News Article

Analysts Weigh In With Estimates for Wii U Fiscal Year Sales

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

6-6.5 million Wii U system sales for the year predicted by some

While we wait for Black Friday week sales to emerge — beyond the widely cited but speculative projections to date — they'll hopefully provide another indicator for the Wii U's performance this Holiday season. The ultimate proof will come in Nintendo next quarterly results, which we'll see at the end of January, but investment analysts are already assessing the market and casting doubt on Nintendo's projections, profit goals and Wii U system sales.

Bloomberg has consulted with some experts in the field for their predictions to date, and the concensus is that Nintendo is unlikely to hit the separate targets of nine million Wii U hardware sales for the fiscal year, while the company's overall operating profit will struggle to hit $100 billion. Eiji Maeda of SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo projects 6.5 million Wii U hardware sales for the fiscal year.

Wii U has become a game console only for Nintendo fans. Wii U needs groundbreaking software to draw casual and hardcore gamers.

...It’s going to be difficult for Nintendo to sell 9 million Wii U consoles this fiscal year. Iwata needs to plan what to do next year if the performance this year isn’t good.

Another analyst, Yusuke Tsunoda of Tokai Tokyo Securities Co, projected difficulties building and maintaining third-party support.

The PS4 and Xbox One are more likely to collect software because third parties create them for core gamers. It’s meaningless for third parties to take risks by developing games for the Wii U."

Despite these predicted issues for Wii U, its notable that of the analysts consulted even missed targets could lead to an estimated operating profit of around 57 billion yen, which is of course 43% lower than the company's stated target of 100 billion yen but is, still, a meaty influx of cash.

That issue of operating profit should perhaps be kept in mind despite the — at times understandable — doom and gloom over troubling revelations and headlines. Nintendo is a company that continues to achieve levels of profit despite a struggling home console, aided by the performance of the 3DS and the overall management of the business. A continually stable financial situation should, hopefully, enable the company to implement new strategies and move forward with the Wii U, 3DS and beyond, even if sales are disappointing over a period.

Although Nintendo has stuck by its bold projections in the first two quarters of this financial year, it'll be fascinating to see sales and the projections provided in its Q3 financial update. If these analysts are correct — and they're paid a lot of money to be at least along the right lines — then we may see revised projections at the end of January.

[via bloomberg.com]

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User Comments (59)

Blast

#2

Blast said:

Man, this sucks... I really like the Wii U. I really hope that Monolith's X makes tons of money in Japan.

Sceptic

#4

Sceptic said:

100 Billion Yen that should read, not $.

I honestly think 6 Million units estimate is still way too high, but we'll see.

AdanVC

#5

AdanVC said:

It would do decent, not too espectacular but enough to keep the momentum until the next wave of big games such as DKCR and Mario Kart 8 the last one is going to be without a doubt a big system seller. I even predict some MK 8 bundles with the console and everything.

Tsuzura

#6

Tsuzura said:

When I saw that Mass Effect 3 was a launch title for Wii U I was excited because I thought that Mass Effect 1 & 2 might be imported later onto the console and maybe Dragon Age will follow and that help persuade me to buy a Wii U.

But EA and Dice said that they have no plans to put anymore of their games onto the Wii U and that the system isn't strong enough for Mass Effect 4 or Dragon Age 3.

Now I'm debating if I'm going to keep my Wii U.

WhiteTrashGuy

#8

WhiteTrashGuy said:

I think they can do 7 million by April. I think we'll see 3.5 to 4 million units sold between Thanksgiving and New Years alone. I hope the lackluster software options for PS4 and XONE will make the Wii U more attractive to families. Also this backward compatibility issue is huge for me. I will be getting a PS4 next Christmas, you know, when good games will finally be out.

Kodeen

#9

Kodeen said:

6 million would still mean a very, very healthy uptick in sales compared to the current rate. I hope they get it.

9 million was just the result of someone in Kyoto doing shrooms.

Peach64

#10

Peach64 said:

6 million still seems really high. Have they even broken a million for the fiscal year yet? And time is running out to wait for that sales explosion. We know it's not happened in the UK and Japan, and while the situation has improved in the US, I'm sure we'd have already heard if they'd gone up by thirty or forty times, which is what they need if they're going to get close to these figures.

Sanqet

#12

Sanqet said:

The wii u will really be in trouble when even nintendo can't make a profit from the games then they will kill the console quick until then just enjoy the games that are out for it and leave the worrying about sales to nintendo

AyeHaley

#13

AyeHaley said:

I bought Black Flag on the eShop today hoping it will aid in keeping Ubisoft making their games for Wii U. Despite some lag during the intro sequence, the game looks stunning and way better than on my 360.
I love Nintendo games but I need a huge AAA multiplatform adventure game once in a while you know. :)

marko

#15

marko said:

Well this is optomistic if they reach 6 million considering that besides supermario3dworld there was no new fresh games to play, That and the bundles should have attracted a few buyers but i have a feeling we will be closer to 5, or 5.5 million. The Wii U was up against way to much competition for consumer spending. Maybe if the WiiU was 199 it would really move units.

