Ninty went from their best-selling console/handheld to worst-selling console/handheld in one gen. Why?

DunDunDunpachi

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Wii lifetime sales: 101 million
DS lifetime sales: 154 million

Wii U lifetime sales: 13 million
3DS lifetime sales: 75 million

I think "oh, it's because the casuals vanished" is far too simplistic of an answer. Curious to hear what people think, because most industry pundits write it off as "the casuals" and do not dig any further. I believe that -- internally -- Nintendo's own leadership misunderstood or willfully ignored the reasons for the Wii/DS successes, leading to the failures of the Wii U/3DS. Seems like this historic rise and downfall is just a footnote for most gamers.
 

Neff

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Wii U was a disaster for so many well-documented reasons, despite it being a decent console with some absolutely first rate games.

3DS for my money was a much better device than DS, and enjoyed the superior library to boot, but it can't be dismissed that DS was propped up spectacularly -like the Wii- by casual gamers. And when it came to purchasing Nintendo products, they very much did vanish once mobile gaming gained the huge traction it did.

Putting it simply, the weaker performance of the Wii U and 3DS are attributable to Nintendo's complacence and eagerness to ride the glory of Wii and DS, while failing to recognise how much the market had changed.

Name alone you would think it’s a newer version of the Wii instead of a generational step.
So, so many people thought it was an add-on peripheral for the Wii.
 
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Thurible

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I think the marketing for the wii u was a bit all over the place. The name was confusing, and many people just thought it was a wii or a wii attachment rather than Nintendo's next gen console.

The timeframe it came out also kind of sucked. They were starting to focus a bit more on the core gamer but they failed to properly court third party developers. Most developers were already focused on the xbox one and ps4 that were coming out. So we did get some good third party games, but they were from last gen and the hardware couldn't support the current xbox or playstation games.

The 3ds did alright (but it infamously had a rough start). I think the 3d gimmick kind of drew people away as it was more of a novelty and passing fad at the time. Even nintendo recognized it when they made non-3d models and quit focusing on the 3d element.
 

blly155

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i remember the 3DS having bother at launch but i can't remember why (i must be getting old).

for the Wii U it was definitely the name and how they marketed it. Most people didn't realize it existed...keep in mind just how damn popular the Wii was. It was the must have product so everyone (pretty much) had one. Nintendo shot themselves in the foot but the main selling feature of the Wii was the motion controls and being able to easily play with others. The Wii U just gave you a stupid controller with a screen on it.
 
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BlackTron

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Good post. I think the reasons are numerous. It's true that the casual market got eaten up by cell phones, but I don't think that was solely responsible. I think it just meant that Nintendo had even less wiggle room to mess up, which they did, spectacularly. If not for phones, I think they still would have done badly, just not as catastrophically badly.

The Wii succeeded by going after casuals hard at a low price point. In contrast the WiiU seemed to have no clue who its market even was. It was priced out of casuals ($350) while still keeping the casual branding (Wii U? One of the worst system names of all time). Its predecessor succeeded on the merits of an innovative new motion controller that even Grandma could understand how to use; the Wii U gave you the complexity of a normal controller and then added more by adding the touch screen. Its branding and marketing was abysmal. In short, Nintendo was overconfident and figured they could just make a "home DS" and keep the Wii brand cause it worked last time, failing to see the myriad ways it was at odds with itself, with aspects that turned away both casual and seasoned gamers.

The 3DS was pure hubris. High price point and too similar to the DS which had saturated the market well. The marginal benefit of stereoscopic 3D over your existing DS for $250 wasn't that appealing. While it had a bad launch, they did straighten things out and I think in the end 3DS did as well as anyone could expect with the hefty competition from cell phone games. I'm impressed it sold half as many units as DS given that reality.

When Nintendo is riding high on success, they always do this. They push and push with whatever they can get away with until the market finally pushes back and forces them to think harder.
 
