News Article

Wii U Hardware Sales Take a Significant Leap in Japan

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

A new Dragon Quest X release certainly helps

The Wii U has enjoyed an upward trend of sales in Japan in the last couple of weeks, a welcome respite from troubling figures and disappointing news. This week gives even more cause for optimisim, as Nintendo's home console achieved the sort of numbers we haven't seen since its launch weeks in late 2012; the 3DS XL / LL is still bossing matters, but that's been the norm for a good amount of time.

To kick off with software, the arrival of Dragon Quest X: The Sleeping Hero and the Guiding Sworn Friend Online has certainly been a contributing factor to the Wii U's improved performance, though the Wii version did nevertheless shift more copies; the latter prompted no real boost in Wii sales, showing that install base is King. Elsewhere there were reasonable début appearances for Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind and Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy Big Bang / Supernova, while Super Mario 3D World shows decent legs with another 43,844 sales. Bravely Default: For the Sequel had a decent start at best, though we should remember that it's a tweaked version of the game available in Japan for over a year, while Pokémon X & Y are unrelenting in third place. The top 20 below shows fairly healthy sales all round, with lifetime figures in parenthesis.

1. [PS3] Gran Turismo 6 – 204,784 (New)
2. [Wii] Dragon Quest X: The Sleeping Hero and the Guiding Sworn Friend Online – 117,432 (New)
3. [3DS] Pokemon X and Y – 111,790 (3,200,919)
4. [3DS] Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind – 93,471 (New)
5. [3DS] Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy Big Bang / Supernova – 91,643 (New)
6. [Wii U] Dragon Quest X: The Sleeping Hero and the Guiding Sworn Friend Online – 70,648 (New)
7. [Wii U] Super Mario 3D World – 43,844 (183,245)
8. [3DS] Bravely Default: For the Sequel – 35,617 (New)
9. [3DS] Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal: Duel Carnival – 26,497 (New)
10. [PS3] Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII – 21,600 (358,755)
11. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 – 20,601 (3,002,358)
12. [3DS] Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai 2 – 18,225 (106,933)
13. [PS3] Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – 16,920 (52,269)
14. [PS3] Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 – 15,523 (228,367)
15. [3DS] One Piece: Unlimited World R – 15,145 (123,374)
16. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 15,039 (3,496,578)
17. [3DS] Tomodachi Collection: New Life – 12,816 (1,523,528)
18. [3DS] Aikatsu! 2-ri no My Princess – 12,737 (99,261)
19. [PSV] God Eater 2 – 12,610 (338,544)
20. [PSP] God Eater 2 – 11,337 (161,939)

The hardware sales show increases over last week for all but one platform (the PS Vita TV is the only system with negative momentum), with big releases and seasonal momentum no doubt all contributing. The most eye-catching increase is that of the Wii U, which had a sales bump of over 20,000 units — it sold more than double this week to what it did two weeks ago. The 3DS XL / LL remains on top, meanwhile, continuing its relentless period of dominance in Nintendo's homeland — results are below with last week's sales in parenthesis.

3DS LL – 92,375 (82,409)
Wii U – 48,762 (28,518)
3DS – 32,894 (25,964)
PlayStation Vita – 25,594 (20,202)
PlayStation 3 – 24,085 (13,311)
PSP – 4,416 (4,232)
PlayStation Vita TV – 3,772 (5,391)
Wii – 767 (588)
Xbox 360 – 473 (309)

Another top three lock-out for Nintendo, then, and the company will surely be delighted to see continuing momentum for the Wii U; with a mixture of new releases and bundles it's now had three solid weeks of growth. As for the 3DS, it continues to be the dominant force in the region.


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User Comments (122)



NintyMan said:

As I've said before, Wii U will do steadily better as more good games release. Mario games also have always been long-term sellers, so expect Super Mario 3D World to do well for a while and rise above its original numbers. This certainly makes the pessimistic response to the first numbers look premature.



Gerbwmu said:

More doom and gloom.....Nintendo is finished for sure. It is nice to see some units being moved. With the 3DS printing money at this point, I'm hoping for a push in U games in 2014



cookiex said:

3DS is dominant once again. Wii U sells almost as much as Vita and PS3 combined. Mario increases. Pokemon increases. Monster Hunter 4 passes 3 million. The new version of Dragon Quest X sells twice as much as the one that came out in March.




