News Article

GameStop Sales of Wii U Are Reportedly "Slightly Disappointing"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Thankfully not "very disappointing", we suppose

Now that the Holiday season is passing and the majority of people are already returning to the drudgery of work and normal life, some analysis about festive spending and sales is expected to emerge. Wii U will be a major topic in the gaming industry when looking at sales, as it's a new home console launching into a competitive environment that, as most would surely expect, costs more than its older rivals. The question is, are the general public enthusiastic about the concept and buying the system?

Some early noises aren't positive, though Wii U had strong début weeks in the US, Japan and practically sold out in the UK. A good first week doesn't reflect the long-term success that Nintendo craves, however, and it seems that at one major chain of stores — presumably in this case referring to US branches — the first six weeks of sales haven't been setting the tills alight.

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, writing in an investor note, reinforces evidence of many shopper's eyes by saying that Wii U stock availability in GameStop stores is "abundant". It goes on to say that the Deluxe model is selling better due to its "better value" — which likely refers to the inclusion of Nintendo Land — and that the software attach rate at the stores is "low", reinforcing statements late last year from other analysts. The conclusion is blunt, though could also be worse.

Our conclusion is the Nintendo Wii U launch has been slightly disappointing.

In the absence of formal figures this kind of analysis is the closest we'll come to firm indications of sales figures at this time, so it's not cheering news. It must be acknowledged, however, that references to sales results at one specialist retailer aren't an indication of its success or otherwise as a whole, even if the sight of readily available stock suggests low demand.

Let us know what you think about these comments, and how you think Wii U has performed at retail, below.


From the web

User Comments (119)



Buzzthebatgirl said:

I am the only one not surprised by this? The Wii U had really only three or four killer apps at launch, nothing new since launch and the newer killer apps coming out in March. Doesn't take a member of Mensa to work out the Wii U isn't selling well - there just isn't enough great games on the console



Moshugan said:

In Finland it's 70 EUR for a new game on Wii U (same for Xbox360, PS3) at GameStop. That's friggin' 91 USD! No wonder game sales are slow.
You can get new Wii U games for 60 EUR in some other shops, also many people order from web stores.



cornishlee said:

I don't have a TV, so I don't know what advertising has been like but I was surprised when I went into a PC World/Curry's in the UK yesterday and saw no Wii U section. Then I noticed that they were for sale in the Wii section. And that the top five games in the Wii chart were, in fact, Wii U games. That kind of placement can't help, the Wii U was basically made invisible.



Prof_Clayton said:

GameStop not loving it means it was a meh launch. They basically are the major place anyone would buy one here. Unless everyone went to Walmart for some reason, this isn't good. At a gamestop here (at a mall inbetween 2 major neighborhoods) 2 people bought them launch day at Midnight at GameStop; I know them both.
Still, I hope this doesn't end up like 3DS.



bowsersblog said:

PS3 was slow out of the gate,. Give it some time, the Wii U will pick up steam slowly as better titles get released. One thing that could help though is better marketing ads on TV. Start to show the Wii U just isn't for the casual gamers.



madgear said:

I'm really not surprised by this at all. I'm such a huge Nintendo fan and they're probably my favourites games company of all time (sorry, Sega - only just). However, despite this, I have zero interest in the Wii U. The original Wii is the best console I have ever owned and still play it regularly, so how can they mess up so bad?

What I was hoping for was a HD Wii. Visuals better than what we see on PS3/360, better online, same compatibility as Wii and to use the tried and tested motion plus controller. I certainly do not want a giant touch pad controller taking up what little living room space I have left. I've complained quite a bit about the Wii U on here, but only because I'm disappointed. After countless responses of "it's not such a big deal" and "get over it", I have to say no. I think a lot of other Nintendo fans are choosing not to buy it too. It's a shame as I still love and want to play Nintendo games, but so far I think this is going to be the first Nintendo console I've had no interest in since I got my first SNES. Sad days.



Bankai said:

@bowsersblog I assume you have statistical proof that an expanded TV Advertising campaign would result in a more profitable and exponential increase in Wii U sales?

Or are you just taking a guess and assuming that spending more dollars on advertising will magically turn disappointing sales into impressive ones?

People shouldn't guess with regards to marketing. Corporations such as Nintendo have databases filled with numbers to help them calculate what marketing initiatives they should perform, and how much they should spend on them.

No need to be an armchair expert, in other words. Nintendo's doing a very expensive global marketing campaign as it is, and Nintendo has been smart to realise that TV ads are so very unimportant for this kind of product. TV advertising is a tip of the iceberg for a modern, smart, marketing campaign.



cornishlee said:

I'm sorry if I'm missing something in what you're saying but it sounds to me like you are precisely describing the Wii U. The tablet controller is in addition to all the other things you just said, not instead of.



OorWullie said:

@Bankai He never stated that as fact,he only said "One thing that COULD help " Got to laugh at you telling him not to be an armchair expert when that's exactly what you have come across as in your post



AmishThunder said:

@madgear Your living room is so small and cramped that the Wii U gamepad won't fit in it? Are you a hoarder or something? Maybe you just need to clean...



madgear said:

@cornishlee @AmishThunder - quite the opposite of a hoarder, I'm more of a minimalist who doesn't like a cluttered room. Well I could list the problems I have with the Wii U but it'd make for a long post. With the controller, though, I don't like the idea of having a giant touch screen pad to use with my console. I have an iPad already that I keep in my living room, I don't need another giant pad next to the TV. On top of that I need these new pro controllers, additional classic controllers (since I used GameCube pads for VC before) and my old Wii remotes and nunchucks. However, since no GC compatability, I'd also need to keep my Wii and GameCube pads anyway. If you're fine with all that stuff around your TV then that's up to you. Personally I just want one console and little clutter.