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StormCell

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This dead horse again... but because I like DunDunDunpachi DunDunDunpachi I'll take the bait...

There are multiple failures that led to the Wii U's poor sales. The marketing was definitely one of the bigger issues that plagued it. I believe that the marketing and the post-launch drop off in sales combined as the kiss of death that led to third parties jumping ship early. Once that occurred, it was an insurmountable uphill battle with brand new platforms only adding to the problems.

With the 3DS, the initial problems were that it was simply priced too high and the 3DS struggled with a software drought that made early adoption less desirable. It took a steep price drop and Nintendo soothing things over with the early adopters to right the ship, but of course it's hard to make up for lagging sales. It did pretty good considering the poor start!

Of course, the thing that Switch has working in its favor is that it almost perfectly satisfies both markets (handheld, home console), and with a cheaper model hitting the shelves it has the potential to keep selling well. I feel that "Gen1" Switch (current gen capabilities) is a hardware platform that can have verrrry long legs even after a potential "Gen2" Switch arrives on the market as there will still be plenty of reason to give "Gen1" the Wii treatment (Just Dance will continue to release for that thing for another 10 years, I'm sure...).
 
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Otterz4Life

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Neither had a killer app at launch and the Wii U didn’t have one for an entire year until Super Mario 3D World. Pikmin 3 came out in August 2013, and is amazing, but no one was buying a Wii U for Pikmin.

They were both way too expensive at launch. Hell, the Wii U was still $299 until it was pulled from shelves in late 2016/early 2017.
 

mcjmetroid

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The WiiU was a shitshow of a console.
People blamed the marketing but I think it goes far deeper than that.

It's a fundementally unmarketable console. Unlike the Wii which had a premise people could understand for an underpowered console, the WiiU was an underpowered console with a crap premise.

The name was useless and nobody knew what it was when it came out.

The 3DS problem is my eyes is that it was too similar to the DS, the 3D gimmick failed to catch fire and Frankly it had much less hit games than the DS. The DS had something for everyone.
 

Zefah

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Both were conflicted products with confusing naming that weren't really clear "upgrades" from the previous platforms. No one wanted 3D. No one wanted a Fisher Price "tablet" by 2012.

They just weren't great ideas.
 
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Mohonky

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The Wii U was a great console with great games but I think it's failure was kind of multifaceted.

Branding I believe was one of the issues. A lot of non-gamers bought the Wii not for the 'core' style games and ended up buying a lot of the really poor filler titles that come from being the largest selling platform. A lot of Wii consoles basically ended up being a short lived novelty in the games room so I suspect a lot of people who owned a Wii console simply weren't interested in buying another video game console.

The releases timing also put it in a weird place for the more core market; it just couldn't do games as well as the upcoming Xbone or PS4 and so it got a few re-releases of Xbox360 and PS3 titles at the start of it's life but as 3rd parties started targeting the new Sony and MS consoles they largely skipped Wii U ports, so 3rd party support was very thin on the ground.

The 'second screen' option was great but never really took off. Some people were also quite confused by it. Were you just buying some fancy controller for a Wii? What was that all about? I actually loved the whole second screen idea, whether it was used in some special way for games, as a quick map / inventory UI or as a means of playing off TV, I liked it but I don't think it was a huge hit with a lot of people. It was also maybe a bit too early as the hardware was still at the base unit so it wasn't truly portable. Nintendo made very sure when they released their Switch reveal trailer just what it was.
 
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StormCell

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Both were conflicted products with confusing naming that weren't really clear "upgrades" from the previous platforms. No one wanted 3D. No one wanted a Fisher Price "tablet" by 2012.

They just weren't great ideas.
This is certainly true. Nintendo has been failing to capitalize on past success by not giving these products names that clearly state that they are actual sequels to said successful product (ie. Playstation, Playstation 2, ...3, ...4, ....5?). I'm not saying that it's entirely because of the name, but if you look across at the Xbox line of... boxes, if I hadn't lived through the full history of that product, how the hell would I even know the difference between the 360 and the One?

