Nintendo Lower Nintendo 3DS And Wii U Sales Forecast

By Ishaan . January 30, 2013 . 10:00am

In their last financial report, Nintendo forecast that they would sell 5.5 million Wii U systems from its November launch to March 31st, 2013 and and 17.5 Nintendo 3DS systems between April 1st, 2012 and March 31st, 2013. This forecast has now been revised.


Nintendo’s earnings release for their third financial quarter, which ended December 31st, 2012, includes a revised forecast for both systems:


Wii U – 4 million by March 31st, 2013

Nintendo 3DS – 15 million by March 31st, 2013


This is the second time Nintendo have had to lower their 3DS forecast for the ongoing financial year. Originally, the plan was to sell 18.5 million 3DS systems by March 31st (then down to 17.5 and now to 15 million).


Thus far, the Nintendo 3DS has sold 12.71 million units worldwide this financial year, with total worldwide sales at 28.84 million units. Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, has admitted in the past that there’s room for the system’s performance to improve in western territories.


Meanwhile, the Wii U has sold 3.06 million units worldwide thus far.


On the bright side, Nintendo’s profit forecasts have actually increased for the ongoing financial year. The company previously cut its profit forecast in half, revising it from 20 billion yen to just 6 billion yen. This figure has now increased to 14 billion yen (about $153.8 million). The reason for the change is due to gains from the currency exchange rate between the Yen, Euro and Dollar.


While profits are up, the overall revenue forecast for Nintendo has been revised, now down from 810 billion yen ($8.9 billion) to 670 billion yen ($7.4 billion).


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  • The financial statement was alot more positve than most sites are spinning it

    the 3ds 30 mil in less than 2 fiscal years is unheard of. And the wii u has had a good start, profit has been made.

    Really the projections dont mean much of anything. I hope they go the sony route of under promise over deliver.

    The 3ds will easily hit that goal

    • Yvonne Tsang

      Yeah, even if hardware sales are lower than originally forecasted, they’ve got some pretty strong software to help cushion it. The recent Wii U announcement definitely brightens Wii U’s future.

    • Peeka Chu

      They cut 30-40% off the 3DS price in the first 6 months and issued a public apology to early adopters. The sales are good, but let’s not forget what got them to that point or fail to note the downward trending or adjusted forecasts even after the price cut. A lot of the traditional price-cuts that are done to spur failing demand can’t be done now, which is why I think we’ll see a much shorter 3DS cycle than was initially anticipated.

      The news isn’t bad, but lowering forecasts on every one of your products and software services certainly isn’t good either. Their forecasted profit is down too, and most of this money this year will come from currency adjustments, not sales. Its so hard to find moderate opinions on the internet. Or people that understand business. They’re hardly going under or about to close up shop, but they’re not in the best position either. This year should be interesting. I’m curious to see consumer reception to the Nextbox/ PS4 when they launch. Perhaps – mass – consumers just aren’t into consoles anymore.

      • kylehyde

        I don’t think that we are going to se a short life cycle for the 3DS. Is true that they struggle on the first monts, but during the 2012 they adjusted to a very comfortable position.

    • @peeka
      The price cut excuse is irrelevant. All systems get price cuts mostly within the first year. That excuse no longer applies.

      “I think we’ll see a much shorter 3DS cycle than was initially anticipated.” Outpacing most systems ever in history, its on the 100 mil pace.

      forecasts dont matter, its actual sales that matter

      • Peeka Chu

        A price cut is irrelevant? Forecasts don’t matter? I can’t tell if you’re serious or just seriously misinformed. Do you own stocks? Have RRSPs or any sort of investments whatsoever? Yes, actual sales do matter, and those “sales” are short of expectations made by Nintendo themselves in response to perceived consumer demand. Price cuts are not an “excuse”, and anyone with sense can see that Wii U/ 3DS sales won’t be anywhere near what their predecessor’s were. No one is decrying doom or being dramatic here, aside from yourself. I think Nintendo will be fine, and for once I’m in agreement with Ishaan that this is a stopgap generation. For all of the console makers, I would say. The market is too up in the air and rife with change to make a lasting product. Consumers don’t know what they want with so many choices and leaps in mobile technology quarter to quarter. The only end in sight is the “omni-device”, that one thing that plays games, hooks up to wireless controllers, tvs, surfs the web and does every lifestyle function imaginable.

        That is where we are headed. Toward convergence, not separate box items that sit under a tv. Perhaps Nintendo gets this, with the recent merging of their divisions. But I forsee someone like Samsung making it there first. We’ll have to see. In 10 years we’ll be carrying our consoles around, likely separately branded by Ninty, Sony, MS, Samsung, whoever. If you follow technology, you can see the evidence right in front of you. Services are streamlining, we have phalets now (phone+tablet). None of these devices quite hits the right itch, but they’re getting there. So yes, I’d call this a stopgap generation too.