I hope the Wii u sticks arround for 4 years enough time to get smash bros zelda an online Metroid would be great.
Give me an online FPS Metroid to take on COD and BF.
A real online multiplayer Brawl could move massive units. I wish they were not developing it for 3DS i feel like they should be making the WII U version the definitive version and focus all their resources on one game at a time...

Don't lose hope in WII U the road is long but Nintendo can do it!

gage_wolf

#16

gage_wolf said:

I feel like the percentage of these kind of lazy, pointless "Here's some analyst you've never heard jabbering on about projected Wii U sales" or "Here's another guy complaining about Nintendo" is starting to get a little monotonous. I get that I don't have to click on these articles, but it would be nice to not stare this supposed-potential-possible-maybe-gonna-happen Wii U doom in the face every time I scan this site. I love Nintendo, and maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't give two sh*ts about financial analysis - and profit numbers. If i want negative Pachter-esque doom predictions I can go to any other videogame website / blog out there. More articles about actual games, tips maybe? or behind the scenes stuff. Let's keep it positive y'all - that's what Nintendo is all about.

rmeyer

#17

rmeyer said:

@Kodeen lol I agree completely. No idea why they didn't cut down their projections. Maybe Iwata wanted to go out with a bang

DestinyMan

#18

DestinyMan said:

@BossBattles: It is a strange thing, huh? Sure, I'll comment on business, but I'm no economist and I don't think many of us on here are. I just hope that Wii U does well enough that Nintendo will continue to make good games for it. It might sound like parroting a talking point, but good games are what Wii U needs and that's all I really care about. It would be one thing if I worked for Nintendo, but I don't. I'm not going to let disappointing sales bother me unless it inhibits Nintendo's good game production.

Kingface

#19

Kingface said:

I really hope Wii U sales improve, sooner rather than later. More people need to let themselves experience and love Super Mario 3D World.

ultraraichu

#20

ultraraichu said:

@BossBattles Took the words right out of my Keyboard.

The definition of gamer is changing more and more each day. Soon we will interested in the company's stock numbers.

SkywardCrowbar

#21

SkywardCrowbar said:

If it hits 6-7 million by the end of the fiscal year, it'll be totally fine. The system is still profitable. That gets lost in all of this. The Wii U makes Nintendo money. It's not going anywhere. People don't need to worry about Nintendo discontinuing the Wii U.

Kirk

#22

Kirk said:

If Nintendo is adamant that it's going to sell 9 million units of Wii U by the end of the fiscal year then it really better have at least one secret "killer app" that it's just waiting to reveal or something otherwise I think it is actually kind of delusional at this point.

Xiao_Pai

#23

Xiao_Pai said:

Meh...Nintendo screwed up but they know how to fix it....everything will be fine next year.

IxnayontheCK

#24

IxnayontheCK said:

I wanna comment but...can't...find the strength...commented on this...topic...too many times...ggglgggghhh...

Yosher

#25

Yosher said:

I really love the Wii U, and it honestly saddens me to see it underperforming like it is. It's a good console, but terribad sales make it very hard to attract third party developers, and as a result consumers stay away from it as well. You'd say Nintendo has enough IPs themselves to revive the system, but then they're hardly bringing any out for the system aside from Mario, Zelda and Pikmin.

Oh well... we'll have to see where things go. Usually Mario saves the day, but that doesn't seem to be the case here, so future titles will have to dig the Wii U out of the mud.

In the meantime, I'll keep on enjoying my wonderful Wii U system and play the wonderful games other people are missing out on!

vattodev

#26

vattodev said:

Wow, these are actually really good news. This means that they believe that Nintendo will actually sell 6 million consoles in 6 months. Because the fiscal year don't count those 3 million from last fiscal year. So the wiiU would have nearly 10 million units sold by march. If they are right, this is really good news.
I don't think anyone believes in the 9 million target. Iwata only kept that so it wouldn't sound that they were giving up right next to SM3DW, Wii Fit U, Wii Party U, Wii Sports Club and Sonic release.

Kirk

#27

Kirk said:

@WingedSnagret

This is what real gaming news and media is these days. It covers the whole gamut of the industry from simple reviews of games to things like reporting on sales figures and even profits and losses for certain companies etc.

If you don't want to read ACTUAL gaming news then just stick to Miiverse.

