The latest Wii U sales numbers are out from Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom — and unease is deepening. In Japan, Famitsu Magazine reported Wii U weekly sales slipping to 70,000 units from 76,000 units during the important period ending in January 6. This is the week many Japanese teenagers spend their New Year’s money and sales of consoles tend to bounce. During the week, the portable 3DS sold 305,000 units, up sharply from the already impressive 266,000 units in the previous week. The seven-year-old Sony (SNE) PlayStation 3 managed to increase its sales to 64,000 units from 54,000 units. The equally ancient PSP climbed to 53,000 from 34,000. Even the star-crossed PS Vita managed to vault to 31,000 from 18,000. More →
The PC industry isn’t the only one that had a rough time over the holiday quarter. Per VentureBeat, the latest data from the NPD Group show that video game hardware and software sales in the United States totaled $3.2 billion at retail last month, a 22% decline from the $4.1 billion the industry posted in December 2011. One big culprit in the decline has been the rise of online stores such as Valve’s Steam that give users an alternative to trudging down to their local GameStops to buy new games. As far as hardware sales go, NPD found that Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 remained the best-selling console in December, selling 1.4 million units, followed by Nintendo’s (NTDOY) 3DS at 1.25 million units. Ominously for Nintendo, the company’s new Wii U console sold just 460,000 units on the quarter, less than the original Wii’s 475,000 units.
Gaming consoles had a rough year in 2012 as sales reached 34 million units, a 24.4% decline from 2011. Research firm IDC believes that sales will rebound in 2013 and 2014, however. It is predicted that with the Wii U and the rumored launch of Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console, consoles sales will increase in 2013 by 10.1% to 37.4 million units. Sales are expected to further increase in 2014 to 44.6 million units, representing growth of 19.1%. More →
Nintendo’s (NTDOY) new Wii U gaming console came out of the gate strong and saw first-week sales reach 400,000 units in the U.S., however sales have since stalled and the system has been labeled a flop by some. While consumer interest in the company’s new console has slowed right out of the gate, Nintendo’s president recently said that he isn’t worried even though sales aren’t where he hoped they would be. More →
I remember it still — people flipped out about the Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii. Yes, its name was mocked for a while, but there was genuine excitement around what Nintendo was doing with motion and the entire gameplay experience. While the original Nintendo Wii was almost an Apple (AAPL)-like product — Nintendo focused on the gameplay and not on specs; the company didn’t even have HD graphics when every other console did — the Nintendo Wii U clearly demonstrates how far Nintendo has fallen and how out of touch the company is. More →
Five-year-old Brandon Giles must have been excited to receive a Nintendo 3DS for Christmas — at least, he was until he turned it on. According to 9News, Giles’ father bought a refurbished 3DS from GameStop (GME) in Colorado for his son. However, when his son turned it on and started poking around, he found nine pornographic images of two people in a bed and asked his brother to help him erase them. That’s when the father gave GameStop a call. GameStop’s response was that the images were most likely left over from its previous owner and an employee failed to properly wipe out the data on the 3DS before re-stocking it. More →
According to Famitsu, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) portable 3DS console continued to see huge success during the week ahead of Christmas. It racked up sales of 433,000 units in Japan, up from 333,000 units in the prior week. But weirdly enough, the brand new and heavily promoted Wii U home console wobbled badly as its weekly sales slipped to 122,000 units from 130,000 units in the previous week. This may have been the biggest week in Japanese console market in 2012, so the stakes were high. More →
According to Japanese gaming bible Famitsu, Nintendo (NTDOY) 3DS sold 333,000 units in the week ending December 16, while Sony’s (SNE) PS Vita limped along at 13,000 units, the new Wii U did an okay 130,000 units and the PlayStation 3 managed to sell 46,000 units. The utter hardware domination of the 3DS is reshaping the Japanese software market. Franchises that were thought to be fading have been revitalized in their portable versions. The 3DS version of the ancient Animal Crossing series, famed for being the game where nothing happens, hit a staggering 1.7 million units last week in Japan. Inazuma Eleven sold 170,000 units in its launch week, up from 140,000 units its DS version managed in 2011. More →
After a month-long delay, Nintendo (NTDOY) will launch its Nintendo TVii service for the Wii U on December 20th in the U.S. and Canada. Nintendo TVii is the company’s take on organizing all of the various video streaming and DVR services a user might subscribe to and then displaying them in an easy-to-navigate touchscreen-based interface on the Wii U GamePad. With Nintendo TVii, Nintendo hopes to make content discovery an easier task, rather than a chore. At the same time, Nintendo TVii will offer new “second-screen” experiences (similar to Xbox SmartGlass) with built-in social sharing options to Facebook (FB), Twitter and the Wii U console’s Miiverse.
Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii prided itself for being a super energy-efficient console that ran nearly silent and sipped very little electricity. And although Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 was originally a loud monster with a penchant for Red-Ring-of-Death-ing itself, the amount of power it consumed was never as much as Sony’s (SNE) launch PlayStation 3, which used more power than a refrigerator. Eurogamer took it upon itself to pit the Wii U against the Xbox 360 S and new super slim PS3 and concluded that Nintendo’s new console “draws so little power in comparison to its rivals that its tiny casing still feels cool to the touch during intense gaming.” Most impressive is that the Wii U maintains its low-wattage while fitting in a chassis that’s smaller than both the Xbox 360 and PS3. More →
As we noted in our first impressions, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U is charting new ground with its wireless GamePad and touchscreen controls that engage gamers in the living room like never before. But before you can even set up the Wii U, a mandatory firmware update is required upon power up. Gamers everywhere were frustrated to learn that the firmware update, which is pegged anywhere between 1GB and 5GB, takes hours to download and could even ”brick” new consoles if the power was cut off. In an email conversation with IGN, Nintendo’s global president and CEO Satoru Iwata said was “very sorry” that Wii U owners were experiencing network issues and that other services such as Nintendo TVii weren’t available at launch. Iwata said he believes “users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box.” More →
The latest trend in the tech world these days seems to be to shrink down old hardware and tack on a “Mini” to it. Nintendo (NTDOY) announced on Tuesday a redesigned Wii Mini that’s more compact for $99.99. The rumor nailed the December 7th launch date, but didn’t report that the Wii Mini is a Canada-exclusive console that lacks Internet connectivity and is “designed exclusively to play Wii games,” which means GameCube compatibility isn’t making a return. More →
The Wii U might be the hottest thing in gaming right now, but that doesn’t mean Nintendo (NTDOY) needs to ditch the Wii’s simplistic motion controls and games. Like Sony (SNE) did with the PlayStation 2 when the PlayStation 3 launched, the Wii has the potential to continue to sell well in some markets where new consoles are too expensive. True, the majority of games on the Wii can be considered “shovelware,” but the console still has its fair share of gaming gems such as Sega’s MadWorld and Ubisoft’s No More Heroes 1 & 2 that were largely overlooked by many as Wii Sports fever took shape. According to Nintendo World Report, Nintendo could be preparing a shrunken down Wii “mini” for launch on December 7th. More →