    • puchinri

      Well, you have to remember, Nintendo is always doomed to the rest of the gaming media. No matter what.

      I appreciate that Siliconera approaches Nintendo news straightforward and honest, and positive in most cases.

      • oh I know the nintendo doomed rule

    • I don’t know which sites you’re looking at, honestly. There are a few that tend to get a little ahead of themselves (I won’t name names) but the ones I generally frequent have reported this news the same way we have. Neither extremely positive nor extremely negative.

      We all saw the low Wii U sales coming from a mile away. We’ve also known for the longest time that there is absolutely no chance that 3DS would ever match Nintendo DS in sales. Will it be a successful system? Undoubtedly, yes. Will it (or Wii U) do as well as their predecessors? Nope.

      I stand by what I said in another separate discussion. I feel like both the 3DS and Wii U are stopgap systems meant to hold things over until Nintendo figure out what the “next big thing” is, which is what their R&D efforts are currently focused on.

      • I wasnt addressing this site even when I made that statement.

        The 3ds is currently globally outpacing the ds, so we never know what can happen there

        will wii u match wii? way way too early. But the sales have been solid, not record breaking, just solid.

        I dont think they are stop gap at all

        • Lightthrower

          The WiiU will never match Wii sale just because of name recognition. The casuals don’t know it’s a new console and they don’t need a new console.

      • Isnt the 3DS outselling the DS in the same span of time?

        • Ishaan I really dont agree with the whole stop gap idea. The 3DS is doing very well and the Wii U might seem like a stop gap, but I dont believe its going to end up like the Wii development wise and I expect it to sell, but this console generation might only span 4-5 years. Nintendo certainly did not seem to develop it like it was stop gap system. Just read the Iwata asks interview about the Wii U hardware.They cant just be pushing out hardware like that man. They need software.

          • Well, I didn’t mean “stopgap” in a negative sense. Clearly, they’re going to take both platforms seriously and we’re still going to get great games on both of them.

            What I meant was, like you said, this console generation will likely not last as long for Nintendo for a couple of reasons.

            On the 3DS front, the device is a success but I can see them wanting to come out with their own phone or something along those lines in three or so years from now. Meanwhile, on the Wii U front, it clearly isn’t impressing a lot of third-party developers, so they’ll need to address that issue in the future as well.

            Like the Nikkei report revealed a few weeks ago, their plan is to push 3DS-Wii U connectivity but also to work on some sort of revolutionary hardware alongside, for the future. With the idea of this so-called revolutionary system looming over them, it likely means that 3DS and Wii U aren’t going to be their long-term devices like Wii and DS were.

          • J_Joestar

            well to be fair, Nintendo already having some people in the back working on concept ideas for future systems isn’t that surprising.

          • Yeah but I dont think they are going to do a 3DS revision anytime soon.

          • The New handheld will come with the new consoles OS Im assuming.

          • And I think you are overestimating the amount of 3rd parties not giving the Wii U/Nintendo a fair shake. I’ve only seen 3 companies doing that.

    • Minos

      5.5 millions was unrealistic anyways.

  • Well, we’ll see how things shake down when the big titles start dropping. Neither has had a big bang system seller like a Smash Bros or Zelda. (OoT 3D doesn’t count).

    • Zelda is hardly a big bang system seller any more. 3DS will have Pokémon soon. Wii U is up in the air, since Mario is already out and Smash is a ways off. My guess is Mario Kart will be what holds it over in its early life.

      • NSMB != New Mario.

        And I think that fondness/nostalgia for Wind Waker, coupled with the number of people who skipped it, and compounded by the excitement of HD(!), new play style, multiplayer Zelda should move units. A lot of people I know are on the fence for Wii U; they just need a push. And I think the games we grew up in hi def is one hell of a shove.

        • Not sure what you mean?

          • I perceive the hype for sidescrolling Mario games as dying down. We’ve had a ton of them; as many NSMB’s as there have been 3D movement games.

          • also, i edited my reply.

        • “Excitement for HD new style Zelda” won’t move Wii U systems, though. Only the game coming out will do that, and it won’t be out until late 2014 at the earliest. Wind Waker will undoubtedly move a few copies but it isn’t going to do the Wii U any good in the long run.

          • Well we’ll see. I think N is going to blue minds @ E3.

            Hey are y’all going?

          • We do have staff at E3 every year, yeah.

          • Cool. I’ll say hey if I see any of y’all there.

      • Ethan_Twain

        Here’s a thought. Mario Kart and Super Mario 3D Land released real close to one another on the 3DS to bolster it’s initial holiday season. If Mario Kart is going to see a quick turnaround from there, is there any reason why Super Mario wouldn’t also?

        It’s also worth noting that pulling on Retro Studios to help get Mario Kart 7 out the door was pretty successful so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that team leaned upon again for one or more of these projects.

