Mario and Yoshi are probably crying big tears as Nintendo announced today that its expectations for projected sales numbers for its Wii U video game console have been cut back from 5.5 million units to 3 million units through March 2013.
Lots and lots of them
The news comes as no surprise to those in the video game community as the newest version of the Wii, the Wii U, was in ample supply in stores around the country during the 2012 Christmas shopping season.
Scalpers on eBay and Amazon.com, who normally gouge buyers with outrageously inflated prices for hot items, found their supply of Wii U video game consoles collect dust as smart shoppers were able to simply pick one up at their local stores for the suggested retail price.
As demand continues to go downward, some industry watchers are already predicting discounts from Nintendo for the Wii U. The move would not be out of place with the company’s previous strategy of moving slow selling products.
In February 2011, Nintendo released a 3D handheld gaming device named the 3DS. Sales were very sluggish and six months later, the console dropped in price from $249 to $169.
The touchscreen gimmick
The previous iteration of the Wii was a huge and unexpected hit with gamers and non-gamers alike due to its easy to understand interface and unique motion control game system.
But unlike the original Wii, the Wii U found it hard to generate any strong buzz as its TouchPad game controller, which resembles a small tablet, was seen by many as just a gimmick that provided little improvement or enjoyment in playing video game titles on the Wii U. Non-gamers, used to the original Wii’s easy to understand interface, were sometimes baffled by the new control system.
Nintendo needs to change
Mario and Company have tried to bring innovation to its products, but as of late, have struggled to find the magic that they hit upon in 2006 with the launch of the original Wii.
Michael Pachter, a gaming research analyst for Wedbush Securities, said Nintendo needs a new game plan for success:
“Nintendo needs a change in strategy. Smartphones and tablets are nibbling away at the edges of the market for games. If [Nintendo] can’t beat it, they should consider making money off it. Why can’t Mario be on the smartphone?”
Via New York Times