By DERRIK J. LANG
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Is the Wii U right for you?
At last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo captured most of the spotlight by unveiling the Wii’s successor, a high-definition console called the Wii U that utilizes a tablet-like touchscreen controller. Attention alone wasn’t enough to declare a victory. Folks weren’t, well, feeling it. Critical reaction was mixed, and the Japanese gaming giant’s stock dropped.
“Nintendo has an uphill battle this year,” said Morgan Webb, co-host of the G4 gaming show “X-Play.” ”It’s really a branding problem. I think a lot of people are still confused about the Wii U. They’re going to have a hard time convincing people that this could be a better gaming experience than the iPad.”
At this year’s E3 convention in Los Angeles next week, Nintendo Co. will attempt to assuage such concerns by introducing gamers to titles that will be available for Wii U when it’s expected to launch later this year. Previously, the “Mario Bros.” creator only teased what was capable through a series of technology demonstrations.
E3 comes at a time when the gaming industry could use a few good parties and pep talks. The NPD Group, a research firm that tracks the U.S. sales of game software, hardware and accessories, said that while consumers spent more than $1 billion on games and accompanying gizmos in April, retail sales fell 32 percent from a year ago, the fifth month of decline.
AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.