Plugged In

Nintendo has sold fewer than 400,000 Wii Us so far this year

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(Credit: Nintendo)

If there was any remaining doubt that the Wii U has been struggling, Nintendo erased that in its latest earnings report.

The company reported that in the past three months, it has sold just 390,000 units of its next generation console. Life to date sales for the Wii U are under 3.5 million. That's more than 500,000 less than the company had predicted in January, a figure that had been revised downward from initial forecasts of 5.5 million.

Nintendo is expecting a gigantic turnaround by this time next year, though. The company updated its estimates for its next fiscal year, saying it expects to sell 9 million Wii Us -- a staggering number given the coming competition from Sony and Microsoft. While Nintendo indicated the big jump would come with the release of big games, such a leap has renewed speculation about an upcoming price cut.

Despite the depressing numbers, Nintendo did manage to climb back into the black for the year, posting an annual profit of 7.1 billion yen ($72 million), a significant improvement from a 43 billion yen loss the previous year.

A lot of the credit for that comes from a weakening yen, though. Overall, sales were down 1.9 percent since last year and came in lower than projections.

The company also offered no hardware sales forecasts for its original DS portable system, leading many to believe that the company plans on ending production of the handled. The DS is Nintendo's most popular system ever, selling over 153 million units worldwide since its debut in 2004.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, meanwhile, added a title to his resume, becoming CEO of Nintendo of America as current NoA chairman and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima will return to Japan. Reggie Fils-Aime, the popular and colorful NoA president and COO will remain with the company.

Nintendo says the move will support "the company's unified global strategy."

That strategy is going to be critical for Nintendo in the coming year. Sony has already shown off the PlayStation 4, which will hit store shelves this year, and Microsoft on Wednesday confirmed rumors that it plans to announce the next generation Xbox on May 21.

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