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CNET: Uh oh: Nintendo sold 57,000 Wii U units in the U.S. in January
News reported by 
February 15, 2013, 17:25:31
Source: Link.

To put that figure into comparison, during the same period in its lifecycle, Nintendo's Wii hit 435,000 unit sales.

Nintendo's Wii U had a rough January, CNET has learned.

Nintendo sold only 57,000 Wii U units in the U.S. in January, a person familiar with NPD's game industry sales data has confirmed to CNET. The leading console maker during the period, Microsoft, sold 281,000 units in January.

Gamasutra was first to report that Wii U sales were sluggish in January. That publication's source said only that January sales were "well under" 100,000 units.

The Wii U's trouble in January stands in stark contrast to its predecessor, the Wii. In its first January on store shelves in 2007, Nintendo sold 435,000 console units.

That Nintendo is having trouble selling Wii U units is nothing new. The company's CEO Satoru Iwata last month characterized Wii U sales as "not bad." That came just days before Microsoft and Nintendo announced their console unit sales in December. During that period, Microsoft sold nearly one million more consoles.

The Wii U's troubles negatively affected Nintendo's earnings for the nine-month period ended December 31. The company said that it sold only 3 million Wii U units since its launch in November, adding that upcoming games, including new entries in the Legend of Zelda franchise, could "help Nintendo regain momentum for Wii U."

Still, that a console that has been on store shelves for just three months is selling so few units is shocking. It's something that gamers would expect from unknown game companies, but that it's a Nintendo issue, especially given its recent successes, is surprising.

CNET has contacted Nintendo for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.

Those numbers, assuming they're accurate, are appallingly bad. They're not DOOOOOOOOOOOMED bad, but they're objectively troubling as opposed to just tepid. Nintendo is going to need to take action more drastic than awesome Nintendo Directs, and Iwata needs to update his resume. If they have to price drop systems on short notice back to back, he should be out on his ass.

EDIT - assuming I'm remembering things right and the data I saw is accurate, the PS3 never had a month that bad at $600. So this isn't just rough, it's legitimately bad.

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Posted: 02/15/13, 17:25:31  - Edited by 
 on: 02/15/13, 17:40:45    
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Renjaku said:
I call hindsight BS on 'it has no games' If it was selling well everyone would be like 'as expected, NL and NSMBU are big sellers.' Their selling power are getting nerfed by the high price.
I second this sentiment. Nowadays everyone's all "Of COURSE it's not selling!! It had no killer apps!! Too expensive yada yada". It's easy to say that now, but most people predicted at least a couple of good months for the system. We haven't had a new home console in forever. NSMB sold a kajillion copies on Wii, and Nintendo Land had the potential to be (and still might turn out to be) somewhat of a killer app, as well.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 00:03:51
Yeah but I think the question is... where is that one game you can tell people to buy the system for who weren't Nintendo fans in line to buy the system already?

Even with some of my gamer friends it's tough to recommend buying the Wii U right now.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 00:27:19
Those chimps will get wii u later this year. I'm worried about the people who are total nintendo fans but didn't follow through on their impulse to get the system at launch because it was too pricey. Nintendo didn't adjust after the 3DS but the fans did.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 00:46:44  - Edited by 
 on: 02/17/13, 00:47:03
Anecdote: I just ate lunch with an old college roommate. He didn't know the Wii U was a new console.

Keep in mind, he wanted a Nintendo Direct with me about 6 months ago.

...... I have no idea how Nintendo is going to make that message any clearer.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 00:47:52
Why don't they just say it in their advertising?

The Nintendo Wii U is a BRAND NEW gaming console that...

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 00:52:01

I was thinking that the other day. "A brand new entertainment system from Nintendo."

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 01:01:12
Rebrand the damn thing. Why not?

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 01:09:01
It's funny how many people said that about the 3DS, too. I suppose they did rebrand that, somewhat, but only by stressing the point in the advertising and in the media at stores - the 3DS is NOT just another DS.

Now that the mentality has finally took hold, after nearly a year of stressing that in the advertisements, more and more people are clued up on the difference. I imagine they're doing much of the same with the WiiU's advertising, having already learned their lesson.

Of course, the actual marketing is pretty light right now, so I think that they're holding back on that front until they have a more established library, much like they did with the 3DS in Europe.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 01:21:06

This is probably my favorite post on the Wii U launch. Great work. I think I agree with almost every word.

Uh... WUL?

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 01:39:08
I was at Best Buy today - I picked up Skyfall using my xmas gift cards but I saw the Nintendo Reps there that I have delt with before. One of them, Lisa, who I've been close with for years working with her when I was at Toys R Us.

In terms of the Wii U, a few customers came in when I was talking with her and was wondering if they could get the tablet to work with other systems, like for their families XBOX or Playstation. It just goes to show how idiotic the commercials have been - Customers think it's a console add on - not a console itself. Crazy. I'm serious, someone at Nintendo marketing should hire me and fire that other guy if they can't even explain/advertise their newest console. Today wasn't the first time I've seen this happen either.

