SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – It’s another sign Nintendo needs to rethink its strategy to compete with the newest generation of gaming consoles.
The company has lost money for the last 3 fiscal years, including a $457 million loss in the fiscal year ended March 31
The main culprit is the nearly stagnant sales of its biggest product, the Wii U, reports Gamespot.
The company says it has sold 6.17 million units since the Wii U was put on the market 18 months ago.
Last January Nintendo predicted it would sell 9 million units, then lowered its expectations to just 2.8 million consoles. In fact, the latest figures from the company show 2.17 Wii U’s were sold in the past 12 months.
By contrast, Sony’s Playstation 4, which was unveiled just 6 months ago, has sold over 7 million consoles.
Nintendo blames the slow sales of its premiere product for its financial declines.
“The Wii U hardware still has a negative impact on Nintendo’s profits owing mainly to its markdown in the United States and Europe,” Nintendo said in its financial statement, “and unit sales of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently.”
Big titles like Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U have not inspired gamers to play the Wii U. Software sales reached only 18.86 million units. Those sales are eclipsed by the original Wii, which posted 26.16 million units sold over the last fiscal year.
Nintendo’s 3DS is so far the best selling product for the company. Hardware sales reached 12.24 million consoles and 67.89 million in software.
Despite the disappointing sales figures for the Wii U, Nintendo says it’s optimistic about its future. It’s forecasting a profit of nearly $400 million for the fiscal year ending in March 2015.
The company is relying on the public to take a fresh look at the Wii U as the company focuses on the unique features of the Wii U GamePad like it’s ability to wirelessly communicate with other devices. And Nintendo executives are hoping the releases of Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. will inspire people to buy.
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