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February Wii U Sales Fall Short of Expectations

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#1 dead.cell

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 17:21

Report: February Wii U sales appear far short of Nintendo’s hopes

The Wii U’s track record for poorer-than-expected sales grows longer after February, when only 64,000 consoles went off store shelves in the US, according to a report from NPD Group. This is a major shortfall from Nintendo’s sales projections at launch—the company thought it would sell nearly two million units per month worldwide from the beginning of January through the end of March.

The Wii U sold to the tune of 3.06 million units from its launch in November through the end of 2012, according to reports, nearly as many as the original Wii sold in the 2006 holiday season. But sales have fallen off a cliff since, with NPD citing US sales as low as 57,000 units during January.

At the end of January, Nintendo lowered its worldwide sales projections for the first quarter from 5.5 million to 4 million. If US sales are any indication, the company may not even come close to that adjusted number. According to Gamasutra, sales may have taken a hit in January when speculators who bought consoles to resell were not able to make a profit off them.

The Wii U enjoyed some time in the spotlight during the holiday season as the only new console, especially positioned next to the 6-year-old PlayStation 3 and 7-year-old Xbox 360. Now that the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s next-gen console codenamed “Durango” loom large, more consumers may sit back to see what Sony and Microsoft turn out before making a decision.


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I saw from the latest update on the Japanese hardware sales thread that even the PSP (no, not PS Vita) was outselling the Wii U.
I don't think enough people realize the console isn't an addon, but a whole new thing. Well, either that, or they're waiting on games...

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#2 n_K

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 17:26

Can't blame people really.
I'd be interested in getting one but the price for that level of performance puts me off, even if some of the games look amazing (zombie u) it just doesn't work out for me.

Also I noticed that I had a 3DS XL on my amazon cart, not sure why, but it's gone up by £5 or £10 according to amazon since I put it in my basket :s

#3 nekkidtruth

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 17:28

Is that your Wii U in the picture? Mine is in no better shape :p Haven't touched the thing since December. Someone asked if I would trade it for a Canon Rebel T3 lol

#4 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 17:48

I'm not surprised. It's basically an expensive alternative to the X360 and PS3, only with a fraction of the games and a comically oversized controller. In many respects it's actually much more limited, as the lack of storage makes downloading games and DLC a no-go (the basic model only has 3GB available to the user) and Nintendo's online offering is nowhere near as developed as that of Microsoft and Sony. Even the exclusive games for the Wii U are mostly rehashes / updates of existing titles rather than anything original.

Nintendo would be better off abandoning hardware (like Sega did) and focusing on developing games for other platforms. At this rate it won't have much choice.

#5 TheExperiment

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 18:00

Nintendo would be better off abandoning hardware (like Sega did) and focusing on developing games for other platforms. At this rate it won't have much choice.

I have many Nintendo loving friends who would disagree. As long as they keep selling first party titles like crazy they've got a market...we'll see if they can keep that market long term.

#6 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 18:16

I have many Nintendo loving friends who would disagree. As long as they keep selling first party titles like crazy they've got a market...we'll see if they can keep that market long term.


Nobody is disputing that there are a lot of Nintendo fans out there but it's a matter of whether it is more profitable to tie games to their own console or to develop for the Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Both of Nintendo's recent hardware releases - the 3DS and Wii U - have significantly underperformed expectations and the games market is rapidly evolving. With mobiles and tablets eating into handheld sales, and with Sony and Microsoft spending big money to develop exclusives and to subsidise their console offerings, Nintendo has less room to manoeuvre. Supporting a console is a much more risky endeavour than games development.

#7 ahhell

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 18:27

Monster Hunter should help sales (especially in Japan).
Lego City Undercover should help as well.

The Wii-U needs a solid system seller.

#8 Blackhearted

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 19:12

I'm not surprised. It's basically an expensive alternative to the X360 and PS3, only with a fraction of the games and a comically oversized controller. In many respects it's actually much more limited, as the lack of storage makes downloading games and DLC a no-go (the basic model only has 3GB available to the user) and Nintendo's online offering is nowhere near as developed as that of Microsoft and Sony. Even the exclusive games for the Wii U are mostly rehashes / updates of existing titles rather than anything original.


The basic model wii u is akin to the 4gb xbox 360. It's the model for the casuals. Casuals are unlikely to download tons of games or even play games that have lots of dlc.

