Nov 5th, 2013


Over the past few weeks between press releases that Wii production is shutting down in both Japan and Europe and Iwata’s financial call to investors stating he realizes the reasons why the Wii U is failing, you’d think Nintendo is finally on the right direction to correcting the year-long problem of Wii U failure. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. As quintessential 80s comedian Gallagher puts it, I’m mad as hell right now.

Yesterday Nintendo announced that the Wii Mini would be sold in the United States this holiday season. The bundle features a slimmed down 2006 Wii with a Wii Remote Plus and a nunchuk, along with Mario Kart Wii for a smooth $99. In terms of business, this bundle looks good on paper. It’s super cheap, it carries the Nintendo name, features one of the most lauded Wii games released to date, and the holiday season is coming up so Nintendo wants to make sure it can grab some cash between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases. It makes business sense, but in terms of consumer relations this is the stupidest thing Nintendo has ever done.

We already have strong evidence that consumers are completely confused by the Wii and the Wii U. That seems strange to us as people who follow the gaming industry, but to Grandma and Grandpa, that new Wii machine on Tommy’s Christmas list just became a really confusing shopping experience. Consumers are always out to get the best deal. Even well meaning grandparents or parents. That’s why blatant knock offs of Disney movies exist. Companies prey on parents who aren’t well informed, hoping they’ll buy their product instead of the “official” Disney release. Of course the kid is disappointed when he or she receives their gift and the parent feels cheated.


These knock off movies have existed since the dawn of the home video market and to its credit, Disney often does its best to go after these imitators to prevent scams like this from taking consumer money. The problem here is Nintendo is essentially knocking off itself. When grandma and grandpa walk into Target with Tommy’s Christmas list and see “Wii U” listed, they’re going to look at the shelves upon shelves of video games they’ve never played, point at the red Wii Mini and say, “Oh there it is, and it’s only $100!”

This invariably leads to a disappointing Christmas where Tommy either has to live with his Wii Mini with Mario Kart, or his parents get to deal with the hassle of an exchange and then forking over an extra $200 to get the real thing Tommy wanted to play Skylanders Swap Force on. It’s a bad consumer experience all the way around the board and Nintendo is fostering it by bringing the Wii to the United States this holiday season.

Nintendo, we’ve got a problem and you need to take it out back like Old Yeller.

Fixing What’s Broken

This release is going to further drive a wedge between Wii and Wii U. The naming convention is confusing, consumers lack understanding about the Wii U because there hasn’t been enough advertising, and yet Nintendo will not correct any of these problems. If you think this problem is prevalent among the elderly or 40+ plus population, you’d be wrong. Any time friends come over and want to play games, I have to spend about 5 minutes explaining that no, the Wii U isn’t the GamePad attached to the Wii. It’s a new console.

Nintendo didn’t have this problem with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS because a new feature was clearly explained in the name. Consumers look between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo 3DS and they can immediately deduce that the Nintendo 3DS has a 3D feature. It’s obvious there’s a difference between the two of them. This distinction was not made with the naming of the Wii and the Wii U and to make matters worse, the UDraw tablet is still sitting on store shelves, serving to confuse already confused consumers.

To start, Nintendo should reconsider the release of the Wii Mini in the American market. The Wii is already outselling the Wii U, which seems to have scared Nintendo investors. I can’t see how bringing yet another Wii SKU to market will fix that. Instead, Nintendo should be focusing all out on advertising the Wii U, the differences it has from the Wii, and why it deserves a place under consumer’s TV’s this holiday season.

local_offer    editorial  Nintendo  wii mini  wii u  

    stupidest marketing move evah….

    • Amsterdamsters

      It’s easy for everyone to criticize Nintendo, but they are the ones that have made over $35 Billion in profits from video games and are sitting on about $14 Billion is cash. It might not always seem like it, but for the most part, they know what they’re doing. Now, if any of you have led a company to those types of profits, then go ahead and comment.

      • D.M.T

        The fans always think they know better but in reality they don´t.

  • Nate

    The Disney movie analogy in the article is a perfect example of what may happen. It seems like they would’ve been better off making more themed Wii controllers and trying to make money off of other original Wii peripherals that work with the WiiU for some extra money.

    • Amsterdamsters

      What all these armchair CEO’s don’t seem to think about is that there
      are MILLIONS of unsold copies of Wii games sitting on retail shelves.
      The Wii Mini at $99.99 is a way to sell off some of their stale
      inventory. As long as Nintendo can do a better job of educating
      customers as to what the Wii U is, they’ll be fine.

      • Nate

        But, Wii games work on the Wii U. If they wanted to get rid of stale Wii Mini inventory they should’ve just made a WiiU Wii Mini bundle! It would be just as confusing. 😀

        • Amsterdamsters

          With few exceptions, how many people that purchase a Wii U would buy Wii games for it?

          • Nate

            I can answer that with another question: why make the Wii U backward compatible at all then? It would’ve saved Nintendo a little money and they could’ve made the Wii U console cheaper.

          • Jerry Garcia


          • Amsterdamsters

            For all the people like myself who owned a Wii and accessories. Sure beats the fact that the PS4/Xbox One needs all new games and controllers, not to mention the games that I paid for and downloaded on the PS3/Xbox 360 wont be playable on the new systems. If I want to pop Mario Kart Wii into my Wii U, I can. Again, with little exception (Mario Kart Wii being one of them), there aren’t too many people that are going to by many Wii games for their Wii U. Most of the Wii U owners already had a Wii.

          • C4

            Yep, and if you don’t want to have tons of consoles around with backwards compatible you can replace the Wii with the Wii U and still play all Wii games 🙂

            BC on Xbox One and PS4 would have increased the cost while Nintendo found a clever way to use compatible hardware, e.g. part of the GPU seems to be dedicated to Wii Features, the eDRAM works as the VRAM in the Wii in Wii Mode and so on. Only disadvantage it needs the dedicated Wii Mode and not directly from the Wii U interface which also makes eShop implementation hard (if not impossible)

          • C4

            If they were on eShop? Many! Especially during the drought earlier this year.

            Me? Well I bought 6 or 7 Wii games since the Wii but half of them used since I couldn’t find them new. Of course many Nintendo fans already own a Wii since some time and many games so as you implied, there’s is an overlap of people who wouldn’t buy any older Wii game anymore.

