News Article

Nintendo UK Promises to Meet Retailers, Share Wii U Strategy and Boost the System

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"We look forward to updating – and exciting – our partners"

It's common knowledge that Wii U sales have lost momentum, worldwide, in the early months of 2013. After a promising set of launch figures, NPD results for North America in January and February have been low, Japanese sales are currently only beating Wii and Xbox 360 (which sells poorly in the region), and there have been leaks and suggestions of poor figures in European markets such as the UK.

Whatever your stance on the reasons behind this, the statistics don't lie, and even with major releases arriving in stores this week and in the near future — such as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and LEGO City Undercover — retailers are understandably nervous about the below-par performance levels.

Some UK retail figures have been speaking to MCV on this subject, expressing fears about the situation and even stating that recent price promotions have failed to lead to a major up-turn of interest; ShopTo purchasing director James Rowson said the following.

We have taken the decision to reduce the price of the Basic Wii U to test the market and assess the impact of a price change for a short period of time. This has resulted in a smaller than desired increase in sales at this stage.

An unnamed top buyer for a major games retailer stated that shelf space hadn't necessarily been lost due to low demand but went on to add that it's a potential next step. "We are looking to reduce slightly but must admit their silence on strategy is deafening at the moment. They’ve got to do something otherwise it is GameCube all over again.”

While those of us that believe the upcoming lineup of games and improvements to Wii U will go a long way to reviving its fortunes, it'd be a mistake to be hostile or dismissive of retailer's fears. Without a prominent presence on the high street or online stores, Nintendo's image will suffer; it seems the UK branch of the company, however, has plans to bring retailers back on board, as a spokesperson explained to MCV.

We’ll be speaking to our retailers directly over the next few weeks to take them through our plans for building Wii U momentum over the course of 2013. We have a strong and broad line-up of software launching this year and we look forward to updating – and exciting – our partners over the coming weeks.

Whether you believe in the long term success of Wii U or not, current damage limitation and strong relationships with retailers are vital for the system's fortunes, so we wouldn't be surprised if similar meetings are taking place throughout Nintendo's regions.


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User Comments (48)



Chomposaur said:

About time Nintendo pulled there thumbs out of there butts and got things moving ..



Gamercake said:

I'm not worried about the poor sales. They will pick up soon with new, big games coming out.



Captain_Toad said:

Boosting the WiiU Exposure:
First step: Change and improve the WiiU commericals in the US regions!
Second step: Update the store kiosks! (Why is Rayman Legends the only demo on here?)
Third step: ??????
Fourth step: PROFIT!



DreamOn said:

It's still a hatchling. Mama bird just out getting it's first mouthful of nourishment and is sure to return for its retailers and customers. For the rest of us E3 will be the equivalent of seeing whats waiting in the wings. It's shaping up.



technobody said:

Can't find Lego city undercover at my local GameStop here in the states and they have no date for receiving their first shipment. Also no advertising. I don't understand Nintendo! Maybe this effort by Ninetendo in the UK will help but something needs to be done in the states as well.



Ryno said:

Good to know that Nintendo finally has come up with a strategy for the Wii U.



ultraraichu said:

I had my finger in my ears so I don't have to listen to the gloomier side, too bad that didn't stop my eyes.

It would be a nice start if nintendo or other 3rd parties had their games to try out instead of having a bunch of videos to watch and having only rayman to demo.




Every console ever released starts of this way. I bet if this was the ps4 nothing would be said.



Exile20 said:

@ultraraichu I love the Wii U and when I am playing it I am quite happy but when I look through forums online and see the disdain for the Wii U it is rather disconcerning. People really really hate the Wii U, wow.



Davidiam007 said:

@technobody did you pre-order it. Like I was trying to tell people on another thread is that GameStop will not stock the games unless there has been enough pre-orders cause they are afraid of the "risk" cause every other console launch was much more successful then this one....that was sarcasm cause compared to other launches besides the wii, the wii u did know the GameCube has become a collectible. They sale like hot cakes on eBay. Especially if you have an indigo one and orange controllers...sorry I don't know why I felt like throwing that in there.



rjejr said:

I was in my local tiny Target yesterday, they didn't even have a sign up advertising their $50 GC sale. They still had about 6 Basic and 6 Deluxe boxes in the case.

For everybody who keeps saying "Wii U will be fine once Mario 3D and Zelda come out" this is the big picture you all seem to be missing. The Wii U won't be fine in some theoretical future if retailers stop carrying it before then. Amazon US doesn't carry it. When you go to the Wii U page you are greeted by an PS4 ad. How much display space will retailers devote to a poorly selling Wii U once the PS4 and KinectBox come out? What publishers will put out games on a system that retailers don't carry? The clock is ticking. Nintendo needs to spend some money on advertising and start promoting some upcoming games. I haven't heard a peep from Wonderful 101 or Bayonetta 2 in months.



DreamDrop said:

Force fans to buy the console by releasing AAA games of Mario, Zelda, F-Zero, Kirby, DK, Starfox etc!



