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back to article Pikmin to the rescue: Can Nintendo revamp revive Wii U fortunes?

With the heatwave apparently set to give way to stormy weather, it might be about time to batten down the hatches and get comfy with a new game. This week we’re off for a walk in the forest with Pikmin 3, tracking down a master thief in The Raven and getting overwhelmed by choice in Valve’s Dota 2. Pikmin 3 The Wii U’s version …

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Bronze badge

"Can Nintendo revamp revive Wii U fortunes? "

Nope - the next generation consoles come out soon. This is a Dodo....

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But it's cheaper. And it's out now. And it doesn't look like an 80s VCR. And the games are cheaper.

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Anonymous Coward

And it's less likely to spy on you as well....

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But it's cheaper.

Because the tech is old.

And the games are cheaper.

Because many of the games are also old.

Pikmin 3 is starting to tickle my fancy, but it's just another Ninty sequel, and I've had more than enough of those. The Wonderful 101 has my attention, as does the recently announced Mysterious Cities of Gold game.

I might get one, maybe when they're cheaper, and only after I get a new gaming PC, PS4 and possibly a Vita. ;-)

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@ Greg

“And the games are cheaper.

Because many of the games are also old.”

Ports like Arkham City are obvious examples, but which other titles were you thinking of?

Also, games haven’t been that cheap – unless one calls fifty quid cheap.

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Pirate

"but it's just another Ninty sequel"

The problem is I can say that about almost EVERYTHING that gets released on all platforms any more. How about FIFA 67, or Modern Warfare 42? The entire AAA games industry has gotten to the point that it's so expensive to make a game that there can be no failures so, rather then risk a completely new IP, they keep rehashing the old.

This is why there has been such a frenzy around crowdfunded games, a number of which pulling in millions. We are seeing nothing but homogeny amongst the major players, we want diversity.

<- The pirate flag, I'm sure the low sales will be attributed to piracy somehow.

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Silver badge

"But it's cheaper."

I doubt the PS3 or 360 are going to disappear any time soon and frankly what does the Wii U do that those other consoles don't? The answer is not much.

"And the games are cheaper."

Again, the PS3 and 360 are not disappearing and if anything their games are even cheaper than the Wii U since they've been on sale longer.

Some 3rd parties have even proclaimed they're not even bothering to support the Wii U (probably after being burned with bad sales on the Wii) so I don't see the console competing even with the last gen let alone with the next gen.

Of course maybe Nintendo will hold a firesale to reboot the platform but that could be widely perceived as desperation.

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DrXym

"I doubt the PS3 or 360 are going to disappear any time soon and frankly what does the Wii U do that those other consoles don't? The answer is not much."

Well, there’s the Nintendo first-party titles for a start.

Backwards compatibility - the Wii U will also play Wii games; PS4 and Xbox One will not play the previous generation's game discs.

Gamepad controller – not to everyone’s taste, but can be rather nifty… for instance, in a gadget-heavy game (e.g. Batman Arkham City).

Great multiplayer when other players are in the same room – and personally, one player being able to use the gamepad for a screen and another, the TV is something that I think is great.

Games that appeal to a wider demographic – a lot of PS/Xbox titles target the dudebro gamer, not the case with the Wii U.

Possible linking up with the 3DS - someone playing Monster Hunter can switch between their 3DS and Wii U.

Controller options – depending on the game, but players can choose to play with the gamepad, Wii Remote or the Pro controller; this is something that’s a design feature, not an afterthought. One thing that people like is they could be playing with one control system and pick up a different controller and start playing with it instead – no stopping or pausing the game. It sounds simple and it is, and it’s surprisingly impressive.

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Silver badge

The problem is I can say that about almost EVERYTHING that gets released on all platforms any more.

No, you couldn't, because I was referring to Nintendo specifically as the poster child for franchise stagnation. There's nothing wrong with sequels at all, but you need other stuff too. Whereas, say, Sony went to great lengths at E3 to point out all the sweet indie stuff arriving on the console, as well as some interesting looking oddball games I'd not seen before, Nintendo just keep on churning away.

Same knee-jerk response I get every time I criticise Nintendo: Nintendo isn't bad, because everyone else is just as bad. Nope, they're not.

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Anonymous Coward

DoDo already

Why do you think it's bombed against the current consoles?

The PS3/Vita combo does all the same stuff and more (taking games with you on the vita, continuing on the console later), but so much better, has better graphics, better games, better online.

