News Article

Wii U Games Struggling At Retail In The UK

Posted by Andy Green

No games break into the top 40

When Wii U launched in the UK last month its software struggled to make an immediate impact on the sales charts, with only Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U making into the all-format top 40 at 26th and 36th respectively. Considering only 40,000 Wii U systems were out there, it didn't appear too distressing.

Sales since then, however, have not improved, with last week's sales chart providing some disappointing reading for Nintendo UK. New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land have both failed to make it into the most recent top 40. Of course there are still fewer Wii U consoles out on the market right now than other consoles, but Nintendo will hope this improves in the coming months.

The only piece of Nintendo software that made it into the top 20, meanwhile, was New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS, which came in at 19th. Call of Duty: Black Ops II took Christmas number one, naturally soaking up sales from a multitude of platforms.

It's not the most surprising news to see Wii U games struggling to gain traction in the charts at this stage considering it has such a low install base compared to its rivals, however some may point to the price of the games at retail being an issue, with many titles commanding a retail cost of £50. Many gamers may have decided against buying more than one game or may have simply stuck to Nintendo Land or ZombiU, if they bought the bundled consoles.

What are your thoughts on this? Why do you think Wii U games are struggling in the charts? Let us know in the comments below.


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User Comments (71)



Punky said:

Too expensive at retail shops...better lower prices online like on Does this chart take into account online sales?



SilentHunter382 said:

Well we will just have to wait and see when sales do pick up. The ads make make it look like a peripheral for the Wii anyway (well the ones I have seen).



Reala said:

With the retail prices I've seen the low sales aren't surprising at all, makes me wonder just how badly retail downloads are doing, though they still seem to be shifting hardware at a fair pace so can't imagine nintendo will feel the need to act on its pricing anytime soon.



demonroach said:

No games and no games planned for the first year is why. Wii U will fail hard in UK because of this. By the time a game developed FOR the Wii U comes out, the xbox 720 will be out with games ready.



Punky said:

Nothing wrong with the wii u launch's simple really...they are too expensive in shops and most people are buying from online retailers where the prices are a lot more reasonable.



Kagamine said:

I personally think that many nintendo gamers are turned off by the high price. I never buy a game for more than 50 bucks, and that includes xbox 360 and ps3 games.



Svengoolie said:

Nintendo keeps shooting themselves in the feet by naming their systems this way. 3DS seemed like yet another revision of the DS, so it took a long time for sales to pick up. Now, casuals think Wii U is just a new controller for the Wii, and Nintendo NEEDS those casuals.



demonroach said:

There are no NEW games made just for the Wii U, they are all just old sloppy ports. Pikmin3 will be the first real Wii U game, and that doesn't come out until Spring.



Bass_X0 said:

My main interest in the Wii was for the Virtual Console. The Wii U doesn't have any exclusive Virtual Console games yet. And although I could buy the games on their original console, I prefer to have them digitally. I have a SNES but would rather download SNES games on my Wii than play my SNES.

I also agree with demonroach. The Wii U's library is mostly made up of games I had already passed on for my XBOX 360. New Super Mario Bros. U is a game I intend to get eventually, but I am currentlly happy enough with New Super Mario Bros. Wii.



Squiggle55 said:

Speaking for myself, I bought the deluxe Wii U at US launch, and I didn't buy a single game until I got Mario as a Christmas present. Mario was the only big game that even tempted me in the slightest to purchase a retail game at full price and I waited patiently bc I knew I'd get it. Now what I want to see are awesome, innovative games on the eshop for 10 or 15 dollars. That's kind of where my money has been goin the last couple of years is the awesome stuff on PSN. This is why I haven't been buying a lot of retail recently and I'd rather have PSN cards or 3DS eshop cards or wii u eshop cards if they start getting that rolling. It's a changing world and the 10-15 dollar digital exclusives are movin in and setting up shop - especially when it comes to new IP.



Le_Gazman said:

RRP is too high and retailers like HMV seem to be sticking to it religiously. There aren't many games that haven't already been on another system. I've got plenty of cash ready to buy more games but there aren't any I fancy. I can buy Batman on my 360 for £25 so there's no way I'm paying double that for the same game on Wii U.



