Wii U sales fail to meet Nintendo's lofty expectations
The Wii U shipped just 3.45 million units worldwide as of March 31, Nintendo's end-of-year financial results revealed today. The figure is well short of the company's initial forecasts for 5.5 million, and even failed to meet the adjusted 4 million projected in January. Nintendo acknowledged the Wii U was "not able to maintain the initial sales momentum after the beginning of 2013 due to a delay in the development of subsequent software titles."
Despite New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land releasing alongside the Wii U -- selling 2.15 million units and 2.6 million units respectively -- there was a lengthy period from mid-December to March in which the console saw few titles released. The result was worldwide Wii U software sales totaling just 13.42 million units. Again, this is short of Nintendo's initial expectations of 24 million games.
Nintendo admitted the Wii U's struggles have had a "negative impact" on the company's profits, reporting an operating loss of 36.4 billion yen. Hoping to rectify the problem for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, Nintendo is striving to "proactively releasing key Nintendo titles from the second half of this year through next year in order to regain momentum for the platform."
Looking ahead, there are several promising titles headed to the Wii U including a brand new Zelda game, a new Super Smash Bros., Pikmin 3, and Rayman Legends. With that in mind, the company has some bold expectations for Financial Year 2014 (April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014). Over the next year, Nintendo hopes to sell nine million Wii U consoles and a staggering 38 million games.