In a shocking announcement, Nintendo revealed Friday that it is altering its projected Wii U sales forecast from 9 million units to 2.8 million units. For all you English majors out there, that’s a 70% decrease. This could not have come at a worse time for Nintendo, as Microsoft and Sony are seeing sales for their next-gen consoles steadily increasing and the buzz surrounding both the PS4 and Xbox One has continued to become more positive since their release last year.
Honestly, Nintendo has no one to blame for this fiasco but themselves. Nintendo owns the rights to the Pokemon Franchise, the Zelda franchise, the Metroid franchise, and the Mario franchise, all which had titles that contributed to the record breaking sales of Nintendo’s last console, the Wii. But now, almost 14 months since the Wii U’s release, we have seen one new Mario game: Super Mario 3D World. Granted, this game was a critical and commercial success, but one game does not a console make.
Did Microsoft stop releasing games after Halo took the world by storm? Did Sony stop making games after franchises like Ratchet and Clank and SOCOM became so popular? Of course not, and that’s why Sony and Microsoft are sitting pretty while Nintendo is floundering around, searching for a solution that will allow the Wii U to compete with the PS4 and Xbox One.
Gamers everywhere are pining for an HD release of Majora’s Mask or Metroid Prime, yet 14 months in Nintendo has all but ignored these pleas. The biggest release for Nintendo this year came for the 3DS, and that was Pokemon X and Y. The game sold more than 3 million copies, an astounding number for a handheld game. But again, one successful game isn’t enough to justify the lack of Wii U releases. It just isn’t.
Where Nintendo goes from here, only they know. Clearly, whatever structure they have had in place for the last couple years is failing. While the future of Nintendo is uncertain, the one thing we know for sure is that a 70 percent drop in sales projections for their main console and biggest product just won’t cut it. Something must be done, and done quickly, or the company that has been a staple of the video game world for the last 30 years may cease to exist.