All over the world, Sony’s latest handheld, the Playstation Vita, has been under a lot of pressure. Sales haven’t been good for the system as there is a very limited selection of games available. Also, at a price of $250 in the US, there isn’t a lot of people out there who want to dish out that kind of money for a system with a small amount of games.
It was announced this week that the Vita outsold Nintendo’s Wii U console in Japan. It’s rare for a handheld to outsell a console that’s new to the market. People everywhere are starting to question Nintendo and their latest efforts. The Vita sold almost 12,000 units while the Wii U sold under 10,000 last week. These are all low numbers, but it seems suspicious. Usually, when a new system launches, it normally has weekly sales of at least 50,000 – 100,000 per week for it’s first year. The Wii U is less than 4 months old as of right now and is selling under 10,000 units a week. What’s going on?
As I mentioned, this only took place in Japan. The Playstation Vita has a large number of Exclusives available in Japan and not in other countries. Nintendo’s Wii U console, on the other hand, hasn’t had any new retail games since it’s launch in November 2012. Also, The Wii U is slightly more expensive than the Playstation Vita. Would you rather buy a handheld console with a low amount of games, or a more expensive home console with almost no games? You know the answer to that one. Nintendo has announced many new titles over the past few months and weeks. Unfortunately, these titles won’t be shown until The E3 Event in June. Yes, there are games coming out in March and April for the Wii U, but these games aren’t big system sellers.
Even though this may be a unique event, don’t count on it staying this way. The Playstation Vita will eventually pick up from 12,000 units to at least 20,000 units by the end of this year with the release of the Playstation 4. Sony has plans of releasing every Playstation 4 game on the Playstation Vita starting at the end of this year. At the same time, once Nintendo releases a few flagship titles such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart, the Wii U console will see heavily increased sales.
This seems very similar to Nintendo’s 3DS Handheld at it’s launch. When it was first released, it didn’t sell much. As the system received a price cut and larger game selection, sales for the handheld increased dramatically and is now one of the fastest selling systems of all time. The Wii U also has this potential. A lot of people don’t even know what a Wii U is and they think it’s an extension to the Wii. Also, there are no games out. Nintendo needs to take advantage of better marketing and make it clear that the Wii U is an entirely new gaming console. Once the system receives a price cut of it’s own, Sales should increase as well. Of course, there needs to be more games before Nintendo even considers a Wii U price cut.
In all reality, this is just a bump in the road for Nintendo. They have a very unique console and even though it isn’t as powerful as Sony’s upcoming PS4, it’s still an amazing gaming experience. The Wii U will most likely follow the footsteps of the 3DS in terms of sales and revenue. Also, Sony will eventually sell more Vita systems as well. Is Nintendo in trouble? Yes, but not for long. Nintendo will rebound as always. The Wii U has a lot of potential to be much more successful than 2006’s Wii.
Nintendo is simply having a little bit of trouble and they’ll eventually sell more systems. Nintendo will not go out of business or quit making hardware in the foreseeable future. It seems as if Nintendo has learned quite a few lessons with the Gamecube, 3DS and Wii U and with the 9th generation of gaming coming between 2018 and 2020, Nintendo will not make the same mistakes.