What Can Save the Wii U?

The Wii U has not been doing well. By all accounts, Nintendo’s attempt to recapture the lightning in a bottle that was the success of the Wii has fallen flat. Nintendo recently announced its third consecutive operating loss, coming in at $457 million. According to IGN, the Wii U sold 2.7 million units in the past fiscal year, after lowering its projections for the year from 9 million units to 2.8 million. The sales bring total to 6.17 million units sold since the console’s release  in November of 2012. To put that into context, the PS4 has sold 7 million units since its release a year later in November of 2013. Clearly, things aren’t working out.

In my opinion, they should just abandon the thing. I sense that they were going for innovation with the screen controller thing, but the problem is that they answered a question that no one asked. Unlike the original Wiimote, the GamePad does not draw in casual consumers excited by the concept of motion control. The Wii sold so well because, even if the novelty quickly wore off, a lot of demographics could have fun with it.  People who usually ignored video games had Wiis in their homes to play Just Dance or Wii Sports. A lot of parents bought Wiis because it was a much cheaper (and family-friendly) way to entertain their children, compared to the other consoles. It appears that Nintendo thought that by introducing another new controller, along with a year jump on the competition, would lead to record-breaking sales and everyone drowning in money.

I don’t really think Nintendo will leave the Wii U by the side of the road, penniless and alone. But in order to salvage the situation, they’re going to need a real blockbuster exclusive. I’m talking a real big fish. I don’t think Mario Kart 8 is that game, but it will certainly help things along. Maybe the new Super Smash Bros. can do the job. It better, because I can’t think of another game coming out for the Wii U that could possibly be a draw. And that is the most damaging evidence of all.

Francis King Jr

Marketing and Government student at the College of William & Mary. Video Games and Movies writer. Enjoys Jesus, writing, and all things geek.


  1. Daniel on June 23, 2014 at 4:12 am

    It is my opinion that the only way to “save” the Wii U is for Nintendo to publish a lot of great games. People will buy a console if it will let them play some very good games instead of many mediocre games, quality over quantity. At E3 2014 Nintendo had a great lineup of excellent games, which brought a lot of good attention to the Wii U. Also, pretend that Nintendo decided a year or two ago to announce a new console, the Wii U would instantly die, meaning Nintendo would burn money during the many years to make a good console, and people would not trust the Nintendo. I am a Nintendo fan who bought the Wii U near launch and I would not have bought the next console Nintendo released a new console right after a 300$ investment for at least five years. Remember Sega replaced a new console with the Dreamcast and soon died.

  2. Zach on June 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I think a lot of people have forgotten what the Wii U can do. Yes it has a nifty little game pad, but the most amazing thing (In my opinion) is that if lil’ bro wants to play Wii, and the rest of the family wants to watch the super bowl, he can just use the game pad to play. He can even use the game pad as a tv screen to play original Wii games, it has a sensor bar built into it. I don’t think Nintendo stresses this enough.

  3. Ben Schubert on June 22, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Every Console has a game that defines it. Gamecube was SSB Melee, Xbox was Halo 2, X360 was Halo 3. If Wii U doesn’t get that one game, it is done for.

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