Is the Wii U still Relevant?
The latest console generation has kicked off with a bang, with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 exceeding the "one million sales benchmark" in a day. However, the wallflower of a console, the Wii U, remains the diamond in the rough. Granted, Super Mario 3D World launched alongside the Xbox One's launch date,but the commercial response has been underwhelming.
To put it brusquely, Nintendo is threading in dangerous territory. The little profit margins they're earning from the Wii U could result in a devastating déjà vu of the "Sega Dreamcast's life-cycle", A powerhouse with amazing potential. But potential amounts to nothing if Nintendo doesn't tweak their marketing strategies. So, is the Nintendo Wii U still relevant?
Of course! But people don't see that anymore....
In the ongoing console wars, many people are all up in the numbers. Pixels, graphics, RAM, GPU. Sometimes its no longer about the games. Technological advances is at the forefront. The Wii U's power is considered to be a significant letdown in contrast to the Xbox One and PS4. Their First party titles such as Zelda Windwaker HD seem childish and incoherent with what their target markets want.
To hammer the nail in the coffin, Zelda Windwaker HD is just a HD rehash of the 2003 game on the Nintendo Gamecube. And to make matters worst, Nintendo's marketing is piss-poor (apologies for the language). Casual consumers still think the Wii U consists of just the new Gamepad for the original Wii. Such misinformation doesn't exactly help Nintendo. This cavalcade of problems changes user opinion on the console and consumers look elsewhere for companies they meet their needs and wants. In this case, Microsoft and Sony
What they can do to survive
What Nintendo needs to understand that "the times, they are a changin'". The market has shifted drastically. Nintendo consoles used to appeal to the young teenagers. Nintendo was the cool kid on the block in the 16-bit era. Now, teenagers crave for violent, first person shooters that originally targeted adults. Ironically, the teenagers that grew up in the 16-bit era remain faithful to Nintendo's console and first party titles no thanks to brand loyalty. The market shifted into full "reverse". Adults are buying the Nintendo Consoles, not the kids of today's Generation Y.
Without third-party support for "hardcore games" that appeal to a larger demographic, the Wii U is essentially only useful for playing first party titles. It's hard to justify purchasing a new console only for Nintendo exclusives for casual consumers. Nintendo needs to get support from third party developers and develop more innovative IP's that integrate the Gamepad's unique functionality, something in the same vein of Tearaway on the Ps Vita. A triple-A title that integrates Wii U gamepad technology can act as a glass showcase for third-party developers to see what's achievable on the Wii U unlike its predecessors. This is the hook Nintendo needs to reel in more developers.
The price drop was a classy move on Nintendo's part and the Wii U has great potential. Sadly, its marketing is a major problem. The lack of commercials for the Wii U shows total disregard for promoting efforts and informing the general public about their new console. Nintendo clearly has the resources from the profits earned from booming 3DS and 2DS sales on the handheld gaming market.
But why aren't they doing anything? Nintendo should add more commercials that promote the Wii U to both Nintendo die-hard fans and hardcore fans of the more "violent" games that are nascent in today's generation. Attracting these target demographics will boost Wii U sales. Nintendo has always been kid friendly but it needs to change.
To be honest, I'm a diehard Nintendo Fanboy. Nintendo is an amazing company throughout the fiscal years of its lifespan. But Nintendo's Wii U is in deep waters and something needs to be done before the Wii U ends up being the new Dreamcast.