Home Gaming Is the tide changing for Nintendo’s Wii U?

Is the tide changing for Nintendo’s Wii U?

2 min read


Beyond positive stories like the latest Pokémon selling like proverbial hotcakes, and Smash Bros being a critical and commercial darling, there’s not much in the way of good news for Nintendo right now. The Wii U still isn’t selling nearly as well as anyone would like,  and if reports are to be believed, Black Friday hasn’t changed that much. Still, some are bullish about Nintendo’s future, and one of them is rather surprising: Michal Pachter.

The Wedbush Securities video game analysts usually has nothing but doom and gloom predicted for the Big N, but he’s now got some actual kind words.

“There hasn’t been much good news to report regarding Nintendo’s financial situation since the company’s historic annual loss way back in the 2011 to 2012 period,” Pachter said. “That may be changing. Strong sales of new Wii U and 3DS software helped raise the company to a surprising quarterly profit of 24.2 billion yen (about $224 million) in net income for the three months ending September 2014. That’s quite a turnaround after a loss of over eight billion yen (about $74.2 million) in the same period last year.”

He expects strong sales of Smash Bros and the newly released Skylander-like Amiibo to help drive Nintendo’s fortunes – though it’s unlikely to help sell more consoles. It could, however, add $200 to $300 million to the company’s annual income. “Amiibo is a positive for Wii U hardware, but they are more of a collectible initially than a console-driver,” Pachter said. “As they get better incorporated into games, the Wii U will have greater appeal and will skew younger. Amiibo will have very limited impact on Skylanders and Infinity. Obviously, Amiibo gives people another choice, but it is arriving late to the party.”

Scott Moffitt, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nintendo believes this will be the strongest holiday for the company is years.

“The name of the game for Nintendo is games,” Moffitt said. “When you have a great launch like Mario Kart 8, a single launch can change your momentum fairly quickly. Our Wii U hardware business is up 47 percent this year versus last year and our Wii U software is up 84 percent. Those are testaments to a strong launch like Mario Kart 8 that has universal appeal. And Super Smash Bros. Wii U will be the next catalyst for hardware sales.”

After two lacklustre years on the market, is the tide finally changing for Nintendo’s newest home console?

Last Updated: December 1, 2014


  1. RinceThis

    December 1, 2014 at 11:41



  2. Ryanza

    December 1, 2014 at 11:42

    Just have to mention Bayonetta 2, game of the year, only on Wii U.

    Support Nintendo.


  3. Hammersteyn

    December 1, 2014 at 11:43

    But where’s the games? If the console could run games like Destiny,COD,FC4,etc. along with it’s own exclusives then it would be so much more competitive. If there is a successor to the WIIU they will really need to beef up the consoles specs


    • DL

      December 1, 2014 at 13:04

      I don’t believe “competitive” is in Nintendo’s vocabulary. I really think their primary concern is “profitable”. I know that sounds pedantic, but it really does fit. Unlike the other console makers, they are are a dedicated interactive entertainment business; they don’t have business software or consumer electronics to pad their balance sheet. If they van internalize their software (the real profit center), then they can maximize their profitability over the “commodity hardware” vendors. If you look at the way Panasonic and Goldstar (now known as LG) were exploited for the 3DO business model, you’ll see some similarities in the way Sony and Microsoft are trending with relatively few compelling exclusives driving hardware choice, and only getting a fraction on third-party software sales to make up for low (or negative) hardware margins.

      If Nintendo can stay out if that “race to the bottom” mentality, then they can at least remain in business, just with lower volume with better margins.


      • Hammersteyn

        December 1, 2014 at 13:06

        I hope they can stay in the game, I really want a WIIU but the games are just not there at the moment for me.


        • DL

          December 1, 2014 at 13:30

          Fair enough… I got “lost” with games around the time the online FPS rose to prominence, so I missed most of the last generation. In the last ten years, I’ve found Nintendo is really focused on making experiences that stand apart from the crowd, something that appeals to me.

          Now, somewhat ironically, their third-party console exclusives on the indie scene are really getting me excited for them as a console. Shovel Knight and Steamworld Dig aren’t exactly Assassin’s Creed in scope or graphics, but they still test my reflexes and create a similar escape.

          (I really enjoy AC4: Black Flag on Wii U, so am totally not disagreeing with you on your main point, but I feel I can’t afford to compromise from the brilliant experiences Nintendo creates.)


        • Carl Fin

          December 1, 2014 at 18:27


          1. super mario 3D world,

          2. mario kart,
          3. Bayonettta 1 & 2,

          4. smash brothers,

          5. shovel knight
          6. Best version of Rayman Origins by a mile
          7. Child of Light
          8. Playing all of the above in bed, or where you like on a handheld.
          9. Wind Wakjer HD
          10. monster hunter 3
          11. black ops 2 with dual screen local multiplayer so the other player can;t see where you are
          12. wonderful 101
          13. Luigi U
          14. pikmin 3
          15. ABout 10 upcoming games that are even better including Zelda U, X, project Cars with offscreen, soul saga, devils 3rd, mario maker, yoshis wooly world, festival of magic, splatoon

          etc etc etc

          No games? And the same old same old that is on the twins (both of them) is more appealing?


