Nintendo's latest financial results demonstrate strong sales for the Switch, despite a 20% drop YoY as a result of semiconductor shortages. With a total of 107.65 million Switch units sold, the console is inching ever closer to the lifetime sales of the Game Boy and the Nintendo DS.
Just to highlight its success even further, Switch hardware sales have now surpassed Wii U software sales. That's right; as pointed out by the Nintendo Life alumni and all-round good egg Jon Cartwright on Twitter, there are now more Switch consoles out in the wild than there are Wii U games. That's wild.
Of course, the Wii U had a rough ride when it launched globally back in 2012. The console had reached a total of 13.56 million units sold during its lifetime, the lowest of Nintendo's core console line-up. Major third-party publishers, including Ubisoft and EA, started scaling back support for the console in 2013, less than a year after its release.
What do you make of this comparison? It definitely highlights both the Switch's success and the Wii U's failure pretty directly. Share your thoughts in the comments below!
[source nintendo.co.jp, via twitter.com]
Still love my Wii U, so much so I bought a new Xenoblade LE console for back up when they were clearing them out.
Under appreciated console.
I love my Switch but Wii U versions of certain games with brilliant use of the gamepad just can't be beat.
Sue me but I want a color splash port for the switch, I loved that game!
@Olliemar28 you say 3DS, but I think you mean DS. Nintendo has outsold the 3DS for a while now.
That's got to be the most depressing stat ever. The poor Wii U is just getting kicked while it's down.
@Moonlessky Me too. It indeed is a good game if you don't have this "Not like PM1&2 = bad" mindset
Got WiiU a day early and loved every minute with it. Absolutely wonderful console and loved use of the gamepad in certain games.
So many games were made better by that Wii U game pad.
I thoroughly enjoy the Switch but a console that mimicked the DS was a phenomenal idea and I wish it had been more successful.
My only complaint with the Wii U was the low quality display of the game pad. That’s it. I even liked daydreaming about it being actually portable, lol
I still play my Wii U to this day.
The best party games are on Wii U. Game & Wario, Nintendo Land, Wii Party U etc.
Breath of the Wild is technically another WiiU to Switch port. Deal with it.
Well that's certainly rather embarrassing for the Wii U.
Glad Nintendo learned from some of it mistakes console wise at least. Their online "experience" is still in the Wii/Wii U era (even further behind in some aspects) and has no sign of joining the times soon.
And yet 5 years later the switch probably has more Wii U ports than new Nintendo titles. Glad to see everyone take notice of what they did with the Wii U at least.
@LP09 It’s Nintendo’s fault, though. They didn’t know what they wanted to do with the system. If it had launched with Splatoon and Mario Maker and they continued to make compelling software, it probably would have done far better
Elden Ring is technically a PS4/Xbox One to PS5/Xbox Series port. Deal with it.
Sweet Jesus, the switch is unstoppable
@roboshort Pacing of releases was Wii U's biggest problem, for example the first Nintendo release post-launch was the NSMBU DLC in June 2013 (7 months after launch) and there were similar droughts (though shorter) throughout the Wii U's lifespan. Switch probably wouldn't have been anywhere as successful as it was if it wasn't for the combo of BotW at launch and MK8 Deluxe a month later.
@Freek yes, the Wii U is a great console.
Yeah, the Wii U was such a gem of a console, but sadly it was far too weak for its time. If only it had had somewhat better specs, I think the console would have performed better. But the biggest mistake was its name, with so many people thinking it was an upgrade for the Wii or something. None of my non-gamer connections knew exactly what it was and I had to explain it to them. No wonder it performed so poorly.
The Wii U was a great console. Had a number of duds for games but some classics as well.
I love the Wii u. I’ve actually spent more time replaying games on the Wii u this year
I hooked up my Wii U six months ago to play Super Paper Mario and quit playing at about the same point when I tried playing it on Wii.
The Wii U was a lot of fun. Played a lot of Splatoon and Mario Kart 8, good times.
Sheikah Slate should had been implemented as obviously desired from the beginning, and BotW should had been released at least 2 years sooner. Then Wii U would have succeeded.
Was the Wii U flawed? Yes. Still, it brought us some excellent games (most of which were ported to Switch), backwards Wii compatibility, and a decent Virtual Console.