Bassman_Q said:

Not really surprised. Had Pikmin 3 (or any other hyped Wii U exclusive game) come out at launch, sales would have spiked I bet.



Drawdler said:

I think the console might have sold a bit more units-wise if the Premium Bundle had just been standard. Regardless, just give it some time and it will be getting some pretty killer apps... After all, look at the 3DS. It had a mediocre launch, but it had some stellar releases last year, and it looks bright for this one.



Nintenjoe64 said:

This is an ok launch but probably not as good as Nintendo was expecting. All we hear is the negativity but compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 launches, there have been fewer problems and more sales.



SteveW said:

@Prof_Clayton - Wow, I'm glad I'm not there (wherever that is). Gamestop is the last place I would ever purchase anything. I even order from Amazon before going to the local Gamestop, especially when it comes to games, I like my new games to be new. I have bought scuffed "new" discs at Gamestop in the past, I also got one game home to find that the weird color of the cover art was really soda that leaked down in front of the unsealed game case and had the cover stuck to the clear plastic on the game case. My brand new Mario for DS had a case that looked beat to death.. My brand new DS strangely had fingerprints all over it, Gamestop is ridicilous.



Nukarmer said:

haven't got a single game at retail. already bought 3 in the E-shop though. who cares about disks anymore?



C-Olimar said:

Not completely unexpected. I barely see any shelf space dedicated to Wii U, particularly in supermarkets, where the Wii U stuff is unceremoniously lumped in with the Wii stuff. There are a bunch of other factors as well, some Nintendo's fault, others not, but I think we need some more time to fully gauge the level of interest towards Wii U.



cornishlee said:

The games line up is a fair point. We're constantly being told how strong it is and I guess compared to other launches it is. Just nothing I want right now. March/April could be big - Pikmin, Rayman and Bayonetta. I keep saying the Wii U really needs to be included on stellar multi-platform releases though if it's to be a success. You know Nintendo will eventually deliver some of the best exclusives in any generation.



cornishlee said:

That does kind of make sense - I bought a Wii U for exactly that reason. I don't have any GC games or a tablet. An HDMI cable means that I can plug the console directly into my computer monitor though instead of having to go through a USB adaptor (I don't have a TV).



soracloud28 said:

Sad to hear but definitely expected this. As did nintendo probably. They need to pump out more games. Need to own games. I'm glad they are not rushing their product but also imapatiently await those titles



ljinkakidd said:

Game stop gave me a jank Ps3, Soulcalibur 4, and even a WiiShop card that didn't work. I still like Gamestop tho.

I think the Wii U didn't do so good is for

1)It has a hefty price for a country just stumbling out of depression.

2.)The launch lineup was big and bad, literally. People need to understand that people will only play Nintendo games on Nintendo consoles.The only Nintendo games to be released are NSMBU and Nintendo Land which are argueably sub-par to say the most. Nintendo will find its groove when these games release: Mario 3D Wii U, Zelda U, SUPER SMASH BROS UNIVERSE, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart U, Dragon Quest X, Metroid, Miyamoto's new IP, and hopefully that rumored Yoshi's Island game(YEEESSSS!)

3.)Ports of already released games which look slightly worse than the other versions. Who'd buy a port of a game that just came out! Call of Duty and Halo will never succeed on Wii U because the fanbase for those titles in the Nintendo fanbase is weak to say the least. I mean, how poorly would mario have done on an Xbox.

4)Hopefully the Virtual console on Wii will merge with the new one and it must include: Dreamcast titles, Sega Saturn titles, Sega CD titles, Gamecube titles, and yes probably Wii titles as well.

Just give Nintendo time. This isn't 2006 where the economy was okay and Nintend was a magic bean from Jack and the beanstalk. Now we have to plant Nintendo and slowly watch them grow.



ljinkakidd said:

Game stop gave me a jank Ps3, Soulcalibur 4, and even a WiiShop card that didn't work. I still like Gamestop tho.

I think the Wii U didn't do so good is for

1)It has a hefty price for a country just stumbling out of depression.

2.)The launch lineup was big and bad, literally. People need to understand that people will only play Nintendo games on Nintendo consoles.The only Nintendo games to be released are NSMBU and Nintendo Land which are argueably sub-par to say the most. Nintendo will find its groove when these games release: Mario 3D Wii U, Zelda U, SUPER SMASH BROS UNIVERSE, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart U, Dragon Quest X, Metroid, Miyamoto's new IP, and hopefully that rumored Yoshi's Island game(YEEESSSS!)

3.)Ports of already released games which look slightly worse than the other versions. Who'd buy a port of a game that just came out! Call of Duty and Halo will never succeed on Wii U because the fanbase for those titles in the Nintendo fanbase is weak to say the least. I mean, how poorly would mario have done on an Xbox.

4)Hopefully the Virtual console on Wii will merge with the new one and it must include: Dreamcast titles, Sega Saturn titles, Sega CD titles, Gamecube titles, and yes probably Wii titles as well.

Just give Nintendo time. This isn't 2006 where the economy was okay and Nintend was a magic bean from Jack and the beanstalk. Now we have to plant Nintendo and slowly watch them grow.



ajcismo said:

Means nothing. The Wii sold a metric poop-ton at launch and dropped like lead balloon after a few years. Both the PS3 and 360, along with their prior generations, sold less than the U in the same launch window but greatly improved as time went on. Impossible to say how its going to do this early.



cornishlee said:

@ ljinkakidd
"People need to understand that people will only play Nintendo games on Nintendo consoles."

