Is The Wii:U On The Brink Of Collapse?

It's no secret that towards the latter half of 2012, Nintendo successfully launched the successor to 2006's commercial explosion, The Wii U. However, as always, Nintendo have kept their specs down in order to include a unique gadget on their trendy hardware (with the Wii it was motion control whereas the Wii U takes gaming to a brand new stage with the tablet-like controller. Despite selling successfully in it's first few months, is the Wii U on the brink of collapse? Could it imminently end for Nintendo's newest home console? Could Nintendo have another Gamecube on their hands?

Goodbye motion controllers, hello tablet controller.

Currently competing against the old yet stable Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, it becomes surprisingly apparent that Nintendo's latest console released in 2012 is currently graphically inferior to it's closest competitors. Although the Wii was in the same situation back in 2006, the Wii U isn't primarily targeted towards the casual market and is arguably more of a console for the "hardcore gamers". Why? The Wii U doesn't have motion control to push it along - a feature that pulled children, parents and grannies onto the Nintendo train back in 2006. Furthermore, there aren't any exclusive games that appeal to non-Nintendo gamers. Ok, the Wii U has Mario, Link and the rest of the Nintendo crowd, but will they be enough to encourage fans of the other systems to jump ship and support Nintendo? Initially, I would say no, this is because if we compare the Wii U's exclusive games to the Playstation 3's exclusive games (just as an example because the PS3 has the upcoming exclusives relevant to this argument)  then it can be seen that the PS3 seems to be alot more focused on what it's supposed to be. From the very start Nintendo argued that the Wii U will be more focused towards hardcore gamers; as said by Nintendo's James Honeywell: 

"If we can get them on board and playing it, taking it home and sharing it with their friends and family then that is very powerful and will help us to expand," he said about hardcore gamers. 

One of the Wii U's upcoming games - a re-release!
This puts Nintendo's original aims into the spotlight. With this in mind, when compared to PS3's exclusive games there becomes a difference - one that may grow onto a problem Nintendo missed. 2013 seems to be a big year for the PS3, XBOX 360 and Wii U, however, after looking at such upcoming Wii U exclusives as Pikmin 3, Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate, Wii Fit U and Game & Wario then comparing them to upcoming Playstation 3 exclusives such as The Last Of Us, God Of War: Ascension and Beyond: Two Souls, it becomes very clear that Nintendo has lost it's focus and resorted to aiming it's games towards the casual market - a fatal kick on Nintendo's behalf. What is a games console aimed at hardcore players without it's hardcore games? This is where my point comes in, Nintendo seems to be going against what it originally said. Yes, there are upcoming exclusives aimed at hardcore players (MH3:U - regardless, it's a re-release - nothing new), but I believe that there aren't enough of them to either attract or sustain the attention of the hardcore market. 

Regarding the state of the Nintendo Gamecube (a console that arguably died due to lack of support), it is possible to draw similarities between both the Wii U and the GameCube. For example, the GameCube received little support from Nintendo - something that could be repeated if Nintendo don't start pumping out games aimed at the hardcore market. However, if the Wii U manages to do this then it should be secure for the time being. In addition, it becomes frighteningly obvious that some developers have decided to avoid releasing their games for the Wii U (Rockstar Games, I'm looking at you) and in a time of despair and need for hardcore games it only means bad things for the Wii U at such an early stage in it's lifecycle. Hopefully, we see alot more developers jump aboard the Wii U and release their games on it rather than dismiss the system completely by releasing nothing on it.
Hardly a small library, but imagine what games have been dropped on the Wii U and a problem emerges. Remember the developers who said they haven't released their game for the WII U?

The final threat (most obvious yet the one that could have the biggest impact) comes in the form of Sony and Microsoft's next generation consoles. Unlike Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft seem to be in the habit of releasing their newest hardware with the highest possible specifications that come at an affordable price (look at the PS3/Xbox 360 and Vita at the time of their launch) - something Nintendo have never done, even with the Wii U, Nintendo failed to do this. If Sony and Microsoft bring out the big guns for their next generation consoles then it may possibly mean bad things for the Wii U. For example, if Nintendo fail to deliver constant exclusives (just like Sony and MS doing - even though the XBOX is having less upcoming exclusives than ever before - is was recently said that the Xbox sales were down which resulted in lower profit) then something similar to the Xbox may happen in which the sales plummet in comparison to the previous year due to something major (either less exclusives or aging technology). With the Wii U being fairly new, this would mean terrible things for Nintendo. Take a look at what EuroGamer Sweden said about Black Ops: II on the Wii U:
"A really great game has been demolished by the GamePad, Pro Controller and Wii-mote. All technical specifications and content is up to par with its competitors, but that doesn't matter at all if the controllers ruins the entire experience"
This quotation shows how some developers treat the Wii U and it isn't good! Take into consideration the evolving marketplace, the progress and advanced technology the PS4 has achieved and in comparison the Wii: U looks pale. Unless Nintendo add some innovative new feature or franchise to the Wii U then it could see the same fate as the GameCube - that certainly wouldn't do Nintendo any good in the declining econonmy.

If the biggest franchise in gaming disappoints on the Wii U then what does that spell for the future of the console? Did Nintendo make the right decision in bringing a radically unique gamepad to the mix?

On the other hand...
The Wii U is selling perfectly fine, better than the PS Vita. If anything is to go then it will be the Vita, however, the Vita seems to be more focused on it's goals (a hardcore gaming console) whereas Nintendo seem to know nothing about what is to happen with the Wii U in terms of target audience. Hopefully we see many announcements for the Wii U in E3 2013 to help push the console along and make up for it's aging technology. Hopefully this will happen and bring the Wii U a prosperous future, it all depends on what Sony and Microsoft bring to the table as well as the way in which Nintendo handle the Wii U's future.

Here's to the future of the Wii U

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