Nintendo this week announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, and also outlined its expectations regarding sales of its next-generation video game console and supporting software. Despite of the fact that the Wii U console is brand new and will likely be a target for hardcore gamers this holiday season, Nintendo does not expect to sell too lot of them this fiscal year.
Nintendo expects to sell around 5.5 million Wii U game consoles as well as 24 million of video games for Wii U worldwide by March 31, 2013, the company revealed in its financial release this week. It is noteworthy that by the same date the firm plans to sell another five million of its previous-generation Wii game systems. By contrast, Nintendo expected to sell 12 million Wii game systems in the second half of its fiscal 2011 (October, 2011 – March 31, 2012), which means that at present Nintendo is very conservative about Wii U success.
The reasons behind cautious predictions of Wii U sales are not completely clear, but they could include components shortages, production issues, macro-economic weakness and many others. Still, only 10.5 million of non-portable consoles set to be sold throughout H2 FY2012 rather point to macroeconomic problems. Moreover, the prediction likely does not take into account the fact that the Wii U will likely be popular among both core gamers (who are not affected by general trends) as well as amateur gamers initially.
“For the second half of this fiscal year, we continue to focus on selling "Nintendo 3DS" and aim to make "Wii U" spread from the beginning of its launch scheduled for this year-end sales season. We strive to expand our business by providing games and services which make use of the features of those hardware systems,” a statement by the company reads.
Nintendo Wii U is based on a custom IBM Power microprocessor equipped with 1GB of system memory as well as a modern custom AMD Radeon HD graphics processing unit with high-definition graphics and video support that is equipped with 1GB of graphics memory. The consoles come with 32GB or 8GB of NAND flash storage and an optical drive to read custom discs.
The main feature of the game console is its unique Wii U GamePad controller with 6.2" touch-screen that also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers that can be used to play both classic Gamecube/Wii games as well as specially designed titles that take advantage of the screen. Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories.
Nintendo Wii U console will land in the U.S. on November 18, then in Europe on November 30, then in Japan on December 8, 2012. In the U.S., the basic bundle will cost $299, the premium bundle be available for $349. In Europe, the basic white version will be sold for €299/£249, while the deluxe black will carry €349/£299 price-tag. In Japan, the white and black Wii U will cost ¥26250 and ¥31500, respectively.