Disappointing Wii U Sales, Nintendo Fails and Motion Controls
Well, last episode was certainly a pleasant little excursus, but now it’s time to get back to work! The CCS crew embarks upon a kamikaze run as they go toe-to-toe with the Big N itself!
After a brief stint on ripping apart Nintendo’s past hardware follies (Virtual Boy, GameCube Microphone, GameBoy Camera, Donkey Konga, etc), B-Mask leads the discussion of Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U, and its abysmal initial showing. And with Nintendo historically concentrating more on its consoles’ hardware rather than its iconic software franchises, as evidenced by the Nintendo Wii’s vast catalog of mediocre point and click games, the future of the widely successful Nintendo Wii’s successor, the Wii U, looks grim. The six-year-old consoles, the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360, beat the Wii U in Christmas sales in the US, while in Europe the console itself has a lukewarm reception, forcing premature price-cuts and low sales numbers for even the Wii U’s flagship games, The New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land.
Can Nintendo recover? And an even better question: If Nintendo itself won’t give the Nintendo Wii U a plethora of appealing first-party games to drive the initial sales and create a strong user-base, then what incentive does that give third-party developers to either port over their existing franchises, or create new and exciting games for the Wii U?
B-Mask: The reason we’ve gotten rid of Ken for today *scream of agony + chainsaw sound* is because we have a new feature: if you point at the screen, we’ll do stupid shit!
CineMax: *Irritated* No, don’t point there. Point here. Oh no. What are you doing?
B-Mask: Lower. Lower!
CineMax: *In a licentious tone of voice* Yeeees. Sloooowly.
B-Mask: Does anyone… There used to be, err, at E3 years ago in, like, 2004 when the DS was first announced. Sega put, like, a booth out where they showed their original version of Sonic Rush. And it was a 3D, Sonic ’06 (Sonic the Hedgehog) styled Sonic game where you had to rub your finger across the screen in order to make Sonic run.
And what was great was the saying… The saying on the screen, like, this is exactly what it said. “Rub your finger rhythmically and quickly!”
B-Mask: And someone else wrote, like, under one of those screenshots: “Said the actress to the bishop.” You know.
CineMax: *LOL* GOTTA RUB FAST!
LaughingMan: Faster, Sonic! FASTER!
B-Mask: TOO SLOW! *Laughs*
LaughingMan: It’s called the ‘Princess Elise Simulator’. *Laughs*
B-Mask: So, yes. Nintendo and motion controls. Because that’s their latest shtick…
* Montage of Wii Fails *
B-Mask: Basically we’ve been talking about how we’re in an era where it seems like hardware to them is more important than software. Whereas the truth is, and you can just look at the sales if you want to see for yourself, software has always been Nintendo’s strong point.
LaughingMan: Even thought they’ve tried to pitch their attachments and their hardware gimmicks on us.
B-Mask: That’s always been the weird thing about Nintendo, though. It’s like, when they stick to the stuff that they do over and over again ” like the Mario (Super Mario Bros.) series and the Zelda (the Legend of Zelda) series ” you know, they always get the best results. But the minute that they say: “Maybe we’ll try and change this. Maybe we’ll try and do something different…”
LaughingMan: THEY TANK! *Images of the Nintendo Virtual Boy appears on screen*
CineMax: *Cough* Metroid: Other M *Cough*
B-Mask: Exactly! It tends to go really weird. Like Other M (Metroid: Other M) which was Ninja Studios (Team Ninja), also known for ‘Jiggle Physics’ (Dead or Alive). Whether you like them or hate them, they tend to be met with mixed reviews and mixed feelings. It’s like they can’t win either way. Either they’re doing the same shit over and over again or they’re accused of being too different of straying from what made them good. And…
CineMax: Well, to be fair, there is a difference between taking a bold step in the new direction with one of their IP’s like, for example, Legend of Zelda…
LaughingMan: Wind Waker.
