News Article

Wii U Software Struggled For 2% of UK Market in January

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

It can only get better

While the early performance of Wii U, globally, can be argued as being anything ranging from a reasonable start to a disappointment, in general terms it's shifted some units and, lest we forget, performed better in its early days than competing systems did when they launched. It's struggled to hit the early heights of Wii, yet that was always a tough target to hit.

Different regions do tell varying stories, as is likely to be the case in Europe. The UK appears to be the weakest area for Nintendo in the region at this time, with exclusive software struggling for a presence in the software top 40; Satoru Iwata spoke of Nintendo's weak UK performance, in comparison to other major countries in the EU region, during his recent financial results presentation.

The unfavorable situation in the U.K., which is the largest market in Europe, is contributing to lower Nintendo's pan-European hardware market share. On the other hand, in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, Nintendo hardware occupies more than 50% of the market share, which is a bigger market share than in the U.S. There are even such countries like Italy where Wii is outselling other companies' home console machines.

This trend seems to be continuing with Wii U. Figures were posted on NeoGaf late last week suggesting that Wii U software sales accounted for just 1.6% of the overall market in January. Notably, has reported that these figures match up with its analysis and data, placing Wii U game sales below those on the struggling PS Vita. It's also suggested that the launch weekend sales of the system in the UK, a little over 40,000 units, accounts for just over half of the console's total sales at the end of January; this would mean a drastic loss of momentum and sales of around 80,000 units at that point.

Naturally, a lot is now reliant on new titles arriving in the next few months to boost the system not just in the UK, but globally. Positives can be taken from Nintendo's stronger positions in countries such as France, Germany and Italy, but it's clear that the scenario can only improve in the UK.

Are you a UK Nintendo gamer? Do you have the sense that Wii U is struggling, and do you expect upcoming releases to improve sales?


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User Comments (73)



Lyndexer said:

Well that didn't escalate quickly. I thought Wii U would get a higher market rate for Nintendo just like the Nintendo Wii. But, I am shocked that we didn't hear about 3DS in this situation.



Everly said:

Actually 2% isn't too bad considering there are like 4 games out there for the Wii U. Too bad everything else is continually delayed.



SilverLightning said:

im not surprised, most gamers in the UK bum off COD and FIFA, trust me its the only thing people play and then theres that 2% of us (including me) who actually play real games like the nintendo ones not COD and FIFA.



CliffordB said:

This one article alone is a reminder why so many current Wii U owners are totally disgusted with what's gone on with Rayman Legends, I'm sure most of us was seeing RL as the first game to really get the Wii U going, followed by the likes of Lego City then Pikmin 3 etc.

I just think what's happened with RL will stop even more people going out and picking up a Wii U.

In fact I bet a lot of current owners (myself included) would not even have bothered buying a Wii U "at launch" if it were not for all the RL "EXCLUSIVE" build up, lets not forget RL was one of the main games being used to promote/sell the Wii U.

So these articles are just not surprising anymore.



banacheck said:

The Wii was just that a trend/Fad and trends don't last the long run, with the Wii U it's showing the Wii phase has almost run it's course. Sad but true, but this does not mean it will not sell just not as good as the Wii trend.



SilverLightning said:

i own a wii u and i only have 3 games after nearly 3 months, because there is nothing another reason why these numbers are low, 3 months after the 3DS i had 5 gmes including zelda



McHaggis said:

I have 4 games so far. I've budgeted myself to 1 Wii U game per month since the launch at the end of November, which I think is reasonable since I don't get a lot of time to play games these days and have a backlog of titles to finish.

Outside of the four that I have, though, I'm not particularly interested in many others. I'll probably get AC:III next, or maybe ZombiU. I'm mostly waiting for some big releases from Nintendo.



Peach64 said:

The UK gamers don't have the same nostalgia for Nintendo as the U.S, as a Nintendo console has never won the sales war here. The master system and megadrive significantly outsold the NES and SNES, the play station and play station 2 significantly outsold the N64 and GameCube, and the 360 has outsold the Wii. The Wii had strong sales which shows UK gamers will buy if they're impressed, but they won't buy on name alone, and the Wii U is sort of relying on Nintendo's name FOR NOW.

