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Miyamoto: We Released Enough First Party Games On Wii U, Children Didn’t Convince Parents To Buy Wii U

wii u miyamoto

In an English translation of last week’s Q&A briefing, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto says the company managed to overcome the challenges of releasing enough first party games on Wii U.  He does not believe that there is a lack of first party titles on Wii U, and he says Wii U’s software does not lack appeal because critics have praised them for their high quality.  Miyamoto gives an example of how Metacritic gave a top score for “Super Mario 3D World”.

“With Wii U, however, we released, along with the hardware, “New Super Mario Bros. U,” as well as “Nintendo Land,” which was a very unique proposition. If you look beyond, we also released a new installment in the Pikmin series after a long interval, and we also had “Super Mario 3D World” at the end of last year. By the end of this year, we will have “Mario Kart 8,” as well as “Super Smash Bros.” Therefore, I feel that we have managed to overcome the challenge of releasing enough first-party franchises on Wii U. Also, despite their sales falling below our expectations so far, I do not think that these games were not well-received because they lacked appeal. We received a top score for “Super Mario 3D World” from Metacritic, a site which gives weighted average scores for games, at the end of last year, and our games are highly praised for their quality.”

Shigeru Miyamoto says that Nintendo failed to communicate the high quality of their products to children and parents.  From now on, the theme of children and parents will become their focus with future Wii U marketing.

“Our biggest downfall last year was that we failed to communicate the true value of Wii U, failed to make children persuade their parents to buy our products for them, and failed to offer products that parents could not resist. What we can do about it from now on is our theme.”

Nintendo released plenty of first party Wii U software in 2013, but did they release the “right” software to boost hardware sales? That’s the million dollar question that we need to ask.  Aside from “Super Mario 3D World”, did most of Nintendo’s first party games like “Game & Wario”,”The Wonderful 101″, and “Pikmin 3”  have huge mass appeal outside of Japan?

When you read the most recent Q&A with Shigeru Miyamoto, he mentions how “Cat Mario” is becoming popular in Japan. You can see how “Cat Mario” was designed for a Japanese audience.  Maybe that’s the problem right there. They keep designing everything (software and hardware) to appeal to Japanese children, and they become surprised when children in the west (North America, Europe, Australia) don’t see the same appeal.  They design everything with a Japanese mentality, and they hope it will become accepted globally outside of Japan.

If the problem isn’t the quantity or quality of Wii U’s first party software, then why is Nintendo struggling to communicate Wii U’s appeal to children and parents?  Is this strictly a marketing issue, or is it something else? I’d love to hear your comments.

Source:  Nintendo

14 Replies to “Miyamoto: We Released Enough First Party Games On Wii U, Children Didn’t Convince Parents To Buy Wii U”

  1. The quality of most Wii U software isn’t the problem, and first party quantity isn’t as bad as it could be (although ~8 major games for a system in what will be almost two years time is pretty lackluster) it’s mostly a lack of 3rd party support that is killing the Wii U.  A gaming console nowadays needs to have a large library of titles available to suit the varying needs and wants of gamers, meanwhile Nintendo is just making a Mario/indie machine, though most people prefer to play indie games on PC (where they’re often released earlier as well).  If Nintendo were to gain 3rd party relationships and get a larger library of varying titles on the system it would be almost guaranteed to do better.

  2. Mario is not selling as well in the west because these days there are many other alternatives. Western kids like skylanders, lego and
    minecraft games and many other things as well. And probably if they have 3DS or DS or Wii they already have a mario, so parents don’t feel like paying another 300 bucks to play a mario again.
    PS: I have a Wii U with SM3DW :  I like mario games.

  3. Nintendo should stop marketing the Wii U.  They need to market the
    Wii U games.  If people want to play the games enough, then they will
    buy the console.

  4. Other M will always be on my mind. I thinks it’s funny(infuriating) that Prime Samus was never in smash bros, it was Super Metroid Samus(japanese), but then Other M was released and despite all the reception, it is Other M Samus that is in Brawl, not super and not prime, but the most recent japanese Metroid. Nintendo way of dealing with the west is almost an insult, I hope things change from now on.

  5. You hit the nail right on the head: the issue is that Nintendo is continually designing games to appeal to a Japanese market and has forgotten how to make something with global appeal. There was a time when NOA had men like Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln, guys that might have taken one look at Mario 3D World and told NCL that Cat Mario and co. need to be less sickeningly cute, but now Nintendo seems to be clueless about what American kids will think is cool. There were even many parents during the 8-bit and early 16-bit eras that thought Mario and Zelda were cool. Instead of blaming it on marketing, Nintendo really ought to be looking to their pasts successes for the answers they so desperately need.

  6. PattonFiend Conrat  It’ll be almost two years by the time that the new major Nintendo games come out, which is what I meant by that, hence the “will be”.  Also the vast majority of the games you mentioned are on almost every platform and generally run better on the other available platforms, so there’d be no reason to buy a Wii U to play a few Nintendo games and an inferior version of the other games.  I would like to note that I do own a Wii U and this criticism is more in hopes that Nintendo fixes these things and gets a proper library of games, it isn’t out of hate.

  7. It just doesn’t seem worth to buy. Nor kids neither adults want a console that looks like an old toy. Especially if there’s other consoles with games that can be similar in quality, but with more quantity.

    Nintendo believes they need to be different to stay relevant, but it should mean to offer what others offer “plus the Nintendo difference”. Instead, we have a system with virtually no online features, a hardware nearly ten years old and few virtual console games that cost a lot of money (I really think its expensive).

    People look at me with pity in their eyes when I say I bought a Wii U and I don’t think I can blame them…

  8. I think marketing was definitely a factor. However, the problem isn’t first party software. We all know how great Nintendo games are. The monkey is there is no third party software to supplement the space between.

  9. http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/01/satoru_iwata_announces_a_quality_of_life_platform_business_of_non_wearable_technology

    rip our beloved nintendo. we broke them by buying up wii sports, wii fits, and brain ages by the millions. games that cost nintendo no effort or money to make with half assed lazy elemnents selling 10 times more than the titles that they put a lot of time and money and artistic integrity into has convinced nintendo to just flatout ditch gaming and focus on health products. 

    once this thing proves to be more profitable than the wii u and the handhelds you have to be crazy to think nintendo is going back to making games of actual substance.

    this its the beginning of the end.

  10. MatthewBroussard  I’m not sure about that.  but yes. I would say they need to find a way to get some influence or at least credential with western gaming scene or market, which they have lost.  I am just really doubtful of the way it is to be done without them being swallowed up by other trends or not to provide their unique or off kilter elements. 
    It would help if they out and out bankrolled some of the promising western kickstarter creations like the new River City, that not!macross schmup, and others.  They are trying to appeal to indies but I fear its too late they hear only the sound of Newell and his Steam.  and it seems everyone is warned away from working with Nintendo.  I don’t doubt its harrowing with must if not all the real power and decision making overseas while companies we may love to hate like Activision, EA, Ubisoft and the like are all about appealing to people with fresh blood and IP to drill here.

  11. PattonFiend Conrat  I would say there are long droughts and htings that could easily be on a WiiU that aren’t and regardless of the actual responsibility that cut into the software library and availabile participation with your product IS a fault against the product.
    I don’t like sports and FPSes but if the big watershed ones (Bioshock Infinite, Madden, etc) aren’t coming with the same service/support how am I going to justify WiiU exclusiity to friends say nothing to customers?

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