@Clark2k Nah, the Wii U failed directly after it's release. If Nintendo would've released BotW sooner it would've failed just as much.
Releasing BotW directly with the Switch was what gave the Switch it's initial launch boost. And then it was just for Nintendo to keep that momentum. Which they did and that made the Switch the success it is today. An early BotW release might have doomed the Switch.
WiiU was by far the most disappointing console Nintendo has ever released. They screwed up badly with the marketing, but the console was also very lackluster. Weak, ugly and by far the worst software lineup of almost any other console.
@Pillowpants specs wasn’t so much the issue as it was Nintendo providing horrible support for it. Developers didn’t know what to do with it… Nintendo was much the same way. If they would have had the Gamepad figured out, plus utilizing every ounce of that glorious PowerPC 750 chip, the story would have been different.
Sadly, Sony and Microsoft both ditched PowerPC and went over to X86 to make game design easier. PowerPC powered the 7th generation of consoles, but there’s a reason why Apple switched to Intel in 2005 and left the alliance. These changes didn’t help the Wii U at all. To make it worse, IBM abandoned PowerPC in the mid 2010s and made it open source hardware.
Thankfully, Nintendo moved fully over to an Arm SOC with the Switch and has their choice of companies beyond NVIDIA if they choose so.
Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those ideas come back in the future. Arm is an extremely flexible RISC based system, some of those Wii U features could come back… a TV-only, Shield-type device, would be required to make it work with the hybrid and Lite systems.
I liked Wii U, but Switch is so much better in terms of the metric that matters: software. Switch games are just overall better than the games on Wii U, imo.
@Cheez What the hell are you even saying. There are 10 or 11 Wii U ports and over 50 other Nintendo published games on the Switch. Nonsensical hyperbole like that is ridiculous.
@ShadowofTwilight22 Just bad selling, not necessarily so bad that it's broken. The Wii U is actually more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 by that point, it's only failure was cause of its confused marketing tactics, expensive price tag, and complicated development hardware for dev. For keeping backwards compatibility, the Wii U's price had to spike up a bit then they also had to deal with persuading the consumers that the system is a successor and not another model which they failed to do and also had to work with third parties to get games to the system. Any third parties they don't work with had no clue how to make games for it and Nintendo could only reach out to so few.
Other mistakes includes continuing to region lock games, censorship on most titles, performance issues on some games, lack of innovation, less use of the tech of the GamePad, the GamePad itself was rarely ever sold separately from the console making it a rare and expensive item to rebuy if yours ever get busted or damage. Not many games take advantage of the GamePad and to those that did only one player who had the GamePad ever feel any kind of innovation from it as the rest had to use pro controllers or Wii remotes to play. Also re-releasing the same games on Virtual Console to Wii U's own VC is kinda stupid too, they could had easily just let players transfer them to be updated instead of having to pay a price to do it which nobody care to do.
Now that the eShop is about to close, I think I'm playing more on the Wii U (and the 3DS for that matter) now than on the Switch.
The following is my opinion, not a fact. (sorry, but it had to be pointed out in case flaming ensues)
Yes, there may be more Switches than Wii U games, but no, the Switch is not a better console than the Wii U, hardware-wise.
Once the portability (an aspect I don't particularly care about) and detacahable controls novelty wears off, it's nothing really special.
And no, I'm not saying this as a means to defend the Wii U, I have some issues with the Switch that are sometimes overlooked, aside from Joy-Con drift.
I like the Switch, but it's far from being one of my favorite systems.
@HammerGalladeBro Can you elaborate what makes the Wii-U better hardware than the Switch? My mind does not comprehend that in any aspect.
Is this 'random',
or in fact rather predictable?
It does rather feel like kicking something when it’s down by this stage but the Wii U was a huge disappointment. You can see the difference between that and Switch in the sales-with the Wii U Nintendo got nearly everything wrong, with Switch they got nearly everything right.
I love my Wii U but it is gathering dust. It has a fair few games downloaded onto it that are important to me though. I may well have to pack it up though! I loved the console in its time and well, now, as well.
That may be a tongue in cheek comment but the ratio of Wii U ports to other Nintendo games on the Switch really isn’t close. It’s nearly 5 to 1 in favour of non-Wii U games.
