Could it be the money printer has a new set of toner? The Wii U, often derided as a misstep for the company, is quietly reasserting itself on the main stage. It turns out, software drives sales. I know, a shocking revelation.
First up is the release of Mario Kart 8 on the system. With the Wii U languishing in terms of lack of software, the Mario Kart franchise raced in and is trying to stick save the console. So far, so good. The game has quadrupled sales of the system at a time in which it was nearly flatlined.
As for the the rankings of consoles, Nintendo insists that it is in second place of the console wars. That’s taking statistics to fit their own narrative, but the injection of new software is a boon to the console. It looks like the console war will still remain a three-horse race for the foreseeable future.
Nintendo America’s boss, Reggie Fils-Aime, spoke to the Seattle Times about the current rankings of consoles. ‘The dirty little secret is if you look at life-to-date numbers, between Sony and Nintendo they’d be pretty close in terms of PS4 vs. Wii U, with Xbox coming in third place. I think it’s going to be a three-horse race for the balance of this cycle.’
When asked if Nintendo could jump to number one in the NPD report, he told the interviewer to watch out for an interesting June. Not a concrete promise, but Nintendo fans will definitely have their eyes on the numbers when they release in July.
The big news out of E3 is the possibility of a new Metroid game. Nintendo is checking off all the boxes when it comes to hardcore software titles fans want to see. Metroid is not dead, and rumors have it that a 2D version of the game will make its triumphant return, along with a sequel to Metroid Prime.
Talking to Kotaku, Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi all but confirmed the games were in the pipeline. ‘So at this point we have two different types of Metroid games. We have the Prime style of Metroid game and we have the more traditional style of Metroid game. We feel that we do need to take care of both of these styles of play. And the hope is that at some point in the near future we’ll be able to share something about them’.
So, those that wrote the Wii U off for dead better rethink those articles. The company has the most loyal fanbase, and is finally coming around to releasing its stable of games that bring players back to the console generation after generation.