News Article

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.


From the web

User Comments (49)



dimi said:

Time for a price drop.after the holidays. Maybe even more drastic than 3ds one.



Mahe said:

What is there to buy? The launch selection is lacklustre.



pntjr said:

Price of Wii U is too high, so people won't buy games. Make the games or hardware cheaper.



Azooooz said:

Wii U needs better advertising. Some people have no clue what is Wii U, and that hurts the sales real bad.



Matti said:

Not enough interesting games, high price and bad marketing. No wonder it doesn't do so well.



farfromsleep said:

Not that surprising really. It's competing with systems that have been out for years with massively higher install bases during one of the craziest times of the year for game sales. I don't think we need to start sounding alarm bells yet.



Sean_Aaron said:

I think it's far too early to draw any conclusions from this. I cannot imagine Nintendo would be worrying until after New Year to see the numbers.



bezerker99 said:

Nintendo's marketing for Wii U is kinda of meh. Not saying that's the reason for low sales in Europe but I've seen the spots and they are nothing special imo.

Also, the launch window games are all terrible.



SkywardLink98 said:

I doubt it's stock shortages. Around me all the stores went out of stock for about a week and then got through everyone by the fifth. That's what about 3 weeks of shortages and then little demand. Either nintendo got plenty Wii U's made, or it's not selling NEAR as much as the Wii did. My guess is it's not selling much.



Hyrule said:

I wouldn't worry personally, though I must say the advertising could be a lot better in the UK. The amount of Far cry adverts, for example, I've seen in the cinema and during breaks for popular TV shows. That's where you catch the potential gamers/adults, who may also potentially buy a Wii U for themselves and for their kids.
I could russle up a decent Wii U advert on my PC....hmmmm there's a thought



SimonB79 said:

unfortunately when it comes 2 the UK if it doesnt have an **XBox** logo it doesnt exist. /sadbuttrue



biggsydaboss said:

Apart from Zombie U (which is over £50 in some places) & Mario U (I didn't get this I'm ashamed to admit), there really isn't any quality Wii U only titles available. I bought Just Dance 4 (for my daughter) & Sonic ASRT (for my son). Once Xmas is out of the way I will be investing in some what you might call core titles. ME3 or Zombie U (I'm from London, so this title really apeals to me) are likely going to be the way I go.



Wowie said:

My grandson has seen this and hopes to get one for Christmas .Who knows ? !!!!!



Bankai said:

Guys, the answer is in the hardware. 40,000 units of hardware on the market, compared to millions of PS3, Xbox 360s etc. Of course software sales aren't going to compete in terms of numbers with the established consoles.



Folkloner said:

Could you be a little more precise with your words people. Stuff like 'all the launch titles are terrible' or ' Zombie U and NSMBU are the only good Wii U only titles at launch' are just not true.

Just because some are ports or are games you aren't interested in doesn't mean they are bad. Sonic Racing, Assassins Creed & Nintendoland are perfectly playable and have a good amount of features. Saying their bad games is just rubbish.



DerpSandwich said:

Not worried at all. Right now it's ALL about the install base. How can a system with one million owners sell even NEARLY as much software as one (or two) with seventy million? Give it time.



McHaggis said:

Games need to be priced at £39.99 and less. I'm waiting for price drops on the current selection before buying them. I have my PS3 and a ton of Wii games that can keep me occupied until they become cheaper. I wanted to buy ZombiU, AC3, Arkham City and Darksiders II but I refuse to pay over £40 for a game just on principal. If everyone did the same (and it looks like a lot of people are), it would send the message that Nintendo can't just add a £10+ premium to the price of games just because it has a new console out.

We already know Nintendo are making a lot on games because a single game―from any developer―purchased turns the loss made on the Wii U into a profit.



rjejr said:

Standing in an almost empty Gamestop Saturday afternoon - which should be packed this time of year with holiday shoppers - made me wonder if we're headed for another overall lull in the video game industry. Between 3 iterations of Playstations, 2 Xbox, and a Wii, all of which sold many millions of units, maybe people have reached the burn out or saturation point.

Or maybe every body is just buying a tablet and $1 games instead.



Bankai said:

Dear people saying games need to be cheaper: perhaps you haven't noticed, but a lot of games studios have closed this year.

No. Cheaper games isn't going to do anyone any favours.



C-Olimar said:

I'm not surprised Paper Mario Sticker Star didn't sell in huge amounts - not only has it only been on sale for 3 days, I also haven't a shred of advertising for it.



Gonzo1 said:

@WhiteKnight: Perhaps the reason games studios are closing is because people are just not buying games because they think they're too expensive.
The way I see it is as long as the price is right I will continue to buy games, if they're not right then the games will stay on the stores shelves.
One of the reasons I've held off buying the WiiU just yet is because I just don't fancy paying £40+ per game. If I was single then maybe it wouldn't bother me so much, but with a family price matters a whole lot more.



