3 Reasons the Nintendo Wii Failed

Nintendo (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) recently announced that it had discontinued production of the original Wii, which started a revolution in motion-controlled video games. More than 100 million Wii units were sold during its lifetime, penetrating a previously untapped market of casual mainstream gamers.

Yet despite the Wii's success, it was only a temporary shot in the arm for Nintendo, and sales of the Wii peaked by 2008.

Source: Company website.

Sony's (NYSE: SNE  ) Playstation 3 and Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Xbox 360 quickly caught up and buried the Wii. By 2013, the Wii had become a footnote in video game history.

Market share in:

2010

2011

2012

2013

Nintendo Wii

47%

35%

28%

15%

Playstation 3

33%

38%

42%

51%

Xbox 360

20%

28%

31%

33%

Source: Vgchartz.com

Since the end of the Wii's heyday, Nintendo's revenue and stock price have fallen by more than 60%.

NTDOY Chart

Source: Ycharts.

What happened?

A single phrase sums up Nintendo's problem: incredible innovation crippled by unbelievable stubbornness

Throughout its history, Nintendo has steadfastly refused to comply with industry standards, missing out on several key technological shifts, despite creating some incredible first-party games and revolutionary gameplay innovations.

Let's take a look at three mistakes that shrunk the video gaming giant down to size.

Mistake #1: Storage media

During Nintendo's golden age in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the cartridge was considered the industry standard. However, when Sony's Playstation crashed the party in 1994, it went with the CD-ROM format, since much more data could be stored on a single CD. Nintendo believed that selling console games on CDs could encourage piracy, and that the loading times would disrupt the gaming experience.

Therefore, Nintendo stuck with cartridges when the N64 was released in 1996. Developers were frustrated by Nintendo's decision, since they had to purchase expensive proprietary cartridges to develop and test the games on, instead of using cheaper writable CDs. Full-motion video and orchestral soundtracks also couldn't fit on Nintendo's cartridges.

As a result, leading developers such as Square (now Square Enix), Konami, and Capcom, who propped up Nintendo during the 8- and 16-bit eras, abandoned Nintendo.

With its seventh-generation device, the Gamecube, Nintendo finally went with optical discs. However, rather than go with the standard DVD format that Sony and Microsoft were using, Nintendo went with a smaller format similar to a miniDVD. Not only did that cut the maximum capacity of a game from 4.7 gigabytes down to 1.5 gigabytes, but it also meant that regular DVD movies and audio CDs could not be played in the console, as they could be on the Playstation 2 and the Xbox.

With the Wii, Nintendo finally went with a larger capacity disc. However, the Wii's disc only had the capacity of a regular and double-sided DVD (4.7 and 8.5 GB), nearly matching the Xbox 360's maximum capacity but trailing the Playstation 3's 25 GB Blu-Ray discs.

This constant preference of proprietary media led to other, more severe problems for Nintendo.

Mistake #2: The lack of third-party publishers

Since the first major exodus of developers that occurred during the N64 era, Nintendo has become increasingly dependent on its first party titles such as Mario and Zelda.

Source: Nintendoeverything.com

Since the GameCube and Wii were released, some prodigal developers have trickled back. However, not a single third-party title was able to crack the top five best-selling titles for the Wii during its lifetime.

Rank

Title

Total units sold

Publisher

1

Wii Sports

83 million

Nintendo

2

Mario Kart Wii

34 million

Nintendo

3

Wii Sports Resort

32 million

Nintendo

4

Wii Play

28 million

Nintendo

5

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

28 million

Nintendo

Source: Company website, as of March 2013

In fact, the top-selling third-party game (that wasn't associated with the Mario franchise) was Ubisoft's Just Dance 2, which sold only 5 million copies.

There are two major problems with Nintendo's dependence on its first-party franchises, although many of its own titles are high-quality, critically acclaimed games.

First, there is a lack of variety -- franchises like Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., and New Super Mario Bros are arguably just new coats of paint on the same old games. Second, Nintendo has to do all the heavy lifting by itself. By comparison, Sony and Microsoft share those responsibilities and risks with a growing stable of game publishers.

Mistake #3: The lack of horsepower

Another reason that many developers shied away from creating games for the Wii is its lack of horsepower.

Source: Neoseeker.com

When Nintendo first released the Wii, acclaimed game developer Shigeru Miyamoto -- the man who created Mario -- famously stated: "Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction."

Miyamoto, along with the rest of Nintendo, believed that the Wii didn't need to have comparable specs to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. Nintendo's reasoning was simple -- it believed that it could produce a cheaper, lower-powered console for the masses, and that "adequate" graphics would be satisfactory. In addition, it wanted to create a much smaller console, which could be more conveniently placed in smaller Japanese homes, that aimed to capture a mainstream audience with its simple motion-based controls.

That strategy was admirable -- after all, games don't require top-notch graphics and audio to be fun -- but to many developers, who had already been burned by Nintendo's frustrating proprietary designs, this was just another reason not to develop games for the platform.

Across the industry, games were being simultaneously released across multiple platforms -- the PC, the Playstation 3, and the Xbox 360 -- which all had similar hardware specifications. Developers realized that it would be much more profitable to port a single game across those three platforms, rather than rework an entire game for a lower-powered console with a completely different control scheme.

