Is Nintendo's Popularity Rating the Lowest It's Ever Been?

Considering the floundering Wii U, is Nintendo currently experiencing an all-time low on the popularity scale?

Don't get me wrong, I love Nintendo.

I love Nintendo like a relative, in that you're essentially obligated to love that person simply due to genetics. As Nintendo is the company that kicked off my lifelong love affair with video games, I will always love Nintendo, despite the fact that I haven't owned one of their consoles since the SNES.

The N64 was a great machine but I was on a big RPG kick in those days, so it was all about the PlayStation and PC. The GameCube didn't quite do it for me, as I'd moved on to other types of gaming, and the Wii...I just saw it as a gimmick. It was an ingenious gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless, and the amount of shovelware on that system was just ridiculous.

With the Wii U flipping and flopping like a fish out of water, I can't help but wonder...

The Wii U certainly wasn't going to be my cup of tea, either, but this console isn't even successful. The numbers are abysmal, especially when compared with its predecessor, and nobody knows what Nintendo's next move will be. The Wii U is not going to stack up favorably against the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; it's clearly outclassed in terms of capability. I don't mean to say there aren't any great games for the Wii U, or that they can't make great games for the Wii U.

What I'm saying is that if you're talking about next-gen consoles, some might not even allow the Wii U into the conversation. For the most part, the majority of headlines we see now involve either the PS4 or the Xbox One; it's like the Wii U has fallen off the map entirely. And in point of fact, it kinda has.

So, considering Nintendo's long and storied history, can anyone remember a time when the company has been largely forgotten in the face of competition?

That new $399 Xbox One means there's only one company left in the gamer's doghouse

The PlayStation 4 has done well over the past year, garnering plenty of positive headlines and word-of-mouth. Last year's ridiculous policies that Microsoft had to rescind (amazing how quickly people forget such events, though), the $599 starting price that forced consumers to buy Kinect, etc; it all contributed to the Xbox's lowered reputation heading into this new generation.

But hey, you'll soon be able to get the Xbox One for $399 (without Kinect, on June 9 in North America), and new exclusives like Halo 5 and Sunset Overdrive have received plenty of great press recently. Now, it looks like there's only one of the big three left out in the cold: Nintendo.

Yes, they've got the handheld market all sewn up. Microsoft still has no interest in that field and the Vita isn't doing anything. Nintendo has to compete with the explosive mobile market, though, so things aren't as concrete as they were before, even in the portable market.

Nintendo better use E3 to announce SOMETHING big

I just want to see Nintendo making headlines again. And when I say that, I don't mean headlines like, "What Happened to Nintendo?" or "Nintendo's Downward Spiral" or something. I want to see this company rise again, which may require the announcement of a true next-gen console. It's just difficult for me to see Nintendo, the original father of modern video games, getting squeezed out due to the competition's domination and bad internal business decisions.

Therefore, they had best take advantage of E3 next month. If they have any hope of getting back on track and remaining competitive with Sony and Microsoft, time's running out.

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published May. 20th 2014
  • topher339
    "the $599 starting price that forced consumers to buy Kinect", I think you meant $499. That was the release price, not 599.
    In any event, Nintendo should be making at least somewhat of a comeback. With Mario Kart 8 coming out and Super Smash to follow later this year, their sales should get at the least a momentary bump.
  • jasl_3849
    the games are still good,nintendo keeps the main developers making gaming to wii u, is trying to deliver games a good experience for those who choose wii U.
    Sales or popularity matter? not for me, im not an actionist.
    Im happy with my wii U and its games.
  • Stealth2k
    "Is Nintendo's Popularity Rating the Lowest It's Ever Been?"

    Absolutely not. In fact, last year it was the highest it might have ever been. That can be seen FACTUALLY through software, hardware sales, site hits (IGN reported Nintendo articles got the most hits in 2013)
  • zoLo567
    Senior Intern
    I hope that Nintendo does something soon. I have loved every Nintendo system since the original NES, and I want to see Nintendo come back strong in the console market again
  • Stealth2k
    X1 had lower sales last month than any month of 360. PS4 is tanking in Japan. How is Nintendo doing worse?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Nothing is tanking worse than the Wii U, my friend. In fact, it has tanked.
  • Stealth2k
    Wii U is about to outsell PS4 in Japan. X1 is selling lower than almost everything.

    Nintendo was number 1 in hardware and software in 2013. In 2014, they have the most critically acclaimed games of the year
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    That may be the most skewed, biased analysis of numbers in the history of the world.

    The PS4 just launched in late February in Japan. The Wii U has been out since December 2012 in that region; the fact that the two consoles are even remotely close is pathetic for Nintendo. And by the way-

    Lifetime sales for the PS4 have passed 7 million; it took 6 months for that to happen. The Wii U couldn't even sell that many in a year and a half of being on the market.

    The only reason Nintendo was #1 in 2013 is because of the handheld market and the hardware fatigue for Sony and Microsoft. With the real next-gen systems out now, the PS4 and Xbox One are absolutely manhandling the Wii U. You don't even want to see the global numbers for all three systems in the past six months...actually, you should, considering how little you seem to know about the situation.

    And you may not have noticed, but Nintendo's bottom line wasn't exactly rosy at last check, and they're talking about going into the mobile market. The Wii U is an abject failure regardless of which numbers you use, and that's reflected in the popularity of the brand.

    Wii sales haven't increased by more than 1% since March of 2012 ( and for Wii U sales, you might want to read this-

    See, this is called "doing research," as you mentioned before.
  • Stealth2k
    Actually it is more pathetic for Sony. The Wii U has outpaced the PS4 in Japan.

