Nintendo’s Recent Fortunes

Friday marked the release of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U! Hurrah!! A very exciting time for Nintendo fans worldwide. Unfortunately the Wii U hasn’t done very well since its release in November of 2012. The console had everything going for it pre release, but has failed to live up to the hype. Already in the Wii Us short life, it is evident that it won’t be able to keep pace with the 2 new powerhouses, the PS4 and the Xbox One. Unfortunately 2 major issues let it down and Nintendo is still feeling the effects of them financially.

These reasons are:

Games

The software library of the Wii U is slowly gaining pace. At launch the notable available titles were, New Super Mario Bros U and Zombi U. More games were available, but weren’t great. Both games were ok, but lacked that special something.

With a new console it can take a while for the truly great games to become available, (I’m looking at you 3DS) but it seems like the Wii U is struggling to find many at all almost 2 years into its life. We have Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. 3 great titles in 2 years isn’t good enough when the console itself set you back £300 at launch

mk8

Can Mario Kart save the Wii U?

Marketing

The marketing team for Nintendo really dropped the ball on this. I still talk to people today who do not have a clue what the Wii U is! For a console that has been on the shelf for 18 months, that’s not good at all. Especially when everyone and his rabbit knows what the PS4 is. Lack of advertising and awareness meant that the Wii U was going to have a tough time before it even started.

Nintendo is far from financial ruin, they have had consoles fail in the past and have only come back stronger. For example, the DS family is now over 200M sales. But from the point of view of the Wii U, things need to improve.Now trying to focus on some positives. The Wii U is an amazing console, with truly unique features and experiences to be had. I have mentioned 3 games on this post, but there is an absolute slew of downloadable games that are fantastic. Runner 2, Mighty Switch Force and Mutant Mudd’s Deluxe to name just a few.

Hopefully the release of Mario kart 8 will make people want to buy Nintendo’s little black box and experience the uniqueness that it offers. The review scores are all very positive and as we all know, these games are excellent when being played with friends. As mentioned, there are other reasons why you should own a Wii U. Its feature list is huge. With NFC connectivity, Video calls and Miiverse (A Nintendo exclusive social network) built into the console, there is a plethora of things to explore on Nintendo’s overlooked hardware. Nintendoland is amongst a few games that you need to play to fully understand what Nintendo are trying to achieve.

Future releases offer hope to Nintendo also. Super Smash Bros, a new Zelda game and Bayonetta 2 will all sell consoles. How much though, is anyone’s guess. I’m sure Nintendo has more up their sleeve though, and with E3 round the corner, I’m sure we will see what Nintendo’s plans are.

Guest post by Johnathan Foxley.

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