Farmboy74 said:

It's a combination of things, the price of the Wii U is to high especially the basic model, Nintendo need to advertise more, not enough exclusive games on launch, the economy is still in the gutter no one's got a lot of money to spend. It's not a stock issue as my local Asda has plenty of stock available



Bankai said:

@Gonzo1 Game studios are closing people consumers have been taught to wait for a couple of weeks, when a game is inevitably discounted (hurting the developer and publisher), or buy it second hand (hurting the developer or publisher).

You can justify it however you like - and I'm not saying you're wrong in buying games cheap/ second hand, the industry is at fault for not maintaining the value of its content - but yes, every time you buy a second hand game or a game at a discount, you are directly impacting on the revenue and profitability of the people that made that game.



SimonB79 said:

I think there's allot of people out there that simply don't class the wiiu as a nextgen console ... why waste £2/300 on a system that's no better then what they've already got? ... There all keeping their cash for the 720 / PS4.



Traxx said:

I bought it at day one release and I wish I didn't. But whatever, Monster Hunter on the way. Until then it seems this console is already dead. Ports that look worse and run slower (I know what I'm speaking of, got Ps3 here), no great exclusives, crappy controller. Hardly any useful concept for implemeting dual Screen as of now.

There is really no reason to buy this thing yet especially if you got a ps3 or xbox. Personally speaking, it felt very underwhelming buying a console at the end of 2012 and still be served ugly looking visuals. I'm not a graphic whore, but it's about time games look polished... For looking at jaggies and mud again I do not need a new console.



Farmboy74 said:

Another factor could be the fiasco that was the 3DS launch, no set retail price letting the retaillers set the price people have long memories. Also the cost of buying an external hard drive could be a factor if you are planning on downloading a lot of software.



Gonzo1 said:

@WhiteKnight: I don't recall saying I bought cheap secondhand games. It just would be better if games were at a reasonable price from the start then some people wouldn't have to wait for second hand copies to appear & stores wouldn't have to drastically drop the prices to shift what's not selling, then in turn games studios wouldn't need to close as more new games would be sold rather than new games quickly becoming old games being sold eventually at discounted prices.



CliffordB said:

As others have said it's simply down to the poor launch games, no doubt about it IMO, I bought the Wii U purely because I've owned every Nintendo console at one time or another so I badly wanted to own Nintendo's first HD console, but, I really hope (& pray) Nintendo don't wait to long before releasing some of their big hitters (3D Mario, Mario Golf/Kart/Tennis, Donkey Kong, Luigi's Mansion, Punch-Outt!!, Zelda etc.) because I fear the worst if Nintendo don't get a move on, I still think the Wii U has some genuine potential, but it needs EXCLUSIVE GAMES and lots of them, potential alone is just not enough. I think NSMBU is the only game worth owning on Wii U at launch and maybe Nintendo Land, other than that most games are just ports that the majority of gamers played over a year ago.



FabioSMASH said:

As a Nintendo fan for life, it's painful to admit that I'm just not sensing any excitement for the Wii U (from friends, strangers and, sadly, myself). The marketing was/is weak and directionless. The console's new name is a total head-scratcher that just confuses all but the most avid Nintendo follower.
The whole thing just feels more like an HD Wii upgrade and not a ground-breaking new Nintendo gaming system.

In fact, I pre-ordered the Wii-U months ago, picked it up on launch day, kept it in the box for a couple weeks and finally returned it once I realized I had no motivation to unpack it, install it and play another Super Mario scroller.

True story.



crumpledpapyrus said:

I've found Wii U games to be pretty expensive, especially on the high street... You can hit £100 with just two games which must be a factor in this...



CerberusAzdin said:

I agree with everyones point of view. I have a Wii U Zombi u edition from GAME and I could only afford it because I traded in half of my library for it. The only game I was willing to invest money for was New Super Bros Mario U, the rest of the launch titles don't really appeal to me.

Games like Batman and Mass Effect 3 have been around for a while now, so why would you pay £300 + for a console that has games seen on other platforms? Unless you are looking into getting first party titles like Nintendo Land and thats still £45 +.

Its too early to come to any conclusion on how well the Wii U is selling but its just not very affordable. Nintendo said that they will make their money back from the sale of one game, I'm not surprised when you are charging £45 - £59 a pop! Unfortunately the games aren't any cheaper through the Nintendo eShop either.

It will be interesting to see what the next few months will bring. I doubt Nintendo will make the same mistake as they did with the 3DS and if they do realise they have at least we know that we will get "compensation" goodies.

If you can wait for a price drop because the Wii U is too expensive for you or want to wait for other games (Pikmin 3, Monster Hunter Ultimate and so on) then do so.