What people? Not me, certainly. I can't afford to own more than one console and there were a lot of titles on my ex's PS2 that I really enjoyed that I'd love to own sequels to on my Wii U (e.g. Hitman). When I was younger I was a Sega boy but that didn't stop me playing/enjoying/wishing for some of the games released on friends' SNESs.
Polarising people in this way is ignorant, stupid and unhelpful, there's no reason people wouldn't enjoy Zelda and Halo, Mario and Soulcalibur and there's no reason that they should have to buy those games on separate consoles. There's a protracted recession that continues to develop and it may well be that sales of all consoles are down in the next generation as more people are forced to choose between them rather than purchasing more than one.



SteveW said:

I wonder why we get higher prices for some games? Dangerous Hunts 2013 on Wii U is $50 with no gun and I can get it on PS3 and 360 for $25 and $29, the Wii version is $20 ($40 with a gun).

and games like Tank! Tank! Tank! are $50? I do like it but it's clearly a budget-like title.

Here is the problem, Nintendo has no games at launch that would appeal to non-gamers, my mom liked bowling on Wii, my grandma liked it also and wanted it, EVERYONE in the family loved it, trust me, they would not want a Wii U so they can chase Mario in Nintendoland.



madgear said:

@cornishlee yeah, it just depends on what you're looking for. I can only speak for myself and other people may not have the same problem with it that I do.

I think the general reason, and I'm just speculating from what people have said, is that they're not really sure what the Wii U is. They know it's a new console (and not a Wii add on) but they're not sure what they'll get out of it. Like I said, I can only speak for myself but everyone may have their own reason for not buying one. I'd like to hear from other die hard Nintendo fans their reason for not getting a Wii U.



Jellitoe said:

Truthfully I am surprised launch was not even worse with the game selection that was available. The only reason I got mine early was because I really wanted to have it early to help Ninty succeed with their console, but as far as games, there is sadly not much on the console I have not already played.



Token_Girl said:

I wouldn't be surprised (though the true casuals don't seem to know about it yet), that the Nintendo market skews away from places like Gamestop and is more likely to buy from Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. Unless you are really good at working trade-in deals, Gamestop just isn't a great deal. I get 5% off everything at Target with my credit card, so why would I get video games (which are priced the same everywhere) anywhere else? I'd imagine Wal-mart and Best Buy have similar discounts with their credit cards and Best Buy has a free rewards program (don't you have to pay a fee for Gamestops?).

My Target had NSMBU, Sega and Sonic All-Stars Racing, Nintendoland, and I think one other game sold out when I went there, and I can't ever remember Wii games selling out, so unless my store just got crappy shipments, this could be an isolated event. Let's not also forget the Deluxe promotion on digital games make buying new releases a better deal online than in most stores, unless you get a preorder deal. I have a feeling it may just be them...



Dogpigfish said:

It's because everyone hates gamestop. 'You need to buy the gameplay guarantee for an extra $5!' Shoved down your throat. Then they pull out the manual and some gyro controller. Leave me alone gamestop!



Mordresh said:

There's some tough competition out there for Nintendo, with (lower priced) XBOX360's and PS3's flying out the door with an utterly massive software library one can pick up at very cheap prices.



gamecubefan said:

I can back up the poster above who thinks Gamestop is sketchy when it comes to buying "new" items. Often "new" products you buy from them will have already been opened. Its ridiculous and should be illegal.

When I bought a "new" copy of Skyward Sword that was not wrapped in plastic and was missing the ClubNintendo insert it was the last straw. Never again have I bought from Gamestop and never again will I. I also tell everyone I know these things so as to get them to shop at Bestbuy/Walmart/etc. ONLY for video games. DO NOT BUY FROM GAMESTOP.

Also, twice had to call over and over and demand they get me my pre-order incentive bonus. I am about 99% certain this is because the Gamestop employees like to keep their customers' pre-order bonus items for themselves. I have heard other people on here say the same thing... that they never got their pre-order Gamestop bonus. The employees there must think nobody knows about/cares about the pre-order gifts so they can just take them themselves and go sell on ebay.



gamecubefan said:

Not to mention most employees at Gamestop look and act as if they have never experienced a real human relationship ever in their life. On top of that they are all Microsuck (LOLwindows) and Sony fanboys and like to snicker at Nintendo customers.



FarukoSH said:

Actually, thats bound to happen imo, i mean... im pretty sure there wont be another console that would "fly-off shelf" like the Wii did, different times, economy while not in a awful shape, its definitely in a "not-so-good".

People need another reason to buy a console than "new fancy graphics", actually they can get those (and better) at the same price if they buy a PC, and PC can be used for A LOT more things, Tablet/Smartphones storm the market because they could do a lot of things at once, play games, web, etc... at a great price, not just play games and stream some movies, TVii its definitely a step in the right direction thou , but they need more... and they need A GOOD PRICE



CanisWolfred said:

If VG Chartz is to be believed, Nintendo missed their intended goal by 1.5 million...I think that would be more than a little disappointing...



NMH-TRI said:

None of this matters. March 2013, Wii U sales will soar. Wii U will soar when the next Retro title comes out. It will soar when Mario, Starfox, or Metroid comes out. It will soar when Bayonetta 2 comes out. It will soar when Aliens come out. I see plenty of Wii U sales in the near future. Its only been like 2 months. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!



ljinkakidd said:


Hey, it's not an opinion it's a fact bro. Nintendo won't put their games on a playstation or Xbox because they're a competitive company. When you think about it Nintendo games do best on Nintendo consoles. With the top 14 best selling games being Nintendo's own I don't see them changing their ways.



cornishlee said:

Of course Nintendo don't release their games on other company's consoles. All the systems need exclusive titles to differentiate them. I'm not arguing with that - it's an entirely different point to what you said.
My bone of contention is with your assertion that people buying Nintendo consoles are only interested in buying Nintendo games.



aaronsullivan said:

It's on the shelves in big numbers everywhere I shop. At least Nintendo is keeping up with whatever demand there is. Competition was very stiff this last holiday with the other consoles going for dirt cheap deals. Nintendo didn't have the immediate and compelling draw of Wii Sports. They had a much, much better game that few understand.

