Friday, October 28, 2011

Is It Finally Gameover For Nintendo? Part 2

Nintendo fanatics should stop reading here. Go on, get lost. I know you guys can’t handle the truth, so I’m giving you the chance to turn around and exit the premises. Still here? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Satoru Iwata has finally admitted what we gamers knew all along: the Wii is a shit console. Sure, he didn’t use those exact words, he’s far too dull. Instead, he hid behind a rather long-winded euphemism: “The company was unable to launch much-anticipated first-party titles for the Wii in a timely fashion in the first half of the term. In the game platform business, creating momentum is very important, but the momentum was once lost, and it has had a large negative effect on our sales and profits."

Nintendo effectively abandoned the Wii in preparation for their next console, the Wii U. And that’s why the only notable Nintendo-made Wii games of 2011 – aside from the long delayed Skyward Sword - are Kirby's Epic Yawn and Wii Play Motion. Be still my beating heart.

In a grovelling apology that spans five pages Satoru Iwata told investors he feels “greatly accountable” for Nintendo’s poor performance. He also confesses that Nintendo has learned “a bitter lesson” from 3DS’s failings and would do everything possible to secure a more successful launch for Wii U: "We would like to show the final format of the Wii U at the E3 show next year.”

Final format? It’ll be interesting to see what tweaks and changes Nintendo make to their new console. After it’s rather underwhelming unveiling at E3 2011 I’m sure we’ll see a last-ditch attempt to get the public on board. A next-gen Mario title perhaps?

Nintendo’s lacklustre performance this year has lost the company £578m. The Big N – once the greatest gaming force in the industry – needs a minor miracle to revive its ailing brand. All I know is this: the Wii U, more than any console before it, will prove critical to shaping Nintendo’s future.

Read Part 1 here.

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