Nintendo would be better off abandoning hardware (like Sega did) and focusing on developing games for other platforms. At this rate it won't have much choice.


That wont happen. No matter how much the fans of the other platforms want it to. I'm pretty sure i recall something from a while back with Iwata himself saying they wont go third party like you want them to.

Also, nintendo isn't even remotely close to being in the same position sega was. Sega went third party cause of the string of failures back to back after the genesis. Where as nintendo has had nothing but successes with their past 3 platforms prior to the wii u's launch(wii, ds, 3ds). Once they get the games issue sorted the wii u will most likely be just fine as well.


With mobiles and tablets eating into handheld sales


The 3ds is doing just fine. Despite the claims of phone games being the doom of proper handheld gaming platforms. And it will only get better over the course of this year.

#9 TheExperiment

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 19:20

What he's saying is with dwindling popularity they may be forced to make that choice at some point...whatever they claim, they don't seem to be doing very well at the moment.

3DS sure, but Wii U?

Did it come out? I forget ;)

#10 HawkMan

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 20:00

Monster Hunter should help sales (especially in Japan).
Lego City Undercover should help as well.

The Wii-U needs a solid system seller.


As a Wii U owner, it needs more than two games. and while the lego game is probably good and I would enjoy it, it's not something I'd pay for :(

#11 ahhell

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 20:05

As a Wii U owner, it needs more than two games. and while the lego game is probably good and I would enjoy it, it's not something I'd pay for :(

So why did you buy a Wii-U if you don't like any of the games?

#12 ~Johnny

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 20:08

I don't think enough people realize the console isn't an addon, but a whole new thing.


To be fair, Nintendo seem to have decided to lay off the advertising until they've actually got some games out. Not that I expect much from their advertising department when the time comes, but who knows.

Also, these sales don't fall that far from Nintendo's internal hopes - at this rate they can still actually reach their reduced forecast they put out a few weeks back, so they were expecting it.

#13 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 20:15

The basic model wii u is akin to the 4gb xbox 360. It's the model for the casuals. Casuals are unlikely to download tons of games or even play games that have lots of dlc.


The X360 was released seven years ago when large downloads were uncommon and digital distribution was in its infancy. Even then Microsoft provided models with dramatically more storage than even Nintendo's top offering for the Wii U. As for casual users, services like iTunes and Amazon are incredibly popular for purchasing and downloading media and are certainly aimed at the casual market. And digital distribution is only going to become more important going into the future - if Steam was in its infancy back when the X360 was released then imagine what the landscape will be like five years from now.

That wont happen. No matter how much the fans of the other platforms want it to. I'm pretty sure i recall something from a while back with Iwata himself saying they wont go third party like you want them to.


Of course Nintendo is going to deny that possibility, as it has to look confident to its shareholders and consumers. Sega wasn't planning to leave the console business either but circumstances changed.

The 3ds is doing just fine. Despite the claims of phone games being the doom of proper handheld gaming platforms. And it will only get better over the course of this year.


It's being outsold by the PS Vita in Japan, which really shows how much Nintendo's influence has diminished over recent years. No longer is Nintendo the undisputed champion of handheld gaming - it's just one of many companies vying for market share.

Obviously Nintendo isn't going to abandon the Wii U—it has far too much invested in it—but Nintendo was relying on the period before the release of the PS4 and X720 to establish its market share and that really isn't looking good. And unlike the Wii the Wii U is being sold at a loss, which means that dropping the price is a risky move.

#14 OP dead.cell

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 20:21

To be fair, Nintendo seem to have decided to lay off the advertising until they've actually got some games out. Not that I expect much from their advertising department when the time comes, but who knows.

Also, these sales don't fall that far from Nintendo's internal hopes - at this rate they can still actually reach their reduced forecast they put out a few weeks back, so they were expecting it.


Well, I'm morely speaking from my own experience in retail when customers ask. Between the DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi-XL, 3DS, 3DS-XL, and now Wii and Wii U, it's easy to see how one might consider it to be a simple remodel or something, as opposed to a whole new console.

#15 HawkMan

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 20:31

So why did you buy a Wii-U if you don't like any of the games?


I didn't say I didn't like any of the games. I do. but you don't buy a system for a couple of games, and my GF bought it for us for our xmas present. I was set to wait for more games and or a price drop. As it is we still need to buy more controllers to play two player. doesn't help that you need so many different controllers to play multi in different games.