News Article

Satoru Iwata Says That Wii U is "Selling Steadily"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Nintendo share prices have dropped since the system's launch

Although no concrete sales figures for Wii U have been given so far, Satoru Iwata has spoken about the performance of Nintendo's new home console in its early weeks. Many have observed that stock has been readily available and easy to obtain in recent times, a significantly different scenario from when Wii launched. While known figures confirm that over one million Wii U consoles have been sold worldwide, meanwhile, we know little about recent updated numbers for Europe and North America.

Speaking to Reuters, the Nintendo President acknowledged the presence of stock on shelves, but shared a reasonably positive assessment of sales so far.

At the end of the Christmas season, it wasn't as though stores in the U.S. had no Wii U left in stock, as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom. But sales are not bad, and I feel it's selling steadily.

There was acknowledgement, however, that releasing two models had led to challenges for the company, with demand for the Deluxe/Premium model outstripping the Basic equivalent.

It was the first time Nintendo released two models of the game console at the same time ... and I believe there was a challenge with balancing this. Specifically, inventory levels for the premium, deluxe package was unbalanced as many people wanted that version and couldn't find it.

There was no suggestion of Nintendo dropping its target of sales for the financial year as yet, though the company's shares are reportedly down 15% since Wii U launched.

The news of falling shares prices and the "not bad" assessment from Satoru Iwata show that, in broad terms, Wii U hasn't brought a significant boost to the company. It's early days and the news isn't entirely negative, of course, but let us know what you think in the comments below.

[via reuters.com, mcvuk.com]

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User Comments (33)

Aviator

#1

Aviator said:

I'd say Nintendo isn't gonna see some serious profits from this for a while.

Give it at least another year, for developers and Nintendo to harness the power in the Wii U that will continue to grow over the lifespan of the system.

NintyMan

#2

NintyMan said:

The Wii U launch wasn't the sensation it was like the Wii launch, but I don't think anyone expected it to be. The Wii U is probably going to be like the 3DS to an extent, such as selling increasingly better as more good games release for the console. At least the Wii U's launch was better than the 3DS's, so I'm not worried.

Nintenjoe64

#3

Nintenjoe64 said:

If the Wii U CoD community is anything to go by, the Wii U is slowly gathering a bit of momentum.

MAB

#4

MAB said:

Yeah only early days yet and Nintendo didn't really push TV advertising especially in Aussieland... Actually I haven't even seen an ad here ;) I suppose I don't really watch much TV anyway so what would I know.

datamonkey

#5

datamonkey said:

I hope the Wii U does gather some momentum as the console has so much potential. I like what I've experienced so far.

My concern is that the industry has changed so much over the last 5 years, that I wonder if Nintendo will struggle to get decent 3rd party support once more. I know it's early days but the release schedule for the first half of this year looks very light.

Furthermore, with HD games requiring bigger budgets and development time, I hope Nintendo's development teams can keep up a decent output of releases all at their usual high standards.

Taceus

#6

Taceus said:

@MadAussieBloke You're right mate. I watch a fair bit of telly and haven't seen a single Wii U ad. Come to think of it, the last Nintendo ads I saw were for the DSi Lite.

I know guys that are holding back until Zelda and SSB and it'd be safe to assume that there are alot of gamers out there waiting for 'their' game,so all in due course.

rjejr

#7

rjejr said:

I'm sure units have been "selling steadily' since it's launch, it's only 2 weeks after Christmas and it's only been out for 7 weeks. The big question is how well it sells during January, February and March with no big new titles to push it. MHU3 I don't believe is mainstream enough, and it's an updated port.

And I'm glad he admitted 2 price points may have been a mistake. Or at least they should have made more Deluxe and less Basic, they misjudged the consumer. It's true people like spending less money for things, but not when it's such a glaringly obvious discrepancy.

I don't think the problem is that it didn't sell as well as the Wii, that would have been an impossible miracle, but I don't think it generated the overall vibe of a must have new console launch. The PS3 may not have had a better launch (just guessing), but people still wanted it, they just didn't want to pay $500 or $600 for it. The Gamepad is a very nice addition, but overall it's a little too "been there, done that" on everything else.

bro2dragons

#9

bro2dragons said:

I think it was a mistake not to have more heavy advertisement as many others have pointed out, but...

I think the much bigger problem was the late launch. The thing launched so close to Christmas, you only got one rush. In the optimal scenario, you get two, one actually at launch, and the other sales rush for the holidays. Additionally, that holiday boost is bigger because it's had time to sink into the market, and people tell their friends about it, undecided customers get to try them and you get to add a couple more games to the catalog.

Had Wii U launched in September, this would have been a much different news article I woke up to this morning.

SushiGummy

#10

SushiGummy said:

Not really surprising. It's not as if Nintendo particularly needs to match the Wii's sales right now. Not sure why people would set the Wii as the standard, since it released under completely different circumstances.

Look at it this way: They've got a head start on the next generation, and there really isn't any major competition for the Wii U right now. They're not even advertising it as much as they did with the Wii. I don't really think they're expecting or pushing for huge sales at the moment. I think they're holding their guns for when they'll need them.

I mean, what's the point of pushing sales right now if there aren't even any other companies getting in the way?

C-Olimar

#11

C-Olimar said:

Not a significant boost, yes, but at least it's not a drain for Nintendo, like the 3DS seemed to be for a while. In all honesty, I don't think Nintendo are actually pushing the Wii U that hard: in the UK at least, I've seen a miniscule amount of advertisements and hype since launch.