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Re: DrXym

"Well, there’s the Nintendo first-party titles for a start."

Every platform has 1st party titles. Believe it or not, not everyone buys a console for a handful of exclusive titles. Evidence of that can be seen from the poor sales the Wii U has enjoyed despite some prominent 1st party titles. And 3rd party support is down the drain.

"Backwards compatibility - the Wii U will also play Wii games; PS4 and Xbox One will not play the previous generation's game discs."

The PS4 and XBox One will inevitably get cloud based versions of existing games and besides I was making the comparison to the PS3 and 360. There are 6 years worth of games for these systems, probably more than the Wii and Wii U combined, and certainly higher quality.

"Gamepad controller – not to everyone’s taste, but can be rather nifty… for instance, in a gadget-heavy game (e.g. Batman Arkham City)."

It's also very expensive a has a short battery life. It is useful as a controller on some kinds of games, but as a selling point it's not a huge one. And speaking of Batman Arkham City, it demonstrates the point about cheap games. While it was selling full whack on the Wii U, it was in the bargain bin on other platforms. In fact Sony were giving it away as their monthly PSN+ title at the time.

"Games that appeal to a wider demographic – a lot of PS/Xbox titles target the dudebro gamer, not the case with the Wii U."

And a lot of them don't. E.g. I bought my 5 year old some dance / party games for the PS3. Also I'd point out that targeting the casual market too heavily can have a disastrous impact on sales and the quality of titles. Look at all the shovelware on the Wii. It happened because the profit simply wasn't there for 3rd parties to aim any higher. The outright apathy for the Wii U by 3rd parties is probably a direct result of what happened the last time.

"Possible linking up with the 3DS - someone playing Monster Hunter can switch between their 3DS and Wii U."

Quite a niche feature.The same claim has been made with the PS3+PSP and PS3+PS Vita games and the impact is fairly marginal.

"Controller options – depending on the game, but players can choose to play with the gamepad, Wii Remote or the Pro controller; this is something that’s a design feature, "

Same could be said of PS Move controller, or even the Kinect for that matter.

Simply put, nothing you have said justifies why someone should buy a Wii U when broadly speaking it's no better at all than existing platforms.

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Re: DrXym

- “Every platform has 1st party titles. Believe it or not, not everyone buys a console for a handful of exclusive titles. Evidence of that can be seen from the poor sales the Wii U has enjoyed despite some prominent 1st party titles. And 3rd party support is down the drain.”

No one is disputing that different platforms have different exclusives and I’ve mentioned that to be the case – so I think we’re all agreed on that one.

My point was if you want to play *any* Nintendo game, then you *have* to buy its hardware – and some people will buy a Wii U for that. That’s not to say ‘everyone’ will but some. Many people do buy more than one console or game on more than one platform

Initial Wii U sales weren’t bad (look at http://gonintendo.com/?mode=viewstory&id=200367 for a comparison with the launch sales for 360 and PS3 – incidentally, the Wii U has just sold a million units in Japan and it’s taken the same time as the PS3 getting to that level) but have stalled – and for a very good reason, there hasn’t been many games for it. You say there have been “some prominent 1st party titles” but there’s been a grand total of…. two: New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land. Titles have been delayed – Pikmin 3, IIRC, should have shipped four months ago; the week that it launched in Japan, Wii U console sales rose by nearly 180%.

Re: third-party as I mentioned, if you want multi-platform games, the Wii U isn’t the way to go but one should also consider indie developers, which Nintendo is reaching out to (e.g, http://www.edge-online.com/news/indies-on-wii-u-how-does-nintendos-approach-compare-to-sony-and-microsofts/).

- “The PS4 and XBox One will inevitably get cloud based versions of existing games and besides I was making the comparison to the PS3 and 360. There are 6 years worth of games for these systems, probably more than the Wii and Wii U combined, and certainly higher quality.”

Inevitably doesn’t mean definitely, or out of the box, or free.

In terms of game numbers:

1222 games for the Wii

959 for the 360

772 for the PS3

As to quality, there was a lot of shovelware for the Wii, just as there is for any big selling console. As to higher quality, it all depends on what you want to play. No More Heroes is a favourite of mine – that was ported to the 360 and PS3, but the Wii version plays a heck of a lot better.

I was thinking more of you’ve got a library of games that you want to play some off, this is something that you can do straight out of the box with the Wii U. Some of us actually like to go back to games.

