Nintendo Should Change The Wii U Name
Posted on Sunday, April 15 @ 10:19:12 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Brand identity is worth its weight in gold in the video game market. It's no wonder that after the Nintendo Wii sold nearly 100 million units since late-2006 that its successor will choose to keep Wii in its title. However, after seeing negative reception for the name as well as several other factors I think it'd be a mistake if Nintendo went through with releasing their next console with the Wii U name.
While the Wii U name is simple, which is something that all console names should adhere to, its inheritance from the Wii comes with some problems. The Wii sold extremely well during its first few years, but has nearly dropped off the map the past year or two. Many of us realized after buying one that it had poor staying power, partly because of its ancient hardware that denies practically all multi-platform titles, and also because the controller was just too much of a headache in most scenarios. Attaching that stigma to the Wii U right out of the gate is the last thing a new console needs, and would likely haunt it for its entire lifespan.
Similarly, very few people are willing to shell out $300+ for something that can almost be seen as a mere expansion. Nintendo confirmed around the time of the Wii U's announcement that if you want to play local multi-player then your friends will have to use a Wiimote. The problem with that lies in the fact that it makes you wonder how much the new console offers over the previous one. It collides with the innovative qualities of the console, and seems like a step backward if anything.
Lastly, the name plays against the market that has made the Nintendo family so successful. When I think of Nintendo consoles I remember spending hours racing in Super Mario Kart 64 with my friends and beating up my neighbors in Super Smash Bros. Zelda and the Mario adventure games will have no problem entertaining those wanting to play alone, but Nintendo would be doing themselves a disservice by advertising in the console's name that they're focusing on the single-player market.
It's fortunate for Nintendo that the Wii U's development costs has been rumored to be around $180, because if it launches with a high price tag then it has almost no chance of succeeding in today's market. Preliminary data shows that the components are even less powerful than the Xbox 360 despite coming more than half a decade afterward. That along with an almost transluscent departure from the previous Nintendo hardware makes me believe Nintendo is heading into a decline. The last thing they should do is make the journey even harder with a console name that might make consumer's hesitate to buy.
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