The Wii U isn’t having a great time on the market right now. Sales have dropped off to 160,000 per quarter, total units moved are some 6 million short of where the Wii was at the same point in its lifetime, and those who have purchased the console are still waiting for some of the more desirable games to launch.
From the outside things don’t look great for Nintendo, and come this November — at the console’s first anniversary — the PS4 and Xbox One will arrive and potentially eat into Nintendo’s already struggling sales. But what if Nintendo hadn’t launched last November and instead spent this last year fine-tuning and promoting the Wii, while preparing to launch alongside Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen machines?
It’s a situation worth looking at because it could have seen the Wii U become the best selling console this holiday season. Sure, this would have been a gamble, but , so was launching prematurely, with a slim game portfolio, setup problems, and missing features.
So what would a November 2013 launch for the Wii U have looked like? By November, the Wii U will count the following titles as available to buy:
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
- New Super Luigi
- New Super Mario Bros. U
- Nintendo Land
- Pikmin 3
- Sonic Lost World
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
- The Wonderful 101
- Watch Dogs
There are many more titles available, but those are the key ones Nintendo could have actually counted as launch games. And to follow up, post launch the company would have Super Mario 3D World to advertise for a December release, and Mario Kart 8 arriving early in 2014.
Now add to that a $350 Deluxe Set console price point, which undercuts the PS4 by $50 and the Xbox One by $150, and that includes a tablet controller. Any way you look at it, that sounds like incredible value for money and would push the Wii U to the top of the pre-order pile for many gamers. That extra year wait would also mean Nintendo had more than enough consoles manufactured to meet demand.
Why this comparison is valid is because one of the major downfalls of the Wii U this past year hasn’t been the hardware–it’s the software, or lack thereof. The Wii U still doesn’t have a number of games available that would help sell systems, with Mario and Zelda being clear examples of that. Offer gamers those as launch titles, along with a system priced below the competition, and you’d have a very different situation than the one Nintendo is experiencing today in my opinion.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and Nintendo chose to launch early in a bid to establish the Wii U before the real competition arrived. So far it hasn’t worked, and while a re-launch this November isn’t going to happen, maybe Nintendo has something planned to surprise us all and get Wii U units flying off store shelves.
[image via vooks]