Overwhelmingly Negative News For Nintendo
Earlier in the year I said Nintendo looks like Rocky prepping for their biggest bout yet. Now, they look like Rocky in the early rounds of the fight, just taking a pummeling by Ivan Drago.
With any new modern gaming console, there's bugs that need to be worked out in a growth phase. But the articles, videos, and forum entries you'll find via an internet search on Nintendo aren't just negative, they're overwhelmingly so. It's an onslaught of bad publicity for the gaming giant.
Here's the lowlights:
- The Wii U's being outsold by 6 year old technology, the XBox 360 and PS3
- The Wii U's undersold its predecessor the Wii at launch, in every single region.
- The Wii U's operating system is painfully, insanely slow to use, with wait times up to 30 seconds between basic menu screens
- The Wii U crashes or freezes often during use
- Nintendo is becoming completely irrelevant according to gaming analyst Michael Pachter, and once Microsoft & Sony introduce their next consoles in 2013 - 3rd party development support will abandon the Wii U
- There are no Wii U games in the Top 10 of any country's video-game sales charts.
- The battery life of the new GamePad controller is atrocious and the Pro-Controller lacks a standard headset jack
- Nintendo's President Satoru Iwata apologized to the world for the large and slow-loading Day 1 firmware update needed by all purchasers of the Wii U, which if interrupted will "brick" or completely break your brand-new console
- The Wii U's CPU has a slow clock-speed, the framerates of ported games like Call Of Duty or Darksiders II, are sometimes lesser than that of the XBox or PS3, and the graphics don't look any better. Technologically the Wii U has simply "caught up" to 6 year old technology.
- Madden NFL 2013 and FIFA 2013, despite their GamePad features are the definitely inferior versions to other consoles
- The "attach rate" or the number of games bought per console, is a measly 1.2.
- 1 of the 3 major components of the Wii U, the TVii feature, is entirely missing with a rumored availability date sometime in December according to Nintendo.
- Nintendo's DRM (digital rights management) policy is archaic and limiting, and so is their policy of tying a Nintendo user's account to 1 machine
- The name "Wii U" is confusing consumers into thinking it's the same as the Wii. Many consumers falsely believe the GamePad controller is just a new one for the old console.
- There's no DVD/Blu-Ray drive on the Wii U and on the basic version - not enough storage space to download even 1 single game. An external hard-drive formatted specifically for the Wii U is necessary. And the "Deluxe" console only has enough storage to download a couple games at most.
- ZombiU, the flagship 3rd party title from Ubisoft that was supposed to showcase the new gaming experiences of the Wii U, failed to be the hit Nintendo or Ubisoft needed it to be. It fell to the mid-40's in the UK's sales chart in only it's 2nd week. It's Metacritic score has it ranked as the 14th highest game of all of Nintendo's launch titles.
- Daily numbers of players on the Wii U for Black Ops II, the biggest game in the world - are barely over 1000 compared to the hundreds of thousands on the XBox and PS3.
- Tablets and Smartphones are the harbingers of death for traditional gaming.
- Reviews and reccomendations by gaming-industry websites and technology groups are at best, mixed. Hardly anyone reccomends that you go out and buy Nintendo's new machine.
...And this is just cracking the surface of the negative reporting on Nintendo's new machine. We haven't even mentioned the drop in Nintendo's stock price the last couple of days, currently hovering just above it's 52 week lows, despite the new console release.
Is there anything positive anyone has to say about Nintendo? Actually, yes. But the world is fixated on the negatives, with a sort of foaming at the mouth zombie-like malevolence. Do consumers find the new Wii U to be fun? Overwhelmingly the answer is - yes! Is it selling well? Yes, it's selling out everywhere. How about Nintendo's other business - the handheld's? The 3DS console is breaking sales records, and the DS continues to sell extremely well. Also in the plus column - the Wii U is the greenest console on the market, using about half the power of any other home-console. Nintendo's new social network - the Wii U's Miiverse, is a gigantic hit, some even calling it a revolution. And almost everyone agrees that nearly every major issue with the Wii U at launch is fixable, with the most common phrase used to describe the machine being, "great potential."
Well there's a quick Nintendo round-up for you. Is it wise or pure folly to purchase Nintendo at it's current 2005 era levels, before the Wii, the Wii U, or the 3DS were even released? Should you cut through the negative press and bet on the big N? CAPS members seem to think so with a 4-Star rating. Nintendo has been making significant progress the last several quarters returning to profitability, and don't forget - this is a company with billions in cash in the bank, with zero debt. The Wii U is selling well now, but can it continue? Can Nintendo fix the big problems?
If Nintendo's history is any indicator, the answer to those questions is: Yes. What does anyone else think? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments.