Malstrom, how could you tell us to look at factors beyond raw sales, and then forget to tell us to Adjust for Prestige? It means the sales of the Wii are only valued at a fraction of what they actually are.
Or perhaps you haven’t heard of Adjusting for Prestige. In a nutshell, for every one actual sale of a prestigious product, and an actual sale of a non-prestigious product, the prestigious product is worth ten times that of the non-prestigious product.
Take Battlestar Galactica. It doesn’t matter if few people watched it. Because it was a prestige show, the ratings were worth more, thus making it a hit. That’s why Stargate Universe was a better thing to pursue than its stupid high rated predecessors.
Or how superhero comic books could sell a million copies an issue during the depress, but sell only around 100,000 now, but they are worth selling a million copies, since comic books are prestigious now (after all, they have sex, violence, politics, and focus on characters the writers care about, instead of crap like fun and focus on characters the readers care about).
As for video games, it doesn’t matter if Heavy Rain sold only about 2 million copies. Its sales are worth around 20 million, so it doesn’t matter if loads of non-prestigious games sold actual higher numbers.
Or take Call of Duty. Treyarch and new Infinity Ward are not acclaimed developers like old Infinity Ward. Therefore it doesn’t matter if the actual sales are the same. The sales of the games by the other two developers are worth only a tenth as much.
And the 3D Mario games selling less copies doesn’t matter, as the sales are worth more than 2D Mario games.
Finally, some people claimed that developing for the Wii was too much of a risk, despite a) third parties admitting the costs for similar games were about half to a quarter on the Wii compared to the HD systems, and b) developers were going under by supporting the HD systems, not the Wii. Well, Adjusting for Prestige, the costs of the Wii are valued at costing ten times as much, and the number of developers going under are valued only a tenth as much.
I remember hearing stories at third party companies where programmers would rage quit if they were asked to port something to the Wii. Why this emotion exists, I don’t know.
I do think 90% of Nintendo’s problems with the Wii U is with the reused brand. The marketing is a trainwreck. The typical marketing mind thinks that re-using the Wii brand will sell consoles. It won’t. It will repel them. There is a reason why the DS sold more than the Gameboy which was the most popular gaming console brand ever made. I still remember when the NES took off in the 80s, analysts were shocked in part because it had no prior brand appeal. And the NES didn’t even call itself a game console. Atari thought they could just walk right in and steamroll Nintendo because their brand was more famous. They were wrong. And Nintendo thought their brand would steamroll Sega in the 16-bit generation because who heard of Sega? But they were wrong.
The video game market is very different than other markets. Marketers don’t seem to realize this. This is why there is such a graveyard of game consoles.
The Wii brand is stale and toxic. It is stinking up the place. It needs to go. Keep in mind the analysts all thought the PlayStation 3 would sell so strongly because ‘of the brand’. Look what happened there.
Adding IPs to minigames such as Nintendo Land stinks it up more, not make it more fresh.
We need a breath of fresh air.