It’s been a strange and tumultuous year for Nintendo. The unexpected price drop of the 3DS and quick introduction of the new XL model caused mixed feelings among games, and the official unveiling of the Wii U console has effectively put the ageing Wii on ice. The reports of financial losses due to lower-than-expected hardware sales have cast a dark cloud over their once sunny vistas, but the silver lining has always been solid sales of their first party games. Last week, we reported on the price drop for the original Wii, which was clearly a move to shift units this holiday season. Although the latest financial news might not be glowing, Nintendo is pressing forward with two new bundles for the Wii that might just reel in a few more sales.
The first bundle that Nintendo is releasing includes Just Dance 4, the newest installment in Ubisoft’s popular dance party series. This will come packed in with the white Wii console, along with the standard controller and nunchuk. The retail price is set at $129.99, the same as the now-standard Wii that is sold with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. The second bundle is also a great value, as it comes with a blue Wii console, matching controllers and the newly released Skylanders Giants. The set includes two figures and one exclusive version of Giant character Tree Rex (dubbed “Gnarly Tree Rex”), though it is not confirmed at this time which ones you will receive. At $149.99, this one is a little more expensive but a great value considering the individual cost of both the system and the game. These new Wii bundles are scheduled for release on November 4, 2012.
This news comes at the same time Nintendo is posting news about their earnings over the past six months, which unfortunately have come in below what was initially projected. The main culprit here is decreasing sales of the 3DS handheld, which dipped from over 5 million units sold in the first of the fiscal year to just over 3 during the past six months. On the plus side, software sales held strong thanks to their first part titles like Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros 2. Other factors that could account for the shortfall include diminishing Wii sales, which is not surprising with the launch of the Wii U on November 18. Overall, Nintendo’s revenue was posted at $2.5 billion US, which is down from the $2.9 billion that was expected. Will the Wii U recoup Nintendo’s losses? Time will tell.