Darksec said:

Nothing has blown me away to be honest, novelty control factor has already worn off tho they at least have my statistic in their sales : /

Starting to see more and my in my local CEX too, bit of a knee jerk reaction tho there is little new that makes me feel its worth waiting, 1 or 2 titles but not justifying the retail price. Bit sick i spent on it tbh



Brumfc4life said:

Well i own 6 games for wii u, sonic racing £29 online store, tank tank tank £23 online store, mario £39, nintendo land xmas present, blops 2 xmas present, zombi u came as bundle, just shop around for cheap prices, have just seen batman for £25 online store



Raiko said:

The retail games are massively over priced. Zombi U is £55 in most places. It shouldn't be any more than £35.



rjejr said:

People buy Nintedno consoles for Nintedno games, the price isn't the issue, if Mario kart, Super Smash Bros Universe, photorealistic Zelda and a 3D Mario Ultimate all came out last week for $60 they would all sell.



Tsuchinoko said:

Price, culture difference, timing. Here in Japan the sales are quite different. I don't know about the WiiU, but 3DS titles still dominate the market. Bravely Default, New Super Mario Bros 2, Doubutsu no Mori (Animal Crossing), Pokemon Dungeon, Dragon Quest Terry's Wonderland, Monster Hunter 3G are among the titles I see constantly on the top 10 lists at my local stores.

WiiU hasn't been out for more than 3 weeks here, so its harder to find those sales as of now.



AVahne said:

ZombiU IS a game made just for Wii U. NSMBU as well. And Nintendo Land. To think that Wii U has no exclusives at launch is silly.




Seems to be the case in the UK mainly. Everywhere else in world is generally doing well. Too expensive here. We live in rip off Britain. Having said that on-line prices for games are improving



b_willers said:

I feel the Wii branding is really hurting its reputation in the UK. Awareness still seams abysmal.



PinkSpider said:

Stupidly overpriced games in the UK £49.99 and £54.99 for games that on ps3 and 360 are £25 cheaper.
And the same prices for digital versions is a joke. I love my Wii U but I'm not paying twice the price for a game that is in some ways an inferior port of a game on 360
So far I have bought mighty switch force, trine 2 and nano assault neo as they were all under a tenner.
Nintendo will fail in the UK unless they restructure there pricing.
I think the xbox 360 is gonna be the big winner this year and it's nearly 7 years old



Rockman said:

In the Netherlands retailers are getting smarter.. games were 64,99 Euro but dropped in price quite quick.. Ik got Zombi-U for 53,99 so.. that's -11 euro's within 2 days. Next to that Nintendo wants 64,99 for almost all games in digital form.... no box, no disk, no booklet.. what are they thinking??



cornishlee said:

Retailers and Publishers will react to slow sales: I remember when Madworld came out on the Wii (one of the bast games by far on that system). Within a couple of months the price had fallen from £50 to £15 in most places. I kind of felt sorry for the developers.



erv said:

The quantity bites. There's so much, you won't buy all of it - and everybody buys differently. I bought mario, nintendoland with the console, and black ops. Others will buy ac3, or darksiders, or zombiU. Then there's trine 2 which I bought but doesn't shop up on charts - there's just loads to play for a console this young.

Very positive, but definitely not chart breaking. If you had only a ps3 for the last 2 years for example, chances are there were about 2 games for you to look forward to on an install base that has aged. Statistics are meaningless without the timescale to compare...



bkeswick said:

Personally, it's the expense. I really want it but the economy around the UK feels different. I have a job like I have had for years so no difference there but I'm fearful of how the economy might turn next and I should spend less. My tolerence level for expenses have toughened up in the last 12 months. A year ago, I would have thought a bit then dish out on Wii U and a game. 2 Years ago I would have thought little then get Wii U + 2 games. 3 Years ago I would have thought nothing and got Wii U and most likely more than 3 games in the first 2 months. Now, I'm holding out.



Chunky_Droid said:

Surprising about all the comments on the expensiveness of the games in the UK.

