Nintendo Wii U sales continue to struggle, management cull confirmed

Gaming, Tech Digest news

Mario-Wii-U.jpgNintendo have revealed their quarterly earnings for Q1 2013, confirming that the Wii U console is still performing below the company’s expectations.

Though announcing an ostensible return to profit, the Wii U console, with its unusual tablet-like controller, sold only 309,000 units in the first three months of the year. Overall sales for the Wii U now sit at 3.45 million worldwide since launch, with even the ageing original Wii console outselling the Wii U over the course of the financial year, racking up an additional 3.98 million sales over FY13 as it quickly approaches 100 million life time sales.

Nintendo are putting the slow sales down to a “delay in software development that resulted in intervals between new software title releases at the early stage of this year”.

Despite the excuses, it seems heads have rolled at the top level at Nintendo. Four directors are to “retire” following the announcement, with Senior managing directors Yoshihiro Mori and Shinji Hatano, and managing directors Masaharu Matsumoto and Eiichi Suzucki set to leave the company.

The company remains bullish about the console’s future fortunes over the rest of the year, with triple-A titles including a new Mario Kart game, Pikmin 3, a new 3D Mario title and a new Zelda (as well as a Wind Waker remake) all in the works. But with the launch of the PS4 and Xbox 720 sitting just over the horizon, Nintendo will have to work hard to establish a firm next-gen footing ahead of competitors launches.

On a brighter note, the Nintendo 3DS handheld continues to perform fairly well, particularly in Japan. Nintendo have committed to a focussed push on key Nintendo titles in the west, including Animal Crossing: New Leaf and new Pokemon titles in an attempt to replicate the eastern momentum currently being enjoyed.

Gerald Lynch
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