Nintendo continues to sell Wii U hardware at a loss

Nintendo rep confirms company is still losing money on every console sold.

Speaking with GamesIndustry International, a Nintendo representative has confirmed that the company's Wii U home console continues to be sold at a loss.

The news comes just days after Nintendo posted 36.4 billion yen ($387 million) in operating losses for the year, with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata attributing a major cause of the shortfall to poor hardware sales, though he said that the company would return to profitability in the near future.

"Nintendo posted an operating loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. However, we strive to regain 'Nintendo-like' profits for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, by providing many people with fascinating games and services," Iwata said during this week's earnings call.

Shortly before the device launched in 2012, Iwata revealed that the company's ambition was to sell the system at a "reasonable" price, and in doing so, would forgo selling the console in line with recuperating manufacturing costs. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime commented before its release that the Wii U would become profitable as soon as a system owner purchased a single piece of software.

"As soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive," Fils-Aime said at the time. "In the end, the business model is still to drive the install base of hardware, and then to drive a strong tie ration with all of the other software and experiences for the consumer. And if we're able to do that, then we will create significant profit for the company."

Despite its attempts to make the hardware affordable, Nintendo managed to sell just 160,000 Wii U units worldwide in the April-June quarter, taking the total worldwide install base to around 3.61 million systems.

Written By

Want the latest news about Pikmin 3?

Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3

Discussion

1167 comments
dino77c
dino77c

and some of you need to learn the definition of next gen...as in generation

dino77c
dino77c

When Zelda or Smash come out people will want a wii-u

people forget that the xboner and ps4 are basically the same...most will choose one of PS4/Xboner and a Wii U for the 1st party titles.  In this scenario nintendo comes out ahead.  FFS though get the games out!

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

I know its a matter of time that Nintendo will make a game that I will just have to buy the system, even, if its just for that very game. I got a feeling it will be the next Zelda... sucks to be a sucker.

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

Nintendo could continue to lose money for the next 5 years, and they will not go out of business. They are just that rich. Plus, the 3DS is selling like hot-cakes right now. I own one, and they are great.

ecurl143
ecurl143

It is incredible how Nintendo's fortunes seemingly have reversed overnight with the WiiU - everyone knew it wasn't going to repeat the stellar performance of the right time-right place Nintendo Wi.

I haven't seen anywhere near the massive advertising bombardment the WiU and DS systems got a couple of years ago - I mean their stuff was ruling the airwaves - everytime I switched my TV on, there was Ronan Keating playing his Nintendo product -you just don't see that now which leads me to believe they're not doing too good right now.

WiiU is absolutely dead in the water and no amount of PR and spin will save this thing - it's the exact antithesis of the original Wi console in every way.

As soon as Xbone and PS4 are released, the WiU will just get boxed up and put in the attic.



SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

The thing is, Nintendo has so much money that this doesn't really phase them. They would have to have several years of losses for them to truly be affected. Though with Hiroshi Yamauchi being their largest shareholder, I'm sure he is none to pleased with the performance of the Wii U and the financial issues it is causing.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

That is mind boggling.  It's specification wise around 20% superior to an Xbox 360 or PS3.  It has a pipette of memory, and horrible decade old technology elsewhere in terms of touch-tech and screen quality.  Plus a horrific 3hr battery life on your main controller too.  A terrible selection of games, nasty built quality.  High price!  It's £320 in England for the pitiful 32GB memory edition.  What is Nintendo doing, using R&D money to figure out how many buttons Mario's vest should have for optimal Italian-ness!?!?!?!

I can't see Nintendo surviving if these losses keep rolling in.  Once the next gen Sony and Microsoft platforms are out, the WiiU's gunna get forgotten about.  Especially since the PS4 in the UK will be just £20 more than this!!?

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Look, simply put.. Nintendo still rules! I love my Wii U..

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

Have to wonder who thought it'd be a good idea to release a year early with barely any big titles ready to go... They could have just waited a year until they had more than just NSMB...

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

It's still cost more than the 500g xbox 360's and ps3's. For arguably inferior hardware. That is the problem. There is no reason to buy one for the people who own current gen systems. You wanna sell more? Sell it a bigger loss, and release more games. Nintendo systems cannot survive on a few titles a year.

ziqi92
ziqi92

I'm not concerned. Once Nintendo releases MK8 and SSB, it's a party at my place.

lostn
lostn

There is no reason it should be costing Nintendo more than $350 to manufacture this thing. It is outdated hardware. They must have some super inefficiencies in their production line. Sony is estimated to be making a profit on PS4 sold at $399, and the hardware is much better and includes a 500GB HDD, which you have to buy separately on the Wii U. 

Nintendo products have always had a cheap build quality. This includes the DS, DS lite, 3DS, XL, Wii U gamepad, etc... If you look at the plastics and feel of the buttons, it's very cheap. The screens are all single touch and low res, low pixel density, plus TN screens (viewed from an angle it goes dark -- even the first PSP does not do that). Their products are all cheaply made. There is no reason it should be costing them a loss on every Wii U produced.