CineMax: Yes! Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. And of course that one was initially met with harsh criticism, but over time people have accepted the game for what it is. And in some people’s minds it’s the best game of the franchise. And then there’s doing asinine shit with motion controls.
LaughingMan: Donkey Konga.
LaughingMan: You’re sitting there with a bongo, trying to control Donkey Kong. And it’s like: “What the fuck is this shit?”
CineMax: Unnecessary accesories that are supposed to somehow embroil you into the experience. *Sarcastically* Because hitting two plastic bongos or waving a plastic controller is just totally tantamount to fighting with a real sword.
â€” Looped footage of a person getting smitten with a Wii Remote â€”
LaughingMan: Yup. And that’s… that’s one of the biggest problems with Nintendo ever since, like, 1989 when I got my first one. (Yes, I’m that old.) They’ve always had this knack for gimmicks which are totally fucking asinine. Like the Gameboy Camera. Anybody remember that one?
You’ve got this ultra-pixelated pience of shit; and then it has a printer so that so that you can show people all the shitty pictures you’ve taken with this piece of junk. I mean, there are some inovations they’ve made over the years â€” like the Rumble Pack (Nintendo 64) was probably what helped spearhead the rumble function in most controllers nowadays.
B-Mask: You remember this one? *Image of Gamecube Microphone*
LaughingMan: *Inquisitively* The Gamecube Microphone?
B-Mask: Yes. My sister had it.
CineMax: What was it used for? Karaoke simulators?
B-Mask: Mario Party 6. And I believe it was used for, like, one other game after that. *Image of ‘Odama’ for the Nintendo Gamecube*
LaughingMan: *Laughs* And for the Wii there was that… Did they ever actually go through with that… that finger..? *Image of the Vitality Sensor*
CineMax: No. No they did not.
B-Mask: *Excited* Ooh! I forgot about that. You just popped that right back into my head again!
CineMax: *Facetiously* Yeah, the ‘arousal meter’! *Provocative image of Link and Princess Zelda*
LaughingMan & B-Mask: LOL.
B-Mask: Hey, guys. Have you seen the trailer for ‘Wii Dare’?
LaughingMan: Oh, is that… is that the adult game?
CineMax: Ooh~. Yes, yes.
B-Mask: Isn’t that one of the most hilarious things ever?
LaughingMan: Yeah. I remember this one.
B-Mask: It’s so misjudged. It’s sooooo misjudged.
LaughingMan: It’s lilke… *Laughs* We Swing!
LaughingMan & CineMax: LOL.
B-Mask: I’ve never seen people who like this play games like this. Honestly!
LaughingMan: *Sarcastically* Yeah, I… You know, ‘Spank your friend’s girlfriend with a Wii Controller!’
B-Mask: The best bit is the flying minigame.
B-Mask: It’s like… What the fuck is going on here?
LaughingMan: Yeah, they might as well just make a game called ‘Wii Fuck’.
LaughingMan: I mean, come on.
B-Mask: This is it!
LaughingMan: They’ve already made… It’s not Nintendo licensed, though, but they’ve already made like dildos and shit for the Wii, so might as well go the whole nine yards.
CineMax: Weren’t they thinking of two ways to utilize the ‘arousal sensor’? The first one was to apply it in, like, a video game… Sorry, a horror video game. Like the Grudge game (Ju-on: The Grudge) with the flashlight or even a Slender video game (Slender: The Eight Pages). That would’ve been a decent use, I don’t know. But the second one was â€” they were planning to release a hentai game on the Wii (Cleaning Battalion: Clean Keeper) and…
CineMax: Yeah, you can just imagine how the ‘arousal meter’ would’ve been utilized in that game!
LaughingMan: Wii Fap!
B-Mask: Also, I’ve just read one of the top comics and it’s great because it says: “NEXT TIME OF GAME GRUMPS!”
B-Mask: That was priceless! Anyway.
