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 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 35 billion yen as of January, which is a far cry from its original projection of operating income of 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