Nintendo has just released an updated sales forecast for the financial year ending March 31st, and things are looking somewhat grim for the Wii U. Initially Nintendo had predicted they would sell 9 million consoles during the financial year, however due to weak sales they have had to revise this number by almost 70% to just 2.8 million units.
A particularly weak first half of the year meant that Nintendo couldn’t make up lost ground despite experiencing an increase in Wii U sales in the lead up to Christmas following the release of the critically acclaimed Super Mario 3D World.
In his statement, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explains that although Wii U sales showed some progress in the year-end sales season as a result of new titles and hardware bundles, they fell short of Nintendo’s targeted recovery by a large margin.
Sales predictions for Nintendo’s handheld 3DS console have also been reduced, from 18 to 13.5 million units. This is still a respectable number roughly on par with the 13.95 million units they sold worldwide in the previous year. Sales in Europe were weaker than expected, though this was partly made up for by strong sales in it’s home country of Japan with 4.9 million units sold—just short of it’s 5 million goal—and also in the US where Nintendo was the top selling console for the 2013 calendar year.
While Nintendo will be unable to turn things around for the Wii U in this financial year, they were able to make a strong recovery for the 3DS after it’s initial slow start. With some big releases such as Mario Kart 8 and a new Super Smash Bros. game both set to release in 2014 we are hoping to see a continued improvement in Wii U sales.