JaxxRaxor
JaxxRaxor

Until the Wii U turns around (hopefully starting this holiday season and then accelerating when really big titles like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. come out next year) its going to continue to be bashed by people on the internet. Nintendo fans just got to deal with, respectfully respond to valid criticism of the Wii U, and ignore the trolls and haters.

TheLastGamer122
TheLastGamer122

I like my Wii U. I think it is a solid console. It just needs more games. :/

DrKill09
DrKill09

How do you sell glorified 2001 hardware at a loss?

It's an HD Gamecube... 

dummpymonkey123
dummpymonkey123

NO one has yet to explain to me how Nintendo's Wii u ins't next gen or how PS4 and X1 are so much better face it trolls Nintendo is still here and their is nothing you can do about it

rushiosan
rushiosan

@andrew_ribbons They must release a good game before PS4 and XOne are released. Oh, wait. They won't. There's just more Super Mario shit coming.

fadersdream
fadersdream

@andrew_ribbons Or you can go with real world data:

do you know anyone who owns one? (I don't)
if so, do the like it? (most say "eh")


The reality is no one is amazed by it, and are just hoping N will do something soon to justify their purchase.

19James89
19James89

@SIDEFX1 I wish I could have said the same, now I'm sending the little bugger off to Nintendo's repair centre because it would appear I bought a dud console.

fadersdream
fadersdream

@ArabrockermanX Nintendo seems reactionary.

Needed a system out before MS and PS so they released one.
Need games out before system launch so they will do so.
nothing seems planned or with forethought... just reacting to the market and trying to stay afloat.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@nonfanboygamer1 The hardware isn't inferior every actually break down of the hardware says otherwise. Is it a disappointment? Yes but it isn't inferior to current gen.

fs71678
fs71678

 @lostn I think you're so wrong... I've buy every nintendo console since nes and all of them works fine... but on the other hand, sony and specially the other shit, they broke so often; so in my experience you are just saying crap...

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@lostn Funny how I burned through 4 DS3s this generation(1 a year) but still have original GC controllers... Last time a Nintendo controller failed me it was on the N64(worst controllers IMO).


rushiosan
rushiosan

@JaxxRaxor I'm a big Nintendo fan and I'm still attached to Wii. However, I'm not planning to buy a Wii U soon because it's not worth the money at all. Maybe when it has at least 10 good titles (not New Super Mario Bros and that kind of shit) and goes for $200 there may be a chance. I'd rather get a 3DS instead.

19James89
19James89

@JaxxRaxor There's a lot of valid criticisms of the Wii U, but I still think the Wii U is a very good console.

19James89
19James89

@TheLastGamer122 If there is going to be an influx of games to the Wii U, then the latter half of 2013 and 2014 will need to see Nintendo's big guns bring in a large pool of gamers, whether that happens remains to be seen. If it doesn't then the Wii U is in serious trouble.

rushiosan
rushiosan

@DrKill09 Don't even dare to compare it with the GameCube. In the first year it had a gorgeous Zelda, Metroid Prime, Luigi's Mansion (a surprisingly innovative lineup title) and lots of 3rd party titles that worth the purchase. This shit is just an HD Wii without games, since 3rd party is already dead even before the companies started to care about it. There could be some hope if the Wii U was close to what GameCube meant a decade ago...

tommy_boy9999
tommy_boy9999

@DrKill09 

THe Gamecube had a Fantastic Library of games that you will never experience.    Which is a shame becuase I thought gamers were about games.  The Game cube was under rated  and could output at 480p  on most games with the Component cables

lostn
lostn

@dummpymonkey123 The online is very last gen, as is the lack of a HDD. The hardware is about PS3/360 level. 

You will see the proof in the pudding when X1/PS4 multiplatform titles do not release on the Wii U. It can't handle them. 

If you want to call it a next gen console simply because it releases at the same time, and one generation after the Wii, then the Ouya is a more next gen console than the Wii also. 

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@dummpymonkey123 having a tablet controller doesn't make it next gen. It doesn't represent a leap forward in capability.

Still, it doesn't preclude it from being a worthwhile system, but It needs moar games. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

@dummpymonkey123 Well, the Wii U is weaker than the 8 year old 360.  It has no innovation at all, and no games.

Sure, it's HD, but the REAL next gen consoles, and modern gaming pcs smoke it.  It would have been at home last gen when the 360 launched.  It is not current gen, just like Wii was not last gen.  It was a Gamecube with a gimmicky controller.

dre256x
dre256x

@dummpymonkey123 Its next gen on a small scale...

Heck, the wii u moved 100mil+ systems, and guess which system CoD (the most popular game last gen by sales) sold the most on... With the Wii instal base being that high it should have cracked 3mil copies sold easily but didn't..

most 3rd party devs abandon Nintendo back since the n64 and haven't look back because the potential for them to make money on the competition system is greater.. 

