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Nintendo is once again in trouble and this time even Mario can't save the company. As a result of weak sales, the Japanese giant has announced a significantly poorer 2014 Wii U sales forecast, from 9 million units to just 2.8 million — fewer units than what the Xbox One and PS4 sold in the weeks after their respective launches.
The ugly truth has finally surfaced and despite its 1-year lead time over Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo simply can't compete with its rivals. But not all is lost! Nintendo's failure is the consumer's gain because the coming weeks will probably offer up the best time to shop for a Wii U.
The Wii U launched in November 2012 with an entry level price tag of $299 and $349 for the deluxe set. Last August the company slashed the deluxe set's pricing down to $299. Interestingly enough, retailers had already dropped it to $289 prior to Nintendo's official price drop. Nevertheless, after Nintendo's official cut the deluxe set dropped further to $250 on Black Friday, where it hovered until late December.
In light of the scaled back sales forecast, Nintendo could be readying another price cut for the Wii U deluxe. But even if Nintendo doesn't announce an official price drop, retailers might once again beat 'em to the punch by dropping the Wii U's price even lower than $249.
While we anticipate seeing some of the best Wii U deals ever in the coming weeks, users should keep in mind that when it comes to mainstream games, publishers now have very little incentive to develop for the Wii U. Not only are popular games like Call of Duty: Ghosts seeing weak sales on the Wii U platform, but when a company with Electronic Arts' heft abandons the Wii U, it doesn't bode well for other game developers. In fact, EA may just be the tip of the iceberg for Nintendo's gaming woes.
However, die hard fans or semi-curious gamers tired of their current console still have a respectable library of Wii U games to choose from. And it's likely that games will similarly see great pricing as a result of the low interest. Just don't expect the latest and greatest titles to debut on the Wii U platform.
Ultimately, Nintendo isn't going anywhere. Yes, this marks the third consecutive annual loss for Nintendo, and this time around even the 3DS took a hit, but we've seen Nintendo come back before. In the meantime, if Sony's and Microsoft's consoles are too rich for your blood, Nintendo has a console it'd like to sell you. The question is, are you still interested?