Nintendo slashes Wii U sales forecast from 9 million units to 2.8 million

Nintendo's Wii U console is officially a sales disaster. The company announced today in a special financial press release that it has cut its fiscal year worldwide sales forecast for the console to just 2.8 million, compared to its previous prediction of 9 million units sold.

That means Nintendo thinks the Wii U will sell less in its current fiscal year, which ends on March 31st, than Sony's PlayStation 4, which sold 4.2 million units from November 15th to the end of 2013. Microsoft said the Xbox One sold over 3 million units from its launch on November 22nd to the end of last year.

Even Nintendo's sales forecast for its popular 3DS portable console has been cut back, from 18 million units down to just 13.5 million for the year. As a result, the company expects to take a operating loss of 35 billion yen ($336 million) for the year.

Today's announcement did not offer any information on how Nintendo plans to stop the bleeding on Wii U sales. In September, the company announced it would cut the price of its deluxe Wii U bundle from $349 to $299 but that apparently was not enough.

Source: Nintendo via Engadget | Image via Nintendo

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Their biggest issue with it thus far is lack of good games, mainly exclusives. People want the new Smash Brothers, a brand new Zelda, a new Metroid (preferably where Samus isn't a whiny lil girl), etc. Mario is great, but I'm gonna get multi-platform games on the better consoles.

Edit: I'll get multi-platform games on the *more powerful* consoles.

Nintendo need to bring their expertise in creating games to a wider market now. Unlike Sega (which has been semi-successful) Nintendo has a huge library of great IPs which would sell bucket loads on other consoles\devices.

The writing is on the wall. There are many consumers (myself included) who cannot see a value proposition in purchasing a Wii U just to play a handful of exclusive games but who would support Nintendo (almost religiously) if they made their IP available on Xbox and Ps.

With this disastrous announcement every game studio that cares about selling games will be stopping all projects and the console will die of starvation.

They need to pull a there first from there anus and stop relying on "innovation" over power.

Don't know how they failed to see the Wii U selling bad it was not cutting edge enough with anything new (just a fancy remote) If it had the power of the ps4/xbone then it might have made it.

It's a shame as i love Nintendo and it's games they have a childish querkyness to them.

Maybe they will make a new console soon or release plans for one already in the making but i doubt it the Wii U was not even that big of a jump in terms of hardware i doubt the next console will be iver.

Vester said,

Don't know how they failed to see the Wii U selling bad it was not cutting edge enough with anything new (just a fancy remote) If it had the power of the ps4/xbone then it might have made it.

I think it would take a little more than having the power equal to the PS4/One. I say that because if you look at two generations ago, Nintendo had a console graphically comparable to the competition. If I'm not mistaken, the Gamecube was better then the PS 2 when it came to graphics. and we all know how that turned out. I think that if Nintendo worked on getting some great Titanfall/Halo type exclusives, the Wii U would sell a lot better.

I think Wii-U Wii-U sounds like an ambulance siren, which is funny considering it seems to be on life support now!

I enjoy the Wii U however, it's lacking games I want to buy. The one's I want, I already own.
There games in the near future I will get - Monolith X game project, new zelda.

I bought one after Christmas for $250, I think its a better value than paying almost double for a PS4/XBOX One

NerdyTech said,
I own a Wii U, one day will be rare and valuable

U mean it will be rare and useless, just like the Blackberry Playbook.

Rudy said,
Because that worked great for Sega

To be fair, Sega had a lot of issues. Nintendo seems to have stellar quality requirements when it comes to most of their games.

Wii U essentially didn't sell at all from January-Sept of 2013. Sales really picked up towards the end of the year, question is how well can they continue to maintain that momentum.

Well pretty much nothing on the wii u works as good as they made it out to work. Only good thing i can say about mine is that the controller works amazing and is incredibly responsive. TVii was a big reason i got it initially and it failed me in every way. The WiiU has got so much better over the last year from patches but its still to slow to get anywhere.

The console itself is great, but as of now, there aren't many compelling games that would make someone purchase it. I'm a Mario fan, so I got it just to keep up with the latest Mario games, and the fact it plays all previous Wii games made it an easy choice for me. The new Mario World 3D is a great game, but people aren't going to buy a console for one particular game.

I bought it for the Nintendo games as well, definitely worth it! Non-Nintendo games I'm looking forward to: Bayonetta 2, Pier Solar, Shovel Knight, Oddworld, Watch Dogs, Child of Light, X (worth it alone for this), Mighty No. 9, Project CARS.

