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Dan Adelman is right, the Wii U’s name is bad for sales

Wii U Screenshot - Dan Adelman is right, the Wii U’s name is bad for sales

When Nintendo first revealed the Wii’s name, my GameStop store came up with an idea: on launch night, we’d set up a slide so people would go “weeeee” before purchasing their Wii. While this idea was never serious in nature, it proves the point that Nintendo’s decision to name a console “Wii” was, well, weird. History tells us, however, that they had the last laugh. The Wii was a massive success, selling millions upon millions of units thanks in part to its controller, (at the time) unique motion controls, and wonderful ad campaign that featured the catchphrase “Wii would like to play.”

Flash forward to Nintendo’s next console and none of these things are anywhere to be found. The Wii U is struggling when it comes to sales, the controller’s uniqueness was met by Sony’s Vita Remote Play with the PS4, and the lack of advertising campaign features no memorable catchphrase. What we’re left with is a wonderful console with an incredibly awkward name.

At the end of the day, despite how silly the Wii’s name was, it could resign to the fact that it was able to stand out from the crowd. The Wii U’s name, however, struggles to shake away its predecessor. There’s no way to differentiate the two by branding alone. When comparing the original Nintendo to the Super Nintendo, for example, could go “why get a regular Nintendo when you can get the Super Nintendo!”

Many have suggested that the biggest factor for poor Wii U sales is the name itself, but now a former Nintendo employee has decided to chime in on the factor, echoing the thoughts of many. Dan Adelman, former lead of Nintendo’s Indie Program, had the following to say on the matter:

Wii U is not selling as well as it deserves to. It has a lot to offer with great games you can't get anywhere else. The value of the GamePad hasn't been justified. But the name Wii U is abysmal. I think that cut sales in half right there.

I agree with Adelman 100%. The Wii U’s name is pretty terrible. Not only is it weird, but again, it does very little to differentiate the system from its predecessor. We live in a world where plenty of people are unaware of the differences between and Xbox and a PlayStation. Do we seriously expect them to also know the difference between a Wii and a Wii U?

There seems to be a lot of talk developing recently regarding on-demand streaming services for video games, but PlayStation Now and EA Access aren’t the first attempts at such a thing.

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Jake Valentine
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