It has been an exciting battle between consoles thanks to the recent release of the PS4 & Xbox One, but things aren't looking so great for Nintendo's Wii U. With a U.S. launch way back on November 18th, 2012, the console has yet to make any real mark in the gaming scene.
After a recent sales report, Nintendo spoke about the unfortunate fate of the Wii U and confirmed it is a major flop. The console had a very disappointing holiday season, falling very short of its year-end forecast. To put it in a better perspective, Nintendo's initial sales forecast for this business year had projected a profit of 100 billion yen ($958.75 million) and they are now expecting an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335.76 million) This is the third consecutive year that Nintendo has reported an annual loss which is never good news for any company.
“We failed to reach our target for hardware sales during the year-end, when revenues are the highest,”
– Satoru Iwata's statement (Nintendo's President) at a recent shareholder briefing
Nintendo had to have seen this coming which is likely why they cut $50 off the console's price last September thus bringing the MSRP down to $299 per unit. The price cut was proven to be ineffective for improving sales and caused the legendary company to drop their future Wii U sales forecast by almost 70%. The handheld 3DS forecast is also down although it is by a significantly smaller margin.
What factors can we account to the Wii U's flop? It is tough to narrow down exactly, but a few elements surely came into play. First off, the console itself wasn't all that impressive in terms of specifications. While the controller was innovative and unique, the potential of the console just isn't on par with the next-gen consoles that Sony and Microsoft have brought forth.
The timing of the release was far from ideal as gamers were aware the new Xbox and Playstation consoles were on the horizon so many chose to save their money which shut down the timing advantage that Nintendo anticipated. What may have put the nails in the coffin was the official announcements from development companies like EA Sports saying that their future Wii U game development was halted and that they would no longer support the console.
Nintendo has been a legend in the gaming industry for decades, but will they last another 5 years? Only time will tell…stay tuned!
As a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and our Managing Editor, Colt loves testing out the newest tech products/services. His goal is to help better educate other consumers to ensure the most satisfying purchases decisions on consumer electronics and services. When he is not working on creating new content, Colt enjoys spending time with his two Australian Shepherds, Mia and Zoey.