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Wii U Name Cut Sales in Half Says Former Nintendo Indie Boss Dan Adelman - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 08 August 2014 / 9,505 Views

Dan Adelman, the former Nintendo indie boss, did a Q&A session on and was asked if he thinks Nintendo deserves the mess they are in right now with the sluggish Wii U sales. He feel the Wii U has a lot of great games, however the name of the console has hurt its sales and the higher price due to the GamePad has not been justified.

"Wii U is not selling as well as it deserves to," said Adelman. "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."

Wii U sales have improved since the release of Mario Kart 8 as the console remains above 50,000 units sold on a weekly basis. However, the console remains far behind its rival the PlayStation 4. In Nintendo's last quarter they shipped just 510,000 Wii U's bringing lifetime shipments to 6.68 million units as of June 30.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. Outside, in the real world, he has a passion for the outdoors which includes everything from hiking to having received his B.A. in Environmental Studies. You can contact the author at

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HylianSwordsman (on 08 August 2014)

The trouble is it was supposed to be a successor to the Wii, not a new family, so they had to include the word "Wii" in the name. Think about it: Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube. That was the Nintendo line, and it was dwindling quickly. They decided to rebrand it with a new family, just as they did with the Game Boy. In fact, with the Game Boy, they had two families going at once for a while, calling the new DS family a "third pillar". After the abysmal performance of the Nintendo Gamecube, it's understandable that they decided not to do the same with the Nintendo line. With the Wii, however, while "Wii U" made sense (both sound like English pronouns, Wii was the philosophy of bringing everyone into gaming while Wii U was the philosophy of doing so while also catering to individuals), the name was too easy to mistake as a peripheral, especially without marketing to explain it. Of course, marketing couldn't have explained it even if they wanted, because all the games were getting delayed, so they had no games to use to demonstrate that Wii U was a different system with something new to offer. Wii 2 might have helped things, making it clear even without a demonstration that this was a new system, but it wouldn't have helped much, because the Wii U's value needs to be demonstrated through its gamepad. Nintendo is starting to do that, so if it's not too late, Wii U might have a chance to make a comeback.

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ikki5 HylianSwordsman (on 11 August 2014)

yeah, I can see this however the problem was that Nintendo used the Wii name in a lot of their addons stuff so trying to created a new family name with the name Wii just wouldn't work because people would just think it was another addon if they didn't do any research or hear any news so Nintendo kind of shot themselves in the foot there.

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stlwtng4Dmdrxip (on 08 August 2014)

Yup, pretty much.

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Chark (on 08 August 2014)

It has resulted in a variety of wide swept marketing issues. These things can dramatically effect sales.

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WagnerPaiva (on 10 August 2014)

They should have named it Nintendo Max Power.

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LTric1979 WagnerPaiva (on 10 August 2014)

bwahahaha.. nintendo max power is less than xbone power.

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Anddo (on 08 August 2014)

As long as it's killing the Xbone it's all good

  • +2
Dechizen (on 08 August 2014)

i just dont see the wii u surviving too long, 1 or 2 good exclusives from Nintendo everywhere generation, no hate

  • +2
OfficerRaichu15 (on 08 August 2014)

wow if thats the case then mario kart would have gave the wii u a 120k baseline XD
no just kidding but he does have a point the name wii u has efffected sales

  • +2
NickK (on 09 August 2014)

I love Nintendo but WiiU was the worst name they could possibly come up with! Still some of my friends are confused with Wii and WiiU. I asked one of them if she got the WiiU and said they had bought one since 2009!!! And I am certain there is lots of confusion to more people!

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NickK (on 09 August 2014)

I love Nintendo but WiiU was the worst name they could possibly come up with! Still some of my friends are confused with Wii and WiiU. I asked one of them if she got the WiiU and said they had bought one since 2009!!! And I am certain there is lots of confusion to more people!

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FujiokaMidori (on 08 August 2014)

It was pretty awesome when rumors were it as simply gonna be called "Nintendo"

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ExplodingBlock (on 08 August 2014)

I think everyone has heard this by now

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Scizor_99 ExplodingBlock (on 10 August 2014)

Yeah but the name ALONE cutting the sales in half? That's really stretching it.

