President of Nintendo Satoru Iwata addressed the issue of Nintendo‘s, and particularly the Wii U’s, poor financial performance as part of an analyst Q&A session which can be read in full here. As part of the discussion on Nintendo Japans website, Iwata compared the highly publicized slow sales performance of the Wii U to those of the original Game Boy. More interestingly though, Iwata drew specific attention to the moment the Game Boy really took off – the release of the original Pokemon games and suggesting a similar success could turn the Wii U‘s poor performance around.
Iwata said during the Q&A – “The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title. As many of you probably remember, before the release of the Pokémon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy.”
“But the Pokémon game singlehandedly changed the landscape of the system, which then started to show the strongest sales in the lifecycle of the system.”
Whilst Pokemon was a phenomenal success for the original Game Boy, contributing to its massive success and going on to become a goliath worldwide franchise, how long can Nintendo wait for a similar game to revive the flagging Wii U? Arguably both the PS4 and Xbox One released to greater success than the Wii U without a title of the same magnitude, although the release of Titanfall since has notably contributed to an increase in Xbox One sales.
It has been no secret that the Wii U has failed to perform since its launch, although Nintendo‘s first party support for the console continues to keep the flagging hardware alive – the forthcoming release of Mario Kart 8 will no doubt contribute heavily towards console sales in a similar manner to Super Mario 3D Land on the Wii U. A completely original, HD Zelda game is also likely to provide a surge in sales upon release, although the game has yet to be shown and is only rumored to be in production.
Nintendo must seriously consider giving the Wii U its very own Pokemon moment by producing a Pokemon game for the console. Fans have long pleaded with Nintendo to release a fully featured 3D Pokemon RPG on one of its home consoles, although Nintendo still insist Pokemon will remain a handheld franchise having released Pokemon X & Y for the 3DS last year, as well as recently announcing Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire for release on the 3DS later this year.
Nintendo‘s position and financial struggles have been common knowledge for a long period now, we’ll continue to monitor the situation here at PopGeeks but let us know in the comments which game would make you buy a Wii U should it be released.