News Article

Industry Analyst Predicts Disappointing Outcome For Wii U Lifetime Sales

Posted by Liam Doolan

Here we go again

While Wii U sales momentum continues in Japan, analyst reports in the west continue to paint a dire picture for the future of Nintendo’s latest home console.

A market research report provided to IGN by research and consultancy firm DFC Intelligence unsurprisingly considers the Wii U as a video game system primarily catered to first-party Nintendo experiences — in a similar fashion to previous Nintendo consoles such as fan favourite, the GameCube.

Adding to this observation is DFC’s prediction of lifetime Wii U sales, which are anticipated to be just a quarter of Wii sales. If this calculation proves to be correct, lifetime sales of Wii U will reach around 25 million units, placing it just above the GameCube (with close-to 22 million units sold), and Microsoft’s original Xbox (with nearly 24 million units sold).

The report also notes how Sony and Microsoft’s latest home consoles continue gaining an insurmountable lead over Nintendo, with both quickly surpassing lifetime sales of the Wii U. To top it off, the PlayStation 4 title Knack recently went on record — albeit benefiting from bundle deals — for outselling Nintendo's must have Holiday title, Super Mario 3D World. On the handheld front the situation is a lot healthier with astonishing sales from Pokémon X & Y and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

If Japanese trends are anything to go by, the Wii U still has a chance of a recovery this holiday season and throughout next year. With any luck the system will follow the path of its portable brother and have a prosperous second year of existence.


From the web

User Comments (86)



Einherjar said:

Back and forth, back and forth, baaaack and forth...
News about the WiiU are like a lightswitch: Its either all bright and shiny or completely dark and gloomy.
It puzzles me that people cant settle with: "Its no Wii, it doesnt take off like a rocket but it does its job good"
Even the PS3 had a rough start and came through. The 3DS made a 180° turn after a year or two.
Overanalyzing each and every sales week, sales number and developer opinion has absolutely no value at all.
Isnt it funny that some people only care for sales numbers instead of saying "its fun to play".



Nintenjoe64 said:

If the role of the business analyst was to generate comments on the internet, then I would say we live in the golden-age of business analysis.



mjjferreira said:

WiiU is a premium console, with premium games... for premium users.

Not everybody can own one...


2014 will be a wonderfull year for Nintendo.



Emblem said:

The tagline of this post is exactly what I thought when I saw it. Can we stop having this same discussion every week?



McHaggis said:

The PS3 got off to a terrible start too, but sales picked up after a couple of years. The same could happen with the Wii U (although I am a little sceptical myself).



Laxeybobby said:

Here we go again - I can hear the death bells tolling in the distance.

Nintendolife, why are you publishing the same regurgitated news?



MAB said:

Yeah, yeah we know everything is doomed and we are all going to die while piles of cash burn or whatever... Just stop it now and shut up ya face




Socar said:

Ok here's the thing. SO what if the Wii U fails, SO what if hardcore gamers don't like it, AND SO WHAT IF SALES ARE POOR!!!!!! As long as people have bought the system and that the system atleast sold a million, who cares? Its a fun, creative system and since people bought the system, It would be stupid for Nintendo to make another one quickly just because of the "Poor" sales.



CaviarMeths said:

@originaljohn That's about the dumbest thing any industry analyst could have predicted for the 2013 holiday season.

Anyway, analysts seem to be ignoring the fact that the Wii U is performing much like Nintendo consoles always have, the Wii being the exception, not the rule.



withoutdk said:

25 million is at least 25 million.... i would prefer Nintendo making a machine more powerful than the ps4... then they would have no problems with support... and with the innovative skills of nintendo... it is perfect.

right now the gamepad is also on ps4 / xbox as a tablet app... not the same.. but still a rip off.



Fazermint said:

@Artwark You get it! People here seem to associate not being #1 with failure. As long as Wii U generates positive revenues and the company continues to make games, the Wii U is not a failure. As long as you can play Nintendo games, who the heck cares about friggin' sales figures. People need to get a life and stop bickering about this. And by getting a life I mean play more and whine less.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

Do we really have to report on news like this? It's getting to the point that it's depressing. We know that news such as this is out there, can't you just create a negative news topic in the forums? At least try to get some good news about Nintendo's outcome ALONG with the bad so it doesn't seem biased.



Marre35 said:

To everyone complaining about here, if you can't handle news (even the bad ones) stop using internet. This is where Nintendo stands right now, you don't have to like it, just deal with it & move on.

