Wii U Catch-All

The point was made earlier that Nintendo is taking a big risk with the Wii U. I'm curious: is there a scenario where Nintendo could launch a console and not be taking a big risk? What would that look like?

Another thing I think yesterday's announcement highlights is that the value or worth of a system cannot be measured on hardware alone. Without games there's no way to know whether a system is valuable to you or not.

gamerparent wrote:

The point was made earlier that Nintendo is taking a big risk with the Wii U. I'm curious: is there a scenario where Nintendo could launch a console and not be taking a big risk? What would that look like?

Looking forward to seeing people throw their ideas at that wall. I'm out, none stuck.

Blind_Evil wrote:
gamerparent wrote:

The point was made earlier that Nintendo is taking a big risk with the Wii U. I'm curious: is there a scenario where Nintendo could launch a console and not be taking a big risk? What would that look like?

Looking forward to seeing people throw their ideas at that wall. I'm out, none stuck.

Video games are a high risk business. Look how many publishers have died and gone on the ropes the last few years as examples. Aside from Call of Duty (and even that's starting to waver), there are no sure bets. People have fickle tastes which change very quickly. Hardware development, manufacturing and launches are astronomically expensive and you never know what's going to be a hit. Even the supposedly infallible Apple is starting to get the tip of that lesson. Nintendo is run by smart people and even they didn't see the Wii's success coming and I'm sure they aren't stupid enough to require those kinds of sales again for the Wii U to be a winner for the company. Nintendo stuff has typically had slow starts and long legs and I'm sure they're taking that same route this time too.

Any business is a high risk business, not just video games. The same way you can look at how many publishers have folded recently you can look at restaurants, consulting businesses, start ups, heck just about anything and see a similar fail rate. I think the statistic is that some 90% of new businesses fail in the first 6 months.

It's interesting that you bring Apple up, because they managed to do what most people consider impossible - Sell high prices products to a TON of people. I think this was entirely due to Steve Jobs, that man had an unparalleled ability to see what would set trends and produce it with that classic Apple simple design aesthetic. I could go on for a long time about that, but Apple isn't the thread topic.

To the actual question of a low risk Nintendo move, I'd argue we already saw them do this - The 3DS. Sure it's got glasses free 3D but it's cheap to produce, can be sold at a low price, and is basically a slightly beefier DS which was already a proven success. It's also in a market with little competition, it's the market leader, the list goes on. In terms of the marketing grid it's a low price product with a huge customer base, which is probably the most successful square to be in (companies such as WalMart and Starbucks are in this grid too). I don't think Nintendo was taking any huge risks with the 3DS.

Sorry for the long post, a bunch of things I wanted to reply to :\

Ulairi wrote:

I think every game they showed yesterday will be released this year, at least in Japan.

I agree, except for the RPGs. Maybe the Xeno project, but given the trailer was little more than some combat scenes and there's was 0 story scenes, it seems more likely for 2014 in Japan. SMT x FE was only stills of concept art so that's most likely not happening this year. Mario, Yoshi, Mario Kart, Wind Waker HD? Definitely this year and in America too.

ccesarano wrote:

Looking at that comic now, I find you could probably make a fascinating study of the people that can read that, nod and smile because it all lived up to expectations (me), and people that became convinced it was all a let down (f*cking everyone judging by the Internet).

I remember listening to that presntation at work and practically bouncing in my chair. Then again, on the bad years (ie. the Wii Music fiasco and Wii Vitality Sensor years) I'm pretty much like the "old fan" in this comic.

Ulairi wrote:

I think they are. They have more modest expectations for the Wii U, only 5,000,000 sold by April, which is fewer than the original Wii sold.

Was that worldwide, or US only? At the end of December they're still below 1 million units in the US, but I haven't heard anything about Japanese sales. Like I was saying earlier, there is a likely reason we got a Nintendo Direct on par with the last few E3's.

I'm hoping we can get another Sega/AV partnership for a new F-Zero.

A new F-Zero is a Day 1 purchase for me. Loved the Gamecube game despite the soul-crushing difficulty. That game had some amazing visuals and the fact they were able to do it in 480p is astounding for the time. All I ask for is 30 player online play.

Jasonofindy wrote:

With the launch of the first Wii-U Virtual Console game, have they announced the end of new Wii Virtual Console releases?

Based on this Wikipedia article, it looks like there's still some stuff trickling out for the Neo Geo, but most of the other systems haven't seen a release since last summer.

Atras wrote:

Nintendo has, by far, the most compelling exclusive titles, and they offer something unique. That is why people should be looking at a WiiU instead of a PS4 or Xbox^x.

