Like I Thought… Poor Wii U Sales

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retroc64
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Like I predicted a while ago on this site, the Wii U is doing poorly in sales. In more than most people thought. I also predicted this is the end of Nintendo when it comes to home (not portable) systems.

It is still early though, and anything can happen. What do you think?

retroc64
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Thanks!

Thanks for the SNK head-up. I have a PS3, so was going to be SNK titles on that. I still don't feel as confident as you about tablets, but it will be exciting at least.

Bill Loguidice
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Devices
retroc64 wrote:

Good points. I think I get it. Whatever device has the most consumers, even it was your refrigerator with a screen, it would in theory attract game developers.

What do you think about specialized consoles like SNK device? I have always been a sucker for these devices.

Based on all reports, the SNK licensed handheld/dock combo is dreadful. Pity.

As for the refrigerator thing, yes, even that would get games hacked for it at minimum (after all, history has proven any capable device will have a game made for it), but we're not talking about that with smartphones and tablets. These are just different forms of traditional computers, not another device with some random capabilities put onto it.

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retroc64
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You win again!

Good points. I think I get it. Whatever device has the most consumers, even it was your refrigerator with a screen, it would in theory attract game developers.

What do you think about specialized consoles like SNK device? I have always been a sucker for these devices.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

You act like all smartphones and tablets have is Angry Birds. That's like me saying that all consoles have is Call of Duty. Again, it's not about completely replacing anything, it's about being the dominant platform and having similar or better capabilities to anything else out there. Smartphones and tablets are on that trajectory. Whereas gaming handhelds and consoles are on a 5 to 10 year upgrade cycle, smartphones and tablets are on an annual or faster upgrade cycle. Do the math.

My personal belief is that we've seen how much traditional consoles and gaming handhelds will sell. They've reached their pinnacles. Selling 100 million units over a lifetime is nothing to sneeze at. In relative terms though, that's a small percentage of what smartphones and tablets sell. Heck, some smartphones or tablets can sell in just a year or two what a traditional console would have been happy to sell over a 10 year period. THAT'S the difference. Pure gamers - us - we're not the market, not the end-game. The bigger/biggest market is.

There's nothing wrong with being a relative niche for a market that at one time - without something bigger to compare it against - was insanely large. The industry can survive just fine as long as the business models continue to adapt, just like they always have.

Bill Loguidice
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You act like all smartphones

You act like all smartphones and tablets have is Angry Birds. That's like me saying that all consoles have is Call of Duty. Again, it's not about completely replacing anything, it's about being the dominant platform and having similar or better capabilities to anything else out there. Smartphones and tablets are on that trajectory. Whereas gaming handhelds and consoles are on a 5 to 10 year upgrade cycle, smartphones and tablets are on an annual or faster upgrade cycle. Do the math.

My personal belief is that we've seen how much traditional consoles and gaming handhelds will sell. They've reached their pinnacles. Selling 100 million units over a lifetime is nothing to sneeze at. In relative terms though, that's a small percentage of what smartphones and tablets sell. Heck, some smartphones or tablets can sell in just a year or two what a traditional console would have been happy to sell over a 10 year period. THAT'S the difference. Pure gamers - us - we're not the market, not the end-game. The bigger/biggest market is.

There's nothing wrong with being a relative niche for a market that at one time - without something bigger to compare it against - was insanely large. The industry can survive just fine as long as the business models continue to adapt, just like they always have.

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retroc64
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Sort of get it.

I can't ever see the tablet or smartphone being more powerful than a console or PC. Yes, you could hookup controllers, and even a display. This would be needed to even compare to a console, but the console will always be bigger, and heavier, and louder, and faster. I don't think consumers would choose Angry Birds over COD4. In other words, I don't see how console correlate to tablets -- they are completely different beasts.

I do think the tablet market will grow for a while, and I do think that a very small percentage of gamers who bought a 360 or PS3 to play the occasional Madden will choose tablets over consoles. Just not enough to affect the industry.

What do I think is affecting the industry? I said this when the XBox and PS3 were initially released -- $60.00. Are you outta of your mind? Experts say it is the lack of a new console, but I don't agree. Oops, off topic.

Bill Loguidice
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Just to expand on those thoughts a bit more...
retroc64 wrote:

I don't understand how you think smartphones and tablets compete with the 360 and PS3? I don't see how Halo, Borderlands 2, and especially Call of Doody appeal to tablet or smartphone users. I think of tablet and smartphone users as very, very casual gamers. I would never play anything "serious" on a tablet or smartphone. They are not just setup for the same experience.

I just seem them as not being in the same market. Clearly you know something I don't, and I value your opinion greatly, so could you elaborate on your position?

PC sales are down. Console and gaming handheld sales are tepid. Smartphone and tablet sales are on the way up. The market always targets the most consumers and if most consumers have smartphones and tablets, then that's what will get developed for. As for the "core" games you mentioned, certainly, but, let's face it, most core gamers also have smartphones and tablets. Hardcore games have already appeared on these devices with mixed success. Now efforts are being put in place, be it the rash of Android-based consoles or simply using "real" controls with existing devices, to bridge that last gap. It's impossible to deny that smartphone and tablet technology is iterating at an alarming rate in comparison to what's happening on the console, gaming handheld and even the PC side (at least what the average person owns). When your most powerful device is your smartphone or tablet - the thing that you also use the most and is with you at all times - the games will follow.

