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When Nintendo’s 3DS portable launched, calling its reception lukewarm would have been kind. After a price drop, though, the system really took off. If Nintendo wants to sell the 9 million Wii U consoles it hoped to by March 2014, maybe it should try a similar strategy. Since the system’s launch late last year, it’s only sold 3.61 million units worldwide.

Perhaps Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto tried to help the Wii U's sales numbers by purchasing two systems.
Perhaps Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto tried to help the Wii U’s sales numbers by purchasing two systems.

For comparison’s sake, lets look at my Ouya article from the other day — particularly the stats about sales numbers for systems that did poorly. At 3.61 million, the Wii U is slightly above Nokia N-Gage numbers and has reached about a third of the Dreamcast’s final tally. That’s after about 8 months on sale. If Nintendo continues on that pace, it would sell about 5.42 million systems by the one year mark.

Over a six or seven year span — the typical life of a console, these days — that pace would take Nintendo to about 37.94 million systems sold. The original Wii did 99.84 million at last count and is still going strong.

But estimating using those numbers isn’t a good idea, because along with its earnings reports and total sales figures, Nintendo also provided quarterly sales numbers for the Wii U, and they are dismal — 160,000 consoles sold in the last quarter. Between January and March 2013, Nintendo sold over twice as many Wii U consoles, and it’s kind of shocking to see such a huge drop from one quarter to the next.

Blame the next-generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, blame the lack of titles available for the Wii U or blame all of the above — the fact is, the Wii U is selling very poorly and something should be done about it.

Will we see a price drop? Nintendo insists that we won’t. And, despite the poor Wii U sales numbers, the company still managed to make a profit this quarter, so it’s not like the company is bleeding money and everyone’s panicking. But looking at how well the 3DS started selling after the price came down — and, more importantly, it started to get a bunch of good titles — the idea of doing the same for the Wii U has to be tempting to the team at Nintendo.

(h/t Engadget)

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