Why Sonic 4: Episode II shouldn’t skip the Nintendo Wii

There have been a lot of talks since SEGA announced that Sonic 4: Episode 2 wouldn’t be headed for the Nintendo Wii. Many long time Sonic fans got angry, mostly because they only own Wiis. I know some of you might grunt at the thought of only owning a Nintendo Wii, but that’s their choice.

Not to mention that the first title appeared on the Wiiware service, got pretty good scores on the service. So why do you think SEGA pulled it and why do I think they should reconsider putting it back on the Wii?

Most likely reason for the pull

No one really knows why SEGA would go out of their way to not put Sonic 4: Episode 2 on Wiiware. I mean, we could all say it wouldn’t sell and that is most likely the truth. Let’s be honest with eachother here, when was the last time you bought a game on Wiiware?

The issue with Wiiware is that games cost the same (and most times more) as their HD counterparts, but you are paying for a SD version of the title with no achievements or trophies. Some people might not care about these extras, but if I’m paying the same, you best believe I care about those features. Not to mention that the Wiiware store is more of a pain to browse than anything else.

So can we blame the lack of Sonic 4: Episode 2 on Wiiware on sales of the first title? First we will have to look at the evidence. The fact is that the first month that Sonic 4: Episode 1 came out on Wiiware, it topped #1 was the best selling Wiiware title for that month. That might sound impressive on paper, but if all the other titles only sold like 1,000 units for the month, selling 1,001 units for a new game isn’t very impressive.

That is one of the issues with Wiiware, we really don’t know exactly how much Wiiware titles sell due to Nintendo’s strict policy. But there have been companies to break Nintendo’s non-disclosure agreement and the sales figures have been very disappointing. One title on the PSP sold double the amount of units of four Wiiware titles. The PSP title did have free PSN plus promotion. That is another issue…

Nintendo doesn’t make developing titles on Wiiware easy. Nintendo has strict policies and prices never change on Wiiware. Sonic 4: Episode 1 largely stayed at 1500 points, aka $15 dollars. While the PSN, XBLA, mobile (right now $3 dollars) all dropped in price. So it’s easly to see that long term sales on the Wiiware version would suffer because of this. Then the last bit is that Nintendo also is very strict when it comes to how big a game can be on Wiiware. A game can’t be larger than 40mb in size. This issue was the same one that made SEGA not add Sonic CD to Wiiware, fans got upset but we all moved on…

If you didn’t notice, I do want Sonic 4: Episode 2 on Wii. So why am I making an argument against it? Well, I’m not…

Sonic 4: Episode II should come to Wii, not Wiiware

It might be a little early to be talking about a collection, since everyone assumes there will be a Sonic 4: Episode 3. Which there very well might be. Lets be 100% honest with each other, the Wii and its fanbase doesn’t have 2 years left in it. So how can they release it on disc? Easy.

Sonic 4: The Collection can include the never released Sonic CD port, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 & 2 and if you want to blow some brains up you can advertise the Metal Sonic Episode as a fourth game. Lets be honest, why can’t this happen? SEGA had no issue releasing the Sonic Mega Collection and the Sonic Gems Collection on Gamecube. They did well and fans loved buying the collections.

Sonic games do great on Nintendo consoles, when they hit retail. Why? We went over that in the first part of this article, go back and read it. No skipping! The last retail Sonic game on the Nintendo Wii was Sonic Colors and that game managed to push 1.85 million units worldwide in about four months.  Didn’t take too long to break 2 million either…Yeah, a pretty good number. In the same time peroid Vanquish only did 820,000 copies on both PS3 and 360. Hey, we love Vanquish but it doesn’t take Tails to know that Vanquish did quite bad compared to the success of Sonic Colors.

Sonic Generations, about a year later with the same amount of months on sale (give or take a few days) did 1.6 million units. Yes, Sonic Generations on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 couldn’t outsale Sonic Colors on Wii. It got close and did pretty darn great for an HD-only Sonic game. In the end lower development costs of the Wii probably meant that Sonic Colors in the end created more of an income for SEGA.

Now we flash foward to 2012, SEGA has posted huge loses and fired a bunch of great employees. Seems that SEGA wants to focus more on digital sales, which I wouldn’t blame them. Development costs this generations have been rather insane, so I can see the mass appeal of digtal content. The issue is that we already know that retail Sonic content on Wii does really well. I don’t think releasing a collection on physical media is that much of a risk.
Some users will tell me that SEGA can just release Sonic 4: Episode II on the Wii U. There is an issue. First of all this is going to be a new console, so it won’t have the 80+ million users that the Wii already has. It could have a few thousand when it comes out. There is no way of knowing. Plus we don’t know how well the ‘new’ Wiiware will be designed or if the same problems that plague the current store will still exist.

I think in the state that SEGA is right now, they could use a nice high selling collection. Also, who wouldn’t want to own a sexy packaged version of Sonic 4: Episode I & II with Sonic CD?

[Note: I didn’t include the Mario & Sonic titles in sales figures because its a crossover with Mario. Aka anything with Mario sells]

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13 responses to “Why Sonic 4: Episode II shouldn’t skip the Nintendo Wii

  1. pso2love says:

    It’s coming out on Wii U… still just a rumor.