The Ps1 had only one advantage over the N64, storage..  So person saying Wii U is underpowered, and devs idea won't be seen to the fullest, thats just BS, because they themselves can let those ideas be realized on the inferior 360/ps3..

Its all about sales potential bro and most 3rd party games don't sell well on Nintendo systems regardless of install base.

The POWER argument is mute and old.. Skillful devs always work with the power given to them..

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@dummpymonkey123 Well for one, it's been out for a while now and is therefore current gen... As for the next xbox/ps consoles being much better, they have much better cpu's and gpus and so much more ram that you could probably load an entire Wii-U game into it in one go... Meaning the games on them have the opportunity to be much larger and vary the gameplay/Ai and of course graphics... All in all less copy/pasted characters/buildings and such.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

You can still say it dude :-) 

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

@ArabrockermanX @nonfanboygamer1 It isn't inferior.  But it comes to a point when they're selling a £330 console with just 32GB of memory storage, which is only roughly the same as an Xbox 360 from 7 years before it in terms of tech...and one of those is £180 for a 250GB version...so half the price....and it has games.

lostn
lostn

@fs71678 I didn't say they were low quality.. I didn't say they break easily. I said they were cheaply built. What is the pixel density of your Nintendo screens compared to other devices?

Cheap =/= unreliable.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

@ArabrockermanX No way.. I have never had a Nintendo controller die on me ever! let alone a console but especially the controllers even when I was a kid and I would throw or bash my controller in temper.. 

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

@tommy_boy9999 @DrKill09 Gamecube was a great system, but the problem was it's library. The ps3 was inferior hardware to the gamecube, but it's library was awesome. That's why it sold, and gamecube didn't

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

@dre256x Nintendo kind of lost after the release of Final Fantasy 5 or 4 (can't remember which one atm) on PS1 instead on the FF released on N64

dre256x
dre256x

@JimmeyBurrows @dummpymonkey123  BS... Wii U is next gen on a smaller scale..  Isn't it better than the 360/ps3..

Pfft, most of you think more power = next gen.. If that is then the Wii U IS next gen compare to 360/ps3 its..

It so happens once again Nintendo choose the conservative root.. How much of u would have bought a Wii U if it was more powerful than the ps4/X1 and still dont have games coming out for it..

Games is the problem, not Tech/power..

rushiosan
rushiosan

@19James89 @SIDEFX1 I remember the huge amount of faulty NDS Lites a couple years ago. I had one. They just made that thing a cheap and lazy product that after a couple months would have some issue with touchscreen, dead screen or broken hinge.

19James89
19James89

@SIDEFX1 That's not a question I can answer, because I never once had a problem with a Sony console. I also wouldn't buy an Xbox, even if you gave me the money to buy one. 

At the end of the day, I don't spend close to £300 to buy a console that is clearly faulty. When I connect my console to the internet, I don't expect to have to manually configure a wireless superhub to my Wii U because the console cannot connect to the device. I don't then expect the console to connect and disconnect from the Internet continuously either. I then don't expect to delete the 'system settings', have the console brick and then have a console that won't sync to the Gamepad. 

 I own several wireless devices, a lap top, a printer and a PS3 and all these devices have connected and stay connected to the Internet. The Wii U doesn't. 

I was going to make the Wii U my #1 console for the next X and Y amount of years, but after this experience, it's my PS3 that will be used more often.

19James89
19James89

@SIDEFX1 I've had problems with it in the month-and-a-bit since I bought that I just don't feel the same way. I certainly won't buy another Nintendo for sure. 

I just hope I am able to get a fully functioning Wii U. One that doesn't disconnect and reconnect to the Internet willy, nilly and one that doesn't brick and have an unresponsive sync button on the console itself.

I feel like I've been ripped off good and proper. I'm not a happy gamer at the moment for sure. 

lostn
lostn

@fs71678 And what if you want both graphics AND gameplay? What do you play on? What if you want Nintendo games but with good graphics? 

fs71678
fs71678

 @lostn @fs71678 You have reason in that point, but it is 'cause nintendo don't focus on graphics... when I want graphics I play with steam at my pc that is thousand years more advance than ps4 or the shit

19James89
19James89

@SIDEFX1 I bought my Nintendo Game Boy Color in the summer of 2000 and it was working up until I got rid of it earlier this year. 12 and 1/2 years I had that handheld device and it never let me down. I owned a Gamecube from 2002 to 2013 and that never let me down, it worked when I handed it in to my Salvation Army community store earlier this year along with my Game boy Color. 

 The only problem I have had is with the Wii U which would appear to have been faulty when I bought it which is unfortunate.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@dre256x @JimmeyBurrows @dummpymonkey123  

Tech/power gives more freedom in games in general.

Sorry but that is just fact.

Next gen on a small scale means nothing btw. The WiiU is barely any stronger than current gen. 

While the PS4 and XB1 are leaps and bounds.

The WiiU is basically current gen with a slight upgrade and it doesn't even make use of that anyway and Nintendo sure as hell won't.