Nintendo Reveals Wii U Sales Numbers for December

Published 2 years ago by

Wii U December Sales Numbers

Now that we’ve put a nice little bow on and said au revoir to 2012, Nintendo has sought fit to reveal official sales numbers for the Wii U through its release last November. While Michael Pachter and a few other analysts had suggested sales for the Wii U (in terms of units) were around 600,000+ for the month of December, we know now that the Wii U only moved 460,000 during that very important month.

Moreover, the Wii U has now sold 890,000 units in total in the United States — a decent total considering it has been on the market for only 41 days. As well, Nintendo was pleased to announce Wii U hardware sales have generated more than $300 million in the U.S. alone, a $30 million bump from where the Wii was at during the same point in its lifecycle.

It’s also important to note, though, that the Wii U carries a significantly higher price tag — especially for the Deluxe Version — so evaluate that comparison with a grain of salt. In fact, we know that during the month of December the Wii sold 475,000 units — 15,000 more than the Wii U — but there was also a nationwide shortage for the console, whereas the Wii U was still pretty easy to find in some major metropolitan areas — even if Nintendo had been saying it was selling out everywhere.

However, Wii U hardware sales aren’t the most important part of Nintendo’s potential success story, they actually need to be selling games in order to turn a profit. Unfortunately, as the NPD sales numbers reveal, software sales for the Wii U are still “well behind launch levels for the original Wii and GameCube in December.”

New Super Mario Bros. U has been selling well, though, and carries an attach rate of almost 65 percent. Mario Bros. is the only title that Nintendo called out, but it makes sense that should be the biggest seller for the console.

In all reality it’s New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land (which comes with the Deluxe Version), and ZombiU that have caught most gamers attention, with the rest of the console’s launch line-up being ports of multiplatform titles.

Nevertheless no one, especially Nintendo, is ready to count the Wii U out yet; we have yet to see what exciting new titles the publisher plans to offer anyway. It’s just a little interesting to look at sales numbers for comparison’s sake.

Do you think Nintendo should be worried about hardware or software sales for the Wii U? Are the majority of gamers waiting for a must-have title or to see what next-gen brings?

Source: CVG

TAGS: New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo, Wii, Wii U

  • Gooch

    Wii U is doomed. And here is why

    Software Sales

    1.Wii U is going to have trouble moving software because so few third party developers are will to work with it much like the wii. I imagine it has to do with considerable time and effort it takes to work with such a specific set of tools, (touch screen, motion controls.)

    2. Third party developers are also much less likely to develop because the Wii U has not sold that many units. Is it really worth redirecting resources when it might only mean an additional 10,000 sales? Most Third party developers are probably asking themselves that very question.

    3. First party Software provided by Nintendo is Usually pretty good but not always (I’m looking at you escape from Bug Island), however Nintendo is extremely slow at releasing this content. So the software that people need to buy in order for Nintendo to turn a profit is going to be sold at a trickle for probably the first year. Similar to the Playstation 3, which didn’t really get any good games until 2008.


    4. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that one of the main reasons the Wii was so successful was because of the novelty of motion controls and because it is cheap. These two things attracted the Wii’s biggest demographic, the casual gamer. Wii sports and Rayman Raving Rabbids are all the games these people need for a couple of years. However the Wii U is not cheap, (at least compared to the Wii) mostly because of all the hardware upgrades needed to appeal to the demographic that Nintendo is trying to attract the Hardcore Gamer.

    5.In addition to alienating the casual gamer with the price point, I doubt that many hardcore gamers are going to migrate their software purchases over to the Wii U if they already have a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, which most of them do, simply for the added motion and touchscreen functionality which rarely amounts to anything more than a gimmick ( in my opinion).

    The Hardware Cycle

    6. Honestly what was Nintendo thinking? We are (again going out on a limb) less than a year from the new console announcements from Microsoft and Sony which means we are they are probably less than 2 years from hitting the shelves. At that point the Wii U will be an obsolete piece of Hardware, without the power to attract the Hardcore gamers and the price point, (although it will probably dropped considerably by then) to attract the casual gamers. They have given themselves a console with a two year life cycle, and they will have to start all over again. Unless they ALSO have a new Console to announce within the next 2 years they are going to be in big trouble

    • iwasherenotyou

      Cool story bro

    • Poncho

      Lol. I thought the “Nintendo is doomed” talk was over.

      • Batman

        Less gimmicky than kinect? Kinect is not the entire premise of the Xbox. Kinect exists to get soccer moms to buy an xbox instead of Wii Fit. The entire WiiU is based off motion controols. Kinect is not REQUIRED for every xbox game. Even though I love Nintendo, they have been acting like retards ever since they released the Wii.

