Wii U software 1.6 per cent of the UK market in January

Wii U lagging behind PS Vita as software fails to trouble the UK charts

Wii U software sales accounted for just 1.6 per cent of the UK retail market in January, with just 34,000 units sold.

According to data published on NeoGaf, that puts Nintendo's struggling platform below the PlayStation Vita - which had 2.2 per cent of the market - in terms of sales volume, and 8th out of the 10 platforms covered by the data.

The information is consistent with GamesIndustry International's record of the software charts for January. The Wii U has failed to register a software exclusive in the top 20 games for the entire month, despite relatively low sales across the board. By contrast, the Wii had two games in the top 10 during the equivalent period.

A report published by Eurogamer at the end of January collated more sales information that lends credence to the leaked data: the Wii U's launch weekend hardware sales in the UK comprised more than 50 per cent of its total after 5 weeks - a significant loss of momentum that pointed towards only 80,000 units sold by the end of January, less than any console from the previous generation.

And the sense that Nintendo's new console has failed to make the desired impact is building all the time. Yesterday, in Activision's conference call, Bobby Kotick highlighted the "somewhat disappointing" launch of the Wii U as a black mark on Skylanders' otherwise bright future.

The Wii U also lost two exclusives today: Tecmo Koei's Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge and and Ubisoft Montpellier's Rayman Legends will now both receive PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. In the case of Rayman, the decision was abrupt enough to elicit a damning response.

According to the leaked data, the leading platform was Xbox 360 with 38.4 per cent of sales (810k), followed by the PlayStation 3 with 25.8 per cent (545k). Apart from the PlayStation Vita and the Wii U, both of which launched in the UK after January 2012, software sales on every platform were down year-on-year

GamesIndustry International approached Chart Track to confirm the data's accuracy, but it declined on the grounds that any confirmation would "fan the flames" of the consumer reaction.

Related stories

The Podcast: What role will indies play on PlayStation 5?

We also discuss how Overwatch 2 could present a new model for sequels, and pay homage to the Nintendo Wii

By GamesIndustry Staff

Nintendo expects "remarkable results" from Mario Kart Tour

President Shuntaro Furukawa told investors that "earnings are off to a good start" following strong launch

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (14)

Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University6 years ago
Not surprising Wii U and Vita are struggling. Where are the games?
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Michal Korec Editor/Analyst 6 years ago
Phew, now who would have said that Wii U will sell less SW than struggling Vita?

Mr. Iwata, launch window has been shrunked to first launch weeks. Nothing new until March 22 in Europe so even managing that extra million units worldwide in this quarter will be tough :(

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Michal Korec on 8th February 2013 4:30pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive6 years ago
I have no scientific data to back my claim but I seem to have noticed a lot more interest towards Sony's upcoming Feb 20 announcement than for all of Nintendo's Wii U pre-launch and post-launch efforts. People I know and on the interwebs seem genuinely more excited about a potential PS4 than they are about the Wii U, yet one of the two consoles exists and is already available while the other is still just speculation until the official announcement.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (14)
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
So the gist of the article is that a console with 11 months of availability has a bigger software market proportion than a console with 2 month of availability.

How enlightening.
11Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ged McMillan Retail Manager 6 years ago
No, I think the gist of the article is that the Wii U software sales for January totalled just 1.6% of the UK Market. The point is laboured home by virtue of it's 'even worse than Vita' tone but still, forget that.... Just 1.6%?! February doesn't look like its going to fare much better, what with the Rayman postponement. :(
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd6 years ago
I agree Ged, this is bad news, but also expected. As Daniel pointed out, the Wii U does not have the software to back it up as a reasonable purchase right now. They have a lot of software on the way but it's not here yet, and whether you like the Wii U or not (and I do) no one buys hardware without software.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Gee, I dunno... look at the launch lineup again. There are PLENTY of Wii U games out there. The issues seem to be some people not buying the ones they played on the PS3 and 360 (despite some games being better or improved), others sticking to more casual family titles on the console (and then, only buying one or two games at best), others who are the Wii owners not ready to update (they're less connected online and don't follow games media much, so they think it's just a more expensive Wii with a different controller) and yup, pricing of the software.

The last two examples are based on conversations I've had about the console with a few parents curious about it who are happy with the Wii, especially with the ton of cheap games for it they keep finding in closeout bins or who bought a Wii U, but only buy games once every few months (if that).
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Gwyn Howell Developer 6 years ago
The fact is, that there are only 3 million Wii Us in households worldwide, let alone in the UK. Couple that with just 3 exclusives - Nintendo Land, Mario U and Zombie U and there is little compelling reason to pick up neither the console nor the games. Those people who have bought the console probably already have the games they want, and the upcoming release schedule is grim at best.

I am an avid Nintendo fan, yet the Wii U is the first console I've not bought on day one since the SNES. The reason, is simple - lack of software. It was the same with the 3DS, and I remember Iwata saying on multiple occasions how he has learnt lessons from the 3DS launch and wouldn't let the same game drought happen with the Wii U. Famous last words, it seems.

The software lineup revealed in the last Nintendo Direct was utterly awesome, but this build up should have been happening this time last year, and those titles should be launching now. Even if the Wii U launched with the Wind Waker remake, that would have been enough to prompt my purchase. I don't know what Nintendo have been doing for the last 2 years to be honest, as the Wii itself saw little first part software - why weren't they busy preparing games for Wii U's launch?

It's baffling.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development6 years ago
Got one for xmas, despite my better judgment. Spent most of the evening updating. Boxing day decided to try again and put a game in, which spent a good while updating. Then I turned it off and put it on ebay.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Paul, why didn't you do the update in the background?

And if you've sold a console on eBay just because of a long update, God help you trying to play on a PS3 or X360.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development6 years ago
I dont bother with those either. I've always felt that consoles are bit a crap, requiring ownage of the TV from other family members and costing too much money (for the games). Now that I can play games on my lap, I do that instead.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 11th February 2013 4:55pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
So you sold a console that is founded on the idea that it doesn't own the TV?

I'm not trying to belittle your decision to sell it and I'm sure you had plenty of other reasons. It's just that the ones you've provided are rather puzzling.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
As I keep saying, the Wii U isn't for gamers who live on their PS3 or 360. The games you've played already have NEVER been on a Nintendo console, so they're made for those players who will enjoy playing games they haven't yet. That and hell, many of the Wii U versions aren't "straight" ports at all and in fact are improved in a few areas. Finally, being able to play some games on the GamePad while someone else uses the TV is pretty nifty.

I've actually never bothered to update my console, as I have a crappy connection, but it plays everything I put into it with no hassles. Nintendo made the dumb mistake of making registering the console impossible offline (you can't even go directly to their site, tap in the serial number and get those valuable Points), so I'm gathering the next new game I purchase will have an update on the darn disc if it's that important...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development6 years ago
Not really Jim. I don't really do consoles for the aforementioned TV and game price issues (ok, mainly the latter), but ran out of ideas for something for xmas. I suggested a Wii U just for a bit of fun with the family over the hols, never expecting to touch it much after that.

I wasn't aware there was an "update in the background" option, but if there was then it should've bloody well updated in the background. Or, drumroll, get the QA right and make your product not need a day one update.

I wanted to play a game on the same day I opened the box and couldn't, which makes it unfit for purpose. On day 2, the console was ready but the game wouldn't start without another update. By then my family were getting antsy and we broke out some board games. They seemed to work just fine.

This needs no more deep explanations to me and I'm surprised to be in a minority with that opinion.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.