Nintendo expects to sell 6 million fewer Wii U systems than originally forecast

While the company originally anticipated a 55 billion yen (~$527 million USD) profit for the year, it now expects a loss of 25 billion yen (~$240 million USD).

50

For the fiscal year ending this coming March, Nintendo had expected to sell 9 million Wii U systems worldwide. However, it's clear that the company is going to fall well below expectations. In fact, the company has revised their forecasts, saying that they're anticipating sales of only 2.8 million consoles. That's nearly 70% fewer consoles than originally expected! Perhaps most distressingly, the company is expecting to sell fewer Wii U consoles this year than they did the year prior--suggesting that Nintendo's latest home console is actually losing momentum. (3.45 million systems were sold in the prior fiscal year.)

Although 3DS may be the best-selling system in America, it also isn't poised to do as well as Nintendo had hoped. The company had expected to sell 18 million consoles worldwide, but now expects sales of 13.5 million. But unlike Wii U, 3DS is actually gaining traction.

The softer-than-anticipated sales will drastically affect Nintendo's bottom line. With less hardware out there, software sales will be impacted--and that's where Nintendo makes its bread and butter. While the company originally anticipated a 55 billion yen (~$527 million USD) profit for the year, it now expects a loss of 25 billion yen (~$240 million USD). The company has posted an annual loss for fiscal 2011, 2012, and now this year. With three years of consecutive losses, CEO Satoru Iwata may have to take those calls to resign to heart.

You can read the full financial report here (PDF).

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 16, 2014 11:10 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Nintendo expects to sell 6 million fewer Wii U systems than originally forecast.

    While the company originally anticipated a 55 billion yen (~$527 million USD) profit for the year, it now expects a loss of 25 billion yen (~$240 million USD).

    • reply
      January 16, 2014 11:53 PM

      Ugh, I hope Nintendo can get it together. It's clear the Wii U isn't going to take off. I hope they can refocus and manage to release another console before its too far gone.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 4:47 AM

        How is it clear? Didn't the 3ds have a really rocky start?

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 5:38 AM

          The 3DS had a somewhat rocky start but nothing compared to the Wii U. It sold 400k worldwide in Q2-Q3 ffs.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 5:01 AM

        It's still the best complete system out there. No, not spec-wise. Functionally (plays games, great browsing & tv/media consumption - all in a one stop console).

    • reply
      January 16, 2014 11:54 PM

      The big question is: can Nintendo afford to ride it out or are they going to be forced to drop the Wii U altogether? Already selling way below the gamecube.

      I f'in love Nintendo but ts time for a fundamental change on the hardware front.

    • reply
      January 16, 2014 11:58 PM

      Tough times, but 3DS is doing great.

      Also this year will be pretty much defining for Wii U. It's a great console with many good games like ZombiU, Rayman Origins, The Wonderful 101 that should have sold a lot more than those have at this point and then of course we have all of Nintendo's excellent 1st party offerings.

      Shame it hasn't been selling, but I seriously hope it will start selling better, I for one can't wait to play for example Monolith soft's X.

      • reply
        January 16, 2014 11:59 PM

        I just bought mine in December and even though the eShop doesn't have much yet in it, there are some real gems there.

        Ubisoft's Christmas sale was great. I haven't had this much fun in a long time that Michel Ancel's Rayman Legends is bringing in.

        I mistakenly wrote Rayman Origins in the previous message, I meant Rayman Legends of course...

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 6:20 AM

        "many good games" (he lists 3). I haven't turned my Wii U on in ages. It's sad. I want more adult games.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 6:26 AM

          I don't understand how with all their monies they can't get a Civilization type game from a western developper. But Nooooo, video games consoles are toys, it doesn't matter if they have a big hole in what's they're offering.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 7:31 AM

          What is an adult game?

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 11:22 AM

            I'm assuming he meant a game with mature themes.

            • reply
              January 17, 2014 12:16 PM

              The thing is, most games deal with mature themes in a completely immature manner. I haven't seen very many games I would define as an "adult game". Certainly not on the consoles.