At the same time, while that's clearly the reality, I'm not a gloom-and-doomer. I think traditional gaming systems and gaming PCs have a future, but they're not THE future at this point, if that makes sense.

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retroc64
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How do Tablets compare to home consoles?

I don't understand how you think smartphones and tablets compete with the 360 and PS3? I don't see how Halo, Borderlands 2, and especially Call of Doody appeal to tablet or smartphone users. I think of tablet and smartphone users as very, very casual gamers. I would never play anything "serious" on a tablet or smartphone. They are not just setup for the same experience.

I just seem them as not being in the same market. Clearly you know something I don't, and I value your opinion greatly, so could you elaborate on your position?

Bill Loguidice wrote:
BitWraith wrote:

Nintendo's finished.

Nintendo still has their strongholds, particularly in Japan, particularly with the 3DS, so they're hardly "finished" in any capacity. What's finished is everyone being impressed by sales for dedicated gaming devices. They're more or less doing as well as they've EVER done, but in comparison to the new darlings of smartphones and tablets, they're small potatoes now. It's simply a relative failing at this point. The end is still not in sight for the dedicated gaming device, be it console or handheld or some amalgamation thereof, but the industry is most certainly in a state of flux. The battle for the living room is far from over. The PC will certainly be a part of it, but even the traditional PC is in a comparatively precarious position for a variety of reasons, including (and especially because of) the aforementioned smartphone and tablet craze, which has no reason to abate (they're ideal form factors, which are also versatile enough to be docked and become every bit the console or PC any stand alone device can be for most people).

BitWraith
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Amend
Bill Loguidice wrote:
BitWraith wrote:

Nintendo's finished.

Nintendo still has their strongholds, particularly in Japan, particularly with the 3DS, so they're hardly "finished" in any capacity. What's finished is everyone being impressed by sales for dedicated gaming devices. They're more or less doing as well as they've EVER done, but in comparison to the new darlings of smartphones and tablets, they're small potatoes now. It's simply a relative failing at this point. The end is still not in sight for the dedicated gaming device, be it console or handheld or some amalgamation thereof, but the industry is most certainly in a state of flux. The battle for the living room is far from over. The PC will certainly be a part of it, but even the traditional PC is in a comparatively precarious position for a variety of reasons, including (and especially because of) the aforementioned smartphone and tablet craze, which has no reason to abate (they're ideal form factors, which are also versatile enough to be docked and become every bit the console or PC any stand alone device can be for most people).

Yeah I should probably amend my statement with "In North America". Nintendo's crown in Japan is not under any threat, least of all from Xbox and PC.

Bill Loguidice
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Not quite so simple
BitWraith wrote:

Nintendo's finished.

Nintendo still has their strongholds, particularly in Japan, particularly with the 3DS, so they're hardly "finished" in any capacity. What's finished is everyone being impressed by sales for dedicated gaming devices. They're more or less doing as well as they've EVER done, but in comparison to the new darlings of smartphones and tablets, they're small potatoes now. It's simply a relative failing at this point. The end is still not in sight for the dedicated gaming device, be it console or handheld or some amalgamation thereof, but the industry is most certainly in a state of flux. The battle for the living room is far from over. The PC will certainly be a part of it, but even the traditional PC is in a comparatively precarious position for a variety of reasons, including (and especially because of) the aforementioned smartphone and tablet craze, which has no reason to abate (they're ideal form factors, which are also versatile enough to be docked and become every bit the console or PC any stand alone device can be for most people).

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BitWraith
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Yep...

Nintendo's finished. I bought a Wii based on the perceived potential of what those "nunchucks" could do. Software developers didn't really rise to the challenge (Nintendo included). Wii sports was fun, but I don't particularly want to stand every time I play games.

I have no interest in getting a Wii U. It's basically a VERY late delivery in the current console cycle. What I see there is what I see with every console - another platform to play Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty etc etc on. First party games are dying on consoles, and it will be the death of all but one system. Who needs an Xbox AND a PS3 really? Do I really need a Wii U to play Batman Arkham City on?

I'm seeing a lot of sabre rattling about the PC being the winner next cycle (forgone conclusion). The PC victory will be delivered by Valve and Nvidia, and it'll be devastating to the Wii U and PS4. I predict Sony exiting the console market after the PS4 flops - and it will flop hard. Nintendo will likely stubbornly put out another console after the Wii U, then start making 3rd party games. The Xbox 720 will be successful as a combo television delivery and gaming system. Xbox will morph into more of an entertainment center and it's main competition will not be Sony, but Direct TV and Dish Network. Hardcore gamers will flock to the PC due to cheap and easy to get games (steam), better graphics and controls, and "free" online gaming.

Getting back to third party games - they've trained us into only needing one console. Can't blame them - from a business perspective, it makes no sense to make console exclusives. However, as a consumer I got to Wal-Mart, and every console has the exact same games on the shelf. Where's my incentive to buy anything else?

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