Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Playfire Chat: Wii Need U
The launch of the PS4 and Xbox One has been an indicator for Nintendo. One year since launch, there's really no doubt about the quality of the Wii U - recent games like Mario 3D World and Pikmin 3 prove the mastery of Nintendo's greatest developers - but the numbers are worrying. What can be done?
The Wii U has achieved around 150k sales in the UK during its first year, and just shy of 4 million worldwide. But with Xbox One and PS4 launching just a couple of weeks ago, PS4 has already managed to dwarf that figure, selling a quarter of a million units in its first few days on sale in the UK, and amassing 2.1 million sales worldwide - over half of the Wii U's current install base.
Meanwhile, the phenomenal Mario 3D World was outsold by mediocre PS4 launch title, Knack, which was both surprising and annoying considering the huge difference in the quality of each game - 3D World is sitting at 94 on Metacritic, while Knack is down with 55. It's a distressing time, especially for Wii U owners hoping for the major third party support that Nintendo promised in the run-up to the console's release.
Of course, third party support does exist on the system; games like Rayman Legends are good examples of that 'better on Wii U' idea. The console's recent price drop makes it a very appealing acquisition for many, but the dwindling third party support is definitely off putting, even despite the stellar first party line-up. Between Wii U and 3DS, you could argue that 2013 has been the year of Nintendo, such is the quality of its games, but with games like Titanfall, Destiny and Watch Dogs set for 2014 release, Nintendo must provide further incentives for users to pick up a Wii U.
Will next year be the winner for Wii U? The release of Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros and hopefully - fingers crossed - an announcement of a new Zelda game, which will guarantee vital interest. With such a strong first-party line-up, an affordable price-tag and the inclusion of that signature Nintendo joy, why aren't you all buying Wii Us? Why has third party support dwindled and what can be done to entice both publishers and gamers alike? Is this just a blip for Nintendo, or an omen?
Help us save a console.
Joncol, Ben (radMonkey) and the Playfire Team