Wii U Launch Week Sales Reach 400,000

Published 2 years ago by

Wii U Sales

In its first week of availability at North American retailers, the Wii U racked up sales of 400,000 units. Bolstered by a launch line-up featuring such games as New Super Mario Bros. U., Nintendo Land and ZombiU, Nintendo’s new console is off to a respectable start – though Wii U’s launch week sales trail Wii’s launch week sales by 200,000 units.

In advance of the Wii U’s launch, Nintendo’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, Scott Moffitt, stated that there would be “more units to sell and to ship during that opening week than was the case for Wii.” Despite the allegedly increased supply, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, speaking with CNET, claims that the system sold out during its debut week.

“Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock. Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they’re selling out immediately.”

The new console’s sales figures, however, tell a different story. If more systems were available, and they sold out, why are Wii U’s total launch week sales lower than Wii’s?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Wii U is, in fact, easier to come by than Wii was when it launched back in 2006 (a quick call to local retailers confirmed that there are Wii U systems available for purchase, mere days after the Black Friday shopping extravaganza). On the replenishment issue, Nintendo appears to be making good on its promise, but the discrepancy between Wii U’s launch week numbers and Wii’s launch week numbers can only mean one of two things: either there were fewer systems available than Nintendo indicated, or consumer demand for Wii U is softer than Nintendo expected (a situation that may be exacerbated by reports of the system’s long load times and freezing issues).

Nevertheless, 400,000 consoles sold in a single week is hardly a figure to scoff at, and for the time being, Nintendo has the next-gen console market all to itself. Sony and Microsoft are believed – but not confirmed – to be launching new systems roughly a year from now (check out the latest Orbis and Xbox 720 rumors). Is Nintendo concerned about the inevitable showdown? Not according to Fils-Aime.

“For us, launching new systems is about bringing new consumer experiences to the marketplace and we’re doing that with Nintendo land and third-party publishers are doing it with games like ZombiU.”

“In the end, our competitors need to react to what we’re doing in the marketplace and need to figure out what their innovation will be. It’s likely that faster processors and pretty pictures won’t be enough to motivate consumers. They need to react to what we’ve done and we need to continue innovating with the Wii U and we will.”

It’s true that the GamePad, Wii U’s system-defining controller, is a remarkable innovation (read our Wii U review). But, will it be enough to stave off competition from consoles that are expected to offer vastly more raw hardware power than Wii U? What do you think?

Let’s hear from you, Ranters. Did you pick up a Wii U last week? Are they readily available for purchase where you live? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken.

Source: CNET (1,2)


TAGS: Nintendo, Wii U

  • http://gamerant.com Anthony Taormina

    You can actually find one at any Walmart near me. If I had money to burn, like in an inferno, I would buy one.

    • eddoes

      They were restocked for black friday. Before that pre orders were sold out and im guessing most were also sold out for store pick ups.

  • http://gamerant.com Rob Keyes

    That’s funny cuz Ben and I were talking about that yesterday, how he was able to find one on Friday and how Nintendo hadn’t released numbers in its first week.

    What’s the numerical difference between sold out and “essentially sold out”?

    • http://gamerant.com/author/mole Anthony Mole

      I’m figuring Nintendo shipped more then they let on. When I went in to cancel my Wii U pre-order in October, the manager asked if I could keep it on until launch so they’d have the extra unit to sell. Then a few days before launch they call me saying I can cancel anytime.

      Either they had finally received their stock, or Nintendo had shipped them more units.

    • http://gamerant.com Jeff Schille

      @Rob: Two-hundred thousand systems, apparently.

  • Dante

    You can find Wii U’s at several locations here in San Antonio, now try looking for an iPad mini…HA – better sell a kidney.

  • Deletestain

    What are the tech differences between wiiu and ps3?

  • EastOfTheAnduin

    I read that, according to NPD sales data, the Wii sold 475,000 in it’s first week. I also read that Nintendo had estimated the Wii U sold more than 400,000, and that the total would likely be higher. So that would be quite a bit less than 200,000. Am I not reading right?

    • http://gamerant.com Jeff Schille

      Reggie Fils-Aime on Wii Sales, November 27, 2006: “Even with sales already in excess of 600,000 units, demand continues to exceed supply, as it’s clear this is one of the ‘gotta-have’ products for the holiday season.”

      I have not read any statement from Nintendo that claims total Wii U sales will significantly exceed the 400,000 unit figure already reported.

      I couldn’t say whether you were “reading right” or not, but the 200,000 unit launch week sales gap between Wii and Wii U – based on Nintendo’s own numbers – is accurate.

      Quote source: http://www.ign.com/articles/2006/11/28/wii-sells-through-600k

      • EastOfTheAnduin

        Ok. That’s just what I read here on the New York Times site.


        According to them Reggie said Nintendo estimated the Wii U sold more than 400,000 based on retailer’s electronic sales data. However, he said total American sales totals are likely to higher. He also goes on to state that according to NPD data the Wii originally sold 475,000.

        VGcharts has the number closer to 460,000 though. I’m thinking that maybe when he said the 600,000 number, that was before the actual data was released. Kind of like what he’s doing now.

        • EastOfTheAnduin

          OK, I think I got it. During the launch week in 2006 600,000 Wiis were sold in North America. 475,000 of which were sold in the United States. 400,000 Wii Us were sold in the U.S. last week. The total North American sales will likely be greater than that.

          I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes…Maybe.

  • boogoo

    My Walmart had a couple in stock on Friday. So much for limited supply! I snatched one of those suckers and threw it on layaway. I’ll have it out in a couple weeks :)

  • Matt

    Black Ops II sells millions of copies in one day, Wii U sells less than half a million copies in one week.

    • C

      BO2 is also available on well established systems for a bit less than $300+. The 360 even sold less in the NA region in a month.

  • Hunter

    I was out around Lansing, Michigan all night and I only found two at Wal-Mart. Best Buy, Target, K-Mart (I heard that chuckle xD), two separate Gamestops, and an EB Games and they were all sold out. Strange lol

  • jack

    My local Walmart still has Wii-U’s for sale. I was just looking online at the Walmart website and they said they had some in stock at the store. I bought mine almost 2 weeks ago and I still don’t have any games for it. Gamestop is sold out.