Rapadash6

#12

Rapadash6 said:

I agree that the biggest hinderence to the system has been Nintendo themselves. It's almost unfathomable to me how they've treated this launch, and this feeling goes all the way back to when they first unveiled the system at E3 2011. It's obvious to me that because they are releasing thier console first for this next generation, the company doesn't feel the need to push the system as hard right now. They are also likely waiting to see what Sony and/or Microsoft unveil this year as well. If there are indeed new systems on the way (which I'm not so sure of myself, honestly), Nintendo will likely announce much of thier heavy hitting software, ramp up advertising, and maybe even adjust the skus. If the competition looks thin again this year, however, I fully expect Nintendo to continue as they are; announcing very few key titles, minimal advertising and keeping the skus as they are.

Jellitoe

#13

Jellitoe said:

Nintendo needs to up their game production (as in development. They do not make enough games anymore that are for serious players. The Mario sport games and party games are fun, but is the Metroids, 3D Mario's and Zelda's that sell systems. And were is Gyromite HD :)

DerpSandwich

#14

DerpSandwich said:

It's tempting to invest in Nintendo stock. I think the Wii U is going to have a rocky start, but in a year or two when the competition is super expensive and super hard to develop for and when the Wii U price goes down a little, it's going to be where it's at. I think the combination of incredible first-party games and indie/smaller games is going to make it a huge success. It almost certainly won't sell as many units as the Wii, but I think those that get it will be much more satisfied in it as a gaming system. So many people think that this is just another "gimmick" (holy heck, I hate that word so much), but I feel like this is a return to true gaming.

GreenDream

#15

GreenDream said:

Back in the day, Nintendo spent mondo resources building up a lot of hype and pomp for the N64 and Gamecube during E3 and their own Space World events. Yet, the sales did not match the deserving quality of the spectrum of games available...

So, when the Wii sold so well, without nearly the same kind of effort in advertisement beyond the basics, I think they realized how fickle hype and pomp truly are. So now, they just don't care about utilizing them, because they know that hype and pomp means nothing if it doesn't necessarily reap returns in kind.

It's not that they're lazy- they're still figuring out how to balance physical and digital marketplaces without falling into the same traps that Sony and Microsoft are now falling into. So, Nintendo is keeping quiet until the others play their hands. Premature releases and loud-mouthing is what got Sega into trouble...

Mk_II

#16

Mk_II said:

Nintendo are very busy ATM pushing the 3DS because that's where the money is right now. Much larger install base means more money for every release.

RickyNGmr

#18

RickyNGmr said:

There's no mistake in being careful... and that's what it seems Nintendo is trying to be, careful. Remember when the 3DS launched!? They begins to bring numbers and proyections and then, the BIG FALL, 'til they did some arrangements that help them out.

So I do really believe Nintendo is up to some surprises in the near future. Right now they seems to be letting its "launch window" to fulfill before any statement; considering their proyections are made over a Worlwide sales.

Surely they already know make a Wii-like impact is not possible at a short term race.

Where there's innovation, there's Nintendo. Right now, careful one... But GOD how pleasant it will be when the Giant shows all their power!

Hello to all of U... true heart gamers ~_~ !

WingedSnagret

#20

WingedSnagret said:

Nintendo is just clearing it's throat. The company is just biding it's time, waiting for the opposition to make their moves so it can whip out the exclusive glory that everyone knows Nintendo for.

kyuubikid213

#23

kyuubikid213 said:

@SushiGummy Actually, yeah... Didn't Nintendo make a huge announcement for the 3DS the week the Vita launched?

I don't think Nintendo is doing this because they don't know what they're doing. I think they might be waiting for the PS4 or something and then...BAM! Out comes that killer app you all want.

millarrp

#25

millarrp said:

I agree with DestenyMan, I think sales will start to pick up like they did for the 3DS as more big title games are released

Emaan

#26

Emaan said:

My hopes for the best to the Wii U. It really is an awesome system, with a unique concept. Hopefully, by sometime this year or next year, the world realizes how cool it actually is. Good first party games would help as well.

WaLzgiStaff

#27

WaLzgi said:

Thomas, as much as I don't wanna nag you, you just made a big English error! :O

In the last sentence, "It's" should "Its" :O

MAXIMUS

#28

MAXIMUS said:

I say that this is completely expected by Nintendo. This would explain their lack of advertising. They know that their major system selling IPs are still on the shelf or in development. They launched the system with their major focus on bringing in 3rd party support (something they lacked last gen) and is pleased to let them shine during the launch window and up until E3. This will give them the "hardcore" cred that they want to get back. Why else would they be so "Indie friendly" in the eShop, with their lax pricing and free update model? I think their major game releases are strategically planned for the next 5-6 years, while their R&D department is already at work on their next home console. E3 will bring the excitement for this system.

Ichiban

#31

Ichiban said:

nobody, besides us N heads know what a Wii u is. And by the time the next Xbox & Playstation consoles arrive, I have a feeling that everyone will turn their attention to them. As much as I love the Wii U, i cant help but feel Nintendo really should have just made the first true next gen console, beating sony & microsoft to the punch. It would have been seen as a ballsy move to devs, who would have been more than willing to put their games on it. As oppossed to all this "umm...er....maybe" attitude we are hearing from most devs. And they would have gamers respect in full. I guess that I (and many, many others) just want the Super Nintendo of this (or next, watever) generation, not everything has to innovate!!!

Gamer83

#32

Gamer83 said:

The Wii had a perfect storm of things go right for it and the economy in 2006 was no where near as crappy as it is right now. I think that's what is hurting sales more than anything and if the next Xbox and PS4 come out at the prices I expect, sales of those consoles will not be great either.

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