How’s the Wii U doing in the wake of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches? Still pretty poorly, as Nintendo’s latest earnings report demonstrates.
Nintendo posted an annual operating loss of £268.9 million (46.4 billion yen) for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2014, the third consecutive year the company has been in the red. Nintendo previously expected a loss of £202.8 million (35 billion yen) as of January, which is a far cry from its original projection of operating income of £579.6 million (100 billion yen).
The continued slump is due largely to the middling performance of its Wii U console, which moved 2.72 million units in the fiscal year for a total of just 6.17 million systems sold since launching in late 2012. By contrast, Sony has sold more than 7 million PlayStation 4 consoles to consumers since its November 2013 release.
Both hardware and software sales just missed their latest projections, although games like New Super Luigi U and the brilliant Super Mario 3D World sold more than a million units apiece. Despite its unique second-screen GamePad controller, the underpowered Wii U hardware has failed to catch on with players and has spurned many major game publishers—notably Electronic Arts.
“Nintendo will seek to enrich the value of the Wii U GamePad, the most important differentiator of Wii U, and as a result expand the sales of the Wii U platform,” reads the company’s report to investors. It'll be interesting to see how.
Sales for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld also missed their target, with 12.24 million units sold against a projection of 13.5 million. But it's not all doom and gloom - 3DS software sales (67.89 million) beat their expectations (66 million) on the back of strong titles like Pokémon X & Y, which together sold 12.26 million copies. Given that these games sell for proper money—the polar opposite of smartphone offerings—these numbers aren't to be sniffed at.
READ MORE: The 5 best Nintendo Wii U games so far