It's not the price either. Last month, Zavvi put up a limited number of premium bundles up for £225, that's 25% off, and they expected them to go in seconds like amazon black Friday deals, but they lasted almost 24 hours. People will start buying then once worthwhile games come out, not buy now and then wait for them.



Everly said:

@SilverLightning I have 2. Looking forward to Zen Pinball being released. Honestly, if you think about at it is pretty sad. This is not a knock on ZP at all, I think it is a really well designed game and I'm anxious to get it. But I have a brand new shiny HD home console and I've been beaten down to wanting to play a virtual pinball game on it.....and I can't even do that.



Geonjaha said:

I'm in the UK, and I have a Wii U. I haven't bought any games since I got the console, but that's mainly because there are no big releases. My friends who are interested in the Wii U all say that they're waiting for a big title or two to come out before getting it.



Shrapmo said:

What are you guys doing over there in the UK!?! Get your act together and start playing some Nintendo!



Schprocket said:

@Everly instead of talking out of your undies, check your facts first.

Don't bother with announced, just count the released...

I know it doesn't improve the UK sales figures.
What it does prove is that Nintendo has failed to reach the general public and lets ill-informed individuals keep reinforcing urban falsehoods...



SilverLightning said:

@shrapmo some of us do but video games are for teenagers 98% of UK teenagers are stupid "chavy" Fools who just play COD and have no respect for nintendo games, trust me im 15 and i only know 6 people who like nintendo



Lyndexer said:

@SilverLightning That's what he is basically pointing out. Not enough UK gamers get their hands on Nintendo consoles and games and would rather prefer other games. I don't think you see his point...



sonicfan said:

I'm from the UK as well and got a Wii U. And got three Wii U games and been playing them a lot. I like the console very much and hope It does well later this year.



Peach64 said:

The fact that Ni No Kuni topped the chart last week kind of makes the 'UK gamers only play COD and FIFA' argument look pretty lame.

When Nintendo's big games come out, they will sell in huge numbers, but don't blame people for not picking up a Wii U when there's so few great games on it for now.



belmont said:

As Peach64 stated Nintendo games are not as popular in UK (and many mainland EU countries) as they are in the rest of the world with SEGA (then) and Sony (now) leading the market.

In my country there was no real advertising apart from e-mails and a store demonstration. Also I have seen in local shops sighs that Wii U games don't play on Wii. Most don't know what the Wii U is.

Also I don't get why the hate to those who play COD and FIFA. Anyone can play what they like. Also Ni No Kuni topped UK charts last week and is 6th or something this week excluding Digital sales so this argument doesn't hold.



Schprocket said:

@Everly Fine by me, bud - you got the same issue with the Wii U that I had with the release PS3, in that case

@belmont's 2nd paragraph sums it up... although we did have the pre-launch events in each city, it still didn't seem to make a big splash and the booths with no working demos were pants...



Lyndexer said:

@Peach64, That's what i did with 3DS. I waited till Mario kart 7 and Mario 3D land arrived. I agree with what you stated though, when Super Smash bros comes out. Nintendo market sales will be off the charts.



belmont said:

@Schprocket You are right but 3rd party developers didn't abandon the PS3 because they thought that the brand name would sell after some time.



Everly said:

@Schprocket Glad you brought that up, can I ask you something? In those early days was the internet saying the PS3 was doomed and would put Sony in the grave? I'm really not trying to pick a fight here because if it is "No, everyone had faith that it would gain traction" then that means nothing has really changed and by and large there are always going to be calamity howlers. If the answer was "Yes, we heard the same thing" then I'll be happy because PS3 seemed to end up doing ok and the Wii U will too.



datamonkey said:

Nintendo UK need to get their sh*t together that's for sure.

Poor and infrequent advertising has basically ensured that hardly anyone knows about WiiU.

My friend came round the other day and he didn't even know the gamepad was connected to a new console. He had never heard of WiiU and thought the gamepad was an add-on for Wii! He is not the only one thinking along those lines.

That is a perfect reflection on the impact the advertising has had so far in the region imo...



Schprocket said:

@ Everly - Yep they did and I'm glad you asked, mate, because I forgot to add this in forum rant...

