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Wii U  (Source: Engadget)
The company also revised 3DS sales expectations from 18 million to just 13.5 million units sold

While gamers have spent months comparing the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles before and after their November releases, Nintendo's Wii U remains forgotten, as if it doesn't even qualify to be apart of the console race. 

A new statement from Nintendo has made this point even clearer. The game company announced that its anticipated units sold from April 2013 to March 2014 will be changed from a previous 9 million to just 2.8 million. 

This represents a staggering 69 percent drop. Wii U software doesn't look any better, with sales expectations falling from a previously-reported 38 million to just 19 million. 

But at least Nintendo still has the 3DS handheld system to fall back on, right? Wrong. The company also had to revise those sales expectations, dropping from 18 million to just 13.5 million units sold. 

As for the original Wiis, Nintendo is cutting their sales expectations from a previous 2 million to 1.2 million. 

With so many sales revisions, Nintendo is also decreasing its financial forecast, which includes a loss of 25 billion yen ($240 million USD) -- down from a previously-reported 55 billion yen profit. 

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said in an interview that Nintendo will have to make some major changes, possibly including an entirely new business structure. The company is looking to focus on mobile devices like smartphones, reportedly. 

Iwata attempted to explain his company's financial and sales shortcomings in a statement you can read here, but this is just a taste:

Giving a detailed explanation on our sales performance in and leading up to the year-end sales season by platform, Nintendo 3DS continued to show strong sales in the Japanese market. The unit sales for Nintendo 3DS in the previous calendar year amounted to approximately 4.9 million units, falling short of our aim of five million units by a small margin. However, as I explained before, given that every gaming device from the year 2000 onwards apart from Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS did not reach sales of four million units even in their peak years, we can say that the sales figure for Nintendo 3DS in the last calendar year was indeed very high. However, outside Japan, while its market share increased as we continued to release compelling titles throughout the year, Nintendo 3DS did not reach our sales targets in the overseas markets, and we were ultimately unable to achieve our goal of providing a massive sales boost to Nintendo 3DS in the year-end sales season. Using the U.S. market as an example, Nintendo 3DS became the top-selling platform in the last calendar year, according to NPD, an independent market research company, with its cumulative sales exceeding 11.5 million units; however, the estimated annual sales of the Nintendo 3DS hardware remain significantly lower than our initial forecast at the beginning of the fiscal year. In Europe, while the individual markets showed different results, France was the only market in which we experienced relatively strong sales, and we failed to attain our initial sales levels by a large margin in other countries.

Wii U sales, on the other hand, showed some progress in the year-end sales season as we released various compelling titles from the summer onwards, launched hardware bundles at affordable price points and also performed a markdown of the hardware in the U.S. and European markets; however, they fell short of our targeted recovery by a large margin. In particular, sales in the U.S. and European markets in which we entered the year-end sales season with a hardware markdown were significantly lower than our original forecasts, with both hardware and software sales experiencing a huge gap from their targets. In addition, we did not assume at the beginning of the fiscal year that we would perform a markdown for the Wii U hardware in the U.S. and European markets. This was also one of the reasons for lower sales and profit estimates.

Source: Nintendo

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RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By Motoman on 1/17/2014 12:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
Nintendo screwed up by making the hardware underpowered... yet again.

No they didn't. They blew the other consoles out of the water in the previous generation with "underpowered" hardware. As in the previous gen, if you're actually someone who considers the hardware to be "underpowered," you're not the person they're targeting with their product. They're not going after the XBox/PS crowd. They're going after the casual gaming crowd - which they showed conclusively to be a vastly bigger market than the "hardcore gamer" market in the previous gen.

The problem is this, as far as I can tell: the original Wii was bought by essentially everybody who could possibly be interested in casual gaming. For all intents and purposes, they reached market saturation.

The Wii U just simply isn't a significant upgrade in capability - or really, enjoyability - to get those people to upgrade. Sure, it's actually HD now. And the little handheld tablet thingy So the hardware was updated and the graphics are a bit better. The problem is that those things don't make the gameplay any more enjoyable for casual gamers. It just doesn't.

The Wii was a market-changing phenomenon. The Wii U is simply not compelling to much of anybody, granted that the Wii already happened.

It wouldn't matter if the hardware was twice as powerful as an XBone. Their market still wouldn't be intersted.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By FITCamaro on 1/17/2014 12:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
The Wii sold tons of hardware. It's problem was that it didn't sell tons of games.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By MrBlastman on 1/17/2014 12:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the games that came out on the Wii were licensed poo, as far as I see. The lack of hardware power only exacerbated the problem.

I modified my Wii so I can run 3rd-party software on it such as media centers and can play DVDs on it, so at least I get use out of it. Many people bought it and forgot about it.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By Motoman on 1/17/2014 1:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the games that came out on the Wii were licensed poo, as far as I see.


You may as well be a semi-truck driver complaining that a Ford Focus just doesn't have enough cargo room.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By MrBlastman on 1/17/2014 1:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
The anger! I feel it! Let it flow through you, young Jedi!

