In case you missed it (and we wouldn't be surprised if you did), Nintendo launched the Wii U this past Sunday, officially kicking off the next generation of video game consoles. Yet despite quick first day sales and a pre-Christmas launch, things aren't all smooth sailing for the video game giant.
First, there's the lackluster launch that took place on November 18. Instead of a much-hyped midnight launch like what games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II or Assassin's Creed III recently got, Canada's biggest dedicated video game retailer EB Games Canada opted to skip any late night sales. Customers had to pick them up when stores opened at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Early indications suggest that the console sold well on its first day on the market, selling out in many places across the U.S. which will likely only drive demand going into the holiday season. But for those who did manage to get a Wii U home, the problems didn't end there: once set up, players were faced with a firmware update that Nintendo says could take over an hour to complete. A number of impatient gamers attempted to stop the update halfway through, which led to a number of the consoles getting "bricked," as CBC reports, and in turn an email from Nintendo telling people to be patient:
"It may take an hour or more to perform the system update," the company said in an email, according to The Washington Post. "Powering off the console during the update may damage your system."
And the problems don't end there. The next few days could prove even more challenging for Wii U sales as they'll be combating deeply discounted Black Friday deals on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3: both of which offer a wider variety of games due to sheer longevity on the market. The Wii U Basic package will cost consumers $299, and a Wii U Deluxe set will run for $349. Meanwhile, those in the market to pick up a deal on a console on this major shopping weekend can find Xbox 360 Kinect bundles on sale for $199, $100 less than its normal price, and less than the basic Wii U. Both consoles offer not just gaming experiences across all ages, but also the ability to play videos on Netflix and YouTube and get active through motion gaming.
Which leads to the greatest problem that the Wii U, and all game consoles going forward, are facing: their target market has become non-existent. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has been describing the console's intended audience as being aimed at the "5-to-95" crowd, which runs the risk of offering only a little bit of something for everybody — which could end up offering nothing substantial to anyone.
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime paid a visit to CNBC earlier this week to talk up the console and its wide appeal:
Right Click readers, have you or will you be buying a Wii U this holiday season? Share your reasons why or why not in the comments below.
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