        • I actually wonder if Retro Studios are involved on the Wind Waker remake, judging just by the art style. Very little chance of that being true, but it was just a thought.

          As for 3D Mario and Mario Kart both coming this year… both are going to be playable at E3, so it’s certainly possible. If they want to build up a lead before Microsoft’s next system hits, they’ll need to be quick about it.

  • I thought Nintendo would’ve predicted crappy WiiU sales with that price point and just bank on early adopters who buy it any price, but it seems to be even worse then they expected? Either way I’m sure they were planning on cutting the price to $200 when PS4 drops. I’ll jump onboard then.

    • Its sales aren’t even trailing that far behind the Wii. That said, I can see them slashing $50 at the launch of the competing systems.

      • J_Joestar

        Kinda agree, feels like they are holding their big guns back a bit to act as direct counters when the other systems arrive.

  • British_Otaku

    I often wonder what the point of lowering sales forecasts is. Sure, the target is lower so if they hit that target, officially they have done well in the financial year or in Capcom’s case, X title has managed to sell what they expected.

    We and likely all of the shareholders would be aware that the target was set higher though, and aware of all of the prior targets.

  • SirRichard

    The 3DS is finally hitting its stride in terms of releases, so I can see that being just fine (especially with Pokémon hitting before Christmas), but Nintendo really need to try and fill the Wii U’s library at E3. Wind Waker HD is fine and all, but it really needs a stand-out system seller.

    • Not exactly completely relevant to the discussion but this is an amusing little anecdote nonetheless. When they revealed Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, a lot of people in the industry seemed to have no idea what SMT even was. I saw many mistakenly call it a strategy RPG series like FE.

      • … Are you kidding me?

        • Nope, deadly serious. I was very surprised, too. I didn’t think SMT was that niche, but I guess it hasn’t had a mainline game in so long (10 years since Nocturne) that there are plenty of people who have no clue.

          Hopefully, SMTIV does something about that, but I’m a little worried. Atlus USA lost their marketing person, Aram, a while ago. I hope they can find an effective marketing solution for when SMTIV comes out.

          • Ethan_Twain

            I had been under the impression that SMT was niche, but slowly growing. When/If SMT x Fire Emblem and SMT IV release outside of Japan it might be interesting to do one of your sales breakdown articles where you follow the growth or decline of a franchise over the last couple years. I’ll be interested to see if a (relatively) high profile Nintendo spotlight and a main entry franchise game are able to boost numbers. If not, then it might be time to abandon hope of ever growing beyond niche at all – there’s not a whole lot more you can do than what’s being done now.

          • SMT has nowhere to go but up, at this point. There hasn’t been a new, mainline SMT game in a decade, and Strange Journey was just way too niche to take off in the west. It was a first-person dungeon-crawler and the appeal for those is extremely limited, even more so than strategy RPGs.

            Hopefully, Atlus USA can figure something out with SMTIV. It’s a big deal, and I’m 100% sure it’s going to do well in Japan. It would be nice if they could give it as much recognition in the west as they have Persona.

            As for SMT x FE sales, I’d love to try, but again, the problem is that sales data for mainline Shin Megami Tensei games is really limited. Media Create have only publicly released info from 2006 onwards and I don’t like using the Enterbrain figures, since publishers themselves refer to Media Create.

      • SetzerGabbiani

        I actually made a comment about that in the original SMT x FE thread. The fact that Nintendo is involved will raise the franchise’s profile. I’m glad that this game is happening if nothing else but to raise awareness of SMT outside of Persona.

        • SMT x FE should be interesting to watch, yeah. The problem is that crossovers like those sometimes tend to nullify each series’ individual strengths.

          It’s a gamble. You’ll have some people going, “Oh man, I like Fire Emblem (or SMT), so I’ll definitely check this out.” You’ll also have people going, “Oh man, I like this series, but what’s that other weird thing they’re mixing it with that I don’t give a hoot about? Not for me, thanks.”

      • SirRichard

        …That’s kinda tragic, honestly. Here’s hoping Nintendo turn that around whenever SMT X FE hits.

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        Not to forget the fact that many thought that Persona is the same as SMT too.

        I believe Nintendo actually needs to co-operate with some company outside Japan here. While SMT maybe a big franchise in Japan which of course most of us in Siliconera or Jrpg fans will know.

        I don’t think those who actually plays Jrpg or outside of Japan will know what that game is.

        A collaboration between Nintendo and Gearbox maybe? Or 2k? As both the company there had the brand power to attract “hardcore” gamers. And probably also more famous in the eyes of the world.

        Hell, a collab with Warner Bros and many of it’s old classic cartoon characters like Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny would also be huge.

  • Release Wii u on brazil and have a up on the sales !!!

  • $39420547

    it’s kind of hard for me to believe that a Nintendo don’t know enough to make a correct prediction they are not some random company they’ve been i business for years so am guessing their is more to it than this number

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