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Sony On Wii U: The Message Has Been A "Bit Confusing"

Even though Sony and Nintendo are technically in competition against each other, one still wants the other to succeed.

Speaking during a recent IGN interview, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said they "need Nintendo to be very successful to help induct as many consumers who like to play games with controllers, sticks, and buttons because we believe they are great things."

The Wii was a smash hit phenomenon right out of the gate, but the Wii U has under-performed so far; it hasn't even hit the 4 million mark yet. Yoshida said the reason for this may be due to Nintendo pushing the system at core gamers rather than remaining focused on the family market:

"I think success or making mistakes depends on how you set your goal. I don't know what was Nintendo’s goal when they launched Wii U. To me, it was a bit confusing because what they did really well was create a very safe environment for anyone, especially children, to enjoy games and induct those people who have never played games ever to become gamers. And they always do very well."

However, he added that the Wii U's message to core gamers "was a bit confusing," which is why the supposed next-gen console isn't selling well at all. That being said, he does believe Nintendo is "coming back to where they are focused," so maybe we'll see a resurgence.

Tags: sony, nintendo, wii u, playstation, gaming industry

11/14/2013 1:11:20 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 1:43:24 PM
Reply

Software and a good marketing strategy are key and it was lacking in both department upon launch. The software situation is changing and fast and it has helped. They saw a 200% spike in sales due to the Wind Waler HD and their new party game. But their marketing, at least here in the US is still abysmal. They seem to focus their marketing in the Euroean regions for some reason.

It also doesn't help that many game journalists(not talking about you Ben) have done nothing but trash the Wii U since it's launch. It had a bad launch yes, but it is really a great system. I just read a ridiculous article the other day from a faux stock advisement site about how they will need to abandon the Wii U next year and go the way of Sega because they can't afford to support a failing console like Sony. Never mind that Nintendo has about a billion more in the bank than Sony and that they've managed to already turn a profit on the Wii U only after one game purchase, albeit small. For some reason it's as if these people want Nintendo to fail which isn't good for the gaming industry overall.

Whether the Wii U is true next gen or not isn't really an issue if you just like games. So far from what I've seen in the true next gen consoles hasn't really made me want to run out and get a PS4 tomorrow. New graphics are great thing but they don't always make for great games. I've been having a blast with titles like Pikmin 3, Wind Waker HD, NSMBU, Nintendo Land and even ZombiU was pretty cool. Super Mario 3D World is out on Nov. 22nd too. And with all the other stuff like Art Academy, Miiverse, Wii Fit U etc. it makes a great versatile system.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 3:43:20 PM

I'm sorry, but I'm vindicated in saying the Wii was just a fad. Fads hit huge but have a very limited lifespan, as the remaining years of the Wii absolutely proved. Competitors end up copying your idea and if you have nothing else to sell the public, the fad is over.

The Wii U is just an HD version of that fad. Hence, it will never really do well; of that, I'm certain. Of course there was a spike for Zelda, but that's nothing new. Hell, it's the same as it has always been: Release a new Mario, Metroid or Zelda and hardware sales rise.

Nintendo can't keep doing that. Their dominance of the handheld market means they don't have to bow out of consoles, but the Wii U was finished before it began.

The message wasn't right, that's true. But it's also inaccurate to call the Wii U "next-gen." Maybe that doesn't matter to some people but in terms of marketing and competing, it really, really does matter.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/14/2013 3:44:35 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:07:43 PM

I think Nintendo will try to merge a console and handheld space into one unit. Looking at something like the Vita 5 years from now I'm sure Nintendo will have the sort of low voltage tech to power gaming for HD displays and also handhelds. But I do agree with Ben that the Wii was a mainstream fad that died out. Nintendo knows this, hence why they tried to cater to the core gamer with the Wii U. They wanted to win back what they lost. Well. It would seem their plan has failed. With meaningful profits coming only from their handheld market they have to ask themselves if it's worth gouging themselves with another failed home console launch or instead try to create a composite of the two markets. I think they'll do just that. Make their handheld market a combo platform. Really, the Wii U is almost like that. It's just way too big to be mobile.

EDIT: they may possibly do it with the Wii U itself. Produce a more compact Wii U that can be played entirely remote to the TV connected console. They'd just have to make the media digital and stored within the Wii U tablet itself

Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/14/2013 4:11:07 PM

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:10:13 PM

The PS2 was the weakest of the 3 during its era. Did that make it last gen compared to the Xbox and GameCube? Of course not. The Wii U is Nintendo's next gen console. Just because it's not a PS4 or Xbone clone doesn't make it last gen. It's more powerful than last gen hardware so it can be considered next gen if we go by the logic that more powerful hardware is what determines next gen.

All of the same arguments could be applied to the PS3 and it's launch. It had an equally abyssal launch just as the 3DS did yet they're both a success now. Will the Wii U dominate like the Wii did? I highly doubt it. But it claim its a failure at this point is reaching. The PS3 didn't start selling well until a few years into its cycle.