              • reply
                January 17, 2014 12:18 PM

                clearly the market at large finds the current offerings appealing for some reason, those offerings generally aren't available in their best forms on Nintendo hardware

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 12:01 AM

      and the other big question: did anyone actually believe the 9m number? Thats what scares me the most. Either they're completely out of touch with market, or they commited massive fraud. Either way, Iwata and many others need to step down.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 12:16 AM

        Iwata needs to step down and be replaced with somebody from outside the company. They need to bring in someone with more modern sensibilities, they need to drag themselves out of the dark ages.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 5:53 AM

        Would any console launch with an understated sales figure be taken seriously? Either way, the Wii U launch lineup was unmemorable. All I remember of it was yet another New Super Mario Bros. game, a Mass Effect 3 port, ZombiiU, and not much else. The 2013 holiday releases for Mario and Link were much better received.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 6:02 AM

          They had something for everyone, rather than just FPS heads. Thats what you gotta remember or not depending on your genre preference. All genres where covered.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 6:38 AM

          I think they were betting they'ed have 3rd party this time around but we saw both EA and Ubisoft do an about face.

          Even though I was burned by the Wii, I want a WiiU but I'm taking the wait and see approach on this one. After 2014 it'll be clear if Nintendo will need to make drastic changes or not.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 12:06 AM

      Man, in the last 9 months a ton of great games have come out for the Wii U and they resolved all of those long menu load times, I can understand why it's not selling. Pikmin 3, Rayman (I know it's not exclusive), Wonderful 101, Wind Waker HD, ZombiU, Super Mario Bros U and 3D World (holy crap that game is amazing) are all excellent games. Plus with MarioKart, SSB, and Bayonetta 2, good stuff coming on the horizon. I have to say that my all-time favorite thing about the Wii U is being able to play these awesome games off-TV and in bed while the wife or kids are using the TV. Such a great feature for people with a family / roommates.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 12:07 AM

        Err, I can NOT understand why it's not selling.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 12:47 AM

          how often do you see commercials for those games compared to XB1 and PS4?

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 4:01 AM

            I think I've only seen one WiiU commercial ever. Abysmal marketing.

            • reply
              January 17, 2014 5:27 AM

              You've obviously never been exposed to Nick or DisneyXD. The Mario games in particular get a lot love leading up to release.

              • reply
                January 17, 2014 7:29 AM

                You're right, they DO advertise on those two channels, but they do so in a terrible manner. Even in the commercial, they call it an upgrade instead of calling it an all-new console. They barely show the unit itself, only focusing on the Gamepad which only furthers the misconception that it's simply an add-on for the Wii. Although I don't own one yet, it hurt to see my childhood company forecasting slower sales than the previous fiscal year.

            • reply
              January 17, 2014 5:33 AM

              I've seen a decent amount of commercials advertising the system, but I don't think I've seen one showing just a game.

            • reply
              January 17, 2014 5:48 AM

              They are definitely a lot out there, just only really shown on the family friendly channels like Nick and Disney. Not excusing them, overall their marketing for the Wii U had been pretty bad, but saying that they haven't been trying is just wrong.

              • reply
                January 17, 2014 10:20 AM

                exactly, you never see an ad for one during a football game or something like that, the people who actually have purchasing power

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 6:18 AM

        I just remember when Nintendo was the place for RPGs. Where are the Wii U RPGs?

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 6:41 AM

          Nintendo hasn't been "the place for RPGs" since the PS1 came out.

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 6:44 AM

            Oh, I know. I was just having a nostalgic moment.

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 8:46 AM

            Home consoles haven't been the place for JRPG since PS2/GC.

            The Wii shined a bit in this regard thanks to Xenoblade/The Last Story/Pandora's Tower though.

            • reply
              January 17, 2014 9:34 AM

              PS3 is pretty good now with the Tales series and Ni No Kuni and Persona 5 coming up. Plus there is a pretty good library of PS2 and PS games.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 12:52 PM

          God, the controller would be awesome for RPG's.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 3:52 AM

      I don't know. After coming back from Winter Break, more students seem more eager to get a Wii U.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 4:46 AM

      My concern is Nintendo will all but retire the U before they can put out a Zelda, which will hurt the Zelda brand. The same thing happened with Skyward Sword: great (albeit flawed) game, but no one played it because most gamers had packed up or sold their Wii a year or two earlier.

      I'm more concerned about the Zelda brand than I am the Wii U. I don't think Nintendo should scrap support for the U before putting out a Zelda game--especially since they're hinting that Zelda U will bring about radical changes from the core formula, perhaps to make it more appealing to fans of western RPGs like Skyrim--yet doing so might mean only a few million people get to play it.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 5:53 AM

        They won't scrap the U, not this early. I'm sure they have a lot of games being the scenes that have been worked on for years for them to just scrap it. Smash 4, X, and SMT X FE (it seems like I'm the only one who still remembers then announcing this) will definitely sell some systems. It will be very interesting to see what the next Zelda will bring to the table. If they add some Skyrim and Dark Souls influence into the mix it could be just what the series needs and really get the Western RPG audience talking.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 4:50 AM

      What's a Wii U? is that similar to XBone or PS4? lol

      it ranks right up there with a Windows Mobile Phone.

