which is not to say that the Wii U is a surefire success - far from it. It's simply to say that the challenges which the Wii U faces are not especially new challenges, nor are those most vociferously raising the issue of those challenges necessarily speaking from positions of either neutrality or insight.
January 7, 2013
The gist: Nintendo has done a terrible job of marketing the Wii U, and it can no longer compete on price.
Representative quote: The new Wii U console was quite innovative with its new handheld GamePad and like all new things, to show how it worked would take some explaining. Nintendo it seems failed to do this. Some people thought the GamePad was the console and the game discs slotted in the side of it. Some even thought it was just another Wii peripheral. The problem was, that early on Nintendo wanted to show off their new controller so badly, they neglected to show the console itself.
January 7, 2013
The gist: A look at what critics are saying about the Wii U with an optimistic take on Nintendo’s future.
Representative quote: In Harold Goldberg's All Your Base Are Belong to Us, he describes a scene where Al Stone, in charge of sales and distribution for the fledgling Nintendo of America in 1981, saw this strange new game called Donkey Kong for the first time. Unimpressed, he walked out of the room. "They all feared that Nintendo," Goldberg writes, "was doomed."
January 22, 2013
The gist: My own take on all the naysaying can be boiled down to: it’s too early to panic, let’s see what happens.
Representative quote: But the Wii U has only been out two months. Two months in, the PS3 looked like a disaster. The games were mediocre, the controller was hugely disappointing (and eventually replaced), and the console was very pricey. It was over a year before it was really worth buying.
January 31, 2013
The gist: Nintendo is failing, is in deep denial, and needs to make radical right away.
Representative quote: It's time for the three-step program that Warren Spector once described to me: "Step 1: Get a clue. Step 2: Get a grip. Step 3: Get a life." Nintendo needs to get busy on Step 1, because the market is moving faster than ever.
February 11, 2013
The gist: Nintendo’s true intent with the gamepad is to hide their real purpose: to release a lower-end machine that will therefore cost less to develop for.
Representative quote: By this point I'm pretty sure we're all familiar with the fact that almost every past gen of consoles the winner has turned out to be the most technically underpowered system in the race, but why is this? if the claim about underpowered systems holding back game development is true then why is it that systems with underpowered tech can still bring amazing experiences to the table and ultimately become the winners of the race over their more robust opponents?
February 28, 2013
The gist: 10 years of quotes that show analysts have been telling Nintendo to stop making hardware since long before they released the Wii U.
Representative quote: Of course, Bleszinski's not the first to predict the end of Nintendo's hardware days—not even close. People have been saying this for at least a decade. Some of these prophets and pundits said that weak hardware held Nintendo's games back, and kept other developers away. All of them thought that putting out consoles hurt someone, be it the company or the consumer.
March 1, 2013
The gist: The Wii U’s poor sales figures may not be telling the whole story.
Representative quote: Almost as soon as Gamasutra published my column on January U.S. retail sales for Nintendo's Wii U, I got two messages from two different sources inside the industry both saying the same unbelievable thing: The Wii U probably sold significantly more than the 57,000 units reported by the NPD Group. How much more? The figure I was hearing was that the total number sold to consumers could go over 100,000 units, nearly twice the original figure.