News Article

Fresh 2013 UK Hardware Sales Figures Keep 3DS on Top, While Wii U Sells Less Than Vita

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The 3DS family and Wii U both show annual increases

Last week we shared a report by trade magazine MCV which listed the 3DS — the "family" of systems taken as one — as the top selling games system in the UK for the whole of 2013. MCV also had PS4 squeaking past the Xbox 360 as the best-selling home console, while no specific details were given for other platforms such as the Wii U.

Eurogamer is now reporting some results of its own for 2013 UK sales, utilising data from Chart-Track, which places the Xbox 360 just above PS4. Of more interest to Nintendo fans, the 3DS family of consoles retains top spot — helped by strong sales of the 3DS XL and the arrival of the 2DS — while the running order for other systems is made clear. The Wii U is found in second-bottom spot, coming in behind Sony's PS Vita. Both of Nintendo's current systems did buck the trends of other pre-2013 consoles by recording year-on-year increases, however.

  • 3DS (including 2DS, XL) - up 4 per cent
  • Xbox 360 - down 30.7 per cent
  • PS4
  • PS3 - down 31 per cent
  • Xbox One
  • Vita - down 41 per cent
  • Wii U - up 41.5 per cent
  • Wii - down 72 per cent

The 2013 UK increase for the Wii U is a positive, albeit it was only up against one month of launch sales from 2012; though specific numbers aren't provided, coming in behind the Vita is certainly disappointing. It caps a solid year for the 3DS, however, with a series of major releases giving it strong momentum and taking it to the top of this particular hardware chart.

In the coming days and weeks we'll receive the December NPD results — which provide information on U.S. sales — and then firm figures for all territories in Nintendo's Q3 financial reports. As a result we'll soon have a clearer picture of Nintendo's hardware performance around the world.

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (46)

Artwark

#1

Artwark said:

Yeesh! Even the Vita while still lacking behind 3DS can compete with the Wii U.

FourBs

#3

FourBs said:

I convinced two of my friends to go out and buy new Wii U's so I guess I have them to thank towards that uptake in sales. As long as the console keeps a year on year increase, it should be okay - nothing stellar; but okay, at least.

TruenoGT

#4

TruenoGT said:

I believe there will be a 3DS to 2DS like equivalent-situation for the Wii U by next year. The number of must-have games will be pretty large by the end of 2014, just in time for Nintendo to launch a lower priced (but still profitable) Wii U system which a lot of hold-outs won't be able to resist. It's like the 2DS last year, enough solid games + relative inexpensive system = long term success. Nintendo doesn't need gangbusters success out of the gate, just a steady marathon run of good games and revenue along the way and they appear to be achieving that.

Peach64

#5

Peach64 said:

This just highlights how meaningless percentage increases are. Wii U sold 60k in 2012 and 90k in 2013. They could keep getting 40% increases for 10 years and it would still be bad. Not okay, but bad. Last year we saw the news stories:

Wii U sales increase 125% in the UK with Monster Hunter Release
Wii U sales increase 900% in the UK following Xbox One reveal
Wii U sales increase 650% in the UK after price drop

Looks pretty insane with those huge increases but it ends up selling 90k all year while Xbox and PS4 sell 350,000 and 500,000 in a month, and the latter would have sold more if there was stock.

I wish people could learn, but you bet that next time we see Wii U sales go up by X percent, people will act like its printing money.

FourBs

#6

FourBs said:

@Peach64

Mine was a generalized statement, mate. It was a blanket 'if it continues to increase year on year' not 'if it continues at the same YoY increase as the previous year.

DarkKirby

#7

DarkKirby said:

Sooo...

The Nintendo server shutdown and continued Pokebank delay (supposedly according to Nintendo) were all 3DS purchases and barely any Wii Us?

Untitled

AdanVC

#8

AdanVC said:

Iwata... do something to save Wii U, don't just say "Please understand" anymore!!

unrandomsam

#11

unrandomsam said:

That is a stupid way of reporting this. Makes it look as if there are not loads more 360's and PS3's being sold than Wii U's which is not the case.

Yoshis_VGM

#13

Yoshis_VGM said:

Funny how a handheld is still outclassing all consoles every week...and they say Nintendo is doomed.

Linkstrikesback

#15

Linkstrikesback said:

Wow, that's enough spin to keep the galaxy orbitting.

A 40% increase yoy for the wii u is absolutely terrible news, given it was on the market for nearly 12 times as long this year. (It launched on the last day of novermber in 2013 in the uk).

And only a 4% increase for 3ds when they dropped the pokebomb (As well as all the other amazing titles this year) isn't reassuring either,

Peach64

#16

Peach64 said:

@Laxeybobby They can both be right. Your link was for one week of worldwide sales, this article is the total sales across 2013, and just for the UK.

