Nintendo’s Wii U off to a “slow” start

 

Nintendo’s Wii U went on sale in the US, and even though we have 10 days to go for our Australian and European friends, they shouldn’t have to worry. Shoppers today seemed actually disappointed that there was not a long queue to buy one. To put it in better terms, they did not have to wait a long time in line to purchase one.

One shopper even mentioned that the Wii U line is so pathetic, that it will be impossible NOT to get a hold of one this holiday season (if you plan on purchasing one as a gift that is).  Another shopper mentioned that there was only about 10 people in line for the Wii U, which is great because the next Xbox and Playstation will be ten times as big.

What does this say about people’s expectations? That they only want a Wii U if everyone else can’t have one? That people aren’t really sure that they want or need the new console, and are looking to the lines outside the stores for clues?

A console needs to be successful for it to be fun.  If the sales are not good, then the software developers won’t be interesting and it won’t get good games.

I think part of the slow start on sales is honestly the fact that only one player get to us the special controller. You know, the one that has it’s own, built-in screen. Any other player has to stay traditional us the main TV.

It seems like a brilliant idea and we can’t wait to try one out, but the shorter-than-expected lines might be an early indication that the world has moved on in the six years since the last major console launch, which was of the original Wii. Smart phones have taken off in the interim, as have tablets (though to a lesser extent). People’s experience of gaming has become a lot more solitary, sociability has become abstracted by the internet, and the idea of playing games with other humans might just not appeal as much as it did six years ago, when the Wii was a smash hit precisely because it was so social.

Let’s hope that’s not what’s going on. Let’s hope the short lines in the US don’t tell us anything about anyone, except perhaps that Nintendo did a good job at distributing the console across so many stores on launch day, and that people don’t like queueing in the cold. Or lining up, for that matter.

Posted on by Shaun Hilton



  • Rob

    Its so true there was absolutly no lines at my local Target and Best Buy stores. I made a trip out earlier this afternoon to my local Target store and they still had a few Wii U units in stock.