Attack of the Fanboy

A Tale of Two Nintendos

by William Schwartz


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. So goes the story for Nintendo, which just recently revealed their Q1 earnings. First, the good news. The 3DS sold 1.4 million units globally between April and June, with roughly one million being the 3DS-XL. Globally, 3DS games sold 11 million units between April and June. Animal Crossing: New Leaf sold 1.19 million units in less than a month. Tomadachi Collection sold 1.39 million units despite being released only in Japan. Luigi’s Mansion sold 1.43 million units, with almost a million coming from the West. The Nintendo DS also sold 60,000 units despite Nintendo no longer forecasting sales for it.

And now the bad news. Globally, the WiiU sold 160,000 units between April and June. That’s pitiful, especially when you consider that the Wii managed to sell 210,000 units during the same time span. WiiU games managed to sell 1 million units between April and June, which pales in comparison to the 3DS’ 11 million units. As Nintendo put it:

The worldwide sales of ‘Wii U’ hardware and software were 0.16 million units and 1.03 million units respectively mainly due to the release of few key first-party titles this quarter to strongly drive the hardware sales.

This also comes in light of recent news that ASDA will no longer be selling WiiU consoles or accessories in the UK anymore. However, all is not lost for Nintendo and the WiiU. From their earnings report on how they plan to turn things around for the WiiU:

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. Starting with ‘Pikmin 3,’ which was released in Japan and Europe in July and will be released in the United States in August, we plan on releasing key titles such as ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD,’ ‘Wii Party U,’ ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze,’ ‘Super Mario 3D World,’ and ‘Wii Fit U.’

Moreover, 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.

Nintendo has also released a chart with upcoming game releases for both the WiiU and the 3DS. Some notable highlights include Pikmin 3 (7/26/2013), New Super Luigi U (7/26/2013), Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (October 2013), Mario Kart 8 (Spring 2014) and Super Smash Bros. (2014) for the WiiU. For the 3DS, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros (7/12/2013), Pokemon X and Y (10/12/2013), Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds (end of 2013) and Super Smash Bros. (2014).

In total, Nintendo was able to post a profit of 88 million, which should help Satoru Iwata reach his goal of $1.1 billion profit by the end of March 2014.

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