News Article

Wii U Holiday Sales Projected to Exceed Wii Launch

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Four year sales expected to be lower, though

With Wii U set to arrive, and Nintendo needing a strong performance to appease shareholders, market analysts are inevitably checking various sources of data and making their predictions on the system's outlook. The latest to do so is research firm IHS Screen Digest, with projections that bring good and bad news for the Japanese company.

The good news is that IHS expects Wii U to sell 3.5 million units worldwide from launch in November to the end of December; that's an increase from Wii sales of 3.1 million in its own Holiday launch period. This is apparently to come from "pent-up demand from Nintendo evangelists, many of which were introduced to the console market through the success of the Wii".

The negative side is that the research firm doesn't expect Wii U to maintain the exceptional momentum of its predecessor. IHS estimates put Wii U sales after four years at 70% of the equivalent Wii results; to put that into numbers, it anticipates 53.2 million Wii U sales in this period, compared to Wii's 75.9 million sales in its first four years.

This time around, Wii U's pure innovation, coupled with a limited volume of high-quality Nintendo software, will not be enough to drive the ongoing sales momentum we witnessed with the Wii console, especially at a higher price point.

Long-term success depends on ongoing consumer engagement delivered through the constant release of high-quality content from both first and third parties, a competitive non-games entertainment proposition and a sound digital and online strategy to go along with such innovation. Nintendo is still some way short of delivering a comprehensive engagement-led value proposition at the launch of the Wii U.

Over 50 million sales in four years wouldn't be a disaster, by any means, but Nintendo will no doubt be hoping for more. When it comes to whether Wii U can emulate its predecessor in sales, it can only be said that it has a big challenge ahead of it.


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User Comments (43)



GazPlant said:

Even without being an analyst I could guess that in 4 years Wii U won't be doing as well as Wii. The simplicity of Wii's pick-up-and-play approach is just missing with Wii U



naut said:

Seriously doubt this--I mean, I'm psyched and picking mine up on launch day. It's just that, unfortunately, most people aren't going to see the Wii U as being as big a deal as the Wii. It's not quite as revolutionary for the general public.



Void said:

I expect less sales in general for this next console generation.



XCWarrior said:

I just hope I can find one this Sunday. Whether or not any of you get a Wii U matters little... OK, it does matter come March, but right now there isn't a good online multiplayer game to play with people.



NintyMan said:

The Wii U won't be the revolutionary sensation that Wii was, but it'll still do well, well enough to get sold out on launch and be a much-sought after item this holiday season and early next year. It might not fly out of stores over a long period, but there will still be future games that will attract.



SkywardLink98 said:

The economy, pretty much everywhere, six years ago, so I doubt people have $300 to spend on a game console.



AcesHigh said:

I don't agree. Again the "analysts" don't seem to be seeing the big picture, or at least, do not have a firm grasp on what the WiiU's value proposition to not only the consumer but the third party developer and publishers is. The MAJOR difference with the WiiU vs. Wii is the clear engagement and even enthusiasm of the majority of their third parties. Nintendo has earned a genuine uptick in support from their 3rd party publishers because of the unique new concept in dual screen gameplay OUT OF THE BOX. Every player now has what is needed to take advantage of a clear evolution in gaming. And developers are excited and are embracing this like never before on a Nintendo system. Not since Nintendo' s famous stranglehold on 3rd party exclusivity during the NES and part of the SNES era. Add to it the fact that the graphics fidelity will finally compete favorably to the competition for at least the next three years. 3rd parties now know that they do not have to water down their games for Nintendo's console. In a short period of time, WiiU games will be releasing in tandem with XBOX360 and PS3 games with the added benefit of 2nd screen GamePad play and equal or even better graphics. As Nintendo enjoys a 2.5 - 3 year period to entrench the consumer base to the benefits of playing on the WiiU vs. the competition, they will have a very large footprint in the marketplace that the competition will now need to compete with when their new offerings hit the market.

