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Wii U's Performance is Not "New Console Jitters" or "Just like Ps3"

There has been plenty of articles that have had some not so positive analysis of its (granted) short life. Some articles have taken it too far with verbal illustrations of "doom" for the Wii U, but let's not let that justify extremes on the other end, claiming that Wii U is in no trouble at all; Wii U is in a tight spot and is NOT suffering from "typical" new console jitters.

Some would have you believe that Ps3 and the 360 went through EXACTLY this or worse. They crawled out of the dirt on their hands and knees. They didn't become steady sellers until a few years in. But that is a lot of garbage.

The most immediate comparison that the "poor" attitude towards Wii U's performance gets compared to are all of the PS3 "doom" articles that we've seen over the years, as well as its supposed terrible performance. CNN even called Ps3 a "sinking ship" in late 2008, when it had been averaging over 660,000 sales per month that year!

Let's compare the early days of Ps3 with Wii U, shall we?

Month 1 (November): Ps3 (~400K), Wii U (~500K)
Month 2 (December): Ps3 (~850K; ~1.25M total), Wii U (~2M; ~2.5M)

Wow. It sure looks like Wii U is outpacing the Ps3. How could Wii U be in any trouble at all? But wait a minute. There's quite more.

Month 3 (January): Ps3 (~380K; ~1.6M), Wii U (~250K; ~2.7M)
Month 4 (February): Ps3's worst ever month (~240K; ~1.8M), Wii U (~150K; ~2.9M)
Month 5 (March): Ps3 (~985K; ~2.65M), Wii U (~146K; ~3M)

You might be thinking "What's the problem? They sold at about the same pace" But "pace" isn't the right word at all. Wii U and Ps3 might have reached similar sales milestones at the same time, but they didn't do it at the same pace. Wii U had an explosive launch. Why? We were told that they would be sold out until March. People ran out to get their Wii Us as soon as they spotted one in fear that they wouldn't get the opportunity again for months. But then December came and reports started coming in that Wii Us weren't so "sold out" after all. 1.8 million Wii Us later, it was clear that Wii U wasn't in that bad of shape in supply and Nintendo exhausted the demand faster than it could grow. I live not so far outside of Chicago and, personally, every store I was at in December had many Wii Us. the way, did I mention that Ps3 didn't even become available in Europe until March 2007?

Ps3 sold a very similar amount to the Wii U in the first 5 months, WITHOUT Europe. Ps3's worst ever month, which hardly compares to Wii Us worst 2 months, happened as result of a very real lack of availability in a very big region. After that, Ps3 never even touched the 200K range in a month ever again.

"But Wii U just doesn't have its big software yet!"
So? PS3 and 360 never sold that poorly in a month, no matter how bad the software drought was at the time.

Let's look at how Wii U's early years "compare" to the Ps3's early days now.

1) Doom articles: Ps3 was given horrible press when it was pushing over 600K almost every month that year. Wii U is getting horrible press as the result of selling under 250K for 3 months in a row (basically Ps3's worst month ever, plus 2 worse, for a total of 3 times in a row).

2) Raw sales in first few months: About the same as result of Ps3 not being released in an important region.

3) Pace: Ps3 went down and then up, never to return to its low. Wii U went quickly and sharply downhill after month 2.

Clearly, Wii U isn't starting off like the system that it is often compared to, the Ps3.

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SilentNegotiator1878d ago

Disclaimer (to clear up anything else and also for those that choose to not read my blog at all, but could at least recognize that I'm not calling Wii U "doomed" before making a stupid comment):

1) I did NOT claim that Wii U is doomed or that it is too late for Wii U to sell well.
2) I AM claiming that Wii U's early days are NOT comparable to Ps3's early days.
3) I AM claiming that Wii U is NOT starting out well.
4) Sales are estimates, gathered from vgchartz (that mostly steals official, better estimates later when they release anyway), official numbers, and other firms. Nintendo said 3 million at the end of 2012, so the sales are probably ~3.5 million at this point. Nintendo's downsized forecast in January was to reach 4 million at March's end. ***The monthly numbers are ballpark enough to illustrate my point of general pace...Wii U is NOT riding the same current as Ps3 did, and its ride has quickly gone from smooth to unpleasant***

Donnieboi1878d ago

Strong points made in your blog.

zerocrossing1876d ago

You make a lot of great points but I still think many gamers lack of interest in general towards Nintendo and the Wii U is a strong contributing factor.