Nintendo Land is insanely great and I see a lot of disinterest and mediocre reviews. This is a pretty big problem for the launch. It's just a tough sell, but if people have given it a fair chance with groups and different ages playing together most would agree with me. It's great for parties and for extended sessions with a few friends or family members.

It's also a way to train newbies in the way of traditional controls and Nintendo franchises. It'd be genius if Nintendo could just get the word out. It's possible that there will be a pretty big second wave of sales as word of mouth gets out and people start enjoying the experience. I hope so.

Meanwhile my family is addicted to Nintendo Land like crack and barely play the other two very good games we own.



aaronsullivan said:

One more thing about Nintendo land the first couple of stages on the deeper team games are TOO easy for experienced gamers. They make it feel like its going to be incredibly boring. This has led to a lot of unfortunate early opinions along with the true joy coming from playing with two three or more players.



Hardy83 said:

Clearly the price is too high for many people.
I imagine in this type of economy, only Apple can (for some stupid reason) get away with charging so much.

I bet even the new Sony and MS systems will sell slowly unless the price is reasonable, or do that 2 year contract thing MS tried.



mjnmixael said:

Yeah.. I'll hold out for the official numbers before I take this as any sort of indication about the Wii U. To be clear, I could care a less if the console is successful or if it's the most popular. Nintendo isn't in any major financial trouble and they'll continue to make the only games I care to play for many years to come.

But, more importantly, I've no reason to believe this is indicative of Wii U sales and not just GameStop sales. As others have pointed out, there's little reason to buy games from GameStop when you can get discounts and better deals from places like Walmart and Target. I certainly don't shop at GameStop anymore.

This is not proof of anything at all, but on Black Friday I was at the biggest local mall. (My wife and I like to window shop and enjoy a day out on Black Friday.) The GameStop store in the mall had less than five people in it each time we passed by it. I found that to be interesting.



Rapadash6 said:

Not surprising at all. Nintendo did next to nothing to promote this new console, so this is to be expected. Nintendo always seems to prefer learning lessons the hard way these days, but hopefully they can turn things around in 2013 by announcing compelling first party software, obtaining major 3rd party games, (as well as exclusives), and improving the systems functionality. As it stands now, and while I personally adore my Wii U, I can understand why many won't give Wii U a second, or even first, look.



aaronsullivan said:

Price is high, true. The value is there. The Gamepad adds something significant and new to console gaming — I don't want a console without one now — but it is expensive and the value is not immediately understood, like the idea of motion controls was by the general public.

Playing multiplayer games without a Gamepad seems archaic to this family, already. Just getting the whole screen back when you play two player games in the same room is a revelation, never mind the asynchronous gameplay and 3 to 5-player gaming that is much more comfortable.



rjejr said:

For the past year Nintendo has been saying they learned a lot from the 3DS launch, and what it seems they learned is how to duplicate it. I wouldn't be surprised to see a price drop if/when the Xbox720 and PS4 come out next holiday. I know I'm waiting for a "must have" reason to buy the system and it isn't there yet.
I think Nintendo did themselves a disservice by having the 2 distinct packages. People don't want to buy the basic white for $299 b/c it isn't worth it, and they don't want to buy the black deluxe because $349 is too much money these days. If you give your customers a moments hesitation in trying to decide between the 2 you've probably lost that sale as they've moved on to something else to do with their money. There are a ton of basics sitting on store shelves and the deluxes are starting to pile up next to them now that the holiday shopping season is over.
Pikmin 3 should move a few units whenever it comes out - a release date would be nice, how does a "launch window" game still not have a release date? - but those boxes will be gathering dust until then.



MAB said:

The only information I gathered from this report is that nobody wants to buy stuff from Gamestop anymore



SpaceApe said:

I thought sales were pretty darn good compared to the PS3 and 360 launch. Also the people at my Gamestop actually love the Wii U. So taking this article with a grain of salt.



brooks83 said:

I gotta laugh at the people who say this is not an issue with the Wii U but an issue with people not shopping at Gamestop. Delusional much?



WhiteTrashGuy said:

The marketing here in the States was lackluster. All they showed off were families playing NINTENDOLAND and NSMBU. They to promote NintendoTVii more and some of the mature titles like ZOMBIU and ALIENS. I got one on launch day and it has pretty much replaced my 360. It's the gaming/movie watching on the tablet controller that will move this machine with Nintendo's main market share: The family. Give me the GamePad over Kinect anyday! I really hope Nintendo makes there projected sales of 5.5 million consoles worldwide by March.



billychaos said:

Regardless of what Gamestop says. There are other vendors that have sold the Wii U. Their statement should be read "Gamestop sales a disappointing amount of Wii U consoles". According to Motley Fool, a Financial service company, here is how the Wii has sold up till Dec 22 and compared to other consoles in the same amount of time:

  • Wii U: 1,817,166
  • Wii: 2,071,242
  • PS3: 524,687
  • X360: 948,162
    That's 88% Wii, 346% PS3, 192% X360. Pretty decent.
    People seem to have created an idea that the Wii U is not selling, when in fact it is. It's hard to see because the Wii skewed all game launch data. If I had money to invest in NTDOY, I would now, since people think it's not doing well. By the time they realize they were wrong the stock could be worth more than four times what you paid for.


t_vo said:

I wish they would state which wii U's are abundant. I bet the deluxes sell out quickly, but there's ton's of the basic sets. I've pretty much always seen at least on basic set on the shelves everytime I go in the store, but usually never any deluxes. Personally, when I was trying to get my hands on a Wii U, it took me six weeks from launch to get a delux, although many times I passed up on an available basic set. I give the basic set another 6 months before Ninty goes back to just one set with common items, just it'll be available in white or black.