This is definitely not the same race as the Wii's. And, again, the analysts are missing a major area in which Nintendo has improved a great deal; a more competitive console to current offerings, 2 - 3 year head start on the competition and a much more enthusiastic 3rd party developer. I believe the WiiU has some good legs on it!



Mahe said:

Got a Wii at launch, fantastic console. Not getting a Wii U at launch, just doesn't seem as good as the Wii.



kkslider5552000 said:

to be fair, the extra 20 million for Wii sales were likely people who sold the thing to Gamestop and actually expected to get enough back to get another current system.



WhiteTrashGuy said:

It will not outsell the Wii this holiday season. The hype was palpable back in 2006, Nintendo's marketing machine in the US is lame. The only way the Wii U could outsell is if Nintendo can keep the shelves stocked.



TysonOfTime said:

Doesn't seem AS GOOD?

In what standpoint? Graphical? Launch lineup? Motion Controls? If you're answer is C, then get ready, because the Wii U has the EXACT same motion controls. The EXACT same controller even! It does everything the Wii did (Other than Play GC games) but more as well.

If the thing is a literal better envisioning of the Wii, how can it be less? Please, I want to hear the opinion behind this.



Ren said:

EXACT same, as you said above; We already all have a Wii. And by now some of us have another HD system with a regular controller. If anything what we wanted by now was an HD Nintendo with Motion Plus controls, NOT an Ipad Dongle that can take low res pictures. So, yes, not as good. I can't justify that price now for what it's offering because they're right, it's just not a value proposition.
I would guess, though that launch will be ok for all the fans that buy everything at launch (sadly, not me for the first time). then there'll be a lul, and then in a year or two there'll start to be some fantastic games and features that will get it selling again; I'll also get one then, for now I'm already spending my money on games for another HD system with the same great HD games (except the mario/Mii re-hashes on WiiU).
I already have a Wii for the dance and puzzle games.



TysonOfTime said:

You misunderstand. My response was to that of the Wii U not being as good as the Wii. It does the exact same as the Wii, but that is a SMALL PART of what it does.

"If anything what we wanted by now was an HD Nintendo with Motion Plus controls"

It does. It's a Wii, Plus an HD console, plus Nintendo Magic.
That's why people who like Nintendo want it.



rayword45 said:

I highly doubt this will do as good as the Wii, simply because it lacks the same casual attention-grabbing features the Wii had. To pick up steam, I suspect they have some magical peripheral hidden away for a sales boost, similar to what the EyeTo- I mean Kinect did for Xbox 360.



ei8htbit said:

Wii U is going to do just fine, it doesn't need to top legacy Wii sales so long as it has enough depth to outpace the competition from Microsoft and Sony:

Wii U is a new toy with the Nintendo Name stamped on it for a new generation of touch-savvy moms and kids who may not need to look past the fact that their kids can play Mario while they watch Oprah, and it can be used as a fancy universal remote with some extra iPad-like qualities in order to put it under the tree or for their birthday. Considering it is the first system out of the gate for this cycle it will undoubtedly be the cheapest option in the market for the next 4 years on top of all that. Oh yeah, there's also the handful of millions of devoted fans who will continue to lap up every delicious first party title that launches unconditionally which pretty much guarantees a significant windfall of revenue once or twice a year without fail.



Hokori said:

@people who don't like WiiU, what the HECK do you want in a new Nintendo console? Honestly, if you don't wanna buy ANY new console just say so, it's ok, but to say you don't want a new Nintendo console because of bleh this and bleh that, if you wan HD, it's got that, if you want online, it's got that, if you want wii controls, it's got that, just tell me what you want and I'll send it too Nintendo



JavierYHL said:

nintendo catch a good time to release this console...nintendo consoles does not have long legs...a lot of my friends is getting the wii u while waiting for the next ps4 or xbox 720...its like a stopover for them...



SirSmugleaf said:

Well it's not like they're confirming that that is how much the Wii U is going to sell...

Only time will tell...