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kdognumba1 (on 11 August 2014)

He does have a point. You have 2 separate crowds that the name steered them away from it.

The first crowd is the people who didn't know what the system was and thought it was a peripheral for the original Wii rather then a whole new system. A large portion of this group, for the most part, is gaming on their mobile devices now however with smart marketing and advertising, they could have reached a large portion of this group. Many of them aren't mobile gamers and were just plain confused by the system do to the marketing.

The second crowd is the crowd that associated the Wii name with horrid online, weak hardware, and cheap quality motion based games do to the abundance of these style games on the original Wii. They originally started going after this crowd when the system first launched but fell short in many areas. They didn't have the games that shown off the hardware early on, such as Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8. Outside of ZombiU and Nintendoland, not much shown off the uniqueness of the gamepad. The online, while revamped and definitely better then anything they previously done, still lacked the basic features people wanted.

All of this said, despite initially screwing things up, over time, they can make gains with both of these crowds which appears to be what they're doing. The system sales are up do to good games coming out, messaging being better, and much more representation in events and while Nintendo's online isn't there yet, they've been improving upon the online a little at a time. E3 for Nintendo was very good and I personally can't wait to see more. Hopefully, they can get 3rd party's back on board.

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Scizor_99 (on 10 August 2014)

The guy is mostly right, but I think he's exaggerating with the name cutting the sales in half. Sure, it's a stupid name, but there are a lot of successful products with stupid names that we never seem to realize are dumb until we stop and think about it. As with the Xbox One, there are a lot of problems stopping it from reaching its potential, and I don't see people as often mentioning the name as a major problem.

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Richmyster6907 (on 09 August 2014)

While the name is shit I doubt it hurt the sales on this dramatic scale. Most people at first had no idea that the Wii U was a new console.

And while I do own the new xbox I do think the name "Xbox One" is a bit meh.

I'd have called it the Xbox infinite or something to make it bring attention to the common folk.

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NoirSon (on 09 August 2014)

They lucked out on the Wii catching fire and its name not working against them. They could have called its successor Wii Next, Wii Ultra, Nii W or any host of names, calling it Wii U without ever giving a reason what the U should stand for. And to make matters worst the Wii U looks extremely similar to the redesign Wii and aside from the Gamepad they focused to heavily on making things backward compatible by not producing Wii U exclusive controllers.

The name hurt but it probably only cost 30% of their sales, the rest is just bad decision making in the system itself and in its advertisement.

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ICStats (on 09 August 2014)

Should've got Deniro to do some "U talk'in to Mii?" marketing.

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nanorazor (on 08 August 2014)

They should call it NES 3, Gamecube 2, REVO etc. would of owned a large market, also Nintendo need to boost the marketing of their home consoles. I really agree with the former Nintendo indie boss.

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Nintentacle (on 08 August 2014)

"remains at about 60,000 units sold on a weekly basis" is more accurate than "remains above 50,000 units sold on a weekly basis"

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NSS7 (on 08 August 2014)

Nintendo should name it Wii 2. Wii U sound like peripheral for original Wii.

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FujiokaMidori NSS7 (on 08 August 2014)

No, no more "Wii"

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LTric1979 NSS7 (on 10 August 2014)

not the naming issue.

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AnthonyW86 (on 08 August 2014)

"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."

Pretty sure that the "cut sales in half" part is about the value of the gamepad not being justified, not because of the name. The sentence was misunderstood i guess.

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Scizor_99 AnthonyW86 (on 10 August 2014)

Maybe, but if you read it, it sounds like talking about the name. The "but" makes it hard to interpret it otherwise.

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Rogerioandrade (on 08 August 2014)

Lose a ljob, start spreading bad comments about the former company. Very professional. :P

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WagnerPaiva (on 08 August 2014)

Ok genius, than come up with a better game. Actually, i will do it:
Nintendo Omega.
Nintendo Lion.
Nintendo Moses.
Nintendo Covenant.
Nintendo Goblet.
Super Nintendo 2.
Wii R Fckd.

  • -5
LTric1979 WagnerPaiva (on 10 August 2014)

Nintendo hell.

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