Dreamcaster-X said:

I'm not worried. It's a marathon, not a sprint. I've been more than pleased with the Wii U & have plenty of awesome games to play til Aliens:Colonial Marines & Monster Hunter 3 hit in Feb/March. This years E3 will be HUGE for Nintendo. This is where the big guns will come out. Zelda,Metroid, 3D Mario, MArio Kart, Smash Brothers etc...expect to see some big surprises.



Peach64 said:

In the UK, Zavvi recently knocked nearly 30% off the Premium Bundle to try and shift some after Christmas. For me, it's not even the price, it's just the lack of must have games available, and none officially announced either. There's plenty of good games to play if you have one, but if you're a multi-console gamer, there's nothing you HAVE to buy the console for right now like a 3D Mario, a Zelda, or a Metroid.



Phantom5800 said:

I was at a GameStop yesterday just browsing and didn't even see a WiiU section. There weren't even WiiU games mixed with Wii games. So either they completely sold out of all of them, or they're all in the back where no one can see any WiiU related products at my local GameStop.



demonroach said:

Nintendo will not advertise more until they can make a profit on individual hardwares. So do not plan on seeing a campaign until mid to late 2013.



idork99 said:

As a huge Nintendo fan since '86, I do not own or currently plan to own this system anytime soon. Instead of paying top dollar for subpar games in the beginning of the system's cycle, I'd rather wait this time around for a great price and excellent games that I know are bound to come out in the next year or so. Besides, I'm still having too much fun with another excellent system at the moment; my 3DS!



Slapshot said:

@billychaos Firstly, your link doesn't work. Secondly, the Wii U is now selling well below the other consoles:

Wii U is the first home console that I've had no interest in buying in a very long time. The console itself cost much more than I'm willing to pay, as I'll only use it for handful of first party/exclusive titles. I've got a lot of respect for Nintendo keeping things family friendly and simple, but Miiverse isn't my cup of tea. When the cost of an additional hard drive is tacked onto the already high price tag, I just can't justify the cost for Wii U. Wii and 3DS are consoles I very much enjoy from time to time, but it's just that - a time to time experience. I'm not shelling out $400+ for a console I'm only going to play from time to time.



LittleIrves said:

@aaronsullivan I've listened to multiple industry podcasts where people start to play NintendoLand, get turned off by something or other, and say they'll never go back to it. And it makes me CRAZY! Because it's balls-out awesome and too many "experts" aren't even giving it a chance.

For example: One was upset that he'd have to re-play early levels of Yoshi's Fruit Cart. Never even realizing that the warp gates shoot you to the last level you reached.

Another: One was annoyed that the F-Zero game wouldn't let him look at the TV screen to control his racer, forcing him to look down at the GamePad. But that only happens in the Tutorial! Had he played for 30 more seconds he'd see that you can play however you want. And if you figure out the powerslide turning technique the whole race can be fast and difficult and intense.

But enough from me... suffice to say, I'm "slightly disappointed" in so many so-called experts who have written off one of the year's most gutsy and joyful games.



Slapshot said:

@LittleIrves The fact that Wii U has a (at times) confusing interface and annoying gameplay choices that turn off gamers isn't a problem with the player - it's a problem with the game/console!

Wii Sports was natural. You could put a Wiimote in nearly any person's hand and they indistinctly knew how to play it. This was the "magic" that the Wii held and it's the "magic" that Wii U lacks. Wii U isn't natural, it's overly confusing for many people. That's a design problem.

This is an argument that I've heard countered over and again, but the fact is, people are indeed getting very fed up constant controller confusions with the numerous control (and display) options.

There are too many controller options and many of them aren't allowed when they obviously should be. How is it that you can play some games with a Wiimote, but not with the new (expensive) Pro Controller, when only the D-pad and 1 & 2 buttons are being used. Even NL's Ken Barnes spoke his frustration on this very issue in a recent Feature.



brooks83 said:

@Slapshot - I agree with almost everything you said, the only difference is I absolutely love the Wii and it is probably one of my all-time favorite consoles. That makes my dissapointment with the Wii U all the more frustrating. I've been looking high and low for any reason to want to buy this console, but I can't find any. This system just does not appeal to me at all, add that to the fact that every store I go to has tons in stock makes me think that Nintendo is gonna have a rough first year with this thing.



LittleIrves said:

@Slapshot I'm not arguing that Wii U has the same intuitive, instant "magic" feeling as the Wii, because you're right, it doesn't.... but my point was simply about NintendoLand, and how there's much more to it than many are giving it credit for. Perhaps that's the game's fault for not spelling it out; perhaps some should have a bit more patience.

But yes, one of the big challenges the Wii U will face is the intimidating nature of its many possibilities/limitations. The Wii was simple and elegant, and succeeded largely because of this complete lack of barriers to entry. The Wii U is more complex and not as immediately gratifying. Once it has its hooks in you, though.... whoa man. I hope Nintendo is able to figure out their messaging and gets this in enough people's hands, 'cause there's loads of potential.



AVahne said:

It IS a problem with the player/gamer. The Wii U interface is simple and incredibly easy to understand right away. It's your own fault that you can't understand something so simple. Probably shouldn't be using a PC or an Android device, as those are more complicated than Wii U.



russellohh said:

Everytime I entered a Gamestop in Nov and Dec, they told me I had to buy a Wii U NOW, before they sold out!...with 5 or 6 in their stock room. I bought mine Christmas week with no problem. I think Nintendo should play up the new Mii plaza. It's my favorite part!



brooks83 said:

@Koto - Yeah, I guess the reason why there is not a lot of demand for the Wii U is because people are too stupid to understand it. Right?



madgear said:

@Koto but they are still needed for local multiplayer, so I'd still have to get one. As they don't work with the VC, you'll still need classic controllers too. At the moment on my Wii I just use Wii remotes and GameCube pads and that still feels like too much. To add these extra controllers and a gamepad is just too much for me.