- Re: Gamepad

“It's also very expensive”

What the gamepad? That comes with the console. If you’re talking about the price, Asda and Amazon have been doing the basic package for £150 and the premium for £200 – the latter has gone back up, which ain’t bad

“ has a short battery life”

Something that does need work on and a larger battery has been announced in Japan (it’s very easy to fit yourself). Depending what you’re doing, the gamepad lasts for 3-5 hours – with games, 3.5 hours if the usual figure for games. If you’ve been playing that long straight, it might be time to take a break… or plug the charger in and keep playing.

.”It is useful as a controller on some kinds of games, but as a selling point it's not a huge one. And speaking of Batman Arkham City, it demonstrates the point about cheap games. While it was selling full whack on the Wii U, it was in the bargain bin on other platforms. In fact Sony were giving it away as their monthly PSN+ title at the time”

No, I wouldn’t say that it is a selling point – and I agree that is a problem with the approach of third-parties, selling an old game tarted up for a big price. However, you can now pick it up new for £13. As we’re on prices, the price for new games is coming down to more sensible levels.

- “And a lot of them don't. E.g. I bought my 5 year old some dance / party games for the PS3. Also I'd point out that targeting the casual market too heavily can have a disastrous impact on sales and the quality of titles. Look at all the shovelware on the Wii. It happened because the profit simply wasn't there for 3rd parties to aim any higher. The outright apathy for the Wii U by 3rd parties is probably a direct result of what happened the last time.”

Sure, I wasn’t saying that there weren’t any but the big titles on the 360 and PS3 are aimed at the dudebro market – and look at the E3 presentations for the new consoles… the core market ain’t five year olds.

Re: third-party apathy – it’s rather more complicated that that and a lot of it is because of Nintendo; there’s an excellent thread at the moment at Neogaf. If people can make many by making money through shovelware, a lot will appear - look at the original Playstation.

- “Quite a niche feature.The same claim has been made with the PS3+PSP and PS3+PS Vita games and the impact is fairly marginal.”

If you look at gaming forums, you’ll see that a lot of people use this with Nintendo than Sony – and it is a definite plus for some. Also, I mentioned Monster Hunter for good reason – it’s an massively popular franchise in Japan and the 3DS is doing incredibly well in Japan. So really we need to consider other locations and people who may have tastes different to our own.

We seem to be going from there’s no advantage to only advantage to some.

- “Same could be said of PS Move controller, or even the Kinect for that matter.”

Both of those were added as an afterthought and arguably are okay rather than good – also, my comment about being able to switch between different controllers stands. If it wasn’t clear in my previous post, I was talking principally about options for controllers in the same game – for example, a fighting game like Super Smash Bros., players will be able to use the gamepad, pro controller or Wii Remote; you clearly can’t say the same about the “PS Move controller, or even the Kinect” in the same context… well, you could but not very convincingly.

“Simply put, nothing you have said justifies why someone should buy a Wii U when broadly speaking it's no better at all than existing platforms

Sorry, but it sounds like you’re coming too much from your personal angle – the stuff I said *does* appeal to some – not all, but *some*. Also, I feel you’re missing the point when you say “it's no better at all than existing platforms” – a lot of people don’t just one console and some of us like to have a user experience that’s different, that doesn’t mean to say it’s better. Some games I prefer to play on the PC (for example, I wouldn’t want to play Crusader Kings 2 on a console), some I prefer to play on the PS3 or 360, some on an handheld games machine, some on an iOS and some on the Wii or Wii U – they all have their strengths and weaknesses.

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@Greg J Preece

I never said nintendo wasn't bad. They are. The whole industry is bad, they are just another example of it. What I am saying is you are being myopic in singling one out when it's a systemic problem with all the major publishers.

It's not even just a problem with games either. We have been seeing rehashes of the same stuff for years in major motion pictures as well. The industry has discovered a formula that seemed to work in the past, so do it again.

I'm not defending nintendo, I'm condemning the entertainment industry.

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MJI
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Cheaper

And PS3 and X360 are cheaper still, and have games.

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Meh

#40,000 in the queue for the demo...

Could be a long wait.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Coat

Re: #40,000 in the queue for the demo...

They probably thought it was the queue for the toilets.

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Mushroom

Re: #40,000 in the queue for the demo...

They wont be disappointed then...

