Nintendo has been around for over 125 years. Granted they weren’t always making video games, but that is still a very long time. So they know a thing or two about everything. No company exists for that many years and isn’t well known and is a success at least in some form. The same is true for Nintendo. They have been lighting the world of video games on fire for a very long time, especially starting with the NES console. Nintendo played a major role in keeping the game world alive after the video game crash of 1983. So it would make sense that since that time they have been a major player in consoles and games. Their handheld consoles are the undisputed king of gaming, outside of smartphones in recent years that is. When it comes to dedicated portable game players, Nintendo is king and that’ll likely not change anytime soon. And they have had some major successes in thier home consoles as well, particularly with the Wii, which sold over 100 million units. But just because they have a long history and great past successes doesn’t mean all is well with Nintendo right now.
Now don’t misunderstand: I’m not one of the people who think Nintendo is doomed. I look it like this: if they have been around for over a century they likely aren’t going to just die suddenly. It’s not going to happen. But that doesn’t change the fact that their new home console, the Wii U, is struggling for sales right now. It isn’t the worst selling console in history or anything like that, but it isn’t lighting the world on fire. Even with new major Mario and Mario Kart games, the console hasn’t put up big numbers. That’s a concern for at least two major reasons: the past and what others are doing. In the past the Wii couldn’t stop selling, and their 3DS console is still moving in droves into customers homes (though the 3DS started off slowly too). It makes sense in a way because of the different price points, but that’s still bad that the Wii U isn’t really doing anything now and it has been out almost 2 years. The others that Nintendo are competing against is a major point as well.
The Sony PS4, in particular, has been selling very well. It hasn’t even been out a year yet and it has over 11 million units sold. Not sold to retail, sold and in home with customers. Okay, you may think, that’s not that big of a number. But consider that the PS4 is not only more expensive but it doesn’t have its Mario out yet. I love the PS4, and there are a lot of games to play right now, but how many of those can only be played on the PS4? Not many. Uncharted isn’t out for it yet. Neither is Arkham Knight (though it will be on the Xbox too it’s not available on Nintendo). Neither is Gran Turismo 7. None of Sony’s huge games and franchises are in full swing, and yet the console is over 11 million in sold units. The Wii U? It’s at just over 7 million. It’s roughly 4 million units behind. That’s bad because they have their Mario and other major games out now, and yet it can’t keep up with a PS4 that has “no games.” And keep in mind that by the time Nintendo has all their major games out, like Smash Bros, new Zelda, newer Marios and the like, the Xbox One will also have a lot of major games out by then. The PS4 will have major games by then as well. So it’s not looking great for the Wii U right now. Even the Xbox One, which has sold only around 5 million units, is catching the Wii U. It’s much slower, but it is still coming.
But that’s not to say that the Wii U will be a failure forever or anything like that. Over 7 million sales is still pretty good, and it will get the usual uptick when major games are released. It’s still a great console, one that I bought day one and still love to this day. But it’s not in as good of shape as Nintendo zealots will have you believe. I have heard time after time that the Wii U will pick up steam with each major release, but that hasn’t really happened yet, at least not in a major way. Again, the PS4 is outpacing it by several million units and it has nothing on it yet, so to speak. That’s a bad sign for the Wii U. But the 3DS is going very strong and Nintendo isn’t stupid with how they spend their money, so they will not be going away anytime soon. I guarentee they will be here for many more decades to come, so there are no worries that you’ll not have new Mario games in the future. The Wii U is in trouble, but Nintendo is not. Don’t buy into all of the Nintendo is doomed talk, because that’s not happening. As for the Wii U? Time will tell, but the Xbox One and PS4 will only get stronger, and if they are doing so well now it’ll only spell more trouble for the Wii U. But time will tell!