Freakazoid said:

so i cant wait to see how the trend for wii u will move on next week, will it get higher lower?



cyrus_zuo said:

This week Monster Hunter 4 became the third 3DS title THIS YEAR to sell 3 million units at retail!
That said, I'm troubled by the fact that for the year 2013 the 3DS has sold slightly less than it did for the same period in 2012.
Even w/all those great games this year the 3DS sold better last year, which is a sobering thought.



zeldazero said:

Agreed, they get a damn expansion and we still haven't seen the first installment, they announced this in the beginning of the wii u launch and it was one of the main reasons I bought it and still we have nothing, just give me any damn rpg and I'd be happy...




Why not bring Dragon Quest to the west? I know it's a Japan thing, but it would be a bonus to the library.



Oren87 said:

More like it. 3DS and Vita sales certainly put the 'portable gaming is irrelevant due to phones. Etc.' argument into perspective.



brucelebnd said:

I think the Wii U would do even better if they would create a 2/3DS mode for the Wii U. you could play the downloaded games you have on the 3DS on your Wii U and share information.

they've unified eShop accounts and NintendoNetwork so I think it would be the next step. they could even charge for the software. I think it would be amazing



Doctor_Pancakes said:

The way you worded that made it sounds like the Wii version of the game is the better version performance wise on the hardware not on sales lol



ricklongo said:

Happy dance time? Happy dance time.

Nice to see 3D World keeping momentum better than Lightning Returns. And please, for the love of all that's holy, BRING DRAGON QUEST X TO THE WEST!

(To be fair, I'd prefer a new, non-MMO entry in the series, but hey, I'll take this one as well.)



cfgk24 said:

OMG! I forgot Attack On Titan was released last week in Japan!!!!! The Anime is the seriously best series I have ever watched!!!!!! Bring the Game to Europe!!!!



cfgk24 said:

@cyrus_zuo '''That said, I'm troubled by the fact that for the year 2013 the 3DS has sold slightly less than it did for the same period in 2012.
Even w/all those great games this year the 3DS sold better last year, which is a sobering thought.'''
That is because nearly everyone has one now - they are running out of people to sell them to!



Emblem said:

@cyrus_zuo thats very interesting if true. What about software sales though, I'm sure 2013 has seen Alot more than 2012?



ICHIkatakuri said:

Regardless of whether this trend keeps up its nice to see more people try the console for themselves.



Peach64 said:

Glad to see a boost but a bit disappointed it was caused by an already available MMO instead of 3D World. I'd love a new Dragon Quest, but I'm done with MMOs. Too many good to be played for tying yourself down to one of those.



Mr_Nose said:

Rising from the depths, to dominate the Japanese landscape...

Hey, wait... Is there a Godzilla connection here?



Tsurii said:

@linktothepichu that's the japanese name for it ^^

And I want Dragon Quest X!! I saw a trailer of the game shortly before getting my Wii U last Christmas (at least I think it was before the was definitely around that time iirc) and I was really, REALLY bummed, when I heard it was not coming to Europe for now..I'm sure it would do good. DQ is pretty big over here (WHEN a game is released, that is...)



Oren87 said:

@Peach64 It would be interesting to see the attachment figures. If you include downloads and download cards (not sure if they are included In the figures) then a large portion of those sales could be down to 3D world. As many have pointed out it's an evergreen title. If it pushes an extra 5-10k consoles a week then that's a huge boost.



rjejr said:

Damn, I keep forgettng the PS4 isnt due out until Feb, and I keep looking for Knack sales.

I guess if you want something negative there's that - the PS4 launch hasnt happened in Japan yet so Wii U is the only new home console at the moment. Though GT6 doubled PS3 sales this week.

Anybody know lifetime PS3 vs. Wii U sales in Japan? If they're as lopsisded as I think they are then SM3DW having the same lifetime sales as GT6 isnt bad, as long as Mario can keep it up.



