Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has assured his company's investors that a single game can change the fate of a video game system, while remaining cautious about Wii U's immediate future.
Last week the company revised its annual forecasts to 3.6 million Wii U systems sold for the twelve-month period ending in March 2015. In a Q&A session held during Nintendo's annual financial results briefing, Iwata said the system could still turn around with the right game.
"The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title," Iwata said. "As many of you probably remember, before the release of the Pokémon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy. But the Pokémon game singlehandedly changed the landscape of the system, which then started to show the strongest sales in the lifecycle of the system."
Though Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros for Wii U & 3DS seem like winning Wii U titles if any, Iwata said the company would prefer not to release optimistic figures before seeing how they actually perform in the market. The company has taken a conservative approach to its sales estimates after failing to meet its own projections several times in a row.
"On the other hand, we do not believe that this year's estimate of 3.60 million units of Wii U hardware will be the peak of its lifecycle, and we would like to work hard to make sure that we give sufficient momentum to the system so that we can expect good results in and after the next fiscal year, too," Iwata said.
In the same Q&A session, Iwata said that Nintendo has 'a fairly clear idea about the direction of its next hardware'.
Nintendo will once again forgo a traditional E3 press conference in 2014, instead opting to conduct a "digital event" to showcase its new games and announcements.
On Tuesday, June 10 the platform holder will hold a special Nintendo Direct to share "further detail on the gaming experiences on the way for Nintendo platforms in 2014 and beyond".