It’s no secret that the Wii U has struggled out of the gates, with Nintendo’s current flagship home console simmering at 9.5 million lifetime sales since it launched back in 2012. Essentially, the hardware had its wings clipped by a mismatched marketing strategy and a lack of first-party exclusives on day-one, a fate that has remained unchanged despite blockbuster releases such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8.
Nintendo has been rather frank about the console’s misfortunes in the past, but in a recent interview with NPR, reputable developer Shigeru Miyamoto has offered his own two cents on why the Wii U failed to emulate the staggering success of its predecessor, pointing to the mass acceptance of tablet devices in recent years as the killing blow.
“I think unfortunately what ended up happening was that tablets themselves appeared in the marketplace and evolved very, very rapidly, and unfortunately the Wii system launched at a time where the uniqueness of those features were perhaps not as strong as they were when we had first begun developing them.
“So what I think is unique about Nintendo is we’re constantly trying to do unique and different things. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they’re not as big of a hit as we would like to hope.”
Ultimately, it seems the Wii U missed its once-opportune window, and an industry were technology and gaming platforms evolve so quickly, there is little-to-no room for second chances. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the middling performance of the console has been for nothing though, with Miyamoto going on to say that Nintendo has taken a lot of the feedback on board and looked toward the new, nebulous Nintendo NX hardware in the hope it “will be a very big hit.”
After ducking out of an appearance at E3 last week, we expect Nintendo to divulge the first details of the NX at some point in 2016. For now, share your thoughts on the Wii U in the comments section below.