News Article

Wii U Lifetime Sales in Japan Overtake the Xbox 360

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Hey, it's a landmark

At the end of 2014 we're hopeful, even optimistic, that we'll be looking at a far brighter scenario for the Wii U. We don't have the facts and figures to start talking comebacks at the time of writing, however, so are restricted to looking ahead and taking the positives that we can.

There is one, too. Earlier today we reported on the latest Media Create Japanese chart figures. Those eager beavers at NeoGaf and Eurogamer have spotted something interesting, however, and that's the fact that the Wii U has now overtaken the lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 in Japan. That's obviously an entirely separate scenario from what's feasible in the West, and it shows how far the 360 has fallen in the region that its sales of 241 units last week was actually an increase; we can't remember the last time it broke four figures. The life to date numbers for Wii U in Japan now stand at 1,643,095, a little under 1500 above Microsoft's machine. It's worth noting that if your Japanese charts allegiance is with Famitsu, this landmark would have been passed weeks ago.

Such trifling achievements will hopefully mean nothing a year from now but, at this time, we'll take it.


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User Comments (100)



64supermario said:

slow clap

Well can't say I'm too surprised. Kinda feel bad for Xbox....on second thought...



Nintend0ro said:

Cool. Wii U sales will do just fine in Japan. Nintendo's competition there will only be PS4 since XO isn't going to do well no matter what. In the West there'll be another story



Dark-Link73 said:

Not to undermine the value of this landmark but anything can surpass the XBOX 360 lifetime sales in Japan. Even the Virtual Boy could've passed that figure if given 1 1/2 years in the market, lol.



ultraraichu said:

Normally I like to be the optimistic in real and other life but I still find it a bit low in the homeland. But still, at least it's not dead last.



unrandomsam said:

There is quite a bit of Cave stuff that is only on the 360 (And only available in Japan).



yuwarite said:

If they are so fiercely patriotic and eschew the XBox, why aren't they buying more Wii U's and why are Wii U games, like Yakuza, flopping over there? Smh, Japan...



Superryanworld said:

It would seem the only succes the x1 will get will be in the us.From what I've heard the ps4 is outselling the x1 in the uk two to one,and the 100 dollar price drop on the Titan fall bundle seems to prove that.I don't think anyone expects Microsoft to top Nintendo or Sony in Japan,but I'll give ms credit for being the only American company that has been able to compete in the console business since Atari.



Hong said:

The strongest appeal XBox had in Asia is the online service is great for fighters. Now you can play most fighters on PC, and since many fighting gamers use fight sticks, their skill transfers seamlessly. Unless you are an odd one to like shooters, not much appeal left in the hardware.



crazycrazydave said:

@unrandomsam I know Cave were likely contractually obliged by Microsoft to put their games on the 360, but it still seems like a ridiculous decision to put your SHMUPs on it in the first place when it doesn't break four figures, rather than the PS3.

Anyway, at least the Wii U beat something. Let's hope it can gain some momentum once the PS4 launch period is over with.



unrandomsam said:

@Superryanworld Be interesting what MS does if their marketshare starts dropping drastically. What I think they won't do is let it go into freefall. Dunno how they will go about it though. (Think they are quite happy to use a billion or more to get it back on track).



rjejr said:

I know the Xbox360 is basically a no show in Japan, but it continues to be on sale there for 5 years, so the Wii U surpassing it in 1 1/2 years - at a time when consoles are supposed to be dead in Japan - at least means the Wii U isnt dead in Japan, its just in a brain dead coma on life support, but hey, miracles happen.

Eventually Nintendo has to get a clue and put a game people want on the Wii U. Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Monster Hunter - these are all selling well on the 3DS. Seems like they still have IP left that havent been properly utilized.



Farmboy74 said:

It's good news for Wii U, personally I will be more interested to see how much PS4 sales will tail of once the early adopters brought their machine. I read an interesting article suggesting Microsoft might even not launch Xbox1 in Japan and pull out of the market.
It also seems to me that the Japanese market is moving more away from home. Consoles and more to mobile gaming.



Capt_N said:

That's depressing news for Ms, I suppose. It just puts it in their face about their current status in that market.