          • Gregg

            Many. There are hundreds of Wii games that are worth playing to those who Skipped Wii, but got onboard with WiiU. =)

  • Gabe Hoffman

    You obviously miss the point. The Wii Mini is intended for those who cannot really afford a new console. You also contradict yourself at one point “When grandma and grandpa walk into Target with Tommy’s Christmas list and see “Wii U” listed, they’re going to look at the shelves upon shelves of video games they’ve never played, point at the red Wii Mini and say, “Oh there it is, and it’s only $100!” You really think people would be too stupid to tell the difference? What if they decide to check the box first and see if its the right one? And in case you have not seen they have just put out a commercial for Mario 3D World. This article just reeks of click bait.

    • Googs

      You’d be surprised how many times people would buy the Wii Mini instead of the Wii U, it’s happened in Canada and it’s happened in Europe.

      • Gabe Hoffman

        In UK it has not sold all that well really mainly because its been stripped of so many features that made Wii appealing in the first place

    • I’m sorry, click the link where there’s analyst information confirming that people are confused. Then you’ll have an argument. This is an extremely prevalent problem that Nintendo themselves have acknowledged, yet they’re adding to the confusion.

      • Gabe Hoffman

        While you do make a point. I would have to disagree somewhat on the disney analogy. A smart shopper would be sure to check to make for things such as the Disney label. What I mean to say is you are acting like most consumers don’t even bother to check the packaging before buying. Wii Mini has not sold all that great in UK because its been stripped of many of the features that made Wii appealing in the first place.

        • To be frank, nothing Nintendo has sold well in the UK. The Nintendo 3DS isn’t even doing as well as Nintendo would like. There’s a reason retail stores are dedicating six game slots between the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS.

          • Gabe Hoffman

            Last time I checked 3DS was dominating in UK

          • Jon

            he does have a point here Ashley, The DS has sold more than the 360 and PS3 and the 3DS is selling more weekly than those as well by almost double.Even the Wii sold well, it sold more than the PS3 though the Xbox has over taken it in the UK but over all of Europe, the Wii is higher than the Xbox 360 and PS3 so saying Nintendo doesn’t sell well in the UK….. bit of an understatement when you look at it as a whole.

          • Gabe Hoffman

            As for your claim that Wii is outselling Wii U, that is common with every new console. Mainly because the older consoles are cheaper and have a bigger library. Remember that PS2 outsold PS3 for years

          • But the PS3 had launch problems of its own. For starters it was $600. It had a noticeably lacking launch line up and the PS2 was the best selling home console of all time.

          • Magnus Eriksson

            Wow, you sounds just like me…

      • Ace

        I agree with you Ashley…I am mad as hell too! I just don’t understand what they are doing.

    • Alex VanderKlipp

      This is the biggest marketing mistake in gaming in a long time. Right up to the publishers of advertising circulars, people don’t understand the Wii U, what it does, or how it’s different from the Wii. When the public is uninformed (and, in regards to your argument, who’s less informed about new technology than the senior crowd?), the appearance of another “new” Nintendo console is going to add to the confusion. The Wii U’s identity crisis is at its peak, and this holiday season, with the launch of the XBOX One and PS4, is really going to make or break the console.

    • Sydney Ultrasyd

      Of course, many can’t tell the difference. Or maybe they just think it’s the same without the tiny screen and then can buy the game pad later as an option. I asked a seller in a shop nearby, that happens daily. People are confused, and we can’t blame them in my opinion. For people not familiar with video games and who are not following games site everyday, between the Wii, Wii Mini, Wii U 8Gb or 32 Gb, and then 3DS, 3DS XL, DS XL, and now 2DS (we can excpect a 2DS XL soon, or 2DS mini), it’s not easy. They can simply understand it’s several declination of the same hardware, as long as there is “Wii” in the name, and many buy Wii U games instead of Wii. That’s why the shops nearby have to write in big letters “WiiU games are NOT compatible with Wii, we won’t take back any open game bought by mistake”.

    • Deezy

      Actually, yes you can get confused about the product if you haven’t done enough research on that product. If the kid warned you however and you did not listen then that is a different story and that will happen a lot. many reasons is because its an economizing strategy for the adults, unfair childhood gaming experience for the child. Every child wants the coolest gadget out there and in this case, Nintendo went backwards with this Wii mini!

      Also, Nintendo needs to know who is its real competition in this gaming industry! As I have mentioned in the PS4 forums, I believe that the Xbox one is their biggest competition ever, because they both are aiming for the same audience: A family based audience. However, the difference between the Wii and Xbox One is that Wii is for everybody from 5 years and up, and the Xbox One is aimed more at teens and older.

      This may sound like a theory, but in reality this is true! Imagine High School kids, 40% with PS4 55% with Xbox One and a measly 5% with Wii’s. Like really, Will you see a mass majority of gamers in H.S. playing on the wii? Of course not! By looking at the wii, they will think it is some child toy. They want to move up, but this is what nintendo was from the start. also parent gamers want to interact with their friends more so they will pick the PS/XBox before they get the wii and the kid is still satisified.

      The Original wii was an exception however because people were really interactive, it still was not alot, but it was much better then, than it is now!

      Sorry if I sound like a Troll on the Wii U site.

    • letzringj

      I gotta say I work retail, at a department store, and I have people
      asking and getting upset we don’t have tube TV’s. They ask if we have
      Air Jordans in a store that carries grocery’s, and cannot figured out
      why they have to buy new Wii remotes when the batteries die on their old
      one. (Yes that really happened) I am not saying everyone is stupid, but
      it happens. A LOT.

      • Andreas Sunde

        “cannot figured out why they have to buy new Wii remotes when the batteries die on their old one.”
        Wut, you don’t have to buy a new Wiimote, you just change the batteries.

        • letzringj

          Exactly, but this 40 year old mother was certain they were disposable!

    • Daniel Carvalho

      I’m sorry, Gabe, but people can be pretty stupid. Let’s say they’re not stupid, but simply know nothing about video games. They see “Wii U” on the list, “Wii Mini” on the shelves, for them, it’s all the same. And to make things worse, if they ask the workers what the difference between the Wii Mini and the Wii U is, they’re going to say there’s no difference other the size, because they still think the Wii U is a Wii.

