Wii U Game Sales at Launch Half of Wii, GameCube Levels

It’s no secret that many are disappointed with the rate at which the Wii U is selling, but hardware sales aren’t the big issue here. Overall, the system is actually selling faster than the PS3 and Xbox 360 did at launch, but it’s still living in the shadow of the immensely successful Wii. The real area where the Wii U is struggling is in terms of games sold. The system is selling at a loss, and it reportedly takes more than one game purchase to rectify that.

So how bad is the Wii U struggling in terms of software sales? Hit the jump for the breakdown.

Early reports pegged the Wii U as having a humble 1.2 attach rate for games per system. This was before Christmas, so it’s not entirely fair to judge based on that, but more recent reports aren’t especially promising either. Totals for all of November and December, the two most critical months of the year for sales, indicate that the Wii U is selling software at a rate of 43% lower than the Wii and 50% lower than the GameCube did at their launches.

This has to be particularly frustrating to Nintendo because, unlike the Wii and the GameCube, Nintendo is entirely dependent on software sales for profit with the Wii U. As hardware costs go down the Wii U will eventually become profitable, but for now software sales are more important than ever.

Two big factors in the struggling software sales are likely the price of the system and the price of the games themselves. The Wii launched at $250, bundled with Wii Sports. For the comparable Wii U and Nintendo Land bundle, the price is $350, with additional games being $60 each, while Wii games were $50. Another contributing factor may be the large number of ports available at launch. Anyone who already owns an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and buys a Wii U is less likely to be interested in titles like Assassin’s Creed III or Black Ops 2, as they likely already own them.

It’s probably going to take some more exclusive content to jumpstart Wii U sales, but the news isn’t all bad for Nintendo. Despite the fact that Nintendo stock has been steadily declining for some time, following the revelation of the sales numbers the company actually saw a 5.6 increase in Osaka trading, marking the biggest increase since September 18. Not too bad for a system that’s supposed to be disappointing with its sales.

Source: CVG

  • Ernesto Reyna

    This isn’t surprising to me. Despite some of the games being good none of them really interested me which is why I still haven’t bought a Wii U yet. I’ll hold out until Zelda/Metroid/FF as I’m not a big Mario fan.

  • Terrak

    That means the next playstation or xbox cant be higher then the cost of the Wii U or else it will suffer a worse fate (if we are to assume that price of the console is the main factor at play).

    • Erimgard

      It’s a bigger factor with Nintendo than it is with Sony or Microsoft, because Nintendo has a more “casual” audience, thanks to the Wii.

      • Terrak

        The main issue is the lack of titles that fully showcase the Wii U’s potential. ZombiU did a decent job but they need something more. Besides its still selling alot better then ps3 or 360 so they still doing very well and the software sales will improve with better Wii U specific titles.

        It was the massive price drops of the 360 and ps3 that pushed the sales momentum of microsoft and sonys (respective) consoles. During the early stages of each consoles (360 and ps3′s) lifecycles the sales were very low (relative to Wii and Wii U), which is why the Wii quickly over took the 360 in sales despite coming out a full year after and why the Wii U has significantly outsold the ps3 and 360 (during the same time in each consoles lifecycle). Price is always a factor regardless of consoles. Do not assume that gamers will be willing to shell out more for the next xbox or playstation. Its just not going to happen. Once a decent mainstream price (US$250 i guess since its the Wii’s original price point) and has a solid exclusive software library then a console can sell big. Until that time i dont expect sales to take off. Therefore if the ps4 or 720 are more then $350 dont expect them to out sell the Wii U.

        • Erimgard

          I’d say it’s a bit of both. Certainly Nintendo needs more exclusive titles to convince people the system is worth the buy, but the original Wii attracted a LOT of people fast because they were attracted to its casual nature and minimal price.

          To win over the more dedicated gamers, Nintendo’s going to need some more good exclusive content. To win over some of the Wii crowd they might need a price cut.

          • Terrak

            Question is do you think that a more expensive 720 or ps4 will sell better then the WiiU. With all the expectations of an uber console like the ps3 and 360 before, a higher price is inevitable for the successor consoles.To be such a powerful console/s sony and microsoft will have to absorb alot of the cost (which was the case for both ps3 and 360), so much it needed 10 year lifecycles to fully profit. So what will sony and microsoft do this time, consider the console market has massive competition from tablets for consumers gaming dollars?

  • http://www.facebook.com/coolkangarooo Gabriel Gomez

    Exclusive Metal Gear Solid and Sonic the Hedgehog, new Zelda, 3D Mario, and Metroid.