Farmboy74 said:

Good point arcade gaming still very big in japan where here in the Uk it's just about died out and not like it once was in the 80's & 90's



crazycrazydave said:

@shingi_70 Cheers, always wondered why Cave shooters never appeared on PS3. Do you know why they didn't allow them to? I bet they could have sold quite a lot of their games on PS3.



Guybrush20X6 said:

Well, it's something. And to put it in perspective, this is in a sixth of the time.

All this talk of dead consoles and no one brings up the big one, Ouya. I wonder how it's doing lately...



Xjarnold said:

That's.... Impressive? Idk it seems more sad that the Xbox 360 with its 8 year headstart was overtaken by the Wii u but hey,

Its something.



bizcuthammer said:

Honestly, this shouldve happened months ago. When i lived in Japan, most people didnt have a clue what an Xbox 360 even was. Most people over there play handhelds, obviously, and so most people i knew at the time had either a DS or PSP. The 3DS came out while i was there, but it didnt really take off until shortly after i had left.

But yeah, 360 in Japan was a joke. I never even saw them in stores.



ColdingLight said:

Well, we all know the Xbox 360 sells like boxed cancer in Japan. But at the very least the Wii U doesn't seem to be dead in Japan it seems.



shingi_70 said:


Irrc it was before the indie movement and Sony didn't want smaller games not worth their time on system. Cave got the OK from Microsoft and had been on Microsoft platforms ever since.

Guys from Cave even left to form mages last year and are working on Xbox one.



Senario said:

When something outsells UK totals for the Wii U it is relevant. When the Wii U sells more than the Xbox 360 totals in Japan it is irrelevant. Thanks gaming logic!



MAN1AC said:

I assumed this had already happened, or at least thought it should have by now considering how long ago the Wii U was released. Regardless, congrats to Nintendo.



hYdeks said: in anyway is a Japanese companies new console surpassing an American console, in a market that won't usually touch american anything, a sign of anything good? If anything, it shows Nintendo doesn't even have the power to have good sales in it's own home country.

Compare PS4 to Wii U in Japan,then you would have my attention




Good maybe they will port Monster hunter 4 to the wiiu if they sell enough consoles in japan!



Yomerodes said:

That one is easy to explain, more people in this page is from UK than Japan, this site in particular is quite euro centered both in staff as in readership.



Senario said:

@Yomerodes I know that. Although it was a big story on other gaming sites at that time as well and yet for this one people ignore it.



8bitforever said:

It's stupid to consider this an achievement. The fact is WiiU will never be big in either the east or west. It was too late in the game. I love the system but the facts are the facts. PS4 will dominate Japan in the coming months. There are only two games that Nintendo has coming this entire year that are worth buying and that is Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8. I predict the 3DS version of Smash will triple the sales of the WiiU version too. 2014 is the year Nintendo stops making consoles.



SecondServing said:

@8bitforever I think Bayonetta 2 and X are worth buying. But you are right Wii U is doomed, and I think Nintendo will probably opt out of the console market.



FireHorsePrime said:

Nice optimism. But the Japanese have always favored their own products over American made. Look how many American cars are purchased in Japan in contrast to Japanese cars. This is no conquest. Not by a longshot.



Doma said:


  • Microsoft consoles have always been irrelevant in Japan.
  • Nintendo consoles have never been irrelevant in the UK.. until the WiiU.

The PS4 outselling WiiU's lifetime numbers on day one, is a hugely embarrassing and shocking thing to happen.



8bitforever said:

@SecondServing Yeah those might be the only other games worth getting. I doubt Sega will be signing any more exclusives with Nintendo after this year too. Shame too because if the WiiU had released a few years earlier we wouldn't be having these conversations.



JaxonH said:


Only 2 games worth buying is just your opinion, and not necessarily indicative of the fanbase at large. To you, there are only 2 games on Wii U coming this year worth buying. To me, and I'm sure many others, there's DKC Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, Monolith Soft's X, Super Smash Bros 4, Watch Dogs, Sonic Boom and Hyrule Warriors. That's 8 physical games I already know I'm buying day one (not to mention games like Fast Racing Neo, Shovel Knight, Scram Kitty, etc- all Nintendo exclusive), and whatever else get's announced and released before December 31st (and there's definitely more we don't know about).

