News Article

So, How Is The Wii U Doing In The UK?

Posted by Damien McFerran

Could do better?

Although those who have purchased the Wii U - us included - are perfectly happy with the system, experts and analysts want cold, hard numbers to prove how well a new piece of hardware is doing. And sadly, in the case of the Wii U, those figure are a little on the depressing side.

Eurogamer has conduced its own investigation into the commercial fortunes of Nintendo's newest system, and has found the following:

  • Wii U had sold 80,000 in the UK at the beginning of January (after five weeks on sale) - that's lower than Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 after same period
  • Wii U took four weeks to earn as much money as Wii did in its launch weekend (despite Wii U being priced higher)
  • Wii U sales are around 1.9m worldwide (albeit with no data outside of Japan for January so far). This is far less than the company's 5.5m target for the end of March

It goes without saying that the Wii U needs more games - Nintendo itself has admitted as much. Those exclusives are coming, but it would seem that the initial rush of interest in the platform has waned somewhat, with many people no doubt holding back until new software appears.

The long-term success of a platform can't be seen in the opening months of availability - look at the 3DS, for example - but we sincerely hope that the Wii U can overcome this setback and rack up some sales later in 2013. It certainly deserves to, regardless of the data.


From the web

User Comments (61)



bahooney said:

I don't understand why Nintendo pushes out products that simply aren't ready to be released. More games and /working/ VC functionality are kind of a given... have they not learned from the 3DS?



datamonkey said:

@bahooney - I agree. It felt like the console was not ready for launch.

I also still believe they should have launched 2011 or even 2010.



Nardar said:

That is why I like to wait a year or so when a system is released. Now unless Nintendo does something like the Ambassador system, which forced me to buy a 3DS, I wont be buying one until it is the right time.



datamonkey said:

I agree with this statement from the Eurogamer article too:

"Judging by the disparity of performance it is clear that Nintendo concentrated its sales efforts on the US and Japan."

It is well known that Europe is Nintendo's weakest market (from the top 3) and the fact that NoE are so powerless and/or useless doesn't help the situation. PAL regions have long got the sharp end of the stick from Ninty and it reflects completely on their UK sales.



steamhare said:

It might have been okay if 2 of the biggest games weren't delayed half a year.



McHaggis said:

I just bought my fourth game today ― Darksiders II. Aside from NSMBU, I've waited until each game I buy drops below £30. I got Batman Arkham City from Amazon UK for ~£22 which I thought was an awesome deal. Glad to be doing my bit to help Nintendo's figures now that game prices are more reasonable.



cornishlee said:

This is kind of depressing reading. I'm very happy with my Wii U but even if it's hardly a surprise that it hasn't been selling well in penniless Britain I expected higher figures than this. If the situation persists though, we can look forward to a lot more multi-plat titles not being released for the Wii U. IF it's any kind of compensation, it actually makes some of the games sales figures look pretty good as a proportion of install base.

So, Nitnendo should have launched the Wii U both earlier and later?



Boo_Buster said:

I see a lot of Europeans on this site claiming they want this and that from Nintendo. It is time to put your money where your mouth is. It's the only way any normal citizens can have an impact on a company like Nintendo. The question is why aren't they buying the Wii U and games? The answer to that is long and many, I'm sure. It is hard to say how well a new console is doing until a year after its release though, so I can and will give it some more time before I say "EU ruined the Wii U" (lol that was a joke. I'm sure once more good games come out they will start throwing their money at Nintendo) I love EU so don't take this the wrong way It is just plain old fact that the system and games are not selling well in that region.



SneakyStyle said:

I'm having fun with mine, but it would have been a lot better if they released the new jRPGs at the same time, I can only kill so many zombies before I get bored.

I need something like :

  • Smash bros
  • Xenoblade
  • Mario Party
  • Monster Hunter
    Those games alone would have made the Wii U sell 10 times more consoles, if they actually made a pokemon X,Y enhanced graphics version for WiiU which could trade/battle via miiverse it would have sold 30 times more consoles.