For me, Nintendo is always a "safe" buy. If I buy a Nintendo product, and assuming it's not going to fry my retinas, I'm pretty much guaranteed there will eventually be games for it. There will probably be some dry spells here and there where nothing new is coming that month, but by and large I'll get something to play every couple of months, and if I don't then I play on my 3DS, PC or something else. I'm perfectly OK with that.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm curious to see how high the Wii U's price looks when stacked up against the next Xbox and PlayStation.

I think Certis is going to take us all to the cleaners in the predictions thread this year. I now think he was on to something about predicting the Basic version goes away and they drop the Deluxe by $50 by November. But I'm certainly expecting the new hardware to start at $400.

ahrezmendi wrote:

To the actual question of a low risk Nintendo move, I'd argue we already saw them do this - The 3DS. Sure it's got glasses free 3D but it's cheap to produce, can be sold at a low price, and is basically a slightly beefier DS which was already a proven success. It's also in a market with little competition, it's the market leader, the list goes on. In terms of the marketing grid it's a low price product with a huge customer base, which is probably the most successful square to be in (companies such as WalMart and Starbucks are in this grid too). I don't think Nintendo was taking any huge risks with the 3DS.

I think I agree with this, unless the Game Boy Advance isn't up for consideration.

ahrezmendi wrote:

To the actual question of a low risk Nintendo move, I'd argue we already saw them do this - The 3DS. Sure it's got glasses free 3D but it's cheap to produce, can be sold at a low price, and is basically a slightly beefier DS which was already a proven success. It's also in a market with little competition, it's the market leader, the list goes on. In terms of the marketing grid it's a low price product with a huge customer base, which is probably the most successful square to be in (companies such as WalMart and Starbucks are in this grid too). I don't think Nintendo was taking any huge risks with the 3DS.

And the 3DS had a better first year than the original DS, despite selling at a higher price point(original DS was $150).

Actually, the Apple comparison is a really good one. Apple's reputation is that they're high priced, relatively low-spec devices that have impeccable design and, generally, Just Work right out of the box. Apple's competitors played right into that reputation, by giving top of the line specced products, but at a cost even higher than Apple's. Plus, Android 3.0 was a complete and utter waste of time and money for everyone. That's what gave Apple their lead in the tablet space, because even though products like the Xoom or Asus Transformer were definitely better hardware than Apple's, their software and price point left a lot to be desired.

Nintendo did the same thing with the Wii, especially initially. They were cheaper than any of the other consoles, and while the hardware was pretty much crap when it was released, they gave experiences that neither of the other two consoles could give.

Wait, what? The latest iPad and Asus tablets are the same price, $500. Apple has never been the cheap option on the market that I can recall. The iPad Mini continues this tradition, and in that case Apple is the follower, chasing the success of the Nexus 7 but at $100 more.

If anyone is wondering about picking up "The Cave" on the Wii U. I did and it plays/looks fantastic!

I just saw some articles posted about an upcoming Smash Bros. announcement, and they indicated that the game is for both Wii U and 3DS. Is this the same game for both systems, or are they each getting a game? Can you play cross-platforms? Has any of this information been divulged?

ahrezmendi wrote:

Is this the same game for both systems, or are they each getting a game?

They haven't said anything about that.

Can you play cross-platforms?

Supposedly there's some interaction between the two. That was mentioned at the initial "announcement" (if you can call it that) at E3 2011

Has any of this information been divulged?

Not really. There's very little known about it which isn't too surprising.

Yeah, I was kinda hoping against hope. Oh well, patience is the name of the game when it comes to Smash Bros, as always. As long as it has better online than Brawl did, I will be very pleased. Oh, and no tripping, please for the love of all that is good NO TRIPPING!

I don't think I'll be able to resist the Wii U when Smash Bros is released. I am a sad slave to that series.

I could've sworn I came out of the initial Smash Bros. news at E3 thinking there would be cross platform play. Maybe that was just the journalists I like jumping to conclusions.

I mean, MH3U shows that it can be done, so I wouldn't be shocked. I also wouldn't be interested in the 3DS version.

I don't think it was the journalists. They've also made mention of using the 3DS as an input device for the Wii U in general.

I'm finally watching the Nintendo Direct from Wednesday for myself, and I found this really funny (4:21 mark in the video):

IMAGE(http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z144/Blind_Evil/NintendoDirectProfanity_zpsc3dc9ed0.jpg)

Profanity in the Nintendo Direct! True irony.

Edit: Apologies for the odd image formatting.