Peach64

#18

Peach64 said:

@thesilverbrick As clearly displayed by the head of this article! Which shows 3DS was the best selling system in the UK last year, and probably by quite a margin. PS4 did 500k, 360 did around the same, while 3DS probably did at least 1 million. The country clearly hates Nintendo, and there's no problems at all with how the Wii U has been handled.

thesilverbrick

#19

thesilverbrick said:

@Peach64 Sure, I hear ya. But compare those numbers and percentages with the rest of the world and they tell a different story. Nintendo's sales figures in North America and Japan are always substantially larger than those in Europe. Europe is the only region where the 360 has outsold the original Wii in lifetime sales, for crying out loud. You can't argue that Europe is generally less enthused about Nintendo than the rest of the world...

Peach64

#22

Peach64 said:

@thesilverbrick

You totally can argue it. North America is considerably bigger than the UK, with the US alone is 5 times bigger in population, so of course they'll have bigger numbers, but the same pattern is happening everywhere. Wii U sold less than the Vita in Japan in 2013 too, so do they hate Nintendo? It would not surprise me in a week or two that we learn that North America's results look just like these.

The UK is not an anomaly, the situation is the same here as it is everywhere. The difference is the figures get released more in the UK so are in the news more frequently, while in the US Nintendo just releases official statements saying how total sales of Nintendo hardware beat out everyone else, or how Wii U sales were higher than the month before etc, and never mentioning actual figures.

The UK has seen Wii U titles like Monster Hunter chart in 7th, Pikmin 3 at number 2 and Wind Waker HD at number 4. The only Wii U title to see the top 10 in the US is Pikmin 3, which was number 10, so why is it always 'The UK hates Nintendo?'. Oh, and the 360 has outsold the Wii over there since November, so is that another sign that North America hates Nintendo?

Sorry if it seems I'm bashing you, but every single week there's people saying this and it's just not true. If sales figures for North America were released every week, you'd see these articles for those sales too.

Peek-a-boo

#23

Peek-a-boo said:

Perhaps Nintendo ought to stick with handheld(s) in the foreseeable future.

... I cannot wait until the next time we see 'Wii U sells 700% more this month' article in the future because I will be wise enough to know it won't be as significant as an increase that the majority of you folks implies them to be, which is just a little bit better than doing poorly.

thesilverbrick

#24

thesilverbrick said:

@Peach64 If you noticed, I never mentioned the UK; I said Europe, which has a comparable population to North America. The Nintendo sales figures in North America are higher than those in Europe.
And it's not entirely about raw numbers, either; we're talking ratios here. Nintendo consoles have a higher ratio of sales compared to their Sony and Microsoft competition in other regions. Europe overwhelmingly favors Sony and Microsoft even moreso that North America and Japan.
And let's stop comparing handhelds and home consoles. Look at Europe's console sales figures (again, not just the UK) and you'll see Nintendo is lagging farther behind Sony and Microsoft there than anywhere else. And of course the Vita did better in Japan than the Wii U. Handhelds outperform everything else there.

The bottom line is that Europe has less interest in Nintendo products than other regions. You can try to argue otherwise, but the sales figures don't lie.

unrandomsam

#25

unrandomsam said:

@thesilverbrick That is like saying China hasn't because up until this point there has been the ban in place. If you exclude the parts where Nintendo cannot be bothered to translate into the native language (But Sony and MS can) then its much smaller.

Peach64

#26

Peach64 said:

@thesilverbrick Sales figures certainly don't lie. Let's see. In Europe there were 33 million Wii's sold, and 25 million Xbox 360s. Quite a big lead for Nintendo in Europe! In the US there were 45 million Wii's sold, and 46 million 360s. Huh.

Overall for last gen the splits went like this:

North America:

Microsoft 38% of the market (46 million consoles)
Nintendo 38% of the market (45 million consoles)
Sony 24% of the market (28 million consoles)

Europe:

Nintendo 36% of the market (33 million consoles)
Sony 36% of the market (33 million consoles)
Microsoft 28% of the market (25 million consoles)

So where is this anti-Nintendo bias again?

MadAdam81

#28

MadAdam81 said:

@Laxeybobby that's an old piece of news that didn't interest Nintendo Life as it wasn't gloom and doom about the Wii U. They knew about it but didn't care - just like News Ltd news organisations know about climate change but.won't report on it because they want to push an agenda.

IceClimbers

#29

IceClimbers said:

@Peach64 Except Europe DOES have a thing against Nintendo. You just compared Wii sales, which has been the ONE and ONLY exception. All of Nintendo's other systems (NES, SNES, N64, GCN) all sold way worse in Europe than the competition, as well as in comparison to North America and Japan. Now, Nintendo's handhelds tell a different story obviously.

