Nintendo Seen Missing Target as Sony-Microsoft Sales Dwarf Wii U
Nintendo Co.’s prospects for meeting its profit and sales forecasts for this year are diminishing after Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. each sold more game consoles in 24 hours than the Wii U maker did in nine months.
Nintendo’s family-focused content is losing its appeal as titles were delayed, casual gamers migrate to smartphones and tablets, and hardcore players opt for faster Sony and Microsoft machines. The world’s biggest maker of video-game machines also refuses to offer games with its lineup of iconic characters such as Mario and Zelda on mobile devices, limiting its ability to profit from surging demand by online players.
President Satoru Iwata vowed in October he would meet a forecast for 100 billion yen ($973 million) in full-year operating profit and 9 million units in Wii U sales. Analysts are skeptical, with the average estimate for profit at 57 billion yen and for sales at 6.2 million units.
“They steadfastly refuse to consider that the product is not interesting to consumers,” Michael Pachter, a Los Angeles-based analyst with Wedbush Securities Inc., said in an e-mail. “They will fail to hit 9 million, and they will likely miss their profit goals.”
Pachter forecasts sales of 6 million units.