Owning the Market
In the two days following the unveiling of the Wii U, Nintendo's stocks fell to a level they hadn't seen since 2006. It appears that the business world is not as sure about the commercial success of the Wii U as the Nintendo marketing department is.
When the 8th generation console war was getting underway, Sony and the Microsoft fought a ridiculously expensive battle for the hearts and minds of what has somewhat controversially been referred to as “the hardcore gamer.” The two companies bought up development studios, launched fantastically expensive ad campaigns and virtually gave their hardware away. Despite all that, neither party has been able to break the stalemate that has existed between them for the past five years. At the same time, Nintendo released a vastly inferior console (hardware wise), which immediately shot to the top of the sales charts. It did so because of its target audience, one that the company now appears to be ignoring.
Its Enormous Success
The Wii was criticized for its rather lacking rendering capabilities, weak processing power, and lack of High Definition support. All these critiques were moot points to the millions of people who flocked to the retailers to buy one of the fun little gadgets. The revolutionary motion controls and the simple, family friendly, casual games that the console featured were exactly what the average Joe had been looking for. Gaming was introduced to hoards of new players and everyone from baby Sam to old aunt Velma was joining in. Some gamers' dreams even came true as their spouses sat down next to them and asked: “Can I play?” Millions of people who had never before had the desire to play videogames were suddenly itching for the chance to grab those funny-looking nunchuks and punch their grand-children, wives, or annoying cousins in a game of Wii Boxing. The “hardcore” among us chose the Xbox and the PS3 for their graphical capabilities, hardware superiority, and the games they featured; while the other 87.2 million technically curious inhabitants of the world chose the Wii. Their choice was based on entertainment value and simplicity. And 87.2 million is not a market to be trifled with.
Why, Oh Why?
Let's face it: the Wii is a party toy. It is the most fun party toy there is, and it is doubtful that any console peripheral will ever bring either of the other two competitors' close to where Nintendo is in that department. Nintendo is where people look for a fun time with friends and family and the Wii supported up to four controllers. Having the Wii U only support one controller looks like a massive slap in the face to loyal fans.