Games need to be affordable.



Pikachupwnage said:

@br1an I cannot fathom how in gods name anyone can feel this is just an HD wii. It just doesn't make sense to say so. What about the gamepad? Miiverse?



1wiierdguy said:

The concept of the Wii U just isn't as instantly appealing as the original Wii was. It's a system that you really have to go hands on with. It's then you understand. The convenience of off TV play. The allure of Miiverse. Unfortunately Nintendo made the same mistake they made with the 3DS launch. They relied on the appeal of third party games. They said it themselves. When they saw how many titles third parties were committing at launch, they held back on some of their planned 1st party releases. This has led to the launch games feeling a bit lacklustre. Reducing the overall excitement for the system.



lonlon-milker said:

I honestly don't believe how you people admire how nintendo is releasing so many games at launch, and then the next day complain that there is nothing to buy!



Ren said:

Not a surprise. Launch excitement always makes EVERY launch title seem to add up to "lots" when 3/4's of it is just bad launch cash-ins. I was burned hard by the 3DS launch so I'm waiting on this one until it's actually all working and has some good games out. Also I agree with someone that we may be approaching a lul in the industry; the other consoles are HD and great and soon there'll be "superHD" consoles or whatever. the model for all of it has to shift somewhere new, and with tech the way it is now, like it or not it may just be moving to a cheaper more 'mobile' device model. I'm sure it won't happen without a fight and some time but the console stuff is just so expensive, is it really worth getting a new one every 2 years now that every device has some pretty good games (other consoles, apps, etc, etc)?
All that media center stuff is great but EVERYTHING else has it, and all you guys laughed at it on PS3 when that launched, now it's the bees knees?



kdognumba1 said:

This isn't a surprise. You can't have major software sales without a large enough install base to support this.



SilentHunter382 said:

Well I was very lucky to get my Wii U yesterday. Argos in my area had a delay delivery and only got them in yesterday and they only got 2 in. :/



Banker-Style said:

I think the Console price is decent,but recession hit Britain can't afford it,drop all the bundles £50,and Nintendo would see sales increasing.

And cut the prices of the games,£55 for Assassins Creed 3? **** Off.
The games should be priced up to a maximum of £40.

Seriously Nintendo,think about why the Wii did well.
It was cheap,and that;s why people went for it.

Jez when I picked up my Wii U a couple of weeks ago,there was a guy who brought the ZombiU pack with 6 games,for £670.



Tate24 said:

Games are far to expensive! Ive never played £60 pound for game and i dont intend to start now nintendo! If want to see an increase in software sales then lower prices of your games..... simple



WuuU said:

I didn't see too many Wii U games with really good reviews, so I just got Zombie U, NSMBU, and the bundled NintendoLand. I almost feel like the name "Wii U" is confusing to people who aren't in-the-know about Wii stuff. They might as well have just used "Wii 2."

I started out looking at handheld games and honed in on the 3DS XL. It took me a while to finally bother Googling "wii u" (after I kept seeing references to the name) because I didn't really know there was a new console system from Nintendo. I'm usually a PC gamer, though. Anyway, I wound up buying both, but I knew I was taking a chance on the Wii U, being a brand new, untested system with few existing games. Here's hoping it does well



uximal said:

I our region we highly depend on European market and the price right now is just ridiculous, The Deluxe pack is retailing for $ 811, Surprisingly some few people are buying but suppliers are taking advantage. I really envy Wii U's price tag in USA.



Kruger85 said:

Lmfao!!!!I have never heard so much utter bull..t in all my life!!!the wiiu has ONLY just been released u guys!!!to date in the UK the wii u has sold just over 70k so please explain to me to me how the hell you expect the wii u games to be in the top 10 of charts when its initial fan base is so low?also please explain to me how you expect wii u game sales to beat that of xbox 360 and ps3 when the UK fan base of both is 11 and 9 million counting!!!!
ermm now lets see which console games will sell better at xmas?a console just released with only 7ok fan base or console games that have fan bases of millions?LMFAO!!!!
The same utter dribble was said about the 3ds when that launched, now only 2 years old it has already sold more in japan than the ps3 has done in 6 years!!!!!to date the 3ds has sold 24 million and the utter crap vita 3,7 million with the past 8 months it has only been selling 10k per week talk about sony;s biggest ever failure!!!!
we will see what happens in a years time when zelda.mario,mario kart,super smash bros,metroid,pikmin 3,bayonetta 2 and the rest come out!!!
It is so pathetic how you all judge a console that has only just been released and with such a low fan base compared to other consoles that have been out for 6 years,just as it has no games in the top 10 you say it is a fail?LOL.
Another major reason is that the ipad mini is 100 quid cheaper!!!!

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...