Macquarie Securities Senior Research Analyst David Gibson is well known as a relevant voice for all things Nintendo, and yesterday he tweeted a revision to his forecast of Wii U’s sales for the current fiscal year:
Nintendo – WiiU we now forecast 4.3m for FY3/14 down from 6.8m prior, but Dec in JP was 26x Sept levels driven by Super Mario 3D World.
Despite the lowered Forecast Gibson explained that in December Japanese sales of the console were multiplied by 26 compared to September. He also theorized that Nintendo’s management should see the beginning of an improvement due to the recent additions to the Wii U’s software library and probably won’t change the overall strategy for the hardware.
Nintendo – we think mgmt will conclude software line-up is beginning to improve WiiU performance and hence no change in hardware strategy.
Finally, he mentioned that in the third quarter of the fiscal year the Wii and 3DS drove 75% of Nintendo’s profits, implying that slower Wii U sales won’t hurt the company that much.
Nintendo – In 3Q we estimate 3DS/Wii is driving 75% of gross profit, so WiiU miss isn’t as big a drag as some expect.Forex huge benefit too.
Nintendo’s own forecast, previously announced by President Satoru Iwata, involves 9 million units sold by the end of March. At the moment it’s very unlikely that the Wii U will manage get close to that goal. Gibson’s prediction definitely seems more realistic.
It will be interesting to see if missing the target will cause relevant changes at the top of the historical console manufacturer from Kyoto, but we’ll probably have to wait for the end of the fiscal year to witness any kind of result on that front.