In something of a rarity for one of the world’s largest makers of video games, Nintendo has struggled this past year with weak sales of the Wii U, a sagging stock price, and weak financials. However, they had a reason to be excited following the launch of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Sales of the game boosted Wii U sales by a massive 685% in the United Kingdom. The number seems large, but it’s important to know that they sold only 160,000 Wii U units in this past quarter. While this shift in sales should have some ancillary effects on the success of future software, it doesn’t seem to indicate that the fundamentals of the console’s economics has shifted in any way.
The biggest problem facing the Wii U is its chronic lack of good software. This has been stated time and again, and it would also explain the spike in sales following the release of a major title such as
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. What remains to be seen is whether or not Nintendo can fill the pipeline enough to produce a sustained growth in sales. The console has struggled mightily in the U.K., to the point where one of the biggest retailers in the country, Asda, is pulling Wii U consoles, software, and accessories from its 555 stores. The retailer plans on stocking the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 instead.
Nintendo’s struggles haven’t been confined to the U.K., as U.S. sales remain weak. Nintendo’s marketing chief in the U.K. spoke about why Nintendo is anticipating a turnaround this holiday season.
“There was a big misconception at launch about what Wii U is and one of the big messages is to explain to mum that this is a new console and a new controller. In terms of the marketing work we’ve done against dads, there is now a pretty good understanding there. But many mums don’t know what this is. They’re buying what they’re advised to and going into shops, so we are relying a lot on retail to explain that this is a new piece of hardware. This peak, Wii U will be at a slightly lower price than last year and comparatively it will look a little cheaper because of all the other consoles coming out that are more expensive. But value is the important message. Backwards compatibility, the fact that you don’t have to buy more controllers – that for a mum is a very important thing.” –
Shelly Pearce, Nintendo UK Marketing
They’re making a price play here rather than being able to point to a strong software lineup, and that’s a bit disappointing. That being said, Nintendo has had some good releases lately – personally, I’m interested in this
Wind Waker release, but will it be enough to make the Wii U have any relevance to gamers or developers with the upcoming release of next generation consoles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: My Nintendo News