Well before the Wii U’s launch, I would have laughed out loud if someone predicted a headline like: “PS Vita outsells Wii U”. But it’s happened. In Japan, Sony’s PS Vita is getting a price-drop, and it’s assumed that some retailers decided to jump the gun in order to attract immediate business. That lead to the Vita selling 11,456 units over the last week, while Nintendo’s latest console pushed a mere 9,633. With the Vita to get its price-drop more wide-spread this week, it’s expected that the next report will lean even heavier in Sony’s favor.
In the same week, Sony’s PS3 sold 18,529 units, while Nintendo’s 3DS sat happily on top with 74,729.
The important thing to note about these numbers is that they encompass only a single country – so where does North America stand? For those numbers, we paid a visit to VGChartz, which publishes extremely thorough reports. While I don’t believe the weeks line-up, the numbers are still useful.
Compared to Japan, the scaling is quite different. The Wii U in NA sold 11,636 last week, versus 6,512 for the PS Vita. On one hand, it seems a bit strange that the Wii U only sold a few more over Japan despite having 3x the population, but we can see it was the original Wii that helped level things out. That sold 12,929 units, whereas Japan only saw 1,677 make their way off the shelves.
What we can take away from this is obvious. Nintendo needs to step things up. One of the flagship titles for the Wii U, Pikmin 3, doesn’t even have a release date, and since the console’s launch, announcements have been made that the company will be re-releasing older titles with improved graphics – Zelda: Wind Waker is one example. While this is awesome if you are a fan of these games, it’s not exactly the way you should go about promoting your next-generation console.
Some speculate that one of the biggest reasons the Wii U hasn’t been such a knock-out success is due to its name – and I have a hard time disagreeing. Wii U sounds like an add-on for the original Wii, not a brand-new console. It’s much easier to understand the generational differences between “PS2″, “PS3″ and “PS4″, for example. Of course, the chance of Nintendo renaming its console is nil.
The company could amp up marketing, but that just sounds like a money sink. All of the solutions point to a single, major issue: the console doesn’t have enough attractive games. The original Wii suffered the same, as Brett once talked in-depth about. Are people just not willing to be fooled again? Seems reasonable enough to believe.