What will sell the Wii U is what sells any console: games. TViiiiiii won’t sell the Wii U. Web browsers won’t sell the Wii U. Netflix won’t sell the Wii U. Only video games will sell the Wii U.
Why? It is because a console is just a box you buy to get to the game. This is what Hiroshi Yamauchi said. And it is as true today as it was then no matter what Iwata thinks.
Wii U’s launch library looks ‘fatter’ than normal because many of those games aren’t launch games. They are ports from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. No one is going to buy the Wii U to get to those games.
So this leaves the exclusive games. Aside from a few Gamecube fanatics, no one is going to buy the Wii U for Zombie U. No one is going to buy the Wii U for Rayman platformer (which didn’t sell that hot in its earlier incarnation). The Wonderful 101 won’t be selling the Wii U. So there are only two games that will sell the Wii U: NSMB U and Nintendo Land.
NSMB U will definitely sell the Wii U. There are people willing to pay $400 to get to that game. But how long will it last? The original Super Mario World didn’t keep momentum going in SNES for long and this is assuming NSMB U is as good as Super Mario World (which I doubt since Super Mario World introduced new things like Yoshi while NSMB U is just more recycling).
The big, big question mark is Nintendo Land. Will Nintendo Land sell the Wii U? Will people buy a Wii U to get to Nintendo Land?
The game journalist above sounds bored describing his experiences playing the game. Interestingly, he says that Nintendo has no focused marketing message which ties into earlier reports at E3 2012 of Nintendo reps asking people how they would market the Wii U. (One funny tidbit in the video is how he said how hard it was to play Mario Chase because game journalists are a bunch of introverts and no one speaks up. Hah! Oh, you game journalists!)
Wii Sports has endless replayability. If I popped it in today, I could still get people to play. The game was just packed. Nintendo Land, however, seems like it is something you’d want to rent. How long would anyone want to play Mario Chase? Maybe once or twice and then never again. Metroid Blast looks boring after a few minutes. Pikmin adventure looks best because all you do is smash stuff. Who the heck designed these mini-games?
“They. Aren’t. MINI-GAMES!!!!” screams a Nintendo rep.
But, oh, they are mini-games. Everyone can see they are mini-games.
Nintendo Land is boring for many reasons but I kept thinking that I’ve played all these games before. They are all DS games. Nintendo Land is the wrong game for the Wii U. It should have been a DS game. There is not one single mini-game in Nintendo Land that cannot be done on the DS. Maybe there is an exception with the camera pointing at the TV screen but no one is going to care about that.
If Nintendo Land fails, Nintendo is in big trouble. And black Wii U owners are going to feel ripped off.