Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Controller production woes to cause delay, Wii hype just hot air?



Now, we´re so used to reading good news about Wii, this post may come as a bit of a shock to some people. First of all, Omar Ismail, one of the founders of a product review site called ProductWiki, has published an article entitled Why the Wii won´t sell. While he makes many points that are highly opinionated and often objectionable, he has come across an interesting quote by analysts at UBS Warburg, which he published a scan of:

Strong E3 showing? Great third party support? Mr. Ismail´s argument is that it sounds just all too familiar:
The point: E3, analyst comments, and even publisher reactions this early in the console's life don't mean much. Even if there's a lot of enthusiasm for the machine at the beginning, if real-world numbers don't pan out, things can change very rapidly. We saw it happen with the N64 and the Gamecube.
Now, it´s an interesting quote Mr. Ismail dug up, because it really does mirror the current state of affairs.

But while all the lip service by the media and third parties might not go a long way to securing tangible sales figures, the production turnover will. But that, too, could be up in the air.



Chinese gaming magazine PCGames author Fanhuaqing has apparently been able to visit a factory producing both PSP and Wii consoles. And he learned that there seem to be some severe problems with the production of the Wii controllers. This, apparently, is also responsible for the lack of a definite launch date.

GoNintendo has the translation (not by a native English speaker, so please overlook the spelling mistakes):
Nintendo may not have a confirmed official launch day, due to all sorts of problems related to the controller that prevented mass production.

The factory has received Wii controller’s purchasing order and its sample, but is still stucked in testing phrase. From feedbacks of testers, currently the Wiimote and nunchuck still have a lot of small issues, such as buttons aren’t sensitive, hard to press 2 buttons together, and even no response occasionally, and the current sample is easy to get damaged, using the controller in normal situation will produce some noise, etc. Entering Sept, if the above hardware problems cannot be fixed, it will directly affect Wii’s selling strategy.

Also, the factory has not received the Wii console from Nintendo yet, currently they are testing samples using a dedicated machine only for testing, which means after an up-to-standard sample is produced, it still needs to be sented back to Japan to be tested by Nintendo for the 2nd time.


Well, we should have expected that at least some bad news concerning Wii was imminent. This community has really been blessed with nothing but good news so far. So, from a purely statistical point of view, getting some bad news shouldn´t surprise us. Also, all the positive comments in the past should allow us to put this into perspective.

But while I can easily shrug off the UBS Gamecube quote, the apparent production problems are much harder to stomach. If that turned out to be true, Wii might be delayed, Nintendo might have to downgrade their expected shipments significantly or a whole number of consoles might turn out faulty and would have to be replaced - or even a combination of the above. I am taking this report very seriously and am trying to get in touch with the author to get some direct verification on the story.

Source: ProductWiki, GoNintendo, PCGames
Thanks to: Codename Revolution

37 comments:

ColdBlooder said...

well, finally the first "bad news" concerning wii. or at least a very plausible rumor. but sony didn´t start to mass prudice the ps3 , so no need to rush for nintendo, since wii is by far not as complex as the ps3. bit i really hopt nintendo can fix those problems soon, because launching after ps3 may be not so good. (even though the hardcore fans will sell out the first batch of consoles anyway)

Falafelkid said...

Hi Coldblooder.

No need to rush for nintendo, since wii is by far not as complex as the ps3.

I agree. Nintendo has generally less problems on the production line. So they will be able to overcome a little setback easier than Sony.

D-Bone said...

I doubt this is true, or if it is that it is a problem.

Falafelkid, I don't think Nintendo would be sending out invitations to the Wii events and you wouldn't be hearing from your credible source about imminent release date information if it were true.

dsss said...

How high do you see the chances for a 3D feature? I recently got told from someone (who also said the platform would be release on November 9th (NA) and 10th (EU)) that Nintendo still has a big gun, on a line with the Wii Remote, to show.

dsss said...

And you asked where I did get this from: "/*

It's everywhere in your posts, for example here:


Hi Cormin.

"/*

Thanks for the information, I never knew that. I briefly read up on it and the reason why a lot of continental Europeans (including myself) get this wrong is because of the keyboard layout, see here.

Hi pgtl_10.

Yup, Pete replied already. Here´s his answer:

"/*

I also asked Pete whether Oblivion for Wii was being ruled out or whether they simply were not making an announcement yet. Let´s see what he says. But the interview must be fake.

I looked at it in more detail and we could start another grammatical examination right here:

Hines promises "/* and he is said to be "/*.

Also, "/* My word, I should have looked at this more closely. I feel bad about even bothering Pete Hines with this.

Hi dsss.

"/*

I have no idea. Where did you copy that from?

Anonymous said...

