Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 6, 2013

Nintendo figures out how to sell the Wii U; Japanese Wii U sales increase 1390%

In Japan, Wii U sold 2,500 units last week. This week, it sold 38,000 units. What is going on? How did this happen?

There was no price drop. What happened is that Nintendo released two new bundles. Check it out.

Japanese Wii U bundle has it all Super Mario Bros U, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, a Wiimote and even karaoke

THIS is how you sell a console. These packages remind me SO MUCH of the awesome NES bundles where they would sell Super Mario Brothers + Duck Hunt + 2 controllers + Light Gun all for $100 (add in Track Pad and World Track Meet for another $50-100 or so). I think there was also a NES bundle that just had Super Mario Brothers, one controller and the console for just $50.

These consoles prove Yamauchi’s point that the Nintendo console is a box we buy just to get to Mario.

Here’s the thing, I am interested in ALL three games there. I am a huge 2d Mario fan. I am also curious about Wii Party U and Wii Fit U.

“But Malstrom, those Wii U buyers didn’t buy any other Wii U games.”

But that proves the point! Outside of the bundle, the games are nothing but Gamecube Plus games. The market doesn’t want the Gamecube or a ‘more accessible Gamecube’. The market wants the NES or Wii type games.

And everyone hates paying for hardware. Bundles are always a good idea. 2d Mario should always be bundled with the Nintendo console. Adding in Wii Party U seems to be doing the job of Duck Hunt in a way (though I imagine Wii Party U to be a much better game than Duck Hunt and its stupid dog) and Wii Fit U is doing the job that World Track Meet once did.

“Nothing to see here, Malstrom. Wii U sales will decline a ton next week.”

This may be true, but not totally. What people need to remember is that Super Mario World did not save the Super Nintendo. The games the market responds to are not Gamecube Plus games. If Nintendo wishes to stay in this business, they need to abandon their ‘now is the time for 3d’ and Gamecube-esque ideologies.

What I think is going on is that Nintendo may be waking up that the issue isn’t ‘surprise’ (as all those games in the bundles were sequels), isn’t getting the right wow in ‘integrated hardware and software’, but is pushing a type of game experience on the consumer that the consumer is not comfortable with or dislikes. It is not a coincidence that every time Nintendo pushes ‘the 3d experience’, the market shrinks. Nintendo should allow gamers to define their own game experience which is why we like plugging in different controllers and playing different types of games.

Notice the bundle doesn’t include Pikmin 3 because no one cares about Pikmin 3. The bundle doesn’t include The Wonderful 101 because no one cares for The Wonderful 101.

A Nintendo console bundled with 2d Mario and/or a Nintendo sports type game is to the mass market as bacon being bundled with eggs. What a shame so much money was lost because Miyamoto and certain software developers have their petty agendas ruining everyone’s fun (i.e. their effort to minimize or eliminate games like Super Mario Brothers). This, of course, won’t save the console. What saves the console is a stream of games people want to buy. Gamecube Plus games are not what people want. Wii Plus and NES plus games are what people are comfortable with.

The Wii was an imperfect console mostly because one half of Nintendo’s output was gamer expansion and the other half was ‘Gamecube Plus’ games. Wii U was as if Nintendo decided to focus entirely on the hardcore half with getting their ‘generalized’ games at launch early because Nintendo hated making them and wanted to get them out of the way (NSMB U and Nintendo Land). We got games the hardcore loved such as Pikmin 3. Let us not forget that NOA’s Treehouse were raving about The Wonderful 101. This points to where the market is and the divide inside Nintendo’s employees and what the market actually wants. It is very scary that the developers’ tastes have become so different from the public’s tastes.

The hardcore are responsible for the Wii U’s destruction. It is only due to the Atlas strength of 2d Mario and Wii legacy games like Wii Party U and Wii Fit U that the Wii U hasn’t totally collapsed. If the Wii U’s disastrous performance hasn’t taught Nintendo to tell the hardcore to go prong themselves, nothing will.

For Nintendo’s sake and for the sake of gaming, the hardcore must be destroyed!


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