For the Love of Wii U

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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.

wiiu-bestbuy-display-aug2014
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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.

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About the author:

Steve has been a Nintendo fan since the NES. He currently owns a NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, DS, DSi, 3DS, and 3DS XL. His favorite types of games are action platformers and multiplayer “party” games. Overall, he loves a game that is pure fun and pulls him in for hours, and if that can be shared with friends, it is even better.

Steve has been blogging for NintendoFuse since April 2008. He started off as an avid reader, and eventually was asked to jump on the team. Currently, he enjoys writing game reviews and sharing breaking news with the fans and readers. You will also find him on the forums as an admin.

Steve – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.


  • hawk1010

    Yeah, it’s the same over here. In fact I was in GameStop just yesterday thinking how tiny their Wii U section is. They did have a Demo unit that was just playing a video of like 4 different Wii U games over and over again. This is why I’m a firm collector of physical releases. Physical release = Retail space which is still very vital. Nintendo is doing well to package New Super Luigi U, Wii Fit U, Wii Sports Club, and now NES Remix 1 and 2, but they really should do more. Microsoft and Sony both have DL titles in a collection on Disc, why not Nintendo? Wii U Ware classics, 4-6 Wii U DL games for $19.99. Get it on store shelves. But that’s just an idea.

  • Tom Halladay

    I totally agree that displays are one of the biggest factors. The Walmart Supercenter where I live here in Ontario Canada has Wii and Wii U games all mixed together … talk about confusing for the general public who has a hard time telling the difference between the 2. Yes the Wii U can play both, but I still think Wii and Wii U should have their own separate sections … it’s like retail stores have no idea either.

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