U.S. February Sales Figures Make Grim Reading for Wii U and Wider Industry
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
A marginal increase on January's poor results
NPD has released its figures for February video game sales in the U.S., and they're not results to give cheer to Nintendo, or even retailers and those invested in the overall traditional gaming market. Taken as an overall sales figure, hardware, software and accessories across the board dropped 25% in comparison to the equivalent period in 2012.
In terms of Wii U, meanwhile, Gamasutra reports that it did show some improvement over the January result — which incorporated five weeks — with an estimated sales total of 64,000. While that does represent a 40% increase per week over January, a healthy bump, analysis of the sales on a week-by-week basis does still suggest that these February results are worse than any recorded month for PS3 or Xbox 360 in their entire lifespans. However the statistics are sliced, Wii U is struggling to sell despite being a brand new system on the market, while the Xbox 360 reportedly shifted 302,000 units last month.
On the one hand the grim figures aren't that big a surprise, as a lack of high-profile titles in the first two months of the year will have impacted its ability to attract new consumers. Nintendo's stance, and one emphasized regularly, is that a number of upcoming exclusives and some notable multi-platform releases will substantially increase sales; next week brings LEGO City Undercover, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, for example.
Nintendo will be hoping that similar results for February 2014 — after a number of major titles, bundles and initiatives have undoubtedly been released — will show these results to be a temporary, albeit grueling, early blip for the console.