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Nintendo looks to first-party sales to help slumping sales

To say that the Wii U has been a disappointment for Nintendo would be an understatement. The Wii U has been a sales dud for quite some time, and developers have shied away from devoting resources to produce games for the platform.
 
In May, a spokesman for EA said that the company wasn't actively developing games for the Wii U. A few days later, an EA Sports developer tweeted:
 
The Wii U is crap. Less powerful than an Xbox 360. Poor online/store. Weird tablet.  Nintendo are walking dead at this point…Instead, they make this awful console.  It is an utterly intentional decision to focus our resources on markets which actually matter.
 
And Ubisoft recently stated that there wouldn't be a sequel to ZombiU because the game hasn't come close to being profitable.
 
Well, the bad news just keeps rolling in for Nintendo. The company today announced that it only sold 160,000 Wii U consoles worldwide for the second quarter (April – June 2013). That number is far below the 390,000 units it sold during the first quarter.

 
For comparison, Microsoft sold 140,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the United States alone during the month of June.
 
“For the ‘Wii U’ system, we will attempt to concentrate on proactively releasing key first-party titles from the second half of this year through next year to regain momentum for the platform,” said Nintendo in its earnings release.
 
“Nintendo strives to improve the sales by communicating the compelling nature of our hardware and software to as many people as possible through our new network service called “Miiverse,” which offers an environment where people can empathize with others and share their gaming experiences. We also strive to improve hardware profitability by reducing its costs.”
 
If Nintendo thinks that it's having a hard time right now with Wii U sales, the impending release of Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 isn’t going to make selling the console to gamers any easier.

Sources: Nintendo [1], [2]



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comparisons
By talikarni on 7/31/2013 1:42:16 PM , Rating: 1
1. MS sold 140,000 units in June alone... that is because so many of their consoles since day one have been breaking and dying with RRoD. I had a brand new one (with 120GB hard drive) and got RRoD within a week. MS only wanted to repair it under warranty, but would cost me all this extra money shipping it to them. I fought MS and the store I bought it from for 3 months demanding a refund, and finally got it. The day after that I bought a new 320GB PS3 for the same price. To this day that PS3 is still running like new and still only has 25% of space taken up on the much larger hard drive.
2. Wii U is ahead of its time from a functional standpoint, and behind the times on overall graphical power.
3. Nintendo also failed to take into consideration the largest reason for low sales: kids are the largest users of Wii related consoles. With a large tablet like controller that is expensive to repair or replace, a LOT of parents (including me) would not put a complicated and expensive controller in the hands of a 5 year old that may slam it down breaking it when they're told to turn it off and go to bed. With the original Wii, it is easy enough to buy a cheap $15-30 replacement controller if they break the old one (which was tough to do with the rubber casing). With the new tablet like controller, it would run them several weeks without it at $50-60 to repair, or $120 to replace it.




RE: comparisons
By Reflex on 7/31/2013 2:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ridiculous assertions on the 360. RRoD returns and in fact all warranty replacements are not counted in MS shipment numbers. The warranty for RRoD was extended for three years, and as someone who had the issue, they paid shipping, there was no argument and I had a replacement two weeks after sending it in. I call bullshit on your claims.

BTW, PS3's from that era have the same problem, but a superior cooling system made it show up later. There is a huge business now in reflowing the solder on first gen PS3's.

At any rate, MS sold 140,000 360's this past month because 140,000 people wanted 360's, some who owned them before and many who did not.


RE: comparisons
By Totally on 7/31/2013 6:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why do people keep bring that up? The PS3's % of a % YLOD failures pale in comparison to that of the 360's double digit failure rate. To the point it was typical to personally know at least 2 owners who had RRoDs happen to them.


RE: comparisons
By epobirs on 8/2/2013 12:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
That era is long past. The 360 Slim model is quite reliable and the problem had already been resolved well befor ethat model was released. The great majority of early units that were going to fail have long since done so.

The fact is, 140,000 units of the Xbox 360 were sold in June because it is a popular platform with a vast library and a nice array of non-gaming features.

The Wii U GamePad as require part of the base system was a mistake purely on the basis of cost. One of the reasons the Wii was so successful is the combination of low cost of entry and novelty appealed to a lot of consumers outside of the normal game console demographic. (But this lead to poor third party software sales as many of those buyers never added much software beyond what was bundled. This would have been disastrous for a subsidized platform.)

The price of the GamePad as a separate item in Japan suggests it makes up over $100 of the Wii U price tag. If they had left it as an optional accessory and sold the new machine as a Wii HD for between $200 and $250, I believe they would have had a much more compelling proposition to consumers who liked the Wii and wanted a better version. Or to those of us who never found the Wii quite worth buying but could be won over by an inexpensive backward compatible HD system for Nintendo franchises.


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