Yesterday we reported the departure of Nintendo’s long-time indie game manager Dan Adelman. One of the reasons for his departure was his many instances of going against the company’s message and sharing his harsher opinions a bit too openly. Now that he has left the company he is able to freely share though, and today he revealed his thoughts on the Wii U and how Nintendo has essentially failed the console with a few decisions.
But the name Wii U is abysmal. I think that cut sales in half right there
When asked if he feels that Nintendo deserves the mess they are in with the Wii U Adelman responded, “Wii U is not selling as well as it deserves to. It has a lot to offer with great games you can’t get anywhere else. The value of the GamePad hasn’t been justified. But the name Wii U is abysmal. I think that cut sales in half right there.”
The Wii U currently sits at just under seven million sales worldwide, far lower than Nintendo projected at this point in the console’s lifecycle. In fact, the poor sales of the Wii U are largely responsible for Nintendo posting overall losses for the past couple of years, a rarity for the century old company.
Thinking back to the initial unveiling of the Wii U at E3 2011, many people, even those largely familiar with the gaming industry, came away from the presentation confused. Was the Wii U a brand new console? Was it a peripheral for the current Wii? Was it just a slightly upgraded Wii, allowing HD graphics? It took a few months before much of the gaming population had a good grasp on what exactly the Wii U was. For the general population, the group that propelled the Wii to its amazing success, the confusion still lingers. While a different name might not have cleared everything up, it certainly would have helped.
And to combine the confusing name with an advertising strategy that focused solely on the Gamepad only exacerbated the issue further. Today Nintendo is still playing catch-up trying to fix the marketing mistakes of the past, using commercials that specifically explain how the Wii U is “an all new system”. Perhaps a simple name change could have helped the situation. Although, I’m not sure that the Wii U would be near 14 million unit sales if it had a different name. Let me know what you think in the comments.