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/14/2013 4:17:27 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:17:07 PM

I think what's more important than what's being identified as 'last-gen' or 'next-gen' is looking at where scaleable multiplatform engine support is. If I'm not mistaken, the CryEngine and Frostbite Engine, and I think UE4 don't include Wii U support. That could mean real bad things for Wii U multiplat support once third-parties cut the current-gen product out of their game production line.

EDIT: This is especially the case when those third party games may be selling least on the WIi U. Devs will feel little incentive to retool their engine for an ailing platform.



Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/14/2013 4:18:52 PM

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:24:52 PM

I wouldn't disagree with that Temji. Though if it's true that these engines are now made in a way that they're scaleable I, see no reason these games can't come to Wii U other than the developers are worried their games won't sell which EA has said as much. If Ubisoft can make their "next gen" games for a Wii U why not the others? Sales, but if you don't take risks and make games for a certain platform, of course the platform won't do as well as you'd like. Almost like a self fulling prophecy.

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Underdog15
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:25:34 PM

Wasn't the PS2 the only console to have 720p offerings?

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:40:39 PM

You could get 480p with composite cables but not 720p.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 5:07:43 PM

I'm not talking about power. I'm saying it tried to expand upon a dead fad, which makes it feel old; hence, not next-gen.

The Wii U just screams "desperate attempt to stay in consoles without really being able to compete."

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Simcoe
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 2:13:22 PM
Reply

Shuhei also mentions that he owns two WiiU consoles and enjoys playing games on it with his daughters. He also goes on to say that he welcomes the competition Microsoft provides as it helps keep them (Sony) on their toes. It seems like Shuhei is the only guy in the business that speaks his mind and doesn't feel the need to relay sound bites from PR or marketing.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 2:35:38 PM
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So he sees it as a gateway drug, interesting.

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Underdog15
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 4:26:34 PM

Hey.... buddy.... want some wii-ijana?

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smileylyon
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 3:19:58 PM
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Nintendo totally marketed the WiiU wrong. They made it look like an add-on to the Wii! I don't know how many people I had to explain to that it's a whole new console...

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 3:39:27 PM

Yup. They made a mistake not showing the actual machine during their E3 reveal.

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Mog
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 6:13:25 PM

Yeah I didn't realise it was a whole new console until a couple of months ago when I did some research.

: /

Last edited by Mog on 11/14/2013 6:13:47 PM

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telly
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 10:47:31 AM

bingo. I lost count of how many casual gamer friends of mine had no idea the Wii U was a brand new system. Simply calling it Wii 2 (or a new name entirely) would have solved that problem.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 5:11:34 PM
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yeah and the other side of the coin is there aren't nessesarily games on the WiiU that appeal to the core that u can't get on another console.

i meani like the look of like rayman but i'll ge that on vita and well i guess i go to nintendo for those nintendo gamesi got 3DS for pokemon X primaryily i got mario as well and well i'll get a WiiU at some stake maybe for super smash bros. or something.

happy gaming =)

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Knightzane
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 6:30:23 PM
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I agree with Mr. Shuhei. When i play a video game, I want to do so with analogs and buttons. Just because the hipster market enjoys touch screens to be different, doesn't mean everyone else enjoys them as well. I would have loved a gamecube 2 or something not more crap. If i end up getting a Wii U for Zelda and Metroid, it's going to be hard for me to play them because the gamepad is so dumb

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 7:02:16 PM

Actually it's pretty awesome. People who claim it's dumb really haven't had any experience with it. It essentially turns your home entertainment system into a DS. Now if you don't like the DS, fine but I have a feeling you don't think the Vita compatibility with the PS4 is dumb. It would essentially serve the same purpose if one chooses to use it in that way. Not to mention most games support the pro controller which is a 360/DuelShocker hybrid.

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monkeypunch
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 7:01:13 PM
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My take on their mistakes:

• No Mario Kart - that's the only non violent game all my friends still play. Plus they could have revived Wii if they had new levels or another Mario Kart but it was like they put in the least amount of work on that possible.
• Low powered system - we all know the arguments and their pros and cons but after the long delay between the Wii and Wii U it seemed to matter. A friend showed me Rayman and it's affected my thoughts on Wii U some.
• Giant controller with screen - it looked uncomfortable and gave the impression it would not work well with FPS. Again, I tried it the other day and it was the opposite but that was the impression I had up until then.
• Cross development support - Both the XBox One and PS4 are using x86 architecture. Theoretically, developing for one system should make it easier now to port to the other. Can the same hold true for Wii U?
• The naming convention - The "Wii U" name sounds like an upgrade, in fact, what does the U stand for? And many people thought it was just an upgrade. Nintendo said this recently as well.
• Game drought - After the Wii was out for a few years there was a major game drought. What happened Nintendo? My Wii was literally had a layer of dust on it since the last time I played it.

Having said all that I loved the Wii and may pick up the Wii U someday. Just bring back the normal controllers IE go back to what worked. :)

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Temjin001
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 7:16:45 PM

mario kart is violent.

