The Wii U has sold just over 12.5 million units to date, and will go down as one of Nintendo's most disappointing hardware releases - from a purely commercial perspective, at least.
However, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima - a man who has previously revealed that he was skeptical about the system's chances prior to launch - has explained during a recent investor Q&A session that some within Nintendo were incredibly optimistic about console:
In an internal sales representative meeting, someone projected that we would sell close to 100 million Wii U systems worldwide. The thinking was that because Wii sold well, Wii U would follow suit. I said that, since the Wii had already sold so well, we need to clearly explain the attraction of the Wii U if we are to get beyond that and sell the new system.
Shigeru Miyamoto - also taking part in the session - expanded on this, citing the emergence of tablet devices as another reason for the Wii U's failure. However, the legendary designer thinks the system still has a place in the home:
It is true that we are having a hard time with Wii U sales, due to its price and the added fact that tablets are distributed free of charge in the market.
I do think Wii U continues to be attractive as a media device that changes life in the living room.
Given the runaway success of the Wii, it's hardly surprising that Nintendo's targets for Wii U were along the same lines, but was a case of totally naive optimism in the face of a changing market? Let us know your thoughts.