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Nintendo Wii Software Entertainment Games Hardware Technology

Nintendo Halts Wii U Production In Anticipation of Switch Launch (theguardian.com) 59

New submitter Shane_Optima writes: The Guardian reports that Nintendo has ceased production of the Wii U after a little more than four years. From the report: "In late January it was announced that Nintendo had ceased production of the Wii U console. The follow-up machine to the hugely successful Wii had sold fewer than 15 million units worldwide since its launch in 2012. PlayStation 4 sold more in a year. Wii sold more than 100m in its lifetime. What happened? How did Nintendo, one of the oldest and most respected companies in the video game industry, get it so wrong? And did anything good come out of the Wii U era? How will the machine be remembered, if at all?" Perhaps it could have something to do with the fact that the Wii U bundle didn't include a Wii remote-type controller, and the much-hyped secondary screen was most commonly used for solo gaming -- the exact opposite of the Wii's emphasis on a social experience and is an area where they have to compete with cell phones, tablets and their very own DS line. Nintendo still seems hellbent on selling a console-tablet hybrid, but at least this time it sounds like an interesting controller will be included.
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Nintendo Halts Wii U Production In Anticipation of Switch Launch

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  • I use my Wii U mainly to play Mario 64 these days.

    • My daughter prefers to play Wii U single-player games on the GamePad rather than on the television. I have no idea why.

      With the Wii U, it does feel like Nintendo just couldn't quite figure it out. Some of that may have nothing to do with the actual console - the best Mario Party, the best Mario Kart, and the best Zelda game are all on older consoles (and the new ones aren't even close). But they definitely missed the mark in other ways too. For instance, we bought the latest Mario Party, only to find that i

      • My daughter prefers to play Wii U single-player games on the GamePad rather than on the television

        I have to admit that I've never played the Wii U. However, I remember when it first came out it- and in particular, the screen-based gamepad- struck me as a contrived attempt to replicate the success of the original Wii.

        That- of course- enjoyed success because it *didn't* attempt to go down the well-trodden, stereotypical path of reliant-on-graphical-specs hardware and traditional "serious" gamer demographics, but instead targeted the casual gaming market (which had already been opened up by the Nintendo

        • Hence, the Wii had a novel controller, so the Wii U had a (contrivedly) novel controller.

          If you're right (and I think you are) - the Switch looks like it might be repeating this exact mistake.

          • If you're right (and I think you are) - the Switch looks like it might be repeating this exact mistake.

            Oh, indeed. That was my first thought when I saw the Switch- it was like deja-vu all over again. Another contrived attempt to create a "novel" console with a "novel" controller.

  • Multiple Screens (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Friday February 03, 2017 @07:24PM (#53799793) Journal

    I remember it was (at least in the stores) hyped that separate screens (like the controller that comes with the Wii U) would be sold separately and we would be able to have 4 screens on it. Well that never happened.

    Another bummer, was the fact that the launch came with an horribly slow OS and it took like forever to switch games. Plus the fact that the update was gigantic, so even on a 12 Mbit line it took like a good 5 hours to download the firmware update. This was a major setback, not to mention extremely annoying for kids expecting to play the games straight out of the box.

    Just as a nail in the coffin, the good games didn't come out before 6 months after the launch and we where starved of good stuff, to top it off the Netflix application had a lot of bugs in it and rendered my Netflix viewing useless for 4 months. The Youtube app was hugely flawed as well, and the much anticipated Nintendo TV (which my unit kept promising would launch soon) never launched, but was an app...that never uninstalled - but gave us a message "No service in your area", enough to disharthen you every time you checked it out.

    And the nails in the coffins kept coming, no new Zelda game, just raking in money on old-refurbs (Windwaker became Windwaker HD, followed by the next in the series, but still just HD remakes). Mario Maker was exciting the first 2 weeks, until I discovered that people just made simple "press-and-run" games that made all the good games "hidden", just to get scores so people could upload MORE levels themselves, of the same kind...and haul more votes. Mario Kart 8 was great, but I quickly got bored with it after a few weeks too.

    Personally, the best games on the Wii U (for me) was Splatoon and Super Mario 3D world. It had awesome replayability and I ran trough it twice. Splatoon I kept playing every day for a month.Good times, as long as it lasted.

