Wii U Struggles to Make an Impact in the UK Software Charts
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Stock shortages or poor sales?
When Wii U initially launched in the UK its system exclusive titles made a modest start in the all-format software charts, which was hardly surprising as only 40,000 units had been available for sale in its first week. This week's results, unfortunately, make slightly grim reading, with no Wii U exclusives making it into the top 20.
The reasons for this aren't completely clear at the moment, and a small install base undoubtedly plays a significant part. A quick browse of major online retailers in the UK — at the time of writing — showed available stock of various bundles and console options at Amazon UK and GAME, though HMV was sold out of systems. This situation may evolve on an almost daily basis with stock selling out and fresh systems coming in, but the impression right now is that consoles are available to buy without excessive difficulty.
To get to the point, just two Wii U-exclusive titles made it into this week's top 40, though that doesn't account for the various multi-platform titles that are performing well. Nintendo Land comes in the highest in 26th place, possibly due to it being bundled with systems, while New Super Mario Bros. U is hanging on in 36th place.
3DS titles are faring a little better, arriving in the charts in decent numbers if not necessarily particularly high in the overall results. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is leading the pack in 17th position, while Mario Kart 7, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask and
Super Mario 3D Land come in at 28th, 33rd and 35th respectively. Paper Mario: Sticker Star, making its début at the weekend, sneaks into 40th position.
With the festive shopping season well under way, these are potentially disappointing results for Nintendo in the UK. 3DS titles are in the all-format top 40 in decent numbers, however, and it's still open to interpretation whether Wii U software's struggles reflect the low initial install base, struggling sales or a low game attach-rate — such as a current average of 1.2 games sold per system in North America. Either way, Nintendo will be hoping for a Holiday boost in the next two weeks.