      Nintendo’s idea when they launched the Wi Mini is the one you pointed out. Problem is, that doesn’t help. It’s only causing confusion, and they still lack the right advertisement to clear the minds of the mainstream public.

    • Stephen Macneil

      People aren’t stupid, they’re just uninformed. If names like wii or wii u mean nothing to you then it’s easy to make the mistake of choosing wii. I was in Walmart a few weeks ago and there was this old couple looking at games to get their grandson. They knew he had a wii, but I kept wondering if he really had a wii u. They then got him a $20 game because it was cheap and had listed on it “50 games in one” or something. They really thought they found a gem but it was just one of those crappy kid sport games or something.

      To me the whole wii u problem is like when I have to buy boots for my girlfriend for Christmas. I really need to do my research knowing full well most people don’t. It’s easy to make mistakes when that’s not your world of interest.

  • BIG Franky

    yup. seems LEGIT.

    • BIG Franky

      cant argue with much….. well said.

  • Seth S. Scott

    this is such a hard topic because OF COURSE Nintendo wants to sell what it has and push its product but also they are having serious problems with branding their systems. I wish I could say people should know better but your arguments showing the Disney comparison are spot on, well done Ashley.

    • Brett Butler

      “Any time friends come over and want to play games, I have to spend about
      5 minutes explaining that no, the Wii U isn’t the GamePad attached to
      the Wii. It’s a new console.”

      ^^^^^^ THIS!!!!
      It’s so annoying. Frickin’ hell-

      // Put’s head through noose.
      ///Kicks away chair underneath

      • Amsterdamsters

        Then either you’re not explaining it very well, or your friends are a little dim. In 10 seconds, you can show them the system and say this is the new HD video game system from Nintendo, it’s called the Wii U and then say and here’s the cool new controller that goes with it. I haven’t had any problems explaining to any of my friends.

        • Stephen Macneil

          The point is we have to explain it to our friends at all. The Wii U failed getting into the public consciousness and with the wii still around it’s even harder.

        • Brett Butler

          Of course it doesn’t take 5 minutes, it’s call an exaggeration. It also never has been a problem to explain it, it’s an annoyance.

          I shouldn’t have to explain what the Wii U is.
          That’s the whole point.

          • Nolan ArchLord

            No, man. Here’s what you do, and it may take longer than 5 or 10 minutes.

            You get your Wii U setup before hand! Hide the game pad and bust out the Wii U pro controller and tell your friends, “Yo! Check this shit out.” Pop-in some Call of Duty: Ghosts. The REAL next gen experience. They’ll stare and in a few moments realize it’s superior to the inferior Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. They’ll then be like, “DAMN! WE WANT TO PLAY!” Then you WHIP OUT the game pad and turn on that oh so sweet co-op mode. Split screen? Screw that. You got your own personal, BEAUTIFUL 5 inch screen so they can’t cheat and know your every move.

            Minds will be blown. Wii U’s will be sold.

      • Razo_E

        “It’s not the same as the old one, it’s NEW and called Wii U”
        Problem solved. If you friends don’t get it after that, get some new friends.

        • Arthur Jarret

          Not everyone can afford them new fangled, smarty-pant friends – you know!

          • Ted Myconkey

            So, are you saying that you pay to have friends?

          • Arthur Jarret

            Doesn’t everyone?

        • berkus

          Get a FriendU, or a Friend Mini.

    • The Clockwork Being

      They should just have named the console Wii 2, NES 2 or something else. Something that would clear the freakin confusion. The PS4 and X1 won`t have the name problems. I do like the name Wii U(it sounds somewhat cool and better than X1) but we need to clear the confusion not contribute to it. And so far, with Nintendo having the Wii, Wii Mini and Wii U on the market it will be hard for the average consumer to tell the difference.

      • Andrew W Garttmeyer

        Absolutely agree! Immediately when I learned of the name I knew it was a mistake…and THAT was only because Wii U was so dumb to begin with (the name), I didn’t even factor in all of the confusion!

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Wuu I?

      • Nolan ArchLord

        Super Wii.

  • opikal

    Man I was hoping they would stop with the wii so people would buy the wii u instead 🙁

  • Gabe Hoffman

    I think people are overreacting to this. Most people would already have a Wii and Wii Mini has been stripped of many of the features that made original Wii appealing

  • Victor O

    If the Wii can sell, then Nintendo needs to let it sell.

  • gamesplayswill

    … ;^;

  • Ace

    I don’t get it…I just don’t understand. They are undercutting their new console to try and squeeze a little more dough out of the Wii. Why aren’t they spending some money on marketing the Wii U?!

    • Gabe Hoffman

      They have a commercial for Mario 3D World, They are releasing several new bundles, they are partnering with Jamie Anderson for Mario and Sonic, you say that isn’t marketing?

      • Ace

        Didn’t mean to step on toes. I love Nintendo and my Wii U as much as the next guy, but I have yet to see a bilboard, commercial or anything (at least where I am at) regarding anything that has to do with Wii U (and I live in Southern California which I think is a pretty big market). You can’t tell me that after almost 1 year that their marketing strategy has done all they can to help the console…

        • Simon Stevens

          Here’s how they sell the Wii U, billboards everywhere, James Franco, slogan “U should buy Wii U”

    • GuardiansFan

      i can imagine a lot of uninformed parents buying their kids a wii mini that already own a wii along with mario 3d world only to find out they cant play it on the wii mini even though its a new product.

      • Ace

        Exactly, and not to mention the uninformed people who work at these places. I have been to so many Targets and such whose workers do not know what a Wii U is or if they did thought it was a Wii accessory.

  • Sydney Ultrasyd

    I can’t agree more. “The naming convention is confusing”, and “Any time friends come over and want to play games, I have to spend about
    5 minutes explaining that no, the Wii U isn’t the GamePad attached to
    the Wii. It’s a new console.”. That’s what I keep on saying everytime :/

  • Geoffrey Tasker

    what they should do re-brand the Wii U as the Wii2 and drop the wii mini altogether

    • D.M.T

      It´s too late to rebrand the Wii U dude because that´s gonna cause even more confusion. You people fail to realize that the name is not the problem anymore, the problem is Nintendo´s marketing and people´s intelligence. In other words, Nintendo´s marketing kinda sucks and consumers aren´t smart.

