Nintendo: 'We are to blame' for poor Wii U sales

Sluggish console sales were addressed by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, who says the company is to blame.


Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has directly addressed the reason the Wii U console has sold poorly.

In an interview with CNBC, he discussed why Nintendo's newest console, the Wii U, has not met sales expectations.

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"We are to blame. We relaxed our [marketing] efforts, so the consumers today still cannot understand what's so good and unique about the Wii U," Iwata said.

"We have been unsuccessful in coming up with one single software with which people can understand, 'OK, this is really different.' As long as people have hands-on [experience], they can appreciate the value of the Wii U, but because there's not software that's simple and obvious for people as 'Wii Sports' for the Wii, potential consumers do not feel like trying the Wii U."

The Wii U console sold 3.45 million units worldwide for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which ended March 2013.

Nintendo cut its Wii U sales forecast in January as a result of lower-than-anticipated sales. Expectations were set for 4 million units sold, down from an initial target of 5.5 million.

The publisher predicts that it will sell 9 million Wii U consoles worldwide over the course of the coming financial year. Plans to return the company to profitability were outlined in its full-year earnings report, which focused on releasing "key" first-party titles during the second half of 2013 and through next year. The company has also said it will improve Wii U sales by "communicating the compelling nature of our hardware and software" through Miiverse.

The Wii U sold 425,000 units during its first week of launch, 50,000 consoles short of the original Wii's first-week sales tally of 475,000 units in 2006. To date, over 40 million original Wii consoles have been sold in the US.

Nintendo recently announced Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at its Nintendo Direct event, which took place during E3.

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