Nintendo recently released a financial report which summarizes its performance in the market during last quarter, April – June, and informed the public of two things: that the Wii U has under sold globally past anyone’s expectations and that the Nintendo 3DS is still selling strong.
Nintendo’s next-generation console has managed to sell 160,000 units worldwide which is very low, especially for a new console. To put the numbers into a global prospective the Wii U has sold 90,000 million units in the Americas, 60,000 million units in Japan and 10,000 million units in throughout the rest of the world. For a new next-generation console this is extremely low and shows just how much the Wii U is struggling despite its strong launch, within the first few months it sold 3 million units.
Wii U games are in a similar situation having only sold 1.03 million units last quater.
In comparison with other Nintendo hardware devices the Wii has sold 210,000 units and 3.67 million games during that same time frame.
The 3DS’s strong sales has kept Nintendo’s performance last quarter from going belly up, it sold 1.4 million units and 11.4 million games, which is very impressive for the handheld console when considering it has to compete with tablets and smartphones. The PlayStation Vita still continues to struggle which has caused some to wonder if the handheld market is slowly withering away due to tablets and smartphones.
3DS sales seem to suggest a differently, Nintendo has found a way to capitalize on its handheld console through engaging and profitable software to combat its tablet and smartphone competition.
Despite the dismal Wii U sales, Nintendo has turned a profit due to the world currency recovering against the Japanese Yen, its assets preforming well and 3DS hardware and software sales.
So where does this leave Nintendo and the Wii U?
The Wii U isn’t a total failure as of right now but it’s definitely on life support, it’s facing flatlining and being chalked up as a flop if something isn’t done soon.
Several things can be attributed to the Wii U’s lackluster performance: the lack of attractive software to convince consumers to buy the console, Nintendo’s decision to isolate itself from its competition and failure to communicate with consumers.
The Wii U lacks the software that Nintendo consoles rely on to sale its consoles, namely a 3D Mario game, SUPER SMASH BROS or MARIO KART. The games in the Wii U library don’t offer a compelling reason for most consumers to go out a purchase Nintendo’s next-generation hardware, which is a huge reason why the Wii U is in the state its in.
The Wii U has relied heavily on multi-platform titles, such as MASS EFFECT 3 and BATMAN ARKHAM CITY, to sell its consoles and continues to do so with titles like CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS and WATCH DOGS on the horizon for the next-generation console. It needs more exclusive Nintendo titles like NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. U and PIKMIN 3 to generate more console sales and convince consumers to buy into the Wii U.
Nintendo’s failed messaging has worked in tandem with its lack of software to sell the console.
Nintendo has failed to send a message to consumers why the Wii U is the next-generation console consumers should own and has relied on its mantra of offering a different way of gaming as a selling point for its console. This is a philosophy that has isolated Nintendo as a hardware manufacture from its Microsoft and Sony competition.
Consumers have bought into Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation devices and philosophies that have told consumers that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 offer the best next-generation gaming experiences that money can buy.
So can Nintendo compete with that this fall?
It’s hard to say when it’s having trouble selling while it’s the only next-generation console on the market.
The next six months are very important for the Wii U and Nintendo since it will have to face its next-generation competition in the marketplace and failure this fall could ensure the Wii U being a flop. With MARIO KART 8 and SUPER SMASH BROS. for Wii U slated for 2014 releases, who knows if Nintendo will have the firepower to combat Microsoft and Sony and make this holiday season a success.