I mean the gamepads a dam pokedex look at it, why can't they do ittttt.



Tate24 said:

i didn't buy one yet because i thought it was to dear so waiting till prices goes down abit before purchasing one. Also problems and issues with freezing and crashes haven't helped me wanna rush out buy one :/



AceTrainerBean said:

I love the wii u its a great piece of hardware and the games I have are great I hope that people will buy it in the future



AVahne said:

Funny thing is, Nintendo always goes through the trouble of giving Europeans exclusive special editions for their games and even released some Wii games like Mario Kart Wii there before NA. They even continued supporting the EU Wii with new game releases until the very end while in NA, the Wii was left to die a cold, lonely and miserable death by Nintendo. It took a 3rd party to keep the NA Wii company during its final months.



XCWarrior said:

How many games do people need before warranting a purchase? There are more quality games out for Wii U than most launches. Sure, some are ports, but I know Nintendo gamers out there that own one system and therefore never played those ports. Plus the eshop is up and there are quality games on there.

I have 3 games so far - NLand, NSMBU and Scribblenauts. That's keeping me occupied, along with my 3DS and Wii which still has plenty of games I"m sure tons of people should have bought.

Euro market has been in trouble in general over the last couple of years. I for one expect PS4 and Xbox 720 or whatever to have the same issues when they launch. Too much pirating going on over there.



real_gamer said:

Aww man that sucks. The Wii U has so much potential. I like MiiVerse and the TVii (I love to see people drawings) and the idea of five people on Nintendloand or NSMBU is awesome and fun. Maybe Nintendo pushed the Wii U out to fast? Naw I don't think so. I wonder what the NL staff thoughts are?



rjejr said:

This was the only negative from lasts week Nintendo Direct for me. While I am super-excited for what the system is GOING to bring, it isn't bringing anything today, tomorrow, next week or even next month, so why go out and buy 1 now?
Though I am more than a little annoyed as Pikmin 3 was and still is my most wanted game, and it still doesn't even have a release date yet, only that they are "planning" on adding a camera feature.
So yes, I really want to play a lot of games they announced last week, and when some of them are actually out then I'll buy a Wii U. And if the system drops in price before then, so much the better.



Kyloctopus said:

I feel its the same problems with the 3DS at launch. (Not with pre orders of course). Launch is somewhat incomplete, the idea can be confusing, some may find it too expensive, they already have tablets, however television advertising was better, too bad the comercial got banned.



Peach64 said:

It also felt like it was rushed to me, which makes no sense considering they showed it over 18 months prior to it's launch. I'm definitely buying one eventually, but I doubt it will be this year.

When I buy a new console, I want to have a decent selection of must have games, and the Wii U is seriously lacking them. I've said before, the games are not bad, if you have one, there's stuff to play for sure, but there's nothing that makes me think 'OMG, I have to pay £300 so I can play that right now'.

Stop trying to make excuses about the UK market struggling, because it's really not. Big games sell in huge numbers, but the Wii U doesn't have any. How many people that have bought a Wii U in the US and Japan are lifetime Nintendo fans? They probably bought it at launch because they do it with every Nintendo console. Well, in Europe, Sega ruled during the 8 and 16 bit days, so you have a lot less people that will buy Nintendo products because it reminds them of their childhood, but they will buy a Nintendo product if it's good enough, as the Wii proved.



drunkenmaster76 said:

lack of advertising, lack of first party system sellers (zelda, mario kart, etc) lack of money in the UK like in my case having to sell my ps3 (which was mostly used as a dvd player anyway) so i can by games for my sons wii u & 3ds, people content with the systems they already own (xbox 360, ps3) most of the people i know, my son knows and also my 17 yo daughter and her boyfriend know play xbox or playstation, but mostly xbox. It wont be just wii u in this situation when xbox720 & ps4 come out i think they will sell even less.