Nintendo also treated Europe like dirt for 20+ years, so that's probably why.

R_Champ

#30

R_Champ said:

Nintendo needs to concentrate on Wii U exclusives for a while. Even multiplats like Smash Bros--that will be VASTLY superior on Wii U--aren't shaking some people out of the mentality of "Why buy a Wii U when I have the the 3DS to play similar games on?" And that's people who already own a Nintendo console. Imagine trying to convince a die-hard Kingdom Hearts fanboy that "X" will probably be better than SE's entire 2014 lineup. They'd probably try to bludgeon you with their plastic Keyblade they have hung over the fireplace. And that's a more tame example.

ToxieDogg

#31

ToxieDogg said:

I agree with Peach that there's not as much 'anti Nintendo' bias in Europe as some of you believe, but for the life of me I can't understand why the 3DS is so popular here but the Wii U is still so far down the scale. Lack of advertising maybe? I dunno (I barely watch live TV anymore so I don't see many broadcast ads these days unless I go to the cinema). I do think the price has a lot to do with it....people just aren't prepared to pay over £200 for a 32gb Wii U that they only see as on a similar level to an Xbox 360 or PS3, but with less available games. I am EXTREMELY surprised by the success of the 2DS, I've heard a lot of parents talk about buying their kids one for Xmas as if all of a sudden it's fine once it hit the £100 price mark (before that, they were coming up with all kinds of lame excuses not to buy one like 'I don't like my kids having a 3D device' even though the 3D can be turned off easily and many 3DS users never use 3D anyway or pretending that they didn't think it was a good enough upgrade from the old DS to warrant a purchase). If Mario Kart doesn't cause at least a bit of a spike in Wii U sales, then I'm really not sure what will?

JaxonH

#32

JaxonH said:

No surprises here folks. We all knew 2013 wasn't exactly a booming sales year for Wii U.

JaxonH

#33

JaxonH said:

@scrubbyscum999

Keep in mind, this is only the UK, which is the worst of the Wii U markets. And even so, Wii U has closed the gap on Vita's lifetime sales with over 5 million of Vita's 7 million in just half the time, even with the worst sales year of any console to date. But all of this is just jabber for entertainment- it really means nothing.

Vita AND Wii U actually seem to be pushing through the barrier right now, mostly in Japan but the US should follow next and then Europe. Both systems have some appealing games coming this year, and I think by this holiday season both systems are going to be doing A-ok.

unrandomsam

#34

unrandomsam said:

@R_Champ They are concentrated basically on the Wii U. Look at the upcoming games list they are basically all Wii U. They have basically moved nearly all resources to Wii U. What they need is a decent amount coming out on both (Seen as 3rd parties are not making enough).

thesilverbrick

#35

thesilverbrick said:

@Peach64 Source, please? I distinctly remember an article recently which stated that the Wii's lifetime sales in Europe were recently eclipsed by The XBox 360. Your figures are either outdated or incorrect.

unrandomsam

#36

unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH Nobody I know with a Vita has bought a single game all they play is the free ones on PS+ (Which seems to be loads). The metric that should be used is overall amount of profit. Nintendo makes the lions share from every customer. Most of the money on the others is being made by EA and Rockstar.

JaxonH

#37

JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam

I can't really argue with that.

I buy Vita games, from time to time, but the last few I got I wasn't too happy with. Bought Arkham Origins Blackgate but still haven't opened it. Bought Tearaway but eh, not my style. I would actually buy tons of Vita games if they had more to buy. I pre ordered FFX/X-2, Borderlands 2, Ratchet & Clank Into the Nexus, and God of War HD Collection, but who knows when those games will ever be released, aside from FF in late March.

BlueGreen

#38

BlueGreen said:

@thesilverbrick You're confusing Europe with the U.K (you're American I presume :P).

Peach is entirely correct. The Wii U is doing badly everywhere, pretending there's some 'Nintendo-bias' exclusively in Europe is so laughable I don't know if most of you are serious. You guys accept the Wii sold well there, so surely you can see if Nintendo release an appealing product the market will buy it. The Wii U is unappealing and very few want it, so it's not selling well. Nothing more cynical than that unfortunately.

OT: Those sales in the UK are absolutely abysmal. But they have been equally abysmal in the USA, Japan and the rest of Europe. Iwata must take full responsibility for the depths he has taken this once important company into.

BlueGreen

#39

BlueGreen said:

@Laxeybobby Bad news. Those figures got adjusted and Xbox One sold more than the Wii U. It was also just one week and selling in far fewer regions than the Wii U. And I don't see how Xbox One doing awfully some how makes Wii U's dreadful performance acceptable.

Henmii

#40

Henmii said:

On a positive note: It finally surpasses the Wii!