At least people knew the Super Nintendo was supposed to be better than the regular Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 was capitalizing on 64 bits > 32 bits. Everything since then has been darts at a dart board.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Name alone you would think it’s a newer version of the Wii instead of a generational step.
Famously, Iwata had to tweet a picture of the Wii U console unit after their reveal presentation because journos still weren't sure if it was a new console or not. It didn't help that the system never appeared once in that initial reveal.
 

DeepEnigma

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I know games like these -- and other mobile games -- are often cited, but if they affected anything I would assume it would've been PopCap games, Zynga, Maxis, and other PC companies that relied on browser players. Once smartphones came out, this market almost completely cratered.
I was mainly being a smart-ass since they were the most popular.

The Wii thing was quite obvious even though fans at the time wanted to deny it. It was mainly purchased on "fad hotness word of mouth" by a ton of people that were not normally gamers. Once the novelty wore off, it went untouched or in the closet.

They were not going to carry over and buy a Wii-U. etc.. They moved on to their phones and other things. Nintendo messed up the messaging with the under-powered Wii-U and only the most hardcore stuck around. 3DS did not improve on anything really hardware wise, and added a visual gimmick (that they later dropped).

I know it is anecdotal, but I knew more people who never gamed that got a Wii (the hype was real), then again, still don't game today. They sure as hell upgrade their phones often however.
 
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StormCell

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Branding I believe was one of the issues. A lot of non-gamers bought the Wii not for the 'core' style games and ended up buying a lot of the really poor filler titles that come from being the largest selling platform. A lot of Wii consoles basically ended up being a short lived novelty in the games room so I suspect a lot of people who owned a Wii console simply weren't interested in buying another video game console.
One aspect of the Wii that gets really overlooked is the price point. Nintendo hit the bullseye on the pricing. After a couple of years on the market, I knew people who bought multiple $100 Wii's for no other purpose than to get streaming TV on dumb TVs. I couldn't believe it... it was like the Playstation 2 DVD player phenomena all over again.

The releases timing also put it in a weird place for the more core market; it just couldn't do games as well as the upcoming Xbone or PS4 and so it got a few re-releases of Xbox360 and PS3 titles at the start of it's life but as 3rd parties started targeting the new Sony and MS consoles they largely skipped Wii U ports, so 3rd party support was very thin on the ground.
I think that Switch is good evidence that developers could have maintained a sort of parity in current software support for Wii U if the market had been there and third parties hadn't bailed so early. Wii U was supposed to be more developer friendly and could have had a lot of similar downgraded ports. Now, of course, I really do believe that Nvidia's partnership and Switch SDK has really bridged the gap on getting third parties on the wagon, so to speak... I just feel that if the market had been there for Wii U, it would have gotten at least some of the PS4/XB1 titles.
 
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StormCell

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I also feel that because of Nintendo's success/failure history, I kind of irrationally dread their potential follow up to the Switch. I'm not confident that they will major on the positives of the Switch. I fear that they will try to go in too much of a new direction with a "Switch U" concept such that it will be too different from the original Switch while not being enough of a hardware upgrade to justify moving forward for a lot of Switch owners...

I know I'm not alone in this fear...
 
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tkscz

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For the 3DS, it was price. At the time, people weren't willing to pay $250 for it. Once that dropped it sold really well. Not as much as the DS line but 75 million units is no small number.

For the Wiiu, it was naming and advertising. The WiiU's name and advertising did nothing but confuse people. It was assumed to be a tablet controller for the Wii and at that point, people stopped playing the Wii. All their ads for the first two years had Wii remotes in it, the very first trailer had Wii remotes in it and didn't even show off the console. Not to mention having Wii in the name didn't help. I still remember a friend of mine who worked at Gamestop saying people would constantly return WiiU games claiming they didn't work in their Wii and not even hearing about the WiiU.

