411 Games Top 5 1.24.14: Top 5 Ways to Save the Wii U
Posted by Sean Garmer on 01.25.2014
From promoting their hits like Super Mario World 3D and acquiring more third-party titles to cornering the indy game market, creating new franchises and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 ways to save the Nintendo Wii U!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. Anyone know how to help out the Wii U?
This week, the 411 staff were asked to give out lists for their Top 5 ways to save the Wii U
Stephen Randle (Games Zone Reviewer, Quizmaster for Four Player Co-op, Regular Contributor to Games Fact or Fiction, Host of "Cooperative Multiplayer" The Official 411 Games Podcast, Writer of Wrestling News Experience)
5. Get In Bed With Disney - Specifically, Disney Infinity. Nintendo should have been all over promoting that they have this game on the Wii U when it came out. I mean, it's on other systems as well, but the game was practically made for the Wii U, with its tablet and pointer controls, which would probably make the incredible Toy Box Mode so much easier than using a controller. Plus, it's a family-friendly product on a system designed for families! I know it's a third party product, but Nintendo should have made this game a central part of their marketing. Hey, speaking of third party games...
4. Do Whatever It Takes To Get Third Party Titles - The major reason why the Wii U is failing is a complete lack of games, and since first party titles are being released at a rate of roughly two or three a year at this point, there's only one way to fill the gap. When you can't even get Aliens: Colonial Marines to release on your console, you've got a big, obvious problem. I don't know if it's possible at this point, but Nintendo should be begging, grovelling, or doing whatever else is required to bring the big third party guns to their system in some way.
3. Promote The Games You Do Have - Super Mario 3D World was one of the best games of 2013. It also quietly snuck out into stores on the same weekend that Microsoft released the XBOne. That's a terrible plan, but Nintendo still could have gotten away with it if they'd run any sort of promotional blitz for the game and the Wii U. Think about it, you could buy a $500 console, or, you could buy a console and a great Mario game for far less. The marketing writes itself! And yet, it feels like Nintendo just sent the game out there under the radar and hoped people would know to go get it.
2. Keep People Informed On Upcoming Games - We know there are games coming, like Smash Bros, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Metroid, all the classic Nintendo titles, because it would be stupid for them not to be developing those games. However, in some cases that's the only reason why we know, because Nintendo keeps its cards so close to the vest that people are basically guessing what they're working on until the next Nintendo Direct comes along with a few drabs of information. And even then, we still don't know when anything is going to be released, just that these games exist! Look across the aisle and watch everyone who is salivating for March, when Titanfall and inFamous are set to release, and part of that is because we know exactly when it's going to happen (barring delays, of course).
1. The Internet Is Your Friend - Nintendo has taken baby steps to address what I can only assume has been a pathological fear of the Internet, finally attempting to work in some cross-platform compatibility for eShop accounts. But they've still got so many barriers to working with the world's largest interconnected information network that they're starting to feel like doddering old senior citizens who can't understand this newfangled technology. Plus, there was that whole thing where they started going after YouTube videos that was a PR nightmare and a terrible idea from the standpoint of "free advertising is good advertising". Nintendo needs to realize that the Internet is not a fad, and for a console to be successful, it's going to have to get on the trolley.
John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasionally Contributes to Four Player Co-op)
5. Better and more options online for everything: And I mean everything, from games to apps to eShop. Everything. Nintendo has be dragged kicking and screaming into the online gaming community, and if they want the Wii U to survive, they need to have a much smoother online experience. If the 3DS can play a trailer without buffering, I would like to think the Wii U could load an online match in less than 60 seconds, but so far I don't think I've seen that.
4. Put out more than two major first party games per year: It's time to pull out all the stops! Every man on deck, battle stations, etc. Nintendo HAS to be putting out their own games if no one is willing to make games for them. We shouldn't have had to wait an entire year for something like Super Mario 3D World. If that had been out at launch instead of yet another New Super Mario Bros game (it's pretty bad that there are only four entries into this series across two platforms and it already feels worn out), this article might not even be needed! They have several beloved first party series just sitting on the shelf right now for literally no reason; Metroid, Starfox, Mother/Earthbound, Golden Sun. Give these names to smaller studios, give them some leeway, and get some games going on the system.
