News Article

Retail Company Rakuten Highlights the Wii U and iPad as Most Talked About Children's Presents

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Somebody think of the children

A week has passed since the actual Black Friday, and in a slight departure from convention all but Sony have been quiet on firm figures; in that respect we know little (in terms of reliable data) about the Wii U's performance in the festive shopping season to date. It is becoming clear that Nintendo's marketing approach towards families may be working positively, however, especially with some high-profile mainstream outlets such as TIME highlighting the system's positives as an affordable new console.

A combination of factors seem to be getting the Wii U into consumers minds, in that respect, with retail group Rakuten (which owns projecting a strong Holiday season for the system. The company has conducted analysis on social networks and determined that the Wii U — alongside the iPad range — are "the most talked about presents for children this Christmas".

The marketplace’s social media analysis surprisingly showed that the brand new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles are trailing in second and third place respectively behind the Wii U and iPad.

This is despite the fact that both new consoles sold out on Rakuten’s during Black Friday, which have since been restocked. It appears that those on the hunt for the latest consoles are gamers rather than consumers buying for their loved ones.

The retailer states that the Wii U enjoyed a 75% sales spike in October, though UK-based source MCV observes that, based on the data it's seen to date, these social network metrics are yet to be "especially representative of the overall market."

Yet still, the shopping season is far from over, and while the UK seems to be a particular struggle for Wii U at present it may be enjoying better fortunes in North America, Europe and elsewhere, including Japan.

Perhaps Nintendo's family focus will pay off in festive sales in the coming weeks as consumers make final purchasing decisions. We'll see, but at least the game isn't over for 2013 quite yet.


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User Comments (42)



withoutdk said:

as long as more wii u´s are getting sold i am happy... even though i would prefer them making a wii u v2.. with more RAM and such....



Boukman said:

274,000 WiiU's sold in the world in the 30 november week. It continues it's rise. And most spectacular of all: 1.3 Million 3DS sold. In one week.




Artwark said:

@Boukman I'm not certain about Vgchartz because if that is true, then the Wii U outsold the PS4 and ONE sales by three million.



Boukman said:

@ Artwark That's total sales I guess. Just look on the weekly hardware chart on the homepage.



ThomasBW84 said:

@Boukman With respect, I don't personally report on VGchartz figures as fully accurate, I'll wait for more formal figures



Boukman said:

@ThomasBW84 Fair enough It would be cool if the 3DS sold more in one week than the PS4 and Xbone in their respecitive launchweeks. Let's wait and see.



Nomad said:

It's good it see Wii U sales increasing, it's a great system with plenty to look forward to. Let's hope sales continue to increase so we don't have to listen to all the haters.



MrGawain said:

There is a change in journalistic opinion about the Wii U. There is a change in retailler opinion about the Wii U. There MAY be a change in consumer opinion about the Wii U. It would be a full house If we get a bit of a change in 3rd party opinion about the Wii U.



MJKOP said:

I got my Wii U from the day SM3DW was released. I received it on Wednesday, the courier asked me what it was as they'd been delivering a lot of them. Absolutely loving it so far by the way. Nintendo magic, can't put your finger on it... But you can't beat it!



Kirk said:

I'm actually happy that some of the mainstream press/media outlets seem to be doing a bit of a turnaround on the Wii U BUT the Wii was almost universally lauded among the mainstream press/media outlets, as well as being one of the biggest selling consoles of all time, and I personally found it to be one of Nintendo's most disappointing and frustrating consoles ever, so hearing good news stories isn't that big a deal as far as I'm personally concerned.

What I want is for all this new found positivity to be backed up by a system that I'd also be satisfied with as a gamer and broader entertainment consumer too. That means I still think Nintendo has to basically address all the issues and complaints I've had with the system since day one, as have countless other people too, before any positive press really matters ultimately.

So; reduce the price of the console again. Reduce the price of the VC titles across the board and get much more of them out and now. Merge the various eShops and accounts into a single unified eShop and account system and let us buy one copy of a game and play it across all our systems where possible, certainly with most of the VC games for example. Reduce the price of digital versions of games by a large margin compared to boxed retail copies because that's just fair. Maybe at some point soon-ish even put a much larger and more practical amount of storage memory into the system too, so downloading all those big AAA games is actually a simple, hassle free and rewarding experience. Do pretty standard things for a modern entertainment console like offer consumers an optional patch to activate stuff like basic CD/DVD/avi/mp4/etc playback on the console and if possible even Blu-Ray playback (don't know if the drive is an actual Blu-Ray drive or not). Get the new longer life batteries in all future GamePads and Wiimotes from here on out. Do a lot more with the TVii service, such as actually making it available in Europe for a start but also really just expand on what it's offering to actually make it a feature that's truly compelling and worthwhile. Maybe even start to offer some kind of paid subscription service where people can choose to pay a yearly fee of say $50 which will give them a couple of free high quality titles each month and maybe even a couple of freebie VC titles thrown in for good measure too, along with various other benefits and cool exclusive features and services etc.

