Speaking at the Game Monetization USA Summit in San Francisco this week, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter said that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata should be fired for his handling of the Wii U and the company in general.
"I don't know why Iwata is still employed," Pachter said during his presentation, according to a GamesIndustry International report, adding that the Wii U’s commercial performance has been "underwhelming” and that he believed it was “possible but unlikely” that new titles could help the system to recover.
On this week's episode of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, the PlayStation 4 launch, SimCity, and Nintendo's decision to shut down SwapNote. Download Episode 77 now: SuperPAC Episode 77 (1 hour, 6 minutes) 75.8 MB.
Sit down and buckle in, friends, as I deliver the Understatement of the Week. Are you ready? Okay, here goes...
The Wii U ain't doin' so hot.
Nintendo's newest video game console launched just under a year ago, selling through its entire allotment in its first week on the shelf. By the end of the year, it had sold just over three million units. Not record breaking, not a sell-out like the Wii before it but respectable nonetheless.
Nintendo has announced that the 3DS's Swapnote feature has been shutdown and will no longer be available to users. Nintendo didn't shut the service down because it didn't work or because it wasn't popular: it shut it down in the name of protecting children. The service which allows users to exchange notes, simple drawings, and photos (using either Spotpass or Streetpass) was shut down because some users have apparently used it to share "offensive" material with others.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted in a briefing for investors and analysts this week that the Wii U has - so far - failed as a worthy successor to the Wii. The Wii is currently outselling the Wii U, which has only managed to sell 3.9 million units to-date worldwide. Speaking during a briefing about its second quarter financial results, Iwata noted that the Wii U has only done one thing right - backwards compatibility with the Wii.
Nintendo says that it sold 460,000 Wii U units worldwide in the six month period that ended on September 30. The figure was revealed as part of the company's financial results for the last three months. In this quarter the company only sold 300,000, despite knocking $50 off the price tag of the system a few months ago. The company also had a number of high profile releases to go alongside that price cut including Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.
Though Nintendo recently said that the Wii production halt was only aimed at Japan, it turns out that the original Wii will no longer be produced for European markets either. Instead Nintendo UK says that consumers who don't own a Wii and want one can still buy the Wii Mini - a SKU offering a lower price-point at the cost of a number of missing features (only disc-based Wii games can be played and backwards compatibility and downloadable titles are not supported).
Earlier this week it came to light that the latest Pokémon games contained a rare save bug at a certain location in the game that locked the game down. Today Nintendo released a title update for Pokémon X and Y that fixes the bug and makes the game safe to play again. The software update is now available to download from the 3DS eShop. All you have to do is boot up the game, go to the game updates menu and download the update you see listed.
In an interview with 4Gamer (and translated by Siliconera), Pokémon series art director Ken Sugimori said that the reason that downloadable content such as new Pokémon characters will likely not be part of current and future Pokémon games is because it would ruin the worldview of the Pokémon universe. Sugimori basically says that Pokémon should be earned and not bought:
Nintendo of Japan has confirmed via its official web site - as translated by Kotaku - that it has halted production of its last-generation Wii console for Japan. The company said earlier in the month that it would halt production of the console for the region "soon," and the latest update to the site confirms that that time is now.
Nintendo of Japan said today that it is aware of a rare, save-corrupting bug that is affecting some players of its latest 3DS Pokémon titles, Pokémon X and Y. The company says that it is working diligently to create a fix that players will be able to download "soon."
In a recent conversation with Benzinga IHS senior games analyst Christine Arrington said that Nintendo's Wii U console continues to suffer from a general messaging problem about its brand and continues to confuse consumers. Arrington says that the system still suffers from the same messaging problem it did when it launched nearly a year ago.
Nintendo announced today that its latest Pokémon games, Pokémon X&Y, sold through four million copies in its first two days of release. The two different variants on the same game collectively are off to a rousing start. The games were released in North America, Japan and many parts of Europe this past Saturday. Nintendo said that by late Sunday, the games became the fastest selling ever on 3DS (with the sales of both games combined, obviously).
PETA is using the excitement of the recent release of Pokémon X & Y for the 3DS to promote a vegan lifestyle with a new Flash-based game that prominently features a bastardization of Pikachu and Ronald McDonald called Pokémon: Red, White, and Blue (An Unofficial Parody).
The game has Pikachu attempting to uncover conspiracies about the fast food industry in the United States including how food for various chain restaurants in produced.
Nintendo revealed that it is finally winding down production of its popular Wii console in Japan. Last year the company said that it had stopped making games for the platform. Speaking to Eurogamer, a Nintendo of Europe representative noted that the company's Japanese parent company will stop making new Wii systems in the near future.
According to Nintendo's manager of business development Dan Adelman, over one-thousand indie developers have expressed interest in developing for the Wii U. During the Game Developers Conference in March of this year, Nintendo launched a new Wii U developer website (wiiu-developers.nintendo.com) that allowed smaller, independent studios to register their interest in making games for Wii U. Adelman revealed the numbers during a recent interview with GameSpot.
Are you ready for another round of console wars? Boy howdy, I am! So let's do the fanboy/armchair analyst thing and predict which console will sell the most units this holiday.
Let's see, Sony's Playstation 4 launches on Friday, Nov. 15 and Microsoft's Xbox One launches the following Friday on Nov. 22. Will the extra week give Sony a leg up? Both consoles are out before the all-important Black Friday.
Peter Hines, Bethesda's vice-president of public relations and marketing, is making news today for some comments he made about why the Elder Scrolls and Fallout makers are not supporting the Wii U. Speaking to GameTrailer's Bonus Round, Hines said that Nintendo needs to do a better job of communicating with third-party developers about platforms like Microsoft and Sony have.
To the surprise of... well, probably not too many, Nintendo announced that it will drop the price of its Deluxe Wii U console from $349.99 to $299.99 on Sept. 20th.
The Basic set, which has less memory and no game packed in, will stay at $299.99 but any retailer who still has some (we hear Nintendo stopped manufacturing them a while ago) will probably drop its price too.
Nintendo announced today a budget-minded 3DS system that eschews the "3D" aspects of the hand-held to make it cheaper for those who want one without the high cost of entry. The new system is called the 2DS and has the same functionality as the 3DS sans the 3D slider, 3D effects that come along with it, and the clam shell design.
Nintendo announced that beginning on Sept. 20 it will sell its Wii U console for $299.99. The Deluxe edition of the console will sell for the aforementioned price and will include a black Wii U console, 32GB of storage space, the tablet-style controller, and a copy of Nintendo Land. The price cut is a few months before Sony launches its PS4 and Microsoft launches the Xbox One. The Basic system will no longer be manufactured. The price cut amounts to right around $50.
Your young child wants nothing more than to play video games with you and the rest of the family but she's nearly blind and can't focus on anything more than a few inches from her face. She can't see the game unless she puts her nose to the screen and you can't see the game when her head is blocking the TV. What do you do?
Nintendo expects sales of more than 5 million of its 3DS handheld console units in Japan this year, according to this Bloomberg report. Speaking at a Capcom event today in Tokyo, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also said that the company sold more than 5.5 million units of its 3DS last year. Nintendo expects global 3DS sales of around 18 million this fiscal year, up from 13.95 million last year.
Bloomberg is reporting that Nintendo has been ordered to pay inventor and former Sony employee Seijiro Tomita $15.1 million dollars for infringing on the technology he created that was allegedly used for the 3DS hand-held gaming device. The $15.1 million represents about half of the $30.2 million Tomita was awarded by a jury when he won his lawsuit against Nintendo in March of this year.