UK Retail: Mario Kart 8 the Answer for Wii U Woes

By Jorge Ba-oh 23.01.2014 12

UK Retail: Mario Kart 8 the Answer for Wii U Woes on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

Key retailers in the UK are urging Nintendo to consider the release of Mario Kart 8 as the last chance for Wii U.

2014 is make or break for the House of Mario, with Nintendo desperately trying to make things work with the Wii U. Stellar titles were released over the last twelve months, including Rayman Legends, Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101 and Super Mario 3D World, yet the console is still struggling to capture consumers' interest.

Retail execs in the UK have commented on the future of the console, noting how Mario Kart 8 and a significant price-drop are required to lift the dire figures of the Wii U.

"A sub-£200 machine will help, and Mario Kart is desperately needed to reach the fans. We also need something revolutionary that makes use of the second screen and has mainstream appeal, which is easier said than done."
Game boss of one of the UK's biggest retailers

"There is only one real last chance for Wii U and it is Mario Kart 8. It could still be the game that sparks interest in Wii U, but it would need to be combined with a more mass market retail price."
Top buyer at an online games store.

"£199 and Mario Kart 8. Simple."
Games exec at a mass market outlet.

There is some confidence remaining in Nintendo UK's potential, as Xbite boss Steve Thomas feels that "Nintendo will have something up its sleeves that again will add a new dimension to gaming."

Do you think Mario Kart 8 is the answer for Nintendo?

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The price is honestly one of the biggest barriers to the system.  I know that it's still less than the other two current generation systems, but in the U.S., $299 for any Nintendo system is asking a bit much.  

Anecdotal Evidence:

I've been playing Nintendo console systems since 1985.  At every launch, I would go out and spend whatever money I had saved to purchase the new system, and every year, it was $199 on launch day.

At that, the first two systems came with games included with the system (Super Mario Bros. & Super Mario World).  Only recently have they revived that practice with Wii Sports and Nintendo Land.

The big issue is that, when they launched the N64, they had intended to released it at $250, but lowered the price to be "competitive" with Sony and Sega.  Now, the price points for machines are higher, and for good reason - the specs are better.

But, what isn't better, and what gaming companies often fail to recognize isn't better, is the amount of money people have to spend.

In virtually every economically strong nation, the median income has remained stagnant for over thirty years, yet the price of the systems keep going up.  If they want kids to get these systems, they'll price them at a level that parents feel they can reasonably afford.

Darkflame (guest) 24.01.2014#2

Mario Kart will help, but not on its own.

Quick fixs;

1. Bundle Wii/Gamecube collections as free digital titles with the system.  Sale a "Metroid WiiU pack" and a "Zelda WiiU pack" etc.

2. Also do the compilations on discs so people buying one pack can still get the sames from another.
Compilations will be as best as can be done *without* spending much time remaking them.
So, not full remakes, but maybe up the resolution and support off-screen play.

3. WiiSport/Fits combo pack. 

4. If you buy a 3DS you get a discount off a WiiU, and visa-versa.

5. Netflixs, BBC iPlayer etc...make them all work great and premote the WiiU as being a easy way to use them. Hell, do a deal, give people a free month of Netflix with it.

Longer Term:

1. Diversity. There needs to be a larger range of games.   X looks interesting, but what else is there? There isnt much on the horizon and thats worrying.

2. Lots of WiiU/3DS connecting titles.Give 3DS owners an incentive to get a WiiU.  Have things unlocked on a 3DS game that can be transfered to a WiiU game, or games on the WiiU that come with a (free) portable app for the 3DS that lets you do stuff away from the WiiU.
Maybe make the playcoins system work with the WiiU too.

Time and time again people are saying "It has to be cheaper!" and still Nintendo don't lower the price of the  WiiU. All over the internet people are saying it and some worker at Nintendo must have seen this. We all hear that the WiiU is not doing well as nobody wants to buy it, but it is wrong. There are many people who want to buy it but want the price of it to be considerably cheaper, and I'm one of these people. In my opinion the basic pack should be scrapped altogether and the premium package lowered to £200 with an extra £25 added for a MK8/SSB4. £225 for a premium WiiU and MK8/SSB4 would definitely get people to buy the WiiU.

