Nintendo Doesn't Think The Wii U Is Selling Very Well

Nintendo Doesn't Think The Wii U's Selling That Great

Today, Nintendo released its sales forecasts. The company's financial year ends on March 31, and Nintendo has modified its sales predictions. In a downward direction, that is. But not all the news is bad.

Initially, Nintendo forecasted 18 million 3DS handhelds sold worldwide this financial year. The revised number is now 13.5 million. That's certainly respectable! In comparison, Nintendo sold 13.95 million 3DS handhelds worldwide last year.

However, Nintendo tellsKotaku that the 3DS was the biggest-selling console in the US this past December as well as for 2013 overall in the US. That's good news!

Nintendo also originally predicted it would sell nine million Wii U units worldwide during this financial year. That number has been revised down to 2.8 million. To put things into context, Nintendo forecasts 1.20 million Wii consoles sold worldwide during this financial year. Originally, it had forecasted 2 million Wii consoles sold.

There are only a few months left in the financial year, so these revisions seem to show that Nintendo doesn't think the Wii U is selling that great. There's still time for a turn around, right? Maybe not this financial year, but starting in April. The 3DS came back strong, and maybe the Wii U can too.

Update: Here is a statement from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata:

As year-end sales constitute an extremely high proportion of the annual sales volume in the video game industry and the annual financial performance of a video game company rests heavily on its performance in the year-end sales season, we put in place various promotional activities in order to promote sales and expand our audience in the year-end sales season of the previous calendar year. However, it is now expected that our sales will fail to meet our previous forecast by a large margin.

Giving a detailed explanation on our sales performance in and leading up to the year-end sales season by platform, Nintendo 3DS continued to show strong sales in the Japanese market. The unit sales for Nintendo 3DS in the previous calendar year amounted to approximately 4.9 million units, falling short of our aim of five million units by a small margin. However, as I explained before, given that every gaming device from the year 2000 onwards apart from Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS did not reach sales of four million units even in their peak years, we can say that the sales figure for Nintendo 3DS in the last calendar year was indeed very high. However, outside Japan, while its market share increased as we continued to release compelling titles throughout the year, Nintendo 3DS did not reach our sales targets in the overseas markets, and we were ultimately unable to achieve our goal of providing a massive sales boost to Nintendo 3DS in the year-end sales season. Using the U.S. market as an example, Nintendo 3DS became the top-selling platform in the last calendar year, according to NPD, an independent market research company, with its cumulative sales exceeding 11.5 million units; however, the estimated annual sales of the Nintendo 3DS hardware remain significantly lower than our initial forecast at the beginning of the fiscal year. In Europe, while the individual markets showed different results, France was the only market in which we experienced relatively strong sales, and we failed to attain our initial sales levels by a large margin in other countries.

Wii U sales, on the other hand, showed some progress in the year-end sales season as we released various compelling titles from the summer onwards, launched hardware bundles at affordable price points and also performed a markdown of the hardware in the U.S. and European markets; however, they fell short of our targeted recovery by a large margin. In particular, sales in the U.S. and European markets in which we entered the year-end sales season with a hardware markdown were significantly lower than our original forecasts, with both hardware and software sales experiencing a huge gap from their targets. In addition, we did not assume at the beginning of the fiscal year that we would perform a markdown for the Wii U hardware in the U.S. and European markets. This was also one of the reasons for lower sales and profit estimates.

We therefore modified our unit sales estimates in accordance with our performance in the year-end sales season and after the turn of the year, and the drop in software sales had the largest negative effect on our profit forecasts.

Notice of Full-Year Financial Forecast and Dividend Forecast Modifications [Nintendo]


    holy shit, that's almost a 70% slash in predicted sales! Unfortunately, I don't think the idea of the WiiU being pretty much dead isn't exactly new at this point in the game. And to be honest, I think Ninty knew it some time ago.

    The 3ds, tho. That shit printed, and will print endless amounts of money for Ninty for a damn long time.

      The WiiU is destroying the profitability of the 3DS though. It's a shame.

