In EuroGamer recently, an anonymous developer talked about his experience working with the WiiU. The article is fascinating detailing the development of the WiiU and why the console has been doing poorly in terms of sales. While the reasons behind the WiiU’s struggles is obvious( the lack of third party support, lack of compelling games, poor name choice, poor marketing, etc.) the developer throws a zinger by explaining that Nintendo was basically unfamiliar with PSN and Xbox Live. This startling fact explains the 1gb update that aggravated fans when they purchased the console at launch. Nintendo wasn’t planning on implementing an online feature until it was nearly too late.
With PSN, Steam, and Xbox Live dominating modern gaming it was a shock to see Nintendo so far behind the times in terms of online functionality. This was the main reason Nintendo is struggling with third party support. Considering most third party games have features strongly integrated with online and multiplayer systems, Nintendo looks stupid making a console without online support. Why would anyone in this modern age of DLC, Patches, early access, and digital downloads even consider developing for a console that lacks these features.
It is well-known now that the WiiU is becoming a NintendoBox that only plays Nintendo games and judging by the console’s processing power that things will stay that way. According to the anonymous developer, Nintendo made the WiiU less powerful to make sure that the console was quiet in the living room environment (Excuse me while I Facepalm myself). This creates an awful situation for Nintendo since the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One consoles don’t make any noise whatsoever. The other issue is the fact that it is almost guaranteed that Nintendo’s WiiU will not receive any ports of next-gen games. With a processing power that would make Ps3 and 360 games difficult to run Nintendo has backed themselves right back into the vacuum they came from.
Seeing Iwata’s optimistic smile in Nintendo Directs has become uncomfortable knowing that the smile is a genuine attempt that the WiiU is still successful. Depending on the context the console still could be if Nintendo brought amazing games with that Mario magic that saved them again and again. I know we will get great games for the WiiU and we will love them dearly (I mean just look how great the new Mario is.), but as of right now the WiiU is still not a must buy. Not only confusing the casual buyers of the Wii, the third party developers, and the fans, Nintendo has confused themselves with their lack of knowledge about the state of modern gaming. I personally hope that Nintendo gets things together, but if this article says anything about the inner workings of the famed company…Nintendo is in big trouble.