All you'll read there is positive comments about how much people are enjoying Nintendo's games and you'll see lots of fan created images of your favorite Nintendo games and other stuff like that.

jayclayx

#30

jayclayx said:

@SpriteKing same thing people were saying with pikmin 3, later w101,... zelda wwhd......smw3d and so on, honestly I don't expect smash bros do better than smw3d......

rjejr

#31

rjejr said:

Just got back from Target - saw 3 Wii Mini boxes but no Wii U. Guess that could be intrepreted that the U all sold out but there wasnt even shelf space alloted for them. And the kiosk dint have the SM3DW demo.

I already own one Dreamcast. Though it is my 2nd favorite all time console.

Hey TW - any chance you can throw in the defintion of "fiscal year" when we discuss these articles so we're all on the same calendar page? I even follow the finacial news but these discussions always confuse me.

electrolite77

#32

electrolite77 said:

@BossBattles

Sales have always been a topic for discussion. The first Amstrad Action magazine I bought in 1989 led its news pages and editorial with discussion about rather future of the machine, the lack of marketing compared to the Spectrum, and whether slow sales would lead to a lack of software.

24 years on and nothing has changed....

electrolite77

#34

electrolite77 said:

@SkywardCrowbar

I agree. 6 million sales and a ¥57 billion operating profit would be a good result, though Iwata may be in hot water still for missing targets. It's around 2005 levels

SkywardCrowbar

#35

SkywardCrowbar said:

My thing in general is that when you run a company like Nintendo that is adamant about forging it's own path, you're going to have really rough patches. Yes, Nintendo probably really dropped the ball with advertising and with getting the Wii U concept out there, but that doesn't doom the console. You have to take the successes with the failures. Wii U still has multiple heavy hitter coming out just in the next year. There's so much room for growth in software even without the hardware sales picking up. The Gamecube had a fantastic library of games, and sold enough to get by. That's all that is actually needed, for the Wii u to sell enough to get by. More than that is nice, but not absolutely needed for the console to survive.

GamerGleek47

#36

GamerGleek47 said:

Was I the only one who thought those predictions were fine? Or am I wrong and those predictions are reaaaally low and bad? :/

Kodeen

#37

Kodeen said:

@rjejr

The Japanese fiscal year is April 1 to March 31.
@GamerGleek47

6 million would be pretty healthy. The only downside is that Nintendo had originally projected 9.

TromboneGamer

#38

TromboneGamer said:

I'm starting to get sick of the term "core gamer." It irritates me because I play games on a consistent basis. Only a rare few blockbuster games garner my attention. If I'm not playing a game like the binding of isaac or risk of rain then chances are I'm playing tetris or any given 1st party nintendo game on my 3ds. You cannot define your game experience by the power of the system you play on. You can only define it by the joy that a player gets from playing the games he or she enjoys.

2Sang

#39

2Sang said:

I'm honestly surprised it's that high. They must expect Smash bros to be coming in 2014 with no delays. I would guess about 4-5 million sold, but I'm not a professional analyst.
My guess is MK8 sells about a million consoles, and DKCTF sells 250,000 consoles. Other than that, there's no system sellers. Zelda won't come out till at least 2015 if not later, so no units there.

bmjy1000

#40

bmjy1000 said:

"Wii U needs groundbreaking software to draw casual and hardcore gamers."
THAT IS WHAT I BEEN SAYING THIS WHOLE TIME, silently!

BinaryFragger

#41

BinaryFragger said:

@SkywardCrowbar

Your post reminds me of the 3DS. It had a slow start with a weak launch library and many people didn't know it was an entirely new handheld system. I quickly lost count at how many people asked me "but don't you already have a DS?" when I bought my 3DS on launch day.
The Wii U is facing similar challenges but it's not dead yet. Will it prevail? Only time will tell.

123akis

#42

123akis said:

57 billion yen in US dollers is $556695.0600 (over $550 million) in pounds thats £339526770 (over £330 million)

I got these numbers from Google, just search something like '57 billion yen in us dollers' and it will come up, Google has a currency converter

JaxonH

#43

JaxonH said:

@Tsuzura
If you bought your Wii U for THOSE kinds of games, I'd say just sell it now and be done with it. But, if you're like me, and enjoy MORE than just those types of games, and want that classic exclusive Nintendo goodness you can't find anywhere else, stay tuned cause more is definitely on the way. I love the exclusives on Nintendo consoles, both 1st and 3rd party. This year has been one of the best for me as a gamer in quite a while- all Wii U too. But, maybe you're not like me and only want that 3rd party stuff. If so, Wii U probably isn't the best console for you.