( Edited 24.01.2014 17:06 by georg3 )

The problem is though, the price has been dirt cheap the last 4 months. Over a 3rd reduced in most places in fact and that's still not helped.

I think the biggest thing needed (once MK8 and DKC is here) is to get the marketing right. The thing is still bloody unknown by the majority and stuff like WiiFit and WiiSports are not going to be massive sellers anymore. Get some big name stars to promote it (like beyonce/patrick stewart for DS) and sell, sell SELL!

I like the idea above about giving 3DS owners an incentive. Maybe send an offer to all 3DS owners through the notifications.

One option, and one that for some reason Nintendo won't do, is to make a proper Pokemon adventure duo but in glorious WiiU HD graphics. Now THAT would be a big boost. Not the final solution though but a nice way to bump up the install base.

Some fantastic ideas in this topic so far:

4. If you buy a 3DS you get a discount off a WiiU, and visa-versa.

Yes, yes, yes. Such a simple yet brilliant idea - having either a redeem-back voucher for those who register their console (probably the easiest way) or having a leaflet with a unique code on it to redeem. The 3DS market is there, so definitely a good idea to push these players to U with a discount.

I'm one of these people. In my opinion the basic pack should be scrapped altogether and the premium package lowered to £200 with an extra £25 added for a MK8/SSB4.

Definitely lowered - I think £199 with NintendoLand/Wii Sports included, and £230 with Mario Kart 8 & SSB4.

I think the biggest thing needed (once MK8 and DKC is here) is to get the marketing right. The thing is still bloody unknown by the majority and stuff like WiiFit and WiiSports are not going to be massive sellers anymore.

Exactly - Nintendo's marketing is, quite frankly, dire. They have a strong social side, but this is only for fans of their games, not the casuals, the parents etc.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

All our suggestions are great and Nintendo should take them onboard. Seriously the WiiU basic pack has only 3gb storage for extra data and doesn't have a sensor bar, with such little stuff in the box the premium pack is so much better but is only really worth £200. As for the advertising, there have been no real ads, and none with any celebrities since the 3ds came out in 2011! That's an issue.

The price is only a issue if you think that you are not getting your money's worth of content and this point Nintendo's only strong point is their first party titles and with Mario Kart coming out soon, one game isn't enough to boost their sales. Nintendo cannot afford to go into the deep end with Sony and Microsoft alone with first party titles and with some third party developers abandoning the Wii U, it's no brainer the lack of blockbuster titles appearing on the console.

What is Nintendo's problem? Well from the very beginning they had a problem, people still to this day do not know what a Wii U is because they only know the Wii. Sony can get away with PlayStation because they increase the number at the end of it and people immediately know thats a newer console, 4 obviously comes after 3 so it must a new console, right? Hell even Microsoft got away with it, taking 359 steps back. So is it Nintendo's bad luck or just a bad naming convention?

For me it's the latter, I'll take you back just when prototypes of the next Nintendo console were surfacing after the dying Gamecube. One word, REVOLUTION. Naming their fifth home console had to be crucial and they ended up naming it the Wii...? Yes the Wii was revolutionary and changed the way play games to day but why not stick with Revolution, a statement that you can claim your console has done, revolutionized gaming. Though, thats not to say the name Wii did not catch on, it did and sold millions. So why can't the Wii U do the same?

Wii's main feature was the motion controls. Everybody loved it, kids, teenagers, parents, hell even the elderly got attached to it... then the trend died. Now Nintendo being this big overzealous thinking that they can pump more juice into the dying trend but has fallen flat on it's face. The Wii should have stopped at Wii. The acronyms and play on words did not catch with people anymore, they look at the Wii U exactly the same way as the Wii right now.

