Why the Wii U Will Fail

Last weekend Nintendo launched its new Wii U console.

Photo credit: Nintendo.com.au

With gameplay revolving around a dual-screen system similar to that in the Nintendo DS handheld, there’s no denying the Wii U offers gamers a fresh alternative to the existing gaming formula.

When it launched in 2006 with nifty motion-sensitive gameplay, the Wii blazed new trails. That’s why it was the must-have toy that Christmas and remained popular through 2007 and 2008.

But, eventually, the Wii died. It took two years, but a lack of high-definition graphics and third-party titles killed the little white console.

And guess what? The Wii U will also die. In fact, it might not even last two years.

Here’s why.


1. The dual screen is just a gimmick that won’t work.

The dual screen is interesting, but is it really the foundation for a successful home video game console? The 6.2-inch display in the gamepad is a behemoth. People tore apart  Microsoft’s original Xbox controller for being bulky and cumbersome, but the Wii U’s gamepad dwarfs that thing. It’s unwieldy, it’s expensive and the contributions it will make to gameplay won’t be worth the hassle.

2. No one will support it.

Right now, some big companies are making games for the Wii U. There are Wii U versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops II and an Assassin’s Creed III, plus Nintendo’s first-party favorites, like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U.

But I’m predicting this support won’t last. Why? Because it’s unlikely the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 will use dual screens. That means making games for the Wii U will take special effort and more money. Game developers won’t want to spend the cash, so they’ll produce games for the Xbox 720 and PS4 instead.

3. Microsoft and Sony will build better consoles.

They did it in 2005 and 2006 and they’ll do it again. The Xbox 720 and PS4 will feature better graphics and gameplay that, while maybe less original, will feel comfortable to gamers and prove highly entertaining. The hardware will be better and the “wow” factor will be greater. More games will be available. If Microsoft and Sony release new consoles in 2013 or early 2014, the Wii U will be a distant memory by 2015.

Given the Wii’s monumental decline, the death of the Wii U is in no way an improbable prediction.

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6 Responses to Why the Wii U Will Fail

  1. Why this post fails:

    1. Everybody said that the Wii motion controls were gimmicky, but they spawned both the Move and Kinect. The issues people had with the XBox controller were that the buttons were hard to get to with smaller hands, this isn’t the case with the WiiU controller.

    2. The third-party support will likely last. Especially since Microsoft already has a dual-screen option in SmartGlass. Also, the extra work to use the second screen can be very minimal, if wanted. Just putting a map/inventory/menu on the second screen will make it WiiU ready. Those who wish to be innovative can put in the extra cost.

    3. The XBox 360 and PS3 were far superior consoles to the Wii, but the Wii has sold more consoles in every major market around the world.

  2. Brandon Dimmel
    Brandon Dimmel says:

    1. The Kinect is an evolution of the Wii, the Move a sad ripoff. Either way, neither the Kinect nor the Move are the basis for many great games.

    2. Unless the Xbox 720 and PS4 use dual screens, the support will die. Here’s hoping Microsoft and Sony ditch this lame idea.

    3. True, the Wii sold more. But how many of them are being used right now? My parents had to have a Wii, and it’s sitting in a pile of unplugged cords somewhere underneath the stairs. You know, where trolls live.

  3. I think there are different definitions of “failure” at play here. i doubt Nintendo would call the Wii a failure, as they made a buttload of money from it.

    I suspect they will make a buttload of money from the Wii U also. However, I’ve read that the Wii U is the first offering from Nintendo that they are selling at a loss and hoping to make up the difference from the games. If that’s true then they are taking a bigger gamble than they have before.

    But if the PS4 and X720 launch at their traditionally higher prices (maybe $400?), then the following holiday season will still see strong sales of the Wii U, considering a much larger library and lower cost.

    Now, if you think the Wii U will be a “failure” as a game console that gamers love, you might be right. But the DS has had dual screens for awhile and wasn’t a failure. The PS3 and XBox now have dual screen technology with “glass” and the Vita. Whether it will spawn any great gameplay is hard to say.

    The one “killer app” that the Wii U’s dual screen offers that no other consoles do or probably will is the streaming of games to the screen without using the TV. This could be a huge hit with families that argue over whether to watch TV or play a game. And Nintendo has always targeted families over “gamers”.

  4. What this article fails to mention is that the PS4 & Xbox 720 will cost much more to develop games for…some sources say as much as 3x the cost as their existing consoles. I would expect that developers would be more willing to develop for the Wii U because of the lower cost & risk.

  5. Brandon Dimmel
    Brandon Dimmel says:

    Interesting thoughts, guys. Jones, I agree with a lot of what you’ve said here. However, I don’t see the Wii U as appealing to the same very wide audience that the Wii appealed to. People who couldn’t possibly be considered “traditional” gamers played the Wii because of the motion sensitive gameplay. But all Wii U adds to the formula is a second screen. You’re right, it could prevent some battles over TV programming, but is it really a game-changing technology? I just don’t think so.

    Brady, I haven’t heard anything about the Xbox 720 and PS4 being hard to develop for. This represented a big mistake by Sony last generation, and I don’t think they’ll repeat it. As for Microsoft, a major part of the reason the Xbox 360 stayed so consistently popular was because developers found it easy to make games for, and as a result those games tended to be a lot more stable than their PS3 counterparts (ahem, Skyrim). In the end, if the 720 and PS4 use similar technology (like the 360 and PS3) then it will be easier for developers to port from one console to the other. That will be devastating for the Wii U, as it was for the Wii.

  6. Bravo, Bravo. I agree with all points in this article. Nintendo has been directionless and uninspiring since the Gamecube. The only positive thoughts I have of Nintendo are the Classics. Like the old Mario’s, Donkey Kongs, And Zeldas. Twilight Princess was the last game I liked from Nintendo. They are no longer relevant. Nintendo has become a Kiddie company. Peace