Nintendo’s difficult path forward

Pretty damming analysis by Gamasutra‘s Matt Matthews, from overall shipments…

During the past fiscal year, the year in which the Wii U launched, total console hardware shipments actually went down rather than up. In the previous two launches, total console hardware shipments went up during a launch year.

…to upcoming Wii U releases…

While I think it’s a step forward for Iwata to show that Nintendo has a messaging problem when it comes to the Wii U, I don’t think Wii U owners — or potential Wii U owners — will be encouraged by his proposed solutions.

Iwata appears to be saying that Nintendo will reinvigorate the Wii U starting with Pikmin 3 in July and August of this year. That alone is cause for some concern, because Pikmin might be a fine game, but it isn’t really a system-seller. And on top of that, what are consumers to do with their Wii U in the intervening three months?

…and overall:

And where will all of this put Nintendo in a year’s time? Nintendo probably needs all, or nearly all, of the pieces to fall into place to reach its ¥100 billion operating profit goal…just looking at what we know now, I really don’t think Nintendo is going to make it.