It’s fair to say that Nintendo must be a little disappointed in results from its Wii U console. Following the incredible success of the original Wii they must have been expecting similarly impressive results from the improved device which featured, among other things, a second screen that would work independently while also being a controller for the main device.
However, recent figures show that this has not proven to be the case and only 160,000 Wii U units were sold in the last quarter, a drop of 51% compared the previous quarter. Nintendo blames the lack of third party titles for the slump and this is a problem that has dogged the system since its launch.
Nintendo is essentially being forced to pick up the baton of game production itself. They have long produced titles like Mario and Donkey Kong but critics believe that the second screen system will only ever remain a niche system.
Europe appears to be the least interested in the system. Over the quarter, only 10,000 units were sold here while 90,000 were sold in Japan and 60,000 in the North American market.
Nintendo had expected to sell 5.5m units by the end of April but several months after that deadline they have only managed to shift 3.6m. News earlier this month that retail giant Asda was removing the system from its shelves because of a lack of interest will have further dented the hopes of the manufacturer. Will the Wii U ever recover?
Fortunately for Nintendo, sales of the 3DS have proven more respectable. 1.4m were sold in the same quarter, with the majority of these being sales of the new 3DS XL with a bigger screen. This brings the total sales of the 3DS to 32.4m units globally.
The 3DS sales helped ensure that Nintendo were still able to turn a profit. Their earnings were 81.5 billion yen in sales, which represents a drop from the 84.8bn yen during the previous quarter but did give a profit of 8.62bn yen during the three months.
Nintendo consoles have long relied on their innovative features to help sell. Handheld consoles like the 3DS continue to provide sales, revenue and profits but the new Wii U system has hardly set the console world alight.