To date Nintendo's Wii U has sold 12.8m units since its release in 2012. It turns out that's way, way less than at least one Nintendo executive predicted.
In an internal sales representative meeting, someone projected that we would sell close to 100 million Wii U systems worldwide. The thinking was that because Wii sold well, Wii U would follow suit,” Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima told investors.
The anecdote came as the platform holder boss defended himself against accusations that he had been down on the Wii U before it was even released.
I do not wish to make excuses, but at the time of the Wii U launch, I was responsible for our sales base in the United States, and I never made any pessimistic comments,” he added. I said that, since the Wii had already sold so well, we need to clearly explain the attraction of the Wii U if we are to get beyond that and sell the new system, and that this would be no easy task.
I was responsible for selling the Wii U, and I knew what was good about it, so I talked with those in charge of sales about the importance of conveying the attractiveness of Wii U to consumers. I am guessing that some of this communication may have come across in a negative tone.”
Development boss Shigeru Miyamoto elaborated: It is true that we are having a hard time with Wii U sales, due to its price and the added fact that tablets are distributed free of charge in the market. I do think Wii U continues to be attractive as a media device that changes life in the living room. A similar challenge continues with NX.”
Lifetime Wii sales reached 101.6m units.