      I envision(and hope) for the day that i can play Zelda on my IPad :)

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 4:56 AM

        You don't want to play Zelda on your iPad. I'm sure you think you do, but you really, really don't.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 5:05 AM

        Nintendo isn't going to turn themselves into a Sega.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 5:47 AM

          Yea, people keep saying that they should go the way of Sega and go software only. Nintendo WILL go down with the ship if the time comes. At best they'll go handheld only, but no way will you ever see a first party Nintendo game on a non-Nintendo console.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 5:46 AM

        You must really like video games.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 5:03 AM

      6 million fewer Wii U systems? If I could trade the would-be 6 million gender confused children with below average taste in video entertainment with the 6 million jews killed in the holocaust, I would, I would.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 5:03 AM

      Unlike the 3ds, I don't see it rising to what might be called successful sales levels. The name and tablet are off, IMO. The tablet gives it the perception that gaming on the machine is more of a single player experience.

      Also, PS4 and Xbone are doing well.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 5:27 AM

      The WiiU is one of the best, complete gaming systems out there. I have both Xbox One and PS4's and they are literally collecting dust. There is ZERO out there for them. They released those consoles with NOTHING to play for them unless you are a fps junkie.
      The fact that WiiU is failing speaks volumes as to what is happening in the world of gaming and let me tell you, not every one is having a ball on these new system.

      If you have a PS4 you can clearly see "gamers' doing reality TV shows with not even a hint of game playing. Showing their skills at weed smoking, bong pulling, ass groping, finger popping, dry humping, blow job giving and so forth.

      Anything worth playing is supposedly coming out in the fall or next year. What a mess. What was the point.

      Nintendo has taken some missteps, that's for sure, but this entire situation is purely disgusting.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 6:15 AM

        i have them all but i can't play BF4 on WiiU

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 7:29 AM

        I wouldnt come close to calling it the best or complete system.

      • Zek
        reply
        January 17, 2014 8:11 AM

        The Wii U has a one year head start. Look at the games on XB1/PS4 a year from now, and tell me that the Wii U's current library compares.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 8:16 AM

          Apples and oranges we are comparing AND its all dependent on what you consider fun. I might enjoy The Order, my kids wont. My wife wont.
          Still I take nothing away from them. I'm sure they will have some games for gamers to choose from other than fps. (I hope).

          Meantime back to live streaming of bong pulls.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 8:30 AM

        I don't understand the idea that some people have that all Xbox and Playstation have are FPS games when its just not true. Recently on my 360 I have been playing Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen and MGS Rising and on PS3 Ni No Kuni and Tales of Xillia, and with my PS4 the two games that I have been playing are Assassin's Creed 4 and Resogun. I don't play console shooters and I only play a few PC shooters and I never feel like I am lacking games.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 8:41 AM

          I guess he's speaking for the Xbox One and PS4 specifically, with their (so far) rather lacking library.

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 10:10 AM

            Yes I was. Even with Black Flag and 2K and Need for Speed. Its clear that the bread winners are COD, Battlefield, and Killzone. 3 shooters in a starter library. Xbox One was a little more diversified, with Dead Rising and Ryse but the news came out today that the clear winners were COD and Battlefield. In fact they sold more on Xbox One.

            Shooters.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 5:42 AM

      There are two guys at work that had no idea what a WiiU was. They had both pre ordered the XBone so they know about games. :-(

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 6:42 AM

      Worst console name ever. The marketing dept should be fired for that one.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 6:47 AM

        Agreed

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 6:59 AM

        The there is more than the name that is keeping people from buying the WII U. The Wii before it wasn't held back by its name. Its more about the games or rather the lack of 3rd party stuff that is equal to the other consoles. The people that will want to play Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong Country will but you need more to keep the new console players they netted the previous generation.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 7:23 AM

          No, the Wii was plague with shovel ware I applaud Nintendo form keeping crap away from WiiU. They kept only quality stuff on the shelves. Ill take that over nonsense any day.

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 7:48 AM

            All consoles suffer from that. There is probably equally as much shovelware on the Xbox 360 and that isn't counting the XBLIG. The Wii for better or worse wasn't held back this and it was getting people who never gamed before to try it. The problem is they can't keep those new people this generation as they are still comfortable with the old system.