I think The Wonderful 101 looks great. Anyone else interested? Haven't seen much talk here about it.

Edit: Oof, that new Xenoblade looks hot. I guess Nintendo realized they can't let quality games go unreleased worldwide.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I think The Wonderful 101 looks great. Anyone else interested? Haven't seen much talk here about it.

Definitely on my radar, love the style of it.

EDIT:

Blind_Evil wrote:

I guess Nintendo realized they can't let quality games go unreleased worldwide.

Keep in mind that Xenoblade was originally announced at E3 2009 and never materialized here until Project Rainfall kicked off a year after the Japanese release. I don't think that's a guaranteed launch here, although I'm optimistic. As predicted, they're definitely swinging for the fences with the "gamer" crowd instead of the casual audience right now so hopefully that means they'll be less squeamish about niche titles.

I'm really excited about the Wonderful 101, it reminds me of Viewtiful Joe.

I am so out of touch with the gaming intelligentsia. I finally got around to reading the press take on the Nintendo Direct and now listening to some podcasts and their take away versus mine is completely different. I understand why Nintendo ignores them.

shoptroll wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

I guess Nintendo realized they can't let quality games go unreleased worldwide.

Keep in mind that Xenoblade was originally announced at E3 2009 and never materialized here until Project Rainfall kicked off a year after the Japanese release. I don't think that's a guaranteed launch here, although I'm optimistic. As predicted, they're definitely swinging for the fences with the "gamer" crowd instead of the casual audience right now so hopefully that means they'll be less squeamish about niche titles.

I'd considered that, but this seems different. All that I remember from the original Xenoblade announcement is the name Monado and about five seconds of ugly gameplay. IIRC it was just a snip of footage on a minute-long video with dozens of other games, first and third party both. It seemed like filler, something to shut the core gamers up about Wii Music or whatever had us angry at the time. I don't think any Nintendo employee actually said the name on stage. This presentation was a lot more substantive, and the game looked ready to ship (I'm sure it's not, but the gameplay systems and visuals looked complete enough).

Between all the attention Nintendo has given to that, Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, and SMT x Fire Emblem during North American Nintendo Directs, I'm pretty confident everything announced will come here.

Blind_Evil wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

I guess Nintendo realized they can't let quality games go unreleased worldwide.

Keep in mind that Xenoblade was originally announced at E3 2009 and never materialized here until Project Rainfall kicked off a year after the Japanese release. I don't think that's a guaranteed launch here, although I'm optimistic. As predicted, they're definitely swinging for the fences with the "gamer" crowd instead of the casual audience right now so hopefully that means they'll be less squeamish about niche titles.

I'd considered that, but this seems different. All that I remember from the original Xenoblade announcement is the name Monado and about five seconds of ugly gameplay. IIRC it was just a snip of footage on a minute-long video with dozens of other games, first and third party both. It seemed like filler, something to shut the core gamers up about Wii Music or whatever had us angry at the time. I don't think any Nintendo employee actually said the name on stage. This presentation was a lot more substantive, and the game looked ready to ship (I'm sure it's not, but the gameplay systems and visuals looked complete enough).

Between all the attention Nintendo has given to that, Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, and SMT x Fire Emblem during North American Nintendo Directs, I'm pretty confident everything announced will come here.

I am too. Also, I believe they said that Xenoblade sold well (for the very limited release they gave it). I don't think Nintendo is going to be as stingy with the Wii U as they were with the Wii when it comes to core games.

Blind_Evil wrote:

I'm pretty confident everything announced will come here.

Like I said, I'm optimistic, just.... this is Nintendo and there's been plenty of games they make which don't get over here. But they are making a big play to get people like us back into the fold, and they're making a really strong case for JRPGs on their system which I think is wise on their part. I'm just not getting my hopes up too high right now.

Ulairi wrote:

I don't think Nintendo is going to be as stingy with the Wii U as they were with the Wii when it comes to core games.

I don't think they can afford to this time around. Casuals won't turn up in droves with the Wii U, at least not immediately. Nintendo Land isn't Wii Sports, and I don't think most consumers are willing to shell out $300 or so every 5-7 years like clockwork. Look at how long it's taken people to move from DVD to Blu-Ray. Not to mention the fact that while the NES managed to recapture a lot of people who hadn't gamed since the Atari days, the SNES didn't sell nearly as many hardware units.

Ulairi wrote:

I am so out of touch with the gaming intelligentsia. I finally got around to reading the press take on the Nintendo Direct and now listening to some podcasts and their take away versus mine is completely different. I understand why Nintendo ignores them.

