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Analyst - Wii U GameStop sales below expectations, made for 'slightly disappointing' launch

The following info comes from Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia...

- Wii U hardware and software sales at GameStop during the holiday season were below expectations
- Wii U availability at GameStop continues to be "abundant"
- Deluxe model is selling at a greater clip than the basic version
- software attach rate at GameStop is "low"
- "Our conclusion is the Nintendo Wii U launch has been slightly disappointing."

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42 total comments (View all)
No Avatar
03 Jan 2013 15:32

ecco6t9 wrote:

Anyone expecting the Wii U to meet or beat the Wii is in the wrong business or should be ignored if they are analysts.


Exactly. For some reason a lot of analysts always just assume MORE, MORE, MORE, when in reality that just isn't going to happen and everybody knows it. I'm guessing the Wii U will settle somewhere between the N64 and Wii as far as sales go. Not a runaway success, but hardly a failure either. It'll start selling more once more A-level Nintendo games- such as a 3D Mario, a Zelda and a Super Smash Brothers- are released. It'll also probably sell more if the 720 and PS4 are too expensive for cash-strapped families - a true possibility based on the history of console pricing, where Nintendo consoles are usually the cheapest at retail.
No Avatar
03 Jan 2013 15:37

an analyst hating on nintendo without fact? shocking
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 15:37

Software attach rate of course is going to be low when the majority of the games are already out on other systems. This is a no brainer.
No Avatar
03 Jan 2013 15:44

I rarely agree with Jet Pilot, but he is exactly right on this one. This is essentially the 3DS all over again. I wonder if Nintendo has discontinued the standard 3DS in favor of the XL? If not, they should. I've seen piles of the white WiiU but haven't seen a black one yet (and I've been looking.) The people who really want to buy a WiiU don't want the stripped down version. I certainly don't. If- and it's a big if- they were to implement sort of ambassador program that would sweeten the pot, but giving me old NES games I've already bought on the Wii VC isn't going to cut it. Same with GC games. Most of those I want I already have. If they were to release Japanese only Wii games or something like Earthbound, or Saturn/Dreamcast titles than that might help those on the fence. But as someone else pointed out,there is really no "must have" game for WiiU as of yet. There are some interesting titles, but nothing I really feel the need to play. I do plan on getting a WiiU eventually, but in the meanwhile I'm keeping busy with my Wii/GC/VC backlog (where is Contra, Bionic Commando, Golden Axe 4, X-Men arcade, Rush N' Attack, Demon's Crest, Decapattack, etc?) never mind the Wii titles I somehow missed(I bought Fishing Resort a few months back and it's a lot of fun) and I still have a DS and 3DS library to keep me busy. The point is, Nintendo needs to do something not only to draw the *sigh* "hardcore" but keep the longtime players happy, and right now I'm not seeing it.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 15:46

@drew " This is essentially the 3DS all over again"
No
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 15:47

Nintendo need to wake up and realise the market has change drastically since the Wii launched.

Not just the gaming market but the entertainment market in general. They've all but lost their casual crowd to iOS/Android devices. No one is going to pay €40+ for their casual fix when they can get it for €1 or free. That also effects Microsoft and Sony but less so, considering their less dependence on the casual market the last few years.

They also need plan and prepare aggressively for Q4 2013 when we can expect the next systems from Sony and Microsoft to hit. I'm talking third party support, otherwise it'll be dropped. That is, if they can build the support in the first place.

They will need to slash the price of the Wii U at E3, at the very latest. Drop the basic SKU. Then create some form of bundle/incentive later when the other systems launch.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 16:02

I bought not a single one of my 8 Wii U games from GameStop (not including the Nintendo Land pack in, including download only titles).

They didn't have the best deals, if they even had any.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 16:05

Various reasons it's not doing well. The marketing campaign sucks, people still think the Wii U is just an add-on to the Wii. The two SKU's confuse people and the time, money, and production being spent on the White one NOBODY wants could be spent on making more Deluxe bundles. The price is a bit too high. It should get a price drop to $299.99 and the white model should just be discontinued. The focus on casual software is hurting Nintendo the Wii Sports crowd have moved on to Apple/Android/Facebook games. This Sing Party, Wii Fit U, Nintendo Land, Game & Wario is just a waste of resources. Sing Party isn't doing well at retail same with Nintendo Land (outside if the bundle). I can bet you Wii Fit U will not sell nearly as well as the original like Nintendo is hoping. Like Plus, U is more of an expansion pack the innovation that was there years ago is no longer there. I'm sorry but Nintendo IS in a bit of a mess right now no matter how many fanboys want to deny it or hide from it.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 16:07

mariomaniac45213 wrote:Various reasons it's not doing well. The marketing campaign sucks, people still think the Wii U is just an add-on to the Wii. The two SKU's confuse people and the time, money, and production being spent on the White one NOBODY wants could be spent on making more Deluxe bundles. The price is a bit too high. It should get a price drop to $299.99 and the white model should just be discontinued. The focus on casual software is hurting Nintendo the Wii Sports crowd have moved on to Apple/Android/Facebook games. This Sing Party, Wii Fit U, Nintendo Land, Game & Wario is just a waste of resources. Sing Party isn't doing well at retail same with Nintendo Land (outside if the bundle). I can bet you Wii Fit U will not sell nearly as well as the original like Nintendo is hoping. Like Plus, U is more of an expansion pack the innovation that was there years ago is no longer there. I'm sorry but Nintendo IS in a bit of a mess right now no matter how many fanboys want to deny it or hide from it.