That's more planned purchases that any other console I own. The best part is, many of these games coming to Wii U have longevity and/or replayability. DKC Online Time Trial Replays, Mario Kart 8 online, Smash Bros 4 online, X is sure to be 100+ hour campaign PLUS online this time, Fast Racing Neo online... that's important, at least it is to me. Many games we're getting this year aren't your typical "play and throw away" titles. Just DKC, Mario Kart and Smash alone will probably last me for many years.

You are of course free to your opinion and I'm not trying to take that away from you- I'm just reiterating that we all see things differently. Where you may only see 2 games worth buying, I see 10+. We all have different interests



Hy8ogen said:

@JaxonH Bro, why are you doing this? Don't you see people are just ignoring him? Your time is precious so don't feed the troll brother, it always works



Pichubby said:

@rjejr And all of those are must-buy series, and ones I still haven't figured out why they haven't made for the U.



MadAdam81 said:

Wii U will not be a big selling console, but neither were GameCube or N64. My guess is that it will get to GC levels, and maybe overall the Wii U and game sales will get close to breaking even. I guess that Nintendo will push it for another 3 or 4 years before bringing out it's replacement - plenty enough time to gauge what the market wants from.a console.
Nintendo's best bet with the Wii U is for Wii owners to upgrade when Wii U titles on the shelf greatly outnumber Wii titles - that alone could take 3 years or never.



divinelite said:

Well it should unlock at least a bronze trophy
why you all seems still Sad when the writer FINALLY write good news for wii u?



JaxonH said:


Wii U will last as long as every other console. Nintendo isn't desperate for money. They can and will allow the console to stay in market for the full 6 years. And yes, it will probably sell between Gamecube and N64. But, even if it doesn't, it won't matter for us anyways. We've learned from the Wii and 3DS that high sales don't bring extra games. And we've learned from N64 and Gamecube, that low sales don't stop Nintendo from bringing games. So the most important thing for us to realize, is that sales won't affect us as gamers. Either way, we won't get multiplats and we will definitely continue getting great 1st party games. As of right now, sales numbers are just bragging rights, nothing more.



Caryslan said:

@yuwarite Because most of the games that they want to play are often already on the PS3, PSP, Wii, Vita, and 3DS.

Yakuza 1 & 2 came out on the PS3 months before it arrived on the Wii U, and most of the new games in the series have been on the PS3.

The issue is that while the Wii U has games that appeal to Japanese audiences, a large portion of those games are also on the Playstation and Nintendo's handhelds as well, which does not do the Wii U any favors.



8bitforever said:

@JaxonH I would agree it does come down to personal opinion. I just don't see great future ahead and that troubles me. But at least I get to play Mario Kart 8!



Hy8ogen said:

@Doma "The PS4 outselling WiiU's lifetime numbers on day one, is a hugely embarrassing and shocking thing to happen."

Since when did the PS4 outsell the Wii U on day 1?? If you want to act smart, at least try harder. Pathetic.



JaxonH said:


Right! Personally, I just got the greatest game I've ever played, DKC Tropical Freeze. That game is all I wanted. I'm happy. MORE than happy. Well, I was already happy with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Zelda Windwaker HD and Super Mario 3D World (and some others), but now, I'm sprazzled. Yeah, I had to make up a word because language cannot fathom my satisfaction with DKC lol. Mario Kart 8 does look good too though, I must admit. First time a Mario Kart game has actually excited me. I mean, I've been a MK fan since the SNES and always enjoyed it, but MK8 is on another level



ToxieDogg said:

@JaxonH It's not the multiplatform releases that bother me though, it's just third party support full stop...any games other than first party Nintendo releases will dry up if there isn't perceived to be a market for them.

On saying that though I do mostly agree with everything you've written (and things you've written in the past) so it's all good. FAST Racing Neo and Scram Kitty are probably the 2 most interesting looking upcoming games to me on any system right now, both Nintendo exclusives. I think some people tend to forget about the Nintendo E-Shop and it's awesome selection of exclusives at times.



Hy8ogen said:

@JaxonH Exact reason why I'm getting a PS4 for multiplats. However I do not think Nintendo should take this easy. If they flop this generation, the consumers may lose faith in the Nintendo brand. Nintendo needs to step up and make sure the Wii U performs.

The game line up for 2013 is completely pathetic. I really hope they will make it up in 2014. Fingers crossed!



JaxonH said:


Ya, I'm a HUGE F-Zero fan (ever since the SNES, back before it ever got popular), so Fast NEO is the closest thing to getting a reboot. Though GX held up well over time and I still play that game to this day (AX Cup unlocked!!).

