Wii U suffers miserable sales during the last three months, can Pikmin 3 turn the tide?

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Nintendo has released their second quarter sales figures for 2013, and they do not make for pleasant reading. Their new flagship console, the Wii U, sold just 160,000 units worldwide from the start of April through the end of June. Compare that to its predecessor, the Wii, which managed to sell 210,000 units and push its worldwide sales total past the 100 million mark.

Needless to say, this was reported across the board as disastrous news for the company, however solvent they are. Yet taken in a different perspective, it does not immediately spell doom and gloom for the Wii U. First of all, the console has sold 3.61 million units globally in the eight months since it was released. Also, Q2 saw a vast drought of games for the console. The only first party games released were Game & Wario and New Super Luigi U, and the latter is just a downloadable expansion for New Super Mario Bros. U. Worthwhile third party games were also in scant supply, though multiplatform games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us and Resident Evil Revelations did make it to the Wii U.

The pessimistic view is that games are not the issue, yet as GamesIndustry International reports, the July release of the long-awaited Pikmin 3 pushed the Wii U to sell 22,000 units in a single week in Japan. Given that only 90,000 units sold in that country in the previous three months, it would be safe to assume the raft of new games set to release this year, including The Wonderful 101, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Super Mario 3D World will see the Wii U steadily climb in sales before its next generation siblings are released.

However, Pikmin 3 also illustrates how Nintendo is learning from their past mistakes. A advertising big push for the game in Europe prior to its launch propelled it to number two in the most recent Chart-Track list of bestsellers.

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In addition to being Warp Zoned's UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you're inclined, visit his personal website.

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