Also, there's just general and obvious stuff like advertise the thing much better, targeting not just casuals and families but also the more core gamers and entertainment consumer types too. Then there's the stuff that's going to happen anyway but I might as well mention it too; like get more AAA first party games on the system asap. Lastly there's just the hope and wishful thinking; Figure out how to increase and improve third party support across the board.

Good positive news in the mainstream press/media is great but that's not what actually makes a truly satisfying video games console and entertainment experience for me, or most other people I would presume, and THAT is what I REALLY want from Nintendo and Wii U.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

I'll wait patiently. The sales figures won't matter much until 2014, when they can throw out the results of christmas.
Meanwhile, I'll hope for age restrictions on smartphones/tablets, for obvious reasons.



DreamOn said:

waiting with bated breath for those cold hard Wii U holiday figures. Hopefully will be good so we don't have to brace ourselves as much anymore for the vitriol of the unbelievers



shigulicious said:

My son wants an iPad for Christmas. I got him Super Mario 3D world instead. Father of the Year material right there. I can't wait to play the game.



rjejr said:

@Kaze_Memaryu - "The sales figures won't matter much until 2014, when they can throw out the results of christmas."

Throwing out the Christmas sales when you are talking about kids presents (see title) doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Christmas sales = kids presents

Now if you want to talk about lifetime sales and Wii Us potentail resurrection from the dead then I agree Feb and March are good months to look at. But nobody talks about 1st quarter sales during the Christmas shopping season. If the Wii U doens't do well this holiday then it probably won't matter anyway what it does after. It's kind of now or never, not now or later.



maneauleau said:

@withoutdk The console doesn't really need more ram or better performances, what it really need is more good games or system seller games if you prefer.



Kirk said:


Well, what it doesn't need is stuff that's basically impossible to add at this point without segmenting the market and user base, which isn't a good solution imo, but Nintendo could certainly do all of the stuff I've addressed above at least...



bmprsvz777 said:

I have 2 small children and I have to admit Wii U is very children friendly and they like it a lot. Wii U is more universal compared to PS4, children can have their Lego City or Skylanders while father can have his AC4 or Ghosts, while mom can have her Wii Fit and YouTube... Adult FPS are better on PS4 of course but what would children play on it? So if you don't want to buy 2 consoles Wii U is better option for family. Some Wii U games are dirty cheap, e.g. I bought Darksiders for 9 euro and AC3 for 17 euro. OFF TV is also great feature for family because you can watch your football while your children can still play their games. Game line up is acceptable right now, so the only problem that remains is console price. There should be price cut, 300 is too much for tight family budget. I know it won't cover production cost but maybe people will repay it on games. I paid just 149 euro for Wii U but slowly I bought games for approx. 800 euro (damn those skylanders are expensive...) It doesn't hurt so much psychologically to throw away 40 euro once a month for a good game but it hurts a lot to explain to your wife why you spent 300 euro on new wii u.



GreatPlayer said:

@bmprsvz777 That is true. Talking about price, one thing I really do not understand is that why does the Wii U version nearly always more expansive than the PS3 or Xbox One version? (e.g., Rayman Legends)



Spoony_Tech said:

@shigulicious you're a good man!

My son never said he wanted a Wii U because he just doesn't see enough commercials to want one. I'm getting the Skylanders bundle and he will flip when he sees it. He loves his games and I love the fact he will be able to play some of those games and not hog up the tv!



