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Business Insider: What Nintendo learned from Wii U to make Switch a runaway success

Cerium

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Mar 25, 2015
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http://www.businessinsider.com/nintendo-switch-wii-u-failure-success-2017-10

For instance: Ease of use.

"If you look at the Wii U hardware system, just the system menu itself — the time that it took to boot that system up, to get into gameplay — was something that was a frustration for a lot of players early on, and actually became a hindrance," Trinen said.

The Switch, on the contrary, is blessedly fast.

"It's three button clicks and you're into the fun, so it's a really accessible menu," added Nintendo of America senior VP of sales and marketing Doug Bowser.

As anyone who's used the Switch can confirm, Bowser isn't making that up — it's, by far, the fastest console available today. The Switch wakes up and shuts down more like an iPad than a game console, which makes it feel amazingly modern.

"With Switch being something that you can take with you, it made it really important that you could play it instantly," Trinen said. "That to me is an example of a direct lesson from the Wii U era, where Nintendo said, 'That's something we're gonna zero in on and make a dramatic improvement on.'"
This I think is the most salient point: Many users only use the Switch at home, but they do so undocked, functionally as the Wii U was supposed to be. Except Wii U didn't have that instant convenience and unlimited range.

It may sound obvious in hindsight, but the major problem was an inconsistent cadence of new games. There were great games on the Wii U, of course, but there wasn't a steady stream of new games to keep people interested.

"We had a glut [of game releases] up front, and then kind of went dry for quite some time," Bowser said. "From a first-party perspective at least, we were very intentional and deliberate about Switch. We launched with "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," which obviously was incredibly successful, drove hardware, and brought a bunch of new people into the franchise. And then followed that with 'Mario Kart,' straight through the series of games we've released since then."

Ever since the Switch launched back in March 2017 alongside a new "Legend of Zelda" game, Nintendo has followed with near-monthly major game launches: "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," "ARMS," and "Splatoon 2" (among others).
Perhaps most importantly of all, Nintendo's demonstrating an ability to adapt — to listen to its fans and respond. It may sound small, but it's a crucial change for a company that's notorious for being tight-lipped.

"Our goal is to delight our players," Bowser said. "We want people to have access to our hardware, to our content, and have great experiences. So we actively read the market and try to understand what those trends are, and make sure we're adjusting accordingly."
 

James Scott

Banned
May 24, 2014
11,385
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I don't think Nintendo went into Wii U thinking off TV play was going to be the best feature for the system but I think that's the consensus after all those years.
Switch is basically that concept but done right. It's easier to develop for and it's much faster to just get into games and navigate the menus. It's also not an ugly fisherprice slab which helps.

The release schedule has also been pretty importants. While Nintendo has had good moments, they usually don't let the positivity last with long months of *nothing*. It took like 4 months since launch for Wii U to get its 2nd wave of games with the likes of an old MH port that was also on 3DS, an old port of Need for Speed, and a Lego game. Switch has been a bit more constant which has been great. On average a first party/exclusive release per month has been achieved with a lot of variety to keep a lot of people happy.

Seems to be one of the more successful launches in terms of fan reaction mixed with sales, especially for a Nintendo console release where even the likes of DS and 3DS had slow starts.
Still have somethings to sort out, hope they do sooner rather than later, but it's been good so far.
 

commish

Jason Kidd murdered my dog in cold blood!
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Ugh this topic again? Come on guys. There's no need to post every N article on the internet. We've discussed this so many times.
 

Elfforkusu

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May 4, 2007
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The boot up time thing is 100% real. It's only 10 seconds or so, but it's had a huge effect on my habits. My PS4 shouldn't be gathering dust, but it is
 

NinjaCoachZ

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Does anyone have the picture of him with the Mario plushie subtly tied up in the background on hand? I feel like everyone who has this sink in should be graced with it but I don't have it on me.



Edit - Shit I only just noticed it's a Gamecube controller tying them up too.
 

GDGF

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Jun 6, 2004
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The boot up time thing is 100% real. It's only 10 seconds or so, but it's had a huge effect on my habits. My PS4 shouldn't be gathering dust, but it is

Yeah its one of those things that makes the Switch super convenient for a quick round or two.

Click, click, click and you're playing a game.
 

SanguineShark

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Jun 7, 2007
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be fast
have games


Business Insider

I think it was an article by Business Insider that told me I could still snatch a Super Nintendo Classic if I hurried.








The writer recommended buying them on amazon or ebay for scalper prices (about 200 at the time).
 

Madness

Banned
Jan 1, 2013
22,118
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be fast
have games


Business Insider

Something Xbox desperately trying to do with its UI changes however they keep dropping the have games part.

Also, Switch also has more commitments to third party than Wii U had. Switch has its own segment of the console market also than Wii U. Plus it doesn't have the baggage of the Wii name.
 

krioto

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Apr 24, 2009
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My seven year old recently saved up half the cost, so we bought one with Zelda and Mariokart 8 - I have been blown away with how well thought out the whole system has been, and the ease of switching between the tv to portable, one controller to 2 - so smooth.

We're currently playing through Zelda together and it is an excellent father/son trip!
 

