EA turns its back on the Nintendo Wii U: report

Electronic Arts, or EA, is dialing back its support for the ailing Nintendo Wii U console. 

Reuters
People ride an escalator past Nintendo Co advertisements at an electronics retail store in Tokyo April 23, 2013.

The Wii U, the next-gen console released by Nintendo in November, has not been selling particularly well. 

Originally, Nintendo had hoped to unload 4 million Wii U systems over the last fiscal year; instead, the number was closer to 3.5 million. Meanwhile, one prominent analyst has estimated that Nintendo Wii U sales in April totaled only 55,000 in the US, far less than the Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3. (55K is a particularly grim number when you consider that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are aged consoles, while the Wii U was meant to be The Next Big Thing.) 

And it's not looking much better for the Wii U in the months ahead. According to a new report in Kotaku, Electronic Arts, one of the biggest game publishers in the world, is dialing back support for the Nintendo console. "We have no games in development for the Wii U currently," EA spokesperson Jeff Brown told Kotaku. It's worth noting that EA, as Kotaku puts it, has not ruled out the possibility of making some Wii U games in the future. 

Still, Nintendo can't be happy. A console is only as good as its games, and if the Wii U is to succeed, it should have a wide variety of titles, including games such as the best-selling Madden franchise, which EA produces. So what's the next step for Nintendo? Well, over at Time, Matt Peckham wonders if Nintendo won't lower the price on the Wii U, in an attempt to gin up some additional interest in the console. 

"The Wii U Deluxe, the only version of the system worth buying, goes for $350, which makes it notably more expensive than the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3," Mr. Peckham writes. "Whatever any of this says about market softness or the future of console gaming itself – we won’t know for at least another year, looking back at the other next-gen console launches and post-launch numbers – it’s hard to imagine the Wii U surviving without a significant price cut, and soon." 

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