It’s no secret that the Wii U is struggling in sales. While the console had a strong debut, its sales went into a sharp decline that it never really recovered from, making it one of the biggest sales disappointments in the history of Nintendo, and selling less units than any other major Nintendo home console to date. As Nintendo’s latest earnings report (for the six month period ending September 30th, 2016) shows, Wii U sales continue to drop, with the console selling about 560,000 units out of the 800,000 the Big N shipped to stores.
Sales for Nintendo’s other ventures, like its amiibo figures, also dropped in the last six months. Nintendo believes that amiibo aren’t selling as well as they were last year due to a lack of titles supporting the figures. This could be true, but it’s also worth noting that interest in toys-to-life games is waning in general, with Disney outright canning the Disney Infinity franchise altogether.
While it seems as though the public is losing interest in toys-to-life games, Nintendo is not wrong in its statement that there haven’t been many new releases that use the figures. In fact, there have been barely any new releases from Nintendo at all, which could also explain why Wii U sales have dropped by 53% compared to the same time last year. In 2015, Wii U had heavy hitters like Super Mario Maker and the surprise hit Splatoon to help drive hardware sales, whereas the only big recent Wii U release this year is Paper Mario: Color Splash, which was met with lukewarm critical reception.
Wii U hardware and software sales are down, and amiibo are not the huge phenomenon they once were. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Nintendo. Even though its home console business is struggling, Nintendo’s overall profits were up, thanks to the company selling off its majority stake in the Seattle Mariners MLB franchise, and because of strong sales for the Nintendo 3DS.
3DS sales and software enjoyed a boost that Nintendo has attributed to the popularity of Pokemon GO. When Pokemon GO became a mega hit this past summer, Nintendo benefited in a number of ways, including seeing its stock price rise dramatically, and convincing nostalgic gamers to run out to the store to get their traditional Pokemon fix on 3DS. With Pokemon Sun and Moon set to release in less than a month’s time, one has to imagine that 3DS hardware and software sales will continue to hold strong for the next six months as well.
And speaking of Nintendo’s financial forecast, there are many ways the Big N can turn things around for the next six months. Not only does it have new Pokemon games on deck, but there’s also the impending release of the first Mario mobile game, Super Mario Run, as well as the launch of Nintendo Switch in March 2017. All of these elements should work together to ensure a strong 2017 for Nintendo.
Source: VG 24/7