It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that this holiday season the big sellers are going to be the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The hype for the two new consoles has been almost unbearable, with fans of both systems doing their damnedest to share their excitement online and to friends. It’s still not clear if Microsoft did too much damage to itself with some of its early stances on the Xbox One or if all will be forgiven, as well as the $100 extra that it will cost, when the holiday season rolls around, or if Sony’s tactics with pricing the PlayStation 4 and coming off as more consumer friendly will pay off. What we can predict is that both console launches will be a big deal and that we’ll be talking about these launches up until they finally happen.
The one question, though, is what will become of Nintendo and the Wii U? Nintendo was once the king of the home console market, and even if things were rocky over the last few consoles, they always bounced back. Has the Wii U destroyed their chances of rebounding?
Nintendo still has a lot of hardcore fans left who are enjoying their Wii Us right now, but the actual sales for the Wii U are disappointing, to say the least, with the Wii U only moving 3.19 million units worldwide since its launch in November of 2012, averaging 455,000 systems a month. That will put Nintendo with over 6 million units moved by the end of this year, which is still a low number. The actual reality right now is that the Wii U is moving slower than anticipated, with only 107,000 units being sold in May and 94,000 in June, compared to Xbox 360 moving 326,000 and 326,000, and the PS3 moving 509,000 and 530,000, respectively.
It is time to really take a sobering look at the numbers here and to realize that Nintendo is not the industry giant that it once was and that while there are many fans who are diehard Nintendo fans, they are apparently only a fraction of the gaming world. No wonder companies like Electronic Arts don’t see the point in making games for the Wii U anymore, something which does not help the Wii U at all, especially with some of their bigger sports titles coming out in Q3 and Q4 of this year.
Interest in the Wii U is only dropping. The Wii U saw decent numbers in the first and second month, moving 2.2 million of those 3.19 million consoles, then it dropped off significantly. The Xbox 360 only sold 1.1 million units in its first two months and the PS3 only 1.2 million, but neither console saw the sharp drop in sales afterwards, in fact, they both saw steady sales that always seem to increase every holiday season.
The Wii U could see the same sales boost this holiday season, but against the competition, which will be fresh and new, and whose previous generation consoles are on a regular basis beating the Wii U, any hopes of the Wii U having a resurgence are remote, at best. While Nintendo might not be in any financial duress at the moment, and the sales of the 3DS continue to be impressive, unless Nintendo can make some big moves this holiday season it is safe to say that they are officially no longer a major player in the home console market.
The Wii U will continue to be a system that those who own it love, but that might be the end of the line for it.