It's well known and statistically clear that the Wii U has had a poor start on the market, a trend the company is striving to turn around with cheaper prices, value bundle offers, increased marketing and major game releases. The challenge ahead has been brought into focus this week in the UK, however, with MCV reporting that the Xbox One has sold around 150,000 units in its first 48 hours; that's apparently just a few thousand units short of the Wii U's overall UK sales since its own launch nearly a year ago.
Nintendo's UK sales have been specifically highlighted as a weak-point in Satoru Iwata's financial briefings during the past year, though the most recent results brought better news courtesy of strengthening 3DS performance. The Wii U's continued struggles were largely expected through the Autumn / Fall period, though an increase in sales is now anticipated with a variety of titles on the market and this week's arrival of Super Mario 3D World, which landed in North America last week.
It's not just in the UK that the Wii U's year-long head start is in danger of being lost. While Microsoft reported around one million sales across various territories in its first 24 hours, Sony's PS4 reported the same landmark in North America alone; even accounting for a launch day rush and momentum tailing off, it's a particularly impressive start by Sony's system ahead of its European launch this week. As of 30th September Nintendo reported 1.75 million Wii U hardware sales in "The Americas", once again showing the slow progress of sales. As in every territory, Nintendo of America will be hoping its marketing, major releases and alternative target audience — as demonstrated in its TV adverts — will give the Wii U a seasonal shopping lift.
Of course, launch day sales are often substantial, though for some comparison the Wii U shifted around 400,000 Wii U systems in the US in its début week; sales naturally fall away after an initial rush.
The UK figure is disappointing, and we'll soon see whether the Nintendo Holiday lineup leads to a revival in the platform's fortunes around the world.