TimboBaggins said:

wii was the third best selling home console (i.e. not handheld) of all time. Even Sony couldn't followup the unprecedented success of playstation 1 and 2. To expect the Wii U to do as well or better than the Wii is futile....I just hope it is a successful console that lasts the generation standard of at least 5 years. At the current price point, I would be tickled pink for 5 years of gameplay.



Sidewindor said:

I am a Nintendo fanboy since the beginning. I have had each console at launch, dating back to the NES. This will be the first one that I will wait on. While my kids and I are both excited about the Wii U, it's simply too much money. While I understand that technology is expensive, when does it end? $350 is a lot of money for a console. I think I will just have to wait till the demand goes down, the supply goes up and the price comes down.



Emaan said:

I don't think anyone expected it to do as well as the Wii did. It can still be a successful system nonetheless.




I agree, the Wii U won't sell as much as the Wii over a 4 to 6 year period. Gaming has moved on and evolved. Cheap psxbox's are about and Apple devices r in play now. I still think it'll do ok globally speaking, though



misswliu81 said:

so from based on some of the comments i've read people are saying the Wii U won't do as well as the wii because it doesn't have motion controls that made the wii successful. yet, for all the positives of the wii, the truth is, it lacked major third party games. those ended up on the PS3, xbox 360.

and still with the wii U getting good third party support so far, people are complaining? i don't get it. so what if the wii U's sales won't exceed the Wii's over the 6 year period? as long as it makes enough money for nintendo to tide them over, as well as still leading the next console generation, like they did with the wii, i think nintendo will be ok.



rjejr said:

@TysonQ7 What the WiiU lacks that the Wii had is (are): competing systems that are selling for $500 and $600 to make the $250 Wii look really cheap by comparison; and Wii Sports in the box which anyone could pick up and play w/ the Wiimote, no previous video game experience required. Nintendo Land may be in the $350 box but it looks a whole lot more complicated than Wii Sports to the casual soccer moms who picked up the Wii. On the bright side I expect WAY more game sales for the WiiU.

The WiiU is a better system than the Wii but the world has changed, everybody already has a tablet.

The WiiU will sell whatever is on the shelves this holiday, if it's more than the Wii then it's more. Next year I'ld like to see a comparison of PS2 - PS3 1st year sales alongside Wii - WiiU sales. It's very hard to duplicate success.



Ren said:

what do we want? we want proper media storage; an online system that isn't made for 5 year olds, an actual real schedule of new nintendo games that aren't the exact same Mii's jumping around with smoothed out edges. If you're working with HD it's time to add some HD detail to game design. Sharp edges and a color gradient on boxey 90's graphics does not HD gaming make. The big Nintendo properties all look like upressed Wii games; That is disappointing; I actually did expect to be impressed but the Nintendo made stuff (that I played) literally looked like Wii games with smoothed edges; we've been waiting years for this so what were they doing all that time? we could have gotten a wii sports 3 that does the same. The appeal of the Wii was that it was a nice approach to see that on a system, the waggle was fun and that was enough. Now we like the waggle and we just want an update to graphics and power and new sequels that utilize all of it. It didn't happen. The new exciting sequels just aren't there. Nintendo land is a cheesy tech demo and NSMB is near identical looking to the last; I won't even get into WiifitU; that is NOT Nintendo HD launch material. It's not BAD, but it isn't enough to merit me running out to spend 300$ on replacing my Wii. P-100 is, maybe. Zombie U is, Maybe (if you've never played a 360/PS3) the rest is disappointing. I'm talking as a person who has experienced the other HD systems, which this is obviously competing with. It's a big improvement over the Wii, sure, but not enough to compete with other HD systems right now. That means I feel more comfortable waiting a year to see if the games get good enough to compete with what is obviously coming soon from the others.



