Nintendo Wii U

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For their successor to the enormous selling Wii, Nintendo seemed to want to tap into the new craze for tablets, so the Wii U console has an enormous game pad, with a touch screen, with standard controllers built round the edges of it.

From the start it was clear this was not what people wanted, the fanbase of the Wii was people who wanted to play against each other, jump and dance around, suddenly Nintendo were just saying to them, ‘here, take this tablet and sit back down’.

Adding to the problems, Nintendo’s marketing left a lot to be desired, and many Wii owners did not see it as a whole new machine, just a new version of the Wii they did not particularly want.

Also the launch titles were not well received, with a Super Mario Bros game, that apart from new HD graphics, was considered to add almost nothing over Super Mario Bros Wii.

The Gamepad was little used in many of the new games, making the £279.99 outlay for the machine a unappealing investment, third party games were expensive versions of games already released long ago on rival consoles.

To date the console has sold just 12.5 million, despite the machine’s software output increasing greatly in quality, with Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Super Mario Bros 3D and Mario Maker scoring highly, all first party games, and also with Nintendo offering good terms to indie studios, the console has a quality library of download software.

To date the Wii U has the unhappy record of the largest loss of user base, from the 110 million of the Wii to the 13 Million of the Wii U.

Thankfully for Nintendo fans, the Nintendo Switch has largely turned out to be the machine the Wii U should have been.

Manufacturer: Nintendo
Date: 30th November 2012

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH42238. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Nintendo Wii U

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