As a result, Wii owners missed out on some of the top-selling titles of the last few years, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Skyrim, and Fallout 3, and received watered-down, graphically inferior versions of other hit franchises, such as Call of Duty.

To make matters worse, Sony and Microsoft both released motion-control peripherals of their own, the Move and the Kinect, cancelling out the sole advantage that the Wii once boasted.

Nintendo's future is as cloudy as ever

Nintendo's post-Wii future doesn't look very bright. The company's eighth-generation console, the Wii U, suffers from all of the same problems as its predecessor -- lower horsepower, proprietary controls, and paltry third-party developer support.

Nintendo recently reported that it sold 300,000 Wii U units last quarter -- nearly double the 160,000 in the previous quarter -- bringing its total units sold to 3.9 million. That sales boost was mostly attributed to a steep price reduction ($349 to $299).

However, Nintendo is still very far away from its previously stated goal of selling 9 million units by March 2014. To make matters worse, the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One will arrive next month, threatening to leave the Wii U in the dust.

For now, Nintendo still holds the lead in handheld gaming, with the 3DS holding an 85.5% market share compared to Sony's PS Vita's 14.5% share, but that may soon be its only market left. And even that last stronghold is being threatened by a rise in smartphone and tablet games.

Nintendo, which was once considered the "Apple of video games," could soon become the "BlackBerry of video games" -- if it stubbornly continues to repeat the mistakes of its past.

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Read/Post Comments (82) | Recommend This Article (15)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:15 AM, alexjt wrote:

    Wait... huh? selling 100million units is a failure?

    PS3 and Xbox360 sold about 80million units each... How is outselling them by 20million units each a failure?

    What is your standard for success then?

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:26 AM, 3dpenguin wrote:

    Also, I would like to point out unlike the PS3 and XB360, the Wii sold at a profit from day 1, they didn't need to sell any games to make money. It was far from a failure from a business standpoint, it just didn't do well from a marketing standpoint.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:44 AM, chilero wrote:

    And they continue to be stubborn. They could abandon hardware and move all of their titles to Xbox, PS, iOS, Windows 8, Android and make boatloads of money.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:52 AM, kao469 wrote:

    Did Nintendo do something to these writers? Everyday there is some form of bashing. Why?

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:00 PM, Vitabrits wrote:

    What a terribly written SWOT analysis.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:07 PM, targeyone wrote:

    This article is laughable.

    Both Sony and Microsoft would have killed to duplicate the "failure" of the wii.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:07 PM, timone317 wrote:

    I'm beginning to think these articles exist for the sole purpose of trolling people. This site is so anxious to predict Nintendo's downfall and it simply won't happen.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:08 PM, TMFSunLion wrote:

    @alexjt: The problem is not the number of total units Nintendo sold, but its declining market share in the video game industry. People started to see the Wii as a toy, collecting dust on their shelves, while the PS3 and Xbox 360 remained relevant as gaming devices.

    @chilero: I agree, I've thought about that as well. Sega did the same thing after the failure of the Dreamcast, and did better as a pure software company.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:10 PM, diesel wrote:

    Apparently Nintendo robbed some people of their childhood since they could have been playing PS or Xbox all this time.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:14 PM, zawod wrote:

    The Wii failed? What a moron. the Wii had Sony AND Microsoft scared enough that they both had to come out with motion sensor controllers of their own.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:15 PM, DJones2894 wrote:

    This is one of the worst articles I have ever seen by someone who has no clue about Nintendo or the gaming industry. When you easily outsell your competitors you've won that generation of sales. Not only that but there were countless reports of how the Wii was medically beneficial for exercise and how it was being used in many settings to help people become more active but according to this fool 80 million is somehow more than 100 million. Not only that but he is comparing a company that is gaming only to Microsoft and Sony which are larger more diverse multinational corporations. Sony has televisions, computers, and countless other electronics and Microsoft has the largest market share for computer operating systems worldwide while Nintendo is just games and consoles. It follows that Nintendo stock will follow the trend on console sales during and peak during the buying frenzy of a generation then level out and drop as sales during that generation drop. Any investor with half a brain knows that the more diverse your portfolio the more resistant it is to changes in one market whereas if you own stock in one type of company your investments will closely follow the trends of that one type of product or service. His point about Kinect and Move means nothing because it didn't really chip away at Nintendo's motion control advantage. With the Wii you got the motion controls for free while you had to pay extra to get motion controls for the PS3 and 360. There many be many problems with the Wii U and sales in the 8th generation for Nintendo but without a doubt the Wii was a success. Lastly Gamecube was 6th generation not 7th.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:19 PM, ReyMODE wrote:

    Another problem with this article. The declining numbers make sense in the last two years. Nintendo already has a newer system out. Why would buyers by the previous system when the WiiU is already out?

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:19 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Nintendo cant leave the console market, they will lose everything. Thats why i like Iwata if someone comes the analysts will like he will destroy the company...