Exile20 said:

@rjejr I agree. They need to get out as much games as possible before the marketing on the PS4 start. They can't wait until E3 or xmas, I think it will be too late by then. They need a big game every month starting in May, Nothing should be left on shelf. As they are finished being developed then release them.



DerpSandwich said:


Geez, people.



rjejr said:

@Exile20 - "People really really hate the Wii U,"

I don't think anybody hates the Wii U, people just want Nintendo to promote it with commercials, and playable demos, and have some release dates for upcoming games, and promote some future games. Nintendo is handling this entire launch so badly you'd think they'd never put out their own home console before. Pokemon X + Y comes out in Oct. and that is getting more news coverage than any holiday Wii U game.



wariosmith said:

Nintendo UK have an uphill battle - and this is from a Nintendo fan / Wii U owner [that I got cheap from a liquidation sale... shows the state of retailers]

No advertising in stores on the high street, no word of mouth, not made it into supermarkets where the Wii / DS is still on the shelves. There is only one shop in my town that sells a few Wii U games, but no display model to trial things (though they have a 3DS stand...)

come on Nintendo its not going to happen by magic! I remember the Wii launch period - you couldn't move for demos in shops / shopping centres.

Games on their own won't matter... unless people outside of the already aware/owners get to hear about them / try them.

If i have to tell another person that the Wii U is not just a new controller for the Wii... grrr



Peach64 said:

To everyone saying that this is normal for a new console... it's soooo not. Wii U sales are down there with the Sega Saturn. PC software sales, which are commonly regarded to be a disaster at the moment, are over 6 times as high as Wii U software sales.

Cutting the cost is not the answer though. Some UK retailers have slashed the price by 33% from their own pocket, and it's still not being snapped up. There is no quick fix. Nintendo screwed up. They've had long enough to get games done, but maybe the Wii has deluded them into thinking they don't need games. They just have to suffer the consequences now while they work on the games. Wii U definitely isn't doomed. I know loads of people that will get one when the big games come, but I'll repeat again, this is not normal, these sales are really, really poor, and it's Nintendo's fault. It's not the gamers fault for not being interested in a console that offers a bunch of ports we've already played, another 2D Mario and a mini-game collection.



C-Olimar said:

Nintendo would be lucky if this is GameCube all over again - that console was profitable.



DerpSandwich said:


Very well said. There was a time when the Wii U was doing "just as badly" as the 360 and PS3 at their launches, but that time has passed and now it's floundering terribly. And it's completely true; it's Nintendo's fault. I really don't understand why they didn't learn with the 3DS. Perhaps they thought the low sales were due to the price only, when they were really due to both the price and the lack of games. They make the best games in the world in my opinion, but man, Nintendo can be stupid sometimes.

No games, no sales. It's not hard, and they've had plenty of time to make games.



Eien1239 said:

I can't wait till e3 I own a wiiu and I love it but I would not advertise hard until the updates are done and a new sku is made. This back and forth is getting ridiculous being on these site is getting detrimental.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Nintendo really needs to step things up and advertise the Wii U more. They keep repeating "you have to experience Wii U to understand it" like a mantra but people aren't just going to go out and spend $400 just to "try" your product. You can't expect the consumers to do the brunt of your advertising for you.

The TV is on all the time in our home (not that I'm constantly watching it) but I've hardly ever seen a commercial for the Wii U since...I can't even remember when. I've only seen one playable demo and one video demo between here and the next town over, thats simply not good.



MAN1AC said:


What exactly do you want them to advertise? 3rd party games that are on other systems? Yes their marketing has been weak, but it is justified. It wouldn't make sense to pump a bunch of money into marketing games that aren't going to do big numbers.
They gambled with an early release and lost. How big of a loss is yet to be determined. People that were on the fence on whether to get one now or wait til a major release or the price drops have spoken. I guess it's just damage control until further notice.



drunkenmaster76 said:

I saw my very first wii u advert today in the UK showing off lego city undercover, i dont think wii u will have a problem once they start showing a few more advertisments and a couple of more exclusive games, maybe they should get a few celebs in on the act like they did with wii



banacheck said:

True there are no real games to advertise on the Wii U, and big name games like Bioshock Infinite are not releasing on the Wii U. Which is going to put off customers, if Nintendo hasn't got there act together by Xmas. People will probably buy the PS4 or Xbox seeing how they get all the latest games, and the PS4 is releasing with some big name games.



Doma said:

I'll probably sit this system out until late-gen tbh. Not that many first party games appeal to me anymore (doesn’t feel like i'm a part of their target audience), can't justify buying a console just for them.



Bigmac1910 said:

I think the only thing that will help is huge price drop, just like the 3ds got, then people started to buy the hardware. I personally don't think the Wii U premium is worth more than £199 including a game. It's last generations tech, which I still have to hook up an external hdd too be able to download full size games too, quite ridiculous tbh.

EDIT: I also think that a lot of people are waiting for the PS4 and NextBox price reveal, and will make a decision based upon that.



datamonkey said:

I'm starting to think that Nintendo have seriously lost the plot.

