Mario Kart 8 helps boost Nintendo Wii U sales, but is it too late?

Mario Kart 8 for Wii 01

Mario and friends are helping to save the lagging Wii U, but with large losses compared to this period last year, what can Nintendo do?

In Nintendo’s earnings release for the first fiscal quarter ending 30th June 2014 they’ve posted a significant loss of ¥9.92 billion ($97 million), despite Mario Kart 8 being a success and selling 2.82 million copies.

This loss is a huge blow to Nintendo, with net income positively equalling ¥8.62 billion ($84.59 million) at the same time last year. However the company does forecast ending the year with a positive net income of ¥20 billion ($196 million).

Nintendo is relying on its other big name titles, stating that from the summer to the end of the calendar year games like Hyrule Warriors, BAYONETTA 2, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U are ‘key titles’ that will help to ‘further stimulate the platform.’

In the same period last year Wii U sales were at 160,000 units, whereas in this year’s period they’re up to 510,000 units sold. Nintendo have a projected total unit sales of 3.6 million by the end of this fiscal year on 31 March 2015.

Whilst the Wii U sales are up, it’s the Nintendo 3DS sales that have taken a hit, with a total of 1.4 million units sold in this period last year, to this year’s 820,000 sold. Nintendo are forecasting 12 million 3DS sales by the end of this fiscal year on 31 March 2015.

Software-wise The Wii U has done well, with 4.39 million units sold this period compared to 1.03 million at the same time last year – but remember, 2.82 million of those are due to Mario Kart 8. Those sales are inclusive of games bundled with hardware too.

These figures, whilst handy, aren’t necessarily needed to understand why they’re doing so badly, certainly in terms of the Wii U. Its games that are needed, big name games. Sure, Mario Kart 8 has seen a spike in sales, and that’s great, but Nintendo really needs to pull out the big guns, and soon, if it’s wanting to hit those big sale forecasts by next year.

Take a look at the Nintendo reports yourself for more info here, and here.

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