No Frostbite Engine, No Just Cause 2 Dev, No Rockstar (Rumoured), Exclusive Rayman: Legends is no longer exclusive and has been delayed; Basically someone is blowing very hard on the bottom support of this house of cards. It’s not all bad news, they have tried to get the hardcore market in with game like ZombieU, the have got a handful of games in the future that sounds interesting (Pikmin 3 and Game and Wario); the problem is we’ve seen this before, Nintendo didn’t exactly do a great job with launching the 3DS, rubbish launch and support, but now, a couple of years later they are releasing good games and now sales have jumped incredibly. I hate to see the Wii U be the next Jaguar or Dreamcast so here at PixelBedlam we’ve come up with 5 things Nintendo should do to save their console, and business.
1. Drop the price
The console hasn’t found it’s market it’s as simple as that. Unofficial price drops are running amok in the UK with supermarkets Sainsbury’s and ASDA and even tax dodging Amazon all dropping the price by nearly £100 since launch. This is with no official request from Nintendo, the downshot of this is that the supermarkets are clearly so inundated with stock that they need to clear warehouses and sell machines at what I can only assume is a loss. With Nintendo dropping the price officially it might be seen as a sign of weakness, developers decide that it would be an indicator of failure for the console and turn their backs even more. That being said if the price drops brings back that casual market that came for the Wii then maybe, just maybe it could entice the third parties in, and then the AAA’s could come rolling.
2. Release Games
There are 38 games (as of May 10th 2013) for the Wii U released in Europe, that’s right, 38, out of those 13 are exclusive to the Wii U, of those 6 are just rehashes (the likes of Arkham City Armoured and Mass Effect 3 Wii U Edition). So to break this down, there are just 7 EXCLUSIVE and ORIGINAL games for the Wii U in Europe. 2 of those are fitness games. Clearly something has gone wrong here.
On April 19th Injustice: Gods Among Us was released for the Wii U, a great game that I’m sure was a more than competent release, the next game to be released for the Wii U in Europe is Sniper Elite V2, a port, when is this game out? Why it’s May 21st! That’s over a month without a release for a new system. It’s an awful state of affairs for a console that’s been out 6 months.
3. Get In Bed With the Indies
The PS Vita didn’t have the best of launches, only a hand full of games, most of those were fine but nothing special. Then silence, games got released occasionally, mainly JRPGs and other imports. Over the past month or two though the PS Vita has been back in the news, after a long period of quiet we suddenly see its title in the headlines, mainly because Sony has decided to take a bite out of the PC Indie market. Microsoft tried and failed with its indie love, they buried the indie games deep in the dashboard and quality control was lacking so the few times I did look through the list of releases all I saw was badly drawn cover art and games that were lesser rip offs of rip off games.
Nintendo should take a leaf out of Sony’s book, they should look beyond the AAA devs and get the indies on the system. To do this they need to lessen their dictator like grip on the eShop and allow people to submit with less stress and cost. Indies haven’t saved the Vita yet, but with Sony dropping the license fee to make games for them it’s clear that with Hotline: Miami and Thomas Was Alone and many others heading over this could be the start of a resurgence.
4. Ditch the Hubris
Hubris means excessive pride, arrogance or self-confidence; all of which Nintendo are horrendously guilty of. Yes they have earned our respect, they have been around since the early 80’s (technically the 1880’s actually), but that doesn’t allow them the right to be lazy. So far for the Wii U the only recognisable character they have gone with is a single Mario game in the form of Super Mario Bros U, this is not enough, just because they’re Nintendo doesn’t mean we will let them get away with this stuff anymore. The Wii U’s specs and gimmicks are essentially just a half step to a new generation. They’ve brought ‘some’ of the graphical capabilities up to current standard, and they released the pad, but then that’s it really, the pad can only be used by one player at a time, the others are using normal Wii controllers, which are rubbish.
5. Bring Back The Casual Market
The casual market is the only reason the Wii did well, I know that’s hard for some people to take but it’s true. The Wii had good games on a crap console. The Wii U has part of the casual market covered, it’s got the kids covered with Ben 10 and Spyro games, it’s got the Parents covered to an extent with fitness software, but there just isn’t that recognisable family market. Nintendo need to break out the big guns with some of their franchises, people who haven’t owned a Nintendo since the N64 could be tempted back with a good Mario game, a Zelda game or maybe even a decent Starfox game.
The one that could really sell the console though? The one that when mixed with a price drop and bundle release? Mario Kart, a game that since the SNES has been a great party games an known to more than a 3 generations now. 4 players on one console sat side by side racing and griefing, we know this sells consoles early in the generation, this was shown by the DS and the Wii version flying off the shelves. To my mind it’s a more popular series than Mario in terms of its spread over the age groups. With the other console manufactures getting ready to shoot their next gen wads Nintendo should have been rolling in the money of having nearly a years advance on them, instead they’re just wasting the time with whole months of no release. It’s time to crap or get off the pot Nintendo, we’ve already seen Sega take a dive a decade ago, and they had a decent console with good games, sure Nintendo has history but nostalgia isn’t a good enough reason for sales anymore.