With next-gen consoles crushing sales records and selling out around the world and Steam attracting more users than ever with its annual fall sale, it seems like almost all the big dogs in the video game industry are making out like bandits this holiday season. Unfortunately for one of the oldest console producers in the game, not every company is doing as well as Sony, Microsoft, and Valve…
Despite the rave reviews (from here at Game Rant and the rest of the internet) surrounding Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D World, analysts fear the Wii U still won’t be able to muster enough hype to reach the company’s 2013 sales target. Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, intended for the company to move 9 million Wii U unit sales this year, but the predicted sales from the majority of analysts is closer to 6.2 million units.
According to Bloomberg, Sony and Microsoft each sold more consoles in 24 hours than Nintendo did in the last nine months. Many analysts, including SMBC Nikko Securities’ Eiji Maeda blame Nintendo’s focus on a niche market and lack of games for the underwhelming console sales.
“Wii U has become a game console only for Nintendo fans. Wii U needs groundbreaking software to draw casual and hardcore gamers.”
“It’s going to be difficult for Nintendo to sell 9 million Wii U consoles this fiscal year. Iwata needs to plan what to do next year if the performance this year isn’t good.”
Nintendo fans hoping to see the year-old console live to see another Christmas have their fingers crossed that the company is working on something big to breath life back into the Wii U in 2014. Despite having a few highly-anticipated games in the pipeline, like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Smash Bros., it’s a realistic concern that the console is hitting its stride a little too late to attract new consumers, while continuing to earn negative profits on the system.
With a full year head start on the Xbox One and PS4, we would have loved to see more console-selling exclusive games arrive before the Sony and Microsoft consoles had a chance to overtake the market. Unfortunately, while Nintendo’s handheld system, the 3DS, continues to break records thanks to new installments in popular franchises like Pokemon and Zelda; the Wii U is following in the footsteps of the company’s less successful ventures.
Analysts predict that the Wii U will see a lifetime sales record of less than 25 million units. If that prediction comes true, the Wii U will be on the same tier as the GameCube and will have failed to achieve much more than a quarter of the sales the original Wii did.
Despite the grim predictions coming in from the majority of analysts, it’s not impossible for Nintendo to turn things around for the Wii U. If the console can ride out the success of the latest 3D Mario adventure and deliver games of similar quality in early 2014, then the affordable price tag (compared to the new consoles) may draw in some of the more savvy shoppers. Bring on the Smash Bros, Mario Kart and Star Fox games!
Do you think it’s worth owning a Wii U to play Nintendo exclusive titles or will the Sony and Microsoft consoles give you enough to stay busy with? Sound off in the comments.
Follow Denny on Twitter @The_DFC.