Analysts Predict Lifetime Wii U Sales

Wii U expected to reach only 25 percent of Wii’s lifetime sales.

By Andy Hoover. Posted 12/12/2013 17:00 6 Comments     ShareThis

News Desk Masthead - Wii U 3

Everyone loves spouting doom and gloom for Wii U, but the numerous financial analysts in the video game industry are truly making a career of it. The latest group to throw its thoughts into the ring is DFC Intelligence, though depending on how you look at it, its numbers aren’t really all that bad.

DFC Intelligence is predicting that Wii U will fall far short of the Wii’s sales, 75 percent less to be precise. Thankfully, it is really easy to do the math, because Wii has sold just over 100 million units. So that would place the group’s Wii U estimate at 25 million units throughout the system’s lifetime. Furthermore, DFC adds that the console “is expected to be mainly a system for Nintendo first-party software.”

While the general consensus on these predictions is that they are very negative on Nintendo’s latest console, I must admit that I do not think this is particular estimate is really all that bad. Sure, if you are of the prevailing mindset that every console generation is a brutal battle to the death where the losers are doomed to some horrific fate, then I can see why you might be upset as a Nintendo fan. However, if you just want a console to have good games and make the manufacturer its money back to keep it in business, then this isn’t too bad because DFC Intelligence is effectively saying that Wii U will be this generation’s GameCube, with even the total sales figures being similar. And what can we say about GameCube? We remember it for its collection of fantastic Nintendo games and it was profitable for Nintendo. Granted, Nintendo sold each GameCube for a profit, so the only real question is what the necessary attach rate would be to make Wii U profitable in the wake of its price drop.

I think we all want Nintendo to grow and gain new fans, but in the short term I’m more than happy to play a selection of great games while Nintendo continues to make enough money to stay in the console game.

Source: IGN

6 Responses to “Analysts Predict Lifetime Wii U Sales”

  • 1570 points
    penduin says...

    I can’t imagine how thrilled I’d be if I were to be involved with something that saw a quarter of the success the Wii did.

    Conversely, I’d feel like a total fraud I’d have if I had a job where I could just guess about stuff and pull figures out of my ass, then get paid and be taken seriously.

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    Just my take: the only thing that concerns me about Wii U is lack of software support. Third parties don’t seem interested in chasing a small install base (which makes sense), but that’s probably ok as long as Nintendo of America doesn’t limit their own software releases too severely and the eShop continues to get some interesting indie support.

    If games like X – the Xenoblade sequel that had gorgeous video shown already – don’t come out in North America because Reggie is worried it won’t be a million seller, that would be a huge blow to my enjoyment from and appreciate of the Wii U console.

  • 162 points
    LadyMushroom says...

    “Sure, if you are of the prevailing mindset that every console generation is a brutal battle to the death where the losers are doomed to some horrific fate, then I can see why you might be upset as a Nintendo fan.”

    So true!

    Just my guesses but – WiiU won’t fail. Nintendo won’t let it. Nintendo is a hugely smart and resourceful company.

    WiiU won’t do Wii numbers. It will probably be closer to Gamecube. It won’t get a huge lot of multi-platform games – Wii didn’t either and Wii was the market leader. But it will pick up from where it is now.

    What do I base this on? Essentially just knowing Nintendo. They can’t make another Wii-type success – that is beyond anyone’s power – but they won’t let WiiU go the way of Dreamcast – they are in a much better financial position than Sega was. They turned 3DS around from a position of near-failure (which they admitted and Iwata-san cut his own salary in a kind of gentle seppuku) and it is now selling almost as much as everything else combined in Japan.

    Points to consider: Nintendo’s handhelds have historically done better than their console equivalents. Handhelds alone can support Nintendo. The idea that handhelds are finished in this generation because of tablets and smartphones (which every doomsayer was repeating like a mantra in the early days of 3DS failure) has been completely disproved by the runaway success of 3DS.

    On the other hand, consoles do seem to be on the decline in Japan. Why am I talking about Japan? Because it is the market that matters most to Nintendo. Also because what happens in Japan today may well happen in the West tomorrow. I don’t think WiiU will be Nintendo’s last console, but if it is, it will be because consoles in general have become non-viable. I don’t think that will happen this generation or next – but it may be coming eventually.

    This generation will be dominated by 3DS and Nintendo will find ways to make WiiU viable – but not a huge success. They will be very happy with that. They aren’t playing football. They don’t need to “win” the “console war”. They need to stay healthy as a company and continue to create wonderful games. And they will.

    You might find this interesting.

    It is the official Nintendo dream-village in Animal Crossing. In the golden rooms devoted to Nintendo history, dominated by a golden-framed portrait of Iwata-san, is, displayed proudly in a glass case, a Virtual Boy. A Western company would probably want to forget Virtual Boy as a failure. Nintendo is still proud of it. It was part of a proud history of innovation and imagination. It wasn’t a commercial success, but in business you win some, you lose some.

    But the show must go on.

    And it will.

    • 1294 points
      Robert Marrujo says...

      Very well put. I agree that Nintendo is far from done. It’s getting old repeating this, but 3DS truly was similarly written off at the beginning and now it’s doing super well. There’s nothing anyone can say that will prevent Nintendo from making Wii U rebound if they play their cards right. Sony was getting kicked in the teeth for years with PS3, yet no one questioned that Sony would be sticking it out for PS4. Why Sony, who had massive foot in mouth syndrome for much of the PS3’s lifecycle, gets a pass and Nintendo doesn’t is beyond me. I said this elsewhere, but haters gonna hate. Let them eat Peach’s cake, I say.

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    Listening to the podcast this weekend, and they had a good point: in many ways, things (excluding sale figures) for Wii U are already looking up.

    There has been a major, exclusive, first-party release almost every month since… what, August? Some of those games might not be system sellers on their own, but put them together and you’ve got a lot of excellent gaming to enjoy. And Nintendo isn’t done yet. We know there are more huge games on the docket for next year with Donkey Kong, Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and probably some surprises too.

    Will Wii U compete with Sony and MS consoles in overall sales figures? Not likely. But there are more than enough exclusive games coming to Wii U to make it worth owning for me.

  • 1244 points
    lukas85 says...

    that sounds about right, i think wiiU is going to be the worst selling nintendo console, i love it, the games are great and im gonna support it forever but this is the reality.

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