On the heels of EA’s announcement that it has zero, zilch, nada in development for the Wii U, the UK’s Matt Martin writes:
The Wii U has been defeated by the most humbling of challengers – consumer apathy. When the inevitable “Nintendo halts Wii U production” stories hit, the majority of those that bought the original Wii won’t even notice. The mainstream bought the Wii because it was a fun novelty, they didn’t buy it for a new Zelda game. What’s the Wii U’s novelty? That it does everything a current-gen console does but a little bit slower and with a Fisher Price tablet attached?
Retailers have given up on the Wii U. It’s not discounted at the supermarkets because they want to sell more, it’s been cut in price so they can get rid of it quickly. Software drives hardware sales. But there are no credible software sales because there are no games being released. Retail is desperate to sell anything, that’s why GAME is now selling sci-fi and fantasy books and HMV has cans of Coke and sweets at the till – anything to squeeze a penny out. They aren’t going to sit around and make space for a handful of Wii U games near the end of the year. They’ll be pushing the Wii U to one side to make more space for the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and hopefully the PS4 and next Xbox.
One reason Windows Phones have fared so poorly is that consumers want iPhones, and retailers are paid handsomely by Samsung to push Samsung phones. That leaves Microsoft without consumer mind-presence, and without retail allies. Try it sometime: Go into a Verizon store and tell the salesman you want a smartphone, but you’re not sure which one. Odds are he won’t let you anywhere near a Windows Phone. Samsung’s spiffs are just too good.
If Nintendo finds itself in a similar fix, then it’s game over, man — game over.