In an attempt to capitalize off of the success of the Wii, Nintendo launched it’s follow up console, the Wii U, back in 2012, a full year ahead of both Microsoft and Sony. As we now know, that lead didn’t help as both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One vaulted past Nintendo’s offering very quickly, leaving the company struggling to maintain any kind of sales momentum.
Even after releasing a number of high profile games last year like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros, Nintendo found itself in an interesting position after analyzing first quarter financial reports with the Wii U for 2015. The news is both good and bad for the house of Mario.
It may have taken Nintendo longer than expected to get to this point, but its recently posted first quarter financials revealed that the Wii U has finally broken the 10 million units sold milestone. As a company, Nintendo made ¥8.3 billion in net profit ($67 million) representing its best first quarter since 2012 thanks to stronger than expected sales of the colorful shooter Splatoon, and continued success of its Amiibo line of figures.
The bad news out of all of this is that the Wii U only managed to sell 470,000 units from April-June 2015, well short of Nintendo’s previous projections for this time period. That number is also down from last year’s 510,000 sales number as well. Despite the disappointing console numbers, Nintendo expects to sell 3.4m consoles worldwide during its current financial year which ends in March 2016.
The news unfortunately doesn’t get any easier after the Wii U lineup this year took a big hit when Nintendo announced a major delay to the upcoming Legend of Zelda title, originally slated for the holiday timeframe. With that title now firmly planted in 2016, the major titles left to carry the load are games like Super Mario Maker, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Yoshi’s Woolly World, somewhat of a far cry when compared to the heavy hitters released last year.
With the PlayStation 4 sitting at a comfortable 22 million units sold and the Xbox One sitting firmly in second place, rumors have been circulating that Nintendo is turning it’s focus onto its next console currently codenamed NX. Recently leaked production details also point to a possible release in 2016 which aligns with Nintendo’s previously made statement to start talking about the new console next year. Could this be a curtain call for the Wii U?
What do you guys think of the news? Is Nintendo moving on from the Wii U or do you think the company is going to try and turn the struggling system around?