      • Geoffrey Tasker

        yeah it sucks because of brand confusion, its not too late to rebrand. the playstation went from the PS to the PSX to the PS1 the XboX went from the XBOX 360 to the XBOX 360 slim hell the Wii is getting the WII Mini, in fact how many different types of game boys do you own? if anything history should show you its never too late to rebrand. just look at what the happened from the GBA to the GBA SP same console with a aesthetic mod and it sold like hot cakes. nintendo can simply release new colors with the new name. like ashley’s article implies the “U” in the name does not tll you what the console does differently, changng the U to the 2 it should have been will at least spell out to people that it is an upgrade on the current wii

  • gtosheex

    i honestly think everyone is overreacting here… even if people do get it mixed up there are things called “returns”. if anything it will be a smart comparison for people to look at – “oh hey one is $100 and one is $300 there has to be a difference right?”

    i think this is a good move overall – since in the end nintendo will be getting rid of its inventory too.

    • erich80

      It seems that we have our favorite video game character, right? XD

      Anyway, I feel that people are excessively biased about the Wii Mini as well. The MSRP between the two consoles clarifies any issue.

      Moreover, even with the release of PS3, Sony had shown a decent PS2 support for years.

  • Amsterdamsters

    What all these armchair CEO’s don’t seem to think about is that there are MILLIONS of unsold copies of Wii games sitting on retail shelves. The Wii Mini at $99.99 is a way to sell off some of their stale inventory. As long as Nintendo can do a better job of educating customers as to what the Wii U is, they’ll be fine. Personally, I’m going to buy a mini. It’s going to be a collectors item at some point, and I can always use another Wii Remote + and Nunchuk for my Wii U.

  • ElCharlo

    Well at least the shape and colours can´t be confused with the Wii U, thats at least a big step foward. At least if from a business perspective you have to sell both and you can´t change the names, its a good idea to change the shape, they might not remember the correct name from the advertising but they should be able to know it wasn´t a red and black top loading console.

    • This is a redeemable feature of the Wii Mini, but Nintendo needs to step it up on promotion the Wii U if they want to sell Wii SKUs alongside it.

      • erich80

        I think that the biggest endeavor to be accomplished right now is how Nintendo will balance their efforts between the promotion of the 3DS and the Wii U. The handheld is today the goose that lays the golden eggs, while the Wii U is the black sheep. But the Wii U’s fate does not depend on Wii Mini marketing or whatever, but on how well Nintendo will manage the release of the upcoming big hitters for the home console.

    • KosmoCrisis

      Holiday shoppers that don’t speak Nintendo or video games will have a problem juggling the concept of multiple options with Wii, Wii U, and Wii Mini. Retailers will need to be on hand to explain that the Wii U is the newest console while the Wii Mini is the newest version of the older console. Wait, ah sheet…

      • ElCharlo

        To be fair, the Apple products are even more confusing but doesn´t seem to hurt them, and are more similar between them than on nintendo ecosystem

  • D.M.T

    I understand everyone´s frustration here but if the Wii is still selling then Nintendo should allow the Wii to continue to sell. It´s not smart to discontinue the Wii while it´s still selling.

    And I think that the Wii Mini will cause less confusion than we think because for one the Wii Mini looks different than the Wii U, it´s a mini red console with a Wii Remote and Mario Kart Wii, while Wii U is a black console with a tablet controller bundled with Nintendo Land, Zelda HD, Wii Party U etc. Plus the difference in price is big so people will notice the difference and will see which one is best for them.

    I too want the Wii to be discontinued but if its still selling then it should continue to sell.

    • Madmagican

      While the Wii Mini will cause less confusion because of looks, it’ll create MORE confusion because when parents saw the Wii U they processed it as a slightly different looking Wii and that’s exactly what the Wii Mini is.
      Also, the Wii is officially dead in terms of software
      The Wii U’s been out for almost a year now and one of the biggest problems it’s come across is the fucking Wii

      • D.M.T

        I understand what you´re saying trust me but truth is the Wii is still selling world wide, so is it smart to discontinue a product that is still selling? No it isn´t. Nintendo should continue to support the Wii until it´s no longer relevant.

        • iamserious

          Wii U is backwards compatible with Wii games. Trying to sell Wii hardware is eating up possible Wii U hardware sales.

        • Madmagican

          Actually, the Wii’s NOT selling worldwide anymore. Nintendo has officially stopped the Wii’s production in Europe and Japan which means North America is the only big area left that hasn’t stopped production of the Wii

  • Niknique

    Well this sucks, even if this thing does cause less confusion then we anticipate, it’s still causing confusion none the less.

  • Rugmouse

    Timing is everything. I can see burning through some more Wii and peripheral sales to bleed down some of the inventory from last generation – it makes perfect business sense.

    But when you are supposedly trying to establish some brand recognition for your struggling new console, why on Earth would you introduce a retooled product that has been at the crux of your entire dilemma? And here I thought Nintendo was wise to this notion, when they announced the discontinuation of the Wii Console.

    Release the Wii Mini near the end of March – when all the gamers have bled through their next generation libraries and are bored out of their minds waiting for the new titles that keep getting delayed. Give the Wii U its best chance to succeed this holiday season!

    • Deezy

      Once again, Nintendo thinks that their problem consists with their console, when actually the xbox is their competition that is aiming to knock them off because their goals is to have a family audience just like the wii u. The problem is that despite the audience, the xbox aims at another age group more better than the Nintendo: Adolescents… Teenagers!

      See, teenagers would get the XBox one or PS4 faster than the wii. not because its next gen but they feel like it is for them and the Wii is no longer in their age group.

  • I’ll repeat the same thing that I said in the other post. I still think this isn’t a wise move, but I don’t think it as people are making it out to be. If anything, this does more to clear up confusion about the Wii and Wii U than before.