JaxonH

#44

JaxonH said:

@BinaryFragger
It's hard to say whether or not the Wii U will prevail. But, as long as the Wii U is in my living room with 1st party titles, I prevail as a gamer. And THAT'S what's up.

ajcismo

#45

ajcismo said:

One more negative article after another. Its so disheartening as it really is a nice system that has gotten nothing but horrible publicity since its launch day. 6 million units is going to cost Mr.Iwata his job, and rightfully so.
I tell ya though, all of this could've been avoided. Proper marketing, a steady stream of software, a name that doesn't confuse the mass public (which are idiots, sorry if that offends somebody), a VC ready to go with a killer back catalog, hardware with some juice under the hood (at least be close to what MS/Sony is doing for crying out loud), and showing some acknowledgement of what consumers want would've made Nintendo at least competitive. Bums this guy out they dropped the ball on this machine.

Assassinated

#46

Assassinated said:

I feel at this point it is next to impossible for Nintendo to meet their projections. 9 million WiiUs and 100 million yen by April, when in December it's only half that, does not seem to be feasible. It makes me wonder if Iwata will be stepping down as he alluded to if the projections were not met.

Conocotarious

#47

Conocotarious said:

I sold two systems today and I plan on keeping up some momentum. I really want to see this system succeed.

chiptoon

#48

chiptoon said:

I don't understand why this needs to be seen as a competition. Nintendo needs to make a profit. That is their only goal right now.

DiSTANToblivion

#49

DiSTANToblivion said:

I like my Wii U, no knowledge of how much they make or don't make will change that. Since when did we all become so concerned with numbers and figures? Remember the time when we all just enjoyed playing games and didn't let any of this news become relevant to us gamers? This should be more important to companies etc. Why should we even care if we're are still just having a good time playing games?

TristanRW

#50

TristanRW said:

Why doesn't Nintendo ask people what they want from the Wii U through simple polls on their website? I know companies have their own ideas but come on. The more you get people involved the more they'll know of the existance of the Wii U. People obviously still use their Wiis so regularly send bulletin board messages stating Wii U game releases and a Wii U ad. Hell do what they're doing with the Wii Fit U and offer and in home trial with a game of choice for 30 days. Get the Wii U known through any means necessary.

gojiguy

#51

gojiguy said:

6-6.5 million? between now and the end of January?

Is it just me or does that seem incredibly high?

Or does it mean 6.5 million total? Like, another 2.4 million on top of the already existing 4.1 million.

Because even then 2.4 million units in less than two months... I don't see it. :/

T7L3R

#52

T7L3R said:

In other news, Super Mario 3d World is sold out on amazon in the US.

Csaw

#54

Csaw said:

@gojiguy it means 6 million between April of this year to March of next year.

These numbers are actually a heck of a lot higher then what I was thinking so, for once, I hope the analysts are right.

FineLerv

#56

FineLerv said:

@DiSTANToblivion "I like my Wii U, no knowledge of how much they make or don't make will change that. Since when did we all become so concerned with numbers and figures? Remember the time when we all just enjoyed playing games and didn't let any of this news become relevant to us gamers? This should be more important to companies etc. Why should we even care if we're are still just having a good time playing games?"

I think these articles are just an invite for the armchair experts to come out in droves. Come get me when there's something interesting on the Internet. Meantime I'm gonna keep on playing my Wii U.

Ristar42

#57

Ristar42 said:

As many of those 3rd party games drifted away, I guess the problem would be that the Wii U is going to be a 2nd console option, which people will want if they want Nintendo games. It’s pretty pricey an investment for just a few exclusive games though, I think if they had managed to maintain more 3rd party interest they'd be better off. That’s one of the things that’s steered me from buying the console at least.
I'd also want to see a new HD Zelda, Metroid, F-Zero or Star Fox, broader VC, I still think the console has a lot of potential.

sonicfan1373

#59

sonicfan1373 said:

I personally think it will be close to or just above 5 million units for Wii U. 50-60 million yen operating profit is not out of the ordinary for this year due to strong global 3DS/2DS sales along with software sales for the 3DS.

I said it before and I will say it again, I feel Iwata made a big mistake with his profit targets; you do not set targets that high during a console transition, especially when your system just lost momentum and is being sold at a loss. Iwata should have announced a much smaller operating income profit so he could have had enough leg room to do more aggressive pricing with Wii U in order to get people to buy it (which is more critical in the longterm than one year's worth of operating profits). I hope Iwata does not get fired or resign in 2014; a lot of those investors (based on their questions) are angling to get Nintendo to quit the hardware business and become third-party and publish games on mobile platforms so they might install someone as CEO to get that done for them (that is what happened at Sega).

Oh well, they have a big chance in 2014. They have the least expensive console to manufacture, they have key games coming for it, plenty of games that have at least broken-even which means they can be used for bundles. They just need to step-up and tirelessly market themselves and do another major price drop.

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