This past Tuesday, Nintendo held its financial briefing for the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Within the conference, CEO Satoru Iwata discussed some sales data for the Wii U hardware and software. The success of the console has been highly debated, with major players, such as analyst Michael Pachter and Satoru Iwata himself, having vastly differing opinions.
Wii U hardware sales have mostly remained strong from October 2014 through December 2014. In the United States, Europe, and Australia, sales have exceeded the marks set during the same period in 2013. Of particular note, however, is that Japan’s hardware sales were slightly under half of what they were during that period. As Iwata explained:
“Our analysis of this situation is that in addition to our offers not attracting consumers in the same way as the Premium Family Set bundles did in Japan in 2013, New Nintendo 3DS gained more attention than Wii U, many of the big titles were released for Nintendo 3DS to encourage younger consumers to choose multiple Nintendo 3DS titles, and the priority of purchasing the Wii U console decreased.”
— Satoru Iwata
Meanwhile, Wii U software sales in the third quarter increased quite a bit. In Japan and Europe, sales were approximately 110% of 2013’s figures. On the other hand, software sales in the United States and Australia were over 150% compared to 2013. Certainly a big factor in these numbers was the release of
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The most recent iteration of the popular franchise shipped 3.39 million units by year’s end. It should be noted that the game did not release until roughly the last third of the quarter, limiting its impact on these numbers. Also of note, total sales of Nintendo titles in the United States for the calendar year 2014 amounted to 175% of those in the previous year.
While not tremendous growth, the Wii U and its software are, in a general sense, at least remaining steady. Certainly there were factors that affected sales both positively and negatively, and given that these occurred within the period in question, their lasting effects, if any, remain to be seen.