Disappointing Wii U Sales, Nintendo E3 Fails, Stagnation and the Future of Nintendo
The CCS crew’s diatribe against Nintendo current business strategy continues!
The Nintendo Wii U Podcast continues as LaughingMan, CineMax and B-Mask lament the Wii U’s lackluster performance. As of the time of the recording Nintendo’s Wii U first-party launch title line-up was less than appealing, consisting mainly of Nintendo Land and Mario Bros Wii U while other popular first-party titles like Star Fox, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Earthbound, F-Zero and others have yet to receive any attention outside of an upcoming Super Smash Brothers cameo. The crew then diverges into the most embarrassing moments of past several E3 conferences such as the heart-rate monitor and Wii Music, as well as Ubisoft’s Mr. Caffeine and Aisha Tyler. But to remain constructive, they then promulgate their thoughts on what Nintendo can still do with its two current consoles, the 3DS and the Wii U, to regain its once infallible reputation as Kings of the Gaming World.
The answer is simpler than you think.
*SKITTLE SQUAD FAKE AD*
*Group stares at camera in disbelief*
B-Mask: So we should probably talk about the software that has come out for the Nintendo Wii U recently because as we said before software is normally where Nintendo’s strength is. But these days… I’m not so sure.
CineMax: Not so much. Keep in mind that one of the main selling points for the Nintendo Wii U is Nintendo announcing that ‘we have learned from our mistakes with the Nintendo Wii’ so we’re going to try to cater to the hard core crowd. And so now all of the major releases are basically all ports of Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games, which are possibly even graphically and technically inferior to the previous HD console counterparts.
LaughingMan: Right, with rehashed games like Batman Arkham Asylum, Darksiders 2…
CineMax: Yeah like Arkham- You mean Batman Arkham City.
LaughingMan: Right. Arkham City.
CineMax: Where the incentive for buying the Wii U version of Batman Arkham City is that you can play as Batman in the Joel Schumacher Batman & Robin batsuit, which is hideous and only needs the nipples.
B-Mask: He’s right, he’s absolutely fucking right.
CineMax: The only third-party exclusive that Nintendo has announced for the Wii U at the moment is Bayonetta 2.
B-Mask: That, but the problem is that if we look back at the chart -I keep going back to this fucking chart- let’s take away all of the games that are NOT Nintendo exclusives. All of the games at the bottom of the chart, the last five, they are micro-selling, they’re not selling at all. And they are all Activision games. Now, let’s say that you’re Activision, and normally you’re making a lot of money with these games, whether they’re good or bad or whatever, because they’re spread out over all three consoles. Now you dedicate your time and money to develop your games for a console that isn’t selling, and because it’s not selling, it’s not selling your products. How does that effect your business compared to if the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3’s predecessors are there at the moment. If you do the math, you realize just how fucked everyone else is just because of Nintendo. And that’s going to lead to a big industry backlash if they don’t sort their shit out.
LaughingMan: And it’s happened in the past, too. The Nintendo GameCube suffered from a lack of development because it didn’t sell as as well as other past Nintendo consoles with the emergence of the Sony Playstation 2 and the original Microsoft Xbox.
B-Mask: Which is sad because the GameCube had better specs and graphics…
LaughingMan: It did but there were fewer of them in people’s houses than, say, Playstation 2s.
CineMax: And not to mention, if we go back to the third-party exclusives, if we go back to the trailers that Nintendo showed at E3, not necessarily of the games themselves, but of all of these big names in the gaming industry, like designers, producers, and developers, telling the audience how great it is to work on the Wii U and how it opens up new horizons… *clears throat* WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE GAMES?!
B-Mask: They still haven’t come out, yeah. I have to say, guys, we could do a whole podcast about E3 if we think about it. I mean, Mr. Caffeine, and Aisha Tyler who came out last year when they showed Rayman Legends and everyone was like “YES!”. It literally got a standing ovation and Aisha Tyler came out and said “Well I only play shooters so I don’t know what the fuck was going on there…”
*AISHA TYLER’S ANNOYING NASALLY LAUGH*
LaughingMan: That was such an absolutely shitty E3. There was that one unlikeable lady and then that one douche who thought he was the funniest thing since… I dunno, Gallagher? (Toby Turner)
B-Mask: That was Mr. Caffeine. He came out and was like “Hey everyone, I’m Ubisoft’s idea of a funny American comedian, even though I don’t have any jokes and all I talk about is dicks!”
B-Mask: And what was great is that he was trying to work the audience and the audience was having none of it.
LaughingMan: The year even before then, what was Nintendo’s big reveal? The Wii finger monitor? The heart-rate monitor?
CineMax: The arousal meter.
B-Mask: Every year we have this thing where a group of us get together and go online and watch every bit of E3 together. And we decided to stick around towards the end for E3’s end show for Nintendo which was called Iwata Asks. You have probably seen it turned into a lot of YouTube Poops. Now Iwata is a very intelligent man and a very fluent speaker, but not in English. And we were like “Iwata, you could have spoken in Japanese with subtitles and we would have been fine with that” but instead you spoke in English and we got to take the piss out of you saying “On this new console you can use a stick or a finger!”