Worthy said:

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I reckon Monolith's X game will do well in Japan, lol!



withoutdk said:

that is a good step in the right direction

today i saw uplay had discounts for all platforms on Assassins creed 4.... but no discount on wii u!



Amin_and_Azizah said:

Next up for the Wii U is monster hunter frontier G.
That game should be releasing either this week or next week in Japan. Nonetheless this is going to be a fantastic month for the Wii U in Japan.



Gerbwmu said:

With Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, "X", Bayonetta 2, & Smash all supposedly hitting the U in 2014....I would think sales will continue to be strong. Especially if Nintendo and/or a 3rd party can hit us with a surprise somewhere mixed in with the strong 1st/2nd party content



Shambo said:

Now they should bring Dragon Quest X and Monster Hunter 4 to the rest of the world. Nintendo is getting there.



PinkSpider said:

@ThomasBW84 im confused, is dragon quest x for Wii or Wii u as it says
2. [Wii] Dragon Quest X: The Sleeping Hero and the Guiding Sworn Friend Online – 117,432 (New)



PinkSpider said:

oh my mistake is at number 6, seriously the Wii sold that many units jeez
Sorry Thomas lazy reading



ACK said:

Well there are clearly lots of Wii owners yet to switch over. That means there is potential for some turnaround; however, I have to wonder if Nintendo's Wii U lineup has simply mirrored the Wii's too closely to provoke those to upgrade.

I understand that Nintendo has been partially banking on the intrinsic value of the console's features to make a greater impact... But it does seem increasingly clear that Nintendo doesn't need one game, they need that one game that is completely unlike anything else. Wii Sports, Wii Fit and the like offered that. The Nintendo franchises were gravy to those coveting a new experience.

Unless Nintendo can find that new breakthrough, it's a near certainty that the Wii U will end in the GameCube category. Won't bother me much, but it would be a shame for a system with so much to offer.



CoreyCannabis said:

Is Dragon Quest X slated to come out in the U.S.? 'Twould be nice if it was. Been playing those games since Dragon Warrior on NES.



Artwark said:

This just makes me wonder....And I know this sounds stupid but why can't Nintendo just focus on the handheld market? Personally I like the handheld gaming better than consoles because for one thing I don't have to worry about power cuts and for another, well the battery life is better so I don't know about the Wii U now seeing that I've yet to get the system.......



PinkSpider said:

I hate that opinion if Nintendo were not in the console market it would be so boring as there would be two consoles doing exactly the same thing.
The day Nintendo stop making consoles will be a sad day
What will be left is GTA Clones and First Person Shooters
Also the day Nintendo stop making consoles is the day I stop gaming



PinkSpider said:

@Volmun Everyone always moans Nintendo aren't like Sony or Microsoft and I say 'thank god'' Imagine 3 Consoles all exactly the same. What would be the point they might as well all get together and make one super console.
Actually that could work all the angry fan boys would actually be silenced and no one would get abused in community forums.
Actually they would still find reason to complain



Jayvir said:

Nintendo is dominating the hardware charts over there. Shame that it doesn't follow the same trend everywhere else.



allav866 said:

@FlyingKickPunch I'm not too sure how many DQ games were JP exclusives, but I do know that DQ 8 and 9 were localized, as well as DQM: Joker 1 and 2, and a game that stars Slime and a DSiware game, so I have a good feeling we'll get DQX. It will probably take a while for localization, because of translation and voice acting.



Stubborn_Monkey said:


Imagine there's no consoles.
It isn't hard to do.
Nothing to flame or troll for.
And no fanboys, too.

Imagine all the people
Playing games in peace...

...Sounds extremely boring, actually.



AdanVC said:

I'm genuinely happy to see a boost on Wii U sales! Slowly gaining momentum in a country where home consoles are not so strong anymore is just a great achievement, hope it continues this way through the entire month. That photo of the kid buying his Wii U is so cute! He is like: "Yes I would like to pay with my credit card please", haha.



sagen said:

Hurr durr Wii U is doomed - dun 4 sure. Seriously though, this is welcome news.



AVahne said:

Sharing VC games would work, but I highly doubt native 3DS games would. I think the Wii U likely isn't powerful ENOUGH to emulate 3DS games, even though it is much more powerful, but those are just my thoughts. Besides Nintendo wouldn't allow for anything that MIGHT limit hardware sales.



