Nintendo Lost Nearly Half a Billion Dollars in The Most Recent Year

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Shawn Hopkins

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Mar 13, 2002
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Things not looking so good for the Big N. Slow Wii U sales seem mostly to blame.

The company ended up with an operating loss of 46.4 billion yen, or $457 million, for the fiscal year ending in March, managing to move 590,000 3DS units and 310,000 Wii U units in the last quarter (ie. the first three months of 2014). Total lifetime sales for the 3DS and the Wii U are now at 43.33 million units and 6.17 million units, respectively. The Wii U's performance is mentioned by the report as a contributing factor to Nintendo's loss of profits:

The global sales of the “Wii U†hardware and software [for the fiscal year] reached only 2.72 million and 18.86 million units respectively... The "Wii U" hardware still has a negative impact on Nintendo's profits owing mainly to its markdown in the United States and Europe, and unit sales of software, which has high profit margins, did not grow sufficiently.


Instead of getting all negative, as I'm sure the doom and gloom crowd sure will, what do you think Nintendo can do to turn things around?
 

Sketch

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Feb 26, 2002
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Produce more Wii U games.

I mean really, what do they expect people to buy? The other two systems laud a wider usage and Blu-ray players. Wii U has video services and that TV thing but it doesn't even play DVDs much less Blu-rays so it's not going to sell as the "all in one" to the majority of consumers because it isn't a "all in one" device. It's a gaming system and that would be entirely fine if it had enough software to support being a game system.

As an owner of every other Nintendo console I can honestly say there has been next to no games on the Wii U that have caught my fancy so when I had the money, instead of buying a Wii U I bought a PS3 and I am quite content.

New IPs would be a nice change of pace but making new Star Fox, F-Zero and Metroid games for the console would more than satisfactory.

They're clearly lacking 3rd party support again and I hear that may be due to difficulty programming on the system.

Marketing has been poor if not borderline terrible. There are a lot of people who think the Wii U is an accessory for the Wii (cause they sure made a ton of those) and isn't an entirely new system. They might have avoided this confusion if they had even called the darn thing the Wii 2.

The only way to salvage the Wii U is to define it to the public so they know what they're getting and offer a wide variety of A list games.

Maybe next time they should go for "all in one" because it sure as hell works for the other two.

I really don't want to see Nintendo go the way of Sega. Having another console in the race breeds creativity and they have much stronger IPs than Sega going for them.
 

Shawn Hopkins

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I think I would have a Wii U if I had the money. But yeah, the game situation is a big issue. I really want to play the Mario games, ZombiU, MK 8, and maybe Wind Waker HD and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. Most of the rest is available on platforms I already have or doesn't interest me.
 

Leviathan

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I don't think Nintendo counted on their newfound casual audience to be this fickle. They were obviously expecting the people who came in via Wii Sports and Wii Fit to be brand-loyal, and it didn't turn out that way.

I can honestly say there has been next to no games on the Wii U that have caught my fancy so when I had the money
Even if you have a Nintendo console, you can still play New Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros. and Zelda with a Wii or (by the end of the summer) a 3DS. What's the big hook if nearly all of the major titles are effectively playable elsewhere?

It's kind of hard to define what Nintendo can do for the Wii U. It would need a Wii Sports basically, a truly seismic, attention-getting game with huge mass appeal, that's advertised from the rooftops.
 

defunctzombie

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I think I would have a Wii U if I had the money. But yeah, the game situation is a big issue. I really want to play the Mario games, ZombiU, MK 8, and maybe Wind Waker HD and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. Most of the rest is available on platforms I already have or doesn't interest me.
I only bought mine because of the Zelda edition, and cause of that only have two games. I would like more, but there just isn't a good selection.
 

GWOtaku

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Barring the arrival of some excellent new IP that no one on the outside can forsee, Nintendo needs to better attend to its legacy franchises outside of Mario and Zelda. The Wii U's problem is that its situation is perceived as (and is) the exact reverse of the 3DS: 3DS has a deep library of games, Wii U doesn't. It has a few awesome titles and that's it.

They need to fix that. If they don't then odds are no one will, the 3rd party situation being what it is. Super Mario 3D World is one of the better Mario games around and it clearly didn't "save" the Wii U, while apparently The Legend of Zelda's sales are rather variable and can't necessarily be counted on to prop it up all by itself either. It's safe and comfortable to deliver on what works, but a company that prides itself on innovation should be ready, willing and able to bring every major IP its got into the current era - and high definition.

Examples: we're about due for another home console Kirby game. We haven't seen an original Star Fox game since 2006. What if Pilotwings or a followup to Excite Truck were done? What if Nintendo did a 1st party RPG game for Wii U, one Mario related or even a crossover? Metroid's waiting to appear on the Wii U *and* 3DS so far - yes, I get it, Yoshio Sakamoto isn't interested in Metroid right now. So replace him with someone who is. Fire Emblem is a possibility, Kid Icarus is, Punch-Out is. The ridiculous success of Animal Crossing should perhaps be telling them something. If StarTropics were plucked from obscurity and done right, that would be awesome. Any of this would be a start. Build for the future!