I have a Wii U and I think it's a mighty little console, I finished Wind Waker HD just playing it on the Wii U gamepad and it was a great experience. I wish they could market this console to they way it should be as it will receive more attention and recognition from fans and developers.

I think that releasing new applications like BBC iPlayer out will increase WiiU sales. Roughly 20% of apps on the eStore are over priced and lame and to increase the sales of the WiiU Nintendo needs to offer more applications that users of the WiiU want such as Netflix and Skype. My point is that games consoles are no longer made great by the selection of games available on them, it is the extra built in features that make a console great and if Nintendo doesn't carry on bringing out these great applications the WiiU won't be worthy of a modern games console. It is all about the price as there are too few free apps built in and not enough apps like iPlayer free to make is a console that is a step up from previous Nintendo consoles.

( Edited 25.01.2014 14:37 by georg3 )

I think if the price sticks at £179 then its fair. Its what it should have been at in the first place. 

For me its the games at retail, GAME charge £49.99 for games like Super Mario 3D World and LOZ:WW HD , that is just far too much!

Flynnie said:
I think if the price sticks at £179 then its fair. Its what it should have been at in the first place. 

For me its the games at retail, GAME charge £49.99 for games like Super Mario 3D World and LOZ:WW HD , that is just far too much!

That's fucking GAME for you. One of them closed down in a town near me; no doubt due to no one paying their ridiculous prices, and good riddance. Overcharging buggers. All these street retailers are the same; HMV is another (though they've had some great sales on over the last couple of months - got Vita for £99.99).

Azuardo said:
Flynnie said:
I think if the price sticks at £179 then its fair. Its what it should have been at in the first place. 

For me its the games at retail, GAME charge £49.99 for games like Super Mario 3D World and LOZ:WW HD , that is just far too much!

That's fucking GAME for you. One of them closed down in a town near me; no doubt due to no one paying their ridiculous prices, and good riddance. Overcharging buggers. All these street retailers are the same; HMV is another (though they've had some great sales on over the last couple of months - got Vita for £99.99).

Swings in roundabouts i guess. We can't get on the back of Play.com skipping VAT in Jersey and Amazon's tax avoidance schemes and then continue to use them. Albeit they are doing it by legal means. 

GAME, HMV , Argos and Currys are quite bad offenders of high prices but in all of them you can find great bargains.Normally when they are discontinuing something to be fair. Nonetheless i probably would have been swayed at retail to pick up SM3DW, LOZWW, Pikmin 3 or W101 if i didnt see them at £49.99 (although i have seen the latter two for a little lower recently) 

Fuck it anyway, im all over my 3DS at the moment anyway!

For us gamers Mario Kart isn't going to be the last straw for the Wii U. I guarantee that for those Ninty fans that havent got a Wii U yet then Zelda, Smash and a 3D Mario would be enough to eventually persuade them. Maybe even a Nintendo Land 2 with Kirby, Starfox, Pokemon, Wario mini games in it. Or perhaps reveal a Metroid game....?

However for retailers and the casual market if Mario Kart flops in terms of sales then they would see the Wii U being dead in the water to be fair. 

Have to agree £179.99 for a premium pack is worth it and if it stays like that then the sales will increase dramatically but advertising the WiiU will have to improve. As for the prices of a game for the WiiU or even a 3DS I always go to Argos- same place that the WiiU is £180- as I save £7 buying Pokemon Y there getting it for £32.99 as opposed to £40!
Either which way I will only buy a WiiU premium pack and am only prepared to spend £200 max on it or £230 with a game like MK8 or SSB4, and I'm sure most other people are too.
As for pricing it above that Nintendo need to start inncreasing the apps available on it as for what it currently has built in isn't worth that much. That may sound stupid but you aren't paying for a games console by itself, you're buying a multfunctioning machine capable of so much more. But I agree with you there Flynnie, I really hope it stays at that price pernamently.

( Edited 25.01.2014 19:30 by georg3 )

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