Nintendos new console Wii U had a promising head start in the next generation console race with both its basic and deluxe editions sold out everywhere during its first couple weeks of release. Nintendo was having a difficult time keeping up with consumer demands and therefore reckoned it would sell 5.5 million units by the end of March 2013. Unfortunately, sluggish sales figure has recently prompted Nintendo to cut its 2013 sales projection by 17 percent to 4 million units by the end of March 2013. Wii U has so far sold 3 million units to date. At the same time, Nintendo is also lowering their projections of their 3DS handheld system from 17.5 million units to 15 million units for the year through March 2013.
To many gamers, this recent news is not the least bit surprising. Wii U is not selling well because Nintendo is not supplying it with enough games. Aside from the New Super Mario Bros. U and Zombiu, most of Wii U games are from third-parties that are simply ports from existing PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 releases. By the time these titles roll out on the Wii U and selling at full price (MSRP $59.99), their PS3 and XBox 360s brethrens have already rolled back their prices.
It looks like Nintendo will be fighting a tough battle from here on out with its much underclad Wii U. Although Sony and Microsofts next generation consoles havent arrived on the market yet, rumors of their impending releases this year are enough to prompt many gamers to save up their cash. This is by far the biggest blow to hit Nintendos wallet but this is a small issue when compared to what Nintendo may potentially face when the big boys from Sony and Microsoft make their presence.
Nintendo is quite simply an entire generation behind in the unveiling of its Wii U system at a time when Sony and Microsoft are getting ready to move on to more advanced hardware. In fact, several developers in the industry have already discounted it as a next generation system. Wii U is the console that Nintendo should have released in 2006. Nintendo will always be known for its first party titles like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Pikmin and the likes, but it will be in serious trouble if these are the only players they can rely on for their continual thrive for success. Despite the undeniable fact that these games and their characters are iconic (who doesnt know Mario and Link?), they too can wear out from overexposure.
The simple truth is Nintendo needs more new game franchises and the fastest way to do that is by gaining more third party support. At the moment, it looks like third-party publishers arent allocating their time and resources to Nintendos new console until the Wii U can prove itself in the marketplace. Judging by the under-achieved sales numbers, Nintendo needs to implement a plan B and fast. Their main focus now should be to draw in more third-party publishers support because it doesnt look like Nintendo can come out victorious in this uphill battle with Sony and Microsoft if they continue to rely only on their first party titles.