    SEGA was dominant back in the day, now Sega is the laughing stock without any meaning.

    back in the old days in arcades there were places with 30 arcade machines and more people used the Sega Virtua Fighter machine more than anything, there games were dominant...

    now its nothing, if Nintendo drops out of the console market they are gone forever

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:19 PM, yogavo wrote:

    nintendos failure boils down to games. cartoon style graphics aren't immersive enough, if nintendo continue to produce games like this, the company will die.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:24 PM, TMFSunLion wrote:

    @ReyMODE: The problem is that those lost Wii customers didn't translate to new Wii U buyers.

    @capAhab02: Sega fell apart because of some serious mistakes on the hardware side -- the 32X, Sega CD, Saturn all left such a bad taste in people's mouths that the Dreamcast was dead on arrival... Going to software at least saved their first party franchises.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:30 PM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    Sony developed CD technology. Of course they were going to use it. If Nitendo jumped on board they would of had to pay Sony for the rights. It's easy to say now that it would have been the right move but before the CD Sony had several failures when it came to removable storage.

    Back in 96 CD read speeds were not the 50x we have today. There were issues with the lasers. The 3 beam liner tracking had to be developed right about the time when Sony was designing the PS1.

    Sure Nintendo could have jumped on board with some of the newer technology but the reason why they sold so many Wii game consoles was that they sold at a lower price. Even today with the new Xbox and PS being released a lower priced console could set record sales numbers. People don't always want the most expensive toy on the shelf.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:41 PM, yuoke wrote:

    Wow, his entire article and half of these comments are laughable. The wii is as big of a sucess as a console can be. The wii u so far hasnt sold well because of the lack of games and not ao good marketing. And nintendo stated that they won't ever go third party. If they ever decide to stop making conaoles, they are done makin games too.

    And @yogavo.....lol, you are seriously that naive to actually go in the "bad graphics" route? The wii and ps2 are the two highest selling consoles ever, and were both the weakest of their generation.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:44 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    still dropping out of the console business is the worst step Nintendo can take, at least in my opinion.

    i mean the same advisers and analyst were the same who said build conglomerates and then said the exact opposite later when they told everyone to split up the companies

    they are just reactionists and react on whims....

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:46 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    The Wii failed? What kind of stupid statement is that?!?! It was a HUGE success. The WiiU failed, not the Wii. Nintendo just failed at transitioning to the next generation.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:47 PM, eidsonb wrote:

    Had to get the standard dig in at Blackberry...the Z10 is awesome...should try it...

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:49 PM, Farscape29 wrote:

    I'd only gotten a Wii because my wife wanted one. We did play it a lot initially, but it soon wore off. Also, lack of good 3rd party games. I'm absolutely sick to death of Mario and I never played Zelda and grew out of my Pokemon phase. If I wasn't interested in any of those 3 properties, there wasn't much to do with Nintendo. I focused my attention aka dollars on my PS3.

    I understand in theory what he's saying about letting Sony and Microsoft have the T-Rexs of consoles and to carve out a spot for Nintendo's little lemur. But at some point that lemurs gotta do something other than just be a cute novelty.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:54 PM, ickabodx wrote:

    How is the Wii customers not translating into the Wii U a failure of the Wii?

    The Wii outsold it's competition by 25% and at a profit, how is that a failure?

    The Wii U, ok that could probably be considered failing.

    Honestly this is the third article written by Mr. Sun that I have seen that just seems to have flawed logic or inaccurate information. (Pixar / Disney innovation, and I forget the other one)

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 12:59 PM, starr007 wrote:

    I don't think they were saying it a "failure" in that sense. I think the article was trying to say is that Playstation and Xbox have moved forward with better options the Nintendo.. like the article said, Nintendo didn't' want to use disk then when they did they were mimi disk that didn't hold enough storage. Also there is just not enough games like its' competitors... Nintendo is not a failure in a sense but is it going to be around for the future.. NO ! PlayStation is taking over the market with the 4.. BAD AS#

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:01 PM, Abicus18 wrote:

    Did most of the previous commenters NOT read the article. Nowhere is it implied that the Wii was not and incredible success. The point is that while Sony and MS moved forward with technology, Nintendo did nothing to capitalize on their newly acquired market share. It's sad that a technology company chose not to keep up with current technology.

    Worst of all, how do you justify driving away the developers? You can not sustain yourself based solely upon the dedicated Mario gamers.

    At this point I think there is too much of a majority commitment of gamers to either PS or Xbox to try and introduce another system. Nintendo had it's chance but missed it with the Wii U. If they could have instead come out with a technologically advanced system a full year before the intro of the new PS and xbox they could have had a chance to gain some shares back.

    Only hope that they are not so stubborn that they choose to let the Mario franchise die as opposed to developing it for the other platforms.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:03 PM, ViciousAlienKrab wrote:

    The Wii was a successful failure, yes the system sold great but people wil not fall for the same trick twice. Crappy online, underpowered hardware, no 3rd party support, gimmicky controls and another Mario Party! Nintendo won't change but consumers do. So all those commenters yelling about the author not getting it, its who is NOT getting it. Nintendo's rep is ruined.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:08 PM, d2spin wrote:

    I use the Wii Board daily for exercise and have been waiting for years for a new release in cycling and exercise software from Nintendo. They totally ignore a viable market in the exercise genre. The stats in this article show how popular this was.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:20 PM, targeyone wrote:

    No, Sun has no clue what he's talking about here.