Also, I think it's silly that Pokemon is basically handheld exclusive. If they're really so set on not doing a traditional home console Pokemon game, look, at least make a full-fledged successor to Pokemon Stadium. People would LOVE that. I'm not even in love with the franchise and I'd totally buy it.
 

Light Lucario

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Also, I think it's silly that Pokemon is basically handheld exclusive. If they're really so set on not doing a traditional home console Pokemon game, look, at least make a full-fledged successor to Pokemon Stadium. People would LOVE that. I'm not even in love with the franchise and I'd totally buy it.
The fact that they haven't done something like Pokemon Stadium since Battle Revolution does make me wonder if they're even interested in doing that anymore. I'm not even sure if that game could be used with the fifth generation games. Still, there are other options for Pokemon games for the WiiU if they didn't want to go the Stadium route for some reason. They could make a sequel for Pokemon Snap, which people have wanted for ages due to how surprisingly fun the original game was. And with how many more Pokemon there are now and with the updated graphics, a sequel would be even more fun to play. Or they could remake Pokemon Colosseum and its sequel XD: Gale of Darkness to include their storylines and add in more new Pokemon. Both of those games had terrific storylines and were refreshing, so being able to experience that again with updated graphics and more Pokemon would potentially draw in more people to the WiiU. While I can understand keeping the main series games on their handheld systems, putting at least a couple of Pokemon games on the WiiU would really help them out with its sales.
 

Scirel

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Please, please Nintendo, all I want is to play Super Mario RPG on my 3DS. The original LTTP on my 3DS as well. Adding the SNES VC to the 3DS. PLEASE. I want that so badly you have no idea.
 

MagicBox

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I think I should begin this post by acknowledging that Nintendo is going to be fine. People often forget this, but they have enough money tucked away to fail the next few console generations without being in any serious trouble.

With that said, I can't help but be annoyed at the way Nintendo's been handling the Wii U. I know the fans' go-to solution is "just make more games," but I don't think that's as big of a problem as people are making it out to be. I don't play video games quite as often as the most hardcore gamers out there, but I think the Wii U has a pretty decent library considering it hasn't even been out for two years. For a console to have arguably ten "must-have" exclusives (not even counting the eShop-only titles) before its second anniversary is pretty respectable, I think. Sure, it could always be better, but I think they're getting all their heavy-hitters out pretty quickly.

What's driving me crazy is the marketing. Great marketing can sell a console with few games. A ton of games can't sell a console that gets no marketing.

It astounds me to see a company as huge as Nintendo forgetting the most basic steps of advertising and PR. I still remember browsing various message boards the day the Wii U was announced. Everyone was asking about the name. "Won't that confuse people?" You've got all these random people on the internet pointing out something so obvious. I know it's like I'm beating a dead horse, bringing up the name again. But... nothing's changed. Sure enough, almost none of the general public realizes that this is a new console. In 2014. Nearly two years after its release. And some of Iwata's recent comments imply that they're only just now realizing this.

That's just one of many examples. Why aren't they advertising the Virtual Console service in-between their huge game releases? They're not doing anything with it. Why are they not bothering to mention things that would so easily get them noticed? For example, Nintendo has great indie support. Why not use that as a selling point? Why did they allow themselves to get cocky and put so much faith in a casual audience that was obviously going to abandon them when a new fad came along? Why do they refuse to get even the least bit aggressive with their marketing and make themselves known? Iwata's an awesome guy; taking a massive pay cut for the sake of your employees is beyond classy. But he seems more concerned with protecting his very clean, very kind, very Japanese, very non-confrontational "polite businessman" image than really trying to grab anyone's attention. Reggie used to have so much energy, so much excitement. He was even a little edgy. Sure, he was a little obnoxious, but it got people's attention. He seems like a robot nowadays, as if he's not allowed to do anything "too big," lest he draw attention to anything.

And listen to me trying to talk like a marketing expert. I'm obviously not. But I truly, honestly don't see how changing any of these things would hurt the company. I love Nintendo, I love my 3DS, and I really like my Wii U. And I know they'll turn it around somehow, whether it's this generation or the next one. I just want it to be soon.
 

Jazz1000

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Dec 13, 2009
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i doubt there in danger of losing wii u
i enjoy lots of game on wii u, Game & Wario, Super Mario Bros U, Super Mario 3D World, Lego City Undercover, Nintendo Land and Zombie U and Soon Ill Have Mario Kart 8, Wii Party U, and Super Smash Bros For Wii U, and also hopinhg see how Good Yarn Yoshi and Bayonetta 2
besides that i really not surpize of how there doing on wii u they just need something that can get them moire selling but there not doing to bad to say least
 

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