There was a lot of focus in the media on the high cost of development, the games were too hard to develop because it wasn't Windowsy enough for lazy ports and of course the Xbots had a field day, forgetting that their console already had a year on the board and the easier transition developing on and porting from PC.

This is probably my main annoyance - the goldfish-like memory of the gaming-journalist hive-mind. I wouldn't expect any Nintendo fan site to counter the criticism because they'd be accused of exhibiting the sort of extreme prejudice in reporting which is currently seen directed against the Wii U by those sites who are supposed to reflect impartial and balanced reporting.



WanderingPB said:

The petition @ to release Rayman Legends is up to 7808 signatures...the people have spoken

I have 8 WiiU games right now and cant wait for the rest of the games coming down the line but it is disappointing to watch most of the 3rd party devs give up so early guess they'll be back when the WiiU is at the top but by then i dont believe i will be so interested....



CliffordB said:

One thing you can take from nearly every post you read on here is that pretty much every Wii U owner loves the actual Wii U console, it's purely lack of NEW! exclusive games that is the problem, this is why there is so much upset over needless delays etc.

I truly believe the Wii U has the "potential" to be Nintendo's best console ever!

But, only if they get a move on and start getting a few games on the shelf, there's no getting away from the fact the Rayman mess has been a massive blow, but lets just hope Lego City does well and the likes of Bayonetta 2, Yarn Yoshi , Mario 3D, Mario Kart, come out sooner rather than later, if not I just hope Nintendo have a few games they've been holding back that will be released out of nowhere.



kereke12 said:

Like i said before give nintendo time and if nintendo wants to see sells they need to bring the price tag at least 200$ world-wide not just in the uk or usa or even japan oh im clearly sure that mr.iwata said in the last nintendo direct he said too GIVE THEM TIME....



Schprocket said:

Don't get hung up on costs to soon @kereke.
If you looked at the manufacturing costs for a 7 year old console versus a 3 month old console, people are getting ripped-off more on the former than the latter....



Everly said:

@Schprocket hummm, yeah that could make you feel like your boarded a ship too early (much like I am feeling) Obviously it worked out for you as the PS3 has a great library. I don't care for FPS and games with blood and gore so that is one of the reasons I was interested in Nintendo. I really love some of the features of the PS3 and the 360 as I feel they really have a much better handle on online gaming then Nintendo does.



Phle said:

I'm thinking that this isn't so strange. I would blame the games rather than the console. The games that are out for Wii U are expensive and a lot of them are out for other consoles. I think upcoming games can change this, but by how much I'm not sure, depends on the games I would guess.



FineLerv said:

I always wonder what a normal amount of games is for a person to own? Is purchasing one game a month considered average?

I'm an average income earner who loves his games but I still wouldn't buy more than one full-priced games every few months. Am I abnormal?



Lyndexer said:

@Phle Though, the prices that ranged it from was 40-60 dollars or 29.88/ 44.83 euros. If you look at a Sony or Microsoft game, their games range at 60/ 44.83. Though, I think they place these games at a certain price due to the amount of games released on the platform.

So, I don't think theses prices will be lasting long. Though, we may expect it around when Super Smash Bros and Mario kart or any other big games that come out. This will really help Nintendo UK and Nintendo everywhere raise their market figure and such. America here I believe is doing okay.



Schprocket said:

Proof @Phle ?
Most RRP I've seen in stores sees Wii U games less expensive than RRP new release games. You'll always get new release multi-platform PS360 games discounted for the first week or so then they're back to full RRP. You also can't compare the price of 3 month old games with six-year-old -Platinum games.



Lyndexer said:

@Schprocket My point exactly.
Though, the Mario and other official Nintendo games themselves are priced higher. Which I think will lower once bigger games are released.



Schprocket said:

@FineLerv Nope you'd be joe average I reckon. I made a reasonable trade plus price-matching on release day so I have about a year's worth already otherwise I'd be like you. Mind you, the cheaper Wii U game prices helped a bit as well...



belmont said:

@Nano New games in Europe cost 60 euros, not 29.88/ 44.83 euros! The Wii U basic costs 319 euros, the DX 379 and the Zombi 419. Most Wii U games retail for 60 euros. I really can't understand the difference in pricing.