          • Hammersteyn

            December 2, 2014 at 07:50

            Well most are Mario in a different flavour, then there’s more Zelda. Bayonetta 2 would be awesome. PS4 has remote play as well. My point is if you take all the mentioned games plus what the twins (I loled a bit) have at the moment the WIIU could have been miles ahead. Extra third party support would have given it such a huge boost

          • H0M3RC1D4L

            December 2, 2014 at 12:38

            This is where you have to consider what you are buying the Wii U for. If you aren’t into Nintendo exclusives then there really is no point. If the Wii U had higher specs it’s still unlikely it would have been competitive and would have put the company into a bigger financial hole. They are profitable…which is all that really matters and they have nearly all of the core experiences you would expect to see each generation. Waiting longer means you simply aren’t interested.

          • Hammersteyn

            December 2, 2014 at 12:46

            Well I was playing with the idea of either buying a WIIU or a XBOX One because there hasn’t been a lot of games this year that has really drawn my attention

          • Carl Fin

            December 2, 2014 at 18:32

            If this as possible, I am sure it would have been done.

    • CAE9872

      December 1, 2014 at 13:26

      That is the big issue – yes the fanboys can decry that all they want but from a business perspective, assuming Nintendo want to make money, you cannot just ignore the 3rd party publishers. And they haven’t had the best of interactions with Nintendo it seems in the past.

      So yeah bring those big franchises on board and you would easily have parity to some degree. There is no doubt the WiiU has the best exclusives! But then that is all they have with no breadth to their armour.


    • Carl Fin

      December 1, 2014 at 18:14

      If you want specs buy a pc.


      • JJ

        December 1, 2014 at 20:31

        This. I really see zero point in a PS4/Xbone as everything I’m interested in on those consoles is on my computer. What is the point of them? I bought a wiiU because it’s the only console offering a unique experience this generation


    • Kaihaku

      December 1, 2014 at 18:26

      Technically, the Wii U can run Destiny or any of the other third party titles that were also released on last gen consoles like the PS3 or Xbox 360. The fact that Destiny isn’t on the Wii U isn’t a horsepower issue, it’s a failure of Nintendo’s leadership to make third party support happen.


      • Jissu

        December 1, 2014 at 18:54

        Actually, it’s mainly the fact that big third party companies stopped supporting it because they got lazy, didn’t want to make a port for the Wii U because they didn’t want to incorporate the GamePad and they knew it won’t sell as well as they want. Sure, Nintendo could push them, but all in all, EA, Ubisoft and etc are just being dicks at this point.


  4. Ryanza

    December 1, 2014 at 11:50

    The problem with the WiiU is that the Wii sold so ridiculously well. Over 100 million consoles sold. The Wii U could never live up to those stats. Wii U released at the end of 2012 and 2013 being compared to 2012 Wii console sales, of course it will look bad.

    But now, 2014 being compared to 2013 Wii U sales, Wii U is starting to look better. Plus the games mean you should be buying one.


  5. Kensei Seraph No DA:I spoilers

    December 1, 2014 at 11:58

    Console purchase order:
    1. PC upgrade
    2. Wii U
    3. PS4
    4. PC upgrade
    5. Wii U successor/PS5


    • CAE9872

      December 1, 2014 at 13:27

      I will help you get your priorities right 🙂

      1 – WiiU if that is what you want
      2 – PS4
      3 – Xbox One
      4 – PC upgrade
      5 – PC upgrade
      6 – PC upgrade


      • Kensei Seraph - 10 more days

        December 1, 2014 at 15:58

        Why would I want both a Xbone and PS4?


        • Wyzak

          December 1, 2014 at 16:04

          Indeed, why would you ever want to?

          I can understand Wii U + Xbone, or Wii U + PS4, but not Xbone + PS4.


        • CAE9872

          December 1, 2014 at 16:06

          Because there are some great games exclusive to one or other! But yes, WiiU and one other does sound sensible. Pity I am not sensible!


          • H0M3RC1D4L

            December 2, 2014 at 12:38

            Lol…I also fall into that category

  6. Mark Vincer

    December 1, 2014 at 13:45

    I WANT


  7. Riaan

    December 1, 2014 at 15:36

    Ninty never relied on third party games to sell consoles. Was COD, or GTA or any of those ever a thing on the
    What sold the wii (other than the casual family games) was the same thign that will sell the wiiU. Mariokart, zelda, smash bros etc etc. The first party games. These are now rolling out enforce and I think we’ll see a change of momentum.


  8. Carl Fin

    December 1, 2014 at 18:14

    Eh, no good Wii U news because the media only likes bad Wii U news, you included. For a period on black Friday, Ebay were selling 4 Wii U’s per second and sold out of their 4k batch at $260 in 17 minutes. That’s 4 times faster than the other massive offer that was going on at the same time. $100 off the ipad air 2 which sold 1 item per second.

    But hey, let’s all talk about ps4 and xb1 until it comes out of our arse. Shooty shooty bang bang.


  9. Johnny5isAlive

    December 2, 2014 at 06:24

    I was thinking about PS4 and Xbox1 but… its christmas and I remember being 4 years old and my older brother and I got nintendo, than sega, than super nes, etc… kids need to open some giftwrap and see Mario Kart 8 flying down some antigravitational pulling walls… Nintendo should make more sega titles, bring a streets of rage for WII U or BattleToads… I got PC that outdoes ps4 and xboxone and its like 2 years old. GTX 680 I7-3770K 16 ram 3tb HD and 500 ssdhd… im good on these next gen systems… WII U… aint bad… NINTENDO needs a revival… Cant wait for the starfox


  10. Johnny5isAlive

    December 2, 2014 at 06:25



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