Wii U sells 66,000 in February

Analyst calls system's sales "good," but expects non-AAA retail market to deteriorate as year progresses

The Wii U's struggles continued last month, as Nintendo's latest console moved 66,000 units in the US, according to a Macquarie Capital analyst note on yesterday's NPD numbers.

While the Wii U was far outpaced by sales of the Xbox 360 (302,000) and PlayStation 3 (263,000), Macquarie's Ben Schachter described it as a good performance, noting it was up 45 percent month-over-month on an adjusted basis. (January's NPD reporting period included an extra week.) The improvement also suggests Nintendo will be able to meet its recently reduced sales targets for the fiscal year, he added.

The Wii U Deluxe model continues to account for the bulk of interest in the system, Schachter said. He noted that more than 70 percent of consumer demand is for that edition, which comes in black, is bundled with the Nintendo Land game, and costs $350 as opposed to the standard edition's $300 tag.

While Schachter was mildly positive on the Wii U's numbers, his attitude toward the console market as a whole was a bit dimmer in the short term.

"With yet another month of double-digit declines (despite the relatively easier y/y comps in 2012), it remains clear that beyond the most important core titles, the industry as a whole continues to deteriorate," Schachter wrote. "We continue to believe that top AAA titles will remain relatively strong, but everything else in packaged goods will deteriorate ahead of the console transition. We believe gamers are questioning paying top dollar for an average experience (especially for younger demographics),when they are able to get other enjoyable experiences from a free or low-cost app."

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Latest comments (19)

I love these experts- their" dont believe your own lying eyes and use your own intellect, no honestly 66k units sales isnt that bad, no really." No actually in reality, in the real world..66k units sales is horrid
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Art C. Jones Writer / Blogger 8 years ago
The reported numbers for January were 56K. I'm confused how 56K + 45% increase = 66K.
Still horrid, but apparently so is the math :).
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Rickard Olsson Editor, Spelbloggen.se8 years ago
No! 66k is not "good". It doesn't matter if the console has games or not. 66k is nothing but aweful.
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Show all comments (19)
Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange8 years ago
So how were the XBOX 360 and PS3 sales during their first four months, were they selling by the boatloads they are now?
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
@ Russell, it is confusing. But it's actually based on January's having an extra week. So on an adjusted basis, the 56k comes down for a 4 week total instead of a 5 week total. Doing the math apples-to-apples on 4 week basis, it is indeed a 45% increase from what I can tell.
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Brendan Sinclair Managing Editor, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
Ah, sorry. I've edited the story to include clarification on that point. Every few years, the NPD calendar gets a bit out of whack and they need to add an extra week to a month, otherwise you'd have the monthly reporting periods start sliding more into neighboring months.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd8 years ago
I agree, 66K isn't good, but the fact that the Wii U sales can keep from falling in a month with literally zero software (even rising a pretty solid 45%) is a good SIGN, even if they aren't good sales. It suggests that with actual software there is potential hope for the system.

That said, the VIta is selling 20,000 a month in the US and there is far less doom and gloom about that platform floating around the internet. The standards people hold Nintendo to are pretty insane in comparison to their (financially much more precarious) competitor.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
@Nicholas-- I think that alot of people have already considered the Vita a failure as well. It isn't currently getting much support in the US from third parties either.

And no, 66,000 units sold in a month is not a good thing, even when you consider it's a month over month increase. I'm curious to see just how well Nintendo's Wii U will sell once they start getting some big name first party games but until that happens they might not be able to break 100,000 unit sold in a month. So another bad month but it's not the end for them.
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x360 and ps3 were in such high demand there first few months that there was a side industry of people buying up whatever units they could and selling them for double or triple the price on ebay. How can people forget this? There was low supply , huge demand, the wiiu has no such demand at all.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Todd, I think you've confused the X360 and PS3 with the Wii.

The PS3 and X360 also had fairly low sales in their early months. Certainly much lower than the sales volumes they achieve today.
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No Jim Im not confused at all. The ps3 and x360 sales were due to one thing in the US, low supply. The demand was crazy and people were happily paying twice the sticker price to get one.