Thank you for speaking sense.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 16:22

mariomaniac45213 wrote:Various reasons it's not doing well. The marketing campaign sucks, people still think the Wii U is just an add-on to the Wii. The two SKU's confuse people and the time, money, and production being spent on the White one NOBODY wants could be spent on making more Deluxe bundles. The price is a bit too high. It should get a price drop to $299.99 and the white model should just be discontinued. The focus on casual software is hurting Nintendo the Wii Sports crowd have moved on to Apple/Android/Facebook games. This Sing Party, Wii Fit U, Nintendo Land, Game & Wario is just a waste of resources. Sing Party isn't doing well at retail same with Nintendo Land (outside if the bundle). I can bet you Wii Fit U will not sell nearly as well as the original like Nintendo is hoping. Like Plus, U is more of an expansion pack the innovation that was there years ago is no longer there. I'm sorry but Nintendo IS in a bit of a mess right now no matter how many fanboys want to deny it or hide from it.

I'm a "Hardcore" gamer, and I loved Wii Sports/ Wii Fit, and Wii Fit U is one I am highly looking forward to. What the hell is wrong with staying healthy and having fun doing it? We need to end this "Hardcore/Casual" crap. Also, they still seem to be selling well here. Deluxe do not stay on shelves long, but basic tend to linger. Even the basics don't last too long though. I swear, sometimes I think there's some kind of conspiricy against Nintendo. One thing is for sure though, Nintendo needs a BIG E3 this year. They need a few MASSIVE exclusives. And for heavens sake, start releasing those e-shop games!!!!
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 16:39

@mariomaniac45213 But it is doing well. Not "wii" well, but still well. (excluding UK of course)
No Avatar
03 Jan 2013 16:46

It sold nearly 2 million units in a little over a month. How the HELL is that bad?
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 17:39

Serebii wrote:Do we actually have facts for this or is it juast an analyst guessing?


How often do we ever have facts until some manner of hard figures come out? Even before the last NPD people had low expectations on Wii U hardware simply due to anecdotal musings regarding some people seeing no stock in stores and others supposedly seeing "mountains" of them in stores. The numbers come out and people still thought it was a bad launch simply because it didn't outsell two platforms that have long been established on the market, at least until it was revealed that aside from Wii, it had the best launch of any platform when compared against the previous generation. I think the big issue is that people are comparing against the Wii's monsterous opening, granted there can be some truth to the adage of "you're only as good as your last [insert event here]", but there is more to consider going forward with regards to Wii U's potential success or failure than the small bit of time it has been available compounded by the anecdotal. I do believe that the numbers out of Japan that we should have gotten this week will end up releasing next week alongside NPD for North America and unless the Wii U had drastic downturns in both markets since the last time we saw figures for these respective markets it's safe to say that the Wii U ought to be somewhere from 1M - 1.5M sold globally (sans Europe due to lack of hard numbers there).
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 17:53

Yes, because GameStop is the only store that sells the Wii U.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 19:52

Gamestop didn't match any of the Wii U game sales at launch.

Target: Buy 2 get 1 free on all Wii U games at launch.
TRU: Buy 1 get 1 50% off on all Wii U games at launch.
Kmart: Buy 2 get a sizable giftcard at launch.
Best Buy matched Target's sale

The week before Christmas:
Target: Buy 2 get 1 free on all Wii U games ( bought three games here)
TRU: Buy 1 get 1 40% off on all games (Wii U included)

This week:
Best Buy, Target, Kmart, and TRU are having big sales this week.

Gamestop doesn't do sales for the most part.
No Avatar
03 Jan 2013 21:20

If they are just going based off Gamestop, no wonder. I know several people who got their pre-orders stiffed by Gamestop. One of those people bought 4 Wii U systems that Gamestop could not deliver. Best Buy had many systems available at launch to fill pre-orders and to fulfill the orders of people who lined up. I'm estimating that a LOT of people were extremely pissed by the terrible way that Gamestop handled the launch and people went elsewhere to buy systems and games. I haven't bought from Gamestop in years, so I'm willing to bet this is all Gamestop's problem and not decent retailers.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 23:34

@LegendofSantiago

You can keep saying "no" all you want but that doesn't change the facts that the Wii U isn't selling as well as Nintendo had hoped. Nintendo doesn't want to see consoles piled up in stores. That isn't good. They are shipping lots of consoles to stores because they expected them to sell. They don't want another Wii situation, but they certainly don't want to see this and this at retailers around the country.

