By baldgye 22 Comments
The WiiU has been a pretty large failure in terms of being able to pull the major third parties back to Nintendo’s system. The WiiU was designed to give the hardcore a Nintendo platform they could play all their normal 3rd person shooters and FPS’s on, as well as Nintendo’s latest and greatest Mario and Zelda games. They started out well with Mass Effect and ZombiU, but since launch none of the major third party games have gone to the WiiU (Bioshock Infinate, Crysis 3, Skyrim, Saints Row: The Third, Battlefield 3 etc). This lack of support from the third parties has been compounded by Nintendo’s complete lack of major games for the system a year after launch, Pikmin 3 being the first really ‘new’ WiiU game from Nintendo.
With the WiiU struggling to compete even with systems that are (on a performance level) even with it, it seems silly and foolish to think that it will be any better when the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launch later this year.
So with that in mind, these are my suggestions on how to make the WiiU a value proposition for general consumers and people who want a good gaming system from Nintendo.
- Drop the name. The marketing has been part of the problem for the WiiU since launch. Its name and marketing have resulted in people confusing it as a Wii accessory, because why wouldn’t they? It’s mostly advertised with the controller up front and the actual system in the background and it has Wii as part of its name, not Wii 2 but WiiU… what does that even really mean? My Suggestion, Super Wii. With a name like Super Wii there is absolutely no confusing it with being an accessory, it sounds like a better and improved Wii as well as harking back to Nintendo’s amazing history in the console market.
- Stop charging for NES games. There are systems on the market now for less than $100 that will allow you to run an emulator (for free) and then you can very easily fill up a very cheap memory stick with the entire NES catalogue if you wanted and run NES games for free on a very cheap system that you can then use for other things. Nintendo cannot compete with this kind of market, so don’t try. By offering up NES games for free on both the 3DS and Super Wii they would make people go to the online stores they have and use them. It would also mean that anyone who bought a Super Wii would have access to all the games from the NES that they wanted on an official Nintendo system. Giving the Super Wii a value to people who have already moved on to Microsoft and Sony systems but still love playing those old games.
- Create a WiiU Ambassador system. This was a great idea when they did it for the 3DS and they should do it again post Super Wii relaunch. With this program your profile gets a special icon next to your Mii avatar, but you also get complete access (for free) to the SNES library. This means that people who have already invested in the system (the people helping Nintendo stay alive) are being rewarded and given a reason to actually turn the system on, rather than simply reading about delays to the next major Mario or Zelda titles.
- SNES games for $1-2 each. Emulators make SNES games as easy to emulate as NES games, but they still look and play better than most phone games and still have a value based almost solely on that. But they pricing needs to be competitive and they need to be easily accessible. Apple did it with music using the iTunes store, charging 99c a song, Nintendo can do the same with SNES games. Having NES games for free and then the majority of all the SNES games for next to nothing would mean that people could pick up a Super Wii and have access to all their favourite Nintendo games and be able to play them on their TV with a proper controller, without having to buy someone else’s system.
- Console redesign. The Super Wii should be akin to something like the Wii Mini, there is no need for Nintendo to have such an expensive system, make it a top loader, make it from cheaper plastics, reduce the cost it takes to make the system. On top of that, recolour the system so it matches the colouring of the SNES (greys and purples), to set it completely apart from the WiiU.
- Lower the price. With PS3’s and 360’s dropping in price and the pre-orders already selling out for the PS4 and XBone’s they need to be able to compete.
By giving the system a new name, look and value proposition Nintendo would make the Super Wii not only the place for Mario, Zelda and other Nintendo games it would also make it the place to get all your favourite Nintendo games from history without having to spend much money doing so. Gamers who skipped on a Wii could pick up a Super Wii and have access to all the great Wii games as well as all the classic Nintendo games and any future games.
Nintendo has to do something if they want to survive, they have (for whatever reason) committed to making a new home console, they have to make it work.