It's also kind of lazy too. Why isn't the pro controller compatible with the Virtual Console? Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they allowed them to replace the classic controller but in addition to those?

It's fine if that's no problem for you. I'm quite happy for the Wii U to be a success if everyone doesn't mind having to use multiple controllers. You'll never be able to convince me, though. There's just no way I'm having my TV area look like a forest of plastic peripherals.



moomoo said:

Nintendo's biggest problem lies in its lack of a killer app. This is the first time I can think of besides the 3DS that didn't have one. It could have been ZombiU, but that game was just too polarizing and full of issues to be it. Mario isn't a killer app for most people unless if it's something along the calibur of Mario Galaxy or 64. NintendoLand is a minigame collection (albeit and amazing minigame collection). Frankly, the 3rd party games are definitely better and more engrossing than what Nintendo put out. Thing is, people already have those games on other consoles for the most part, so the value of being able to play game of the year contenders like Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Batman and COD day 1 is lost.

Also, it's not like I've seen a ton of Wii U advertising, so I wouldn't say it's doing badly. Under expectations, yes, but not badly. I think it's a good idea too, because even with Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101 and Game and Wario on the horizon, there isn't much for Nintendo to advertise yet. Besides, those aren't exactly games that entice people who don't own the system; they entice people who already own the system.

Additionally, I really question why Nintendo even bothered to put out a basic set. People will always go for the one that comes with a free game, more memory, more accessories and a digital promotion, especially when the difference is only $50.

On another note, I'm not seeing how the Wii U is complex in terms of its interface. In regards to its controller options then yes, it makes sense, but when it comes to the gamepad and the UI it's pretty simple. I've had half a dozen friends over for NintendoLand and none of them, my family members nor myself have had complications in understanding it.



MAB said:

Not gonna get anything new on the old Wii anymore so it's time to upgrade naysayers



rjejr said:

Just back from Target - 8 white basics and 2 black deluxes that I could see in the display case.

Nintendo should clearance out the whites at $249 and drop the black to $299 before the stores run out of shelf space and stop accepting deliveries. If they really want both black and white consoles so be it but they need to be equal. If the Wii had sold without Wii Sports in the box but as a separate $50 game that system would have lingered on shelves as well. And really, 8GB? Do any tablets or smartphones even come with less than 16GB these days?

It might not be panic mode yet, but I currently see no reason for Wii U's to start selling.



cornishlee said:

There a lot of people around here with a very different understanding of "killer app" to me.



MAB said:

Now if only they could make the best selling game of all time COD better on a tablet then I probably still won't buy one.



Slapshot said:

@LittleIrves I agree with you that Wii U has mountains of potential. I also agree that there's a possibility that some reviewers aren't giving it its dues. But, in the case of Nintendo Land, it seems that many are putting a significant amount of time in with the game and just not finding a reason to press on further to find the 'deeper experience.'

If I write a 1k word review and my opening statements doesn't 'hook' you, finding you jumping to my final conclusion and score - there might be a deep, insightful review that's well-written and enjoyable to read throughout, yet I failed to give you the desire to experience it. In this case, you move along in mere minutes, finding enough satisfaction to do so and even though all this additional content is still there, my work is for naught, because I failed to capture you in the very beginning.

Over and again, this is exactly what I've seen for Nintendo Land. It's good and at times it's great, but it's only under certain circumstances that it finds this greatness. In my book, there's an issue there and as a reviewer, it's one that I feel has to be taken into consideration.

I'm very sure that there are some bad reviews out there (they aren't hard to find these days, sadly), but I've read a lot of very fair reviews that are honest. Wii U is expensive and Nintendo Land isn't Wii Sports, like so many want it to be. If you're one who can get the full 'Nintendo Land' experience, that's great and I truly hope you're fully enjoying it. But, let's level here: Wii U is $350 (bundle with game included); this is 2013 and online gameplay has been commonplace for many, many years now; Wii U is a tablet-like console, and tablets and local multiplayer are most certainly not commonplace these days.

The confusion is easy to see here. Try to walk into a store and explain to a parent that multiple people can play Nintendo Land together simultaneously. Then tell them that you will need your controllers from their past Nintendo home console, Wii, to accomplish this. Then explain to them that two separate screens will be used in the process of doing so (four people playing on two screen?!) . But, you'll then need to let them know that the Pro Controller and the Classic Controller aren't equal and which combinations of Wiimotes, Pro Controllers, Classic Controllers and Wavebirds can be paired together and what combinations will not work - for EVERY game, not just Nintendo Land!

Of course, the issues go further, but I think my point is now clear (not that I'm trying to be arrogant, only transparent). I hold no bias, I just feel that Nintendo has gone from a console that's highly intuitive and instinctive to a new console that's at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. It's confusing and at time convoluted - it's a multitude of issues that Nintendo has to find a way to make people fully understand, or the console will never connect to the mainstream audience. Nintendo Land was designed to do this, but only those who have the ability to play local multiplayer are doing so. This is on an expensive and new console in an digital age that's ALWAYS online - the largest problem with Nintendo Land can be found without ever opening the game's case.