    And 3DS is outselling PS4 and Vita combined? I am not sure what your trying to say? Sony has had a much worse streak of bad financials. Sonys first party software sales are in the tubes.

    "The only reason Nintendo was #1 in 2013 is because of the handheld market"

    Vita? So I guess we just assume Sony made no errors?

    "intendo's bottom line wasn't exactly rosy at last check, and they're talking about going into the mobile market. "

    Better than Sony's, by far. So are all 3, again, I do not see the point?

    Doing research with bad articles.
  • Stealth2k
    In 2014 Nintendo has released more critically acclaimed titles than Sony and MS combined, has higher global software and hardware sales and there popularity rating is the lowest?

    Come on dude, that is just enflammatory horse shit. You posted this on N4G, and even on a pro Sony site, this article is still getting ripped apart.

    Nintendo's Popularity is as high if not higher globally, than the other 2 right now. That can be factually seen in global hardware and software sales.

    FYI, This April X1's hardware sales were lower than 360's had ever been. In Japan, PS4 is an absolute disaster, Sony is laying off workers, cutting staff, and you think Nintendo has the lowest popularity?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    So, the articles are "bad" and that somehow makes you right? You're sourcing N4G, the biggest hellhole of hateful morons on the planet? Really? Doesn't surprise me that you came from there, of course.

    The Wii U hasn't sold as much as the PS4 worldwide in a year and a half, while the PS4 has outsold it in 6 months. There's no getting around that.

    The Vita is dead in the water. This also has nothing whatsoever to do with Sony. This article isn't about Sony or Microsoft. It's about Nintendo, and the FACT that the Wii U is toast.

    If you really think Nintendo's popularity is higher than either Sony or Microsoft after the past year, you're too far gone into the blind Ninty world. So there's no point in discussing when you just call all the acquired stats "bad." I mean, I don't even get what that means. The articles were wrong? The stats posted at Wiki and every other source is wrong?

    The epitome of fanboy tripe.
  • Stealth2k
    The Wii U has higher software sales per system than PS4 has. Your right, PS4 has sold more than Wii U, how does that prove Nintendo's popularity is at the lowest it has ever been? That is a factless statement that cannot be proven.

    I see your part of PSextreme, the level of dellusion is not surprising.

    Nintendo for the last 10 straight years has had the highest software sold every year for first party devs. For the last 10 straight years Nintendo has sold the most hardware globally. In 2013, most journalists called Nintendo the publisher of the year.

    How is Nintendo's popularity the lowest it has ever been? If anything, it is the highest.
  • Stealth2k
    You are making the false statement that Nintendo=Wii U so Nintendo's popularity is the lowest it has ever been in history (a statement which is substantially false)

    Why can we not say Sony=Vita? A device selling worse globally than Wii U?

    If you wanted to write an article about Wii U, that is one think, you went to Nintendo's popularity, which by all accounts, they had the best 2013, and are having the best 2014 right now.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    I already said the Vita was dead in the water.

    And do you work for Nintendo, or something? Your complete unwillingness to address accepted facts and call out sources for posting false stats is a little bizarre.
  • Stealth2k
    Why would I work for Nintendo pointing out your article title is factless, enflammatory, and ridiculous?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Yeah, you really can't keep ignoring the numbers I gave you, because those are what matters.

    At this moment in time, there are three next-gen consoles. Many will scoff at calling the Wii U "next-gen" and the sales are ridiculously low compared to both its predecessor and the competition right now. These are just numbers.

    And of course Nintendo has the most software sold. Again, you're counting handhelds. Want me to tell you what the average Metascore was for a Wii game as opposed to PS3/360 games? If you want to talk software, isn't that fair? The amount of shovelware on the Wii was insane, and a big reason why you couldn't give one away in the last three years (hence, the <1% growth since March of 2012). I mean, some of the biggest upcoming games on earth aren't even COMING to the Wii U. That's how bad the situation has gotten.

    And you can't seem to give away a Wii U right now, either. It will not last half as long as the PS4 and Xbox One, as all analysts and industry insiders agree on at this point in time. If you like, go ahead and continue to lie to yourself. I prefer reality.

    And I've owned just about every console there is, and PSXE is a job, not my life. Leave it up to a fanboy to think that journalists for console-specific sites only play games on that console.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    So...are you just crazy? I gave you four links and numerous facts. You called the sources (all respected sites) wrong. You've given me no stats that are confirmed anywhere. No links, no numbers.

    So, either you're a raving loon or you have some strange emotional investment in Nintendo. Not sure which it is, but you're obviously not rational.
  • Stealth2k
    Your completely out of your mind. A sony fanboy associated with psextreme (I have no idea if you even work there).

    "The amount of shovelware on the Wii was insane" Wii also had the most games with metacritic over 80+ than either the PS3 or 360 exclusive.

    Please, why am I even agruing with you.

    Hell what your arguing has nothing to do with your flamebate troll headline.
  • Stealth2k
    "(hence, the <1% growth since March of 2012)"

    When a system gets replaced, that is what happens. PS3 hardware sales this year are down over 50% and dropping fast.

    "I mean, some of the biggest upcoming games on earth aren't even COMING to the Wii U. That's how bad the situation has gotten."

    The absolute biggest ones in every region are coming to Wii U only.

    Wii U is going to outsell PS4 next week in Japan.
  • Stealth2k
    Nintendo was the number 1 game company in 2013. This article needs more research.

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