LittleIrves said:

I agree with drunkenmaster76 that friends/acquaintainces of mine have already zero interest in Wii U 'cause they're tied up in their 360/PS3. I was at a friend's house (this is in the states, but sales are waning everywhere, not just UK) and I asked a guy what he thinks about the Wii U, or what have people been saying about it. He said he doesn't think about it. People aren't talking about it. And these are kids that play lots of games. Just not Nintendo games. Not anymore, at least.
Without the huge mainstream push the Wii got, the U could have an uphill climb... That said, I absolutely love mine. So. We'll see.



Dogpigfish said:

Taxes have gone up substantially in the states and Americans will be cutting back. Not sure how you predict these downturns when releasing a console. Other issues are 'new normal' finances. Companies are not reaping high profits like they did in 2007. The industry is not the same.



Peach64 said:


Only in Japan and North America.

The Master System and Megadrive outsold the NES and SNES pretty much everywhere else, especially in the UK.



Devil_Surivior said:

In this article it states the Wii U's worldwide sales are 1.9 million so far, however I have seen it around 2.5 million places, so who's right?



Farmboy74 said:

Chalk up one more UK sale, as I picked up a premium pack yesterday and also Zombie U & Assassin Creed III.



SigourneyBeaver said:

As someone mentioned earlier, I've been adding to my collection as the games are discounted. I've got ZombiU, Nintendo Land, NSMBU, Batman and Your Shape.

But no Rayman yet is disappointing. As is no Lego City. Not that I would've bought it, but I think the system may have done better at Christmas with that as part of the lineup.



Haywired said:

We also shouldn't forget how much Nintendo UK's relentlessly corny marketing of the Wii damaged the brand. They seemed completely hellbent on turning it into the most uncool brand around, that only your grandma would be seen dead with.



Yasume said:

It's an updated Wii. No real reason to buy one if you already own a Wii, unless a new 3D Mario, Legend of Zelda or Fire Emblem pops up. Ain't seeing them yet, so my money stays in my wallet.



taffy said:

Just me two cents on the situation:

Wii U Deluxe edition - £300
Hard drive - 32 GB
Optical media playback - No
Streaming Media services - Netflix, Lovefilm, Youtube
Most anticipated 1st party game before June 2013 - Pikmin 3
Most Anticipated 3rd party game before June 2013 - Monster Hunter Tri ultimate/ Lego City: Undercover

Playstation 3 Superslim - £250
Hard Drive - 500 GB
Optical Media Playback - Blu Ray
Streaming Media Services - Netflix, Lovefilm, Youtube, BBC Iplayer, Itv Player, 4 Ondemand, Vidzone, Playstation Video Store
Most anticipated 1st party game before June 2013 - The Last Of Us
Most anticipated 3rd party game before June 2013 - GTA V

Xbox 360 - £180 (additional fee for Gold membership to access streaming services)
Hard Drive - 250 GB
Optical Media Playback - DVD
Streaming Media Services - Netflix, Lovefilm, Youtube, BBC Iplayer, 4 Ondemand, Demand 5, Xbox Video, Crackle, Now TV, Daily Motion, Vevo
Most anticipated 1st party game before June 2013 - Gears Of War: Judgement
Most anticipated 3rd party game before June 2013 - GTA V

This is just a brief comparision between them, but in a nut shell both the playstation 3 and xbox 360 provide more external services, have larger hard drive memory, more up coming third party games and are going at a lower price point. Now I know that the Wii U just came out but in these times of austerity, people on a budget are going to go for "value", so cheaper price and most services.

One other thing that has been lacking is that must have game which really shows off the gamepad. New Super Mario Bros U isn't that title and NintendoLand has been advertised as a mini-game collection.

That and the fact that the Wii U isn't getting the likes off Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 and GTA V all of which will be available on competing platforms, it isn't too much of a surprise why the Wii U isn't shifting as much as Nintendo would like.