Lisa mentioned the New Fire Emblem game and I mentioned that I didn't see it on the shelves and was then told that most stores only received 3-5 copies and doesn't know when stores will get more. I told her that I downloaded the demo and have yet to play it and asked why there were so few copies being shipped and Lisa said that they are trying to push the e-shop. I was shocked - I didn't know Nintendo would be doing that - but I guess it's a good thing. I told her that I was one gamer that likes to have a game case in my hand and she agreed that most customers she has talked to around other stores like EB etc are the same way. I brought up about the Mircrosoft/Sony thing and the restrictions of used games being used by other consoles and she knew about that - just didn't know Nintendo's position on it and what they will do.

Of course, we also talked about Rayman and the delay and she was pretty ticked - most of the Wii U demos are now installed with Mario Bros now because they have been getting feedback from customers asking to play Mario for the demo. Unlike a Wii demo device, an original Wii U demo can only play Rayman so the Nintendo Reps have to bring their own Wii systems so they can demonstrate other Wii U games to customers on weekends. She said that chances will be slim that Nintendo will ever demo a 3rd party game on their system so early in a systems life cycle ever again. They got burned and they are not happy.

I'm sure the Wii U will pick up sales - but they have to get their act together. They need better marketing, and games games games. Soon. I'm personally ok with the lull... I have Xenoblade and other games to play but many people are not in my situation.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 02:13:57
@Zero Didn't the commercials begin with the line "Finally! A brand new console with a brand new controller!"?

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 03:16:47
@Mop it up Did they?

I was just at Best Buy trying to get the Layton game for 3DS which they did not have.

Anyway, so I went into the Wii U section and... the ads were just images of the controller posted all over with stuff like "the next way U will play" or whatever. There was not a SINGLE ad with the freaking console itself in it, and nothing about the ads made it clear that this is a new console.

This is an issue, methinks. Especially if people think it's just a new controller... that costs $300.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 03:39:42
I've gone over to visit my older sister and played Wii U with them a few times now and every time she's like "can we just use the Wii we have plugged in or...?" and I have to explain it's more than just the controller. Ugh, they really should have named it something else. Wii U is too close to Wii and it's being looked over by the masses.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 04:59:53  - Edited by 
 on: 02/17/13, 05:00:38
The name matters hardly at all. Because of stuff like the balance board and motion+ people just got trained to think every hardware nintendo makes is for the Wii. After all every ad shows the gamepad being used next to wii remotes (like they should).

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 05:14:24  - Edited by 
 on: 02/17/13, 05:18:14
That is true, it uses wiimotes but...I dunno. Wii HD sounds lame, Super Wii would have been better I think. It adds emphasis to something better and breaks up the word Wii by prefacing it...blah. I can't wait until the console has its system seller and all these numbers mean nothing.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 05:18:13
I actually think "Wii" was too much of a unique and phenomenal name/product. I said from day 1 they should have come up with something else, but, I also understood it's beyond any man's strength to resist that kind of brand recognition, so, yea...

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 06:28:50

While also paying homage to the SNES... yeah, I like that. Wii 2 would have also sufficed. Nothing wrong with that direct simplicity. U is just silly and confusing.

It's funny how we just went through this with 3DS, only that name was just too obvious and fitting to pass up on.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 07:22:10
Anyone surprised we haven't heard anything about the Launch Window that was so highly touted when Nintendo launched that September event? I'm not. That thing was dropped and never to be revisited again.

I will partially blame the Internet for some of this as well. The constant criticism of the system's specs and the general negativity probably turned a lot of gamers off to the idea which was only further exacerbated by very expensive retail games, lack of original software, constant delays, etc.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 07:46:48
Nintendo needs some fire under its butt as of late. Wheres my frigging Fzero Online?

devoted fans arent seeing software that is worth a console purchase IMO. also its a crap ass economy.

E3 will be very telling of nintendo's future. but in the end its all relative, hell, all three console may see a slow start but then that means the entire industry will be hurting. Testing times ahead for gaming industry.

and as far as the name goes, they should have gone with something thats simple but "new", like the Nintendo NES. Yes the Nintendo Nintendo Entertainment System. Or Just NES. and just pronounce it like NESS. i really hope they drop the Wii stuff after this gen.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 08:22:09  - Edited by 
 on: 02/17/13, 08:45:01
@TriforceBun This sums up my thoughts about this, also. I feel the Wii U is almost mimicing the 3DS launch, to a tee. A couple good Nintendo games at launch, then a large window where Nintendo hopes 3rd parties will pick up the slack, followed by disappointing (to say the least) 3rd party support. Then comes a 3d Mario, Mario Kart, and a Zelda remake, along with a possible price cut, followed by success.

But, I still don't have a 3DS. And I may not get a Wii U for a while. What am I waiting for? Games. 3DS is right on the cusp of grabbing me with the Luigi's Mansion deal. Wii U might have just sold me with Wind Waker HD, but I need to hear/see more about it first.

Posted by 
 on: 02/17/13, 16:39:08
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