From wikipedia
The high demand for the Xbox 360 led to some owners almost immediately re-selling their console for vastly increased prices. eBay in particular was a popular location for such offers with thousands of consoles going up for auction, some selling for many times the original retail price. It was reported[19] that 40,000 units appeared on eBay during the initial month of release, which would mean that 10% of the total supply was resold.

xbox360 in the first 90 days sold 2.5 million units, but here is the difference, x360 continued to sell well and momentum continued to build for demand. ( 5.5 million units by 6 months) The demand for the wiiU on the other hand has fallen off the cliff. Initial sales werent that bad for WiiU, sales however now have totally died off.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 16th March 2013 5:01am

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Slow and steady wins the race, folks. Or at least follows Nintendo's ideal of "evergreen" games (but in console form, ha ha). Don't count the Wii U out just yet. Or the Vita for that matter, as if you own one and poke around PSN, there are plenty of games on the way (although some are PSP games, which is goofy, but they DO play on the Vita just fine)...
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Todd, the X360 sold 5.5 million after the first 12 months, not 6 months (first calendar year, not first fiscal year). It was a 3.3 million at the 6th month mark.
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Jim, again your are mistaken.

From wikipedia
Analysts believe Microsoft did not meet the original worldwide target of 2.75–3 million units sold in the first 90 days after launch,[26] and Microsoft revised their initial 90 day estimate down to 2.5 million units,[22] though their 6 month sales estimate remained unchanged at 4.5 to 5.5 million consoles.[21]

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 16th March 2013 4:28pm

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The main problem I see for the WiiU is the same one I see coming for the xbox720 and ps4, it doesnt pass the dreaded " So what wrong with the one you got? test. You know the question every parent , or non gaming spouse asked when confronted with the , "I need a new expensive gaming system." query.
In the past we all could counter it by saying , my old system is old and outdated, and just LOOK at how awesome the new games are on the new system, and usually one look at the new games and the huge leap in graphic quality, was enough to sell and convince even non gamers, spouses and parents. After seeing the amazing jump in graphics usually they finally offered, " alright, we will see what we can do".. bingo,, you got your new toy.

Now Im not so sure the leap is so obvious, hell its not even that obvious to me and I been playing and in games since the beginning. You really think trying to sell your spouse/parent on a expensive purchase due to some new controller, or some social platform ability is going to work.
These systems need a killer software title, one so heads and shoulders above the last generation, it becomes obvious to everyone, I so far am not seeing anything close. I could be totally wrong, but in a world teetering on recession, I'm not sure any of these new systems are going to sell well unless they can make a giant leap tech wise.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 16th March 2013 4:27pm

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The only positive figure here is the "40% monthly" (or weekly) rise in sales. Still, Nintendo will like to see the sales figure up to 150k or so by the end of March (Lego, MH, etc).

People need to understand that Nintendo have a plan, and they will execute on this plan. Sales at this point in its lifetime are pretty much irrelevant - what matters is the long-term trend, and whether they can build the WiiU brand into something that will last 4-6 years. Just look at the 3DS sales curve.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Todd, this is why you shouldn't cite Wikipedia as a source and why you our industry needs to better understand the difference between units shipped and units sold. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo report units shipped. NPD and other tracking firms report sales to consumers.

Microsoft had sold to consumers 5.5 million Xbox 360's by the time the PS3 and Wii launched. That's 1 calendar year.

The numbers I'm seeing show Wii U at 2.6 million compared to 2.4 million and 2.0 million for the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the same point in time respectively.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 17th March 2013 2:47am

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Im expecting things to get better when they release more games. I was really excited about there future line-up of games that was showed in their Nintendo Direct presentation. Im actually more excited about PS4 but Ive always had a Nintendo system, it can co-exist with my SONY system peacefully.
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee8 years ago
I tend to see the Wii-U's sales as positive looking at the bigger picture. In a poor economic time, few killer apps, initial confusion about the product and a transitional period that will see a lot of people waiting - the Wii-U has sold a bit more than the 360 and PS3 did so far and that's impressive.

There may be a catch to this though. If the PS4 and next Xbox find themselves breaking more sales records, showing off more interesting games and coming in with an aggressive price point, the Wii-U's sales may suddenly look a little more insignificant and there's every opportunity for those consoles to exceed their predecessor's early success too and to a greater extent.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 19th March 2013 9:07pm

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