Apparently the Wii U isn't doing so hot and Nintendo has been forced to lower their expectations when it comes to their expected sales. This news may come as a surprise to some following the console as it was a top seller over the holiday season. But holiday sales weren't enough to carry Nintendo through their fiscal quarter.
Both the 3DS and the Wii U have under-performed compared to Nintendo’s expected sales profits and have led the company to start reconsidering their business plans for the future. From April-to- December the Japanese company made what is apparently a disappointing $160 million.
Many are blaming smartphones and tablets for eating into their profits. Michael Pachter, a gaming research analyst for Wedbush Securities, a Los Angeles-based investment firm commented, “Smartphones and tablets are nibbling away at the edges of the market for games,”. Nintendo has seemed to be trying to stay away from the app and mobile download market for some reason yet they might want to reconsider according to some market speculators.
Unit sales and profits are nearly 30% lower than what Nintendo was anticipating so clearly something has gone wrong somewhere. Clearly the more affordable option of gaming on your phone, tablet, or MP3 player has been eating into the console market for a while now but maybe the reasoning for Nintendo’s poor performance lies elsewhere.
Part of the problem could be that the consoles Nintendo’s been releasing are a lot of money for little improvement from their predecessors. It also could be a reflection of the overall lull in the console market caused primarily by the recession and lack of innovation.
If Nintendo has to seriously compete with games the likes of which that can be played on tablets and smartphones then maybe it should take a look at the content they provide. Top games for mobile devices include simple time-killers that originated as in-browser flash games like “Angry Birds” and “Temple Run”. Other popular mobile downloads are small indie games like “spacechem” and “Sword & Sworcery”.
Perhaps Nintendo should branch out from the multiplayer, party games, with gimmicky controllers and simple touch screen challenges like “Mario Party”. When people want to play a quick, stress reducing game of course they are going to choose the cheaper option, especially when the games are for their kids. Nintendo also has a dearth when it comes to independent titles that will lead gamers to choose other platforms for mere variety.
Whatever Nintendo chooses to do, it’s clear they need to do something to keep their head afloat in the console market. Some diversity would probably help. Fans of ‘Zelda’ and ‘Mario’ may be numerous but at this point the demographic is a little tapped out. Nintendo should consider making consoles and games that appeal to a wider audience and are worth gamers hard earned money whether that’s through new and indie projects, more hardcore game titles or something completely fresh and new.