Nintendo did a terrible job marketing the system.
 
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Lionel Richie

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The tech just wasn't there, it's clear Nintendo wanted the Wii U to be a Switch-like solution and yet it just wasn't feasible at the time so they came up with an unholy monstrosity (that I still love, great console). The 3DS didn't sell poorly when you consider the market, it dicked the Vita far harder than the DS did with the PSP.
 

polybius80

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nintendo like to experiment, the problem is those experiments can work incredible well or be total disasters you can see that in both games and consoles, they used to not pay much attention to fans and industry and do things their way no matter what with mixed results, that apparently changed and now they pay more attention to some extent at least for now, the problem is you cant be sure if their next system will be good or bad but at least for now you can enjoy the switch, is a good system in my opinion
 

Neff

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It was a POS: PS360 performance 6 years later...
It was slightly better than PS360 in terms of raw visuals, but apparently very difficult to get there unless you were Nintendo.

In addition, Wii U had a lot of great OS features, and the Gamepad was a neat if limited idea scuppered by the fact that it was a mandatory part of the experience and cost.
 

NahaNago

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the name wii u is big factor in to why it flopped. They needed something clearer to for folks to know that this is a new console and to properly market it so folks will know that this is a new console. For 3ds I have no idea.
 

manfestival

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The casuals actually vanished.
The more complex answer as that they were all abducted and taken to casual island and did not return till after the wii u/3ds was discontinued
 
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Jubenhimer

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Complacency. The success of the Wii and DS conditioned Nintendo to think consumers and developers will buy into anything so long as the Wii and DS branding is on it. Thus they got lazy and built the successors around concepts that had no long-term or immediate appeal. 3D was already loosing steam by the time the 3DS got its first price cut, so it was the wrong horse to bet on, especially with VR right around the corner. And the Wii U and its Gamepad were just a complete mess from the start.

It also didn't help that Nintendo put no effort into launch titles, as they wanted third parties to take the spotlight for the launch window, and that didn't go anywhere either. It all goes back to Nintendo putting too much of their bets on brand recognition. Instead of having a system in place that helped third parties, they foolishly thought the strength of the Wii and DS brands alone will have them come in droves. Nintendo learned the hard way that you not only need have better tools and support for developers, but you also need to prove the system's worth yourself. This is why the Switch was able to succeed where the Wii U and to a lesser extent the 3DS failed. Nintendo not only had better tools and support chains for third parties, but they also had strong first party titles to drive sales of the system to help convince them to jump on board. "Build it and they will come" has always been Nintendo's strategy when courting third parties, but the Wii U and 3DS did in an arrogant and lazy way.
 

joe_zazen

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Iwata was a risk taker, and liked seeing new ideas become reality. It is super easy post fact to judge and explain things, or say how dumb they were.

2 screen portable and motion control home console were risky and paid off, 2 screen home console and 3d portable were risky and did not.

Personally, i like risk taking hadware people. But paraphrasing steve jobs, most company leaders have no balls.
 
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Pejo

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Mobile gaming got huge and ate its lunch with the casual crowd. The name and brand confusion hurt quite a bit, but it could have been a pretty cool bridge from casual to more hardcore if they did it right. They did not do it right.
 

