As you likely know by now, Nintendo is once again making money. Apparently, they haven’t done that since 2011. Surprisingly, the earnings are coming from lower than expected sales:
- Wii U sales totaled 3.4 million, expected 3.6 million.
- 3DS sales totaled 8.7 million, expected 9 million (despite the New 3DS).
- 63 million 3DS games, expected 67 million.
- 24.4 million Wii U games, expected 25 million (up from initial prediction of 20 million).
The sales of the best Mario Kart in the franchise, and well received Super Smash Bros, clearly helped these numbers. Furthermore, Nintendo reported a 30% increase in digital sales, which obviously made them more money than physical disks.
However, I’m surprised digital sales didn’t increase more. Digital distribution makes environmental sense, in addition to the personal advantages that I think by far outweigh the benefits of physical disks: they don’t break, get lost or outdated; are instantly available, and finally encourages impulsive gaming. I guess Nintendo doesn’t push digital sales more aggressively by lowering their prices on the eShop as Nintendo as a brand benefit from being visible and available in stores both on- and offline.
Anyway, if Nintendo can keep this going, the WiiU should stick around for at least another two years:
We know that Nintendo will focus on WiiU and 3DS at E3 in June, which makes it obvious that both the WiiU and (New) 3DS will last well into 2016. Which is the year Nintendo will launch their first mobile games and likely some Quality of Life products, as well as reveal the Nintendo NX, and finally get Zelda in the hands of impatiently waiting WiiU players.
Meanwhile Nintendo will keep increase their lucrative Amiibo collection and extend in-game Amiibo support; and publish Splatoon, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Maker and Star Fox.