Please watch the profanity — TBD



Anclation said:

Some idiot says something stupid we've heard a hundred times before, yeah, totally newsworthy.



Wolfgabe said:

That analyst fails to mention that Knack has outsold 3D World in the UK and he admitted it was likely from bundles



element187 said:

@withoutdk a system more powerful than ps4 would be failing even worse than Wii U...... Nintendo's market is always going to be in the budget arena because they try to get the market of family gamers, releasing a system more powerful would be a system more expensive, effectively taking the device out of reach from budget gaming shoppers. In fact the Wii U at $300 is still way too expensive for the market Nintendo usually aims for. It's the reason why it has been selling poorly.

There is a price point where consumers will pickup the machine on an impulse buy and we haven't reached that point yet. Nintendo needs to get to that point as quickly as they can, but the cost of components and manufacturing is limiting how fast they can drop the price. They can't handle a massive loss on every console sold.

If one of the complaints of the system is it is too expensive currently, raising its price would be the wrong answer, and a Nintendo system with more oomph than the ps4 would carry a price tag much much higher than even xBone.

You and I personally may want a Nintendo system like that, but the majority of their market would scoff at it the ridiculous price tag.



BlatantlyHeroic said:

@Marre35 When you write a bad news article, you have to also write one with good news. Otherwise it seems biased. We get more negativity on here than positivity, when it should be equal.



Mario-Man-Child said:

25 million units is actually good. Personally I don't care, I'm a Nintendo fan, not a Nintendo fanatic. Maybe the next home console Nintendo make will be more of what gamers actually want and not what Nintendo want us to want.
Nintendo can't compete with Sony and M$ on a power level, that's where the gimmicky controllers come in. In the future it might level out a bit more power wise and Nintendo will come back if it does. All I want is a decent console and the Wii U is a decent console, with a decent controller and killer in house games. Nintendo are not delivering that at the moment.



element187 said:

@Fazermint I agree with that, but welcome to the console wars.

Personally everyone needs to stop hyperventilating about sales. The Wii U will be fine and will bring Nintendo plenty of money over its lifetime while showering us in the absolute best first party experience that owners of other console can only sit in the corner and pout in jealously over (I wish Nintendo would make games for my console wahhhhhhhh, is the words of an individual seething with jealousy)

I have no personal investment in Nintendo returning to Wii level of sales vs that of GameCube. In both cases Nintendo will still release timeless games that will become classics... Let people sit in utter jealousy sniping at Nintendo, these people have no life, so they spend every waking moment climbing on to every Nintendo article they can find to tell everyone how terrible Nintendo is. Let that pathetic, jealous person be a immature child.



Spoony_Tech said:

I don't belive ps4 will have that big of an impact in the Japanese market! Just look at the growing trend over the last few years really. Not sure if Wii U sales will ever really take off over there but give them what they want and we shall see (Monster Hunter, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing).



Solid_Stannis said:

With the behemoth the game industry has become, people are just plain losing perspective. Being a distant number three in this particular game climate doesn't equal insta-death... at all. Think about it like inflation.

Nor are they losing their magic touch with the games themselves. Just enjoy Nintendo gaming for your own sake, and just plain ignore the haters and biased "analysts" who either don't know what they're talking about, or are being all negative-tastic to amass some clicks. Or hey, maybe they're just jealous 'cause they're missing out on what's far and away the best first-party content in the industry.



DreamOn said:

Customer satisfaction is high and getting higher with the software picking up. I think Nintendo was not able to fully support Wii U development pre-launch, not with cementing a solid 2013 for 3DS to make the most of the AC and Pokemon launch year. I think they've shored up their dev schedule/cycle this year so it should look better come next year's E3 announcements.

I think Wii U will take some from GameCube with titles for experienced gamers and because of the Wii genes in the system, the casual/family pitch is also there. So with that I think it's got an edge on the GameCube and I'm quite optimistic it will serve Nintendo well this generation.Yup.



TurokJr said:

If 1 years = 4 millions; then 6 years = x. Using the math rule we have x = (4 million)*(6 years) / (1 year) = 24 Millions. Got it. Send this to the reporters; we have the lifetime sales for the WiiU" (ACTUAL REPORTS FROM THIS SMART PEOPLE)



Peach64 said:

Today is a big day for Wii U as November NPDs get released. The barometer of struggling consoles are currently set by the GameCube selling 400k and the Dreamcast selling 200k in their second November. Predictions out Wii U's November sales between 150k and 300k. I can just see the headline now, "Wii U sales increase 300% in November", and people start saying its printing money, all ignoring the fact that is way below even the Gamecube (which everyone considers to be worst case scenario) numbers. In comparison, the Xbox 360 sold 1.26 million in November last year. It's 8th November, with a successor on the way.