Just because I don't like how you see things doesn't mean you get to yell at everyone you choose.

Wouldn't it be logical to consider that if a console sold really well and... had a LOT of hit games, the next one would sell as well or better? I don't even need to use logic; all I need to do is look to history.

First, look at the original Nintendo and how it sold... and the game franchises on that system. The rest is history. The Super Nintendo carried off of its success.

Then, look at the Atari 2600. It sold great, had many good titles until... ET happened. Then it was downhill from there due to the video game crash of the early 80s. The 5200 couldn't sell and the 7800--well, you were lucky if you ever saw one of those.

The Playstation 1 is another example. It sold like crazy and had a gigantic software library to back it up. The Playstation 2 naturally sold like mad after that.

A system is only as good as its software in the end. If you have no software, you have no point. If the Wii had better hardware initially, it might have had a deeper selection of titles--maybe more quality titles, which would have led to the next system doing well, too.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By karimtemple on 1/17/2014 1:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
Both the Wii's installed base and software attach rate are through the roof; hallmarks of a first-rate sales victory. The Wii did excellent financials, quantitatively and qualitatively. You are entirely mistaken. The math is simple. If you want to argue whether or not you like the Wii (I do not), that's a different matter.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By superstition on 1/17/2014 3:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
First, look at the original Nintendo and how it sold... and the game franchises on that system. The rest is history.

The original Nintendo competed against a technically inferior Atari lineup but a technically superior Sega lineup. The Nintendo's introduction to the US market had some very special advantages.

The first is that the crash led swept away American hardware and game development -- leaving only old systems to be resurrected and eliminating what could have been strong competition (ColecoVision II).

Nintendo managed to convince stores to stock the NES only because of an innovative policy of promising to buy back unsold units.

Aside from a small number of titles like Phantasy Star, the SMS didn't offer as much in terms of quality software.

The Sega wasn't vastly superior to the NES in terms of hardware, unlike the NES versus the Atari systems.

Nintendo had good marketing and above all, it had the advantage of mature high-quality games like Zelda and Metroid to capitalize on -- games that were more advanced than the earliest NES titles like Pinball which were very primitive -- games that were more complex than Atari's "arcade action" focus. It had both high-depth titles and simple titles for very casual gamers. Even the extremely primitive Pinball sold fairly well. Nintendo did an excellent job of balancing simplistic arcade action and adventure depth with its bundling of Super Mario and then Super Mario with Duck Hunt. Super Mario was easy enough for beginners in early levels and challenging enough to give many skilled gamers issues.

Even the NES control pad represented a big improvement in terms of precision and complexity, as compared with Atari's joysticks. Finally, the system looked sleek and futuristic. All of these factors combined to make the system a success. A big part, too, was Nintendo's control over the quality of the games that were released. A major factor in the crash of 1983 was a glut of software that was poor quality. A few good games were blocked from the US market, but the Nintendo policy was a success overall.

Atari's recycling of the 1979 Atari 400/800 hardware with the XEGS was another major failure. The games were too simplistic. The joystick was too limited. The keyboard was extremely mushy and unimportant. The light gun was inaccurate. The bundled games were a bad joke when compared with Super Mario (never was a fan of Duck Hunt but I recognize the mass appeal).

Nintendo added "long games" to the market (depth, complexity, and character growth), something that was only very poorly attempted with titles such as SwordQuest Earthworld by American console developers. The improved hardware helped a lot, but also the Japanese RPG mentality which is probably liked to manga, anime, and the like.
Then, look at the Atari 2600. It sold great, had many good titles until... ET happened. Then it was downhill from there due to the video game crash of the early 80s.

ET wasn't that bad. It was quite an ambitious title for such a primitive system. It tried to add the "long game" to the console, and do it better than the Swordquest series had. The trouble is that the system just wasn't advanced enough to handle the long game. ET's biggest problem is that it's either too easy or ridiculously difficult -- depending on the setting. There isn't much middle ground.

ET wasn't the cause of the crash, either. That was the flooding of the market with cheap handheld systems and similar tech -- according to professional historians. The glut of many very poor-quality titles for the Atari, the horrible 5200 system (with its garbage controllers), and competition from home computers also contributed. There were a lot of systems and games being sold and the market became over-saturated.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By superstition on 1/17/2014 4:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from the major issue of lacking backward compatibility, the 5200 fared poorly also because of its lack of games with depth. The interesting thing is that its Donkey Kong (the 400/800 is the same hardware) has more depth that the NES version -- with the extra pie level. Both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. are better quality on the Atari 400/800 platform than on the NES. This suggests to me that perhaps the Atari 5200 (and XE) could have supported NES-like games (Metroid and Zelda quality in terms of depth, complexity, and sophisticated graphics/sound).

However, as we saw again with the Jaguar, Atari's idea of video games tends to be simplistic arcade stuff and that's it. The bundled title Cybermorph was pretty deep for an Atari game, but many players felt it was dull. At the time it was impressive when compared with SNES titles like Donkey Kong Country in terms of graphics, but there was no Zelda, Final Fantasy, or Metroid to sell the system.

