For a long time, many diehard Nintendo fans have clung to the hope that Wii U sales would finally explode once Nintendo released Mario Kart 8 and the new Super Smash Bros. game, two titles that have been absolute goldmines for Nintendo in the past. However Time’s Matt Peckham, who has staunchly defended Nintendo’s overall business model and strategy in the past, says that it’s basically game over for the Wii U no matter how good its big upcoming games are. And the reason for this is pretty simple: There’s just nothing that great about the Wii U.
“Nintendo’s Wii U… lacks compelling specs, a sweetheart price or a historical PlayStation 2-equivalent to build on,” Peckham writes. “It’s in the same ballpark as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, oomph-wise, but that’s not what gamers who’ve lived with Sony and Microsoft’s systems for the past six or seven years were looking for in November 2012, nor what seems to be moving them now… The Wii U… has little of the Wii’s novelty, and the Wii U GamePad feels increasingly like a creative miss.”
Peckham still isn’t second-guessing Nintendo’s decision to insist on keeping its games exclusive to its own hardware, however, and he makes very compelling points about why bringing Mario and Zelda to Android and iOS tablets would be bad for the company’s longterm health. But he also doesn’t see any way for Nintendo to salvage the Wii U at this point since it’s not attracting the same casual gamers that the original Wii did, it’s not attracting the hardcore gamers who are going with the PS4 and the Xbox One, and because there aren’t enough Nintendo diehards out there to make up for those two glaring deficiencies.
At this point, then, it looks like Nintendo will just have to weather some rough times until it gets another shot at releasing a new console.