‘Nintendo Wii U: Death by Apathy’

Matt Martin, Gamesindustry.biz:

The Wii U just had its Dreamcast moment. With Electronic Arts confirming it doesn’t have any games in development for the machine, one of the console industry’s biggest players has walked away from the system counting its losses. So that’s none of the market-leading sports games for the Wii U in the near term and none of those tantalising new Star Wars games in the mid-term. We weren’t looking at a long term solution for the Wii U, but now it seems it won’t even get a semi-decent sales pick up at the end of the year. Christmas is cancelled for Nintendo.

I have to admit, I winced with the Dreamcast reference. I’m a big Dreamcast fan even to this day. Big difference between Nintendo and Sega, though: Nintendo’s got a thriving handheld gaming business.

EA pulling up stakes in the Wii U software business isn’t necessarily a death knell for the platform, but it is a major PR issue for Nintendo to deal with. Martin outlines some of Nintendo’s other challenges, too.

  • policymic

    Errrrr. The URL for this story goes to a story for “Topless Women in Public Not Breaking the Law, Says NYPD”.

    • Roberto Teixeira

      Well, they’re not! 🙂

      • policymic

        LOL! Can’t argue with that 🙂

  • Wi U is the casual gamer’s choice – but Apple will put the final nail in the coffin (it already has put other nails). My family, for example, loves the Wii U. We only have two games: Super Mario Wii U and Nintendo Land. We are casual gamers – we spend far more time on tablets playing those games than consoles. Actually my 5-yo son right now is sitting next to me playing a casual game on an iPad, replacing saturday morning cartoons.

    If we wanted to play EA games we’d have bought another console. We’re waiting for the next Mario game, and will be happy, there’s no big hunger. Not sure Nintendo will die because of the low sales. Our next console is… that’s the last one, as I imagine Apple will empower the Apple TV or other device to better play games in one fashion or another (AirPlay 2.0 or something – easier).

    • Val McKee

      Agreed on the AppleTV as a console replacement. If Apple opens it up to developers to make apps, then the store is likely going to be thriving with games, just like the other iOS app stores. Then the only thing holding it back would be a decent controller/remote. AirPlay and IR both have too much lag to be usable for games – Bluetooth would be the obvious solution.

      What I’d love to see happen would be for Nintendo to release a Bluetooth controller for the AppleTV, along with all their games. It might never happen, but it’s a nice dream…

  • Domicinator

    I think cell phones and iPads in general are the death knell for consoles. As much as I hate to admit that, things seem to be going that way. At one point in my life I was a pretty hardcore gamer. I played on both PC and consoles and played every day. When I got an iPhone and then later an iPad, I found myself playing more games with those devices and less time in front of a TV or monitor. And these days I do more things in general on my iPad than any other device in the house.

    Consoles and PCs require you to sit in one spot in your house to play them. But now i can take my iPad anywhere and play games with console quality graphics. The gameplay isn’t always as deep, but it’s enough to get my fix and then put it down for awhile and do something else. And if I get sick of gaming I can pull up a web browser, app, book, magazine, movie, or TV show in a split second. Not the case on consoles.

    I have high hopes for the PS4 and Xbox 720–I hope there’s enough there to make me want one or both. But if there’s not, I just won’t be moving on to the next gen. Kind of a sad time in my gaming life.

    • The day consoles disappear will likely be the day I stop gaming. I love my iPad, but it just never could replace consoles for me. I have a Wii U that I play regularly, and a 3DS that I take with me in my backpack alongside my iPad. I do have a couple games on my iPad but they’re mainly board games that I can play with friends, and that’s about the extent of my mobile device gaming.

      I think console gaming is far superior, but I fear you’re right. People are going to be more attracted to games on devices like the iPad (which is no slouch in terms of graphical power) and as a result become less interested in “traditional gaming”.

      That being said, this article is the kind of sensational nonsense The Loop is usually above taking seriously.

      • Domicinator

        I agree with you completely. Consoles and computers are so much more fun to game on if you’re going purely on what games are better.

        But I had my first child in 2007 and my second in 2010. Right during the smartphone/tablet boom. Having kids takes a lot of your gaming time away, and when you do get time you’re usually too tired to care about games. I got used to doing all my gaming on the go and in bed with my iPad instead of in the basement chained to the TV. It’s not as entertaining as a full blown console game, but it’s cool to be able to continue my game on the train or on my lunch break at work. Consoles just don’t offer that yet.

  • Mother Hydra

    EA is ONLY doing this because of the whole Origin brouhaha. I’d reference Ubisoft’s recent quote about WiiU games as proof of the bullshitting.