Lyndexer said:

@Belmont, so Euros over there are like the same number price as U.S Dollars?
60.00 USD = 44.8909 EUR
US Dollar ↔ Euro
1 USD = 0.748181 EUR 1 EUR = 1.33657 USD
Basically, I am translating USD to Euros.



yobucky said:

The UK is really a lame market... When I used to buy second hand games from there, 90% of the games were football games. Yeah sure the real gamers wouldn't be selling their games but still, it's a disproportionate number of lame sports games compared to anything decent.



PinkSpider said:

This is the first time I have ever been worried about nintendos console future, seems bad for them. If this goes bad I wonder if there just stick to portables.Actually I would like to see them develop a portable that has all the vc stuff and has amazing graphics and backwards compatible with ds and 3ds games. Maybe there future is in just portable systems.



belmont said:

Yes for games 1$=1euro. New releases retail for 60 euros. For example I bought Ni No Kuni for 59.99 euros last week. However Wii U is priced EVEN higher. If I recall correctly the basic is 299$ while here is 319 euros. Wii was 250$ and 250 euros in release date and PS Vita 3G model was 299$ and 299 euros.

This difference in pricing is frustrating and annoying...



arderin64 said:

For as long as I can remember there has always been a strong anti-Nintendo attitude among the majority of gamers in the UK stretching back to the console wars of the early 90's. That's my reading of the situation anyway speaking from within my circle of influence. The current situation is not helped by how horribly advertised the Wii U is at the moment. Certain shops ( tesco, sainsburys etc) have all the Wii U games lumped in with Wii games like they're the same thing & come to think of it same goes for 3DS & DS games. Then when you ask sales assistants about Wii U specific accessories they give you that blank stare that tells you 'ok I'm about to have my time wasted'. I'm however very impressed with the U so far & really do hope it finds it's feet as I think it has great potential.



Schprocket said:

@Everly It is about timing, though, bud. In my forum rant, I noted that Xbox Live is not free (but had trophies), PSN is free, but PSN didn't have trophies for nearly a couple of years post-release, then it started a premium service on top of the free service 18 months ago.

This imminent death of Nintendo and the Wii U is over-exaggerated and fretting over releases at this stage is like jumping out a 10th storey window just because the stock market drops 10 points in 5000 ... the time for any concern will be if things haven't improved in 18 months time...



MAB said:

  • Disc Games -
  • Downloads -
    Sonic Racing
    The Cave
    Balloon Fight
  • Next MadAussie List -
    Zen Pinball
    Cloudberry Kingdom
    Mutant Mudds DX
    Mighty Switchforce HD
    Lego City
    Aliens CM
    Resi Evil Revelations
    heaps more downloads

I'm still playing the games that I have at the moment and by the time I start on my next list more will keep rolling in for sure

When I got the Wii at launch all I had was Wii Sports, Red Steel and Twilight Princess for 6 months or more so all this flibbertigibbet about no games and doomsday apocalypse crap is pretty much nonsensical... The fence sitters waiting for Nintendo games are the reason why the install base is low and these are the same people whinging because 3rd party devs are jumping ship.



Lyndexer said:

@belmont Well, if you live in Europe, I can't beat you in the argument. Though, I don't get why we're told prices are different if they really aren't. I think I am judging it off if I bring USD dollars over I get more due to different countries money.



Schprocket said:

@MadAussieBloke.. no, YOU Da Man!!!
That's all I had for the Wii... hmmm... and the GC disk of Animal Crossing (still have it) before the online gave me the shipts and I ended up with the PS3.
I did get another Wii eventually and surely that must be some kind of testament to Nintendo when the catalogue had developed over a few years



Everly said:

@Schprocket I can't really say that I am fretting. Just disappointed. So much was made of the Wii U being sold at a loss and it becomes profitable once the first game is purchased. Seems like Nintendo would be more interested more selection out there.



rjejr said:

Guess I'm a stickler for "details", but that 2% number for software sales doesn't mean anything to me unless I know the installed based of Wii U compared to whatever other platforms video games were sold on. There are obviously a lot more Wii, PS3, Xbox360 and 3DS out there, plus Vita and PSP. Maybe DS all so. So maybe 7 or 8 systems, some of which have been out for years. I doubt the Wii U makes up more than 5% of that hardware so 2% actually sounds about right for a 3 month young system.

