The Wii U is in a rough spot. The system has sold just 5 million units to date, and it has been on the market for over a year now. Sales have dried up, third-party support has dried up, and people think of the Wii U GamePad as an accessory for the Wii. Needless to say, turning the situation around will be difficult for Nintendo.
That having been said, Nintendo intend to try, and they’ll begin by trying to turn the Wii U GamePad into a more useful device. Part of this plan involves releasing Nintendo DS games on the Wii U Virtual Console service, but there are plans beyond that, too.
“Our top priority task this year is to offer software titles that are made possible because of the GamePad,” Iwata said to investors and analysts during a financial results meeting yesterday.
“We have managed to offer several of such software titles for occasions when many people gather in one place to play, but we have not been able to offer a decisive software title that enriches the user’s gameplay experience when playing alone with the GamePad. This will be one of the top priorities of Mr. Miyamoto’s software development department this year.”
In addition, Nintendo plan to expand the GamePad’s usefulness of its NFC (Near-Field Communication) abilities. Thus far, the only game to really have made use of them is Pokémon Rumble U, but Nintendo say they’ll have more to show at E3 this year.
Finally, further improvements will be made to the GamePad on a software level that makes it easier and quicker to start games up on the Wii U.