Nintendo’s flagship product still has that new console smell, and yet:
Nintendo (NTDOY) now faces the very real prospect of having an absolute flop on its hands. As Microsoft (MSFT) moved an estimated 281,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. in January to take the top spot for the 25th consecutive month, Gamasutra reports that Nintendo sold “well under” 100,000 Wii U consoles last month. The site estimates that sales may have fallen between 45,000 and 59,000 units in January, which could mark the worst month for a Nintendo console since before the original Wii launched.
Of course, sharp VodkaPundit readers — is there any other kind? — were aware of the Wii U’s potential stink-factor way back in October of 2011:
So what trick does Nintendo have up its sleeve for next year? It’s called Wii U. Rhymes, I think, with p-yew. It’s a console with cheap-looking iPad knockoffs for controllers. It has a touch screen! And lots of buttons! Two circle pads! A thumb pad! And a stylus!
Really? A stylus?
Everything that Wii was — simple, intuitive — Wii U looks to be something else. Do XBOX and PS3 controllers scare you, with their size and all those buttons? Wii U controllers are bigger and more buttony. Which screen do you look at — the one in your hands or the one on the wall? Why the hell do I need a stylus?
I just don’t get it. That controller is such a huge slab of a thing, my first reaction was, “My God, it’s full of stars.”
But it gets worse, as we (hah!) go back to BGR’s report:
Relief will likely not come anytime soon for Nintendo. New video game consoles take years to develop and typically remain on the market for the better part of a decade. What’s more, Nintendo has said it will not lower the Wii U’s retail price — the company is already selling the Wii U at a loss — so it remains unclear how Nintendo plans to reverse its current slump and bolster sales.
Oh, well. At least maybe now it won’t be long before you can play Mario Whatever on your iOS, Android, and Microsoft devices.