And comparing "current" hardware sales doesn't really matter for software sales, older consoles simply have more. and cheaper, games to choose from.

That said, somebody tell me what the % should be so we know how bad 2% really is.



Haywired said:

I know that historically UK has never been as strong a market for Nintendo as the US and Japan, but I just want to point out two things regarding the whole "well UK always hates Nintendo"thing.

1) The biggest-selling console in UK history is the Nintendo DS.
2) The biggest-selling game (single skus) in UK history is Mario Kart Wii, with Nintendo games taking up 6 of the top 10:



Peach64 said:

Nobody is saying the UK hates Nintendo. Most people agreed that Nintendo's big titles will sell huge numbers, but I'm fed up of hearing comments like 'you have bad taste in games' because I don't want to buy a new console for NSMBU and Nintendoland. Maybe nostalgia will be enough for people in other markets to buy a Wii U now in anticipation for games a year or two away, but I think the UK market is going to wait for the games and then buy the console.



Mahe said:

@Haywired The Wii and DS were great consoles with great game selections, and that information shows that UK took well to them.

Seeing the Wii U stumble when there is absolutely nothing to buy and play on the thing is no surprise.



taffy said:

The thing that gets me is that we had the same problem with the 3DS when most people didn't know what that was. I thought Nintendo said they wouldn't repeat the same mistakes of the 3DS but so far it looks like it's doing worse!



Haxonberik said:

The UK market is in no way a good reference to the overall Nintendo situation, but Nintendo of Europe needs to do something about this. How about giving us a Pikmin 3 release date?



russellohh said:

I want more consistency on the Wii U before I buy more games. I own roughly 400 games, and I have to say, Black Ops 2 Wii U is my favorite multiplayer shooter since Doom. Tablet controls? Not needing to do split screen and squint, even on a 42" screen? Effing fantastic. Oh, but it may or not get DLC? Mario Bros has DLC! Fire Emblem has DLC. Call of Duty... doesnt? After playing the awesomeoness of Black Ops Wii U, I can't go back to split screen, with half the screen being black bars anyway. But no word on DLC? So I returned my rental, and decided I'd wait to get official word on Black Ops, then actually buy it. Sorry Treyarch/Activison/whomever it was, but I'm not buying a half-supported game, even if it is fantastic. Same with Mass Effect 3- the chance to play a game like ME on the Wii, is too good to pass up. But $65 for ME 3 U, when I can buy the ME TRILOGY for $60?

Ugh. Either fully support your games, letting all DLC be on every system, or don't even bother. Companies can rant about retention rates and probability of DLC all they want, but MAKE IT WORK. Wii U Black Ops blew me away. Too bad they can't even tell me if I'll ever get DLC for it.



Sean_Aaron said:

I'm in the UK and I'm okay. I have some download titles but nothing I really play on a regular basis outside of Nano Assault and Zen Pinball. Disc downloads I have Nintendo Land and Ninja Gaiden; tonight I'll pick up New Super Mario Bros. U.

To be perfectly honest nothing is lighting me on fire and I could easily have waited until Pikmin 3 launched however I really enjoy having a launch system and seeing all the new things unfold and getting the special promo price on the VC launch content and playing demos so I wouldn't complain.

There's still retail games I want, but I'm pacing myself - a game a month seems reasonable to me - as long as there's games I want to buy!



Farmboy74 said:

That makes me one of the 2% then!! I picked up a premium pack with Nintendo land and brought Assassins Creed III & Zombie U in January. Can't say I've not done my bit so far. I'd have to say though even Nintendo had a national Wii U promotional tour before launch, the message just is not getting out. As others have said lack of advertising retailers lumping Wii U stuff with Wii etc. Nintendo Uk need to start pushing big time!! Like others I haven't a ton of cash and will pace my self
Games to buy on my list are:
Lego City
Aliens Colonial Marines
Wonderful 101
Rayman Legends!!
Mario 3d
NFS Most Wanted
Mass Effect 3
Mutant Mudds
Zen Pinball 2
Nyko Gamepad battery!!!
Bayonetta 2



Exile20 said:

Expected, you can't release a system with no marketing and games. Doesn't make any sense.



jayblue said:

needs some big hitters like mario kart or zelda then system will sell like hot mario cakes.