Gamer_Natalie said:

When it comes to WiiU all I read is either upcoming games, game reviews, or sales not doing so well...but I still have faith in WiiU!



rjejr said:

So, has any analyst - or anyone at Nintendo - said what an OK lifetime sales # is?

The Wii was a fluke for Nintendo home consoles, like that word or not it was, so what # makes Wii U a success. 40 mil, 50 mil, 60 mil? From Nintneod's standpoint I honestly don't think they care what Sony and MS systems do, they just care about their own.

Lifetime sales in millions from VGAChartz (and don't bother commenting negatively about VGA UNLESS you offer a better alternative - everybody always knocks VGA but nobody ever offers a better alternative, ever.)

Wii - 100
NES - 62
SNES - 49
N64 - 33
Gamecube - 21

So what's the cutoff for success? I think Gamecube could be considered a failure - that price drop to $99 came pretty quick, and SNES would be considered a success or NL probably wouldn't exist. So is it 30 mil, 35 mil? I've never seen a single analyst post a "winning" number.



Mahe said:

If Nintendo don't get rid of the Gamepad, those estimations may hold true.



Boukman said:

Time for some good news: The WiiU (4.32 M) has now outsold the Atari 7800 (4.30 M)!!



Mahe said:

@rjejr You could use Wikipedia, they usually use reliable sources. Just because the actual data is harder to get, doesn't mean you can use an untrustworthy source.

I'd say the limit for a "qualified success" is at SNES level - but it's all relative to competition and the previous console. If Nintendo did everything right, they would have had a hard time catching up the Wii, and worse yet, they did a lot of things wrong with the Wii U.



Yasume said:

I'd hardly call this negative news. Looks to me that he's actually being generous. 25 million? Not a chance. 15 million would be more accurate.



NintyMan said:

@Einherjar: Great post. I'm personally getting tired of making the same arguments and reading the same arguments from both sides over and over again with each article. Since when did we become market analysts? How about we just have some fun playing games and debate about whether Wii U and its games are good itself rather than relying on sales to determine that?



ledreppe said:

Super Mario 3D World is (amazing) better than Knack, I've played both so it pains me that Knack (allbeit benefiting from bundle deals) is stacking up against 3D World.



rmeyer said:

Lifetime sales in the UK is a tiny blip on the world map. Wii U did quite well this holiday, don't believe all of the media hype. Keep in mind Nintendo sold 1.3 million 3ds's last week. The big winner of the holidays and the year was the 3ds.



larry_koopa said:

I don't understand why people get so up-in-arms about these stories. Why do you really care how well the Wii U sells? As long as you are enjoying the system and the games you have for it this sort of thing really shouldn't bother you, at least that's what I think. I loved the GameCube and that was a third-place console. Didn't bother me in the least.

Also, lets not question Knack's sales numbers just because its been bundled with the PS4 in some cases. As if Nintendo would never bundle a Mario or Zelda game with a console... not like they're doing that at the moment or anything. Nobody is saying that Knack is a better game than Mario 3D World and that's not what these sales numbers mean. Mario games sell well for years after their release and Mario 3D World will be no different. A great game like that does not go by un-noticed.



Peach64 said:

If you don't care about sales, don't read the articles. Some of us realise sales affect us no matter how much we want to just care about the games. I love the Cube library, but it's low sales figures prompted Nintendo to aim for a whole new market. A lot of us Nintendo fans suddenly found they were no longer making the games we loved.

Poor sales also lead to Nintendo adopting poor practices to squeeze every penny out of it's smaller audience. They could easily put all Wii VC titles up on the Wii U, but they won't because by drip feeding us titles they know desperate fans will buy games they'd never look twice at if the whole library was there. Or making us pay for emulated games again across Wii, Wii U and 3DS.

Sales affect the moves Nintendo makes next, and the games they decide to create.

Also, off topic but the Knack only selling well because it was bundled thing makes no sense. If everyone was forced to buy Knack, then how come practically every other PS4 outsold Knack? It did not sell well at all! It was 7th on the list of best selling PS4 games, behind everything apart from basketball.



Oren87 said:

I wouldn't say Knack sold poorly. If it hadn't been a launch title it would have sold a hell of a lot less thanks to the critical reception it got. I take your point about the PS4 bundles though - Although I know my local GAME would only let you have one of the limited PS4's they had in stock if you took it as part of a bundle (all of which included Knack). Might have only contributed to a small amount of sales overall but they are still sales the game wouldn't have had otherwise.



