You read that right: 160,000. Worldwide.
Sure, the spring quarter is often soft for console sales, but that is one tiny number, particularly for a console that is currently the only next-gen console on the market.
With the Xbox One and Playstation 4 set to hit shelves by holiday time, is it game over for Nintendo? It may be too late to save the Wii U, but here are a few things that Nintendo can do to salvage what has been a horribly disappointing console launch.
Drop the price
Most console makers are stubborn about price drops, particularly so early in the life cycle. But it’s been proven time and time again that price drops are the number one way to goose sales. Right now the console sells for about $320 on Amazon for the most basic configuration, and I think the company would be wise to drop it to $250 if not $199. The PS4 is going to hit the market at $399, and the company needs to be well below that number and also needs to be competitive with current gen hardware (which is obviously outselling it at this point).
Currently you can buy bundles with the Wii U that includes the touchscreen controller and a game or two, but I think the company needs to get really creative. It could offer high-value ($100? $200?) digital download cards or even offer a year of free “downloads” for certain classes of games. It could also even think of bundling the Nintendo 3DS with the Wii U for a super-gamer package.
Rename the console
This is clearly the nuclear option, but consumers have clearly been confused by the name Wii U, with many thinking it’s an add-on to the last-generation Wii. While I am sure this would likely never happen, what’s to stop the company from renaming the console? Obviously it would be a bit embarrassing, but probably not any more embarrassing than selling 160 thousand consoles in a single quarter.
And think about it: Consumer product companies rename their products all the time. Heck, some even rename the entire company. And Nintendo could play it off as an adjustment to let its fans know that the newly named console is, well, a new console, and not some upgrade or add-on to its nearly eight-year-old predecessor.