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It might not appeal to everyone, but there is something enthralling about the Pikmin. Maybe it's because they call me master. I can't wait for my copy.

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The problem with Dota players...

...is that they expect you to have played Dota before playing it.

*buys six health potions at start of match*

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“Nope - the next generation consoles come out soon. This is a Dodo....”

Given that the Wii U is a platform that isn’t reallycompeting with the Xbox One or the PS4, I don’t think that claim stacks up.

The majority of people who buy one will be doing so to primarily play first-party games (if you want to play Nintendo titles, you have to buy the company’s hardware) and quirky, exclusive third-party titles (e.g. Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2).

Multi-platform support is poor (for a whole range of reason) and if that’s your bag, then another console is a no-brainer. If you’re not bothered by exclusives, then IMO, a PC is an even better choice.

The Wii U isn’t going to do anything like the business of the Wii (which attracted a lot of non-gamers), but Nintendo makes a lot of money on the software and doesn’t loss money on each console sold (unlike two other certain companies), and the strength of its IPs means enough will be shifted in order to make a profit. Longer term, is another thing though….

If you look back at the past:

DS – doomed because the PSP was better specced.

Wii – doomed because the PS3 and Xbox 360 were better specced.

3DS – doomed because the Vita was better specced.

Funny how things actually turn out. Incidentally, I don’t think the Wii U will replicate the success of any of those three, but neither do I think that it’s doomed or dead. Although it’s not completely comparing like for like, the 3DS initially struggled due to the range of games available, but it became a strong platform when the games library improved – the Wii U has had a similar problem, but there’s a decent amount of titles coming out for the rest of 2013.

Personally speaking, if I was only gaming on one platform I’d pick the PS4 but I don’t. My main gaming rig is a PC – because of that, out of the new consoles, the Wii U is the one that interests me more because it offers me something that I’m not getting elsewhere – namely, a gamepad that has a heck of lot of potential and had been used well (e.g. ZombiU) and great for player with friends who are round.

Next-gen is more than just specs – but if you want the best specs, I still say go with a PC.

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Agree Wii U has no competition

To add

The PS4, and Xbox one are inferior versions of my 2 year old gaming PC, and they lose in specs.

As the 2 are also based on x86 hardware, and directX I can only guess someone will either A make a VM that can play the games from those 2 systems on my PC, or B make a program that will load the games natively on the PC(only for the exclusives the non exclusives seem to be coming out anyways on PC). I can only assume its a hell of a lot easier making those 2 systems games run on a PC as they share the same instruction sets then say make an emulator to run a custom PPC processor game ;)

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Silver badge

"Given that the Wii U is a platform that isn’t reallycompeting with the Xbox One or the PS4, I don’t think that claim stacks up."

No, it's competing with the PS3 and 360 and neither of them are going anywhere anytime soon. Nor does the Wii U offer many compelling reasons to buy it. A handful of exclusives aren't going to cut it when every platform has exclusives.

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“No, it's competing with the PS3 and 360 and neither of them are going anywhere anytime soon. Nor does the Wii U offer many compelling reasons to buy it. A handful of exclusives aren't going to cut it when every platform has exclusives.”

Sorry, but that’s nonsense - the Wii U isn’t aimed at the same market as those consoles and I really don’t think you appreciate how strong the Nintendo brand is.

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I think Nintendo's problem is that its brand is perceived as amusement for normal people. That helped a lot when the only competition was Sony and Microsoft's ever better visualised games in which army men tell you to walk yo a certain place. Now though Nintendo is competing with Google and Apple, and the target Nintendo consumer no longer thinks games are worth £40.

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Silver badge

"Sorry, but that’s nonsense - the Wii U isn’t aimed at the same market as those consoles and I really don’t think you appreciate how strong the Nintendo brand is."

It's hard to see *what* market it's aimed at since there are so few damned games of note. Though broadly I see no fundamental difference between what the Wii U targets and any other console platform. And the even if it has slightly more emphasis on casual markets, it doesn't need a rocket scientist to tell you how crowded that space has become recently, starting with smart phones and tablets. Even the PS3 and 360 (and doubtless PS4 and XB1) have decent casual offerings.

And you claim nonsense and yet it doesn't alter the fact that Wii U is suffering very badly at the moment. In no small part this indicates apathy from consumers and apathy from the industry which was badly burned by its predecessor.

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Zot
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Asda decided already!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23506080

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