Well, the latest numbers are in for Nintendo, and suffice to say, it is the same picture as before.
In what has to be a study of contrasts, Nintendo is once again dominating the handheld market with the 3DS, but struggling to make an impact console-side with the Wii U.
Although the Wii U did increase in sales this past quarter, that number only hit a total of 460,000 units sold, failing to crack 500,000 units in the six months leading to September 30th. The late game push with the price drop and Wind Waker HD bundle certainly helped Nintendo’s case, but it was not enough get over the hill for their sales expectations. Overall, the quarter was an improvement over the last quarterly report at least, so the system is trending upwards.
However, current lifetime sales are sitting at just below 4 million units, and Nintendo is not adjusting their 9 million unit goal by the end of the fiscal year. They are banking on their own proactive push to release first party titles “towards the coming year in order to regain momentum for the platform.” To say the least, they have their work cut out for them.
Once again though, the Wii U gloom turns into a 3DS boon for the company. After a rocky first year, the 3DS is already on pace for breaking sales records for handheld gaming, selling another 3.89 million units in Q2 and bringing a grand total of 27.38 million units worldwide. The system is hitting similar numbers for the original DS, which found its stride two years into its system life.
No doubt, the biggest contributing factor is the games themselves. For Q2 alone, Nintendo had to contend with five games that sold well over a million units worldwide between April and September. Leading the way was Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which has over 6.35 million units sold to date, and over 4 million units in the past six months. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is right behind it with 1.91 million units during the second quarter, and 3.13 million units worldwide. The other three games in question, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Tomodachi Collection, and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, are each well over 1 million units.
Soon to be added to this list of course, is Pokémon X and Y, which is already over 4 million units sold worldwide and growing, but that will affect the Q3 report.
Overall, the prophetic predictions of Nintendo dying off are staved again for another quarter. The company is still staying afloat, and is likely going to keep operating for decades to come at this rate. The question now is will the Wii U finally get out of its slump and be a power player in the coming year. With the release of the PS4 and Xbox One right around the corner,it will be a tight race indeed to see if Nintendo can pull it out.