The folks at IGN claim that this is fake, so I don't know.

-fyter

Tadashi Oshima said...

Guess what makes this soundlike a lie?

"Buttons not sensitive" - Hey guys, the Wii doesn't have any analog buttons! It's either one or zero.

"Hard to press two buttons at once" - Huh? Are they trying to press two opposing directions on the D-Pad or what?

"Sometimes no response at all" - Uhmm, as we know, the Wii has standard digital buttons, so if they don't manage to get a simple rubber dome button to work, the factory just sucks, no wonder the PSP had problems.

Falafelkid said...

Hi D-Bone.

Falafelkid, I don't think Nintendo would be sending out invitations to the Wii events and you wouldn't be hearing from your credible source about imminent release date information if it were true.

Well, it could still be true. Because such problems might not cause a proper delay, but simply make for a significant downgrading of launch shipments. I still hope it´s not true and thanks to Fyter for pointing out that IGN dismisses the rumours. However, I cannot access the main page at the moment. So please post a link to that story if you can. Thanks.

Hi dsss.

How high do you see the chances for a 3D feature?

Well, I want to be careful here. A 3D feature (of whatever kind) is not likely, but it is certainly possible. My posts about costs and implementation of such technology have clearly shown this.

Also, the Wiimote would make much more sense within a 3D virtual reality environment. And I know that there will be a big surprise announcement made at those events. Just how big and just how surprising it will be, I do not know.

There are a number of possible objections to such technology being implemented, though. It might be hard to convince a mass market to put on goggles. That´s why I believe that, if it really existed, such hardware would be merely optional.

What chances do I see? It´s hard to say. Let´s say I see a 30% chance of some kind of VR/AR feature.

And you asked where I did get this from: "/*

What you should be seeing above is your last comment italicized. If all you can see is some symbols, then this may be a problem with your browser. I am using Firefox 1.5.0.6 - maybe the problem is indeed browser-related...?

Falafelkid said...

Hi Tadashi Oshima.

Good points. But this comes from what seems to be a reliable gaming site. Maybe some details were wrongly translated...?

dsss said...

Well, I use an old version of Opera ;)

In a German forum there was a user called 'gabriel'. He posted this on September 15th:

"Kein Visor, aber dennoch komplett neuartig. Was hält Harry Potter in der Hand? Die Idee ist einfach und genial! Lasst euch heute Nacht verzaubern ..."

"Ist ein Fake. Der echte Controller wird einhändig benutzbar sein und hat nur einen Button. Für spezielle Spiele wird es Aufsätze geben ..."

"Dann werdet ihr morgen früh ein nette Überraschung erleben. Ein neue, innovative dreidimensionale Spielsteuerung mit einem simpel wirkenden Stick."


The next day the TGS show was and what he said was true. He said then:

"Denkt nicht, die Revolution wäre jetzt schon komplett. Das war heute ein wichtiges Teilstück. Weitere Innovationen werden folgen ... Überlegt mal: Welche Oberfläche würde sich denn z.b. für einen dreidimensionalen Pointerstick anbieten? Ihr werdet jubeln, denn Nintendos entgültige Revolution wird der Wahnsinn! Aber dennoch ... kein Visor! "

18.9.:
"Ich wusste es eine Woche vorher. Bild-Zeitung wurde zwei Tage vorher informiert. Es gibt allerdings, wie gesagt, noch einiges cooles am REV, daß bisher noch nicht enthüllt wurde. Der Controller war nur Teilstück. Das wichtigste zwar, aber eben nur ein Teil der kompletten Konsolenidee. Ihr werdet alle noch richtig ausflippen, denn die Konsole ist einfach echt "revolutionär"! .. "

8.12:
"Na, überlegt doch einfach mal etwas. Für was kann man ein dreidimensionales Eingabegerät am besten verwenden? Ab wann ist es euch egal, daß die Grafik nicht so cool ist, wie bei den anderen Konsolen? Erst die richtige Kombination macht eine echte Revolution ... "

18.1.:
"Nein, nicht ernstnehmen ... Es wird leider noch etwas dauern. Bei BigN dreht sich momentan alles um den neuen DS. Der wird noch vor der E3 kommen. Aber danach gehts mit der Revolution dann wirklich los ...

Und Rod. war übrigens ein guter Gedanke ... Warum wohl die Chips Namen wie Broadway und Hollywood haben? Wir werden sehen ..."

The last sentence is interesting, as it was talked about Robert Rodriguez who said that a Japanese console manufacturer will utilise a new 3D technology in 2006. (Broken Saints reports)


Think what you want, but I would believe him.

(Username: gabriel; Forums: Nintendo-Online)
http://www.nintendoonline.de/magazin/forum/search.php

Grandmaster B said...