    "The problem is not the number of total units Nintendo sold, but its declining market share in the video game industry"

    By Sun's own graphs, decline starts in 2011. By this time the Wii was already approaching the end of its lifecycle. Even Nintendo barely supported it as they turned resources to the Wii U. Decline here is only logical.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:26 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Wii fit u for the new wii u comes in december.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:28 PM, mobrocket wrote:

    So many people are ignorant about console sales. The number of consoles doesnt matter as much as attach rate... Wii sold a truckload of consoles but people didnt buy many games for it.

    Nintendo/Sony/MSFT make money off games not consoles. The small amount per console that nintendo made on each Wii is nothing compare to what MSFT made on xbox live alone

    Nintendo needs to just become a developer, put mario on sony/msft.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:32 PM, adzooks wrote:

    "Wait... huh? selling 100million units is a failure?

    PS3 and Xbox360 sold about 80million units each... How is outselling them by 20million units each a failure?

    What is your standard for success then?"

    Exactly, I don't know what the hell the author is talking about. I figured it was a mistake when I clicked on the article and he was talking about the Wii-U, which is actually a failure. The original Wii was a huge success

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:34 PM, thinkinlincoln98 wrote:

    if they would have put out a new super mario bros, donkey kong and zelda game each year, instead of another shxtty console every year, they would have done just fine.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:36 PM, targeyone wrote:

    @mobrocket Ironically, that's the kicker. Nintendo broke the mold with the Wii, and actually made money not only on game sales, but on console sales themselves.

    Xbox live is the very reason I never play online on Microsoft's console. I'm not going to pay for what I can get free playing on PC.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:41 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Wii u is already better in japan.

    Look at Amazon japan 5 Wii u bundles pre ordered so much that they are in the Top 100. I believe 10 different 3ds are in the Top 100 now.

    The best games 3 games on japanese amazon are pokemon, Zelda and pokemon

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:42 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Targey i totally agree, charging for mp is really shameless

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:44 PM, cpitt76 wrote:

    @leokornsun: The market share argument is incredibly misleading and completely misrepresented in this article. Market share is based on total sales in that time period. I would guess Nintentdo's market share in 2010 was more than total sales of all three in 2013. Point being, the percent market share in 2013 represents a much smaller pie and is much less important than it was in 2010. I would guess that, even though Microsoft's market share is a lot higher in 2013 than it was in 2010, their total sales in 2010 blows their 2013 numbers out of the water. I think, given the choice, any of the three manufacturers would rather have higher market share in the beginning of a console's life cycle than the opposite. Add in the fact that Nintendo had a newer console on the market in 2013 (which I'm assuming isn't captured in the numbers since it cites "Wii Market Share" and not Nintendo market share), and I think Nintendo is pretty happy with Wii sales over its life cycle.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:51 PM, ShadowOfTheVoid wrote:

    More amateurish nonsense from the Fool, whose writers show again and again that they should not be writing about video games.

    The author not only thinks that a system that sold 100 million units (which makes it the third best-selling home console ever, just behind the PS1's 102 million) almost entirely on the merits of its first-party output and was profitable from day one (most other consoles are loss leaders) is a "failure," but his argument hinges entirely on the fact that the Wii peaked in 2008 while the 360 and PS3 did not peak until much later (both peaked in 2011). However, a cursory glance at historical sales figures shows that the Wii actually peaked at a very normal point in its life. Here's how long it took other systems to peak:

    SNES: Launched 1990 (JP)/1991 (US, EU, etc.), Peaked 1992

    N64: Launched 1996, Peaked 1997

    GameCube: Launched 2001, Peaked 2002

    PS1: Launched 1995, Peaked 1998

    PS2: Launched 2000, Peaked 2002

    Xbox: Launched 2001. Peaked 2002

    As we can see, it's actually the norm for a console to peak within 3 years of launch. It's the PS3 and 360 not peaking until 5 and 6 years after launch, respectively, that are the anomalies. It' impossible to know exactly why they continued to experience continued and unprecedented growth, but it's possible that once the Wii peaked, that gave breathing room to them to grow. Also, they received strong software support their entire lives so far. In just the past year, we got multiplat releases like Black Ops II, Assassin's Creed III, Resident Evil 6, Far Cry 3, Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 2, Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, and of course GTAV, while exclusives have included The Last of Us an Ni No Kuni for the PS3 and Halo 4 for the 360. And there's still more games coming this holiday and in the first half of next year.

    In my 30 years of gaming, I have never seen such strong support this long after a system came out. Usually, production of major titles starts to dwindle the further you get into a system's life, and by time a successor system is released you're getting mostly second-string titles. Granted, this was the most protracted console generation in history (8 years between the 360 and XBO, 7 between the PS3 and PS4), so it's not like developers had anywhere else to publish games. Still, the fact remains that as the generation progressed, they produced major titles at an accelerated rate, the reverse of the norm when devs are rushing to produce games for a new system and as a consequence the majority of all popular titles are released within 3 years of launch. Major releases were rather sparse for the 360 and PS3 until holiday of 2007, and about half of the best-selling games for both systems have been released in the past three years.