    First off, going by appearances alone, the Wii Mini is certainly no Wii U. The red border, shape, and the logo should help customers and retailers understand that there is a difference between the Wii U and Wii. That being said, it doesn’t help Nintendo’s case if there are 3 units being sold in stores (Wii, Wii Mini, and Wii U). Still, appearances help, and the Wii Mini does a better job of sticking out from the Wii U then the Wii does.

    Second, there are no features to this console, at least the ones that made the OG and Family Wii models appealing. No GC compatibilty, no online, no TV Internet functionality, composite output only… why would anyone buy this when there are still older Wii models in circulation for better functionality and cost? The interest certainly wasn’t there in Canada and in Europe, and the sale numbers show that.

    I won’t discount the reports of customer and retailer confusion, and Nintendo still has a way to go to really make the Wii U stand out. However, I think the overreaction to the Wii Mini is unjustified. The console is still selling, and games are still coming out. I’m not sure if the Wii Mini is still in production, or if Nintendo is getting rid of their stock (hopefully the latter). Whatever the case may be, there is still stock to get rid of, and this is better than taking a loss and scrapping everything altogether.

    While having the Wii Mini now certainly isn’t ideal, it certainly isn’t going to cannibalize the Wii U as much as people think it will, especially going off of sale numbers for the Wii Mini.

  • Richard Branches

    All I have to say is that this is article is so right, I wish the Wii U had another name.

  • Guest


  • Magnus Eriksson

    This is the best article written on this page. Im impressed!

    • D.M.T

      That´s because this article is criticizing Nintendo instead of praising it. The popular thing to do these days is criticize Nintendo, you´re not allowed to say one good thing about Nintendo because or else you will be called a fanboy.

      • There are plenty of things Nintendo does right. The Nintendo 3DS is one of them. I have nothing but love for how they’ve turned that into something people WANT to own. They’ve not done the same for the Wii U.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        Not true. There are many good things about Nintendo. And there are many good reasons to praise Nintendo too, but to praise them for stupid business decisions is fanboyism. To release the Wii-Mini is a good example of such stupidness. Wii U is a good product, but Nintendo have been unable to show this partly because of confusing moves like this one. Maybe its a desperate move, or maybe they think that the Wii-mini can play the same role as PS2 did. I dont know. But to release a non-supported console that competes with their own product is crazy, especially when there are two other competing current-gens on the market. Its very short-term thinking. And it pisses off everyone who can think for themselves. This hurts Nintendo, and thats painful for those who actually loves the company, but doesnt live in a dream bubble. Im one of those. But you dont believe this because either you are cheering bad policies or you are a troll.

        • Nate

          I agree with everything you said here, but your last sentence seems unnecessary.

          • Magnus Eriksson

            Agree! I changed it to bad policies.

        • D.M.T

          So not only do you accuse people who praise Nintendo of being fanboys but also accuse them of being trolls, nice Magnus. The funny thing about this is that you are one of the biggest trolls on Wii U Daily. I´m not saying that you should agree with everything Nintendo does because I don´t agree with everything they do but I don´t spend countless hours of my life bashing and criticizing them. You say you love Nintendo but you´re not showing it, you just criticize Nintendo for the stupid things they do and you IGNORE the good things they do, that´s my problem with you people. You need to criticize them only when necessary, that´s how you show love for the company. I don´t agree with Nintendo´s decision to sell the Wii Mini but if the Wii is still selling in North America then let them sell some more Wii´s this holiday season. If this is a stupid decision or not remains to be seen.

          • Magnus Eriksson

            No, please read again. But your comment verifies my point.

      • Magnus Eriksson

        I could easily come up with 100 things to praise Nintendo for, I could praise the WiiU too for a lot of things. But why should I do that when they are doing things that harm themselves? I think Nintendo have been very ignorant this generation, especially when it comes to marketing their own product.

  • Amsterdamsters

    So a grandma goes into a store because Jimmy want a Playstation something for Christmas..there she sees Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita….yeah, that’s not nearly as confusing for her.

    • John Andalora

      Numbers have always been easier to differentiate than one letter change and the use of the same controllers.

      • D.M.T

        Every Playstation until PS4 have used the same controller but with minor differences that grandma won´t notice. Plus the Wii U´s main controller is the Gamepad, not the Wii Remote so that shouldn´t cause confusion but people aren´t bright these days huh

        • John Andalora

          1) The fact that you use Wii controllers alongside the Wii U Gamepad stirs up confusion. That kind of compatibility, though convenient, further blurs the line between the predecessor and the new one. With Playstation, you had to get new controllers, even if they were very similar. Dualshocks 1-4 exist, and you had to get the new one for your controller to work.
          2) Again, numbers are easier than letters.
          Also, each playstation home console has looked different and been given a different design, which made it stick out more than the last one. It wasn’t just the same sized box without edges like the Wii U.
          3) People think the GamePad is the attachment because the Wii U doesn’t have anything else to differentiate itself from the Wii. They can’t see that from the box. So, they’ll just keep their old one.

        • AlienFanatic

          “Grandma” looks at the name on the box. You don’t really think that casual buyers are comparing the side-by-side shots of the units and controllers, do you? They say “I want to buy a Nintendo” and the salesperson obliges.

  • John Andalora

    I was nervous I was gonna be the only one concened about the Wii mini thing.
    Also, I watched The Frog Princess. It’s on that borderline between “God-awfully horrendous” and “lost all faith in humanity.”

  • Stephen Macneil

    I went to my friends house the other day. He’s a casual gamer and has a ps3. His favorite game of all time in Ocarina of Time and he said he might get a wii so he can play the ones he’s missed. I told him I just got windwaker HD on Wii U and he sort of looked confused. A minute later he asked if Nintendo will come out with a new system soon. I told him the wii u is their new system. He said he thought that was just a controller you can play your wii games on. He then asked if there was a console that goes with it or is it all in the controller. This really bummed me out because he’s a smart guy and somewhat of a gamer. People out there have no idea what wii u is.

    • AlienFanatic

      It was a terrible name. They should have called it the Wii 2 to make a clean break with the past, but they had other ideas.

  • Deezy

    Please understand that I am not being biased when I say that the reason why Nintendo is in this predicament, is because of the xbox. Not just the Xbox one but the Xbox in general.