Nintenjoe64 said:

I've been saying for ages that the momentum has improved, but it isn't being reported. In a way it is too soon to report good news but if the sales were as bad as the rest of 2013 it would be all we heard. Michael Pachter and his friends would love to give the Wii U another bashing but they are still referring to the last quarter Wii U sales and decent software sales that are made to look bad because of the stupid way they are being reported. Let's face it, all that Pachter does is have someone phone up a few key indicator game retailers and that gives him fairly accurate sales figures.
@MrGawain I worry that even another 10 million units won't be enough for the whole set



ljb88 said:

I was in GAME about thirty minutes ago, a young - middle aged man and his partner were walking around the shop, he walked up to mario 3d world, pointed at it and said to his partner "can you get this on the wii?" His partner said "no I don't think so," then while tapping the wii u next to the wii u games she said "I think that's for this." Then they both walked off talking about buying minecraft for "him," guessing him is their son. Thought I'd share the story with you all, that happened in a GAME store in the U.K, in a small to medium sized city. I have never seen a Wii u ad on U.K t.v, though i have read on nintendo life that they exist, i think Nintendo need to do more.



cfgk24 said:

Well, I keep thinking I need an iPad mini2 - then I sit and look at my unused Samsung tablet - unused - because I use my Nexus 5 phone for e v e r y t h i n g except music and video production - then I use the laptop. . . .oh, then I go and order a Luigi Special 3DS console from the website and I forget ever wanting to spend on an iPad thingy. . . . .



Nintenjoe64 said:

@rjejr totally agree that xmas sales won't show much. They will probably be quite impressive in spite of the scripted negative press that the Wii U gets. I'm worried that there is nothing to get excited about til MK8 and Smash. DKC:TF might come out before either but I don't think many people will care. If Nintendo can get both of MK and Smash out long before the summer and give people a reason to buy the Wii U for the rest of the year, I think they might go into Xmas 2014 with a lead but if they've only got DKCTF for the first 3-6 months I'm worried....



rjejr said:

@Nintenjoe64 - "DKC:TF might come out before either but I don't think many people will care."

I know I don't care but on here it seemed like I was the only one. I think Nintendo made the right decision holding off on that until Feb., whether it's already finished or not, it's a gamers game - too hard for us - and not a family holiday game. The people who want it will pick it up whenever it comes out.

And I agree w/ everything else you said. I still really dont understand why Nintendo doesn't promote stuff until a month before it comes out. Give us dates for MK8 and SSB. And Bayonnetta 2 - it should be close by now. X I sitll don't expect until 2015 but that's not really a big system seller anyway. Japan gets PS4 in Feb, Nintendo needs more than DK. I'm OK w/ DK in Feb.,MK8 in March, Yoshi's Yarn Planet in Apr. Bayonetta in May, SSB in June. As long as they get the word out and keep those dates. I'm still miffed about last time. Hopefully by next holiday they'll have something new planned.



IronMan28 said:

Until we see raw numbers, take this and every news piece about sales with a grain of salt.



unrandomsam said: had the best price £200 for the NSMBU/NSLU bundle without any messing around with lightning deals and such. Obviously they will sell a lot.

Donkey Kong Country is the only Wii U game I really bothered about so far. (I suspect I will get more enjoyment out of it than NSMBU/NSLU/3D World combined if past performance on the Wii is anything to go by).



Sir_JBizzle said:

@shigulicious that is Father of the Year material. You're getting a game that you can play together with your son. That's some father/son bonding right there

This is part of what makes Nintendo so special. People can say what they want about online multiplayer, but how many developers actually care about whether or not you can play in the company of others?



IxnayontheCK said:

Best thing N can do is simply advertise it as being FUN and not try to go toe to toe with the other two. It's difficult, but we need to not compare Wii U sales against 4 & One



gage_wolf said:


I'm with you on some of your points, such as the cohesive eShop that carries over for all Nintendo systems. I don't agree with that the Wii U needs to do more media integration, more TV "stuff" in general - as I feel that's pretty much what the PS4 and Xbone do, and I think Nintendo's best bet is to simply continue down their own unique route and instead tout the Wii U as a GAME system. I think the less Nintendo tries to out compete the mainstream "I need everything on one device" tech philosophy, the better they'll do. I think the 3DS is doing really well, because it's inherently a gaming system - it offers almost no similarity to a smartphone or tablet. I bought a Wii U because I want to have fun. That's it - pretty simple, and I think that will resonate with people a lot more than "The Wii U does a lot of stuff!"



JuanitoShet said:

Wii U needs all the attention it can get. Glad to see it's getting a portion of it somewhere that's not here.



Kirk said:


The only problem with ignoring all that stuff now is that it's sort of too late because the machine already hints at being able to maybe offer that kind of full multi-media entertainment experience, I mean it already has stuff like Netflix/Hulu/LoveFilm/YouTube/Internet/TVii and all that jazz anyway, but it just falls a little short of what the kind of people that are actually interested in all that multi-media entertainment would ideally want from their console.