@Cheez Dude what? what you just said there makes no sense at all.
@kal_el_07241 I'm not really saying the Wii U's hardware is better, though. Just that I'm not a big fan of the Switch hardware. I apoligize for not wording it correctly.
I'm not a tech expert so I'm going over the issues I have with the Switch in general.
-The aforementioned Joy-Con drift.
I have experienced this and thankfully could solve it. Unfortunately, my nephew's pair didn't have the same luck, despite doing the same deep cleaning I did with mine.
-In regards to my nephew's Switch, he mostly plays handheld due to a power issue he had with his dock during a thunderstorm (that's on him). Sometimes his Switch doesn't recognize attached Joy-Cons. I don't know if that's a consequence of that or not. Mine hasn't had that problem, though.
His Switch is a 1.0 from 2018 and mine is a 1.1 from 2019.
-Sometimes when I play on Switch, particularly Smash Bros. Ultimate, the game crashes for no reason during normal gameplay or when I close the game. On the Wii U I also had crashes, but it was mostly when I was glitching a game.
The wifi signal on the Switch, despite being a hybrid, is one of the worst I've seen in any device. Modem's in another room, so if I want to download something, I have to take the system to another room. None of my other systems make me do that.
Add the fact that this time it costs money to play online (not in all games, but for the ones I own I have to pay).
Inserting microSD cards. This one is probably minor and it could be happening only to me (I haven't seen reports of this happening), but it really feels like a pet peeve of mine.
When I remove a microSD card to back up stuff on my computer and want to insert it again, the system turns itself on and prompts me to reset it because apparently I'm inserting/removing the card while the system is on despite the fact I do that when it's off, not even in sleep mode.
I also don't like how to turn off the system you have to hold the power button for a couple of seconds only to be sent to a menu that prioritizes sleep mode. I'm more likely to turn it off than leaving it on sleep mode, particularly these days when I'm playing more on the Wii U and the 3DS.
I know I'm probably nitpicking, that's why I clarified it was my opinion, not a fact.
I still game on my Wii U very often. I like to play games like Yoshi's Wooly World and Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush.
@NinChocolate Definitely agree there. After playing Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush on Wii U recently I couldn't help but notice just how bad the picture quality of the Tablet was when compared to my TV. Such a shame they didn't fine tune it more.
Ah, the Wii U. A very very under appreciated console.
Just shows how poorly nintendo handled the wii u. A better machine in my eyes and comparable power wise to the switch. For me it's telling that the best games on the switch are basically the best games that were on the wii u ( barring odyssey)
@Slowdive 3rd party support is piss poor on the switch too though... unless your referring to the mountain of shovelware on the switch store?
It had a lot of problems, but the main issues were lack of marketing, lack of product differentiation from previous generation, but mostly bad timing with the advent of mobile gaming. The game pad actually solved a big problem in most households by freeing up a screen, but people did want to be tethered….I still love the system tho.
I still have my Wii U, don't really use it anymore but having it around is handy when I want to play Wii games or GBA virtual console games. It still has exclusives like the HD Zelda's (for now at least) and Xenoblade Chronicles.
@BTB20 @RubyCarbuncle @electrolite77 10 or 11. Breath of the wild, MK8, Pokken Tournament, Bayonetta 2, DKTF, Hyrule Warriors, Captain Toad, NSMBU Deluxe, Tokyo Mirage sessions, Pikmin 3.... and that gets us to the end 2020. So, yeah I guess if you ignore the last 2 years of ports there's just 10 or 11. Of course this ignores 3DS, Wii, DS ports and remakes. And I will concede that technically MK8 isn't a port because it says Deluxe, and same with Pikmin 3, and Super Mario Brothers U. But If I showed them running side by side on a TV few would be able to tell the difference.
Yes, it was a little tongue in cheek But look at the first 5 games. 12Switch, BOTW, MK8, Arms, and Splatoon 2. So 2 of 5 Wii U ports, and some say that Splatoon was killed just so they could push Splatoon 2 which essentially just had content already planned for Splatoon on Wii U. Next a Wii U port, then another new game. So at the end of the first year it was pretty much 1 to 1 Wii U port to new game, but everyone acted like the Switch had so many games and the Wii U had nothing and that's why it failed.
