Posted on January 7, 2013, Ross Lincoln 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.