As far as revenue is concerned, the Wii U had a much stronger launch than the original Wii, but analysts believe that Nintendo’s latest console has been underwhelming, resulting in many Wii U systems sitting unsold on shelves at year end.
From a fiscal standpoint, 2012 was not a good year for Nintendo either, and pressure from the investors is mounting. It has been argued that Nintendo would fare better if they go for a software-only approach, similar to what Sega did in the past. Alternatively, the company could lower the price of the Wii U in order to remain competitive during the course of the current console cycle.
“In a negative scenario, Nintendo will be forced to prematurely lower the Wii U price, and over the course of this cycle, we expect consideration will be given to extending first party franchises to other platforms,” RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian says in an interview with GamesIndustry International, “I think the pressure is on Nintendo to deliver better momentum with consumers in the next 9 months; some view into the next holiday title lineup would help.”
It’s said that a platform agnostic approach might not be the best route for Nintendo, but they’ll have no choice if they keep on this path:
“Going the way of Sega and only doing software is simply not the best route. But if they are going to do hardware they need to do some marketing for that hardware,” said DFC Intelligence’s David Cole.
He added, “Nintendo’s performance the last year was a disaster. It was almost like they rolled over and played dead with less than zero marketing for both the Wii U and the 3DSXL. This is something that can be changed. I don’t understand what their thinking was, but in an age when consumers are clamoring for portable/tablet hardware it would seem to be a huge opportunity for Nintendo. Nintendo used to be great at marketing hardware and if they could bring that back I think there is opportunity.”