Katsura

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Wii lifetime sales: 101 million
DS lifetime sales: 154 million

Wii U lifetime sales: 13 million
3DS lifetime sales: 75 million

I think "oh, it's because the casuals vanished" is far too simplistic of an answer. Curious to hear what people think, because most industry pundits write it off as "the casuals" and do not dig any further. I believe that -- internally -- Nintendo's own leadership misunderstood or willfully ignored the reasons for the Wii/DS successes, leading to the failures of the Wii U/3DS. Seems like this historic rise and downfall is just a footnote for most gamers.
Not sure i agree with the framing here. Wii U was an undeniable failure. However, while the 3DS only sold half of what the DS did, i would say it was more a case of the DS over performing and having little competition compared to the 3DS which had to compete with mobile for casual gamers. I doubt Nintendo considers it anywhere near a failure

I don't think Nintendo ignored the reasons for DS/Wii success. After all, they want to make money so if they knew the key to success they would have used it. Again, i'm going to look at it the other way around and say that the runaway success of the Wii took almost everybody by surprise, probably Nintendo included. When they decided to go for something entirely different with it's successor i think they understood that there was no way a Wii 2.0 could replicate that success so they took another chance with another unconventional idea. That's the nature of trying to innovate, not everything is going to stick though they could have handled the Wii U better
 
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NOLA_Gaffer

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For the Wii U:
  • The Wii U had a really poor marketing campaign with confusing messaging.
  • Third parties abandoned the platform after the first six months.
  • Very few of the industry's most popular games appeared on the platform.
  • The rise the the mobile market. Many potential Wii customers were satiated with 99-cent/free phone games for their videogames fix.
  • A lot of smaller publishers that supported the Wii and DS in its heydey crashed and burned towards the end of the seventh generation. The indie market hadn't quite exploded yet to fill in their absence.
 

StormCell

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It was slightly better than PS360 in terms of raw visuals, but apparently very difficult to get there unless you were Nintendo.

In addition, Wii U had a lot of great OS features, and the Gamepad was a neat if limited idea scuppered by the fact that it was a mandatory part of the experience and cost.
That seems like it's been a cornerstone of the Nintendo hardware experience since the DS.

DS: Paying for 2 screens, and one of those is touch.
Wii: Paying for motion controllers, but the hardware is limited to keep price down.
3DS: Paying for glasses free 3D (not cheap) while hardware remains firmly weaker than PS Vita
Wii U: Paying for big controller with an HD screen, so rest of hardware will need to be limited to keep price from being ridiculous.
Switch: Paying for Joycon controllers + HD rumble (not cheap!!) so package is $300 instead of $250 or even less....

And what sorta stings is that the handheld Switch not only doesn't have detachable Joycon controllers but doesn't even have HD rumble! Joycon bundles cost anywhere from $70-$80 because of this HD rumble that is basically going to get totally phased out in due time. Oh well... could we have had more memory or storage or I dunno anything to enhance the visual experience in the mean time? Pssssh.
 
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EuropeOG

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Had the simply called Wii U the Wii 2 it would have sold a few million more, I don't even believe that's an exaggeration; the name, along with the poor marketing was a huge hindrance to getting this thing off the ground. Only the hardest of Nintendo fans bought it and maybe a handful of savvy parents who research products... But most don't. Nice Wii addon bro, now let's continue to leave the Wii collecting dust in the closet.

3DS lost most of its casual market to smartphones, the simple truth. Why buy a new handheld when grandma just got to grips with her smartphone or tablet and plays all the free casual crap.
 

joe_zazen

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That seems like it's been a cornerstone of the Nintendo hardware experience since the DS.

DS: Paying for 2 screens, and one of those is touch.
Wii: Paying for motion controllers, but the hardware is limited to keep price down.
3DS: Paying for glasses free 3D (not cheap) while hardware remains firmly weaker than PS Vita
Wii U: Paying for big controller with an HD screen, so rest of hardware will need to be limited to keep price from being ridiculous.
Switch: Paying for Joycon controllers + HD rumble (not cheap!!) so package is $300 instead of $250 or even less....

And what sorta stings is that the handheld Switch not only doesn't have detachable Joycon controllers but doesn't even have HD rumble! Joycon bundles cost anywhere from $70-$80 because of this HD rumble that is basically going to get totally phased out in due time. Oh well... could we have had more memory or storage or I dunno anything to enhance the visual experience in the mean time? Pssssh.
Iwata is dead and switch is the last console he had input into. You’ll be getting a more predictable console in the future, i am sure, without any risks.