    TL;DR version: The PS3 and 360 are historical anomalies as far as sales go. They are the only ones ever to peak more than four years after their launch. The Wii peaked when most would expect a system to peak. Therefore, your argument, which hinges entirely on the Wii peaking in 2008, is invalid.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:54 PM, RAllenBooks wrote:

    The Wii in itself is not a failure. However, their decisions have made it difficult to keep rooting for Nintendo. I have see three different families all buy the Wii only t see it start collecting dust less than a year after the purchase. The selection of games is just difficult to live with. Some games are fun, but in 2 of the 3 households, the PS3 was eventually purchased and still gets use today as their selection of games is far superior. I think maybe this is why the Wii U has sputtered so much since it came out. There simply aren't any titles that make me want to buy it. I admit I am more of a PC gamer, but I did give serious consideration to the Wii U only to pass on it because it was too much money for too little return. I think Nintendo keeps doing these proprietary things because it has been able to get away with it for so long and still have success. If they would stop being so stubborn, they could make just as much money, if not more, and have their name in the ranks with Sony and Microsoft as far as gaming. Sure, they have a nice niche for themselves, but the Wii U is more an example of Nintendo's failures than the original Wii.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 1:57 PM, LongtimeGamer wrote:

    The problem with nintendo is that they went with their blue ocean strategy: they got non-gamers to buy wiis for wii sports, same people bought wii fit, wii play, and maybe mario kart...then they stopped. The kids grew up and wanted a 360 (or Ps3, but in the US probably a 360). Dad, if he ever played games, wanted something in HD because once you get an HD tv you want things in hd, mom found she could casually game on facebook, and then as smart phones transitioned, she realized she could casually game on her phone for free. With Wii U people decided they were over motion control, and the game pad? If you have an ipad or tablet you dont see the need. Wii U is 100 bucks cheaper than ps4....yet ps4 will get all the next gen titles, and has a blu ray player, so does Xbone, companies make money on the license on software sales, wii u is in serious trouble, can nintendo launch a next gen console next year? Probably not, and by 2015 it will be a problem for them. 3ds is selling well, but i doubt it will do DS numbers, some of those casual gamers who picked up Professor Layton and Brain Training have smart phones now. Sure plenty of people like something better than touch screen gaming, but is that enough to prop up Nintendo? I dont think so. They go third party on the home console front is my bet, if they partner with either ms or sony (likely sony since ms has no presence in japan and nintendo is a very japanese company in mindset) they could probably get a very lucrative back end discount on liscensing. They could hang on to the portable market, but sooner or later that will dry up...unless they move pokemon to smart phones, in which case they could flourish. Nintendo needs to realize its their IPs that are valuable, Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Pokemon are each more valuable than any other name franchise and those are simply nintendo's Allstars. They could go third party and be a dominant publisher. Could you imagine Zelda sales on a PS4 or Xbone? Or mario kart?

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:10 PM, boethius70 wrote:

    The article headline is link-bait, obviously, designed to get people all up in a tiff, going "WHAT?!? The Wii a FAILURE?!?" then expend all this energy arguing about it in the comments section.

    The article makes the valid point that the Wii, unlike the PS3 and Xbox 360, was unable to SUSTAIN its success. I mean basically after the novelty of the sports games and controllers and the Rock Band craze died down some years back the Wii was an also-ran in the marketplace - and that's absolutely correct.

    The Wii had HUGE initial success and rode the Rock Band craze for years but it had no staying power against the PS3 and Xbox 360 for obvious reasons. It was a success and a "failure" at the same time, if that's possible.

    The author could have phrased it that way but chose not to because creating inflammatory link-bait is what keeps the clicks and dollars coming.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:12 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Iongtimegamer, im also a longtimegamer.

    I owned nearly every home console once in My Life, since My nes and master system era, i even owned amiga 500 and amiga cd and im telling you i completly disagree.

    I think bringing the games on smartphones will water down the value of the products and oversaturate then apetite for the games.

    I have an iPad and iphone, most games suck, same goes for facebook games. Facebook games are Even worse, i dont tink all moms are satisfied by that.

    Also there are many adult gamers that had wii and wii u to play virtual console alone.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:14 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Boethius u are absolutly correct.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:14 PM, izzy1985 wrote:

    Please tell me this article is meant to be satirical or a joke or ...SARCASTIC? If not, the writer needs to stop writing, stay away from writing, don't even think about writing. Where do I begin? You know what, I won't begin. There is no rebuttal that would suffice to counter such ignorance. What's more deafening than the writer's apparent ignorance is the conviction in which they are spouting mis-information entangled with their own opinion, and delivering it as factual. I don't know if to laugh or to take this article seriously. I'm confused lol- this is fool.com and the irony there is not lost me. But yea, I'll stick with my original sentiments- to the writer, please stop typing, writing, anything to do with journalism. I apologize in advance if this was meant to be satirical and take everything back in that case...I really hope that is the case lol.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:15 PM, AdamR32 wrote:

    First, I think too many people are getting hung up on the fact that so many Nintendo Wii consoles were sold. Selling 100 million consoles at $250 each (original price point) earns you $25 billion. Selling 80 million consoles at $350 each (average original price point between the Premium and Core 360 systems) earns you $28 billion. Which company would you prefer to be?

