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Wii U’s Failure to Launch: What Nintendo Needs to Fix in 2013

Walking into 2013, I see the Wii U readily in stock, far from flying off the shelves like with the Wii before it. I see third-party games like DmC: Devil May Cry, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3, and Tomb Raider releasing sans-Wii U, which is the opposite of what Nintendo wants. Lastly, I see the casual gaming audience not understanding what the Wii U even is, while core gamers are not tempted to invest. For the Wii U to succeed in a way that Nintendo would like, they need to overcome three obstacles to get this console off the ground and in people’s living rooms.

Grand Theft Auto V art

Get Western Developers to Invest in Wii U

Across the Pacific, I have no doubt that Nintendo can rally Japanese third-parties to support the Wii U since they have gotten most of the region’s publishers to develop system-selling software for the Nintendo 3DS. However in the Western world, we see the opposite with the exception of Aliens: Colonial Marines and Injustice: Gods Among Us, there are no other major multiplatform releases that are slated for Wii U for the entire first half of the year. While the Wii U seems to have a decent 2013 schedule with exclusive titles like Lego City Undercover, Rayman Legends, and Pikmin 3; without multiplatform titles that are equipped with Triple-A marketing budgets ala Grand Theft Auto V, no one will know or care what the Wii U has to offer.

Better Marketing

Since the Wii U’s unveiling in E3 2011, Nintendo’s methods of showing off the system has been subpar. They always seem to focus too much on the Gamepad which strays a viewer’s eye from the console itself, resulting in people thinking it is a handheld system or a tablet. Late night talk shows often consider it as an add-on for the original Wii. Even some core gamers who play games all the time would not bat an eye to the system because they don’t understand how powerful it is or even because Wii is in its name. Nintendo needs to turn heads while break some stereotypes and their current commercials, and the titles they’re flaunting, are not cutting it. They need to show off the system in niftier ways. Do a Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge commercial, show the mature action, have someone also try it out with a Pro controller, and show that Wii U is a system to keep an eye on.

Zelda Tech Demo for Wii U
Unveil System-Selling Software… Before E3 2013

Not only will the Wii U fly off shelves because of an announcement of a new 3D Mario, Super Smash Bros., or a new Legend of Zelda, but I also believe my previous two points will naturally fall into place when people see a serious first-party effort from Nintendo. Frothing at the mouth over some awesome software is why people buy consoles in the first place and we have not gotten that feeling with any Wii U games yet. That is because Nintendo has not shown off anything that either shows off the capabilities of the console (whether graphically or online) or a game that just gets someone excited. If people got giddy over the E3 2011 Zelda HD tech demo, wonder how they will feel over a legit installment. Just tease some gameplay of some real, multimillion-selling software because Mario, Zelda, and Smash Bros. are more than just $60 games, they are $400+ games since people will need the system first to play those games.

Why announce it before E3? Nintendo needs to walk into E3 drawing as much attention they can from a potential Microsoft or Sony console unveiling.

Besides the reasons stated above, any other suggestions for Nintendo to step their game up when it comes to the Wii U to compete with Microsoft and Sony? Let us know in the comments below.


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