But for the rest: Why we almost didn't hear anything about Wii u holiday sales has a reason. Nintendo's "mario 3d world plan" didn't work! It was a financial bloodbath, worldwide I guess! Hopefully Nintendo won't discontinue the console, I want to use it for another 4/5 years!!

GuruOfGreatness

#42

GuruOfGreatness said:

Oh jeez.................percentages, sale spikes, downward spirals, sales up, sales down, doom, gloom, console X owning console Y. Do we all own a Wii U here? Are we all accepting of the console that it is, rather than the console that it's not? Do we all enjoy our Wii U console and enjoy what it brings to the table, such as its incredible first party games (Mario, Zelda, Wonderful 101 etc), and major third party games (Call of Duty, Batman, Assassins Creed etc)? If that's the case, then where is the problem?

Whether it sells 20 million units worldwide in its lifetime, or 80 million, what does it matter? As long as the people that buy it enjoy it, just leave the damn thing alone. I for one LOVE my Wii U. After I got it (at launch), I sold my PS3 and 360 as they hadn't been played on in over a year, and then cancelled my PS4 order.

Would I like Wii U sales to be astronomical? Of course, but I also don't care if they're not, coz I just want to enjoy my Wii U for what it is until the end of its lifetime, despite how long this may be and how many units it managed to ship worldwide.

Sometimes, less is more anyway. N64 sold 35 million units worldwide, but was beaten by PS1 sales, yet from personal experience, friends and family, and what I've read, more people have fond memories of the classic games that it brought us than they do from the PS1.

Agent721

#44

Agent721 said:

@Haywired

True, but active 360s that work is another story. I've bought 3 360s in my life due to the Red ring of death. I kept buying them as the PS3 was much more expensive for a long time. Yet I'm one user, not 3...they truly are POS.

thesilverbrick

#45

thesilverbrick said:

@Peach64 @BlueGreen @Haywired

Sorry my reply is coming so late, but I wanted to research this thoroughly and cite my sources so as to have some credibility here.

So, I scoured the internet for the most accurate sales figures by region that I could find and while I was unable to find any current side-by-side comparisons of console sales by region, I did find some information that’s worth looking at.

The first piece of information I found came from vgcharts.com, which I admit has had a shaky reputation of reporting data in the past, but let’s take a look, anyway. This chart examined the holiday sales of the various consoles and here’s what it had to say:

In North America, there were 130,000 Wii U sales, compared to 913,000, the combined sales of the other four home consoles on the market (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One). So in North America, the Wii U accounted for 12% of all home console sales.

And over in Europe, there were 59,000 Wii Us sold, while the other four consoles sold a total of 611,000 units, meaning the Wii U accounted for only 8% of consoles sold of the holidays.

Granted, neither percentage is mega high, but you can see that people buying a home console in North America were 50% more likely to pick up the Wii U as opposed to another console.

And if you want to talk handhelds, we can do that, too. North America saw 414,000 3DSs sold and 39,000 Vitas. The 3DS, then, accounted for 91% of handheld sales.

And in Europe? 351,000 3DSs versus 67,000 Vitas, giving Nintendo 83% of the handheld market share.

So, while I have to admit that the difference is not as staggering as I had originally thought, Europe undeniably favored other consoles more than North America did this past holiday season.

But if you’re unwilling to trust vgcharts, then we could always examine the raw numbers. First of all, Wikipedia had no specific data for Europe’s Wii and Wii U sales, so I had to do a little math here, so bear with me. Wikipedia’s sales figures for the combined total of Wiis sold were 48.03 million for both North and South America and 39.52 for the rest of the world, excluding Japan. Now, the population of both Americas is 942 million. I understand that the rest of the world doesn’t all have access to Nintendo hardware, so I did Europe some favors here (even though the bulk of Central and South America doesn’t buy games, either). I left out Africa entirely, leaving only the population of Europe, Asia and Oceania. I subtracted the obvious 127 million from Japan, and even took out China’s whopping 1.35 billion residents, leaving the “rest of the world” (which Europe is part of) as 2.74 billion people.

What does this all mean? The 942 million people in the Americas bought more Wiis than the entire rest of the world, a combined total of 2.74 BILLION people. So even with the help of the entire rest of the planet (excluding Africa, China and Japan), Europe still bought less Wiis than the Americas.

And how about Wii U? The Americas bought 1.75 million, while Europe (with the help of the remainder of the planet) only bought 1.01 million.

Clearly, then, Europe is less enthused about Nintendo than North America.

And please understand that I don’t mean anything insulting by my statement. I have nothing against Europe or any Europeans. I don’t at all mean that you’re less of a Nintendo fan because you live there, either. It’s simple numbers, really. And, in fact, I salute your patronage of Nintendo even moreso, since your region isn’t as favorable to Nintendo.

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