Oren87 said:

On topic - I think everyone is well aware that the Wii U is going to come in third after all is said and done. Whether or not Nintendo will view it as a failure i'm not so sure.

Nintendo is in a unique position in that a huge portion of the install base are going to buy first party games. Ok, they might only sell 30 million consoles but if their first party software is shifting 10-15 million units then they will still be making a ton of profit.



rjejr said:

@Peach64 - If you dont mind I'ld like to continue on w/ what I'm assuming was your reply to Diddy_Kong, who I'm assuming is under 20 years old.

Wii U sales matter because, in addition to what Peach said -

3rd party ports - bad Wii U sales, no ports. I'm still expecting W_D to get canned.
Game availability - stores don't stock games for poorly selling systems
System discontinued - Dreamcast, PSPgo. Wii U needs sales to keep making systems to keep selling games, otherwise we spent $300 or a 2 year lifespan.

Air doesn't matter, until somebody is holding your head underwater.



BossBattles said:

Why post the article? No creativity or imagination involved, just repeating negative perception of Nintendo over and over again.



rjejr said:

@Mahe - Untrustworthy? They have the same exact numbers as Wiki.

@electrolite77 - Thanks, I'm printing those out for future reference. Still, how are the Nintendo #s far better than the VGA #s when they're the same numbers?

So, 2 people complaining about the VGA #'s, but nobody showing more accurate numbers. Typical.

That VGA lifetime sales page has been up forever on the internet. Don't people think it would have been corrected by Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft if the numbers were wrong? Don't you think Google would find a page w/ different numbers when you searched for "lifetime video game hardware sales"?

I understand VGA has issues on a week to week basis - ever see the US govt revisions on number of new jobs created? they change by the 10's of thousands every single month - and VGA doesn't include digital downloads, but nobody is downloading the hardware digitally.



Captain_Toad said:

The moment the WiiU is gaining momentum in Japan and with lately the great press, the ANALYSTS had to come and ruin everything with their PREDICTIONS!!



opeter said:

I will buy me a Wii U, when the price will be around 150 eur with at least one game in a bundle.



GreatPlayer said:

More third-party games please. Nintendo first-party games are getting monotonous through time - Mario Kart, Mario Tennis, Smash Brothers (with Mario), Mario U, Mario 3D... The mascot era is far gone. Only Nintendo fans will like their pattern of game release, no matter how good they may be.



Technosphile said:

I've convinced three people to buy a Wii U.

I, therefore, account for 4% of Wii U global sales, and deserve a raise.



Darknight1261 said:

Nintendo, unlike some other video game companies, actually care about their fans, customers and supporters, hence the plethora of first part games; it's not all about the money. Who cares what these "professionals" have to say. The Wii has been "doomed" since day 1. Day 380: still goin' strong in my eyes.



eaglebob345 said:

@Peach64 Nintendo has been keeping the same franchises alive, albeit adding new ones along the way, for 30 years. So it's pretty wrong to say they did not make the games we love.
Also, you say Nintendo is making you pay for emulated games, that you don't have to buy mind you, trying to squeeze money out of people, when $ony and Micro$oft are having people pay for online play and are promoting and money-hatting DLC which is the real money squeeze.
Finally, how the fudge can you be a desperate if you can buy, rent, or borrow and play a backlog of Wii games? You can't play PS3 or XB1 games on their successors, and $ony is trying to do that Gaikai crap to have you pay for your games again.
@rjejr I don't think Nintendo will have a problem with sales. at least as much as people think they will. They Gamecube may have sold the least, but, Nintendo was the only one to profit off of that generation of systems. I agree that the Wii was an anomaly, but, what does that say about the DVD player called the PS2 and the Bluray player called the PS3? Out of everyone I knew, except me, with those systems only one other person used their PS2/3 for games. Micro$oft jacked half of $ony's fans from the PS2 last generation, and Nintendo introduced many new people to video games with the Wii.



eaglebob345 said:

All Nintendo has to do is secure the dude-bro games (I hate using dude-bro but it covers sports, shooters, etc.) and use their free online as a selling point. They won't win them all, but its about time gamers saw what true gaming was all about, playing without paying out the @$$ just to play with their friends. (I hate using gaming and gamer but it gets the point across.)



TheHeroOfLegend said:

Nobody gives a crud about one analysts terrible prediction about the so called "disappointing" sales of the Wii U. JUST STOP.



