Nintendo's Japanese launch of Wii U may be lagging original Wii

The company says both sold out so comparisons don't make sense, but data shows the Wii had a better launch in Japan

Sales of Nintendo's new Wii U game console appear to be lagging those of its famous predecessor in Japan after its opening weekend, though the company says both sold out and comparisons are largely meaningless.

Two Japanese publishers said the Wii U sold about 308,000 consoles on Saturday and Sunday. Enterbrain, the respected publisher of gaming magazine Famitsu, put the number at 308,570, while data vendor Media Create separately estimated 308,142. Both extrapolate from sales figures at some domestic retailers.

Back in 2006, Enterbrain estimated the Wii sold 372,000 units over its first two days. That console quickly sold out on its launch day, which also came early in December.

Nintendo has released no official numbers on the early sales performance of the Wii U, but spokesman Makato Wakae said it had a strong launch in Japan.

"Both consoles sold out after launch, so it doesn't make sense to compare the two," he said.

Unlike the original Wii in 2006, however, the Wii U was available at some major retailers Tuesday, three days after launch. Amazon's Japan site had 10 units available through a third-party vendor, and online shopping mall Rakuten showed multiple online shops with stock available, though many were selling at inflated prices.

The Wii U launched in North America on Nov. 18, and Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime told U.S. media that it sold 400,000 units there in opening week. He said he didn't expect the Wii U to be as scarce as the Wii was back in 2006, due in part to the company making more units available.

Nintendo aims to sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles globally through March.

The earlier Wii, which introduced gesture-based gaming to the mainstream market, is one of Nintendo's most popular consoles ever. It had sold over 97 million consoles as of September of this year.

Nintendo's best-selling device remains the Nintendo DS portable game, which has sold over 150 million units.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NintendoGame platformsgameswii

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?