Slowing sales of the Wii U were due to limited software releases and a failure on Nintendo’s part to effectively market the console, says Nintendo president Saturo Iwata.
Although sales of Wii U progressed favourably at first, the company has since been “unable to incite enough excitement in society” over the Wii U, said Iwata.
“To put it another way, we delivered Wii U to those consumers who we thought would be the first to buy it, but information has not successfully been passed on to those consumers who we think will be the next people to buy it," he said.
“Unlike in the case of Wii, it was difficult to instantly understand the appeal of Wii U."
“Its value by nature is something that takes time to appreciate and hence cannot be spread amongst society instantly; we have yet to communicate its value to the wider public.”
Nintendo’s quarterly financial results which cover the nine months up to the end of December showed Wii U sales of 3.06 million.
This prompted the company to revise its target of 5.5 million sales by the end of March down to 4 million, and was a factor in its operating loss of 5.85 billion Yen (AU$61.3 million).
However, this figure is a marked improvement from the company’s 16.4 billion Yen (AU$171.8 million) loss in the same period last year.
Despite the slow sales, Nintendo will not be cutting the price of its flagship console, said Iwata.
“With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown,” he said.
The company has sold 11.69 million Wii U games since its launch, a figure it hoped would reach 16 million by the end of March.
The report also showed 3DS sales of 12.71 million in the same nine month period, with over five million of those being in Japan.
That brings the total number of 3DS units sold to 29.84 million in 21 months, a figure Nintendo wants to boost with 10 first-party releases for the handheld this year.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Fire Emblem Awakening, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Brain Age: Concentration Training, LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins will all be released in the first half of this year.
Pokémon X & Pokémon Y are due out in October.