PixelatedPixie said:

"Although those who have purchased the Wii U - us included - are perfectly happy with the system,"

That's a pretty big assumption dont you think?



belmont said:

I liked the idea of off tv play but this cannot justify the price tag to play games already available in my PS3 (that I have a 750GB HDD and not a small 32GB one). The fact that I will have to pay again to play my VC games on the gamepad also does not help. I also hear that the OS is buggy and slow and many core titles like Tomb Raider, GTA5 and Metal Gear Rising won't come on Wii U.



Vehemont said:

Not surprised at all with the sales to say the least. I do believe some bad press hurt Nintendo around the launch of the Wii U, and there are still people that are probably confused about the system. I also think the 5 GB update was a bit ridiculous, especially to those that have just the basic set (myself included) but I know that external storage isn't expensive but still........



ShortSleevedNook said:

I don't have a Wii U yet. But that's mainly because I have lots of last-gen stuff left to go through. I mean, I have so many GameCube, Wii, and Xbox 360 games left to complete, especially since I mindlessly bought so many Virtual Console titles....but anyways, I only have one DS game left to go, and I can finally get my hands on some shiny, awesome 3DS games! Gotta, admit, I'm loving the 3DS. So far I only have Mario Kart, Super Mario 3D and Sonic Generations on it, and it's been nearly a whole year since I've purchased a new game! So excited to move into the next-gen!

It's not just Europe that the Wii U is failing in, however. Nintendo just hasn't captured people yet; they haven't gotten enough people on-board with Wii U, and to be honest, they haven't quite gotten me either... Everyone I talk to is always totally careless about Wii U. Wii U doesn't seem to be really big at all! Everyone I know who has a Wii u is just like: "Yeah, I have a Wii U. It's pretty cool." but no one seems to actually be really into it. I can't really point out a direct spot where Nintendo is missing it, but they are just generally missing it. I always hear everyone say, "The Wii U has so much potential!!" Okay, I don't care about potential. NOBODY DOES. Show me what it can do RIGHT NOW. Not in 5 years from now.



Moshugan said:

Come on Brits! Buy it up!
Although, the system and games are not exactly cheap in Europe.



Vehemont said:

It also doesn't help that there was no real exclusive killer app for the system at launch either. Some may say NSMBU, and while I find it a good game I don't believe it is a revelation that you must buy a Wii U for. I think Nintendo really just rode out on 3rd party support for the launch of the system, which were mostly ports of games already released (excluding Zombiu) on other systems.

Lets face it, most people that bought one at launch got one for the 1st party Nintendo games that are going to come out in the future of the system, or to try to may a quick profit by re-selling it to someone (at a higher price) unfortunate enough to not preorder it soon enough during the whole "craze" of the few months before launch. Everyone else is either waiting on the fence, does not like Nintendo games or like I stated earlier they do not understand the Wii U.



Mahe said:

I'm not perfectly happy. I'm disappointed in the poor launch selection, constant delays of "launch window" games, lack of new interesting games, and the gimmicky gamepad. The system needs a better game library, and Wind Waker HD isn't gonna cut it.



DrSlump said:

I got a wii u but, after the initial surprise done by nintendoland, no another games captured my attention. All other games are a riedition of old games that are already avaible for other platform and at a lower price or a more complete flavour (mass effect trilogy). At this time, i don't have more reasons to own a wii u. Maybe the incoming titles as wonderfull 101 or bayonetta will wake up my curiosity but these days my wii u is shuttered down...



Jukilum said:

@Vehemont The launch day update was not five gigabytes. It was around one or two. With the amount of space the OS takes up there wouldn't have even been enough space to download a five gigabyte update to the Wii U Basic's memory. I don't know where that number came from, but it is false.

@Everyone else: The Wii U doesn't have a hard drive. It has flash memory.



Doma said:

I have the money but the WiiU just doesn't interest me for now. The lacklustre line-up and console itself is to blame.



