In Wake of Dismal Wii U Sales, Nintendo is Forced to Reevaluate

Nintendo thinks it's time to reevaluate and consider other options.

With lower-than-anticipated Wii U sales, Nintendo may have to consider other options.

During a press conference today (as attended by Bloomberg), Nintendo president Satoru Iwata first said he would not be resigning. However, he did say his company is contemplating a "new business structure," which could include smartphones and other forms of mobile entertainment. Many game publishers are turning to this new mobile explosion in order to boost revenue and, in fact, keep up with the times.

Not all veteran gamers are happy about the shift, but Nintendo might have to do something soon.

"We are thinking about a new business structure. Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business."

Iwata didn't go into detail, but he did say it wouldn't be easy. It's not just about putting Mario on your smartphone; the situation is a bit more complicated. The Wall Street Journal covered the event as well, and quoted Iwata as saying that overall, consumers and their expectations have changed:

"The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are--have changed. If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."

"The way people use their time, their lifestyles, who they are--have changed. If we stay in one place, we will become outdated."

This is hot on the heels of Nintendo slashing Wii U sales expectations. They initially expected to sell 9 million units before the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2014. Now, they think they'll only sell 2.8 million. That is a huge drop. Even 3DS projections are down.

So yeah, it looks like they'll have to make some changes.

A fad doesn't work twice

I know the Nintendo faithful will hate me for saying this, but it's a fact. A fad has a certain lifespan and it certainly doesn't work twice in a row. I will always applaud Nintendo for producing the Wii, which took the gaming world by storm. Remember, analysts and journalists counted out Nintendo after the GameCube generation and lo and behold, the iconic company persevered. They did it by doing the unthinkable--catering to non-gamers. Or rather, the mainstream populace, from kids to senior citizens. It was an ingenious move.

But you can't release a high-definition version of that same system five years later and expect it to hit big. Especially not in the face of extraordinarily stiff competition; namely, Sony and Microsoft, both of which have long since implemented their own motion-sensing systems. Let's not forget that in terms of software, the Wii and Wii U had a ton of shovelware. There's only so long that you can subsist on your admittedly legendary mascots...

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 Jan. 17th 2014

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