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CNET: Uh oh: Nintendo sold 57,000 Wii U units in the U.S. in January
News reported by 
Contributor
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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@ludist210 But MH3U at least had a feature over the other version of the game with the online mode, the Wii U version of DQX is the exact same as the Wii version but with higher resolution textures. So I don't see it being a system-seller. It'd be even less so in North America, even Final Fantasy XI barely sold anything in NA and that's a much more popular name than Dragon Quest. The only way DQX would have a chance in NA is if they overhauled the game and it didn't carry a subscription fee.


Posted by 
 on: 02/18/13, 22:59:54
@Mop it up

Off-TV play, orchestrated music, and easier inventory management sound like new features to me...

And if it were to launch in North America, there's a chance it could remove the subscription fee. They did that with the original Monster Hunter Tri.


Posted by 
 on: 02/18/13, 23:04:58
@ludist210 The first and third thing you mentioned don't change anything about the game, so I don't count those as new features. I didn't know they changed the music though, that's interesting.

The problem is that if they wanted to drop the sub fee then they'd have to change the game to a setup more like Monster Hunter. It would be too costly to run dedicated servers at no charge, so they'd have to remove the MMO part and then make designated meeting places like in Monster Hunter and have only four players at a time, or whatever the max party size is in DQX. I have no idea how easy it would be to change the game like that, it may not be worth the effort for a game with low sales potential. But I hope it happens because I'd like to play the game, though I wouldn't buy it if it had a sub fee.


Posted by 
 on: 02/18/13, 23:34:23
I dunno if Nintendo (or Square) has considered this, but instead of charging a subscription fee they should borrow from the f2p model and have microtransactions involved. Would be much more appealing to the western audience.


Posted by 
 on: 02/18/13, 23:38:02
...how were 281,000 XBOXs sold in January????

I have NO IDEA how this stuff happens. The numbers sound FAKE.
Who is buying an XBOX --
NOW???


Posted by 
 on: 02/19/13, 02:26:00
the people who don't know the new one is coming out in less then 10 months haha. Theres a lot of great games to play on the system, and its cheaper then ps3....I think. Wii U doesn't have the games yet, but it will. Then watch out. Unless ps4 and 720 are THAT awesome


Posted by 
 on: 02/19/13, 02:50:29
Mr_Mustache said:
...how were 281,000 XBOXs sold in January????

I have NO IDEA how this stuff happens. The numbers sound FAKE.
Who is buying an XBOX --
NOW???


I also don't really get the sales spike the 360 has enjoyed the past year and a half either. It's an odd time in the lifespan of the console to be putting up big numbers like that.


Posted by 
 on: 02/19/13, 05:47:06
I think it's mostly Call of Duty being to the 360 what Monster Hunter was to the PSP in Japan.


Posted by 
 on: 02/19/13, 05:57:45
Nintendoomed confirmed.

Although in all honesty, Nintendo has no one to blame for themselves. It's amazing how they've managed to completely mishandle the release of two consoles in as many years. They seem to actively be trying to compete with Sony in that department. Get your kit out to developers with enough time! Promote your product! *Sigh* anyway I'm sure it'll pick up eventually.


Posted by 
 on: 02/19/13, 07:01:46
Mr_Mustache said:

Who is buying an XBOX --
NOW???

People without unlimited budgets. Now is a great time to buy a 360, because you can get one cheap plus a TON of great games also for cheap. Late into a console cycle is the best time to buy, in my opinion. I just can never wait that long. :P

I remember we got out PS2 very, very late, and it was GREAT because everyone was trading in all their stuff in preparation for the new consoles. :)


Posted by 
 on: 02/20/13, 19:26:27
@-JKR-

This. I bought my PS3 two years ago when I had $100 off (so a slim 160 GB for $200) and got six games at launch for something around $100, and one of those games was LittleBigPlanet 2 at $60.


Posted by 
 on: 02/20/13, 20:58:04
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