    Personally, I don't think there's much wrong with the platform itself, the switch is gonna suffer the same fate if they keep people waiting for the big titles, and charge 60$ for 10 year old wiimotes. No more relaunches, we want fresh titles, and keepem coming if you want us to fatten your wallets.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd say the Wii U was successful in it's own right, but that's like saying you won a contest where most of the competition stayed home.

      Truth be, the problem with the WiiU, after the Wii has more to do with not feeling like much of an upgrade, and the number of compelling games that Nintendo releases per console generation is kinda getting thin.

      For example. The NES had two zelda games, the SNES had one, the N64 had two, the GC had one, the Wii had one, and the Wii U had one (that was also available on the Wi

    • I remember it was (at least in the stores) hyped that separate screens (like the controller that comes with the Wii U) would be sold separately and we would be able to have 4 screens on it. Well that never happened.

      There was never enough bandwidth for that to happen. Communication between the tablet and the console happened via 5GHz 802.11n; the system was designed with just enough bandwidth to support 480p60 at reasonable distances. Adding a second control would mean, at best, you're down to 30fps. And eve

    • Just as a nail in the coffin, the good games didn't come out before 6 months after the launch

      This is one key thing right here. The launch titles have been abysmal and Nintendo appears nothing if not consistent with the Switch approach.

      The Wii U ultimately ended up my favourite console. Actual challenging games like New Super Lugi U which didn't handhold the player, actual original and super fun games like Splatoon, the best Netflix experience to be had is now on the Wii U (unlike at launch) ... but none of this was available to drive early sales.

  • It seemed like an updated HDMI version of the WII at launch. The graphics didn't seem improved from what I saw advertised or in the store. The hand held controller seemed like an attempt to get me to buy another 3DS (which if it would allow existing 3DS units to work that way might have been a selling point). Lastly, launch games were not that great.

    So in the end it didn't seem worth shelling out the money for what appeared to be a minor upgrade. As time passed there were some good games, but with rumor

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      From someone that deals in used goods the WII U was a PITA
      Is that a tablet? No it's part of the WII U system.
      So it's like a DS? No it doesn't work without the console it's not portable.

      If one was on the shelf I'd get asked that several times a week

      No one even knew what the thing was.

  • Nintendo Graduates from Wii U and will Switch to Switch.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday February 03, 2017 @10:18PM (#53800511)
    I bought one last Christmas for the kids - was about $250 bundled with Splatoon and Super Smash Brothers. I picked it up largely because our last two Wiis had expired and I wanted to move to hard drive-based games. I really only invested in the upgraded party games: Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario World and they did a pretty good job with those. One of my son's also picked up Skyward Sword and played it (as a Wii disc).

    I think what will be shortly be written on Nintendo's gravestone will be its inability to capitalize on its second tier franchises: the Metroids, Starfoxes, Sonics, Megamans, and Kid Icaruses of the world, and its inability to get on the DLC bandwagon. They'll also be smacking themselves for not fully building out the "Ocarina Zelda" line - almost indisputably one of the best games ever. (And when they tried...it was that shitty "Mask" game rather than the MMO or moar tunes that would have been huge cash cows.)

    As Nintendo buyers, we've shown an incredible ability to buy more of the same - the gameplay is almost always excellent (except you Starfox Zero/3) - and we'd be happy to buy more levels, more worlds, more tracks. Nintendo finally got on the DLC bandwagon with Mario Kart (and yes, we bought them all...er both) but they've lately behaved like the DNC to American voters: we try to vote with our pocketbooks and they still try to feed us crap no one wants anyway.

    Also, I think someone saw a pot of gold with the stupid Amibo doodads. I still haven't bought any of those and probably never will.
  • Nintendo was too fucking cheap to license Dolby surround, so if your amp didn't have working HDMI audio input (at launch, most of the few HT receivers that supported HDMI had broken implementations) AND support 5.1 LPCM, no surround sound for you. It couldn't even fall back to fucking ProLogic. The goddamn GAMECUBE had better surround-sound support (via ProLogic) than 98% of Wii-U owners ever got to enjoy.

    To wit: in 2012, most home theater amps only supported DDS and DTS via S/PDIF. Nintendo decided to go w

    • To wit: in 2012, most home theater amps only supported DDS and DTS via S/PDIF.

      I think you are mistaken, there were amps in 2006 that could do LPCM over HDMI. I know Onkyo had them.

      Lack of DD5.1 is a major reason why I always get the xb360 version of any game

      LPCM is superior, don't use DD.

