Wii U Iwata

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.

[source bloomberg.com]