Posted By: wraggster
Through gritted teeth, Nintendo confirmed some dismal Wii U hardware sales figures this morning – just 160,000 Wii U consoles sold worldwide in the last three months. The home console’s problems are well documented – it is lacking software, and, well, a reason to exist. One can remain hopeful that a price cut and a sudden influx of games can help revive interest in the format – as ever for Nintendo, Christmas and the arrival of Mario and Zelda games will prove pivotal.You’ll read plenty of criticism of Nintendo this morning, but let’s not confuse the wider company’s fortunes with those of its home console.The Kyoto creator’s profits are up; one can certainly point out its failure to sell home consoles, but never question Nintendo’s laser-focus on making good money. Nintendo made a net profit of 8.6 billion Yen in the last three months, led by 3DS’ continued success. It sold 1.4 million units worldwide and just over 11 million software units in the same period, pushing lifetime hardware and software sales to just under 32.5 million and 106 million respectively.These are healthy figures for a handheld games console facing such competition from mobile gaming. Apple and Samsung can claim ubiquity and an enormous library of games, but they cannot boast software as engaging as Animal Crossing, or hardware designed purely for play. A run of well-received games including Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf aided its cause, and with Pokémon to come, Nintendo’s handheld remains the undisputed leader in its category. It’s important to remember that although Vita has plenty of goodwill, that certainly hasn’t translated into sales.Even Wii continues to sell well considering its age – more than its successor Wii U, in fact. In shifting 210,000 units in the past three months, it has just pushed past the 100 million mark. Over 873 million Wii games have been sold since the console launched in November 2006 – another incredible achievement for the former phenomenon.But Nintendo can’t continue to live off former glories in the home console market. 3DS will continue to dominate its market, but Wii U desperately needs a price cut and a string of compelling games. It wouldn’t be a great surprise to see Nintendo effectively relaunching Wii U ahead of Christmas – preferably with the explicit intention of selling the console to the platform holder’s heartland, families and younger players.