    One thing this article does not disclose is how many people have multiple systems. If I have a Wii and a 360 or PS4, that means I'm willing to pay more for a console. So Nintendo trying to dominate the console market with an inferior console that is cheaper failed. They left money on the table by not making a more powerful console and charging more.

    The fact that third party developers were not willing to the support the device is another problem. Regardless of number of consoles sold, that means that Nintendo missed out on profiting from the highest selling games of this generation. Every time Call of Duty, Halo, or GTA set a sales record, Nintendo was unable to reap the benefits because the Wii was too weak to support the games.

    I think that the point of this article is that Nintendo has become so stubborn that it is falling behind its competitors in terms of game sales, console power, market share, and profitability. A year before Sony and Microsoft go into the next generation (with PS4 and Xbox One), Nintendo comes out with the Wii U that is only capable of competing with the current generation. Makes no sense. And I feel that that move will be the nail in the coffin.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:15 PM, dannielle wrote:

    why don't you people go play an atari and then come back and we'll talk.I play the wii everyday for hours and have absolutly no problem with it.When I was a kid I played my klikovision like that and wore it out in a couple years, it started burning graphics into my mom's t.v she made me quit playing it we got a new t.v. played it twice and it went. none of that's happened with my wii.STFU

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:22 PM, AnselmoJones wrote:

    You guys are missing a point.

    Nintendo has always been for kids.

    Xbox and PS for serious gamers.

    Nintendo never understood that. mario? for kids and morons.

    some games simply dont look or perform good in the Wii system.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:23 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Adam the idea that Wii u can only compete wir current gen, isnt nintendo failure, its the brainwashing of sonys and microsofts marketing. They paid the Most mfluencial people to Say ist and everyone is like a brainwashed zombie and just copies words they put in their mouth..

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:23 PM, shawno719 wrote:

    I am very confused. The Wii won the console battle and made more money than all the others. Yet there is an article about its downfall? What about nintendos very strong hold on the mobile gaming with the nintendo DS? I don't get it,

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:24 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    danielle thx for supporting nintemdo

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:26 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Jones that is bull, its more the other Way around. Adults dont have to prove they are adults. So they can play mario, only Kids dont have the courage to like what they like because if peer pressure

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:29 PM, shawno719 wrote:

    Also, Adam, Sony and Microsoft sold the consoles at a lose....... So which company would you rather be?

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:31 PM, NotAnotherTrader wrote:

    Whatt?? Fool.com really lives up to its name: Fools. They Wii has been the best selling Nintendo console of all time. Repeat that: Of all time.

    They also have the best selling portable console of all time, of any company: The Nintendo DS.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:33 PM, ReyMODE wrote:

    I am sorry Mr Sun but I still disagree with you. How can you say this system is failure? It outsold its competition for that generation of consoles? Not to mention Nintendo has also dominated the handheld market for some time. The article seems to show your blantant dislike for the company rather than giving an informed well researched article about previous generation of consoles.

    Again it makes sense that Wii has not sold many units the last two years for two reasons. The first is many people already own a Wii. It was well built unlike the XBOX 360 that an intial failure with list hardware problem like the red ring of death when lauched. The WiiU was already out. I guarantee you will have declining sales with both the PS3 and the XBOX 360 once their new generation console are out. It happens with almost every system.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 2:48 PM, BHGamer wrote:

    This article couldn't be more wrong!! The Wii didn't fail, it succeeded as it was intended to and caused Nintendo and the Wii-U to fail. Let me explain. #1. The Wii catered to a specific user base, that blew up at the beginning and died off. It appealed to non gamers and sold tons, which in the end now was a bad move. #2. Because of #1, you had a new market of gamers that were not interested in games. Your main source of revenue. The Wii though it sold tons of units, had abysmal software sales. There were tons of 3rd party games to the point the Wii was over saturated. Because of Wii Sports, many in the new market, didn't care about the other games or only 1 or 2 games. The Wii had a terrible software attach rate. Software makes money not hardware. #3. Because of the new market, you have a large number of consumers that are completely happy with their Wii's and have no desire to upgrade to the Wii-U, thus abysmal sales of the Wii-U. The Sony and Microsoft market, also have no reason to buy a Wii-U because their systems are already as powerful and will have better games, other than Nintendo first party titles, there's nothing the Wii-U will have that the PS3/360 won't have, or won't do better.

    That's the real reason why the Wii failed, and it didn't fail, if anything failed it's Nintendo themselves for turning their back on their core market.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:02 PM, Stealth2k wrote:

    I assume this article is satirical because it makes no sense

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:03 PM, Stealth2k wrote:

    This article must be a joke

    "Nintendo themselves for turning their back on their core market."

    Nintendo is more into the core market than sony is

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:06 PM, sinyx wrote:

    My only problem with the whole "new coat of paint on old games" comment is that all Xbox and Sony rely on is sequels too. Halo 4 and Gears of War 4? Call of Duty and Battlefield? Metal Gear Solid 4 and God of War 3?