I try not to paint the situation in such an "us vs. them" light, but I've thought frequently over the past year or so, "I wish everyone would stop talking about Nintendo and just let me enjoy the stuff." It's tough to keep up with the rest of gaming news and not hear the Nintendo mess-talkin', unfortunately.

Honestly, considering this was specifically the North American Nintendo Direct, I don't think they would have showcased a game like that if they weren't planning on bringing it over. I mean, you could use the "it might be too risky" with the Shin Megami X Fire Emblem game as well. Neither property sells gangbusters in the states, but no one seems to question that they'll be releasing that crossover.

I think Nintendo is just becoming aware that there is a market for this stuff after all.

But we'll still never get Mother 3. Even though there's going to be a GameBoy Advance virtual console where you could potentially release a localized version of it and oh God why am I teasing myself?!

ccesarano wrote:

But we'll still never get Mother 3. Even though there's going to be a GameBoy Advance virtual console where you could potentially release a localized version of it and oh God why am I teasing myself?!

I still wish they had just done a DS compilation of all three games, but that seems like too much to ask for.

Blind_Evil wrote:

It's tough to keep up with the rest of gaming news and not hear the Nintendo mess-talkin', unfortunately.

Not just gaming news, but general tech pundits seem to be the main ones who think they should just develop for mobile.

Completely agree about wishing people would stop talking about Nintendo just let people enjoy their games. Although, I feel like that's true about every platform or game. If people are happy, let them be happy.

EDIT: That said, I usually take anything on gaming news sites as editorial/opinion unless it's regurgitating PR blasts or an interview. Podcasts, reviews, features, etc. That's all editorial. I might not agree with a lot of stuff that's written about games. I agree that often it does feel like we live in a different reality than the jornalists, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that, and I think it's ok if people have differing opinions on the actions of certain companies. Just because they say or write something doesn't make it universal truth, and its healthy to acknowledge we don't have to follow everything they (or the gaming industry) say.

Honestly, I was hoping they would have tested the waters with the Mother 1+2 compilation for GBA they had released. I imagine they wouldn't have been able to simply copy/paste the translation of Earthbound into it, but I wonder if localizing a port where you at least have a translated script to work off of for half the game might be cheaper and less risky than porting over a new game you're uncertain of.

I think it's been established that US copyright laws were the likeliest issue for the VC release, so I can't imagine the 1+2 compilation wouldn't have had similar issues.

I'd put my money on the new Xeno game getting localized. They've never released sale numbers but according to what I found it seems like Xenoblade sold well enough to turn a profit on the localization. Not to mention it's just the sort of thing to get the JRPG fans on board with the WiiU.

The fact that all 3 Project Rainfall games came out here speaks volumes. On top of that, The Last Story was XSEED's best seller of all time. They have proof there's a market here for these games and they're not going to take that and ignore it.

shoptroll wrote:
Blind_Evil wrote:

It's tough to keep up with the rest of gaming news and not hear the Nintendo mess-talkin', unfortunately.

Not just gaming news, but general tech pundits seem to be the main ones who think they should just develop for mobile.

Completely agree about wishing people would stop talking about Nintendo just let people enjoy their games. Although, I feel like that's true about every platform or game. If people are happy, let them be happy.

I think what bothers me most about it is the insular nature of their discussions, and the assumptions made about the people they're talking to/about. Real criticism of podcast discussion never gets read on the air, because it's too long-form. People with 20,000 twitter followers hardly ever take the time to respond if you point out a flaw in a jab they take at one company or another.

I was going to let this go here, but a lovely example popped up on twitter a little while ago. I like this guy as a critic, and I like his podcast, so I follow him:

I'm wondering if the wii u floundering has made a particular era of nintendo fan unhinged.

How loaded is that comment? If you respond, you come off defensive. 140 characters isn't long enough to refute the idea with any substance.

It also assumes an awful lot about "Nintendo fans." I'm a big Nintendo fan, but that doesn't mean I only buy Nintendo hardware. The Wii U's performance means very little to me. They'll release games I want to play. If they only sell 30 million of the things, that sucks for them. But the only point at which I care about it is if they say, "We're bowing out of the video game business." And that doesn't seem very likely.

I guess this is just a result of human nature - everyone likes to see an empire fall, except that empire. I guess this is the kind of thing early PS3 owners went through as their system didn't live up to the standards of its predecessor and was beaten around the room by the XBox 360. I probably partook in some of that sniping myself, being a twice-burned PS2 owner. But I was 21, full of alcohol and impure thoughts. These dudes are professionals, and coming from them it just seems callous.