I used to only care about power, but i kinda want cool weird shit more instead now, because power only seems to be used for gross kill animations, which i find boring.
 
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GV82

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The only Casual Gamer thing I heard at my old workplace was why they wouldn’t buy a 3ds was because they had bad eyes, so they would never own one, I couldn’t convince them that they would be fine with the slider turned off, also there was another woman who wouldn’t buy her children a 3ds, because she heard the 3d was bad for children’s eyes & would ruin them, again there was just no convincing these casual/non gamers that it was fine to buy.

I left that place shortly before the 2ds came out, do you think that may have been the same for other casual gamers around the world to as a reason for the lower sales otherwise I don’t know.


My other theory was naming confusion WiiU & 3DS had similar names to the predecessors so some extremely casual gamers/parents didn’t buy them due to thinking they were just slight upgrade versions of the same console?

Wii & Wii slim was the same Gen, Wii U was next Gen, a casual gamer then wouldn’t understand that & maybe then assumed,the WiiU was of the same Gen as the Wii. Just like the confusion probably of the DS/DS Lite/DSi/DSXL & then 3ds, they may have assumed was the same thing but with just slight upgrades, except us (more experienced gamers) know they had entirely new games in 3d.


Nintendo Switch is a completely new name, so people understand it is a new thing completely, I think naming matters a lot for the very casual audience.
The same as the Wii & DS were completely new names from the GameCube/GBA that proceeded it.
 

NickFire

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Simple really. The Wii U gimmick did not resonate like the Wii gimmick. I don't use the word gimmick disparagingly. Just pointing out that their home consoles have not been simple spec upgrades, and like with any toy some will sell well and others may flop. as for the 3ds, I do attribute mobile to the lesser sales, and over saturation of ds's generally.
 
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bobone

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So many reasons.
The main one being the Wii was not purchased by gamers. It was purchased by gamers uncles, aunts, and grandparents. So the sales numbers are basically irrelevant.

But the games are NOT at fault in any way.
The Switches entire library is basically just re-releases of WiiU games or cheap game of the year editions of them.

I personally love the 3DS and I think 75 million sold is fantastic considering the rise of smart phones and their effect on the industry.
 

EviLore

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We're experiencing flat out shameful, incompetent design. Decade-old hardware in a primarily $350 box is not necessary or even particularly beneficial in order to secure an aggressive profit margin, and having power trade-offs with the 360/PS3 architectures ensures bad press and unhappy port-buyers from the beginning, when upgraded current gen ports were very much part of the launch strategy. Fils-Aime has to run laughably dishonest damage control on a daily basis as part of this catastrophic failure to produce a technologically viable system -- again, at such a premium price point.

No worries, though. I'm sure soccer moms worldwide, with their iPads and Nexus 7s sitting on the coffee table, will be enthralled by the unique selling point of a living room tethered, two hour battery life, PDA-era resistive touch screen tablet controller.
 
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I still think the marketing didn't contribute as much to the Wii U's failure as people like to say. Sure, it didn't help, but I think most people just really didn't like what the Wii U had to offer. That's why enthusiasts weren't interested either.

The Wii U was made to compete with the X360 and PS3; Consoles that had been out for about 5 years, with their successors approaching. Both systems had huge libraries of games, and the hardware and software were both affordable by that point. The Wii U didn't offer anything significant except the gamepad controller, which people just didn't care for. And why should they? I never miss the second screen when playing Switch or any other device. Dividing you attention between two screens is an awful idea, even way back on the DS. Anyway, after that initial negative reaction, it quickly became clear Nintendo were the only ones supporting the system with new games, and those were spread thin as Nintendo was developing for 3DS as well. It just wasn't a great option for most people.