B-Mask: And even better was “you can send a tek-ist message”. And my and my friend spent the entire time instant messaging each other saying “Tek-ist message! Tek-ist message! We are sending tek-ist message!”
E3 MEME AND ANIMATED GIF MASH-UP DONE TO MARCH OF THE LIBERTY BELL (MONTY PYTHON THEME)
LaughingMan: Well that’s their biggest problem (the lack of first-party titles on release) is that historically past consoles are usually released with only one or two of their IPs (Nintendo 64: Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64; GameCube: Luigi’s Mansion; Wii: Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess and Excite Truck (joke)). And they’re trying to do the same thing but it doesn’t fly in this day and age. They currently only have Super Mario Bros Wii U and Nintendo Land and everything else seems like a port of older games. And gamers look at that and they’re like “well am I going to shell out another $200 or $300 on a glorified Wii just to get the new Mario game?”
CineMax: And every time people get vocal about being sick and tired of Nintendo’s strategy, Nintendo just resurrects one or two of their older, more obscure IPs like F-Zero or for the GameCube it was Metroid.
LaughingMan: But they should have all of these games right from the get-go, right from the start. I mean, if Nintendo is making a new console and they obviously know what the specs will be, why aren’t they already making a new Metroid game for the Wii U, or why aren’t they making a Star Fox game for the Wii U? Nintendo knows that they’ll sell and it’ll give people incentive to buy the new console, but they just put it off and put it off, or maybe it really does take that long to develop, I don’t know but it’s stupid not to bring your A-game on release.
CineMax: Because apparently they have an obedient type of relationship with their fanbase. Nintendo likes to tease them, they like to starve them. Their most recent announcement was Pikmin 3, and originally Pikmin 3 was supposed to come out as a Wii game but Nintendo decided to wait for the Wii U, just like Nintendo decided to wait with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which was supposed to be a GameCube title, but they waited for an extra year and a half and released it for the Wii. So it’s really about Nintendo having a very limited amount of imagination, contrary to what they’re constantly boasting about, and so they’re trying to stretch these releases to be received like they’re the second coming of Jesus. “Oh Pikmin! Yeah, finally, that’s the main event!”
LaughingMan: He’s coming next year! He’s coming next year! He’s coming next year! *play on the recent “Save the Date: Jesus Coming Back May 21, 2011” fiasco*
CineMax: I mean up until recently, people weren’t even sure if The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was even going to be released on the Nintendo Wii. Because they promised that it would be released in early 2012 and there was no news about it, so rumors were circulating that perhaps they were saving Skyward Sword for the Wii U. But again, like Twilight Princess Nintendo released Skyward Sword towards the end of the Nintendo Wii’s lifecycle and that’s it… It just flew under the radar.
LaughingMan: I don’t ever plan on buying a Wii U until I see more Nintendo IP games. If I saw Metroid I’d think about it. If I saw either a new Star Fox or a new Legend of Zelda game I’d go pick one up. But right now all we have is Nintendo Land and a rehashed Super Mario Bros with Wii U controls.
CineMax: And I’m afraid that’s all you’re going to get for a while, besides the obvious multi-platform games with tacked-on gimmicks.
LaughingMan: Well it does take Nintendo time to get into full gear. It took like a year to get Star Fox 64 for the Nintendo 64, and it took like two or three years to get the Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time.
B-Mask: Right, but at the end of the day I think that it comes down to the fact that Nintendo has a very long history, unlike some of the other companies, they stayed in the rat-race the longest, as a result it’ll always have a very strong following, but the question is how long will that following stay there when the next generation of gamers comes in.
LaughingMan: Right, because the previous generation didn’t grow up on Mario and-
B-Mask: Well no, it’s that the next generation’s PARENTS didn’t grow up on Mario, either. They grew up with a much larger variety of choices. And that’s going to make it very interesting. Again, I stress the film “Wreck-it Ralph” because “Wreck-it Ralph” is a very Nintendo inspired film, and parents and kids will hearken back to that every time that they think about it. I’m just very curious where they’ll take it.
CineMax: True, but the problem is that gaming, video games as a medium has changed a lot in even just the past decade. (shows snarky pics of DLC bashing) Asides from Sega, in places, who still adhere to mascot-styled video games, or the traditional games, as in “there has to be a new Mario game with every new generation” I think that it’s probably just Nintendo and Final Fantasy these days. I think that that will die off soon as well because people want something new and fresh. I’m sorry, but I’ve played one Super Mario Bros game and I can essentially say that I’ve played them all (compares NES Mario Bros to New Super Mario Bross Wii U footage). If other consoles and other game companies have much more interesting games, for example Tell-Tale Games “the Walking Dead” I’m not going to waste my fucking time playing Super Mario Bros.
B-Mask: Exactly, you have choice of one or the other, and everyone has a preference. But I think that we need to wrap this up. Closing points?
LaughingMan: I think that Nintendo just needs more first-party software in order to secure third-party development.
B-Mask: “Nintendo! Now you’re playing with … Old School Shit” (parody of Nintendo’s “Now You’re Playing With Power” slogan)
CineMax: “Now you’re playing with relics!”
B-Mask: Yes! That is the perfect way to end this Nintendo podcast.