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Wii U’s problem isn’t name, but software

by William Schwartz

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There has been some speculation that part of the Wii U’s problem is that its name does not do a good job to differentiate itself as a new console instead of a peripheral. This was most evident on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon when he mistakenly called the Wii U a peripheral to the Wii.

Nintendo of America’s president, Reggie Fils-Aime, disagreed when he talked with Kotaku. While acknowledging the Wii U is currently selling about 50 percent of what the Wii was selling within the same life cycle (3.0 million units compared to 1.5 million units), he reiterated what CEO Satoru Iwata had said earlier. The problem is games and compelling software. According to Fils-Aime, “The challenges we’re facing with Wii U are not issues of the name. The issue is the lack of a steady rate of software launches to motivate the consumer to drive buzz and engagement and to highlight the wide variety of uses of the GamePad. That’s the issue.”

When asked if he felt consumers were too confused about the name, mistaking it for a peripheral like Wii Speak or Wii Balance Board, Fils-Aime said, “As we sit here today again I would say that’s not the issue. The consumer understands that we have a new system. But the consumer is saying: ‘What am I going to play? And what am I going to play that’s a new and unique and compelling experience vs. what I can do today, whether it’s on the Wii or any other system?’ And that’s why experiences like Pikmin 3, like Wonderful 101, like Zelda Wind Waker HD, with the off-TV play, experiences like Super Mario 3D World—that’s why it’s critical that we launch those, have consumers experience them in malls across the country, which we’ll be doing. It’s critical that the consumer see for themselves the range and breadth of compelling software for the system.” This was also right after Nintendo announced their 50 dollar price cut on the premium Wii U and a new Wind Waker bundle along with the information that you can download and play The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD two weeks earlier if you buy it from the Nintendo e-Shop.

Fils-Aime also gave release dates for all AAA games the Wii U and 3DS have this upcoming holiday season in North America, with Mario and Donkey Kong switching places.

Wii U

9/15 The Wonderful 101

9/20 The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD – downloadable only

10/4 Retail version of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

10/25 Wii Party U

11/22 Super Mario 3D World

12/6 Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

And Wii Fit U and Mario and Sonic at the Sochi Olympic Games are scheduled for the holiday season but no release date has been given.

3DS

10/12 Pokemon X and Y

11/22 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

11/22 Mario Party Island Tour

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