Don't forget Shovel Knight either, or the fact we're getting Mighty No 9 and Shantae Half Genie Hero in the future!



JaxonH said:

Yeah, I have a PS4 for multiplats myself, although 90% of my time is spent on Nintendo platforms, particularly Wii U. Still, PS4 is worth having for the occasional mint multiplat that drops- gotta catch em all, right?

Personally, I didn't think 2013 was that bad. First half of the year? Well, yes it was bad (although we did get MH3U which has turned out to be my favorite game ever, second only to the new DKC game). There weren't as many games released last year, but the ones that did drop were really, really good. Same for 3DS> it really didn't get many games last year, but Fire Emblem Awakening, DKC Returns 3D and Zelda Link Between Worlds was the 1-2-3 triple knockout punch. Man those were some great games!



unrandomsam said:

@ToxieDogg Not the same quality. The Gamecube had 3rd party exclusives (Or the original version or a really good port) that were as good or better than what Nintendo were making but just in a wider selection of genres. (e.g I prefer Rogue Squadron 2 to Starfox Assault) and Nintendo made stuff with a more reasonable challenge.) Probably need 10 modern Nintendo games to fill up the same timeframe as 2 or 3 Gamecube ones. (I am not bothered about collectables 95% of the time).



Doma said:

@Hy8ogen If you bothered to follow what was being said, you'd have realized i was talking about sales in the UK. The statement is true.
Let's not with insults please — TBD



Hy8ogen said:

@Doma Still incorrect. The PS4 outsold the Wii U in 2~3 days.
Please knock it off with the insults, none of this was necessary — TBD



Hy8ogen said:

@JaxonH Yea thank god for MH3U. I've put 300++ hours into that game. I really hope the 4U comes to Wii U!!

I'm still on the fence about DKCTF.....I heard rave reviews everywhere but I just can't be convinced that it is better than SMB...



ToxieDogg said:

@unrandomsam If I like the game, then I'm quite happy to hammer it for collectibles...I've 100%'d the single player element of Assassin's Creed 4 (including all the Abstergo Challenges as well, asides from one). Likewise, I think DKCR Tropical Freeze is great (better than the original DKCR even) and I'll likely put the time into unlocking as much as I can in that (same as I've done with Super Mario 3D World). Generally though, once I've played through the main stages and finished the story, unlocking the extras is just something I come back to now and again in between other games and won't keep me entertained for extended periods at a time so I do need other games to keep me engaged in the meantime. Fully agree with you about Rogue Squadron 2, I thought it was much better than Starfox Assault (which I felt was a massive disappointment asides from how nice the visuals were).



WingedSnagret said:

Good news, until you realize that it took almost a year and a half for this "milestone" to come about.

But good news overall, I guess...



JaxonH said:

It's better.

If you've played the original DKC games, you already know how amazing they are. But you really need to play Returns if you want to understand what kind of game Tropical Freeze is. Returns had it's own distinct flavor, and imo was much better than the original three- no small feat. Tropical Freeze is utterly fantastic- but do know that it's a hard game. Don't go into it treating it like SMB, because you'll find yourself wrecked pretty fast if you do.

The best thing about DKC games (and there's only 2 of them aside from the oldies) to me is collecting the KONG letters and puzzle pieces. Each stage has a K-O-N-G, usually in plain sight but difficult to reach. It takes skill. There are 5, 7, and sometimes 9 puzzle pieces per stage, and those are hidden and rewarded in secret bonus rooms. I also like the time trials now- this game allows you to upload a video of your run online, and you can view videos of global top ranking runs or videos of your friends' time trial runs. Pure awesome, cause this game is super hard to begin with, but doing it in time trials where you're hustling to get done as fast as possible becomes a true art in and of itself. The faint hearted need not apply.



CrispyGoomba said:

It's funny to see comments that say something along the lines of "Here comes the people saying the Wii U is doomed." After reading through the majority of these comments, no one ever mentioned it was doomed. However, they are implying that this should not be an accomplishment to be very proud of.