Working in OEM and some product development I somewhat doubt this news.

Nintendo and the factory would not be at this stage so late sorting out these things. And the thing is they have working samples out there that even the public have used. (well wired models but the issues they said they have wouldnt effect this to my knowledge).

Doesnt make sense. It's as if it is months and months old news.

Falafelkid said...

Hi grandmaster.

The thing is they have working samples out there that even the public have used. (well wired models but the issues they said they have wouldnt effect this to my knowledge).

Doesnt make sense. It's as if it is months and months old news.


True. The consoles at E3 and GC worked just fine. It´s a good guess that the news might be very old. I´ll see if I can verify a date on the original article.

.:((GeNeSis)):. said...

For all who understand the german language, this is a interesting thing:
"www.wog.ch"
than choose the register "Wii" and you'll see^^

mfg

Anonymous said...

Uhh, would the PSP and Wii really be manufactured in the same factory? Wouldn't that make it too easy for Sony's president to just one day go over and say "Oh, so that's how Nintendo does it." I don't know but it sounds kind of fishy....

D-Bone said...

Falafelkid,

There is no IGN article dismissing the rumor as far as I can tell. There are some folks in the boards saying so.

I can see this being plausible from the angle that the manufacturing process is having a low yield. It doesn't make sense to me because the author writes as though they are going through development process problems and not a manufacturing process problems.

Granted, I'm no expert on the manufacturing process.

Anonymous said...

well, apparently investors don't believe these rumors at all, as NTDOY is at a 52-week high of $25.40 today, up $0.50 from yesterday... i see that as a good sign.

really, it seems believable at first, but come on... nintendo has been developing this controller for HOW LONG? then, all of a sudden 2 months before launch they're having all these production difficulties? it just doesn't add up... maybe i'm just being optimistic.

hopefully the stock price is an indicator of foul play here.

about the 3d rumors... well... you all know where i stand on that ;) i've always said that i believe 100%. of course, i don't have any type of professional reputation to hold up, like SOME people. ;)

-"superfan" tactics.

Rhyhon said...

Anyone who suggests that two rival comapanies would share the same production building is insane. This is a bad idea of a joke - get it, the PSP had a problem with a bad button, so now the Wii has one too because they're in the same building. Funny, ha ha ha.

pitendo said...

falafel should we worry for any delay?is the scource of the article that reliable?man if wii gets delayed ill kick someone in the head.sorry for my bad english.its not my native language

Anonymous said...

@Grandmaster bITCH

Callin him self grandmaster?
How about leaving out "grandmaster"
and sticking with b for bITCH only!that suits your entity better don't you agree biAAAATCH?

;)

Eithan said...

^ Oh I get it! You took the B and added an ITCH. How clever! Did you come up with that all by yourself? < / sarcasm >

Nice work Fal. What do you think about the European press conference on the 15th?

Anonymous said...

Hey FALAFELKID THis info Might interest you.

as you know Nintendo is doing a conference on the US this 14th of september. but what is interesting is that Nintendo is doing another conference the 15th of september 06 in london as gonintendo.com have said!! they even had a photo of the invitation card that seems to be pretty credible! (if so u might get invited after all..

the Link is:
http://gonintendo.com/wp-content/photos/Wii_english_email_invite.jpg

Coment on this!
=======================================
Machters
Playing=Believing

Skiptip said...

I think your face is too white,Eithan allright?

HereticPB said...

Sept 13-15 or Sept 14-16

New Wii information?

The I.A.L.S said...

Falafelkid,

Imagine being the first one to shed light on Hollywood!
Imagine being the first one to get the info from the horse mouth!
Imagine landing an interview with an Ati representative!
Imagine people knowing you and your blog worldwide!
Imagine being quoted from all major news outlets!

Imagine the Spong headline:" FALAFELKID THE MIGHTY Wii-SUALIZER DELIVERS ASSURANCE FOR THE WORLD"

Imagine being the number one top Nintendo source on this planet!

All you need to do is landing that one big coup pulling of that one single stroke of genius!
I will promise you heaven on earth!
You will walk on air!
I know your are the chosen one!
The force is with you KID!
Solve the mystery of Hollywood and Broadway kid!
Get rich or die tryin'

Sincerely,


-THEINFAMOUSANONYMOUSLIGHTYOGA

Rhyhon said...

Falafelkid, here's something you should note, it's about the "big secret":

http://www.infendo.com/2006/08/another-nintendo-secret-delays.html

I followed it back to the source, and the quote seems to originate from Official Nintendo Mag (UK) editor Chandra Nair.

I'm trying to find the topic itself...

