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With new online store, game bundles, can Nintendo turn things around?

Lagging sales and a bump from UK supermarket Asdo has Nintendo scrambling to find ways to market the Wii U to audiences domestic and abroad.

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A man tries out the Nintendo Wii U GamePad E3 2012 in Los Angeles.

Reuters

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Nintendo was poised to take over the video game console world last November when it followed up its industry-shifting Wii game console with the Wii U.

The Wii U had all the technical innovations that would seem to shake things up once again. It was Nintendo’s first HD graphics capable console, featured a portable controller with a screen that could either be supplemental to a TV screen or work on its own, and it was released along with new versions of its hyper-successful Super Mario Bros franchise and Madden NFL 13.

But things didn’t work out as planned, and now Nintendo is playing catch up before Xbox One and the Sony PS4 are released in late November.

Nintendo only sold 3.61 million Wii U systems since its release last November, with sales in the previous three months only at 160,000 units. By comparison, the Nintendo 3DS sold 32.48 million systems in the same time period. Wii U users complained that the portable game controller, or “game pad,” had low battery life and third-party developers said the system is hard to make games for, which has led to few new game releases. In addition reviewers said the console was so loaded down with small new ideas, it made the overall gaming experience confusing.  

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