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Nintendo Expected To Miss Full-Year Wii U Sales Forecast

Nintendo Expected To Miss Full-Year Wii U Sales Forecast

Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) is on the cusp of another Wii U sales disappointment.

The company has repeatedly predicted that it would reach new milestones each quarter. Thus far, the Mario maker has been unable to accomplish any of those goals.

For example, Nintendo had initially projected Wii U sales of 5.5 million units by the end of March 2013. The console was released in November 2012, so this would have amounted to 1.1 million units per month.

By the time March ended, however, Nintendo had only managed to sell 3.45 million units.

During the June quarter, Wii U sales reached an all-time low with only 160,000 units sold. The console rebounded somewhat during the September quarter, moving 300,000 units.

While there was once a time when Wii U was expected to perform as well as its predecessor, which sold 100 million units worldwide, DFC Intelligence thinks that Wii U will top out at 25 million units.

That would make Wii U just slightly more successful than GameCube (Nintendo's least successful game console), which sold 21.74 million units.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata promised that full-year Wii U sales would reach nine million units. This is physically impossible to achieve considering the fact that Nintendo has sold less than one million units during the first nine months of the year.

Nintendo may not be able to sell nine million units by the end of its fiscal year (which ends in March) either. In order to do so, Wii U sales would have to skyrocket from 300,000 units during the September quarter to several million units in the December quarter.

Related: Sony's PlayStation 4 Achieves New Sales Milestone

At best, Nintendo could try to reach sales of nine million total Wii U consoles by the end of March, but even that would be difficult to achieve. As of September, lifetime Wii U sales had barely reached four million units.

Thus, in order to sell nine million consoles, Nintendo would have to sell an additional five million units between October 2013 and March 2014. This is not impossible. But it was a sales goal Nintendo could not achieve between November 2012 and March 2013, when the console was new and there were no competitors around to challenge its success. Can Nintendo really expect to turn things around now that Sony and Microsoft have released new consoles, both of which are selling at a record-breaking pace?

Based on the Bloomberg report, it seems that most analysts expect Wii U to achieve sales of roughly six million units. Even that is not a given. It would require Nintendo to sell an additional two million units before the end of March.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ


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