AdanVC said:

Woah! I'm looking the Japanese website for Dragon Quest and it looks so damn cool! (Akira Toriyama character design FTW!!!) And of course we would never going to be able to play this game on America-Europe



Yasume said:

A small boost was expected, nothing out of the ordinary. It's rather underwhelming actually, since it's Christmas and there's no competition from Sony and Microsoft in Japan.



retro_player_22 said:

Good but Nintendo better bring some good games over here soon otherwise the Wii U is sinking as the next year is coming by. Also PS Vita TV, that's a console or an add-on? Looks like Sony is having too many consoles in Japan at the moment, no one is going to buy the PS Vita TV when the PS4 is coming out next year.



tanookisuit said:

Ok maybe I'm off base, but they only moved that few copies of the game on WiiU (DQX) and only increased system sales for a week 20K? Shouldn't that be considered a failure of some proportion? DQ has traditionally been the largest game selling property over there and is known as a big system seller just like Pokemon is for handhelds and Monster Hunter across platforms. I recall in the past DQ racking up sickening lines around the block and doing crazy sales of systems+games or just the games. Unless the dynamics in Japan are so much different and down I'd call those sales concerning.



unrandomsam said:

@AVahne 3DS could definately be emulated on the Wii U. No problems at all if the right people did it. (Apple did 68000 on ppc ages ago. Intel manage to run arm stuff at pretty much full speed on x86). Wii U GPU is miles better. IBM manages to run x86 stuff at basically full speed on Power.



Excep7ional said:

This is good news. The sales are starting to increase, slowly but surely. Hopefully Sony and Microsoft take note that Nintendo aren't the people to sleep on and step their game up even more.



Oren87 said:

@tanookisuit that's a good point but I think the lower amount of interest is probably because it's an MMO. For a Dragon Quest game 117k sales on Wii is pretty low considering the size of the IP and the install base. With the Wii U struggling as it is I don't think a 20k boost in sales can be considered anything but a good thing.



Relias said:

@Stubborn_Monkey Not exactly true. If there was no consoles there would still be companies and third parties. (So you might get a argument that whatever Konami is putting out Streaming is better then Squaresoft etc.) But I will say it may or may not be as exciting pending on how you look at it.



Alucard83 said:

Handhelds? Please! On a little tiny screen you're saying you get the same experience as on big screen? I don't think so! And Nintendo newest handheld hardware is still very weak!



Stubborn_Monkey said:


No, I don't believe that there shouldn't be consoles and that everything would be peaceful without between the Big Three. In fact, I believe the competition is actually good, it keeps the industry healthy. I was just making a half-hearted attempt at "humour".

Oh, and people (including myself, of course) will argue over anything, no matter how trivial.



Zael said:

Good news
I think that in the end people will overlook the hardware and enjoy all the great games are coming up



Gorlokk said:

Whoa, whoa, the Yugioh game for 3DS is already out in Japan?! Nice... When will we get it in the US and other places?



gameboy1975 said:

That's good to hear for them. I really just hope that they can continue the momentum so that I can keep getting the games, systems & experiences that they provide. Get some decent 3rd party & all that jazz as well. On a semi related note, it's kinda funny how seemingly decent news such as this hasn't been regurgitated as swiftly (or at all even) by some of these sites as it does when it's seen as not so flattering. That garbage N4g site actually comes to mind. Perhaps 1 of the worst on the net.



SuperMartarano said:

Went to my local Walmart last night and saw more XboxOnes (3) on the shelf than Wii U's (1). This wasn't due to limited shelf space for Wii U, it's just that more people were eager to get their hands on the little black machine than the big black machine.



element187 said:

@brucelebnd I keep seeing people suggesting it, but the resolution difference doesn't make it a plausible solution.

Blowing 240p up to 720p at the minimum would look atrocious. Nobody would play it because it's too jarring. And no Nintendo can't upscale it without some serious porting work.. Why give the trolls even more ammo to pound Wii U as not Nextgen? Besides, why pay $300 to play 240p games when you can play them for $130 (2DS) and it will have the benefit of looking great.... I just bought the 2DS for my nephews Christmas present. Every game looks better on his 2DS than it does on my 3DS XL. I can only imagine how ugly it would be set to 720p, yikes!