  2. teirusu says:

    no sonic 4 e2 its not for the wii or wii u

  3. Barry the Nomad says:

    A budget compilation disc would make the most sense for the Wii. Wiiware is impossible due to file size restrictions.

  4. Sega Uranus says:

    WiiWare was always a joke. I have heard from people in the industry that the average games sell in the hundreds and most publishers never made enough sales for Nintendo to even pay them. The 3DS eShop has fixed basically every issue with that, so I guess better late than never, but Nintendo really messed up there bad and lost a lot of hopeful talent to mobile devices and Steam.

    I have been saying since the start that SEGA should release a version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 episodes on disc, Sonic CD would be perfect, but I think they should throw in some of the Virtual Console Sonic games too, maybe some other great SEGA games for crosspromot- Eh, nevermind, SEGA would not do that.

    They could easily get away with selling a disc like that for 30-40 dollars, and I know it could be the big hit for the Wii during the holidays… It’s only competition is a collection of Kirby games.

  5. Richard says:

    maybe sonic 4 esp1 and 2 on 3ds ? , if theres such a problem with wiiware

  6. Th3AntiGuardian says:

    I can definitely see why they wouldn’t release it for WiiWare (I mean, I personally never browse thru games on there because it’s painful), but if they release Sonic CD, Sonic 4 Ep. 1, 2 and Metal, I would so buy it. I already have CD and 4 ep 1, and am planning on getting ep2 on my xbox, but a $30-$40 Wii game with all those together, and possibly something like the Museum feature in Gems Collection, and I wouldnt mind forking out the cash. Actually a great idea.
    And on another note, this is the first time I’ve commented on here, but I’ve been following the site closely for a while now and am very impressed with it. Keep up the great work!

  7. Emmett The Crab says:

    Good idea, George.

  8. Dal says:

    Stop crying, Wiitards. If the only modern console you own is a Wii, then get the Windows version. Sega shouldn’t be forced to release what is intended to be a downloadable game as a retail title just because Nintendo’s WiiWare is a huge joke and has moronic limitations such as the size limit of 40 MB for games.

    • Johnny2071 says:

      Don’t insult people by calling them “Wiitards”.

      Sonic 4: Episode 2 should be available for the Wii U as it would any other system. For a few reasons:

      1. The Wii does doesn’t have enough memory for such a High-Def game and the Wii U fixes that.

      2. Tails and Metal Sonic will finally be playable again, and the Nintendo ans shouldn’t have to miss out on that (or shell out to another console for one game)

      3. There’s a reason why people prefer console games over PC version. For starters, certain computers have different software requirements. Computers begin to lag and act slowly when left on long enough. And then there’s the situation with viruses where you have to restart your hard drive from scratch and you lose your save files. What fun that is.

    • Dal says:

      Console kiddie much? Either your computer has crappy hardware or it’s filled with malware if it gets slow after a while, considering how powerful they’re these days. You only get viruses if you do stupid stuff such as installing executables from unreliable sources without scanning them first. My PC has been virus-free for over half a decade. And even if you’re dumb enough to fill your computer with viruses, getting rid of them is as simple as formatting the OS partition (which, if you’re smart, is a different one from where you store your files, downloads and documents) and running a decent virus scanner on the other partitions. And EVEN then, if you’re too n00bish to do that and resort to formatting everything instead, you can still copy your saves and files to a pendrive or a different hard drive and restore them later. Contrast that with consoles where you cannot backup protected saves, and in the Wii case, your saves are tied to your console, so if your Wii dies or gets stolen, you have to start all over again even if you copied your saves.
      As for people preferring consoles over PCs… LMAO, what planet are you living in? These days PC gaming is kicking the crap out of console gaming, with consoles lagging on sales while Steam keeps getting attracting more and more gamers. Not to mention that Online, game modding, and hacking are a huge joke on consoles compared with PC. Have fun playing Sonic Generations at 30 FPS, I’ll be playing the PC version with a rock solid framerate and enjoying the dozens of extra levels ported by the modding scene, which includes all but one of the Unleashed zones.

  9. SpunkySix says:

    Relax, Dal. Nobody is FORCING Sega to do anything. It’s just that, after getting the first episode, which I really liked, it’s a huge bummer to wait so long and not get the second episode, even if the reasons for it make sense. Therefore, if Sega can release a retail collection and profit off of it, it would benifit not only fans like me who only own a Wii, but them as well.

    As a side note, why is it that nobody can state their opinion on the Internet without resorting to name calling? Is everyone on the net five?

    • Dal says:

      Yes, that would be Sega being forced – by Nintendo, with their opposition to allow any title of over 40 MB to be released as DLC. Sonic 4 doesn’t work as a retail title. Retail titles tend to have higher standards than digital ones, generally featuring more content. It would only cause reviewers to give the retail version of the game lower scores and tarnish the game and the Sonic brand even further.

      Like I said, just get the PC version.

  10. Sonic says:

    I think there might be a Wii hack on the Pirate Bay. Just guessing, but with today’s computer nerds out there, someone is eventually (if they haven’t already) going to hack the game to work on their Wii, so maybe “wii” 😉 might be getting a chance to play the game on the Wii.

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