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Jawknee
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 7:17:37 PM

Mario Kart will be out soon in 1080p native 60/fps glory. :)

Rayman does look nice on the Wii U. Can't compare it though since I haven't seen it on any other system.

I thought the same thing at first but I actually prefer the game pad unless I'm playing Blops 2 then I prefer to use the Wiimote and nunchuck.

Nintendo has a development kit that they're giving to developers that's supposed to streamline porting games to Wii U. It's called Nintendo Web Framework. Hopefully we'll see more games from 3rd party devs. Ubisoft has been taking the lead on trying to support the Wii U. EA and others should start too if they truly want the Wii U to succeed to their standards.

The name? I agree, it didn't separate it enough from the Wii. Also not showing the actual machine at E3 didn't help.

Nintendo does need to start more dev teams. To take on multiple AAA games at one time. They have several producers for Mario hence we see a few Mario's in a short amount of time. Zelda, it's just Eji Aonuma who produces every Zelda alone. Maybe have Retro work on a Zelda while Eji does another? Was disappointing that we only saw one true Wii Zelda. Twilight a Princess was great on the Wii but was a port.

They are making more of their games with pro controller support, i.e. normal controls. That said I hope they don't completely abandon motion controls. After the 1:1 controls in Skyward Sword, I personally don't want to go back. Maybe start offering a choice for motion and traditional like they did with Pikmin 3.

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/14/2013 7:20:36 PM

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telly
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 10:54:54 AM

For all the talk of Nintendo's mistakes, I think it's quite simple really: Nintendo makes amazing games you cannot find anywhere else, but we are only now starting to get those games. The 2D mario games are great (if you haven't played the Wii U version, do yourself a favor and try it out)but they're not what get core Nintendo fans fired up. They should not have launched unil the proper 3D mario was ready to go, or the Wind Waker HD was ready, or Smash Bros. was ready, etc. I think the story would have unfolded very differently if they had done so.

People like to bemaon Nintendo, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. For me, I love a great Nintendo game every once in a while and I'm thankful they're still doing what they do.

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telly
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 10:55:36 AM

@Jawk Mario Kart is THE game I cannot wait for. That one is going to be a mainstay on my living room plasma for years :)

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Jawknee
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 12:42:31 PM

I don't get it honesty. Nintendo obviously likes to do their own thing. They make fantastic first party games. They have a great online community and are the only ones trying to innovate and they're given hell for it by game journalists. I thought those of us who are gamers just love games. They make some of the highest rated and original franchises but they're trashed for not being a Sony or MS clone. I love Sony but there is nothing revolutionary about the PS4. Ben said above it's not about power but what is the biggest selling point for the PS4? That it's more powerful than last gen consoles and the Wii U. At least Nintendo tries to give us new ways to play games. After the 1:1 motion controls in Skyward Sword and the connivence of seamless gameplay by having your menu, options, items and map on the gamepad screen so you don't have to pause the game, I never want to go back and honestly in my opinion, has made playing games on the traditional controller stale.

Last edited by Jawknee on 11/15/2013 12:42:58 PM

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telly
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 1:42:53 PM

Complaints that essentially boil down to "why isn't Nintendo more like Sony?" Do drive me nuts. don't we want variety? Don't we want everyone doing what they do best and not trying to copy everyone else? I love PlayStation (I mean I'm here in the comments all the time right? :) but it would be awful if Nintendo stopped doing it's own thing.

And you're absolutely right about the touchpad controller. The thing is a revelation. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who knock it the most have not spent any appreciable amount of time with it...

They're not perfect (who is?), and the majority of games I enjoy the most come out for PS platforms, so of course they're my preference. But Nintendo is doing amazing, super fun things ALL THE TIME. If you love games, you owe it to yourself to play their games.

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telly
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 1:45:14 PM

Also, WAY too premature to call the Wii U dead. The price will only go down, the must-have Nintendo franchises will pile up. I'm not saying it's a sure thing they rebound but let's remember that console sales totals are a years-long marathon, not a months-long sprint. Just ask Sony why they didn't give up after the first year of PlayStation 3...

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Jawknee
Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 6:13:47 PM

All great points. People forget that the 3DS was trashed too when it was announced. It's rebounded and is on track to be the best selling handheld of all time. I think I read they sold over 450,000 units on October alone. Now I'm not going to predict that the Wii U will see those kinds of sale but I do think it will turn out to be an overall success when all is said and done. I honestly haven't touched my PS3 since I finished the last of us. It's been all about the Wii U.

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bamf
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 10:13:39 AM
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Since Playstation hit the seen, Nintendo had always been a failure with the core gamers. As core gamers truely had gaming when ps1 came. Nintendo new this after gamecube and thats why they changed direction with the wii. The wii became a fad and their target audience because were not core gamers unfortunately for nintendo, never bought many games or followed nintendo gaming life. Evryone I know who were early adopted wii owners, stored the Wii in a closet or under their beds within a year or just after as the they lost interest like with any fad. I dont call them fads, I call them shepherds as its only sheep that follow them.

Last edited by bamf on 11/19/2013 10:14:50 AM

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