Just How Tepidly Is Wii U Selling?

Have any of you purchased a Wii U? I can’t imagine that’s bloody likely, particularly if (as we must assume), you’ve already invested in a decent PC rig, but perhaps you have. The question on my mind is, how many of you have? Because comments by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata suggest that demand for the new console might not be as strong as they’d like, even if they’re talking a good game.

Speaking to Reuters, Iwata said that “at the end of the Christmas season, it wasn’t as though stores in the U.S. had no Wii U left in stock, as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom. But sales are not bad, and I feel it’s selling steadily.” Notably, he did not release any actual sales figures, so we just have to take him at his word that Wii U is selling pretty well. Consider me skeptical, incidentally, if only because of what he also said. “It was the first time Nintendo released two models of the game console at the same time … and I believe there was a challenge with balancing this. Specifically, inventory levels for the premium, deluxe package was unbalanced as many people wanted that version and couldn’t find it,”

I suspect Wii U is struggling. If it weren’t, we’d know precisely how many units have been sold because they’d be bragging about it to everyone. They aren’t, and that suggests they’re probably sweating things a bit. But what did they expect? Wii U doesn’t really have very many decent games and those that are truck either in nostalgia for the era when we all loved Nintendo along with episodes of The Adventures of Pete and Pete, or in base approximations of games we like better elsewhere.

Yes, this could change, but the fact that in 2013 the system will feature a ton of games already out on other consoles in some cases since 2011, with not many new AAA announced, suggests it’ll be a long time before the system is worth shelling out for. And that doesn’t even get into the fact that, incredible sales aside, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Wii oversaturated the market, and did so while at the same time having no good games. People eventually realized that and stopped playing it. I’m guessing any reticence to purchase Wii U comes from he fear it’s going to be a much more expensive trip through shovelware paradise.

I’m not sure I ever will want to buy Wii U, and especially not at the current price. But if you have, I’d love to know if you – or your kids? – even like it. Sound off in comments.

Via Kotaku.

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5 Comments on Just How Tepidly Is Wii U Selling?


On January 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

I didnt buy one and will only consider it once pikmin 3 is released. Even then ill probably just watch a playthrough on youtube or something


On January 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

I bought a Wii-U day one with Black Ops 2. It takes me about 10 – 15 minutes to find a lobby with more than 5 players in it. I think the last pop check was like 1200 users or something like that.


On January 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

Oh, I’ll eventually get it. I just can’t help myself. But, I keep pushing it off. I’m expecting there to be a significant price drop, just as with the 3DS.


On January 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

There is only one thing that could get me to buy a Wii U, and that is the anouncement of Eternal Darkness 2.

This will never happen as whoever owns the IP now apperantly has a crippling fear of wealth and success.


On January 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

Have one, and I’m having fun with it. Picked up a couple games over the christmas season that I’m having fun with (I’m noticing some games are better suited to playing while the tv is being hogged by yet another boring home buying show, and some are better to wait til I can claim it for myself which is interesting to see), and I still have some wii games to play through that I haven’t finished yet that I can play through when I need a break from the new stuff.

Don’t really get all the hate for the wii honestly. Did it have a problem with shovelware? Absolutely, and I hope that’s better dealt with this time around. But it’s not like there were no good games for the system either. I got several shelves worth of games for the wii, both 1st and 3rd party, that I enjoyed playing. And I expect that the Wii U will be able to do the same.

I also found the comment about not getting a Wii U because of having a PC interesting, as I rather have the opposite stance there. I have a decent gaming computer, and it’s why I went with the wii/wii U over the Xbox and PS3. A good PC does the same games as an Xbox (with a couple exceptions) and I don’t need to pay a seperate fee just to play online. PS3, after counting out the games I could play on my PC, simply didn’t have enough left to justify me picking it up. The Wii on the other hand had games that I wouldn’t be able to play on my PC, and still interested me. Some of them used the motion functions well (Trauma Center, and Metroid Trilogy comes to mind immediately), and some did well without (Brawl, Last Story jumping to mind there.)

The one thing that drove me insane the most about the wii though was the utter lack of FPS. Seriously, the controller was a freaking light gun. And then they made it more obvious with that wii zapper thing, how much of a clue was needed? Most of the time I can’t stand playing an FPS on a console, since I much prefer using a mouse, and the analog sticks are forever either overshooting my targets or not moving fast enough. Sometimes it manages both at the same time. The wii made playing console shooters actually playable for me. I would never want to try to play metroid prime on the gamecube, but the metroid trilogy for the wii was a great way for me to finally play the series. I actually hope that any new FPS’s on the Wii U will leave in a way to play using the wiimote, since I would hate to have to go back to analog sticks.