        They could always just do what the fans want and RELEASE A DAMN 3D POKEMON ON A HOME CONSOLE..... I would have been happy with one on N64 and it would look infinitely better on wiiu. I would buy a wiiu if they did that. No questions asked....I'm not really willing to buy a 3DS for Pokemon anymore (even though I have a bunch of previous game boy iterations)

    Releasing 1 game a year doesn't help.

      It also doesnt help that they dont know how to make new games...

    It's almost as if they released an underpowered console that looks like their old console and has almost the same name as their old console and has a confusing selection of controllers whose usability varies depending on the game you are playing. Not to mention the limited library of games, overpriced gimped ports, overpriced virtual console games and the lacklustre marketing.

    I enjoy my WiiU but it's not hard to see that Nintendo have screwed up a bit here.

    They need to drop the price and release a pokemon game or something.

    Last edited 18/01/14 7:08 am

    These numbers give me hope, hope that one day soon Nintendo will be forced to realise they suck at making consoles and give up.

    To the pleasure of gamers everywhere we will now be able to play the singular 1st party title that gets released every year on a real console. One with computational power not from 8 years ago, that has more function than the original xbox live (not less) and most of all a complete lack of stupid gimmicks to ruin said games. No more waggle touch or pointing.

    But seriously, I've wanted this for a long time. I don't have room for a Wii U, I don't want a Wii U But I want to play smash brothers with a real online system, I want a Zelda That doesn't require me to flail my arms for a less prices control scheme and just maybe it will force Nintendo to make something new for once instead of milking 20y/o franchises to death ala Mario.

      That's a particuarly ignorant comment IMHO. Who will innovate if Nintendo doesn't? Many of the features we enjoy on other consoles were first implemented or tried by Nintendo. Rumble, Analgue control stick, Internet connectivity (Way back in the famicom and super famicom era, through to the 64DD, the broadband adaptor on the GCN, etc) just to name a few. Were any of them fully fleshed out ideas? Probably not. They were taken and improved upon by competitors but I think that if Nintendo had not tried to break ground, we may still be playing with launch PS1-era controllers.

      I have a 360 and a WiiU (Used to have a PS3) and maybe Nintendo does pump out the same IP every 5 years, but every game is unique, which is more than can be said for the annual AAA releases we see on other consoles.

      I'm getting tired of it really. It's at the point where I only loo forward to AAA Nintendo games, because Nintendo seems to remember that video games should be about fun.

        Nintendo haven't innovated much at all. NES was a head of the game sure but SNES was just like the megadrive. N64 still used cartridges, Gamecube had no DVD support, Wii was kinda clever but that technology wasn't exactly new and innovative (as awful as the powerglove was it used the same basic technology!) and the Wii U is just a $40 tablet with controller buttons (resistive screen, very 2001). Same goes for the 3DS, the 3D is very cool but the screen technology is very old.

        The Playstation was the one that secured the use of analogue sticks in controllers. The Dreamcast was the first to use online gaming, Xbox make it work perfectly. The PS3 brought bluray in and the 360 used the Kinect camera. All more innovative than Nintendo.

          Uhh, you appear to have missed the point of my post. Did you see the bit where I said competitors took those innovations and improved upon them? I wholeheatedly agree about Xbox live. It was a fantastic innovation by microsoft, Kudos to them. Kinect, though it is hit and miss, is also a true innovation I reckon.

          I can see based on some of the other responses to my posts that I will probably continue to be flamed so I won't waste too much time on it.

          To me you are picking admittedly poor aspects of old Nintendo consoles and not giving credit to what they tried to do with each one, which granted, sometimes failed. The N64 introduced the analogue stick to the console living room and for years, Nintendo was the only company that could make a 3D platforming game work in 3D space.

          I never said the tech was new, but implementing it into a console or handheld design was nonetheless an innovation.

          "All more innovative than Nintendo"
          lol... kids

        @ Boing
        Nintendo haven't innovated in the last 15 years so i don't know what your talking about.

        Thier Handheld line: Gameboy to gameboy colour to a gameboy advance to a gameboy advance with an extra useless screen I.e a DS to a DS Xl to a DS with a 3d gimmick that 95% of people ignore completely i.e the 3DS to a 3DS XL.

        We are literally still playing the exact same handheld I first bought 15+ years ago, not a shred of innovation there.