Other third party games that have been worth it: Monster Hunter, Tekken, ZombiU, AC3/4, Batman Arkam Origins, Darksiders 2, Scribblenauts Marvel, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Duck Tales, Lego City Undercover, Sonic Racing, Rayman Legends, Splinter Cell Blacklist, and I wish they would bring Yakuza 1 & 2 HD over here.

Its a console that a lot of folks will pick up to play mario when its $199 sometime next year. If they were to lower it to $199, include 2 normal controllers and drop the tablet controller I'd probably get it now.

IMO the tablet controller is adding extra cost that nobody wants to pay and nobody really wants. If it were as originally promised, multiple tablet controllers per console, then that would be more attractive. Only 1? Nah.

Ive never even seen it advertised. The only reason I know about it is thanks to neowin. Other then that never heard or seen of it.

That's one thing I noticed too... When they came out with the Wii, I saw Wii advertisements quite a bit on the TV. ... Certainly doesn't seem to be the case with the Wii U...

How can anyone look at this garbage, compare it with what it has to compete with, and be surprised at the resulting market performance?

While I agree that not everyone wants a high-end console, the reality is, that market isn't large enough to sustain a company the size of Nintendo--otherwise they'd be doing just fine as they're the only players in that market (depending whether you consider the Ouya to be a competitor or not). Something's gotta give.

Nintendo needs to quit resting on its laurels and get with the program, or reinvent itself in a completely new market. Problem is, it takes a lot--A LOT--of time to get a console out from design to market. Time that they simply don't have. I'm afraid things are gonna get worse for Nintendo before they start getting better again.

Maybe they need to go back to their roots and settle on making playing cards... /s

_dandy_ said,
How can anyone look at this garbage, compare it with what it has to compete with, and be surprised at the resulting market performance?

And yet, look how well the original Wii did versus the much technically superior consoles.

Max Norris said,

And yet, look how well the original Wii did versus the much technically superior consoles.
That momentum didn't last though. Past successes don't help much with the failures of today.

Max Norris said,

And yet, look how well the original Wii did versus the much technically superior consoles.

The Wii had the motion gimmick experience that (at the time) nobody else had. Today all the consoles have some kind of motion input, and also once the novelty wore off Wiis started gathering dust on the shelves as other consoles, with their superior A/V and multimedia functionality, began to dominate. The Wii-U needed to be revolutionary and it wasn't. Nobody's really talking about it. Not to mention that it's too expensive compared to the original: another reason the Wii sold so well is because it was significantly cheaper than the XBOX 360 and (especially) the PlayStation 3.

Max Norris said,

And yet, look how well the original Wii did versus the much technically superior consoles.

The wii was targeting more casual gamers, who, in 2006 had really no other place to go except flash games on the web. Now casual gamers are satisfied by smartphones and not bothering with consoles, while hardcore gamers are still buying xbox/ps4. The casual console game market has dried up.

And replacing him with someone who'd probably have to completely retarded idea of "let's ruin our games by putting them onto smartphones" is a better plan?

Blackhearted said,
And replacing him with someone who'd probably have to completely retarded idea of "let's ruin our games by putting them onto smartphones" is a better plan?

Because making a better home console would not be the first logical decision, right?

dead.cell said,

Because making a better home console would not be the first logical decision, right?

Most peoples "idea" for what nintendo should do isn't that, but to go third party and trash their games via ios and android.

Blackhearted said,

Most peoples "idea" for what nintendo should do isn't that, but to go third party and trash their games via ios and android.

That would be a dumb move.

But Nintendo can really do better than they are doing right now. I applause their idea to change the way we play games but it's not really working with the Wii U.

Blackhearted said,
Most peoples "idea" for what nintendo should do isn't that, but to go third party and trash their games via ios and android.

I'm against it too, I just don't see what this has to do with anything LaP said though. Nintendo still needs to find a way to bring it home.

Didn't the controller work like a universal TV remote? I mean, eventually it will be so cheap I'll buy one just to use the controller as a TV Remote if thats the case...

Xionanx said,
Didn't the controller work like a universal TV remote? I mean, eventually it will be so cheap I'll buy one just to use the controller as a TV Remote if thats the case...

That's hardly the case. I would argue the Xbox One Kinect is a much, much better universal remote than the Wii U's MiiTV or whatever they call it. I have a Wii U but I haven't turned it on in months.

