Nintendo slashes Wii U sales expectations by two thirds

Nintendo now expects to sell only 2.8 million Wii U consoles this financial year.

Super Mario 3D World

Uh oh. Nintendo has slashed its Wii U sales projections for the current financial year by over two thirds.

In a revised financial forecast, Nintendo has said it now expects to sell only 2.8 million Wii U consoles in the 12 months ending March 2014. That's massively down the estimation of 9 million units it had been clutching on to for most of 2013, with Nintendo finally admitting that the holiday season was not a good time for the company in the face of stiff competition from the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Nintendo has sold 3.91 million Wii U systems to date.

Additionally, the company has cut its sales forecast by a third: it's now 590 billion yen, down from 920 billion yen. As opposed to an operating profit of 100 billion yen, it now expects to post a 35 billion yen loss. All in all, Nintendo now expects post a 25 billion yen loss to net profit at the end of the financial year.

Nintendo attributed much of its downward forecast on "significantly lower" software sales over the holiday period, despite high-profile critical hits like Super Mario 3D World, mainly due to the fact the company didn't sell enough hardware units to establish a suitably sized install base.

"In the year-end sales season which constitutes the highest proportion of the annual sales volume, software sales with a relatively high margin were significantly lower than our original forecasts mainly due to the fact that hardware sales did not reach their expected level," said Nintendo in a statement.

Expectations for Wii U software sales have also been halved, from 38 million down to 19 million.

Nintendo also downwardly revised its forecast for the 3DS, with the company now expecting to sell 13.5 million units as opposed to 18 million.

Sales expectations of games for the original Wii, however, have been increased to 2.6 million, up from 2 million.

Nintendo suffered from a painful 2013, failing to get consumers excited about its latest home console and replicate the success of the original Wii with its successor, and this latest news is set to get 2014 off to a horrible start for the Mario maker. But what will the rest of 2014 have in stock for Nintendo?

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