It’s been an interesting and unfortunate few days for Nintendo. First, they revised down their sales forecasts for the fiscal year, aiming to sell 4 million Wii U systems by the end of March. It’s not immediately clear why the Wii U is selling so relatively poorly, but it’s likely to be some combination of a lack of games, the post-Christmas sales drought and the fact that many gamers are still happy with their PS3s and Xbox 360s. What’s interesting to note is that the Wii U actually did pretty well at launch – its sales figures for the first couple of weeks outstripped even the Wii – but since then they’ve dried up pretty badly. The Wii U’s sales last week barely outstripped those of its predecessor.
Still, all is not lost for the beleaguered manufacturer. While sales are slow at the moment, news emerged in a Nintendo Direct broadcast that there is a new 3D Mario game in development as well as a new Zelda title. This as-yet-unnamed game was joined in its announcement by the revealing of an HD remake of the 2003 GameCube title, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Alongside such weighty announcements were others to bolster Nintendo’s future lineup, including the news that Masahiro Sakurai is planning to showcase the latest installment of the Super Smash Bros. series at this year’s E3, as well as a new game from Monolith Soft, developers of Xenoblade Chronicles, enigmatically entitled X.
Sony got into the next-generation game as well this week, setting a big question mark in motion by announcing a conference on February 20th to showcase the ‘future of PlayStation’. This is widely speculated to be the formal reveal of the PlayStation 4. This would make PS4 the second console of the Eighth Generation to be unveiled, and quite a large incentive for Microsoft to rush out a reveal of their newest system. Recent sales figures suggest the PlayStation 3 is catching the Xbox 360 in lifetime sales (though both lag behind the Wii) and despite a continually poor showing for the Vita, a new console may revitalize interest in the company.