Nintendo’s consolidated results for the second quarter of 2013 are in and it doesn’t look good for the firm’s next-generation Wii U console. The video game giant reported that only 160,000 units were sold over the three-month period, down from 3.45 million in the four months preceding its launch.
Software sales dropped to just 1 million, down from over 13 million reported in Nintendo’s last consolidated results for the 12 months ending on March 2013.
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Nintendo has sold 3.61 million Wii U consoles since the new hardware was launched in November 2012. It’s a dismal state of affairs; the company hit the market early in an attempt to win over new gamers before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One landed on store shelves, but failed to make much of an impact.
A lack of software support – both from Nintendo’s own in-house development teams and third-party publishers – combined with a high initial price tag and a slow user interface did little to accelerate sales over the Christmas period.
Almost nine months on and little has changed. Nintendo has slashed the price of the Wii U, but the games drought continues. Considerable mismanagement over the functionality of the console and its innovative GamePad tablet controller has also done little to persuade consumers.
The Nintendo 3DS is faring a little better though, with 1.4 million handhelds sold over the three month period. That was bolstered by over 11 million in software sales from popular first-party titles such as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem Awakening and a number of Mario-related experiences such as Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon.
Nintendo certainly has its work cut out. The Wii U has a few notable titles in the pipeline – the recent release of Pikmin 3 and SNES classic EarthBound, as well as a HD remake of the Gamecube title The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker leading the pack – but time is running short. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are expected to launch in November, so Nintendo’s window of opportunity is closing rather rapidly.
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