The Wii U’s poor sales performance is hardly news anymore, but last month’s arrival of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 brought Nintendo’s predicament into sharp relief. Sony and Microsoft touted their new machines as the best- and fastest-selling consoles in November, respectively, whereas Nintendo simply chose to tell the world that Wii U sales were up 340 percent on the previous month. As ever, some commentators have greeted the bad news with proclamations that the death knell has been sounded for Nintendo as a hardware manufacturer, and the sooner the company follows Sega’s lead by transitioning to a software-only model the better. But such analysis reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of Nintendo’s business, strategy, and motivations.
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Why the Wii U’s failure won’t change Nintendo