The best idea is to do an all hands on ship concentrating every free studio to pumping out games for Wii U. Within a years time the flood gates will open and first party output would mirror the 3DS



element187 said:

@Artwark because you personally like handheld gaming more means Nintendo should hang up releasing consoles? That's pretty selfish.

Nintendo makes far more amazing experiences on home consoles. Handhelds just can't match it. Look at 3D Land, a fun game, but gets completely beaten by 3D World. Not even close actually. In fact if you haven't played it, you are only punishing yourself by not playing it.



IceClimbers said:

@element187 Of course, they can't just stop 3DS production. Then again, if the 3DS takes a bit of a break with game releases this year, it will ease strain on my wallet xD. I need time to play catch up with this year's games.



IceClimbers said:

Good for the Wii U. Also, the 3DS sells over 100,000 units in Japan for another week. Its selling half a million units in one month in Japan alone. It was at 35 million worldwide at the end of September, before Pokemon X/Y was released. I wonder what the total is now. With the arrival of Pokemon and the 2DS in October and the killer deals ($99 2DS) and bundles over the holidays, I bet the 3DS will be sitting at 42 million by the end of the year, and 45 million by the end of the fiscal year.



Yoshis_VGM said:


Just wait till Mario Kart, Smash, and Zelda come out.



JaxonH said:

I know this is a very nice change of pace after near-relentless doom and gloom articles for the past year, but don't let this get to our heads fellow Nintendo fans. Nintendo still has a long, hard road ahead of them, and while I do think the Wii U will do considerably better next year than this year, keep in mind that some consoles take YEARS to hit their stride.

Having said that, this is good to see. I don't care about Nintendo "winning" a console war that doesn't even exist, but I do care about Nintendo selling enough consoles to sustain the home console portion of their business.



Marre35 said:

Im happy for Nintendo that they are finally moving more units in Japan, sadly those numbers are nothing to brag about. Whats even more sad is that the incoming PS4 launch in Japan is gonna crush Wii U sales. There's just so much more demand of that platform. Oh well, we'll see how it goes.



Stubborn_Monkey said:


Hooray for snobbery? I've actually had some of my best gaming moments playing in handhelds, most of them of the Game Boy family. I get what you mean in terms of audiovisual output, but some of the finest works in the history of video games have been made for handheld consoles.




I have owned a Wii U since June of 2013 and have loved every minute of it and feel it is the best console Nintendo has released and I have owned every Nintendo home console except Virtual Boy. There are times I get so worried the Wii U will not make it and it hurts! This news makes me feel better because I want my favorite system to survive and thrive ... I hope someday to get knocked off my seat with some shockingly outstanding sales ... I keep saying that the people who don't like the Wii U are the people who have not played it! Everyone out there with a Wii U, SHOW YOUR FRIENDS HOW GREAT IT IS AND LETS BOOST SALES!



Morph said:

Sort of following on from the above point, i think wii u is a system you need to see first hand to 'get'. I would maybe guess the continuing rise in sales is partly to do with people seeing their friends play wii u and seeing how great a concept it is.



MAB said:

WiiU and 3DS with a splash of PC or Steam Box is all you need to satisfy a healthy gaming diet... MicroSony are just serving last gens offal on a fake silver platter




Artwark said:

@element187 Yeah your're right. Nintendo IS also great in making console games and infact there are many of those that I love playing like my Gamecube. So yeah my bad.



Windy said:

I hope they will bring Dragon Quest X to the Wii in North America. Wii-U version also. If it only comes to Wii-U only I may consider buying a Wii-U. Would love to see it on Wii



element187 said:

@IceClimbers Nintendo has enough games in the pipeline that they could take a break.

They pretty much did an all hands on deck revival on the failing 3DS 2 years ago, and this flood of games we see today is from that effort. I'd imagine they have many games lined up, already finished ready to go, just waiting on the optimal time to drop them on the market.

Wii U needs that kind of love badly. And I'm sure that is on the way.... I can't wait for the next 2 years.

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