Nintendo is in a bad place and needs a hit more than ever

Big days are ahead for Nintendo. The Japanese gaming giant is expected to provide at least some sort of detail about its newest console, codenamed “NX,” in the coming weeks. Given Nintendo’s legendary status in the gaming world, and given that rumours have pointed to a device that somehow includes aspects of both handheld and household consoles, it would be an understatement to say anticipation is high.

It would also be an understatement to say Nintendo needs a hit. As this chart from Statista shows, global unit sales of Nintendo’s home consoles are taking, with the Wii’s mega-highs around 2009 dipping to less than five million in each of the last three fiscal years. Its handheld consoles have steadily trended downward too.

But it’s important to remember a few things. One, Nintendo has a boatload of cash in the bank, and it’s not going bankrupt anytime soon. Two, the gaming industry is not the smartphone industry, so more drastic peaks and valleys are a little more normal. And three, sales aren’t everything — Nintendo still makes lots of games that make lots of people happy. That said, figures like these certainly aren’t good, so Nintendo has plenty riding on its newest moonshot.

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