Another thing that hurt Atari was losing the lawsuit against Coleco. Coleco was able to sell adapters to play 2600 games on its ColecoVision system. Since a huge portion of 2600 games were made by 3rd parties that hurt Atari's profitability a lot -- although the company shouldn't have been relying on such an ancient system to generate much revenue in the first place.

By the way, the gaming commentator who dubbed the Jaguar controllers the worst ever knows nothing about video game history and is piling on the Jaguar because it's an easy target. Clearly the worst controllers were the 5200 controllers, followed by the Intellivision controllers. If you want to including home computers the worst of all-time are the Color Computer joysticks. The Jaguar controllers were amazing in comparison with those, and were much more comfortable, and more complexity-friendly, than the NES controllers. The Jag controllers also had softer D Pad plastic than the NES and Playstation so they were less likely to cause blisters.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By superstition on 1/17/2014 4:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
the 7800--well, you were lucky if you ever saw one of those.

The 7800's graphics were inferior to those of the NES and it had terrible sound because Atari recycled the ancient sound chip from the 2600 instead of using its Pokey chip from 1979. Atari was really an incompetent company. Stupendously incompetent.

Even so, there were some good arcade-style games for the 7800 which are fun despite the poor-quality controllers and low-grade sound. Xevious is actually better than on the NES, even though the graphics and sound are clearly worse -- in part because the ships can't fly as fast.
The Playstation 1 is another example. It sold like crazy and had a gigantic software library to back it up.

Sony can thank two companies for its success: Nintendo, for being underhanded with Philips and Sony over the SNES CD -- as well as choosing to stick with cartridges for the N64, and Square, for Final Fantasy VII.

The Playstation hardware was also pretty advanced, although the 2x CD-ROM was sluggish and the console started the bad trend of selling unprotected optical disks for systems used by kids (rather than optical discs in a shell, like DVD-RAM used).

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By troysavary on 1/17/2014 4:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
The Colour Computer joysticks, while fragile, gave great control. Rather than the 8 directional joysticks of the other systems, the analogue control was the precursor to the thumbsticks on modern controllers.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By superstition on 1/18/2014 1:20:23 AM , Rating: 2
Non-centering joysticks are bad news for most gaming.

Same issue with 5200 controller, although that one also had terrible tiny side buttons.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By troysavary on 1/18/2014 8:11:23 AM , Rating: 2
The deluxe version had a switch on both the vertical and horizontal axis which allowed you to choose centering or non-centering. It was also sturdier.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By superstition on 1/22/2014 2:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't talking about the deluxe. That's a totally different stick.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By superstition on 1/22/2014 2:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
I should make a correction. I have looked into the specs differences between the NES and the SMS in more depth. The two systems are rather equivalent in terms of power, which is surprising since Sega had an extra two years to improve the system.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By CaedenV on 1/17/2014 1:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is a user expierence thing.

The Wii had lots of potential, but very little follow through in getting convincing motion controlled games. It made for a few fun party games (and broken TVs lol) but that was about it. So I think a lot of people realized that they dropped some $3-400 on a console for 2-3 games and decided that it was not worth repeating.

As for myself, I was interested in the WiiU even it is was for the sake of a few first party titles. But at the end of the day the tablet controller and short battery life were boundaries that kept me away. 1 screen is enough, having multiple screens is too much like work.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By wempa on 1/17/2014 10:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is this, as far as I can tell: the original Wii was bought by essentially everybody who could possibly be interested in casual gaming. For all intents and purposes, they reached market saturation.

Not only did they reach market saturation with casual gamers, but think about how much higher cell phone and tablet use is now compared to when the Wii was released. The Wii came out in 2006. The release of the iPhone and iPad got the whole tablet / smart phone craze going. So, a lot of those casual gamers are probably happy playing their gadgets. The WiiU has a lot stacked against it when its target market doesn't show much interest.

RE: I give it to Nintendo...
By djdjohnson on 1/18/2014 11:32:47 AM , Rating: 2
They sold a ton of hardware initially. By the time the Wii U was announced nobody was buying the Wii any more. Why? (1) Its graphics look absolutely terrible on HDTVs because it is underpowered -- not extremely common with the masses when the Wii first shipped, but quite prevalent later in its life, (2) it didn't have many of the popular games on other consoles because it was underpowered (or, if it did have them, they were lobotomized), (3) It had a weird controller that only worked well for a certain type of game. Sure you could buy the Pro controller (an extra purchase most people would never make), but then you're tethered by a cable to another controller to make it work. Not fun. (4) Its social (online) capabilities were a joke.

Sure the Wii sold a ton up front when people first figured out that it was different and offered a type of gaming that anyone could figure out. It was also cheap. But both the games and the hardware didn't have any longevity. The games that took advantage of the innovation of the hardware lacked depth and thus long-term playability. The Wii was very much one of those "I want to try this out and see what it's really like" and "Okay, I'm bored... I've got other things to do with my time" products.

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