I had this with my friend once. I was, like, he came around my house and said: “Do you want to play Dragon Ball Z?” And I’m like: “Yeah, sure. What have you got in on?” And he said: “I’ve got in on the Wii.” I was like: “Oh. Okay…”
B-Mask: So we put the game in and you think… Okay, Dragon Ball Z on the Wii. This was around when the Wii first came out, by the way. I was like: “Okay. So I’d imagine that in order to do a Kame-Hame-Ha you put both your hands together and you splay them out like it is in the show.” So we play it and it’s, like, in order to perform a Kame-Hame-Ha you must turn the remote counter-clockwise while rasing it above your head while putting it behind your back while placing the nunchuck under your foot while doing an can can while flying with a monkey…
LaughingMan & CineMax: LOL.
LaughingMan: Or it could be opposite like with that Mortal Kombat game they had (Mortal Kombat: Armageddon).
CineMax: Yeah. Swing the Wiimote to the left and he decapitates a person.
LaughingMan: If you’ve ever seen me playing Mortal Kombat, I like a freakin’ epileptic. So if all the special moves are, like, motion based â€” I’m fucked.
B-Mask: There was only one game on the Wii that ever actually utilized any of the hardware â€” and that was Zack and Wiki. Which was a Capcom game. You know, handed to Capcom to get it right. Capcom were the only ones who made a game… a point-and-click game that actually said: “Well, we can take point-and-click’s to the next level using the Wii hardware.” And no other game since it tried to do it. You know, not even Telltale stuff (Telltale Games). And that got to me a little bit because that game (Zack & Wiki) deserves much more recognition for what it attempted to do with what it had.
CineMax: It’s… No, it’s a decent game, yes. But if you’re talking about the additions where you use it as a shovel or just twist the remote like you’re twisting a switch or something â€” all of this could be easily done with the mouse and I feel like it would’ve felt more natural that way.
B-Mask: There’s something wrong with your microphone. There was a big rubbing noise while you were talking, so…
CineMax: Again, I can multitask. *Cue suggestive imagery*
LaughingMan & B-Mask: LOL.
LaughingMan: But the Wii U!
B-Mask: Alright, here’s the thing. The Wii was new technology and everyone bought it, but I’ve got to tell you guys: I showed you the figures. The Wii U is tanking… BAAAAAAAAD.
Like, really bad. Like, Virtual Boy bad. It’s that bad.
LaughingMan: Here’s the problem. It’s like… the original Wii â€” the premise was to get people off the couch, to get them active. You know, something so simple even grandpa can play bowling. And here, with the Wii U, it looks like it’s “Put your ass back in the couch.”
B-Mask: Exactly. Well, let’s look at it this way. I’ve got some figures here. This was quite a while ago, but they said that Zavvi Online (zaavi.co.uk) â€” they dropped the price of the Wii U Premium Pack by Â£75. Now let’s consider the original price which was Â£280-300. So we’re looking at about Â£225, maybe a bit more. That is a really low starting price for a console like the Wii U. Especially one that supposedly runs on the same engine as the Xbox 360. However, if you look at specs, it’s more six Wii’s sticky-taped together.
B-Mask: More recently, in December, the UK charts say that Nintendo Land is the biggest selling exclusive, which is the 11th in the total performance chart. However, 60% of the Wii U’s sold in the UK are Premium Packs, 30% ” ZombiU bundles, 10% ” basic. And the Nintendo Land sales are factored in, unlike Wii Sports which wasn’t sold from the Wii separately. And New Super Mario Bros. U was 14th and ZombiU was 17th. And they’re pretty atrocious figures if you think about it. You know, they’re just not.
You know what I’m saying? That’s not what sales should be for a brand new console like the Wii U.
LaughingMan: Especially from Nintendo.
B-Mask: And I’ve also shown you the figures where New Super Mario Bros. U fell from 14th spot to 26.
LaughingMan: A Mario game starts at #14 in the chart?
B-Mask: …and then drops to the 26th spot, yes.
CONTINUED IN PART 2