With a system that has been out for less than 3 months, how can anyone expect anything more?



ThomasBW84 said:

While I think it's fair enough to wonder about the 2% figure, as a brit I do think Wii U has stalled. About 40,000 sales in nearly two months is really poor, and it's notable that, for the second financial briefing in a row, Iwata singled out the UK performance as being a letdown.

It's good that other EU territories are performing well, but I feel Ninty's been stuggling in the UK market for the last 12-18 months, personally.



Dogpigfish said:

Pull it from the UK. Put it somewhere that makes money, Taiwan? I bet they would love it.



Doma said:

Nintendo are way too slow when it comes to providing games of relevance. I can't believe how poor their line-up is atm, considering the Wii's been dead for ages now. What the hell have they been doing?
@Peach64 #56 I fully agree.



3dbrains said:

I'm from England. Most gamers are PS360 gamers here and are not entirely stupid.
for example;
They wont buy COD on/or/and a WiiU if they can get the same game on a console they already own for MUCH cheaper.
WiiU needs Nintendo exclusives, not 3rd party games. We have a lot of 3rd party games already.
WiiU games are a ripoff in price.
averaging £50 per game!
It's only a small amount of time untill some great fun games will be out.,. Literally just one month.

anyway, I have contributed=
English gamer:
games I own=
I bought ZombieU for £54(brilliant game), then Trine2 for £10.99(most fun game on WiiU) and Little Inferno for less than £7(genius game/fireplace/physics), and ZenPinball2 for free(thinking about buying the classic pack).



Picola said:

I got the wii u on launch day, with zombiiu, mario and Nintendo land. The problem is, nearly everyone I know, parents, aunts, cousins, friends... Hell I'm not exaggerating when I say most people I know... Own a Wii. Nintendo did something which is practically unrepeatable with the Wii... They convinced the world that they needed the machine. I now do not know a single other person who owns a wiiu. There's no Wii sports/Wii fit that mothers can play... Quite ironic considering the thirst for hardcore games... The lack of casuals could be its downfall.



ToxieDogg said:

Let's be honest, there's just not enough games out for Wii U at the moment. By the time the console launched, I'd already completed Assassins Creed 3 on PS3. I played Mass Effect 3, Batman Arkham City and Darksiders 2 on Xbox 360 months ago, and Xbox 360/PS3 versions of all those games can be picked up dirt cheap now as well. Black Ops 2 not only cheaper on Xbox 360/PS3 but those versions will also get downloadable maps which likely won't appear on the Wii U version. Epic Mickey 2 on Wii U is inferior (and more expensive) than the original Wii version (which works on Wii U). Sonic All Stars Racing Transformed is decent but available on other consoles, whereas people only really want Mario Kart on a Nintendo console, and there's nothing about the Wii U version of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 that makes it stand out from other versions. All Wii U currently has going for it (realistically) is Nintendo Land, NSMB U, and Zombi U as the other games out I haven't mentioned already are pretty much shovelware. NSMB U is great, but not really different enough from previous NSMB games to convince the masses that they need to spend £250+ on a new console for it. That leaves pretty much just a party/minigame package and a survival horror game as the major selling poiints for the Wii U so far.

I'm sure the situation will improve once better games are available, but at this moment in time I'm not surprised at all that the Wii U's struggling. I've got NSMB U, Nintendo Land and Zombi U, as well as Nano Assault Neo, Mighty Switch Force, Little Inferno, Trine 2, Chasing Aurora, The Cave and Zen Pinball 2 (2 tables purchased) downloaded (I'm trying to support Wii U indie game downloads wherever I can) but my Wii U's mostly used for playing my old Wii games at the moment.



AJWolfTill said:

Majority of Uk gamers do seem to predominately go for sport racing and COD.
But to be honest I have seen ONE advert for the Wii U.
Mario Kart and Smash Bros are thankfully games which will draw a lot of people, maybe if Wii fit U is marketed properly Hardware sales will grow although these owners wont be "gamer" types.
Oh and we are being charged more here in the UK than America. And they are going on ebay for 2/3 of what the asking price is... It's crazy!

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