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The Wii U’s day of reckoning has arrived

Published Dec 3rd, 2013 12:00PM EST
Wii U Sales PS4 Xbox One Launch

Nintendo’s Wii U had a one-year head start over its rival consoles and it now appears that all of that time has now been squandered. Bloomberg notes that Wii U sales are being absolutely crushed by sales of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One in early holiday shopping as Sony and Microsoft “each sold more game consoles in 24 hours than the Wii U maker did in nine months.” Recent sales figures have led analysts to project that Nintendo will whiff badly on its goal to sell 9 million Wii U consoles by the end of March and many think the company will instead sell only around 6 million units.

“They steadfastly refuse to consider that the product is not interesting to consumers,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg. “They will fail to hit 9 million, and they will likely miss their profit goals.”

If things don’t get any better for the Wii U — and now that both Sony and Microsoft have both launched their hugely anticipated consoles it’s hard to see how they will — then what could Nintendo’s backup plan be? The company has refused to consider licensing out its popular Mario and Zelda franchises to other platforms so far because those exclusive franchises are the biggest reason gamers buy Nintendo consoles in the first place. But if no one is buying the Wii U regardless of what exclusive games it has, Nintendo may need to rethink its strategy.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.