@Koto Go back and read what we we're talking about again - we weren't specifically talking about Wii U's UI. And for the record, I prefer mobile devices that have real games on them - Apple.



moomoo said:

@Slapshot For what it's worth, NintendoLand seems to be the only game that really gives any confusion. The average consumer won't be put off by the controller options with NSMBU, and for a lot of Nintendo's franchises I doubt that will be the case either, at least with their two biggest ones in Smash Bros. and Mario Kart. Pretty much every game that seems to incorporate multiplayer on the Wii U itself uses the Pro controller or the standard Wii remote, except for NintendoLand. The options will go away and be streamlined in a few years when you can't buy the older stuff anymore.



Slapshot said:

@moomoo No, that's definitely not the case. Each game allows you to use only certain controllers and/or combination between them. Nintendo's very own first party titles don't allow you to play with their very own Pro Controller - have you tried playing NSMBU with one yet? Here's a hint: it doesn't allow you too. But, you can play it with a Wiimote. Yes, let that sink in - you can play NSMBU with a Wiimote (last generation's controller), but you can't play it with the brand new Pro Controller.

Then there's Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed. You can play it with the GamePad, Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuk and Wiimote + Classic Controller. But, you can't play it with the brand new Pro Controller (again)!

Oh, the controller woes go far, far deeper than just Nintendo Land mate.



scrubbyscum999 said:

Meh...I hate to say but I don't really care all that much. I'm going to get the thing for my bday in very late April anyway. I can understand why it is not doing well. There has been basically no advertising (Do you ever learn Nintendo?) and while it had a better launch list than pretty much any system before it as a whole nothing straight up super gold. Give it time, if its a year and half from now then you should be worried. You just have to wait for the system seller. I'm still waiting for the inevitable skyrocket in 3DS sales when the next generation of Pokemon games come out.



gundam00 said:

Cuz the launch games were ports. Wait till the new 3D Mario, sales will skyrocket as they did when Mario 3DLand was released on 3DS.



arrmixer said:

I've personally made a conjecture that humans have become lazy, comfortable, and impatient each and every generation....

What ever happen to figuring things out for yourself, experimentation, and good old adjusting to what is available.

To me nintendo's approach is fine and lets see how this year plays out... the "controller" and "not having the right tutorial/setup" is a nonissue in my opinion...
I don't have a procontroller..... I'll just stay a novice player i guess with my old wii remotes and gamepad



GreenDream said:

The X-factor here is digital sales and super cheap old and new PC game bundles and deals. It was possible during the holidays to get many games on PC, mobile, or eShop for the price of one new Wii U, Xbox 360, or PS3 game disc; so of course it's not the least bit surprising that with the enormous expansion of options in the market since 6 years ago, there is almost no chance for the Wii U to sell as much as it's predecessor during this time period.

Retail is no longer the dominant distribution method. It will always have it's niche, but the temptation of lower prices through digital distribution is drastically changing the retail landscape. Even the mighty Nintendo is experiencing trouble surviving in the current marketplace environment, so the others must really be struggling...

And of course, GameStop is not reporting the abysmally low Vita sales in the same breath... You wanna talk about disappointing...



Ren said:

I'm with the early poster that is disappointed in this for the first time. I wanted to want it so bad, went to the "experience" before launch, followed all the hype, but I finally got an xbox about 6 mo ago after waiting so long, and it just does everything the WiiU does (short of a touch screen) and from what I hear some things are better. Not to mention that the Kiosks have no actually playable games besides Rayman; how is that advertising? They even tried to jump on the bandwagon with the "entertainment center" thing, but none of it was ready, loading times are long and it won't even play DVDs? Like a lot of people I prefer to download content now, netflix, movies, and the best games at a reasonable price (not 50+$). I got rid of my DVD player a while ago and now besides the sound system all I need is the xbox for everything (and the old Wii for some stuff). why should I get another console that doesn't out do either of these things and can't actually handle all the media we want to use now without 50 attachments and hacks? It looks pretty because it's new, but just buy the console and what can it do? Not much. No storage, expensive games, few killer apps, no disc player, purchases tied to console, apparently slow loads and updates, and some heavily monitored 'chat' functions. Oh and some cool ports of games at double the price on the consoles they already came out on before. To match the cheaper consoles you need to spend at least $400 and then another at least $50 for each game; no way. I'm prepared to be proven wrong when they wake up and lower the prices and get it up to speed with everything else. If they had gotten smart about online stuff with the Wii long ago this may not have happened. I'm setting up my new office and sadly there won't be a WiiU there like I had envisioned a year ago.



AceTrainerAndy said:

If I was CEO or head marketer or whatever, I think I could have done a better job then Reggie or Mr. Iwata. I know so many casual Nintendo gamers who would have bought it during the holiday season if it had a wider variety of games like a 3D Mario or a Zelda game , but are now waiting for the first price drop. Why wasn't there a Zelda game? I understand Zelda games take 4 years to develop and all, but If they had this console in development in 2010 they could have saved Skyward sword for Wii-U. Let us be honest Skyward sword needed HD and Wii-U could have been its home. I think Nintendo fans wouldn't mind waiting an extra 2 years for a perfected Zelda game.



ljinkakidd said:


Then everyone who bought a Xbox or Ps3 would have bought a Wii then. I'm not saying everybody wouldn't buy Nintendo games, I'm saying that not a substantial amount of people own 2 or more 7th gen consoles. I have all 3, I'm speaking from friends I know which are probably fanboys to say the least.



Itglows said:

I won a Wiiu from the Burger King contest

It's a really neat console, of course there is not much software out right now. This system will go far though.