The Wii U is too expensive and Nintendo's messaging is unclear. Any new release hardware should be sold out for the first couple months after release during the Christmas shopping season.

If they maintain sales in November and December, they certainly won't be able to sell them in February and March.

This is the same thing that happened with the 3DS. Both are great systems with some fun games early on in their life. However the price was/is too high and the marketing poor.

Nintendo should lower the price because they've likely sold most of what they are going to sell to the core Nintendo fan at $350. There's your couple million units. It makes sense to release the hardware at a higher price because the core fan is going to purchase it regardless. However, once those sales start to peter out they need to drop the price to a more mass-market-friendly price to sustain the hardware sales for the long-term...just like what happened with the 3DS.
User avatar
03 Jan 2013 23:57

@Jet Pilot it's no where near as bad as the 3DS. The 3ds's biggest launch title was a port (SSFR3D) the wii u has a lot more options. The wii u is also a much better value. The 3ds was horribly overpriced, the wii u is well priced. Nintendo needs to work hard to.push the wii u but overall it's selling at least decently. Better than the ps3/360 did in their repsective launches.
User avatar
04 Jan 2013 01:37

My Gamestop has been out of the black ones since launch, I ask every time I go in there, they sell them as fast as they come in. I see them at Wal-Mart about once a week or so, but then they are all gone within a day (black ones anyway, they seem to have a couple white ones at all times.) It seems they should have made more black ones and didn't bother with the white ones. The price initially seems like a good deal, but if you think about it, to get a white one and Nintendo Land that's already $10 more than a black one with Nintendo Land, then consider you aren't getting the four times larger hard drive, or the charging cradle for the controller. The white one is really a rip off, but I guess they are making a much bigger profit off of it, so it's not a completely stupid move on their part.
No Avatar
04 Jan 2013 01:49

Meh, The same old people complaining about the WiiU and the same old people defending it. Nothing to see here folks move along.
User avatar
04 Jan 2013 10:33

LegendofSantiago wrote:@mariomaniac45213 But it is doing well. Not "wii" well, but still well. (excluding UK of course)

And Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Germany so far.

Its not all roses...
User avatar
04 Jan 2013 17:13

ddddd wrote:
LegendofSantiago wrote:@mariomaniac45213 But it is doing well. Not "wii" well, but still well. (excluding UK of course)

And Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Germany so far.

Its not all roses...


To be fair all those countries have always had low sales for Nintendo.

Nearly all of Europe prefer's Sony except for Ireland and UK which prefer Microsoft.

Even the NES did poorly in Europe.
User avatar
04 Jan 2013 18:34

@M1

I gotta add some credibility to M1's post.

I initially reserved 3 games and a Wii U at Gamestop. I also reserved a "backup" Wii U at Target. Since Gamestop didn't have a midnight lauch, the Target closer to me opened earlier.

(Actually, I was told by a Gamestop employee the day before the Wii U launch that they weren't opening until their normal time of 11am. However, they did end up opening a couple of hours earlier. Still, I'm glad I didn't go to Gamestop because...)

I went to Target at 8am, got the Wii U and since they had a deal (buy 2 games and get 50% off a 3rd), I bought all 3 of my games there too.

Later I cancelled all of my reservations at Gamestop. So in my personal experience, Target was a much better option for the Wii U and Wii U games.

Edit: I also bought Batman from Target just yesterday for $45!
No Avatar
04 Jan 2013 18:49

I guess they can blame me for that. I got my Wii U from Acrobee.com and I've downloaded every single game I have to my 2TB HDD. You're lucked out GameStop :lol:!!
User avatar
04 Jan 2013 19:21

M1 wrote:
ddddd wrote:
LegendofSantiago wrote:@mariomaniac45213 But it is doing well. Not "wii" well, but still well. (excluding UK of course)

And Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Germany so far.

Its not all roses...

To be fair all those countries have always had low sales for Nintendo.
Nearly all of Europe prefer's Sony except for Ireland and UK which prefer Microsoft.
Even the NES did poorly in Europe.


It was very much a Nintendo world in the NES/SNES/ Days, everyone had a Nintendo growing up, few people had a Sega Megadrive.*

Ireland had the second highest per capita sales of the PS2 in 2007 (greater than even Japan)
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/fin ... 29324.html

I believe the Xbox (original) didn't do too well, never knew anyone with one.*

Everyone and their mother, Pub, School, Nursing Home own a Wii.

Numbers of Xbox360 and PS3 seem to fairly even, with perhaps 360 leading slightly.* 360 being out first and the PS3 €600 price tag at launch.

(* purely anecdotal evidence however I don't think you can classify most countries down to a single company, Ireland was once mad for Nintendo, then mad for Sony, then mad for Nintendo again, now evenly distributed between Sony and Microsoft with Nintendo trying to recover and Apple gaining more ground)

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