            • reply
              January 17, 2014 7:54 AM

              No, whats happened is that these folks were never gamers. It was a fad Like Tickle me Elmo was so many years ago. The "IT" tech toy of that year. Also IPads, and Smartphones chewed away at all those casual customers that all they wanted to do was play carnival games and tetris blitz.

              and in no way, shape or form has any other console had as many shovel/crap ware as the Wii had. It was a plague. You think they don't know what to do with WiiU, they knew LESS what to do with Wii, BUT there were millions of these in consumers hands so they wanted a piece of those customers. So they made crap and sold crap.

              • reply
                January 17, 2014 1:07 PM

                And then the industry as a whole totally failed to figure out what motivated that crowd. They quit making rhythm games for some insane reason, made these worse-than-the-Wii motion controls, and generally dumped out of anything that focused on local multiplayer (outside of traditional genres like fighters).


      • reply
        January 17, 2014 8:33 AM

        do you really buy or not buy a console for the name of the thing?

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 8:44 AM

          It's not about considering buying or not in this case. It's about people knowing that this is a new console rather than another hardware addon for the original Wii.

          I mean, how can you expect someone not to think "Wii U" is a tablet for the Wii when you sell products like Wii Fit ?

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 10:44 AM

          Probably do to the fact that the Wii sold a ton of joystick accessories.

          So a single letter and tablet = accessory


          They should have just called it the wii2

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 11:14 AM

          The issue is that it confuses moms and grandmas into thinking it's a Wii accessory rather than a separate console.

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 11:24 AM

            ^^^ This. The name resulted in consumer confusion, which hurt sales. "Oh, is it another accessory? I don't want it--my kids don't even play their Wii anymore. I bought a Balance Board accessory, and they never use it!"

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 7:11 AM

      If only n{Nintendo]N and Valve could have a baby together. All would be well.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 7:11 AM

        UGH! S H A C K T A G G E D !

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 7:45 AM

          Putting the Blockhead in BlockheadBrown

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 10:19 AM

        Wii U becomes steam machine, allows play of PC games and the usual great Nintendo games. Console sales go through roof, time between Nintendo games doesn't matter, more Nintendo franchises get revived.

      • reply
        January 18, 2014 10:11 PM

        No, not really. Just...no.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 10:20 AM

      Where's Goto10? Just a few days ago he was claiming that the Wii U is "not in competition" with the other consoles and that "time is on Nintendo's side". http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=31347646#item_31347646

      I called bullshit on this, pointing out that the Wii U does compete for the consumers' limited money/time, and has to compete against the PS4/XBone on the high end and mobile apps on the low end. And sure enough, today "Nintendo Confirms Wii U Has Flopped, Slashes Sales Forecast By ~70%":
      http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/17/wii-u-not-selling/
      "Both Nintendo’s devices are facing fierce competition from non-specialist consumer hardware fuelled by thousands of often inexpensive games apps — aka the smartphones and tablets running on platforms such as Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS [...] Meanwhile, the home console market has been increasingly dominated by Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation — leaving Nintendo to be squeezed out by those more powerful home consoles at the higher end"

      • reply
        November 26, 2014 7:10 AM

        I'm still here, by "long game", I didn't mean a few days later lets see how things are. No doubt, Nintendo was climbing an uphill battle at the time everyone was talking yet again about how they are doomed. My main point was they are not in competition with the others in the sense that they own the console and the primary titles that sell well on their system top to bottom. So as they release more quality titles, it's only a matter of time before they make profits top to bottom from console to the games, moreso than Sony and Nintendo.

        How are things looking now 10 months later? I think the Wii U is doing fine now and in no way has flopped. They don't need to sell as many as the others to turn massive profits as again, they are making huge profits on the 1st party stable of games. I was simply trying to say at the time, "Let's see how things look in the long run after Mario Kart and Smash Bros come out.." which was met with guffaws and bullshit like what you're posting here. And they are doing this without the help of Ubisoft, EA, and other major players. That's another thing that differentiates them from the others. Yes, sure, in ways they are competitors. But Nintendo is doing a vastly different thing, catering to a much different demographic, and making loads more on their first party lineups across the Wii U and 3DS than the others.

        Here's looking forward to a healthy 2015.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 11:10 AM

      SHOCKING !!!

      Nitnendo needs to take some DRASTIC decisions.

      I hope Shacknews crew will discuss that a lot in the next Weekend Confirmed.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 11:17 AM

        Yeah, I'd like to hear the crew break down the pros and cons of the different paths Nintendo can take, like:

        -Should Nintendo go third party for home consoles?
        -Should Nintendo discontinue Wii U, ride out the storm, or something in between?
        -Is it even possible to save the Wii U? (Hint: No)
        -Should Nintendo consider releasing any sort of games, old or new, for mobile devices?
        -Should Nintendo's next device be a handheld and TV-compatible console hybrid?