If Nintendo had actually made just a full-on dedicated games console only that forgoes all the multi-media and social media stuff completely I'd actually agree with you but that's not the case.

Being stuck half-way in between the two really is just the worst of both imo so I think the best thing to do would be to pick one camp and commit to it 100%. Now, given it's nigh-on possible to just suddenly remove all the multi-media and social stuff the Wii U already has, after everyone's already got used to that at least, I think the best solution would be to actually put the rest of it on there too or else the machine is just always going to feel slightly "gimped" as opposed to maybe more "minimal" or whatever positive you might want to look at it.

None of that additional multi-media stuff will undermine Nintendo's first party games or whatever but it will make the console a lot more appealing to those people who don't think buying a machine just for Nintendo's first party titles and little else is actually enough in this day and age. Also, more people buying the machine and more people being fully satisfied with it, even if part of that satisfaction comes from entertainment outside of pure gaming, is surely a good thing (it might even go part way towards encouraging all those third party developers who just don't see the console as worth developing for right now).

That's my thinking anyway.



shigulicious said:

@JQuest Yep, the local multiplayer is going to be great. I actually have a family of 4. And we will all be bonding and playing Mario on Christmas Day for sure. Happy Holidays!



IceRod said:

@ Kirk The problem with some of your ideas is that they are just not possible. The Wii U playing BluRays? Like Nintendo just has to send out an online patch to change the internal framework of their system? The system either came with the kind of laser needed to read BluRays or it did not, and obviously it did not. And they can't add that in now because 1.) cost and 2.) Then they would be fragmenting their user base, with some people having that capability and others not. It is just bad business. Honestly I think the media playback idea is highly overrated, and most people who really care about such a thing will already have a BR player or a PS3 - I know I do. I bought a Wii U because I want Nintendo's games, and that is what I have already gotten and will continue to get. Sure, the system has gotten off to a slow start, but 90 % of Wii U owners have probably not gotten more than a handful of games, and I am already behind on buying the ones I want. Not to mention the ones we already know are coming next year.

The bottom line: I have never been disappointed by a Nintendo home console yet (and no, I did not own the Virtual Boy). I am sorry you were let down by the Wii, but that seems to be a vocal minority argument held by "hardcore" gamers. The Wii had some awesome games (Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, Madworld, Muramasa, Lost in Shadow, Super Paper Mario, Metroid Prime 3 and Trilogy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Sports and Resort, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Zak and Wiki, Punch Out, Sin and Punishment 2, etc.), and if they were not good enough for you, I really don't know what to say. Maybe you just don't like the kinds of games Nintendo specializes in and would be better off with one of its rivals' systems.



Caryslan said:

Now, this should be a clear sign to NIntendo that their key market is children and families. I'm not bashing them for this, rather, it should open thier eyes to a very cold truth. Many of the so-called "Hardcore" gamers that they tried to appeal to during launch time are the same people who will laugh at NIntendo's games and systems, and go back to the Playstations, Xboxes, or PCs. These are the same people who will laugh at Xenoblade even though its one of the best JRPGs on current systems, or mock Kirby and Mario for being childsh.

Let's be honest, if Nintendo said screw it and put out a blood-soaked FPS with tons of cursing, sex, and nudity, the so-called "hardcore" games would still laugh at Nintendo. How many mature IPs like Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, and the darker Zelda's get ignored because they aren't bloodsoaked games despite handling often mature subject matter? Fire Emblem alone touches topics that many games refuse to touch with a ten-foot pole.

Going after the hardcore market has been a losing battle since the Gamecube.

Nintendo strongest market has always been towards children and families, and they need to keep this focus in mind. I saw several holiday ads for the Wii U while I was watching Star Trek on Hulu, and it seems like they finally got their message right.

"The Wii U is a cheaper system that offers fun for the whole family." This is something Nintendo needs to pick up the ball and run with. Of course, there's no problem with Nintendo platforms having more mature titles. But let's be honest here, Nintendo was a card and toy company in their past. They pefer to do family friendly games that everyone can enjoy.

Let Sony, Microsoft, and PC fanboys duke it out for the "hardcore gamers." Heck, let Google and Apple fanboys enjoy their cheap casual games.

Nintendo needs to play with to their strengths and remember that families and children are their best market. I think if they did that, then you would see the Wii U pick up in sales.



n057828 said:

Trust me after xmas the ps4 + one wont sell that good and wii U will outsell both in 6 months!

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