It’s definitely helped the Switch, along with being better hardware, portable and having better support from Nintendo.
Nintendo learned from their mistakes and made the Switch easy to develop for. That led to the Indie community jumping on board and then the bigger third parties. The Dooms, Diablo 3, Witcher 3, Skyrim, Fortnite, Rocket League, Dark Souls, DQ11S, Monster Hunter, various Assassins Creed, FF, Resident Evil games etc really flesh out the library
Since the end of 2020 Nintendo have put out one Wii U port (Mario 3D World), along with two NES remakes (the Famicom Detective games), a 3DS port (Miitopia), a remake of a GBA game (Pokemon), whatever Mario Party is and 2 from the Wii (though I’m not sure where Switch Sports really falls, it’s certainly not a straight port). They’ve put out 9 new games in the same timeframe.
By my reckoning they’ve put out 74 Switch games. 13 are Wii U ports (including Bayonetta 1). 2 are simultaneous releases with the 3DS. 8 are remakes/remasters from other systems.
@electrolite77 We also must make sure to ignore games that were published by Nintendo for the Wii U, but by other companies for the Switch. Games like Wonderful 101, Lego City Undercover among others. Ignoring games like that, and ignoring a couple other games, it's definitely closer to 13 out of 74. Not ignoring games like that puts you closer to 20 of 74 or around 25% of Nintendo Switch games are actually Wii U games in disguise. But I'll concede that if we don't count any deluxe, DX, definitive editions, etc. we'd be closer to 5 out of 74, or less! And technically Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is different though it shares the same name and 95% of the same levels.
Nintendo didn't publish them games on the Switch though, so I didn't include them. If you were you'd have to increase that 74 number. I've also carefully left out stuff like Go Vacation and Bravely Default 2 which Nintendo published on the Switch in some regions and would take the total over 80. It gave me a bit of a headache if I'm being honest
Poor Wii U. I still treasure my Wii U regardless, a great console for me personally.
@ShadowofTwilight22 If you think that the Wii U is worse than the Virtual Boy and Sega Saturn, what are you on?
@westman98 Wasn’t calling BOTW a bad game, it is definitely one of my favorites, just wanted to point out that most of the best first party games on switch are Wii U ports…
@electrolite77 Ha yeah. So they are Nintendo published games on the Wii U that were ported to the Switch making them games previously known as Nintendo published games on the Wii U but now on Switch. Or something like that. Please don't get me started on Games published by Nintendo in other regions... Shovel Knight. I guess at least it got the Amiibos too? Another innovation from the Wii U that I love.
@Deljo really? The Wii U? Versus a Nintendo Switch? First off, the Switch, even from a hardware standpoint, is superior to the Wii U.
The Tegra SOC was introduced in 2015, but the PowerPC chip the Wii U was using was first introduced in 1997. Apple deployed the chip in their Macs, it was used in the original iMac as well. IBM had made changes to the 750, but it was third generation CPU hardware trying to compete with AMD’s Jaguar APU was painfully outmatched. Especially, since the Radeon GPU Nintendo chose to run, was apparently TerraScale hardware that was developed by ATi before AMD had purchased it. TerraScale 2 specifically, which was released around 2007 or 2009. Xbox One and PS4 were running on Graphic Core Next, which AMD began the transition shortly before or after the Wii U was released. So, Nintendo had IBM and AMD making custom hardware on older chipsets and graphic cores.
Whereas the NVIDIA Tegra was launched in 2015, plus designed with consumer electronics in mind along with a 7nm SOC process. The Wii U was 45nm. To give you some context, Sony and Microsoft’s PowerPC consoles were all largely based on the 970 chip, which Apple had called the G5 before switching to Intel. The PowerPC 750 was called the G3 by Apple, which they had moved on fully by 2003.
In short, no, the 750 and TerraScale are NOT better than Tegra. The Wii U board has more separation between memory and storage than the Switch. Whereas the CPU and GPU are married into a single SOC on the Tegra.
I don't care what anyone says, I absolutely love my WiiU. OK maybe it wasn't Nintendo's best system but it paved the way for the Switch. Who knows what would have happened if we didn't have the U.
