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My proof? The Gamecube. It had a much better launch lineup in terms of Nintendo games and just overall far better library than the Wii U will ever have. And yet it only sold 21 million units.
The only time when Nintendo was on top (beyond the lucky casual draw of the Wii) was the NES/SNES eras and they had 3rd party support then.
This suggests at any given time there were only about 20 million Nintendo core fans at most, the rest were clearly swayed by 3rd parties (since the NES/SNES sold more than double of this).
The truth is Nintendo could release a hundred new Nintendo games tomorrow and it really wouldn't make a difference. People who were planning to buy a Wii U will get one, people who weren't won't change their minds.
Thus, unless Nintendo manages to be at the right place at the right time once again and have another massive casual drawing console or somehow convince 3rd parties to support them again in full effect (not possible due to hardware limitations of the U anyway), the 20 million range is all Nintendo can really hope to sell for home consoles.
You cant really compare them. Just totally different times. Yes the GC will likely end up having a far stronger first party lineup than the U will ever have, but the GC failed because of the PS2s extreme dominance.
Things are on a more level playing field. The U isnt really failing because of the competition, its failing because its not doing anything right. The first party games they have are all safe boring sequels, there is nothing even close to the level of metroid prime on this system, and nintendo came up with this idea for the gamepad and doesnt even know what to do with it. And if they havent found a VERY compelling way to use it in games, well good luck selling it to people.
All ive seen out of it is some goofy controls in nintendoland and map/item selection. Not very exciting. So without very high quality games, at $300 this is a very tough sell.
While many can and will argue that the Original Wii was a success, the majority of gamers know that the Wii (and the GC) had a serious game drought. People gave the Wii a chance and it again failed to deliver. With the rise of the 360 and PS3, people jumped ship faster than ever with the Wii. When the Wii U came out, people had already given up on Nintendo.
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