Gaming, Technology, Video Games

Partial Wii Discontinuation: Good or Bad?

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The holidays are fast approaching, and many shoppers will be out to buy the latest system. How terrible would it be, however, if poor, confused Grandma wrapped up an original Wii for you and put it under the tree…even though you’ve had one for four years? The problem is, this situation most likely won’t be too uncommon this year because in America, the Wii and Wii U will both be on store shelves this holiday season. There are good aspects to this, and others that aren’t so great.

First of all, the backstory: Nintendo has announced that the Wii has been discontinued in Japan and will no longer be sold there. In America, the Wii will be sold at the very least through the holiday season, although it is unknown for how much longer past Christmas the system will be stocked. The thing is, Wii’s are still selling decently in America; enough to compete with the Wii U, sadly. This is both good and bad. It’s good because Nintendo actually makes a profit on Wii sales, whereas they lose on Wii U sales. The bad part is that people aren’t buying the Wii U, which is the next-gen system from Nintendo.

It has been reported that some stores have signs specifying that blue game cases are for the Wii U, which is next-gen, while white cases are for the Wii, which has been out since 2006. People don’t realize the difference. Therefore, it stands to reason that by taking away the option of buying a Wii, people will truly see the Wii U as a successor; the next big thing. Why buy an almost $300 system when a very similar one is less than $100? After all, the Wii U does play Wii games and still used the Wiimote and Nunchucks, so it’s easy to see how many holiday shoppers will be confused.

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So, the question is: by taking the Wii off American shelves, would Nintendo a) increase Wii U sales or b) just end up shooting themselves in the foot because that’s the only home console they make that people are interested in? Obviously, this is a question that is difficult to answer, and it makes one speculate how many times Nintendo executives asked themselves the same question. Considering that this is a crucial Christmas for Nintendo, (making the Wii U relevant as the PS4 and Xbox One come into play) it’s interesting that they’re continuing to offer last-gen’s console willingly rather than trying to push the Wii U.

Also, would it be too crazy to speculate that maybe if Wii U sales continue to lag while Wii sales stay the same, they might abandon the Wii U and go back to making Wii games for another generation? Think about it; 100 million Wii units have been sold. If Nintendo were to make titles like a full-fledged Pokemon game for a home console, a new Star Fox, a new F-Zero, a new Metroid, etc., would the Wii actually become relevant enough to be profitable? Would enough people dig up their old Wii’s and buy these games, which have been clamored for for years? At this point, the production costs of making games for the original Wii must be drastically reduced; selling these games at $45 or $50 apiece would most likely make them a cheaper, lucrative alternative to expensive PS4 and One games.

Is that plausible or even a possible solution? What are your thoughts on everything here? Let me know in the comments below, leave a like or a follow if you’ve enjoyed, and consider checking out the LP channels in the “Links” tab.

Always Speculating
Matt

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4 thoughts on “Partial Wii Discontinuation: Good or Bad?”

  1. Without giving a too in-depth answer since I’m on the bus to go home, I think that this would hurt their sales. Since, as you said, they’re losing money on Wii U sales and the Wii is still selling. And the Wii is selling enough to actually compete with its successor, sadly. I think they should keep both on the shelves this holiday season.

  2. The Wii has a history of games that people like while the Wii U not only doesn’t but has stories of developers and publishers saying they aren’t interested in the system, something that I don’t recall hearing about when it came to the Wii. If Nintendo deprecates the Wii to increase not just sales but visibility of the Wii U it may work but it isn’t likely to generate the sales Nintendo is looking for.

    Nintendo began running with gimmicks from the N64 and that trident-shaped controller with the ‘Z trigger’ underneath it pushed me away from Nintendo’s console and to Sony’s Playstation when I was younger. Each subsequent Nintendo console has had a gimmicky feature and odd controller that simply wasn’t for me. (As much as I loathe Valve -and it’s a lot- the controller for the Steam Boxes is actually similar enough to the common PS/XBox controller that people have been having little difficulty adjusting within the first play session. The new device actually offers something new while being familiar enough to not be a gimmick.) Nintendo’s history of doing that has pushed more people than me away from their consoles.

    From the mid-1990s onward I just had no idea what Nintendo was doing and that’s all that I can really say about it. This is just another example.

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