Here it is.

http://forum.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=25469&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=onsale&start=15

Apparently Revo-Europe has known for a while, though. I dunno what it is.

pi said...

Well maybe. It's because Wii have some secret more. And this time on Wii console not Wiimote

Factory Will not have problem make Wii. It's using dvd

Shipping Will not have problem too. It's so small

Eithan said...

@skiptip

Just fine. I enjoy being pasty.

ials said...

I guess its either BW2 or Resident Evil Wii or Prince of Persia or Bomberman or Far Cry or Pilot Wings or hmmm perhaps something from N-Space or Konami or Namco or Sega or Activision,Maybe SpiderMan 3?
Or what about Lucas Arts!Yeah people I think Lucas Arts would make a lot of sense to me!A lighsaber game anybody?

What I dont expect is:Epic game,Duke Nukem Forever,Half Life,Silent Hill(then again who knows?)Gta,Tecmo game,etc.


Something from Capcom would make a lot of sense though since they have maintained a low profile concerning Wii titles in development .


-IALS

True Believer said...

@Rhyhon

There have been several reports that some magazines probably will have information about Resident Evil Wii. (A Japanese mag had a front cover portraying Biohazard Wii as the game is apparently called in Japan). Resident Evil 4 established a new standard in 3d console gaming, so a new Resident Evil would be a huge scope.

@Falafel Kid

Just a question. How plausible is it that the same factory is manufacturing both the psp as the wii controller? It just does not seem to be realistic. But then again, I could be plain wrong.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Rhyhon.

Falafelkid, here's something you should note, it's about the "big secret":

http://www.infendo.com/2006/08/another-nintendo-secret-delays.html

I followed it back to the source, and the quote seems to originate from Official Nintendo Mag (UK) editor Chandra Nair.

I'm trying to find the topic itself...

Here it is.

http://forum.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=25469&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=onsale&start=15

Apparently Revo-Europe has known for a while, though. I dunno what it is.


It appears to me as if the ONM is going to include a free gift with their issue. So it doesn´t seem to be an exclusive story.

Hi True Believer.

How plausible is it that the same factory is manufacturing both the psp as the wii controller? It just does not seem to be realistic. But then again, I could be plain wrong.

Yeah, a number of people have raised this issue and I think you are onto something. Though the website appears a fully commercial site (and should thus be reliable), I myself would find that odd. I really have no experience with console production, though. So my guess is as good as yours here. Or, perhaps. worse.

Anonymous said...

I would imagine there are no production problems and this is false. Lets hear it from a credible quotable source first. Nintendo's been doing this for a while folks how could they not have built this into the window? I would imagine they have contingencies for this. Also, comparing GC launch hype to Wii is a little off as the GCs problem was very few games at launch. Wii doesn't seem to have this issue.

Rhyhon said...

Hey, Falafelkid, you forgot to note that Nintendo Power is also onto said scoop: http://www.infendo.com/2006/08/another-nintendo-secret-delays.html

According to these guys, I'm not sure where they read it, but it seems that it's more in the form of information than a gift. Anything about Resident Wiivil and I'd be happy.

I'm not getting my hopes up, though. I know better than that.

Anonymous said...

it was friggin' BWii. what a letdown.

-"superfan" tactics.

How So said...

An NoE rep commented on this ( http://gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=19412 ) and denied that there's any problem.

But let's say there are some production issues. At worst it's going to mean a slightly smaller shipment for launch, and some defective controllers that Nintendo will replace. They have a good track record for replacing defective hardware.

You always hear this kind of thing and it doesn't seem like there's much to go on.

Anonymous said...

Times change. It maybe more essential and different now than 5 years ago. They have learned from problems etc...so it really cant be compared :/

But: This gen most weakest console won and now everyone is "omg teh super cell processor power" and "wii is gonna lose for being weakest"..right, PS2 did the same eh?

-iceleaf

How So said...

Even though PS2 was the weakest between it, the XBox and Cube, its reputation for powerful hardware was an important element of its success.

The forgotten entry in this generation is the Dreamcast, which suffered for its perceived inferiority to the yet-unreleased PS2. When PS2 arrived, many were disillusioned to find its first-gen graphics comparable to Dreamcast. Even though GC has a graphical edge on PS2, speaking anecdotally, I don't believe most people understood that. The Cube was seen as childish and cartoonish, and couldn't play DVDs. The XBOX was also more powerful, but again, it's hard to say how many people were aware of this. And PS2 had a significant edge in brand reputation and especially software library.

Anonymous said...

honestly, this news seems to be old.
i mean, i'm no expert in this stuff, but since the controllers on all the events where wii was playable worked fine, i cant imagine nintendo making a mistake like this.

wouldnt be nintendos manner :D

msa