Nintendo has pledged to support Wii U for the long term and and disputed the belief that the console is struggling.
I wouldn’t use that word,” Nintendo America boss Reggie Fils-Aime said when a Kotaku interviewer stated that Wii U has so far ‘struggled’. When asked what word he would use, Reggie replied:
We’ve been very clear that the number of games that we’ve launched essentially July through the end of last year, a number of those games we had hoped they would be launch window games, everything from Pikmin to Wii Party U, we wanted all of that content to launch much sooner.
Our belief is that software is what drives hardware and if that would have come earlier we might be having a different conversation. But the fact is we are where we are.”
Reggie was then asked if forgetting Wii U and starting over would be the best bet for the company to reverse its recent financial struggles.
No,” came the stark reply. And the reason I say that is because we believe the Wii U has a very long life ahead of it. It’s got great content coming that will help define the platform.”
Do the numbers back Reggie’s claims? Wii U has sold 6.17m units as of early May. That’s more than Xbox One, which by the last count had shipped 5m units, but less than PS4, which as of April had sold 7m.
The key here though is that both PS4 and Xbox One arrived in November 2013 – a year after Wii U hit the market.
Reggie also challenged the comparison of Wii U to its predecessor the Wii, which is one of the few machines to ever hit the nine-figure sales milestone.
There’s been only one platform that has been anything close to the Wii level of long-term success,” he said. Just look at home consoles. There aren’t many home consoles that do north of 100m units.”