      The xb360 is ALSO why I'm able to enjoy DD 5.1 surround with Netflix & Amazon... it's the ONLY platform allows you to enjoy surround sound with streaming video services if your amp lacks hdmi and DD7.1+

      It is 2016, don't buy an amp without HDMI.

      • In 2006 there were amps that could SWITCH HDMI, but very few that could sit between the source and TV, extract the audio, AND spoof a 5.1-capable EDID. Go to avsforums.com & read the hundreds of angry forum posts from ~2008-2010 when Blu-Ray became real, and most people with "HDMI" receivers discovered that they had broken implementations that would NEVER be allowed to work as advertised.

        Then, the HDMI people turned around & fucked everyone a SECOND time with HDCP 2.2. It's madness. They literally e

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          In 2006 there were amps that could SWITCH HDMI, but very few that could sit between the source and TV, extract the audio, AND spoof a 5.1-capable EDID. Go to avsforums.com & read the hundreds of angry forum posts from ~2008-2010 when Blu-Ray became real, and most people with "HDMI" receivers discovered that they had broken implementations that would NEVER be allowed to work as advertised.

          Then, the HDMI people turned around & fucked everyone a SECOND time with HDCP 2.2. It's madness. They literally e

          • The Xbox and Xbox 360 could generate DD5.1 streams; the PS3 could play DD5.1 streams.

            On the other hand, I specifically bought a Sony receiver that accepted 5.1 and 7.1 LPCM and very little else, and use a PS3 with the Harmony remote receiver as my HT bluray player; whatever sound format happens to be used, the PS3 happily decodes it and spits it out LPCM, and the receiver happily plays it.

  • by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @01:16AM (#53800981)
    I have a Wii U and I really like all 4 of my games for it!!!

    Ok, let's be honest, the Wii U was a pathetic flop because :
        a) The controller (touch panel) was too big
        b) You couldn't reasonably buy a second touch panel controller. This means that when buying for children, their main audience, parent's would have to deal with fights over the pretty controller.
        c) The price was too damn high. This will be the problem with the switch as well. Nintendo does not target an audience who makes video games a religion. Instead they target children and casual gamers. They make the absolute best games in the world as well. The problem is, it's just too expensive. I would have probably bought a second Wii U (as my first is in my office currently) for the house and considered buying more games if the prices were closer to the casual gaming prices.
        d) iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, etc... if kids already have an iPod, iPad or iPhone, then why would they need a Wii U? My kids completely ditched Wii and Nintendo DS for iPad and iPhone. The games are far inferior, but if I could buy a proper Nintendo game for iPhone, I would pay $20. I would even consider buying a Nintendo branded Bluetooth game controller cover for the iPhone for up to $100. The point is, Wii and Wii U suck up the TV. But on iDevices, we can use our TV while the children play video games on their own screens. There is absolutely no value for a parent to have a game console connected to the TV. And Nintendo DS is soooo 2009.

    I will buy a Nintendo Switch. I more than likely won't purchase many games for it as the prices are far too high. I also will share the device with my children instead of buying them their own. If it cost $199, I'd buy 3 on release day. If the games we $30-40, I'd probably buy quite a dozen over time. However at the current pricing point, I'll most likely only buy one device and then probably Mario Kart and Zelda. I imagine we'll grow bored of it quickly with only only one device and only two games. I also suppose we'll talk badly about it to our friends because it wouldn't provide enough entertainment with our game selection being so limited. I can easily imaging the device collecting much dust.

    I think the most important thing to understand for Nintendo is that it would be far better to release a lesser device at the right price point and good affordable games than it would be to try and be another XBox or Playstation which both are devices designed for people who are too poor to afford PCs or too stupid to use them.
    • try and be another XBox or Playstation which both are devices designed for people who are too poor to afford PCs or too stupid to use them.

      consoles were around before the DOS PC was. They exist for many reasons.

      Price/performance ratio. Remember this, in 1997 games like Diablo and Fallout 1 were 256 color sprites and tiles DOS games when PSone games were running 32-bit color with polygonal graphics.

      Ease of use/lack of problems related to Windows. A console doesn't have to run all the services a general purpose Windows machine runs.

      Game selection.

      • Ease of use, certainly. Price, not really. In the 90s, consoles were cheaper but in the 2000s and 2010s upgrading one's video card (and occasionally the proc/motherboard) has been cheaper.

