Nintendo’s Wii U is a capable little game console with a nifty touchscreen-equipped GamePad controller, but one thing it’s not is profitable off the bat. Traditionally, most console hardware is sold at a loss at launch because of high-cost components that provide cutting-edge graphics and processing power. To put it into perspective, it took five years for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox business to become profitable and four years for Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3 to get out of the red. Nintendo’s modus operandi has always been to make a profit on every console it sells, so it was shocking to hear the Wii U would be sold at a loss. But Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently sat down with MercuryNews and set the record straight, explaining that the Wii U isn’t losing much money per unit sold. More →
Nintendo (NTDOY) doesn’t follow trends. And contrary to popular belief, Nintendo is not really a game company — it’s an entertainment company. The values that run deep within the humble 123-year-old company that started out producing hanafuda cards carry on through every console and every game it makes today. It might sound silly, but Nintendo is in business to put smiles on faces of all ages; not just the Mountain Dew-drinking, Doritos-eating, pajama-wearing 30-year-old. More →
Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U launched on Sunday to much fanfare. As gamers snapped up preordered consoles and games, scalpers took to eBay and Craigslist to sell Wii Us for double their value. Even without the availability of Nintendo TVii at the console’s launch, the Wii U is off to a good start. Naturally, the iFixit team broke out the screwdrivers and went straight to cracking the unit open. What did iFixit discover? For one thing, the Wii U has flash memory chips made by Samsung (005930) and an HDMI controller made by Panasonic. More →
Unless you’ve preordered or plan to wait on line overnight, it’s going to be very tough to get a Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U on Sunday. Preorders for the console with the unique touchscreen controller and wireless streaming functionality have been sold out since September and we’re already seeing skyrocketing prices on auction sites such as eBay. Needless to say, the Wii U is all but guaranteed a successful launch. According to Gamasutra, the hardware isn’t the only thing that is selling out – GameStop (GME) is also seeing huge demand for Wii U games. GameStop says 1.2 million Wii U games have already been preordered, which is double what it saw for the original Wii. More →
The Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U launches this Sunday and people are pumped for it. Aside from gaming, Nintendo is marketing the Wii U console and touchscreen-equipped GamePad as the ultimate TV controller. Announced in September, Nintendo called the the Wii U’s “TVii” service a “personalized TV guide that can tell you what’s available on Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus, Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video, live TV and video on DVR.” The free service is designed to wrangle all of your TV and video on demand content into a single easy-t0-use UI. That and the GamePad’s ability to double as a universal TV remote makes the Wii U a couch potato’s best friend. The only bad news is that Nintendo TVii and the Video on Demand services won’t be ready at launch— Nintendo says TVii will instead arrive in December. So, if you have those services and planned to ditch your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and go all-in with the Wii U, you might want to wait just a few more weeks before putting them up on Craigslist.
The Wii U doesn’t have a hard drive like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Instead, Nintendo (NTDOY) chose to include flash storage in two capacities: 8GB and 32GB. Unfortunately, the actual amount of storage users will have access to is significantly less than what’s advertised on the box. As Kotaku explains, after formatting the internal storage, the 8GB model has 7.2GB of storage leftover and the 32GB Wii U has 29GB of storage. Then, the Wii U operating system takes another 4.2GB of storage out of that, and leaves a grand total of 3GB and 24.8GB of storage for saving games, movies, downloadable content, etc. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Wii U doesn’t have a lot of storage, especially for those picking up the 8GB basic set. More →
Nintendo (NTDOY) president Satoru Iwata has already spoiled the unboxing ceremonies, but that doesn’t mean the Wii U doesn’t still have a few mysteries left to it. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamato of the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Metroid fame told IGN back in June that the game company was working on “experiences along [the lines of] the Xbox 360′s Achievements and PlayStation 3′s Trophies.” But according to 5th Cell co-founder Jeremiah Slaczka, developer of Scribblenauts Unlimited, the Wii U has no such system-wide accomplishments in place. Instead, it will be up to each developer to create their own Achievement-systems in their own games. More →
The hard times continue for the video game industry as sales in the United States have declined for the 11th month in a row. According to the latest numbers from NPD Group, sales of games, hardware and accessories fell 25% year-over-year in October from $1 billion in 2011 to 755.5 million, Bloomberg reported. Console sales have plummeted 37% to $187.3 million as consumers continue to wait for the next-generation offerings from Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY), while software sales fell 25% to $432.6 million. For the 22nd consecutive month, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console was the best-selling gaming system, although sales declined 31% from 393,000 in October 2011 to 270,000 in 2012. The research firm estimates that traditional retail sales of video games account for about half of all spending, while the rest comes from digital downloads. Sales are expected to rebound in the coming months as we approach the holiday season, along with the release of hit games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4.
The Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U doesn’t come out of for another 11 days in North America. To kickstart the new console hype, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took to the company’s Nintendo Direct webcast to do an official unboxing video of the $349.99 Deluxe Set. Most of the console’s extras – GamePad charging cradle, console “legs,” 32GB of internal storage and a copy of Nintendo Land – have already been detailed, but the fact that Iwata does the entire thing with “Mario-style white gloves” makes the unboxing all the more special.
With 17 days to go until the Wii U console launches in North America, Nintendo (NTDOY) has only a handful of days to convince gamers on the fence why its new console is worth $299.99. As is the case with so many brand new products, the Wii U’s GamePad is a gadget that can only be understood after you actually use it. It’s incredibly light and its large 6.2-inch touchscreen is responsive despite the lack of multitouch. In terms of latency, there’s virtually no noticeable lag when streaming HD games and video to the GamePad’s screen. Nintendo has already admitted that it will be a challenge to showcase the Wii U due to its unique design. We’ve posted company’s first Wii U commercial below.
Rarely does Nintendo (NTDOY) sell new hardware at a loss, but during a financial results briefing, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed the Wii U will be sold below its manufacturing cost. Iwata explained that due to rising yen, it chose a price ”that consumers would consider to be reasonable” and not one based on manufacturing cost. As a result, Iwata warns that the Wii U will have a “negative impact” on the company’s profits in the months after the console launches. More →
If sold out preorders and sky-high grey market preorder sales are any indication, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) upcoming Wii U console is going to be a hit. The $299.99 Wii U is the first game console with a controller that incorporates a large 6.2-inch touchscreen, NFC, video chat camera and universal TV remote controls. While diehard Nintendo fans will flock to pick up a Wii U on November 18th, many consumers have been left wondering why they should pick it up over an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 when the new console provides no significant leap in graphics or processing power. Nintendo revealed on Wednesday in its financial earnings report that it hopes strong marketing will help it sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles by the end of the second quarter of 2013. The Kyoto, Japan-based game company also expects to sell 24 million Wii U games in the same time.
Other than the unique touchscreen-equipped GamePad controller, the Wii U is a console that isn’t too different from this generation’s Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s Nintendo’s (NTDOY) “catch up” console that finally adds high-definition graphics, a robust selection of video content through Nintendo TVii and an online gaming platform that the company says will finally compete with Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Both of those services support voice chat during gaming sessions online and they both support wireless headsets, but the Nintendo Wii U might not even have simple voice chat down without a convoluted setup, according to Kotaku.