    Remember, when the 360 popped out, their audience were mostly gamers, hardcore and casual alike. They were the competition against the PS3 and Xbox could’ve been more successful than they are now if there weren’t too much issues such as the RROD.

    Now, with the Xbox one along the way we are blindly thinking that they are in competition with the PS4, but remember this, Xbox changed their audience and we seen this during the E3 gaming show.

    With their all in one gaming… no, entertainment console, they are trying to aim for a family audience, and with that they are in Nintendo’s zone.

    What I can assume is that what Nintendo fears is actually losing their audience because “their console looks more mature than theirs”. And as I have been stating in other replies, they are also aiming for a specific age group which is teenagers because nowadays they will (thats a promise) get the xbox faster than a wii u and/or playstation. At the same time the Nintendo is for everyone from kids to adults.

    Competition Is What Competition Does and Competition Kills Each Other! It will be sad if the last forefather of gaming actually die because of the advanced competition. Its bad enough that hip hop is dead but gaming too?!

  • GameBoy1979

    What the heck are they thinking? Just when I think they are making some smart choices by cutting the price of the Wii U & some of its games just in time for the holiday season, along with the upcoming plethora of games we’ve been waiting for, they go & do something like this. It’s almost as if they WANT the U to fail for some reason.

  • akaDenver

    change the name to Super Wii!!!!!!!

    • GameBoy1979

      They seriously need to change the name, even at this late stage in the game, and maybe even make physical changes to the console itself so it seems different.

    • HungryMetroid

      or Wii Ultra

      • GuardiansFan

        I like that one…they just need to add a few letters

  • iamserious

    I sure hope someone posts something on miiverse about this so Nintendo can understand their blunder.

    • Wren Justin Umlauf

      Thats a great idea, idk why I havent thought of that. We all need to get on miiverse and try to grab their attention or something. This is getting bad.

  • Simon Stevens

    Good article Ashley, very few journalists use the term editorial anymore for personal opinion, your a true blue professional.

  • AlienFanatic

    They have to dump all those unsold units somewhere. And the US is one of Nintendo’s most reliable markets.

    Now, if Nintendo were to release a stripped-down Wii-U, instead of a Wii, and chucked the GamePad, I actually might support them.

  • Justagamer

    I agree completely..Why Nintendo?…Why?

  • I sincerely hope this is just to sell off the remaining stock and they can move on and let the Wii retire in dignity. With the remarkable sales the Wii had I have to guess that vast majority of people that want one have purchased one. I can say with a good deal of confidence that some have purchased a Wii thinking it is the same as the Wii U due to marketing confusion. I have had parents and friends tell me how they can get the Wii U gamepad controller for their Wii and purchase Wii U games thinking they would work in the Wii.

    I think at this point they need a clean break especially since the Wii U plays Wii games and software and works with Wii controllers and accessories.

  • kenny Johnson

    “Any time friends come over and want to play games, I have to spend about 5 minutes explaining that no, the Wii U isn’t the GamePad attached to the Wii. It’s a new console.”

    I just heard Leo Laporte from This Week in Tech (Probably the #1 tech podcast) confuse the Wii U as an attachment/accessory for the Wii! Granted, Leo probably not much of a gamer, but come on — if the head of TWiT doesn’t understand you have a new console, you’ve done something TERRIBLY wrong.

  • AlienFanatic

    “If you think this problem is prevalent among the elderly or 40+ plus population…”

    Isn’t that rather an insult, especially at the low-end of the scale? Plenty of under 80 people are tech-savvy and absolutely understand the hardware they’re buying. An uninformed consumer is an uninformed consumer and age has little to do with it, unless you’re simple an ageist who thinks anyone over 30 is “Oooooooooold.”

    • That sentence is meant to buck off ageist notions. That’s why it begins with if. As in, “If you think this, then you’re wrong. It’s not just this demographic, it’s everyone.”

      • Mj78

        Your article is correct. Nintendo have lost the plot. Wii u is failing because nintendo are allowing it to, and this news is just proof that Nintendo are lurching at straws to make more money. Wii u is a disaster all of Nintendo’s making.

  • Jedi Russ

    Take away the wii name call it the Nintendo Super HD

  • Jedi Russ

    Or even just the Nintendo Wii 2 and people will know what it is and my Wii u will be rare lol

  • Ricky__Spanish

    I would still rebrand the console as Wii HD or Wii 2 Super Wii. Anything.

    Wii U is a stupid name and they should have listened to people complaining after the 2012 reveal

  • Gregg

    While I agree with this. There is also the fact that the Wii is the only $99 console, and, it has an impressive lineup to support it (yes, despite haters, it DOES). So, it basically sits alone in the low income market for a console. Much like the 2DS, which, sold a bazillion units despite being hated on prior to release. So, many who get the Mini, may not get ANY system, if the Mini isn’t there. But, yes, the WiiU needs the biggest brightest, shiniest pedestal, and Nintendo needs to build it, STAT.

    • Rob’s Gameroom

      Thing is, the regular (original) Wii is already really cheap. Why not just bump that down to $99 and sell it? At least then, the customers can go online to the eShop and pay Nintendo for Virtual Console and other WiiWare titles. Nintendo seems to be shooting themselves in the foot here in multiple ways.

      • Gregg

        Agreed 1000%

  • Makakilo_Man

    I wholeheartedly agree with this article and I think a lot of it has to do with naming convention as stated earlier. What can Nintendo do now that it’s in this situation?

  • jjmesa14

    Follow Sony on this one Nintendo. Microsoft named there console the XBOX One, apparently a remake of the first XBOX, and Nintendo added a U to Wii, which must mean it’s an addon for my original Wii console, but it’s $300. Sony is going with their traditional PS+1 system with the PS4. The last one was a PS3 and the one before that was the PS2, which means that the PS4 must be a new console from Sony. The Wii name worked because the console before it was the GameCube, different name entirely, and the system before that was the N64, also a different name. So I guess the lesson is, either count up with naming your console or make an entirely new name.

    Btw I know what all of the new consoles are. I was going at this topic from the perspective of the traditional consumer who doesn’t play many games.

  • Rob’s Gameroom

    Parent in store this holiday: “Hi, my kid wants the new Wii for Christmas. Do you have those?”

    Store clerk: “Yep, that red one over there. It just came out.”