        Their consoles are the same, once the N64 was put out to pasture we have the gamecube which brought? oh proprietary discs. The Wii innovated? oh yeah WAGGLE because that was a turn of the century innovation, yeah no I don't think so. Now we have the Wii U which is a wii with a tablet thats singular use is playing a game on it (not even all games ...). The actual tablet is useless for real games because nothing can be done on it that can't be done on screen. There is no real world difference between pressing Start for a map or pausing the game manually(when needed) then looking down at the tablet and touch controls have no business on a console either.

        So I would ask you what the fuck you are talking about. Nintendo are the Hermits living in their own little world with no clue that everything is passing them by. The real innovators are Microsoft and Sony. You think online gaming for consoles and the entire online network would be how it is if Microsoft didn't launch the original xbox live? Hell the ps3 wasn't even up to the original xbox's online standards. But these two giants bring something new and innovative to the table and the other is forced to bring stuff up to par, yet Nintendo ignores it and wonders why people aren't happy.

        Sony gave us blurays, and forced it into a console to bring the tech into the mainstream and without that I doubt HD DVD wouldn't have gotten very far by itself. Sony is streaming older games. Microsoft has given us Kinect 2.0 and the Azure servers. So again what exactly are Nintendo bringing to the table here? Because its not online functionality, its not 3rd party games, its not some new innovation and its not even a console as powerful as the ps3/360 hell they haven't even made/funded or sponsored a single new IP in what seems like decades.

        Last edited 18/01/14 7:39 pm

          Quite an angry response there. I didn't think my comment would incite so much anger. Just because not too many developers took advantage or took a risk on some of Nintendo's innovations, it doesn't mean that they are not innovations.

          I'm not going to bother though, because you will most likely come back with more ill-thought, irrational and rude comments in an argument (it should be a conversation) that I will obviously never win. I have already acknowledged Xbox live as a great innovation. Kinect is an innovative idea but isn't really going to work I don't think, mainly because it is the answer to a question nobody asked. Nobody wants to yell at their TV, they just want to pick up a controller and play.

        video games should be about fun

        Nope. Video games should be about rewarding and engaging experiences. "Fun" is one way of achieving that, but it is far from being the only way. The fact that Nintendo "remembers" this fallacy is the reason their gaming experience is so limited.

          But if an experience is rewarding and engaging is it not fun?

      Suck at making consoles? Because of one major flop (two if reaching back to Virtual Boy)? How do you figure that?

        Actually you can argue that most of their consoles have been poor. NES was great, SNES was great. N64 still used cartridges and that abandoned a lot of support for some games (final fantasy for one!) also the controller sucked. Lucky it had good games...

        Gamecube was better BUT in relation to the other consoles was underpowered with no DVD support which is insane considering the PS2 was an amazing console and sold for LESS than a new stand alone DVD player. Only the hardcore Nintendo fans followed.

        Wii, well it was fun right? But again underpowered and gimicky with fuck all REAL game support, no real online support and was a bit of a gimmick. Fun yes but we all played our Wii's for a few months and then into the cupboard it went.

        Finally Wii U, under powered, super gimmicky, poor online support, heavy silly bulky controller and has in turn abandoned all 3rd party support.

        To me only the NES and SNES have been GREAT consoles. N64 was okay, Gamecube was a brain fart, Wii was LUCKY and the Wii U is terrible.


          They were lucky with the the wii that is it, the console itself was dog shit awful. didn't even come with a basic component cable. The games were hideous on HDTV's, most games had forced wiimote control schemes and I'd wager the vast majority of people who bought one played it for a month and as wade said left it collecting dust.

          So before that we have a game cube which basically tanked commercially and the Wii U which has tanked commercially. They suck at making games consoles and should stick to making games.

          The gamecube being underpowered is a common misconception. The xbox was way out in front, the GCN somewhere in the middle and the PS2 bringing up the rear, in terms of power anyway.

      Spot on. Id also like to add that I think Iwata and Miyamoto need to retire. They have taken Nintendo down a shitty path that makes no sense in 2013/14. Someone else needs to come in, clean shit up and look at other companies for some some inspiration. Bethesda, Naughty Dog, Kojima, even Ubisoft!

