Nintendo President Satoru Iwata: I Am Not Satisfied With Wii U’s Performance

Nintendo acknowledges Wii U’s failure.

Posted By | On 19th, Mar. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

wii u

The Wii U is a wonderful console- it has some great, amazing ideas, it has a community like nothing else, it has so much charm and character, it’s sturdy and reliable, it produces some gorgeous looking games, and it may just have the best library of any dedicated games machine on the market right now.

That said, it is also a resounding failure: in 2 years, it has sold 9.2 million units worldwide. To put that in perspective, it is tracking worse than the PS3, worse than the Gamecube, and it currently has not even surpassed the Dreamcast or Saturn’s lifetime sales. The system has failed to appeal to the market, which first was confused by Nintendo’s muddled messaging around the product, and then didn’t care about the product once it became clear what it was.

This situation is not lost on Satoru Iwata, the current president of Nintendo. Speaking to TIME in an exclusive interview, he said, “Certainly I’m not satisfied with the current situation.” However, he did add that while the Wii U may have failed to become the go to primary console this generation- something that every single Nintendo system previously had accomplished to some degree- it still held appeal as a secondary console. “It may not be [people’s] first console of choice, but they recognize it as perhaps the best second console.”

For Nintendo to come out and outright acknowledge the Wii U’s failure is a big deal. The company has a proud, stubborn corporate culture, where it has never in the past even once admitted that it had gone wrong – its one true failure before the Wii U, Virtual Boy, was quickly buried and relegated to footnotes entirely – so this heralds a change of some sort at Nintendo. Certainly, it seems to indicate that Nintendo is not as insular as one might have thought, and that they are aware of the Wii U’s failure, and doing their best to avoid it.

Whether or not Nintendo’s mysterious new machine  – codenamed the NX, due for a full reveal next year – turns around the company’s recent momentum in the console market remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, however. All eyes are now, yet again, on Nintendo.

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  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Failure is pretty harsh. The fact that this won’t be their last console (*cough* Sega *cough* Dreamcast) means it was just a significant misstep for them that now they’re taking new measures. They will learn from this. They may not always be ahead now like they were back then but they never stop learning, and because that said is true, they haven’t failed.

  • Fishy

    One cannot deny that it has sold poorly. However, only a fool could call the Wii U a “failure” in a total sense. It “failed” as a mass-consumer device, and the fact that it’s competing against the shadow of the Wii in addition to both next-gen consoles only deepens the disappointment. As a platform for games, though, the Wii U isn’t simply a success but a triumph. It is sad that we live in a world of dogs who do not appreciate all of the things it gets gloriously right.

  • Funkin Tron

    The Wii U will still have a great year for games in 2015. Lets just wait and see how things pan out. So it hasn’t been selling as well as the PS4 or Xbox One, who cares? Theres still so many great games out for it. I’m satisfied.


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