    Kid on Christmas: “Boy, I hate my parents…”

  • bizzy gie

    This thing doesn’t have internet yet it’s shipping with an internet-heavy game!

  • wildbob777

    Ashley King is absolutely right, in European shops you can see old Wii sitting right next to Wii mini sitting right next to Wii U basic sitting right next to Wii U premium… plus there are bundles for all these products, crazy… it’s the same for accessory hardware and games, Wii controllers mixed with Wii U controllers, Wii games mixed with Wii U games, Nintendo shelves are simply one big mess… customers and shop assistants alike are absolutely confused. This idea to start selling Wii mini when Wii U is struggling is just crazy, really it’s Nintendos dumbest move ever.

    • Andrew Chambers

      Normally I might agree, but having a bunch of a similar product out hasn’t seemed to hurt Apple at all.

      • Andreas Sunde

        That’s because Apple’s biggest strength is marketing.

        • Andrew Chambers

          It is now. I remember when it was innovation.

  • audi lover

    Fucking idiots simple

  • Andrew W Garttmeyer

    I am a Nes fan-boy.

    This is ANOTHER mistake in their looooong string of mistakes with this console generation. Their stupidity is starting to anger me, it’s getting harder and harder to defend my love of everything Nes to all the d-bag COD players, etc.

  • larz_1234

    For all of us supporters of Nintendo this is very frustrating news to say the least.

  • Jon Lazin

    I completely agree with this article. I’ve been following this website for months now and cannot believe that Nintendo doesn’t see anything wrong with this. Even if it sells well due to the confusion I can guarantee there will be unhappy consumers.

  • Mj78

    This is just another staggering example of how stupid and naive Nintendo Have become!!!!! As if consumers did not already have little clue that nintendo have a new system on the market, they now confuse the issue even more by releasing the Wii mini at the same time that they should be advertising the hell out of the Wii u. This just proves that Nintendo are stubborn, backward thinking and totally out of touch when it comes to home consoles.
    Iwata has been given chance after chance to turn wii around, but the man is completely inept. Wii u deserves to fail.

  • KoopaShell

    That frog looks creepy.

  • Arturo Perez

    Even though i think this isn’t the wisest move for Nintendo, i feel like there is a method to their madness. Let me explain, you can see this as a mind game Nintendo is playing. By putting a cheap $99 system next to a $300 system, some people will assume the more expensive product is the more advanced one. Now if they have a comparison chart of sorts on these displays it will show an even bigger difference between their systems. It will make the Wii u look more like the premium product that you really want to get. And if Nintendo plays their cards right they could make it work…hopefully.

    • GuardiansFan

      that works as long as they have that chart beside both products…if they do then great but i doubt they will for some reason.

  • Martin Oskarsson

    True words Miss Ashley, right to the very core. The big blind mass will ‘always’ decide the direction of things, and they are easily fooled 🙂

  • Jeovany

    Not only will this hurt Nintendo wii u its still a poor wii. Think about it. It has no only feature so you can’t go on the eshop. You can also pick up a used wii in good condition for $50 or a used xbox for $130.

  • The last Chozo

    Is it just me or was it always the children’s responsibility to inform thier parents or grand parents very well on what they want and what might confuse them?

  • Fire Satoru Iwata

    I insist, Nintendo has to get rid of Iwata-san ASAP! I know, I know, this guy is responsible for the DS and Wii success, but it is clear that this guy has reached his potential and now is crashing the company. He must go!

  • CEObrainz

    Nintendo should stop it. They know the Wii U is struggling, no one is dying that, so why do they still try to confuse consumers. Also you take one of the best features away, GameCube support, and expect people to buy this thing? Nintendo please for everyone’s sake, fix up quickly.

  • Arthur Jarret

    Sadly – it’s not the most stupid thing nintendo has ever done…
    This is a company that adds a photo option to an existing service, then removes the service because the photo option can be abused.

    This is the company that had completed and localized a full triple A game, then cancelled it because their new system was to be launched a month later – and hasn’t even released it for their subsequent digital platforms (star fox 2 on snes)

    This is the company that needed fan protests to decide to bring their first party major RPG to a system that hadn’t got any highly rated titles in months (xenoblade)

    This is the company that brought a DS sequel to a critically acclaimed gamecube title… and made it a wallmart exclusive (chibi robo)

    I could go on, but why bother? Their IP makes these annoyances worthwhile to me… but I do understand the frustration many feel towards this company.

  • Maybe if the Wii didn’t have so many damn accessories it’d be harder to hear “Wii U” and think that it’s just another one

    • andrewjcole

      Wii only has a lot of accessories because it’s been out for a while. I wouldn’t expect Wii U to have very many because it’s been in stores for way less time than the Wii.

      • I’m saying people think the Wii U is an accessory

        • andrewjcole

          Oooooohhhh… yeah. I agree. A lot of people think it’s an accessory. While on the subject of consumer confusion, I’ve heard someone say “It comes with an iPad!”.

          • XD Wow…

          • andrewjcole

            Since when does an iPad have buttons on it?

  • Dylan Clark

    lol you guys are all having heart attacks but no one wants a Wii U anyway evenif the Wii was off the market it still wouldn’t sell haha so retarded u people

    • Guest

      You’re such a loser! If you don’t like Nintendo or the Wii U that’s fine, but you’re actually taking time out of your day to go onto a Nintendo site. What’s worse is you do it fairly often, get a life. If you get a PS4 or XB1 at launch I hope you enjoy it, but nobody cares what you think here.

  • Kirbyomega

    I wonder if they had the same problem with the NES and the SNES…

  • Come on, if the customer can’t tell the difference between U and Mini, they maybe deserve the consequences. It’s like someone buys accidentally the old Xbox instead of Xbone and then you go on and blame Microsoft. Mini has a great target market in juniors (just like 2DS) and I see no reason why the big N shouldn’t make these devices if they are selling. Good business is where you find it. U is selling pretty well already and the knowledge of its existence is getting better all the time. Don’t worry so much, it’s all good. ;]

  • Akatosh

    On the bright side anyone who buys a Wii that can really do nothing but play games might more quickly want to upgrade. Maybe. Perhaps. (Then it might be for another company…)

  • GuardiansFan

    Rename the “Wii U” to “Wii 2”. Problem solved.

