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Nintendo posts shockingly low worldwide Wii U sales

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(Credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo's Wii U woes are dire.

As part of a quarterly earnings announcement Wednesday, Nintendo said that in the three-month period ending June 30, consumers worldwide bought just 160,000 units of its next-generation console.

To put that in better perspective, the Wii -- a system released seven years ago and one that's arguably well past its prime -- STILL managed to outsell its successor by a margin of 50,000 units.

It hasn't been a secret that the Wii U was floundering in the U.S., but these global sales figures underscore how much larger the crisis is for Nintendo. While the second calendar quarter of the year is typically a slow period for the industry, the 160,000 figure represented a drop off of nearly 60 percent from the previous quarter.

Life to date, Nintendo has sold just over 3.6 million Wii Us worldwide.

Software sales were just as weak in the quarter, with the company selling a mere 1 million Wii U games. The company attributed the poor hardware and software performance to the lack of key first-party titles. It noted that problem will be addressed in the second half of the year.

Despite the poor Wii U sales numbers, Nintendo posted an $88 million profit for the quarter, reversing the losses of the same period a year ago. The boosted bottom line was primarily due to currency fluctuations in the value of the Japanese yen.

Nintendo did show confidence in its coming lineup, too. While this quarter's sales were lackluster, the company stuck by its sales targets and says it still expects Wii U sales to hit 9 million by the end of March 2014.

Nintendo’s bright spot remains the 3DS, which is turning into a savior of sorts for the company. About 1.4 million 3DS hardware units were sold last quarter -- a 12 percent jump -- and 3DS software sales were up 10 percent to 2.15 million. That number could be even higher next quarter, as Animal Crossing: New Leaf has become a runaway hit, driving interest and sales of the handheld device.

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