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, gamesindustry.biz 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?