        Remember this, in 1997 games like Diablo and Fallout 1 were 256 color sprites and tiles DOS games when PSone games were running 32-bit color with polygonal graphics.

        Uh no, neither of those two ran on DOS. They were Windows games. And I believe they had 16 bit colors. I'm not sure what the purpose is of comparing 3D PS games to 2D PC games. The Playstation 1 had 2d games, and of course Windows had 3D games. In fact, less than two years later Quake 3 offered curved surfaces before th

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          In the 90s, consoles were cheaper but in the 2000s and 2010s upgrading one's video card (and occasionally the proc/motherboard) has been cheaper.

          That's fine if you live alone. But if you have more than one person in the household, and one wants to use the PC for non-game purposes while the other plays a game, you need a second machine for the game. And I imagine it's cheaper for this second machine to be a Nintendo Switch than a gaming PC. Furthermore, if your existing PC is something other than a Windows tower, such as a laptop or a Mac, upgrades aren't quite so simple. Do you know anyone who has bought an aftermarket MXM GPU for a laptop or a Thun

          • But if you have more than one person in the household, and one wants to use the PC for non-game purposes while the other plays a game, you need a second machine for the game.

            Same argument for "a second TV." And with cheap tablets and cheap laptops, the second TV may well cost more money.

            And I imagine it's cheaper for this second machine to be a Nintendo Switch than a gaming PC.

            Well, that's a Switch-specific argument, not applicable to other consoles. The Switch will be the first major semi-portable console to appear, i.e. has its own screen with multiplayer using separate, dedicated controllers. I can see how this may turn out to be useful for a lot of people, though I personally don't see it as being very important or interesting.

            Furthermore, if your existing PC is something other than a Windows tower, such as a laptop or a Mac, upgrades aren't quite so simple.

            If you're using a laptop for cutting-

            • Same argument for "a second TV."

              If a household has an antenna, a cable box, a streaming box, and/or a DVD or Blu-ray player, it has such a second TV. As I understand it, the more common setup is for the family's largest monitor to be in the living room, with a smaller monitor on the computer desk in another room. I imagine that in developed countries with no recurring tax on TV ownership, households that either have no TV or use the household's only TV as a computer monitor are in the minority.

              And I imagine it's cheaper for this second machine to be a Nintendo Switch than a gaming PC.

              Well, that's a Switch-specific argument, not applicable to other consoles.

              How not? I mentioned Switch because headline,

      • Buddy, in 1997, 3d graphics were all the rage in the PC space, with the 3dfx Voodoo, and offerings from ATI, NVidia, Matrox, PowerVR, and so on.

        GLQuake was released in 1997, as was Wing Commander: Prophecy, Heavy Gear, lots of other games.

        PC was doing 3d games like Wing Commander 3 and 4, and MechWarrior 2 years prior to that. Let alone games like Alone in the Dark even earlier.

        In 1999, a scant two years later, Bleem! brought PlayStation emulation to the PC.

    • if kids already have an iPod, iPad or iPhone, then why would they need a Wii U?

      Because not all game genres work well with a touch screen as the only input method. That's why the Wii U GamePad has buttons beside its touch screen rather than expecting developers to make a virtual gamepad.

      The games are far inferior, but if I could buy a proper Nintendo game for iPhone, I would pay $20.

      Super Mario Run exists. The drawback is that it doesn't run on an iPod touch or Wi-Fi-only iPad in a vehicle.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Archaic bound-to-console eshop system, horrible netflix app, nes emulator looks like shit, hardly any software, not being able to use gamepad controls on wii games. I liked gaming on the gamepad but it honestly felt like nintendo did everything they could to make me hate it

  • by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Saturday February 04, 2017 @11:15AM (#53802479)

    I think I am their target market. Our Wii is aging and my kids are growing but not yet grown (oldest is middle school). I want a console with engaging, playable titles that won't bore them. On the other hand, I'm not ready to immerse them in the apocalyptic nightmare killiastic gore storm that I bathed in throughout my own 20's. Sure, we want all the new, awesome doodads, resolution, headsets, multiplayer, massive multiplayer, etc., but please with a plot that doesn't involve clubbing down either little old ladies or baby seals, or wielding bone saws. Maybe some scheming plumbers and giant megalomaniacal apes?

    When I had to settle for a PS4 last year, what I really wanted was the awesome, high-powered, market-leading Nintendo console of my dreams. Where were you, Nintendo?

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