Sir_Deadly said:

For the record, the only reason for Knack surpassing 3D World is people blindly buy the game w/out demoing it first. Compare the 2 3D World is much more fun and well put together than Knack.



JaxonH said:

Oh well. It sells what it sells.

All I can say is I pity the ignorant, because Wii U is by far the best console I've ever owned, and I've owned them all.

Me, I'm not gonna miss out on anything. It's a full house for me with Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS and Vita this gen. That way, I get to cherry pick the best games of the generation and never have to think "Dang, I wanna play that but I don't own such and such console". But, if people wanna ignore the Wii U because they think they can't enjoy Nintendo games, they're only cheating themselves. Like I said, oh well.



JaxonH said:

I'm glad Knack outsold Super Mario 3D World. It just proves the point that the best products aren't always the ones that sell most, and it speaks volumes for the general gaming populous.



JaxonH said:

To me, as long as a game is fun, that's all that matters. And I hold a belief that no one, whether they be Nintendo fans or not, gets sick of fun games, whether they have mascots or not.

It's taken Nintendo almost 30 years across two lines of gaming devices (home consoles and handhelds) to get to the eighth iteration of Mario Kart. Yet, I witnessed 8 iterations of 3rd party franchises in the 7th generation alone (think Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Madden, etc.), and those brands are still alive and well. So I don't buy into the belief that Nintendo's staples can't go on strong. It's actually kind of why we love Nintendo- because of their stable of familiar IPs. And we still see some new ones here and there.



Shirma_Akayaku said:

Are you kidding me? That's it, I give up. People keep saying it will fail, then later, they praise it like it's the best thing ever. Is there even an accurate prediction of how the Wii U will do?



eaglebob345 said:

@JaxonH Thank you. I have been telling people that for years and no one wanted to listen. Nintendo has one iteration of their games per console, Some exceptions like Pikmin and Mario Galaxy having sequels on the same platform and Starfox skipping a generation as well as adding new franchises along the way, so that every generation new players get to experience the joy of high quality video games. CoD, Assassin's Creed, ______ Sports, etc. have had the majority of their releases on one generation of consoles. It's like they know they stupid, yet they still willingly pay $50-$60 a year for online play and paying for DLC to companies that think so lowly of their fans enough to sell them incomplete games.



electrolite77 said:

@rjejr The Nintendo numbers are far better because they're Nintendo's numbers. VGChartz will have copied them. You have to take any VGChartz numbers with a pinch of salt-those are fine because they're verified from an official source, others are really just guesswork.

Just because other sites quote them or there's no alternative site guessing as well doesn't mean they're accurate. Without verification they're meaningless and a lot of the time the official numbers aren't published



Monkeh said:

In some way, I don't really care if it goes either way. If Nintendo succeeds with the Wii-U, they'll probably go on and make their next home-console. If it goes badly, Nintendo might end up becoming a software-only company, which I don't see as something bad per se, since that would just mean you'd probably get to play Nintendo games on more (powerful) devices.

Still, since we'll likely get more [great] games for the Wii-U whenever it succeeds as opposed to failing, I'd rather see it succeed.



rjejr said:

@eaglebob345 - I guess I can see your point about the PS2 sales based on it being nearly double PS3 sales, but the 3 generations of Sony games still average out better overall than the 6, or 4 or 5 for Nintendo.

From Wiki - so as not to offend the people w/ a bone to pick w/ VGA:
PS1 - 102 mil
PS2 - 155
PS3 - 80

NES - 62
SNES - 49
N64 - 33
Gamecube - 22
Wii - 100

The reason the Wii looks like much more of an anomaly than PS2 is b/c Nintnedo has been on a downward slope since day 1, ie NES, every new system dropping farther and farther in sales, and then WHAM,, Wii hits 100 mil. More than quadrupling the Gamecube.

Sony had a big hit w/ PS1, then a 50% jump w/ PS2, then a 50% drop w/ PS3. So the PS2 is an anomaly, but not as obvious.

For their 1st 3 generations o ocnsoles combined:
Sony - 330 mil
Nintendo - 165 mil

That's almost exactly double, and that's also why Wii looks like a fluke.

BTW I don think the PS2 sold 155 mil due to it's DVD capabilities, but it's games roster. But I'm biased, it is my all time favorite system. Dreamcast 2nd, Gamecube 3rd. PS3 4th. Wii 5th by default?



Sir_Deadly said:

@JaxonH Its sad but true, i thought it was a terrible game when i demoed it but consumers today will buy something because it looks pretty reguardlees if the game is fun or not

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