As for the 3DS, the price and the 3D gimmick held it back I think. I remember seeing the reveal for 3DS at E3 and being really impressed by what they showed. Then they charged 250 euros for it. The 3D gimmick was just that, and only added onto the price. The system launched with awful games and took a while to get going. Heck, I think the 3DS is still too expensive (New 2DS really should be €100 with a game included).

So to summarize: Nintendo sold products people didn't want and at too high a price.
 

StormCell

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Iwata is dead and switch is the last console he had input into. You’ll be getting a more predictable console in the future, i am sure, without any risks.

I used to only care about power, but i kinda want cool weird shit more instead now, because power only seems to be used for gross kill animations, which i find boring.
I do admire Mr. Iwata's innovation. I'll never forget that first Wii Sports experience, and gaming has been reshaped, for me, by Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo will always bring something new to the experience. SNES was shoulder buttons, N64 was joystick, GCN was analog shoulder triggers (I think), Wii was motion and IR, and the future will hopefully build upon the Switch concept.
 

Durask

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I think 3DS sales are very respectable. 75 million is nothing to sneeze at. That's with useless 3D gimmick and woefully underpowered graphics.
 

Vitacat

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A lot of DS purchases were probably by parents for young kids. Look at kids now, and what are they playing on? Not traditional handhelds.

Also, I LOVE all those systems, especially Wii, DS and 3DS. WiiU was OK, but obviously was badly handled and marketed.
 
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Panajev2001a

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I think the marketing for the wii u was a bit all over the place. The name was confusing, and many people just thought it was a wii or a wii attachment rather than Nintendo's next gen console.

The timeframe it came out also kind of sucked. They were starting to focus a bit more on the core gamer but they failed to properly court third party developers. Most developers were already focused on the xbox one and ps4 that were coming out. So we did get some good third party games, but they were from last gen and the hardware couldn't support the current xbox or playstation games.

The 3ds did alright (but it infamously had a rough start). I think the 3d gimmick kind of drew people away as it was more of a novelty and passing fad at the time. Even nintendo recognized it when they made non-3d models and quit focusing on the 3d element.
I get if people cannot see the 3D effects properly or if it causes them discomfort, but for the others I cannot understand why you would play games like SM3DLand and Zelda (even TOoT) without the 3D mode...
 

iconmasterX

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For the Wii U: Controller, controller, controller.

The gamepad was unwieldy, it couldn't be taken out of the same room as the console, it was weird for multiplayer, and its screen had no real point until Mario Maker came along 3 years after launch.

The product name and the marketing were secondary issues. The whole concept was fundamentally flawed.

For the 3DS: Seemed like it was all about price. Slow start, Nintendo reduced the price, sales picked up and made the device a respectable success.
 

Petrae

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3DS had a horrible launch, marred by an exorbitant price point, a gimmick that nobody wanted, and a weak software lineup. Iwata had to fall on his sword and slash the price of the 3DS within months of the launch in order to salvage some momentum. It recovered somewhat, but in the face of the accelerating mobile gaming market— where players no longer needed a dedicated device to play games on the go and could instead just use their phones— there was no way the 3DS was going to catch up with the juggernaut DS family.

The WiiU, meanwhile, was an unmitigated disaster. From its multiple botched reveals at E3, to a poor decision for a pack-in game (which moved the appeal from everyone like Wii Sports had to a more niche group), to two expensive SKUs with low on-board data storage that flew contrary to the rise in digital distribution, to confusing messaging (“Is WiiU an add-on?” happened for months after launch), to third-party support that quickly evaporated, to the flawed GamePad with its limited range, to WiiU killer apps that quickly got ported to the 3DS... WiiU was a comedy of errors that left nobody laughing and is a mistake that Nintendo is still trying to bury to this day.
 
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Zog

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As someone who wants a homeconsole only, YES.
Now if the Switch was cheap as hell, then it would be another matter.
...but the Switch is successful so I doubt was the issue with the Wii U.