The new generation system's poor performance has forced the Japanese firm to lower its annual sales forecast by 27 per cent to 4 million units. Nintendo initially expected to shift 5.5 million consoles by the end of the financial year in March 2013.
Nintendo’s traditionally reliable handheld offerings also had their sales predictions readjusted, with the 3DS now expected to sell 15 million units instead of 17.5 million. Its portable predecessor, the Nintendo DS, drops to 2.3 million from 2.5 million.
Furthermore, a strong Japanese yen combined with Nintendo's policy of selling the Wii U at a loss have led to an overall operating deficit of 5.8 billion yen (£40.4 million) for the nine months preceding December 2012. That is a year-on-year loss of 2.4 per cent.
However, Nintendo’s Q3 2012 was buoyed by a strong software performance, with sales of Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS reaching 2.73 million, and Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 selling 7.63 million copies.
The Wii U, whose main hope for profitability is likely to be game sales, sold some 2 million copies of New Mario Bros U.