MAB said:

Zelda and Mario aren't that great anymore so I doubt they will shift units. The 3DS had 10 Mario games last year and it's still on struggle street sales wise



Gamer83 said:

The problem is that many of the games for system so far are games you can get on others systems and as such don't really show the true power or capabilities of the Wii U. Honestly I didn't expect as slow a start as it appears it may be off too, but I didn't expect it to light the world on fire like the Wii either. The Wii had a perfect storm of good fortune happen for it leading up to launch and it had a unique hook with the Wii remote. I expect things will pick up fairly soon though, there's some good exclusive Wii U games coming out in the early part of the year and I imagine we'll see a price drop by the end of the summer (especially if Sony and MS announce new systems at E3 to be released later this year). This will mirror 3DS, a slow start then a big improvement.



armoredghor said:

The company that did absolutely nothing to promote a brand new console, (no commercials on their tv, no midnight launch, little to no signage up until launch) is complaining about sales? This isn't Nintendo's fault



Pichuka97 said:

Well I saw Mass Effect 3 for $80! I don't get it. A year old game with no online and only some of the DLC for an extra $20 is crazzy. IDK if thats the actuall price but Walmart had it for $80. Mama mia indeed.



defrb said:

I see games for 40-50 euro in webshops while they are in the eshop 60-70 euro.

Also nintendo need to release some demanding titles before everybody feel the need to buy a wiiu, the system need more exclusives. Im happy with me wiiu but the first game that intrest me is released in march.

Also Nintendo is bad with their advertisement/promoting, while i see ps3 stuff get spammed everywhere.
The wiiu is the best gaming device ever created on earth, it only need some demanding exclusives




Honestly, I just think it's natural that the console performs as it did, since money seems to be tight all around.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Unfortunately I' m not surprised one bit. For starters the Wii U doesn't "click" like the Wii, which is what caused it to come out with a bang. The Wii had word of mouth alone coming out the wazoo, everything from health benefits to getting kids and elderly folk up & moving. The only adds I've seen were for Nintendo Land and NSMB U, a minigame compilation and what looks like any other NSMB game at a glance.

The value just isn't there yet either. For $300 I get a console with 8gb, meanwhile I can get a 160gb PS3 for $250+$50 worth of games among other things. Consider what little the Wii U does compared to other devices at comparable prices and its no wonder, especially with money being tigh.

Don't get me wrong I want the Wii U to succeed and I want to want one, but its got it's share of problems. It doesn't help that only one of the two games I want is exclusive and most of what I play are on handhelds so far. But to be fair I'm already considering going PC+handhelds.



Luffymcduck said:

Exactly. Gamestop´s 70€ per game vs internet´s 43€ per game. Which one I chose, hmmm. I mostly buy used games from that shop, since WiiU and other HD console games are too expensive there.



cornishlee said:

That's a fair criticism of Nintendoland. Personally speaking, I've been underwhelmed by it but I can see it might be more fun if I had more people to play with. Then again, I tend to feel that way about minigames generally.

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to see what your point is. Perhaps we're talking at cross-purposes.



K964 said:

@Slapshot- You can use the Pro Controller for Sonic & All Stars Racing, it just doesn't say so on the box for some reason. Just check the eShop.



MAB said:

Yeah guys I don't think he really cares these users are just having a cry about something they can't afford or haven't even tried yet... They be mad that their precious VITA is going down the tubes is all it boils down to.



XCWarrior said:

I do my best to avoid Gamestop at all costs. So overpriced, rare sales on new games. And I don't trade my games in. In some ways I want digital downloads to take over, because then people won't be able to sell their games back to Gamestop for $5 then Gamestop turn around to charge $35 for that same copy anymore.



AceTrainerAndy said:

I really like having the physical copy. I really do love going to Gamestop, I always get butterflies before I go in and buy a new game. I like to show my collection to my friends sometimes and I can't do that with digital copies.



Yee said:

I agree with this "The wiiu is the best gaming device ever created on earth", the problem is that nobody sees it, people must try the console, but I'm not talking about playing Nintendo Land in a random place, I'm talking about the other awesome features it has, like Miiverse, things that work only because of that touch screen in the controller.



EaZy_T said:

My friend was at a GameStop to buy a Wii U for her daughters for Xmas. The employee told her that it won't play any of their Wii games or sync the Wii peripherals/controllers. She didn't buy one (at least she bought a couple 3DS XLs). GS might need to put their employees on comission (to be able to make sure to make the company some money), then fanboys won't be able to wreck sales of consoles they are "too cool" for.



TenEighty said:

What do you expect? It's the most expensive Nintendo console yet. I for one don't care for the big tablet. Bring back the Gamecube controller and keep your focus on creativity for the games, not the system.



razzystar678 said:

I can't even afford to purchase a Wii U at this point in time. I'm wanting to upgrade my tv first to an HD, and am still saving up for that. I have other bills to pay as well, so no Wii U in my near future. Hopefully, I can afford one this year on Black Friday, if I find a decent, affordable hdtv first. Nobody around me will buy me either, because I'm surrounded by idiots, but I'll work something out for myself. I really want a Wii U!!!



nungi said:

I think a bunch of you are spoiled kids.who complain about everything, or think that nintendo listen to you guyz comments (maybe about what games you like to see)but nintendo have been making these things for too long they know what they are doing they know when to give you and not give you they just testing.Nintendo console have always been the best;in price,games and maybe not online. but i never spent above $400 for a console. I did now and the xperience of playing the list of games that i have is really different, there is too many good games.Some of it have been ported over some of them have been rushed if they had 4 Nintendo made games besides mario,nintendoland and sing the console would sell better i think the wi u is selling the way it should
it shows you know what you doing it will stand out you don't know what you doing the critics are always there.Back in the day when it use to be just magazines and not everybody had a computer to waste their time to talk on,what they think about people that take their time making games and stuff.If they had a Monster hunter or Resident Evil,Pikmin,Advance wars,Ogre battle,1080 Perfect dark Eternal darkness or the impossible that some people would be happy.You like it you could afford it in this time you get it appart from all that.Don't like don't get,someone else would

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