    • Ivan

      You do know that all the peripherals bought for the WII are compatible with the Wii U? And how is it any less “gimmicky” than the Kinect? Also with the rumors of Next Gen Xbox relying heavily on Kinect 2.0, your point is rendered moot. If you are one of those gamers who only look at graphical prowess for a system then I can see your point though (don’t agree though). But that would be like getting in a car accident because you were drunk and blaming the alcohol company. If developers put out great games or a system with great gameplay but 8-bit graphics (eg: Megaman 9/10), I don’t care. I am more than happy. Who cares what it looks like, as long as the game is entertaining.

      Also I don’t understand where next gen will go, what are we going to see? “HOLY CRAP! WE CAN SEE THEIR NOSE HAIRS! THIS SYSTEM IS SO CRAZY!” Faster ram management? Better FPS? Who cares? You are playing an electronic game on a High Definition TV, with a wireless controller, with great graphics and sound, with people around the world from the comfort of your home. Talk about firstworldproblems.

      • yodarlz

        Its not just about graphics. Its about processing power, not graphics. Elder Scrolls games with all of Tamriel. Battlefield with 64 player matches. Halo with nearly unlimited forge supplies. If you think that all people care about is graphics, than you are even more ignorant of the market than I thought.

        • Red

          Forget even that for a second. The Wii U is STILL on DVD’s. Even Microsoft is rumored to be jumping to Blu-ray. At the rate game SIZE is increasing, Nintendo is gonna be left out of the Triple-A Title gamefest again. When xbox and Playstation are releasing 40gb games on one disk and Nintendo is looking at 4+ for one game, it’s gonna be bad.

          • EastOfTheAnduin

            What are you talking about? The Wii U uses a proprietary disc format that holds 25GB of info, the same as a single layer Blu-ray disc.

      • Gooch

        I also think that the Kinect is gimmicky even more so than the Wii. The original Wii was great because at least it was a cheap and fun gimmick. You think I am going to invest in an Xbox and Kinnect just for a couple of games that integrate it, poorly too I might add.

        Personally I agree with you on the graphics not being an important part of the game which is again why the Wii was so successful and also why the Wii U is an unnecessary piece of hardware. I don’t want need that extra graphical capability for a Mario Game, and I am not going to play Call of Duty on it because I already have a Playstation 3. Nintendo would have done much better to wait a couple of years and release an even more powerful piece of hardware around the same time as Sony and Microsoft.

        I don’t understand your alcohol scenario so let me give you one of my own. What if Smartcar came out with a full sized sedan, at the same cost as a Toyota? Some people would probably buy it, but not a lot because people buy Smartcars for their fuel efficiency not because they make a great sedan.

        I don’t really have a problem with Nintendo personally, I just think they made a very poor business decision by releasing this piece of hardware at this point in time for the reasons stated above.

        As for graphics, speaking as someone that has worked in 3D modeling and animation software let me tell you the hardware is about 15-20 years behind the software capabilities. Honestly things like polygon count and texture resolution only need to go up to a certain point to where we won’t be able to tell a difference on screen. However there are a TON of other things that can be improved lighting and shadows, anti aliasing dynamics fluid simulations (which there are literally none in any video game) hair dynamics the amount of characters on screen the size of the world etc. Once a console can do realtime global Illumination then I will be impressed. There is an article on screenrant about the new Pixar short that should give you some reference to how long that takes to render.

        • Dante

          My Toyota (not a hybrid or an electric) gets better mileage than a Smart Car – which actually don’t get that great of mileage btw.

          I think their main appeal is girls think they’re cute.

    • kearevaans

      Good points.
      I disagree with a lot of it however.

      The wii u is a new system that everyone is going to have to get used to.

      For 3rd party developers this is new but there are many who want to use this new device to see what they create. Graphic designers and game engineers don’t go into business to try to make the same game over and
      over again. I will say that the transition will be very difficult.
      Business wise it is risky, but as for development in gaming it is a major step.

      I also will say that one of Nintendo’s biggest reasons it did so well was because it was cheap. And I’m not complaining, I’m poor and want to play videogames as much as anyone. The price of the Wii U may seem pricy, but remember that the wii came out as 250 while the other systems came out at 400 to 800 bucks. I imagine that the new Xbox and PS will be pricier than what the wii u is now. (Note: Nintendo is actually selling the system itself at a loss.)

      Nintendo was trying to move along with the times as more and more people are moving to app gaming because it is cheaper and more convenient.

      The way I see, Nintendo will end up being in the same state as it is now. Able to keep its hardcore fans, trying to maintain good customer relations, while still making a profit. (very tricky business)
      It will probably end up like the wii. Being bashed for lack of good games and graphics while being the most profitable of the systems for innovation and for attracting casual gamers.
      Nintendo is most likely still in the game.