    Even the next gen launch is all sequels, Dead rising 3, Killzone 4, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty 10, and Assassins Creed 4. Be a fan boy if you must but make it sound like Sony and Microsoft don't ever head back to the well for new games. Halo 5 is already on its way along with a new God of War for Sony.

    Nintendo has a core audience, and yes while some of the choices they make are weird they are hardly failures and far from done. The 3DS is still going strong and I think they learned from the Wii U. They still also have a few legendary game characters like Mario, Link, and Samus which both Sony and Microsoft would death pit fight over to own. This all being said, I just don't understand why people want Nintendo dead so badly.

    As for the 3rd party developer statement, Pokemon and Fire Emblem were developed outside Nintendo, Respectively GameFreak made Pokemon and Intelligent Systems made Fire Emblem. Nintendo just made them company products like Master Chief is for Microsoft and Drake is for Sony.

    I get the idea that people didn't like the Wii or the name and that the Wii U has been disappointing at best, but if you want to be critical of them get them on realistic points not just petty internet qualms.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:12 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Bhggamer u Must be joking

    You Said Xbox one and ps4 will have better games and the Wii u has nothing they dont have and they also do it better.

    Thats not true, yes their marketing says so but it isnt. Nintendo knows what fun is, what Good gameplay is.

    People who want fun buy a Wii u.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:14 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    I agree with all sinyx said. Its sad that people hate Nintendo so much

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:35 PM, CyanideInsanity wrote:

    Since someone mentioned it I'm genuinely curious, does anyone know where I can find something comparing just M$'s and sony's gaming division to nintendo?

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:37 PM, MikeJones77 wrote:

    lmao another anti nintendo article on this site..

    3 reason why this article failed

    wii sold more than xbox/ps

    it was sold at profit

    has the best selling game of all time

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:37 PM, Burstedbladder wrote:

    The number one reason Nintendo failed is due to them abandoning all the old gamers of the Nintendo. I as millions of older gamers did not want a wireless controller and we all wanted those old time joystick / arcade stick gadgets to play some of our games with. Nintendo tried to force us old gamers to use a wireless controller, swing our arms thru the air like a fool to play a video game.

    We old gamers don't want that. We all want better options and controllers that we feel comfortable playing with. I left the Nintendo games/systems when the Wii debuted.

    If they made a newer system that had arcade sticks for them to play Zelda and Mario games, I would probably go back, but until then, I still play all my older gen Nintendo games, but will never buy a Wii that takes away to gaming experience that us old gamers liked when using the arcade/joy sticks with.

    Sorry Nintendo... but you lose, and until you start listening to your Nintendo fans (old gamers) you will soon be a thing of the past.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:41 PM, TMFSunLion wrote:

    Dear all:

    I don't hate Nintendo. Quite the opposite. Please read these previous articles first before assuming what I actually think about the company.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/09/23/the-life-an...

    http://beta.fool.com/leokornsun/2013/06/12/what-would-the-fa...

    -- on a side note, the original title of this current article was "3 Mistakes Nintendo Made With the Wii." The newer title was optimized by the site.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:43 PM, ReyMODE wrote:

    @MikeJones77 That also excellent point. Every Wii sold was sold at a PROFIT. It's well documented that both Sony and Microsoft both took a finanacial loss with every units sold.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:50 PM, Robarino wrote:

    alexjt, console hardware sales are a one time profit. Video game software sales insure a steady stream of revenue. Nintendo never had that.

    This is business, not a track-n-field event. In business it's not about who does what first, it's about who does it better.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:52 PM, TPoppaPuff wrote:

    As has been noted repeatedly already, this article is terrible, but did anyone else notice that in order to show a lack of horsepower on the Wii they used a screen shot Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the 3DS? To prove their point in a comical fashion they used a mobile port of a 15 year old game! A bunch of clowns running this site? It's not like a screen shot of Twilight wouldn't have made their point.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 3:58 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Bursted who wants to play zelda with an arcade Stick. Are u joking?

    By the Way there was a hori Arcade stick and for many people, me included Wii was the System for older players. The virtual console alone made it worth buying.

    Man, i really hope Wii u has a chance to come big, otherwise my money in Nintendo is lost.

    I really think many sales were lost because of sabotage of Sony and Microsoft and their smere campaigns. Anyway now i can only hope

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 4:23 PM, captAhab02 wrote:

    Bursted stop joking no1 wants to play zelda with an arcade. And many adult gamers liked the wii because of the virtual console.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 4:54 PM, trevelyan8 wrote:

    Leo Sun, you're a FOOL.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 5:14 PM, thejmurphy wrote:

    now i know why Yahoo acquired Motley fool. theyte both morons... the Wii a failure???????? the Wii is the best selling game system OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. HOW IS THAT A FAILURE?????????????? once everyone has one they wont keep buying them.. you should be writing an sarticle on how the Wii U is "failing". then i might find you credible. Otherwise youre a terrible writer, whomever wrote this.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 5:18 PM, thejmurphy wrote:

    ooooooooooooooooooooooh i get it!!!!!! i SOOOOOOOO GET IT.. i hgope everyone reads my comment. the Motley fool writes garbage like this on purpose only to anger people into reading the garbage they write, rather than writing something normal. Ill give it to them, it worked. I saw the header and had to read this crap.. it is crap.. but ITS WORKING.. write something utterly ironic to get readers!!!!. might as well write something like "why President Obama isnt the first black President"... fool me once shame on you... fool me twice... well we know where that goes. I wont be reading Motley fool anymore... hope you do the same. (in case you got none of that, the motley fool writes fake incorrect angering stories on purpose just so you read it... stop reading it or youre just a sucker)