@HotGoomba well said. I was lucky enough to get a Virtual Boy. Never officially released here in the UK. But I still loved it. Sega Saturn & even the Dreamcast are not a patch on the U
I wonder how many have debated against that.
Tell that to the Wii U games that succeeded as ports on the Switch than any game original to the Switch, particularly Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild.
Nintendo Switch is living proof that the Nintendo Wii U is the best ever console since all of the Switch's best games are Wii U games😉
Plus Wii U is the prototype Switch without it the Switch would of never even happened in the first place
@Madao oof seems you have poor taste
There's a difference between a low selling console and a bad console
@ModdedInkling yea that amazing lineup of 2 games. One being a multiplatform release, you sure got me there. The WiiU had more or less 10 good games, which is the poorest out of possibly every console. It was also the console where Nintendo put the least effort they have ever put before, developing and publishing shovelware like amiibo festival and devil's third. While also having insane game drought most of the time.
@NinTasha whatever helps you sleep at night bud
@ShadowofTwilight22 I don't know. If you are including Sega than you have to add the Saturn to this list. Sega had to put in a second chip set because the console wasn't designed for 3D gaming. The XBox 360 was also a terrible console. Failure rate for the hardware was estimated to be around 20%. It was by FAR the worst console hardware ever made. If you are only talking about sales numbers, then the Sega Master System would have to be included.
While I love my wii U. This is a further nail in its already over nailed coffin. The console itself was great. The marketing, message, name,launch titles and of course the huge software droughts and third party lack of support etc just well seemed everything that could go wrong happened (or was done wrong ).
Absolute opposite of the Wii and it made the N64 and Gamecube days game droughts look better by comparison. Only the 3ds turnabout and Nintendo deep pockets stopped it being Nintendos Dreamcastlike swansong, it really was their sega satarn where left them badly needing a hit afterwards luckily Switch is a massive success.
Oh yeah, it gets complicated. That’s why I had to caveat it with ‘by my reckoning’ and just pick a criteria. It’s like walking through a minefield in clown shoes. But you can say that roughly a quarter to a third of their games are ports/remasters, and about a sixth are direct Wii U ports. That’s quite a lot, but probably not that much more than say, the Wii. They’ve always been enthusiastic recyclers of content.
Agree with the Saturn comparison. That’s the other case study in how not to design/launch/market/handle a Games system. Only difference is Sega were financially on the brink in 98-99 while Nintendo are a very well run company with big cash reserves.
@ShadowofTwilight22 The Virtual Boy can play games, and it has a controller, so I don't understand how that's not a console. Do you mean home console? It's barely portable either, and either way, it still counts.
Also both the Wii U and the Saturn had a good amount of decent games, it's just that the Saturn didn't have as much.
Don't even mention Sonic R, that game is awful.
@ShadowofTwilight22 Mario Kart 8, Splatton, Mario Maker, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Captain Toad, Mario 3D World, and Smash Bros.4 were piddling titles? Hell, they still haven't made a better Mario Kart.
@ShadowofTwilight22 We're referring to the Wii U games before Switch released. In fact, if it wasn't for the Wii U, we wouldn't have most of these games, or even the switch.
And you can't hate Smash 4 on Wii U just because 3DS wasn't as good. It's like hating Witcher 3 for PS4 because the Switch version is lower quality.
Also the Wii U has Virtual Console while the Switch doesn't, soooooooo.
Wiiu is still my favorite console. Switch fixed the things I disliked about handhelds but wiiu had (for me) the better gameplay concept. Gamepad is still an awesome controller.
@ShadowofTwilight22 I think we should stop, arguing about a dead console (factually) isn't worth it anymore.
Let me rephrase myself. Particularly, but not exclusively, Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8. The Wii U had garbage cash grabs like amiibo Festival, but then you have games like Splatoon, which ironically was Nintendo's most successful new IP that managed to hit the mainstream.
There's games like Xenoblade Chronicles X, which really threw the series in an experimental, but fun phase. Consider the party games, Nintendo Land and Wii Party U, which both emphasized the Wii U's capabilities of having some of the best party games (if you're about to say Mario Party, I would argue that Switch fell under the same trap).
Need I remind you, we were generous enough to avoid bringing up legacy content and remasters. I don't need to tell you how the Wii U was the best way to access numerous classics without going through the hoops of personal emukation.
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