  • Red

    “Nevertheless no one, especially Nintendo, is ready to count the Wii U out yet; we have yet to see what exciting new titles the publisher plans to offer anyway. It’s just a little interesting to look at sales numbers for comparison’s sake.”

    Pretty sure I’m ready to count it out. about 1/3 of the Nintendo Fanboys I know are ready to jump ship, and I know a lot of nintendo fanboys.

  • Dante

    The writing is on the wall for Nintendo – another 3rd Party doldrum is due for the owners of the latest Nintendo machine.

    If you’re good with playing just Nintendo properties – you should be ok though as I am sure they will release a ton of great Nintendo exlusives over the next few years.

    The question for anyone considering a purchase of this should be are Nintendo games enough?

    2013 is not shaping up to be a great year for the Wii U & 3rd party games – and I doubt it wil get better when the next gen arrives.

  • Varteras

    The fact that this new console didn’t fly off the shelves after having found ourselves in a much longer than average console cycle says a lot. I don’t think we can say that the results all fall on Nintendo but if we see the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft sell big initially that’s when I’d be more willing to say that the Wii U was just a bad move.

    I’m not going to write Nintendo off any time soon but they really need to convince third parties that it’s worth developing for their console. Unfortunately, I think the same thing will happen this time around as it did for the Wii. It will lack the multiplatform titles that the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 enjoyed. Its controls, while neat, will end up as a gimmick unless they really surprise us. Nintendo will, quite simply, have locked themselves out of a significant portion of high-selling titles.

    No matter how many times you tell yourself that visuals don’t matter, they do. Not every game needs them depending on what kind of game it is but some games would not have worked as well as they did without having top-notch visuals for their time. Dead Space: Extraction on the Wii did not, for any amount of time, scare me or make me squirm uncomfortably from what I was seeing when compared to Dead Space 2. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that definitely being able to make out the rotted flesh of ex-human bodies is more gut-churning than a pixelated red mass.

    I’m not sure about the Wii U’s online capabilities but if Nintendo once again fails to bring a substantial online component to their console in an age where that kind of feature is the norm and not the exception then the Wii U may find itself in a battle that it won’t even be competitive in.

  • Frayzure

    Again I love how there’s some people bashing nintendo just because they walk to the beat of their own drum. At least nintendo “TRIES” something different, and whenever it works, sony and microsoft comes in and copies it.If you honestly believe that graphics make a game then you sir and or madam should rip up your gamer card right now! Graphics only help make a game great. It takes game play and story to make a game AMAZING! Perfect example is how Metroid: Other M went. Graphics were really good, especially for the Wii, but LOTS of people griped over the story and that caused it to get horrible reviews.

    • Shalkowski

      What did sony and microsoft copy again?

      • Frayzure

        Nintendo does motion controls, sony and microsoft does it after they see how well it works for Nintendo. Nintendo makes a handheld that produces 3D visuals and has a touch screen, Sony makes a handheld thats produces 3D visuals and has touch screens.

  • Andrew

    Soooo why does the Wii U store games onto to the system rather than tie them to the person’s online ID? If someone steals this system bye bye games. At least PS & X attach downloads to the user’s sn. Makes more sense.

  • asdf

    Hope everything goes well for Nintendo. I hate to see companies that I liked for a long time go out of business.

    Sadly I haven’t played any Nintendo games since Wii first came out. I used to play the s*** out of my SNes and N64, and nearly everyday I would hangout with a friend that had gamecube.

    Nintendo has always been a GREAT company for younger gamers and their games are a lot more appropriate for them than Call of Duty. But if major titles don’t get out and attract players you struggle to make your profits you need to keep satisfying those who DO want to play the console.

  • Kenny

    so many Nintendo haters but the fact of the matter is they pretty damn well for the price tag and th and people

  • luffy

    not true. I could not find a Wii U for xmas. I looked everywhere. Best buy, FS, zellers, gamestop, etc. Sold out. I eventually got one the week after tho.

  • really

    I believe that wiiu and Nintendo brand as a whole will survive. I agree the newer system does offer more creative. However as a parent of ten year old the wiiu just works great. The price is a little higher than the original Wii but considering the family friendly game titles I didn’t mind spending the money. I have the ps3 and xbox360 for a while now but I’m not getting the Xbox one or ps4 anytime soon. I’m a casual gamer I do prefer playing games on my tablet but for the kid I generally compromise that’s what the wiiu represent for most family with children especially younger children its not the graphics, 3d or touch screen its a safe online environment for my son.