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 11:19 AM

      I thought this pic from GAF was pretty great:

      http://realgamernewz.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Super-Mario-3D-World-PS4-Bundle.png

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 11:27 AM

      The WiiU White Knight has arisen, and his name is rtricoche.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 11:43 AM

      Problem with Wii U is that it doesn't have a killer app.

      New Super Mario U was a horrible choice to open with. Not only was there a couple NSMB games out on their other systems, but also NSMB simply does not do a good job demonstrating why the Wii U is going to be a different experience.

      Nintendo Land was an attempt to be the next Wii Sports but unfortunately the games were very lackluster and the overall package was unimpressive. (to be honest, I was more impressed with some of the touch screen games that came with the early DS Mario games).

      Nintendo has this great screen controller but has yet to do anything amazing with it. They even have failed to be up to expected conventional standards with the touch screen controls given that the old DS has demonstrated more creative use of dual display. This leads to another problem that Nintendo is still dedicated to using old Wii peripherals.

      This is not a problem in on itself but it creates an indirect problem that Nintendo is reluctant to innovate with new hardware and default with old ones. This was especially apparent with the new Pikmin which should have been an obvious avenue for creative touch controls but they opted instead for using the Wiimote.

      I actually applaud them for not making old hardware obsolete but at the same time, I don't think they put too much thought on how the old will interplay with the new.

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 12:02 PM

        Super Mario 3D World is an exemplary game that shows how much fun you can have on the WiiU, 4 player cooperative play, HD graphics and gameplay to mach. perfect 10's and well deserved, it didn't move systems cause folks were busy killing each other in COD and Battlefield.

        Pikmin 3 uses the pad to such an extent that I cant see myself playing that game any other way besides using the pad. Wii remote? no, that would make you loose faster than you can blink.

        Nintendo should be commended for allowing consumers of the Wii to still be able to utilize their old Wii Remote controllers with their new WiiU systems not penalized. I don't see PS4 or Xbox doing this?
        In fact, its is fully backwards compatible.

        The fact that you can play off TV, is a godsend for serious gamers and a piece of serious tech. That you can stream (albeit at a relative short distance) with no lag. So that others can share the TV in the what is presumably the biggest TV in your home. The living room. The applications are endless.

        The Miiverse is also fantastic, although in its infancy.

        Like I've said countless times before, there are some missteps, but the groundwork is there and the games are there. There are fun and and well developed.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 12:10 PM

          The gamepad isn't useful enough to merit the cost it adds to the system, it was a $250,000,000 mistake.

          • reply
            January 17, 2014 12:31 PM

            Exactly my thought.

            I think the gamepad is awesome, don't get me wrong, but if they have no ideas on what to do with it or doesn't create anything short of a paradigm shift in how you play with your games, they were better off with creating the system w/o it and market the system as a stronger Wii and uses all of your old hardware and games... which so far that's all it ended up being.

        • reply
          January 17, 2014 12:28 PM

          Super Mario 3d World should have been their opener. It's a very good game but hardly indicative of what you can do with the system. I think had this game been ready from the onset of the system's release, more units would have been moved. By the time SM3DW came out, the Wii U's bad reputation were known, its low game library was very apparent, and whispers of newer systems were around the horizon. Nintendo had a year head start to take full advantage of their rich IPs to make a healthy library and build a solid foundation for the system. Conventional games on other systems are not to blame for SM3d World's low sales. Nintendo has no one to blame but themselves for failing to sell the system right which in turn brought down their games.

          Pikmin 3 still fails to be innovative or at least somewhere near outside of conventional with the main controller.

          I did say that it's a good thing that they have not made the old hardware obsolete. They just need to think better on how the old with the new need to work together. Right now it just feels like one is phasing out the other. Nintendo has the right tools, they just need the ideas.

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 12:31 PM

      I hope this means we'll get a price cut on the wii u

      • reply
        January 17, 2014 1:10 PM

        interesting idea. that could be either really good, or completely catastrophic. do they have the games to sell that would get them positive revenue, if they trigger a fire sale on the unit itself and sell at a loss?

        (note: I have no idea what their margins are on the wii U right now)

    • reply
      January 17, 2014 1:08 PM

      tokyo stock exchange opens in 3 hours. hopefully nintendo doesn't totally crater

    • reply
      January 18, 2014 6:03 PM

      Not a huge surprise. They've grown so used to rehashing everything and they've inserted their newest console at a time where it's already outdated, yet again, so they're playing catch-up again. Not a good place to be.

      Maybe it's time for them to quit the hardware game and just make software.