      Last edited 18/01/14 9:38 am

    Nintendo need to change their Marketing tactics, and concentrate on getting the public to understand what tge Wii U is.

    But in all honesty, it has shown that when the Wii U gets a couple of good games, sales jump.

    If Nintendo can get a brand new Zelda, Pokemon game in the market, then release a few brand new IP's in the year and stop with the HD remmakes, then I believe sales will get heaps better. If Nintendo were smart, they would start focusing Developers on the Wii U and Asap.

    But Nintendo screwed up when they released a console with no games, this is gonna happen. Especially when most of Nintendo games are ports.

    But Nintendo have put too much focus on handheld devices.
    The DS has had 6-10 different handheld releases in past few years. Even the 3DS wasnt enough, so they released a bigger version, and a Lighter DS.
    No wonder Nintendos focus hass been caught off guard with the Wii U release, and they thought it would be successful.

    But I can say this for every country in the world, Nintendo barely marketed the Wii U. I didnt see any advertisement in australia, friends from PS3 say their was little in america and very little in Europe. But I can see 3DS marketing everywhere here, America and Europe.

    That is why Wii U failed. It wasnt being advertised and explained to anyone what is different about it. Even a year into release, Nintendo havent made much effort in the marketing.

      Bingo. Such a pity. They really ballsed it up right from the beginning with the name. That's marketing 101 isn't it? Your message has to be clear, undiluted and easy to understand? WiiU's brand was never any of those things unfortunately.

    Whatever you do dont tell the kids over at IGN, their heads will explode

    Recent developer revelations that they couldn't talk in terms of Live or PSN with the Ninty decision makers - because the Nintendon't crew hadn't played on them - pretty much destroyed any faith I had. Truly they have lost the plot.
    Reality is in another castle.

    Overlooked, here, is that they slashed their profit forecast from a gain of 50B Yen to a loss of 25B Yen.

    The WiiU is doing so badly, it's cost them a theoretical 75B Yen this year in losses - even eclipsing any profit from 3DS sales.

    Whats probably confusing Nintendo is that people hold different standards for the handheld vs the home console. People keep saying how great the 3DS is because of the GOOD GAMES but they don't strike it down for lack of real online experience, lack luster hardware, lack of a real account system, no real connectivity to the WiiU and no cross buy. On the WiiU front that is all i hear people complaining about lacking these features that were never there on the 3DS.

    Its just strange to me that people hold the two systems to much different standards. For the 3DS is enough to just have GOOD GAMES for the WiiU its not enough just to have GOOD GAMES you need to give us more then then that.

    Last edited 18/01/14 9:37 am

      Portable handheld vs living room home console.

      Well, yeah. The same way you don't judge a PC against a tablet - different horses for different courses.

    Metal Gear Solid 5...
    Who the hell wants to play Wii U??

    Last edited 18/01/14 9:42 am

    Here's the problem: Iwata lacks confidence. As lovable as he is, he needs to go.

    He's afraid of competing with Microsoft and Sony on the console front and as a result won't market the console to the masses. Hell, he even pulled out of E3 because he was scared of the Xbox One and PS4 being shown off.

    There is absolutely no excuse for the failure of the Wii U. Nintendo have now had 2 and a half years to get it all together. Instead they spent 2 of those years sitting on their bums and just as they start to get up, finally get things rolling and release games, people no longer care. Nintendo had their chance to bring people in, they blew it and now they're paying the price.

    Has anyone heard of a successful CEO who lacked confidence and didn't want to compete? Me neither.

    It needs a real Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros, Mario Kart- now.

    They need to develop games people have been asking for forever, home console Pokemon, F-zero or Starfox- possibly developed by retro studios.

    New Super Mario Bros, New Super Luigi U and Super Mario 3D World were nice but I think what we are waiting for is a Super Mario 64 / Super Mario Galaxy type game.

    Also people are waiting to throw money at you on the eshop for Nintendo 64 and Gamecube games that are still for some reason not available. Same goes for Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS games that could be sold on the 3DS.

    It's just, your courses suck. They are videogamedevices.. Good games is the goal.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now