Nintendo Wii U sales, and those of the Nintendo 3DS, are supposedly to blame for Nintendo’s reported annual loss as of March 31. Recent discoveries such as the graphics prowess of their latest first party title Mario Kart 8 may be part of a new wave of marketing as Nintendo tries desperately to compete with the Xbox One and PS4. A net loss of $228.6 million is certainly an incentive to try something new.
Even with their lowered expectations after previous years of failing to achieve their goals, it seems the pioneer of the gaming world can’t get itself back to being profitable enough. Even third party publishers are noticing, and hesitant to release anything for Nintendo‘s failing consoles, citing the fact that they won’t be able to make enough money on the platform to give it their full attention.
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) May 7, 2014
This could easily be what drove Sega to quit as a console manufacturer. After a few years of releasing very few solid first party titles, their Dreamcast just wasn’t selling enough to compete with the PlayStation. Having given their characters to the competitors for at least royalty earnings, Sega was able to stay in business a few years after exiting the console wars.
Fans and insiders are claiming poor marketing as the problem behind the lack of Nintendo Wii U sales. Too many gamers are looking at the gamepad and not thinking that their TV can be used to play the available titles, or focusing on what looks like almost no games. What is truly alarming is that even the Nintendo 3DS is showing a loss against projected earnings. Nintendo had anticipated a lack of sales, but tried to remain optimistic.
For a better perspective on why the two consoles failed to sell according to projections, we have to look at the games. Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and New Super Luigi were Nintendo’s big releases last year, showing almost a reversal of what happened in the 80s. One of the titles was basically a re-release of the classic, but with new ideas thrown in. The other two tried to take the classic formula and give it a boost with new innovations.
None of it worked in boosting Nintendo Wii U sales. Even the relatively successful release of Pokemon X and Y wasn’t enough to give the Nintendo 3DS the profits needed to achieve Nintendo’s already low expectations.
Hopefully the new Mario Kart 8, boasting the benchmark 1080p 60fps, will help turn some heads and put the Wii U in more homes this year. Perhaps the upcoming Super Smash Bros will gain enough popularity from EVO 2014 and the E3 2014 invitational to remind us that Nintendo can still put out entertaining quality titles?
What do you think will boost the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS sales?