On the subject of Wii U sales in Japan, this is just me talking. These past few weeks it has been doing around 8k and I can't see the Wii U selling more than that until Mario Kart 8 comes out. Which will be in May. That's a three month drought! What the hell were they thinking? Every week from now on, the Wii U sales will slower dip down a couple hundred and before you know it, it will be below 3k. Of course, this is just me guessing, but I really don't see eShop titles bringing in the crowd. Yeah, you have the GBA games and NES Remix 2 in April, but no one will be interested in those enough to buy a system.

Just a little side note, I want to thank Nintendo for slowly releasing virtual console games. I used to buy them digitally, but now I just can't handle the wait. So, I've actually started collecting. I've started with Game Boy games and will move onto Color games when I'm through with the games that I would like to have.

This was fun typing all of this out, I should do it more often.



Metal_Slugger said:

The Wiiu is the best gaming console/device/computer/electronic toy I've bought since the 70's, and its just the beginning to the greatness to come.



Vincent294 said:

Good to hear, but I feel this was a attempt to garner fanboyism. Can you guys please be less biased. Let's face it, Nintendo is in a rut, what does it take for them to get out and have Gamecube-like success? I'd say unified network accounts on Wii U & 3DS (full implementation) & more games (3rd party support as well).



AVahne said:

If this had happened 8 months ago, then this would've been an achievement. As it stands right now, it's just sad. For both consoles.



Windy said:

Well we can gloat all we want too. Fact of the matter is the 360 is a better system right now than the Wii-U. Better games, better online, way better. It just shows the Japanese being faithful to the products of their country is all. Its going to be a while before the wii-u is a better system than the 360 if even ever.



yuwarite said:

@Caryslan So why is Persona 5 not announced for Wii U? Why is Dark Souls 2 not coming to Wii U, yet coming to 360? If Wii U is Japan's no. 2 HD console, why are Japanese developers not supporting it more? (I probably know the answer to all of these, just curious to see your response)



withoutdk said:

i still want a wii u 2... almost all games have lags ... even the Nintendo ones... NFS MW U... is probably the worst... but still... if they made a powermachine... i would be grateful... the wii u is powerful yes... but it should not lag... at least not in 1st party games!




The only reason the xbox brand doesn't do well in japan is because it's an american product.



GunstarHero234 said:

@yuwarite Don't know why Dark Souls 2 isn't coming to the Wii U but I know Persona Series isn't coming because the title been on PS systems for years which Nintendo had most of the Shin Megumi Tensei Series. I been buying persona series since the first on PSX and the 3DS version which i'm not impressed of is your first spin off Persona title for the system so I have to agree with caryslan.



Alucard83 said:

Good for Nintendo . I bought WII U system yesterday. Will get it in a few hours . Got the bundle of new mario + luigi U. Just also got Legend of Zelda windwaker HD retail. Now with the upcoming games it's worth to get this system





It's a great system dude, well done. Get yourself DK tropical freeze, Zombi u, and lego city udercover and you'll be having a lot of fun for quite some time.



Jazzer94 said:

This is like the equivalent of shooting the first enemy in a COD game aka a throw away achievement worth very little.



unrandomsam said:

@withoutdk How do you know it is not a combination of the Gamepad and your TV ? (As far as I can tell it is impossible to get below 3 frames of latency - when 2 is what you want. Even if the TV is 2 then the Gamepad when it doing anything adds another one)



Alucard83 said:

just got the update. Charging the gamepad now and then i will try New Mario bros U. I also forgot that i got for free Assasin creed 3 with this bundle. A great time to get a console.



RancidVomit86 said:

The last shocking news story ever? Possibly yeah. Microsoft really just needs to tell the Japanese to bugger off just like they have done to them.



yuwarite said:

@GunstarHero234 But if Japan is one of the biggest markets for Persona, wouldn't it make business sense to also have it on the no.2 best selling HD console there?



GunstarHero234 said:

@yuwarite Actually yes but think about this though was any of the Persona series on XBOX systems no. I know you want the Wii U to do better but in ATLUS position they just wouldn't want to take a risk putting the title on the Wii U console which majority of the Nintendo fanbase except probably japan that hardly played or know about the series and probably won't buy it.

That's why in reality ATLUS are testing the waters with the 3DS version of the game even though majority of you never played Persona 3 nor 4 to see how many of you would be excited to buy it. If successful probably the NEXT persona would come to the Wii U but this just my analogy to this situation.



Gashole said:

Makes sense, considering the Wii U is one generation behind the latest systems! ()

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