3. NEW FRANCHISES: I almost wonder if the rest of Nintendo corporate feels like they will hurt Iwata and Miyamoto's feelings if they create new IPs? Unfortunately this could be a very real issue, one that not only holds back of generation of developers that would love to give back to Nintendo for all the great memories created during childhood, but also might kill Nintendo as a console creator. Some fresh new ideas that don't have to be grounded in grimdark realism like every new IP on XBO and PS4 seem to be these days is exactly the kind of thing that would help the Wii U shine right now.
2. Throw money at indie studios: Everyone else is doing it, BUT! Imagine if indie developers had access to anything Nintendo. Imagine a game like Retro City Rampage but starring Captain N. Imagine a visual novel like Namco High, but with obscure Nintendo characters and references. Nintendo's biggest cash cow right now is nostalgia, and they are honestly not cashing in enough (as crazy as it sounds). You can make retro stuff that feels fresh at the same time, just look at Pac Man Championship Edtion DX, or 3D Dot Game Heroes. The games don't even have to involve Nintendo things, they could just be brand new concepts and ideas with a good old retro feeling that seemingly only indie developers have been able to capture lately, even that much would help Nintendo.
1. Multiple Wii U Gamepad support: This is the very first thing I thought of when I saw the topic for this edition of Top 5. It really is ludicrous that they didn't make this happen in time to compete with XBO and PS4's launches. I think in the end limiting it to one gamepad is really what has held the Wii U back for so long. If you had multiple gamepads, you could have things like multiplayer beat'em up games where the screen is completely uncluttered because everyone's items and powers are on their gamepad instead of the tv. If you had multiple gamepads, something like Diablo III would have been spectacular. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate would be EVEN BETTER. What it comes down to is that nobody wants to play Wii U multiplayer for long because everybody wants to use the gamepad and it gets annoying switching between people all the time, especially when the rest of the time you have to play with the Wiimote...
Daniel Anderson (Games Zone Reviewer, Games Fact or Fiction Organizer, Regular Contributor to "Cooperative Multiplayer" The Official 411 Games Podcast)
5. Break Out the Big Guns - Star Fox has been absent from Nintendo consoles for a while. A game like Star Fox would do well on the Wii U, because, a lot of people have fond memories of the franchise and they want a new Star Fox game where you get into a fighter and fly around. Putting out a Pokemon game (I mean a real game not one of the spin-off type games like Safari) would also get a bump in Wii U sales. Putting these well known franchises onto the console would help greatly.
4. Third Party Titles - This is something that will be hard for Nintendo right now, but there are ways to make it work. Do you know why Dead Rising is an Xbox exclusive? Microsoft pays for the development of the game. They basically hire Capcom to make the game. There is no reason Nintendo cannot do the same to get some third party titles. In fact, they might have to given how hard, reportedly, the Wii U is to write games for. Do this and you will have more people seeing the Wii U as a legitimate console and not as a gimmick console.
3. Promote, Promote, Promote - When was the last time you saw a commercial for a Wii U game? I can't remember the last time I saw one. That is part of the problem. We get a lot of advertisement for big releases for the PS4 or Xbox One. We do not see anything for the Wii U. Nintendo needs to remind people they are still out there putting out good games.
2. Drop Prices - Right now, a Wii U will cost you about $300 new. That is a decent price, but one thing they could do to generate more excitement for the console is to offer all games for $50 instead of $60. Do that and advertise it (ties back into #3) that would let them develop a view as the cheaper console. Also, it would get more people on the fence about buying a Nintendo console to consider it more just because it will not cost as much. Let's face it, the Wii U is not as powerful as the new generation of consoles, so why should someone pay as much for a game on a lesser powered console?
1. Take Chances - They have already started doing this a little with the Hyrule Warriors (not final title) game and they need to do more of it. Let some other companies make games with established Nintendo franchises. They need to keep some type of quality control, but how much fun would it be to see a Pokemon game taking place in the Dragon Warrior universe? How about Mario and Sonic in a game other than a fighting or sports game? The possibilities are endless. This would also get people talking, and if the games are less than $60 a pop, would get more people to shell out money to get the console and long wished for games.
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If you don't listen to the Official 411 Games Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer" you should because Stephen Randle hosts a panel of 411 Games Zone staffers (usually including myself, Robert Cooper, Daniel Anderson, and possibly a few others) discussing games they've played, the gaming news of the week, and just having a lot of fun too. Here is this week's episode…