Thursday, April 25, 2013

2:44 PM
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The Wii U sold disappointingly for Nintendo and affected the company's bottom line for the last fiscal year, according to financial earnings released early Wednesday.

The next-generation console was released in the United States in November 2012 and Japan six weeks later. From launch until the end of 2012, it sold 3.06 million units, according to Nintendo's Q3 earnings. From Jan 1. to March 31, the end of the fiscal year, the Wii sold about 390,000 units worldwide.

These sales failed to hit Nintendo's original target of 5.5 million units by a wide stretch, and Nintendo's earnings report said the sales slump caused it to lose 36.4 billion yen.

Nintendo attributed the "drop in momentum" to the fact most of the Wii U's upcoming titles have been delayed. The Wii U hasn't had many software releases in 2013, excluding some third-party games. Big sellers like Pikmin 3 and the The Wonderful 101 have been delayed for several months; Pikmin 3 only received an official release date — Aug. 4 — last week. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata apologized to fans for the delay in a Nintendo Direct presentation in February.

Nintendo said its plans for the 2013 fiscal year include "proactively releasing key Nintendo titles from the second half of this year through next year in order to gain momentum to the platform."

For comparison, Nintendo's Wii, released in 2006, outsold the the Wii U last year, selling 3.98 million units worldwide.

Nintendo's portable 3DS saw stronger sales in the last fiscal year. The system sold strongest in Japan, selling almost 6 million units in the past 12 months. North America's sales were around 4.22 million units, and Nintendo sold 16 million software titles for the system during that same period.

With the 3DS seeing its first Pokemon franchise in October, which historically has been Nintendo handhelds' biggest franchise, along with a steady stream of new releases through the rest of the fiscal year, it can be supposed that Nintendo will continue to see that system grow both inside and outside of Japan. According to numbers from NPD, March saw a 50% gain in software sales for the 3DS from the same month the previous year.

Nintendo predicts a much stronger year for 2014, if the company releases software to entice fans. The company predicts it will sell 9 million Wii U systems and 18 million 3DS systems in the 2013 fiscal year. [Mashable]