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Nintendo Wii U Console Failure Essay

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Updated: Oct 13th, 2020


Nintendo Wii U console is a High Definition Video Game Console manufactured by the Nintendo Company. The product was released on the 18th of November 2016. Grubb indicates that the console is neither supplemental to the basic Wii device nor can it be used with the original Wii platform (par. 3). Nonetheless, original Wii video games can be played on the console. However, despite many attractive qualities of Wii U, the new Nintendo console is seen as a failure (Steinberg par. 1).

Brief Chronological Overview

The intention to release a new console was announced by Nintendo in 2011 which would be the first Nintendo device that could play 1080p video games and had a processor powerful enough to compete with the leading brands in the given market segment. After the press release conference, many Nintendo enthusiasts were reported to have been rather confused as to whether Wii U was a new platform or a new Nintendo controller. Thus, the new console raised many questions from the beginning. Nunez mentions specific problems with the product that occurred in the first launch week, including insufficiently developed web features, inefficient production capacity, technical difficulties reported by the customers, a lack of a user-friendly interface and a rather unappealing design, and a disappointing Wii U Gamepad (Nunez par. 3). The limited backward compatibility and a disappointing user interface and design were reported as the principal problems that discouraged customers. Therefore, it was clear that the product is bound to face more difficulties unless the mentioned features are improved. The mentioned problems pertained to the aspects of promotion and advertising, organizational aspects, and the issues with the product itself.

In 2014, with sales difficulties, these problems remained, including the branding issue. The choice of name was confusing, as it was unclear whether it was a new product line or an addition to the existing one (Wood par. 6). The author also indicates poor advertising strategy that did not offer a clear presentation of the console’s features and characteristics, leading many to believe it to be merely a new controller instead of a new video gaming platform (Wood par. 7). Meanwhile, Steinberg emphasizes that pricing is unsuitable for the product, with 299 dollars set as a price point (par. 6). Moreover, the author points out that the company chose an unfavorable launching time, as its launch was followed by the consoles with which Wii U could no longer compete (Steinberg par. 8).


Considering all the mentioned aspects that contributed to the failure of Nintendo Wii U, it is possible to suggest that the product hardware, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, branding, production capacity, and internet features should have been developed more thoroughly. When developing the Wii U branding strategy, the customers’ perception of the name should have been taken into consideration. Conducting focus group meetings could have helped reveal the confusion the name caused. Moreover, the decision to develop the tablet controller was unnecessary, as it led to the product losing a competitive advantage in the market (Steinberg par. 16). Pricing strategy should have been more realistic and based on the customers’ demands and expectations correlated with the actual merit of the product. Moreover, the time of the product launch should have been chosen more carefully so that Wii U would not be outshined by the consoles that followed its release, including PS4 and Xbox One (Steinberg par. 9).


Nintendo Wii U console released in 2012 faced many difficulties from the very beginning. Many aspects of the product development were significantly flawed, including the pricing strategy, marketing, advertising, launching time, branding strategy, web features and design. In order to avoid the problems that occurred, Nintendo should have thoroughly analyzed the market situation, customer expectations, and customer perception.

Works Cited

Grubb, Jeff. Venture Beat, 2016, Web.

Nunez, Michael. “Wii U Issues: Top 5 Problems Plaguing Nintendo During Launch Week Of New System.” Idigitaltimes, 2012, Web.

Steinberg, Nick. Goliath, 2016, Web.

Wood, Chris. Newatlas, 2014, Web.

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