They were resting on their laurels from Wii and I think they totally misjudged the market. I'm even starting to think Iwata should make way for someone else to run the company.

What have they been doing the last 4 years since Wii died? Where are the WiiU games? Where are the ads? Wtf is going on?

How can they so impressively drop the ball like they have?

The whole handling of the console, the launch, support, downloads and everything else is completely baffling to me and I just don't understand what they are doing about it and from where I'm sitting that looks like not much.



Zombie_Barioth said:

@MANIAC911 Its not just the games,they need to market the console better too. When consumers have no idea your product exists or still thinks the new console is an add-on for the old one you you have a problem.

I keep hearing about how people are already talking about the PS4 but have no idea what a Wii U is, thats not good.



Scollurio said:

  • Wii U is a terrible name
  • Techbump compared to Wii = great, compared to competition not so
  • like many of you said: where are the games? Too little too late
  • No consumer awareness, they either don't know it or mistake it for some Wii peripheral
  • Nintendo doomed? No, but I honestly think it's their least attractive console in a while!
  • If the 3DS hat a second circle pad it would be the perfect console/handheld


jayblue said:

the wii u is doomed when the big two come out wii u will be traded in for one of them at least then we can play multiplayer instead of writing messages.i keep mine under dust cover till zelda and i dont mean 10 year old windwalker comes out and they sort out eshop in 2015 lol,sony and microsoft must be laughing there ass off.



MAN1AC said:


I've seen a lot of talk about people not being aware of the Wii U, and I disagree with most of it. People are very much aware of the Wii U. I realize that all the Doom & Gloom makes it seem like forever ago, but there was a marketing push behind the console when it was released. Nintendo just hasn't done anything that would make someone who is unsure go out and invest their money in the console since then.

They've chosen to just lay low and bite the bullet for now. I guess they're trying to hit the market and their competitors hard during the 3rd and 4th quarters of this year. They're really going to have to bring it because right now they're the only next gen console out and they're already in third place. If Sony and M$ can turn things around after charging $600 and the RROD, then the Wii U can too.



FineLerv said:

@Scollurio As bad as the Wii U's name is, the X-Box is still the worst named console in history in my opinion. And yet nobody cares.



BossBattles said:

The wii u will besolid in the long run....they do need to fire the advertising company the chose....the commercals are ATROCIOUS.

Anyways, its a lovely console that will only get better.

Currently knee deep in Lego and Monster H.



BossBattles said:

Why are sme of u even on this site?

Dang gamers are humorless pricks these days. So picky and uptight, cheap and whiny.



Luffy said:

everyone here knows better then Nintendo and are all multimillionaire professional businessmen and they never get anything wrong.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Do you guys honestly think that consumers don't notice things that would impact sales? Everyone here is commenting based on what they've seen. The two most common complaints seem to be lack of games and brand recognition, if a lot of people are saying the same thing it can't just be a coincidence.



Farmboy74 said:

It seems to me that Nintendo are in a bit of a fix here. 1 they don't want to cut the price of the Wii U anymore and sell the system at a loss. 2 retailers are clearly not happy with how it's selling and in some cases selling systems at a loss. 3 I think we can all agree on the lack of games in the launch window.
If retailers loose complete confidence in the Wii U, and it goes down the GameCube route with a severe lack of shelve space, then I agree with an idea on the CVG forum. What about the eshop coming to Ninty's rescue?? Imagine all Nintendo's first party software selling for £30 maximum and thus cutting out the high street . The major questions here would be would the Wii U loose all major third party support or would they support this move and release any games they have for the same price?
Also if this did happen we would all need to buy hard drives and I would say 2TB minimum for this situation. What do you guys think on this?



datamonkey said:

@BossBattles - I think some of us are just worried about the new £300 investment we made in N's latest console and are baffled about why Nintendo seem to have no strategy in place to improve sales.



MrGawain said:

It's all very well telling Nintendo to 'Fix It Now', but they can't magically produce Zelda/Smash Bros/Mario 3d from nothing. We all know that once Monster Hunter and Lego City are released which will hopefully help a bit, Nintendo will start to talk about dates for Pikmin 3, Game and Wario, Wii Fit U, and Wonderful 101.

Curious to see if we get TV spots for Lego City in the UK though.



krunchykhaos said:

@Bigmac1910 it is definitely NOT last gens tech. If that was the case then the possibility of games looking better on the wiiu than current gen wouldnt be there. Its a next gen (console) gpu with a modified cpu architecture. Honestly, its not that much weaker than the ps4 gpu than people are inclined to think considering the ps4 isnt that much stronger than the ps3. What kills me is the fact that the ps4's architecture is very similar to the wiiu's yet developers aren't saying anything about "oh its so hard to develop for etc." What nintendo needs to do is create a without a doubt BEAST of a system to get the entire industry on its side. I understand innovation. I love that. But maybe a longer lasting expensive system with an extensive library of its exclusives and a long list of 3rd party that of which 25% are decent is what nintendo needs. Its no longer elitist children they have to worry about. Its elitist developers.

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