GameStop: Wii U was disappointing to everyone

Ben Parfitt
GameStop: Wii U was disappointing to everyone

The boss of GameStop has admitted that Wii U has fallen short of both its own expectations and those of its creator Nintendo.

Wii U was disappointing to everybody, including them,” CEO Paul Raines said of Nintendo in an interview with [a]list. They made some bold bets, and maybe some of them didn't work out.

But they have a lot of creativity there. They're a very innovative group of people, so we never count out Nintendo. Even now it's incredible how strong some of their IP is – Pokmon, for example. We could have a Pokmon weekend this weekend at GameStop and we would break sales records just because every time they put out a new game they have a very loyal fan base.”

Nintendo recently forecast just 800,000 Wii U unit sales for the year ahead. While it recently denied that it has near-term plans to discontinue the console, it has already started talking about a possible schedule for manufacturing to cease.

The machine's failure, Raines added, could help spur on the platform holder's efforts with its successor, the NX.

They just lost their leader, so they've gone through a mourning period and so forth,” he stated. There is some excitement around NX. Lately here, we've been hearing a lot more buzz than we have in the past.

Nintendo is interesting in that they really are able to keep things as quiet as they can for a while. NX sounds exciting. We're looking forward to it. They're very innovative in everything that they do. I hope that they come out with something exciting and innovative.”

When asked about the PS4 Neo and rumoured new Xbox, however, Raines was more coy.

We anticipate that we'll see some new consoles in the next few years,” he said. We don't like to talk about that because our partners get upset if we jump ahead, so we'll let them disclose that.” Last month GameStop COO said that the launch of new consoles seems imminent”.

And of VR, Raines predicted that PlayStation VR will be the big winner of the upcoming VR battle, echoing analysts predictions from both before and after the hardware's launch price was announced.

We believe Sony, specifically, will be the dominant player because they have the most titles,” Raines explained. One thing about gaming is you have to have great technology and also great IP that people know about.

Having said all of that, Oculus is a fantastic technology, as is HTC Vive. So we're excited about all of it. We think it's all going to work. Some may work faster than others, and some may be more of a leading edge product, while others may be more of a mainstream product.”

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