The Wii U launched almost two years ago, and it is no secret that it is struggling in comparison to its predecessor and other game consoles on the market. While hardware sales have increased almost 60% throughout 2014, there is still considerable room for growth. On the software side, growth has increased 135% over last year. Yet, many still say the Wii U is doomed.
I have owned a Wii U from launch day, and I love playing it. There are many games I enjoy, and I am anticipating others that will launch over the next year. So, why is it not selling well? In my opinion, it all comes back to a few things that we have mentioned on several occasions in our podcast – poor marketing, bad name, pitiful third-party support, and bad press. Today, I would like to add one more to the list – store displays.
Yes, this could be somewhat connected to marketing, but I think it goes beyond what Nintendo has given the stores. Here is a photo I took this week from my local Best Buy. This is the entire Wii U display for games and hardware.
There are only 28 games there. At last count, there are almost 100 games out for the system. Where are the others? Yes, I know a few of them are shovel-ware, but many others are great. Where is Deus Ex, LEGO Marvel, Mass Effect 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Monster Hunter, Need for Speed, and The Wonderful 101? (Mario Kart 8 is around the corner, by itself, beside other Xbox and Playstation new releases.) In contrast, the Xbox and Playstation sections are at least two sections wide and each have a demo unit. It is not just at Best Buy, either. In one of the local Gamestop stores, the Wii U stuff is shoved in the back corner, basically behind the counter. Walmart is not any better. In fact, the only store I have seen that has a decent Wii U display is Target.
Yes, I know Nintendo has a lot of growth ahead of them if they want to compete, and I know that a lot of that falls directly on the shoulders of Nintendo, themselves (especially marketing and getting third-parties to join), but when stores are only ordering and showing a limited selection, do you think people are going to go after that system?
Ok, my rant is over. But I do want to know what you think about this. Have you seen the same thing in your local stores? Do you think store displays have an effect on sales? What else do you think Nintendo could do to improve Wii U sales? Let us know in the comments.