U need help: Retailers call for new Wii U price and strategy

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Stock is piling up of Nintendo's new home console.We spoke to indie stores and the MCV Retail Advisory Board to find out what could help shift it.

Jonathan Hayes, Games Buying Manager, Tesco
Nintendo Wii U has had a relatively quiet launch in the UK and has not caught the public's imagination yet. We believe that we need a ‘killer app' on the console to drive interest and sales – whether it be new software or developing the controller so it is used for more things than just gaming.

We need a big marketing push from Nintendo to clearly communicate what the Wii U is all about. In my view, it will probably be better to focus on the Premium Edition to do this.

Nintendo did change their strategy after the soft launch of its 3DS handheld. And it stated that the company had learnt lessons from the Gamecube launch and we hope they can drive a new proposition in the year ahead.

James Rowson, Games Buyer, ShopTo.net
Nintendo needs to commit some larger scale marketing funds into educating the UK consumer that Wii U is out and available and that there is a wide range of games available and also on the horizon. Consumers need to see the benefits of buying a Wii U outside of Xmas holidays and that needs to be the push from Nintendo UK to show why they should spend over 300.

The fact that the games don't yet support a second Wii U GamePad is also restricting the view that Wii U is an all new console worth 300. As most multiplayer games need the Wii Remote, it means the console feels like a Wii extension rather than a new advanced console.

We would like to see some new marketing for the school holidays and into Easter and a focus back towards family gaming, which is what Nintendo have always been so strong with whilst still making the key franchises for the gamer.

They need to announce the big triple-A games now so the customers know that buying a Wii U now is just the start of the journey and that in six months they will be playing Mario Kart and Zelda. This will make them see it as a good long-term investment. A price ‘re-alignment' wouldn't go amiss either with retailers currently reducing the price to encourage higher weekly volumes.

Simon Peck, Commercial Director, Grainger Games
The ideal situation would be a price drop on the console or extremely competitive bundle options to encourage consumer take up.

Educate the consumer and increase product awareness through strong TV and marketing of the excellent and unique capabilities of the Wii U.

Chris Harwood, Head of Buying, Grainger Games
More triple-A titles for Wii U aimed at both core and family gamers to encourage a broader take up of the Wii U as soon as possible.

Better marketing and exposure is also important. Easter is a key opportunity to drive awareness and boost sales potential.

Stephen Staley, Managing Director, Gameseek
In a nutshell, they need Mario Kart – give us a good Mario Kart and you will sell bucketloads of Wii U. That and, of course, Zelda. At the moment the Wii U is in some trouble, Nintendo clearly have done something wrong – Or haven't done something right.

I am concerned for Nintendo – I don't think they can rely on anyone other than themselves to get the most out of Wii U. I hope they do it.

Nick Whitehead, Founder, Xbite
The Wii has always been a family console. Wii U is no different but that puts it slap bang in the middle of the bloodbath that is smartphone and tablet gaming. Both the machine and software price points are too high to compete.

Unfortunately is falls back to the same old thing – the strong first party titles will have to try and keep the viability of the console alive.

Price point needs looking at although this alone will not fix the issue. With the new next-gen consoles arriving this year, it will put into question the viability ofWii U.

On a secondary note a cheap 89 Wii console would have a very good chance of reigniting the demand but that will only take focus aware from the Wii U.

Robert Lindsay, Managing Director, Games Centre
Customers still don't seem to be aware of what the Wii U is and what its capabilities are. Nintendo really needs to make its message clear to the consumer. Third party support will be vital over the coming months, especially as the triple-A Nintendo launches are so infrequent.

The quick fix solution would be a hardware price drop. Customer perception seems to be that Nintendo Wii U is an overpriced Wii, which is wrong.

We want to see a solid release schedule. It is going to need it with the next gen consoles round the corner, and a big title that shifts consoles wouldn't go amiss. Customer awareness needs to be increased, certainly.

Nick Elliott, Owner, Barkman Computers
We need a strong line-up of first party releases to come, that would really help. Nintendo have a fantastic loyal band of fans and we need this fanbase to add the Wii U to their existing collection of Nintendo consoles.

What Wii U needs is more games and a slightly more competitive price on the console.

Gurdeep Hunjan, Games buying manager, Sainsbury's
Nintendo needs to clarify its strategy for the Wii U. The company needs a new strategy launched and communicated to everyone for Easter, school holidays, summer holidays and beyond.