Neiteio

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Nov 10, 2007
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Switch's blazing fast OS straight-up makes my PS4 Pro feel like molasses. There's some truth to the speed making the system much more approachable and increasing my desire to interact with it regularly throughout the day. Nothing feels like a commitment.
 

120v

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Mar 14, 2013
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nintendo probably would've made what is essentially a Switch had tech allowed in 2012. i like how he's spinning it as "lessons learned"
 

Jaded Alyx

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nintendo probably would've made what is essentially a Switch had tech allowed in 2012. i like how he's spinning it as "lessons learned"

Slow OS and lack of games could still have occurred even if they had been able to develop the Switch back then...
 

watershed

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Mar 12, 2011
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Those 2 lessons are huge. The Switch menu is even faster than the 3ds menu which itself is superior to the WiiU menu. The snappiness is super important. And I'm glad Nintendo understands that people use their Switch in portable mode but at home. It's how I use my Switch most of the time.
 

jholmes

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Jan 15, 2014
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This industry's definition of runaway success has fallen a few rungs from a decade ago. Now it's all about made-up metrics like "fastest-selling in history" rather than, you know, this sold X, this company made Y.

"We had a glut [of game releases] up front, and then kind of went dry for quite some time," Bowser said. "From a first-party perspective at least, we were very intentional and deliberate about Switch. We launched with "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," which obviously was incredibly successful, drove hardware, and brought a bunch of new people into the franchise. And then followed that with 'Mario Kart,' straight through the series of games we've released since then."

What Nintendo learned from Wii U to make Switch a runaway success: Give 'em the same games they said they didn't want a few years back and they'll pay full price.
 

jholmes

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Jan 15, 2014
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I quoted a reference to Mario Kart 8 up there and that was the Second-Worst Selling In Franchise History™ per Polygon. It's certainly one of the best games in the series, miles better than Mario Kart Wii, not that it stood a chance against that one.
 

Jaded Alyx

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I quoted a reference to Mario Kart 8 up there and that was the Second-Worst Selling In Franchise History™ per Polygon. It's certainly one of the best games in the series, miles better than Mario Kart Wii, not that it stood a chance against that one.

I wouldn't say MK8 is a game that people didn't want. It still sold 8M on a 13M userbase. That's a crazy attach rate. Clearly those who did buy a Wii U did want the game and it suggests the Wii U userbase would likely be a fair bit lower had it not released.

Likely referring to Mario Kart and Pokken, as well as Splatoon 2 (a very iterative sequel) to a lesser extent. All of these are priced equally to 100% 'new' games like Arms or Zelda.

Kart and Pokken sold well despite the small Wii U userbase.
 

Coricus

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Oct 2, 2017
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This industry's definition of runaway success has fallen a few rungs from a decade ago. Now it's all about made-up metrics like "fastest-selling in history" rather than, you know, this sold X, this company made Y.



What Nintendo learned from Wii U to make Switch a runaway success: Give 'em the same games they said they didn't want a few years back and they'll pay full price.
Mario Kart 8 had like a two-thirds attach rate on the Wii U IIRC and a new Zelda never released on the Wii U until it also released on the Switch simultaneously.

I'm under the impression the games were wanted but just came out too late on too unappealing and poorly marketed of a console the first go around. Can't know Mario Kart is out to buy if you think the system it's on is a Wii accessory.
 

jholmes

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I wouldn't say MK8 is a game that people didn't want. It still sold 8M on a 13M userbase. That's a crazy attach rate. Clearly those who did buy a Wii U did want the game and it suggests the Wii U userbase would likely be a fair bit lower had it not released.

For sure on all counts, but no one accused the Wii U of being a runaway success in the time after Mario Kart 8 launched. (The game itself didn't even get that recognition, hence the damn Polygon pie graph.)

ya. it wasn't jsut the UI though. it look a solid minute for each area to load in Lego City Undercover

That game's still slow as shit on Switch though. Although they did add screens to look at during loading this time!
 

Jaded Alyx

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For sure on all counts, but no one accused the Wii U of being a runaway success in the time after Mario Kart 8 launched. (The game itself didn't even get that recognition, hence the damn Polygon pie graph.)

It was the fastest selling Wii U game (so um...yeh).

The polygon article came out before the game was even released, which makes it even worse. It wasn't based on the initial sales of the game, just simply the fact that the Wii U was selling like crap.
 

Coricus

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Oct 2, 2017
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For sure on all counts, but no one accused the Wii U of being a runaway success in the time after Mario Kart 8 launched. (The game itself didn't even get that recognition, hence the damn Polygon pie graph.)



That game's still slow as shit on Switch though. Although they did add screens to look at during loading this time!
I think their point might be more about their strategy of timing than the games in a vacuum. The Wii U launched with a batch of games and then spent almost a year without any major franchise titles. Most of the big franchises came out after it was already long since obvious the system had croaked. The Switch is instead pacing out recognizable franchises every few months with at least the intent of consistently hooking people in and reassuring that the system is being supported.
 

Boss X

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Jan 23, 2017
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Sometimes you got to go through hell to get to heaven, that’s Nintendo with Wii U and the switch.