Pretty much everyone was looking to get a PS3 after the great success of Sony's PS2 but looking at Nintendo it's very much a different story.

PopRocks3591878d ago (Edited 1878d ago )

I don't believe the two console launches are the same at all and you make some good points here. However my point has consistently been that like the PS3, the 3DS and just about any other recent platform that started off rather badly, the Wii U can turn its financial pace around. It has not even been out for half a year.

If you want a better sales comparison, the Vita had been selling very similar numbers to the Wii U and is even closer in its initial price range. Since its price drop in Japan it did a little better and began outselling the Wii U. An interesting contrast is that the Wii U had a retailer price drop which had very little impact on its sales while the release of new games helped boost its sales somewhat.

You're right in saying the Wii U's early blues are not the same as the PS3s, but I don't agree that they are outright "incomparable."

EDIT: Just to clarify, once you go into specifics, yes, you can argue that the sales are pretty different and they definitely are. It's a matter of whether or not the Wii U should deemed a failure; the PS3 had early blues, as did the 3DS, as did the Vita. They've all turned around. I personally use those comparisons as a reasons to suggest that a bad first year does not spell out a bad overall generation for any platform.

SilentNegotiator1878d ago (Edited 1878d ago )

It isn't like 3DS or Vita either. They're handhelds and the only barrier to success was price. People don't want to pay >$200 for a handheld game system. It's usually just a distraction for billy on a car trip. I really don't think a $80 would make Wii U see a similar spike to 3DS...a spike of course (as with any price drop) but not one to make it an instant hit like 3DS.

Wii U's real issue is a lack of strong aim at any of the big audiences. There isn't strong appeal for the hardcore (high paying) crowd because its online isn't beyond what already exists (and doesn't have the history) and it doesn't do much that the systems they already own can. There isn't strong appeal for the casual audience because it doesn't have the fitness aspect. And like I said, even though some of the Nintendo exclusives aren't in yet, PS3/360 never saw a slump like this, regardless of software drought.

PopRocks3591878d ago

Perhaps. I suppose we'll see a year or so down the line. I don't necessarily agree with that mentality considering the 3DS and Vita go for similar markets, but you may well be right.

Whether or not the platforms are comparable to anyone, I don't think anyone can truly predict this system as a total failure or success at this point. Presently it's inching along without any large scale games behind it but it has several first party IPs heading its way. If it doesn't pick up after that then the concept of it being a sure failure would be more understandable.

NYC_Gamer1878d ago (Edited 1878d ago )

Wii-U is cheaper at launch and still can't move solid numbers ...PS3 being way more expensive[$600] with limited software was doing better numbers monthly...There's no excuse because remember Wii-U had the best launch software wise[certain N4G members opinion] right?

Donnieboi1877d ago (Edited 1877d ago )


rainslacker1878d ago

I think right now, Wii U's only problem is software. There just isn't enough out, or coming out(at least with confirmed release dates) to really entice more people to buy it.

Despite popular belief, Sony's launch window of releases wasn't that barren. It had a dry spell in the Summer, which we still get 6 years into it's lifespan, but the games were there, they were announced, and they were given firm release dates. Nintendo had a dry spell immediately after release. 4 months before the next AAA game release after launch, and then the rest of this year it's only older games that have anything confirmed. On top of that, 3rd party support looks to be shaky right now. Add all those things up, and it doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the consumer.

It's not going to help Nintendo when MS and Sony come out with their new systems. Nintendo had a 1 year head start, and they pretty much wasted it. Wii U will likely hold it's own, and end up being a successful system, but it does have it's issues that are making it a hard sell on Nintendo's part. It's only going to get harder for them come holiday of 2013.

1877d ago