Nintendo Believed Nintendo Wii U Sales Would Break 100 Million

One of the more infamous stories that came after former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata’s death was that his predecessor, Hiroshi Yamauchi, said that if Nintendo Wii U sales weren’t good enough that Iwata should kill himself. While this seems like an unreasonable demand now, at the time Nintendo believed that Wii U sales would rival that of the original Wii.

The Wii console, which came out in 2006, set motion gaming into motion (heh) and sparked a variety of other motion-run games including things like the Playstation Move and the Xbox Kinect. While that fad seems to have somewhat died away now, at the time it was hugely popular. The Nintendo Wii has sold 101.63 million units worldwide since March of this year.

With such success, obviously the Wii U should have sold just as well. After all, you could take it with you and play games without having to use the TV, it had more processing power and better graphics, so it should have been an even bigger hit, right? Unfortunately, no. Nintendo Wii U sales have only totaled 12.80 million as of March of this year.

So what was the problem? According to Nintendo’s current president, Tatsumi Kimishima, the projected 100 million Nintendo Wii U sales had come from an international sales meeting, and was projected by someone. Kimishima said that, since the Wii had sold so well, Nintendo needed to give people a reason as to why they should buy a Wii U, instead of relying on more Wii hype.

Kimishima believes that Nintendo faces a similar situation with its upcoming console, the Nintendo NX. While anticipation has been building up for the console, Nintendo has barely said anything about it, only announcing that some games (such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) will be coming up for it, and some of Nintendo’s more popular games would be ported over to it.

These games include things like Splatoon, Nintendo’s highly-popular third-person team-based shooting game where instead of killing players, you paint the arena.

In short, if the Nintendo NX is to be successful, then Nintendo actually has to make it look different from the Wii U and the Wii, and persuade people to buy it.

Hunter is a long time fan of strategy, RPG, and tabletop games. When he is not playing games, he likes to write about them.