Wii U sales are down, and so is Nintendo's profit

The Nintendo Wii U has struggled to attract much interest. 

Reuters
These are grim days for the Nintendo Wii U.

That the Wii U is struggling is no secret. 

But the quarterly financial report released yesterday by Nintendo sheds new light on the challenges facing the console, which Nintendo acknowledged "still has a negative impact on [the company's] profits, owning mainly to its [price] markdown in the US and Europe." Poor Wii U sales helped decrease Nintendo's overall profit by as much as 30 percent over the last nine months, The Associated Press is reporting

Nintendo is facing competition from both the Microsoft Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, a pair of high-powered consoles that managed to drum up a lot more buzz than the Wii U did. Both devices got off to blockbuster starts, and by all accounts, continue to sell well.

As of earlier this month, the PS4 and Xbox One topped the console charts in the US, with the Wii U lagging a good distance behind. 

"The biggest problem with the Wii U is a matter of mood," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. "How do we change the feeling about the Wii U?" A pessimist might say that the race has already been lost – it's hard to change the minds of millions of consumers once they've apparently been made up. That said, the Nintendo 3DS had an impressive turnaround after lackluster initial sales. 

In related news, a new report from the Japanese business daily Nikkei (hat tip to The Verge) suggests that Nintendo may be creating a line of minigames for smart phones and tablets. This could be a smart strategy – even as console sales slide, many analysts have predicted that the mobile gaming market will continue to expand in coming years, both in terms of size and potential profit

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