    • Leo

      Could be the Super Wii…

    • Des

      Wii 2 or another name altogether would have done the trick. Maybe also changing up the design. Wii U does bare a bit of a resemblance to the original Wii, it’s not as blocky and has more curves but still looks awfully similar.

  • Wiiluigi

    As a collector I’m glad I don’t have to import the mini.

    As a consumer who wants the wii u to succeed I’m sad Ninty doesn’t just kill of the wii like in japan.

    Also I think it’s very smart idea that nintendo is releasing wii mini with mario kart. Mario Kart 8 will be releasing on wii u later on next year and that game to be enticing to future wii u owners.

  • Mark Karpuk

    The VERY SECOND the name was announced I turned to my brother and said OH SHIT! Cause I knew that it was a terrible name due to all of the confusion that it would cause. I know why they kept the name, and it was due to the Wii brand being so strong but in actuality (as we have all seen) it just causes more confusion to the general consumer.

    The Wii U is a marketers nightmare! The original Wii U commercials whould have been fine if the Wii U only used a traditional controller but since it uses the Wiimotes the pro controller and of course the gamepad it then becomes hell. The very second you show the Wiimotes being played with a new Mario game or any Wii U game you have already confused most of your market. Most of the people who bought a Wii are what many of us call casual gamers (those who play a video game from time to time) and once they see the Wiimotes pop up and then the gamepad many of them (if not all of them) instinctually go hey that a new controller for my Wii. Honestly I’m surprised that they kept the name especially after the announcement of the Wii U every journalist had to ask “Is this a new console, or is this just an add-on to the Wii?” If I was in control of Nintendo and I found out that everyone was being bombarded with this question I would go alright, we need to change the name NOW to avoid anymore confusion!

    When the Wii Mini was released up here in the Great White North it was fine cause I believe the Wii U was a few weeks/months away and it allowed those who didn’t have a Wii the opportunity to play the many games in the Wii catalog….. although the Wii Mini was a terrible idea from the start due to it’s lack of internet (if it had internet then that would be a different story). , and for the fact that due to the lack of the internet there really was no point in spending $100 when you could drop another $250 and get the Wii U which not only played Wii U game but also Wii games.

    You know what I’m just going to stop. We all know the deal and we all know that Nintendo releasing the Wii Mini in the states now is one of the dumbest ideas this year from ANY company. Releasing the Wii Mini is the equivalent of taking lessons on how to fire a gun properly and safely and then deciding to go against all of your better judgement to shoot yourself in the foot to see what would happen, while you know exactly what will happen. You screw yourself.

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  • Mipaol80

    A friend of mine in Canada says this Wii Mini has been available there for a year and it didn’t sell particularly well, while I agree this may cause additional confusion with some consumers, I think Nintendo’s intention is to liquidate it’s remaining stock of this console which kind of reminds me of the old NES-101 and SNS-101 redesigns.

  • e_rocket

    So, it seems the old wii will keep selling more than the new one…

  • Leo

    Poor Tommy lol

  • Potemkin

    Problem with this is, Nintendo itself does not know how to explain their new console to the masses.

    Since the beginning I thought that naming it WiiU was pretty stupid. They wanted to take the momentum the Wii created and use it in favor of the new console, but it backfired as almost no one could tell if it was a new console or an add on.

    I couldn’t tell what the hell they were presenting back at E3!

  • Colin Parks


  • peeer

    Only reason I hate this site is because of News Editors that keeps posting only their own personal opinions instead of staying at publishing news purely and simple.

    • PerrysburgGuy

      You obviously do not know what “editorial” means because this article was clearly marked as such.

      • peeer

        And you obviously did not read in my comments history to know why I said that.

  • Kostas

    You’d imagine the profit margin on those Wii Minis are super high, given they’re stripped down Wiis most likely made with surplus components. While it might hurt Wii U sales short-term, it serves its purpose.

  • MujuraNoKamen

    Well said Ashley, this is stupid. I know its to make money and I’m sure Wii mini will sell but it’s adding to the confusion and taking the spotlight away from Wii U which has already been deprived of attention (Nintendo’s fault) If this gets advertised and Wii U doesn’t then NoA are dumber than I thought – looks like Sony’s paying off someone in Nintendo to sabotage whatever chance Wii U had 🙂

  • Rick Valenta

    I was hoping they would keep it Canada only so that mine would be more collectible. It’s actually a really handsome looking system. From a functional standpoint the lack of Wireless absolutely kills it…. No eshop or Netflix? Dumb move.. Beautiful design exercise though.

  • Nicolas Dorion

    Nintendo is marketing the Wii U, but not the right way. All you see in advertisements is the gamepad, not the new console itself. Because of that and because of the name of the console, most people who see Wii U commercial will think it’s just an add-on to the wii. I certainly don’t blame them. I’ve had every single nintendo home console since the NES and even I was confused at first. This would not have been a problem if the console was named the “Wii 2” or if it had a brand new name. What does the U stand for anyways?

  • Marcos Parreira

    I really agree to the fact that Wii U is a great horrible name. The point were the “U” is called to put YOU on the game is great, but the whole name Wii U is horrible. People just think it’s an attachment. Even if they see the Nintendo comparison chart, they will think it’s just a “little better Wii”.
    To solve this problem is REALLY hard. Nintendo needs to spend a lot with TV commercials and “Facebook commercials” (photos and videos), that way the name will still be confusing, but every gamer would see the “U” is not just the GamePad.

  • Mitch Hall

    Nintendo is trying FAR too hard to live off the success of the Wii, and it’s leading them down a path of self-destruction.

    Naming the console the “Wii U” is the dumbest move they could have made, especially since they’re putting it on shelves alongside the Wii and making almost NO effort to distinguish it from the original Wii! How did they not think the name would cause consumer confusion?

    If Nintendo wants to eliminate all of the consumer confusion, they need to scrap the original Wii and advertise the hell out of the Wii U. Make high-budget TV commercials, put ads on the front page of YouTube, set up flashier kiosks in stores… just do SOMETHING. Nintendo’s going to have a lot of competition this Christmas, and they need to step things up if they want to stay afloat.