In Australia they're incredibly cheap brand new compared to what we're used to for new retail games (I'm talking 30AUD cheaper than a brand new PS3 or 360 title)



CliffordB said:

I agree with those of you saying the price of many Wii U games is just far to high, especially when many launch games are year old ports that many gamers have already played on other formats.

But at the end of the day there is simply no getting away from the fact that the Wii U launch line-up is "very" poor indeed, I only bought NSMBU, nothing else interests me in the slightest, I only have Nintendo Land as it was part of the bundle.

I only bought a Wii U as I've owned every Nintendo console at one time or another and am fairly positive that over time some top notch exclusive's will appear on the Wii U, I just hope (& pray) Nintendo don't take to long to release them.



PinkSpider said:

My big question is WHY are Wii U games so expensive? A brand new xbox 360 game isn't that expensive. Is it coz its a new console which isn't more powerful but the shops think it's new so it must be more powerful than the current consoles so let's mark the games up.
I really don't get why they are this expensive.



Banker-Style said:

The reason is the price.both of the games and the console.
I spoke to the independent Game shop owner today,and he told me at E3 earlier this year he had 15 pre-orders for the Wii U,but when the price was revealed,5 of them didn't want to pre-order it any more.
on Christmas Eve he had one Wii U premium pack left and he wanted to get rid of it for Chrimbo,so he drop it to £250,and it was sold within 10 minues.
I still think if Ninty drops the price by £50,they'll see better sales of the consoles.

As for the games,they're £50 a pop in retail,and many people won't pay that,(me included) drop the games to a max of £40,and they'll go.
I want to get Assassin's Creed,Darksiders,Tekken,and Just Dance 4 for Wii U,but if I brought them from game,I would be looking to spend nearly £200.



daftspore said:

I think its down to the lack of retail demo units and the price of the games.
The starting lineup is pretty good but as people have said most of the games are available on other consoles for a cheaper price. While Super Mario looks amazing and is great fun, the £45-50 price tag is a bit steep.
The Wii was the only ninendo console I did not own (I seemed to contemplate buying one every Christmas) so looking forward to zelda and resident evil to tie me over until the next raft of games comes in and the prices drop on the launch titles (ZombiU looks amazing and can't wait to pick that one up).



zombiemole said:

The games are too expensive. My magic price point is between £30-£35. I will strech to £40 if the game is really good. But I refuse to buy a game for more than £40 so will just hold out until they lower the price. Which I am sure they will.



brucelebnd said:

Nintendo gets what it deserves. Nintendo left North America out in the cold for many releases, when it's a proven fact every title released in both NA and EU sells better in NA. maybe Nintendo should consider that next time they want to bring games west



Andyjm said:

Surely it depends on the number of units you need to sell to make Top 40. If it's 4000 that's 10% of owners buying the same game in the same week.
I'll be more curious when there is a decent install base and a new top-drawer game is released.



Lin1876 said:

When you consider there are far fewer Wii Us than any other consoles (that's not a comment on the system, just a reality since it's only been out for a month), a struggle is to be expected at first. This especially since the launch titles are nothing to write home about.

I agree about game pricing, though it's not the issue at hand. I refuse to pay more than £35 for a game, and in reality I rarely spend more than about £25 unless there's a darn good reason.



mshope10 said:

Wii U is a great system I hope are UK cousins will start buying games for it because that will bring us more games.

its sucks that's how it works but that's the way it is.



MetalKingShield said:

The Wii U is too expensive to attract casual gamers and the games aren't good enough to attract core gamers (apart from very loyal Nintendo fans). It doesn't help that the tech specs aren't all that impressive. There is another type of gamer - the true, core gamer - that does respect Nintendo and played Metroid Prime and Twilight Princess on the GameCube, but they won't part with their money until the games are there.



edhe said:

I'm waiting for March when the games I want to buy are released.

Monster Hunter Tri and Scribblenauts Unlimited are the games I'm most keen on at the moment.
Scribblenauts Unlimited was recently on sale on Steam, and is now currently priced at more than half what it will be on the Wii U.

