Nintendo discusses its hopes and aspirations for its next console.
The Wii U is a bomb- a complete and utter, dismal failure, of the kind that the mainstream gaming industry has not seen since the Sega Saturn. It has a great lineup, and Nintendo has done its best to support it, but its lifetime sales still aren’t even matching those of Sega’s Dreamcast- two and a half years after its initial reveal.
In a context such as this, with all games output for the Wii U basically drying up, all eyes are on Nintendo’s next console, the NX, announced under mysterious circumstances, but not discussed at all. Nintendo has remained cagey about it entirely, deferring all conversation and discussion of their next throw of the gauntlet to next year, but in an interview with NPR, famed Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto let slip his aspirations for the system.
“After Wii U, we’re hoping that [the NX] will be a very big hit,” he said.
He also discussed the reasons for the Wii U’s failure in a surprisingly candid answer.
“I don’t think it’s just price, because if the system is appealing enough, people will buy it even if the price is a little bit high,” Miyamoto said. “I think with Wii U, our challenge was that perhaps people didn’t understand the system. But also I think that we had a system that’s very unique — and, particularly with video game systems, typically it takes the game system a while to boot up. And we thought that with a tablet-type functionality connected to the system, you could have the rapid boot-up of tablet-type functionality, you could have the convenience of having that touch control with you there on the couch while you’re playing on a device that’s connected to the TV, and it would be a very unique system that could introduce some unique styles of play.
“I think unfortunately what ended up happening was that tablets themselves appeared in the marketplace and evolved very, very rapidly, and unfortunately the Wii system launched at a time where the uniqueness of those features were perhaps not as strong as they were when we had first begun developing them. So what I think is unique about Nintendo is we’re constantly trying to do unique and different things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they’re not as big of a hit as we would like to hope.”
Whatever the reasons for the Wii U’s failure – and there are many – I hope that Nintendo has learned a lot of lessons from the Wii U’s failure, and that it has taken a good, long, and hard look at how it approaches the console market. They cannot afford to fail again with the next system. It is now do or die time for them.
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