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 7:11 PM, n1jg wrote:

    I think the biggest problem with the Wii is that it got stuck with the reputation of being a game console for "little kids". My son lost interest in his Wii at about age 8. The games were, for the most part, uninteresting to him. I noticed that most of his friends had "upgraded" to the PS3 or the Xbox. In the Wii U, Nintendo seems to have partially fixed this issue by adding more "grown up" titles. I think this will help Nintendo stay viable in the long run, which is good thing for the gaming community.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 7:26 PM, JimRal wrote:

    Reading what Miyamoto said, I think Nintendo knew they were going to lose if they competed with Sony and MS. Therefore, they reposition themselves as the image that people see them as, "kiddie and family", and target those instead of gamers.

    Also, they knew people had a 360 or PS3 (or both) in the household. They had one advantage, their first-party franchises, but needed more. Therefore, the Wii had to be cheap and unique to ensure people were going to buy it. As a result, it caused the Wii to be underpowered.

    In the end, they expected the Wii to sell, but not take off like it did. Thus, stubbornness isn't on adapting industry standards (because the industry doesn't really have any standards besides the storage media), but the thought that the success would last past the Wii life cycle.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 9:15 PM, TreSelor wrote:

    I like how they post the stock prices for every company. Yet ignore the fact that Nintendo's stock prices in Japan are at 11,260 yen per. (about $112 US).

    Microsoft isn't even a stock in Japan, and Sony trades about half that.

    Nintendo isn't going anywhere, in hindsight it seems motley fool is trying to lower the Value of the stock on purpose as these "Nintendo is failing" articles appear everyday.

    Good thing I like other people take what Motley Fool articles say with a grain of salt (doesn't really equate to anything substantial, and i just read it for chuckles)

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 10:08 PM, 24HrPartyPeople wrote:

    Let's review:

    1. Cartridge based system are better for kids

    2. Most of the 3rd party developers made junk for the Wii

    3. The graphics were fine for what it was trying to accomplish - be an easy to use and fun system.

    Remember when the WIi debuted and you couldn't get one, but they were in nursing homes and day cares? Why? Because it was easy to pick up and play. You didn't need hours to ramp up on a game - fire it up and try it out. Genius.

    I have a PS3 that is used only for Blu-Ray and Netflix. Our Wii is still used for Rock Band, dance games, Force Unleashed, etc.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:18 PM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    So much unnecessary wii hate. It was a great console at a great price, with great exclusives and it sold like hot cakes.

    My parents even have a Wii and they don't play games at all. Anyways, the hate for Nintendo is unnecessary and the Wii U will be running games at 1080 native unlike the XBOXone.

  • Report this Comment On October 30, 2013, at 11:53 PM, cpitt76 wrote:

    @adamr32: to answer your question, I'd rather be the company who wasn't taking a loss for each console sold. Care to guess which of the three that was?

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 1:35 AM, jansma559 wrote:

    The Wii didn't fail, it simply just ran to the end of its lifetime. Yea it could of done a few things better but it did not fail by any means. There were a few holiday seasons where you could not find one at all in store.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 2:05 AM, kennethyamini wrote:

    100 Million units sold says it wasnt a failure..gimmick, yes. Failure..haha no.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 12:05 PM, godiszed wrote:

    Stop defending the Wii, please. A show of hands, who thinks that going from 47% market share down to 15% market share is a recipe for success? It's the very definition of failure. The writer isn't saying the Wii was never successful, he's pointing out the reasons why it's failing to keep it's lead over Sony/MS.

  • Report this Comment On October 31, 2013, at 12:37 PM, elicarter20 wrote:

    Lol at all the nintendrones here

    Wii definitely failed no matter how much it sold. Its gimmick lasted pathetically against the pure power of real consoles like 360 and PS3, both of which are still selling extremely well and will likely surpass the Wii sales. Likewise, Nintendo giving up on 3rd parties with the Wii now reflects on the Wii U and will lead to its downfall as well. And don't try to blame 3rd parties here for NInty's failures. The underpowered Wii was not reaching the markets wanted by 3rd parties.

    Another valid point of its failure is that it put Nintendo in the mindset that it can operate independently of the game industry as a whole. The Wii was lightning in a bottle but now Nintendo still thinks that it can survive from sales to the casual market and only 1st party games (both of which they are slacking in extremely).

    Nintendo is going handheld only this gen. Frankly, I won't miss 'em too much

  • Report this Comment On November 01, 2013, at 2:44 PM, masterN17 wrote:

    Hell hath no fury like a nerd scorned.

  • Report this Comment On November 03, 2013, at 12:02 PM, Stealth2k wrote:

    I cant believe how bad this article is, but this site promotes factless stuff

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