Microsoft just needs to improve the control options in the software for the IR functionality. But even now its almost replaced my Harmony remote.

Ahh, well NVM then. lol.

When nintendo released the Wii I wondered why they just didn't stop making consoles and switch to being a 3rd dev for PS/XBOX, and the Wii U I wondered the same thing again.

They really need to get out of the hardware market, at least for consoles, and probably for handhelds too now that smart phones are a thing.

Yes, and it's quite feature filled, with a searchable program guide, favorites, recommendations, searches Hulu/Amazon/Netflix as well, and some other neat features:

Get more info: IMDb, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes and sports data are all synchronized with what you're watching.
Share: Comment, post or tweet after an incredible touchdown or huge plot twist. The service identifies key moments and lets you interact with friends as these moments happen, making experiencing live TV more social and fun.
Customize: Pick your favorite shows, movies, actors, TV channels, genres and sports teams. Get personal recommendations directly from the service itself based on your preferences.

Screenshot of a football game info screen: http://nintendoenthusiast.com/...t/uploads/2013/12/tvii3.jpg
Pretty much what Xbox One does except not paywalled, and it doesn't shrink your TV show to give you info/content.
http://www.nintendo.com/consum...a/features_nintendotvii.jsp

Geezy said,
Screenshot of a football game info screen: http://nintendoenthusiast.com/...t/uploads/2013/12/tvii3.jpg
Pretty much what Xbox One does except not paywalled, and it doesn't shrink your TV show to give you info/content.
http://www.nintendo.com/consum...a/features_nintendotvii.jsp

Yeah... I tried that for a couple games (basketball and football) but after the novelty wears off (about 5 minutes) I just wanted to turn it off. The gamepad is too large, with a terrible screen, and it shows me nothing more than I can see by pulling up ESPN ScoreCenter or any number of applications on my smartphone or tablet. I am looking forward to some improvements to SmartGlass to provide some better experiences especially for live sports, and when they do it will feel much more modern and more flexible.

Don't get me wrong, Nintendo had the right idea - they just didn't execute and unfortunately don't have the same foundation for expansion as Microsoft and Sony have with the Xbox One and PS4.

Not sure whether I should address your "paywall" jab - but I'll just say I have been a happy subscriber of Xbox Live for almost 10 years and for the level of integration and service it provides (particularly now with the Xbox One) - it's worth every penny. Try to compare the online experiences offered by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Shouldn't come as a surprise why Xbox is often regarded as the strongest.

I guess it's only a jab if you think that's a bad thing. Like you said, you're happy.

I think Nintendo just didn't properly promote the Wii U, most people thought it was just a Wii with a controller that let you play the games off-screen, they didn't even know you could hook it up to the TV, and play new games with better graphics, and like the guy above, most people don't know about the TV features. I wouldn't say the Xbox version is stronger, just different, and you don't have to deal with the issues of HDMI passthrough like the PAL problem or any image/color degradation from resampling. Also, it might have better multiplayer features, but the social platform on Wii kicks Sony and MS's butt.

I agree. This is not just bad, it's a catastrophe for Nintendo. This is worse than even analysts were worried it would get. It's so bad that I think Nintendo will have to pull out of the console business altogether. Microsoft and Sony have a ridiculous head start with Xbox One and PS4 now that Nintendo has nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nintendo DS was apparently underperforming too. Sure, Nintendo has $10 billion in cash, but floodgates are open with losses.

This company is destined for the mobile business, mark my words. Stuff like Nintendo branded tablets or smartphones in cooperation with other manufacturers with exclusive games, and then having to cross their fingers. But of course, this market is extremely hard to get into this late in the game too. I wouldn't like to own any stock in this company; anything can happen at this point.

No! Nintendo should just go third party and deliver their excellent game franchises on all kinds of platforms if they were indeed going to change, not just mobile. Nintendo branded tablets or smartphones wouldn't do the company any good as nobody on the planet identifies Nintendo with those products and they already have the excellent 2/3DS.
But Nintendo still has enough money to do this dance for decades, so they could just make another console with more power that would compete better.
The WiiU is actually a great device and that is truly its only drawback (and a better uniform online account system).

Edited by Thief000, Jan 19 2014, 9:13am :

Nintendo just needs to make a normal competitive console with well thought out online and a selection of first party launch titles. Done. I'll take my business-saving cheque please.

Pity.. rather liked the Wii, was hoping this would do better. On the plus side, hoping I can get one really cheap in the near future just for giggles.