Thinking about it, it's hard to justify getting Scribblenauts on the Wii U if the only thing it offers is pointless Nintendo character recognition.

Other games I've got my eye on include Pikmin 3 (to a lesser extent), NBA 2K13 (only on account of it being touted as the best basketball game in recent years) Bayonetta (to be released God knows when) and Rayman Legends (also released March).

I do kind of wish they were a little cheaper though. It has to be said that the console has just been released and the retailers are taking full advantage of the demand for Wii U games. After the console has been out for a while, the prices will drop to X360/PS3 levels.



bkeswick said:

It's doing well enough in North America. It's Europe, mainly UK, that seems to be the problem. No relation to leaving US "out in the cold" there. This article is actually about the UK.



Peach64 said:

For most people I talk to, it's not the price that is the issue, it's the lack of games. I know if you're a hardcore fan that buys every system at launch, the games out now are certainly enough to keep us going, but for the crowd that waits for AAA games before buying a console, there's nothing there yet.

When the Wii launched, there was a Zelda and we'd already seen footage of Mario Galaxy, 6 months earlier, so even though it was a year away, there was something to get people excited. If we've not seen the Wii U Zelda or Mario titles now, is it realistic to expect them by next Christmas? And would they release a Zelda or 3D Mario at any other time? A lot of people assume that means it will be Christmas 2014 at the earliest for those too, and by then the console will have dropped in price.



Gamer83 said:

Most of the games to give a crap about are games geared towards the 'core' and most that audience already has a 360 or PS3 to play stuff like Assassin's Creed 3, Mass Effect 3, Batman: Arkham City, Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed, etc. Outside of Nintendo Land, Scribblenauts Unlimited and New Super Mario U there aren't too many good exclusives. Things will change once more and better exclusives are released.



Oscarsome said:

It's probably a lot to do with the economy in the UK, if that is the only area that seems to be having the most problems.



DerpSandwich said:

Small install base and games that are too expensive. If I can get the new Gears of War or Mass Effect game for $60, I don't want to spend the same amount on games that are basically DS games with HD visuals (NSMBU, Scribblenauts). Sonic All Stars has it right with their $40 pricing, and I wish everyone else would follow suit.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I think price is definitely a big factor here. For starters money is tight as it is and people are already shelling out $300-$400 for a Wii U alone, and that $60 a pop adds up quick. Thats not even considering accessories or hdds either.

Many people probably already have a PS3 at least and most multiplatform games are going to be cheaper there if they don't have them, and any enhancements aren't going to be worth $35. People might also think games like Tank! Tank! Tank! aren't big enough to justify $60.

One of the reasons I'm waiting on Wii U is the install base, MH3U is one of the system sellers for me and I want to make sure there are plenty of people online. Don't know if thats a factor for anyone else.



Kirk said:

I'm really not surprised by this.

I don't think that many people actually bought a Wii U in the first place and none of the games are particularly stand out or compelling titles compared to the competition on shelves that's available on the other platforms.

Sure, there's games like Batman, Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect but the truth is that the vast majority of people interested in those games will either already have them on 360/PS3 or will get them for those systems.

Games like Mario and Nintendo Land may be cool but they're not the must have titles they could have been with a little more polish and depth imo.

These lacking sales are very reflective of how I see the Wii U platform as a whole.



SPEtheridge said:

Price i think is the major issue, mass effect 3 for £45 when i can get all three on ps3 or 360 for £35 or £40, they need to be the same price they have no real need to be that price, and tbh there's really nothing note worthy on the system yet either old ports or un intresting nintendo games yeah mario bros u is good, but the casual buyer will just think its a minor update to the wii original.



