Letter from America: why Wii U isn't selling • Blogs • Eurogamer.net
Following a price cut of $50, Wii U sales rose 200% from August to September, which sounds really encouraging until you consider that a 200% increase of a few tens of thousands really isn't much. Doubly so, when you also factor in the machine has now been on sale for a year and is about to face some seriously stiff competition when Sony and Microsoft roll out their big guns.
There are a whole variety of reasons why Wii U isn't selling, and I talked about one of the big ones in a news story I wrote earlier this week - which is that it's simply not being pushed at retail. An IHS analyst recently did some “secret shopper” testing where she went to a series of retailers and asked them questions about the Wii U. Most couldn't even tell her the difference between a Wii and Wii U. I've heard this from multiple sources, and even seen it for myself, being told, “It's kinda the same as a Wii, but it has a tablet.” Ultimately, my greater point is that Nintendo has done a half-assed job in explaining what a Wii U is - and from retail to consumers, there's an alarming lack of understanding (or worse, a complete misunderstanding) of what it is.
It's a shame, because the machine has some really good games available for it, but with the industry at large simply not supporting it very well, and instead focusing on the ease of dual-development between Xbox One and PS4, Wii U is going to have a tough time breaking out of the hardcore market into the mass market. Of course, Nintendo will survive even if the Wii U continues to limp along at its current rate, but to me, it's a shame that such a fun machine is being overlooked by so many who'd very likely enjoy its charms.