Holly said:

I've wanted a Wii U since it's launch, but the price is just a little too much. Waiting for the first drop (please come quickly!).



aaronsullivan said:

Sad. Nintendo Land and MiiVerse alone are enough to keep my interest, NSMBU and Sonic Racing are also above average with clear advantages coming from having the brilliant GamePad — heck, even Just Dance 4 is improved! The launch really did need a January big gun like Pikmin 3 or something. I'm looking forward to many games though: Rayman, LEGO City, Pikmin 3.

The uninitiated really shouldn't underestimate the momentum that MiiVerse is gaining. It's a real advantage over current consoles and you better believe that Microsoft and Sony are scrambling to make this happen on their new consoles. Here's the thing, the communities on those systems aren't going to match Nintendo's, IMO.



aaronsullivan said:

Also can I just say that those who are passing on Nintendo Land are skipping one of the best things Nintendo has done in a long time. Yes, it's better with multiple people, so invite some over!



strongest_link said:

@bahooney They learned some things from the 3DS. The Wii U's launch library was much better than just Steel Diver and Pilot WIngs. The Wii U is sold for a loss suggesting Nintendo made an effort not to make the same pricing mistake they did with the 3DS. And with games like Rayman: Legends, Lego City: Undercover, and Game and Wario coming out in the next two months with Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101 coming sometime before the midpoint of the year, Nintendo is doing a better job getting games to the Wii U than they did with the 3DS. Is it perfect? No. But it's not bad. As the games arrive, the sales will improve.



carlocunanan said:

They are lacking when it comes to now, but they will probably get back on track at the end of February...



Frozenx07 said:

I don't have a Wii U, but would like to get one eventually. Besides Nintendo Land & ZombiU, there are no games I'm interested in. I tend to buy systems toward the end of their cycle anyway.



Henmii said:

"It goes without saying that the Wii U needs more games"

Sure, but it also needs games that aren't overpriced! Here in Europe several retailers do overprice their Wii u games and the console itself!! That's the biggest problem!!



Zombie_Barioth said:

I think the main thing is the Wii U doesn't really offer as much for its price point compare to the competition. For a new next gen console $300 isn't bad but it is when your competition is cheaper, has more storage out of the box, and has a bigger, cheaper library of games. People know the big first party games will come but why pick up a $300 console just to wait a year or more for them while risking a price drop? Things like Miiverse, remote play, and TVii aren't selling points on their own either, more like the delicious gravy on top.

All the deals floating around for the PS3 and Xbox 360 make them even more attractive in comparison and we still have their successors looming overhead as well.



cornishlee said:

"In this article it states the Wii U's worldwide sales are 1.9 million so far, however I have seen it around 2.5 million places, so who's right?"

Nintendo have just released their quarterly earnings, putting it at 3 million Wii U's sold globally, Clearly it is selling better in some places than the UK and EU. That's probably a combination of Nintendo's legacy from the 8bit/16bit wars (coincidentally, it was announced yesterday that the Xbox360 has now outsold the Wii in the UK, another instance in which it bucks the global trend) and the record breaking recession.



erv said:

3 million is quite good. Monster hunter will sell well anyways.

I love my wiiU, but we all know the next console will either be early due to slower sales or late due to great sales.

Simple. Meanwhile, I've got some great games to play!



Vehemont said:

@Jukilum While you are right about it not officially being a 5GB update per say, with the update and the space to OS takes it is about 5GB taken up of the system anyways. For example when I look at the space left on my system I've got 3190 MB left. I do have five game saves with MB ranges from 21 to 92 being the highest. So all in all it still isn't ideal, but like I said external memory isn't that expensive...



Swedishdolphin said:

Not in Sweden (and probably the rest of Scandinavia). The NES was dominating the market here. About 60 % of the kids (15 % of total population) in Sweden had a NES in 1992 which was the most in Europe. However during the 16-bit era I think the Mega Drive was the one winning the market (altough I know a lot more people owning a SNES than a Mega Drive) since Sweden got two exclusive hockey games from EA that the SNES didn't.

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