Phle said:

Well, Wii U games are expensive, at least where I live. Assassins Creed 3 for Wii U is almost 3 times the price of the PC version. That might give you a few clues about why people aren't buying many games. I myself got Nintendo Land (bundled), ZombiU, Darksiders 2 and I bought Batman: Arkham City for my boyfriend as a Christmas gift. But I don't own many other gaming consoles, other than a Wii U, I have a 3DS XL, a Mac laptop and an iPhone 5 that I don't consider a gaming device (of course I can use my boyfriends PC too, but I never feel comfortable using PC's). People who own several consoles may choose to buy the games to the console that offers the lowest prize to that particular game. I'm going to get Epic Mickey 2 Wii U, but I need to finish Epic Mickey Wii and Darksiders 2 first & since it's Christmas, I haven't been able to play much at all.



zeldazero said:

Ok enough, why doesn't someone actually answer the one question thats been asked a million times?? DO THESE FIGURES PUT INTO CONSIDERATION DIGITAL DOWNLOADS? Someone must know the answer to this question..What company gets these figures and I will ask them myself...



Henmii said:

Game prices are the culprit! If the game prices don't go down, don't expect strong sales!!



Ren said:

which of these things is it? all of them. This is the first launch I didn't buy at because I could see the poor overall launch coming a mile away. I learned my lesson from the 3DS launch. Lazy launch titles, missed opportunity between Thanksgiving and Christmas (not everything working in time), bad advertising, retail demo units everywhere that you can't actually play (even now!), and still high prices even on the download games, including the download only smaller ones. I have hope for the future but it's going to have to pick up steam, games-wise or see a price drop.
I had predicted a price drop and I'm sure it'll come in maybe 6 months. I'll look at the lineup and get one then.



Mattreid23 said:

They do cost a lot, but I have had trouble finding them in the stores and when I have there was only a few games to choose from ( 1 or 2 ) so I'm putting it down to bad advertising and marketing



Sun said:

Prices should be lower for retail games, but also downloadable games are ridiculously expensive. Companies should realize.



Milton_Burle said:

Everyone says price is the problem and I agree to an extent, but that doesn't seem to put people in the UK off shelling out for yet another variant of a glowing Apple tablet. Most people I talk to haven't heard of a Wii U or don't understand what it is. I think word of mouth is a big thing for Nintendo consoles. With the Wii I'd show people Wii Sports and they'd instantly want one. Wii U is a more subtle, slow-burning experience, harder to sell. But I hope sales pick up.



astonkiller said:

I remember I paid £70 for turok dinosaur hunter on the N64 (crazy) I will never pay £50 for a download copy. £40 retail plus I get a nice box so there



MussakkuLaden said:

My problem are really just the prices for the games. So far I only own Nintendoland, which was bundled, AC3 – which due to its production value and enormous size seemed worth the 55€ – and the reasonable priced NanoAssault Neo.
Now I'd LOVE to play Tekken, Mario Bros and ZombiU. But there is no way that I pay more than 50€ for a video game that is not really extraordinary. After all, Tekken is just a straightforward B'emU and has dropped to 40€ on the other consoles moreover. ZombiU is tricky, me not being quite sure how good it is. I definitively want to try it, but rather not take the risk to pay more than 40€. And Super Mario: however great it might be, it's just a relatively "cheap" First-Party-Game. 40€ would be a proper price for that, but nothing more. Even the third-party Rayman is currently priced at just 50€.
In addition to the games I just mentioned, there are a couple more which I would only buy for a budget of 20 or 30 €, depending on the game. Like Sonic, CoD, probably even Batman, Darksiders, Mass Effect... So, there is really a lot out there, and much more to come in early 2012, but not for the current prices.

It was always among the reasons why I preferred the Wii because the games were at a reasonable prize, on average at least 10€ cheaper than on other consoles. As long as the prices for some WiiU games dont drop, I'll stick with some of my leftover Wii titles. Besides, the eShop prices are generally too high, too.



brucelebnd said:


I know. I find it funny how Nintendo invested so much in that market during the Wii era but it hasn't translated to the Wii U. NA was left out in the cold in the Wii era and didn't recieve as much as the EU even though the Wii, the Wii U and software actually sell. I'm talking about titles more than anything else but the irony is clear



t_vo said:

These charts don't take into account sales from the eShop. I know i bought Scribblenauts off the eShop, which is a retail game as well. 10% discount to buy online. (well, 10% credit actually). Would be interesting to see what those sales are, but I'm sure those figures are never released.

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