Nintendo’s quarterly numbers are out and the company managed to sell 3.06 million Wii U consoles worldwide during the holiday quarter, following the launch of the new console in November.

Combined sales of the Wii and Wii U were about 5.3 million units in the quarter — together coming up short of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which sold 5.9 million units worldwide during the same time period.

[Editor’s Note: Combined Wii and Wii U number has been corrected since publication. The original number was incorrect due to an editing mistake.]

Nintendo has been pinning its hopes on the Wii U, and its tablet-style controller, to revive its previously booming console business.

The really bad news for Nintendo: Sales forecasts for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and DS were all reduced for the current quarter. This follows a previous reduction in October. Nintendo had expected to sell 5.5 million Wii U’s by March, on a cumulative basis, but now the company predicts the total number will be just 4 million.

Nintendo, which has its North American headquarters in Redmond, also reduced forecasts for its handheld devices, dropping expectations for the 3DS from 17.5 million units to 15 million, and for the DS from 2.5 million to 2.3 million.

President Satoru Iwata told Reuters earlier this month that the sales of the Wii U, which debuted Nov. 18, were “not bad.”

Nintendo did report $160 million in net income for the past nine months, which is certainly better than the $530 million loss posted by the company over the same period the previous year. Nintendo also predicted a larger year-end profit than it was expecting back in October, due to a weaker Yen.

Previously on GeekWire: Nintendo’s geeked-out ride: A look inside the tour van

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  • Guest

    This is terrible news: much like Sony struggled for years with its PlayStation 3 being outsold by its own PlayStation 2, so too is Nintendo struggling to convince customers that Wii U is better than Wii. We propose the following remedial actions:

    1. Renaming Wii U to “Wii High Definition.” The HD capability is being underemphasized in the current branding.

    2. Engaging in a broad social media initiative, perhaps by registering the Twitter username @WiiU and responding to all mentions of certain keywords with promotional data.

    3. Broadening the Wii U’s availability to include retailers such as who are currently not selling the console.

    We expect better things from Nintendo. These are just a start.

    • SilverSee

      I agree with the “WII HD” branding… This might have significantly increased Nintendo’s market lead had they released it 3 years ago.

      All they needed to do really was deliver the current system hardware (which essentially catches up to current get PS3 and Xbox) with support for a real dual-analog stick gamepad controller (in addition to motion control) to encourage cross-platform game ports from the dominant HD platforms.

      Instead, the delay apparently required to create a new controller gimmick (the secondary display) and games based on this concept has left the Wii U feeling dated and isolated from the mainstream almost before it’s out of the gate.
      It would have been a much less risky strategy for Nintendo had they shipped an HD version of the Wii much earlier, then brought out the new controller concept later as an add-on similar to Kinect.

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