Now that advent has begun, the Christmas games rush is officially over, we can look forward to the big day…
…well most of us can anyway.
It hasn’t escaped my attention that Nintendo have given up on the WiiU. Which is understandable by itself, they’ve announced its successor, it’s sold incredibly poorly and has an extremely small library of games (even if it has an unusually high proportion of great titles).
What isn’t understandable however is that in the process of forward planning Nintendo have played the Grinch, forfeited this Christmas and completely left their fans with very little to play this holiday season.
First of all Nintendo have seemed reluctant to participate in the traditional Christmas sales days. I get that they don’t want to devalue their products; that’s fine, but surely they want to sell them?! Even temporary price drops are a huge deal and they are synonymous with a boost in hardware and software sales. True to form both Microsoft and Sony have seen huge (Microsoft especially) percentage increases on their hardware numbers.
Lets see how the manufacturers strategies compare shall we?
The best deal I could find for the Xbox One was a paltry £299.99 for the 1TB model, FIFA 16 and Halo 5 (or Rise of the Tomb Raider or Forza 6).
The best PS4 deal was the 500GB model with Assassins Creed: Syndicate, Uncharted Collection and Playstation TV for £299.99.
The best WiiU by comparison? A WiiU premium with a pro controller, Mario Kart and Splatoon for £239.99.
On the face of it, that looks a good deal. It’s in the details though the actually value (or lack thereof) is highlighted. While Splatoon is undoubtedly brilliant, the premium WiiU has only 32gb storage, Mario Kart is 18 months old and Nintendoland (the pack-in game) is a great game for an hour or two. It is hardly good value for money when compared to the other consoles.
If you consider the fact that last year I was able to pick up a WiiU basic model, a classic controller, a spare WiiMote Plus, Mario Kart, New Mario Bros U, Super Mario 3D Land, Nintendoland and Wii Party U for £209.99 – it’s simply a bad deal.
Last year Nintendo were much more aggressive in their push of the WiiU. It’s as if they sensed weakness in the “big two” and went for the jugular. The strategy last year seemingly paid off too; I know many people who purchased a WiiU on the strength of the deals available all over the internet. This year however the roles have been reversed. Sony and Microsoft have identified that Nintendo is currently creating their successor and that it may be more powerful than either of the current gen machines. To get the jump on that, they are fully committed on getting their machines under TVs!
This has put Nintendo on the defensive and is relying on what it is good at. The games.
Except; due to game delays and push backs, there aren’t that many games being released. The ones that are due out are mostly substandard; especially by their high benchmark. Even though Xenoblade Chronicle X is getting universal rave reviews the rest are mediocre or downright terrible.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is currently enjoying a metascore of 60.
Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival a 41 and was described as the “worst WiiU game yet” by metro.
And the last “big” exclusive is The Devils Third which was described by videogamer.com in a preview as “a cruel joke for WiiU owners“.
There are a few games that are getting attention from WiiU owners. These are:
Fast Racing Neo, an unknown quantity from Shin’en, a third-party developer with a track record of mixed reviews.
Zack and Wiki, an eshop re-release of the well received Wii game.
For WiiU owners, old and new, this is a sad sight. This is supposedly the best time of year to shift hardware and software. We have the other big players in the industry making moves and reaping the benefits and yet Nintendo believe that 2 good games, an unknown quantity and 3 bad-terrible games is a legitimate Christmas line up. 6 games is a joke, a joke that no-one is laughing at – well maybe Sony and Microsoft are.
They are effectively sitting on their hands.
They are letting down their fans and supporters.
I would hate to have only a WiiU this year. I feel sorry for those out there who are in that position. I see no reason for anyone to go and buy a WiiU now, the NX is obviously Nintendo’s home focus. It’s a sad end to a console that while unloved by the majority, for those of us who own it though, we sing its praises. It’s a wonderful console – but I honestly cannot reccommend buying one now. Nintendo don’t care about it, so why should we?
With the NX rumours suggesting that it is being shipped to retailers next year; Maybe Christmas 2016 will be different! Nintendo might be back…
…until then there’s always the 3DS!
Have I forgotten anything?
Are you surprised by the way Nintendo have approached Christmas?
Do you think the NX can save us from a lack of quality Nintendo games?
Tell me all in the comments below!