Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima has revealed that the company once had sky high expectations for Wii U sales.
Nintendo recently held a shareholder’s meeting where Kimishima, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Shinya Takahashi answered questions. The Wii U’s launch was brought up, the shareholder insinuating that Kimishima did not show a lot of confidence. Kimishima shot this down, revealing that an internal sales rep told him shortly before launch that they expected to sell 100 million Wii Us.
“I would first like to clarify my purported comments on Wii U. I do not wish to make excuses, but at the time of the Wii U launch, I was responsible for our sales base in the United States, and I never made any pessimistic comments. In an internal sales representative meeting, someone projected that we would sell close to 100 million Wii U systems worldwide. The thinking was that because Wii sold well, Wii U would follow suit. I said that, since the Wii had already sold so well, we need to clearly explain the attraction of the Wii U if we are to get beyond that and sell the new system, and that this would be no easy task. I was responsible for selling the Wii U, and I knew what was good about it, so I talked with those in charge of sales about the importance of conveying the attractiveness of Wii U to consumers. I am guessing that some of this communication may have come across in a negative tone.”
We obviously know this is not the case. Despite accumulating critical hits like Super Mario 3D World, Splatoon, and Mario Kart 8, the Wii U was a failure sales-wise. The most recent estimates show the Wii U at almost 13 million units, a far cry from the 100 million Wiis sold. With the NX set to launch in 2017, hopefully Nintendo doesn’t tale the sales of the Wii for granted and seriously invests in the platform’s messaging.