FonistofCruxis said:

I highly doubt the Wii U will outsell the Wii but it could still do pretty good.
@TysonQ7 The Wii U's launch line-up may be better than the Wii's but its overall line-up isn't. I can't see anything that looks like a awesome must-have game but with the Wii there were some games that looked like must-haves that were announced before launch but released later and for many people Twilight princess was one which was out at launch. I'm fine with my Wii for now as I haven't finished all my GC/Wii/Wii VC/Wiiware games and there are still many that I want to get so I'll get a Wii U when it has a more interesting line-up of games.



Rapadash6 said:

I love Nintendo and I think Wii U is a superb product, but I don't see it coming anywhere near the numbers that the original Wii did. First of all the economy is much worse than it was 7 years ago, so it's unlikely that many current Wii owners will be willing to front the $350 to upgrade anytime soon. Second, Nintendo, and particularly NOA, has done a poor job expressing just what Wii U is, let alone giving the mass population any reason to want one. I'm sure the system will do well amongst the Nintendo faithful, myself included, but there's very little evidence to suggest that this system will reach much beyond that, and it's early third party support, while decent, still leaves much to be desired for those gamers who traditionally never followed Nintendo consoles.

The only guaranteed good thing I see in Wii U's future is it's first party software support, which has always been top notch on Nintendo systems, but everything else seems questionable at the moment. Hopefully I'm wrong, because I'd really like Nintendo to have all bases covered this time. We'll see.



Hokori said:

@Ren You know Nintendo made mii look like that on purpose, just like NSMB isnt all realistic in Mario's face, just because one thing doesn't look the way you want doesn't mean it's bad, I mean you could live without HD, Online, and playing new Nintendo games in the past, why not now?



armoredghor said:

This time, people know the brand and don't need to be introduced, so I wouldn't be surprised.



Ren said:

I agree it isn't the most essential thing and I did appreciate the simplicity of these designs, but when you play them there is actually a distinct lack of any detail, all style considerations aside; textures, creative animations in the smaller details, even color schemes doing anything that isn't strict 'Super Mario'. I'm very dedicated to the classic Mario look, but I still expected more than what looks like projects that were simply moved from Wii to WiiU. I never wanted 'realism' but I expected taking the mario style further with HD, creative camera moves, maybe a little movement to the clothing, some more animation to the backgrounds. something traditional that actually utilized the power of this machine; even some more creative use of the tablet for the single player game. It doesn't feel like a finished, full mario sequel, and Nintendo land also plays like the WiiPlay game with even less polish than NSMBu. Again I don't think they're bad, but they feel like 'mid-console-life' titles not launch titles with flair. With the Wii there was obviously WiiSports to SHOWCASE the new control, and then there was Twilight Princess to show power and depth of the console. I haven't seen either showcased here (yet). It's all neat but not very exciting; not $300 exciting.



DerpSandwich said:

Considering the Wii was a true revolution that changed how we gamed and made gamers out of everyone, I don't think it's realistic to think that ANY console will ever see that sort of success any time soon. Frankly, 70% of the Wii's sales would be fantastic. You can't strike gold every time.



JebbyDeringer said:

I think they are assuming there will be Xbox/PS3 gamers that are craving a new system & new technology which few are and those that are will wait for their system of choice's successor because they know it will be more advanced.



Sir_Deadly said:

@FonistofCruxis U can not compare the overall launch lineups because the wii has been out for 6 years vs the wii u that hasnt even come out yet. @sidewindor i still do not understand how people can say this console is expensive. this is actually cheap for the hardware inside the console and tablet controller.



FonistofCruxis said:

@Assassin87 I probably didn't word that very well. What I meant to say is that the wii U may have a better launch line-up than the Wii did but there were many games announced before the Wii's launch that would come out later that looked like must-have games but the Wii U's overall line-up doesn't include any games that look like that to me.



Sir_Deadly said:

@FonistofCruxis i think i understand what your saying. Its all really depending on your personal preference. I four one actually pre-ordered 4 games plus nintendoland that comes with the console.



OmegaBlacky said:

The Wii U looks so amazing so far sadly I probably won't be able to get until next year oh well better late then never.

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