) lost a patent infringement case this week after a federal jury
found that the company infringed on display technology invented
by a former Sony (NYSE:
) employee. The technology was initially invented by Seijiro
Tomita. According to
, Tomita was awarded $30.2 million in compensatory damages.
Nintendo will have to sell roughly 503,333 Wii U games at $60
each ($60 x 503,333 = $30,199,980) to recoup the loss.
Alternatively, the company could sell 755,000 Nintendo 3DS games
at $40 each ($40 x 755,000 = $30,200,000).
This has not been a good year for the Mario maker. The company
has been struggling to cope with the fact that consumers don't
care about Wii U in its
In the months following Wii U's release, consumers have shown
no interest in the console whatsoever. At least two prominent
game industry executives have expressed disappointment with the
) CEO Bobby Kotick recently
that he was "somewhat disappointed" with Wii U's launch. Today
) President Tony Bartel said that Wii U sales have been
slower than his company expected
If these men were bloggers, their comments would not be worth
reiterating. However, one is the leader of the world's largest
third-party developer; the other leads world's largest retailer
of video games. They have every reason to bolster Wii U's
success, which could explain the soft tone in their negative
comments. Neither executive wants Nintendo to fail.
The problem is that Nintendo does not seem to know how to
succeed. The company initially expected Wii U to sell five
million units by the end of March. Nintendo now believes it will
four million units
In February Nintendo unveiled an
onslaught of new games
to reinvigorate consumers and inspire Wii U purchases. Thus far,
this strategy has not worked. Instead of providing concrete
details (ex: a firm release date), Nintendo merely announced
these games -- including a new Mario and a new Mario Kart -- and
told consumers to wait for more information.
This strategy might sound like a nice way to tease gamers, but
it cannot be very successful when the system is already
struggling to find its audience. Right now, Wii U's first-party
lineup consists of just two games -- New Super Mario Bros. U and
NintendoLand. Pikmin 3, which was promised as a "launch window"
game (and is still listed as such on
), is not expected to ship before the end of June -- eight months
after Wii U was released.
Sketchy release dates, broken promises and a plethora of
delays proved to be a losing formula for Nintendo 64, one of the
least popular consoles developed by Nintendo. According to
, 32.9 million N64 units were sold. That is far less than the 49
million SNES, 61.9 million NES and 99 million Wii units that were
Meanwhile, Sony's (NYSE:
) PlayStation 4 has received
unprecedented pre-order demand
all over the world.
If Nintendo wants to turn things around, it needs to come to
the Electronic Entertainment Expo with a detailed list of several
triple-A first-party games -- and firm release dates for when
consumers will be able to buy them.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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