Latest Media Create Japanese Sales Charts Paint a Gloomy Picture for the Wii U

In our latest Shockcast I said that today would have been a crucial day to evaluate the performance of the Wii U in its home country, as the newest sales charts would have showcased the sales of Dragon Quest X. The launch of a Dragon Quest title is always a very big deal in Japan and I expected this to be no different.

As someone that always hopes to see success for any major console  (after all close competition is always good for gamers), I hoped to see Dragon Quest X move at least 200,000 units, coming up first. I actually was shooting low, considering the limited installed base and the fact that the game is already out on the Wii.

I was wrong. Here’s the rather discouraging top 10 chart for software (lifetime sales are in parenthesis and titles released this week are bolded), courtesy of Media Create.

  1. Luigi’s Mansion 2: The Dark Moon (3DS): 110,840 (390,991)
  2. Fate / Extra CCC (PSP): 72,883 (72,883)
  3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS): 57,835 (2,976,228)
  4. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PS3): 56,457 (331,082)
  5. Oboro Muramasa (PS Vita): 45,660 (45,660)
  6. Dragon Quest X (Wii U): 33,302 (33,302)
  7. Dungeon Travelers 2 (PSP): Ouritsu Tokoshan to Mamono no Fuuin: 31,738 (31,738)
  8. Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2013 (PS3): 24,864 (126,254)
  9. Pro Yakyuu Spirits 2013 (PSP): 23,135 (103,753)
  10. Games & Wario (Wii U):  22,491 (22,491)

Seeing the launch of a Dragon Quest title in Japan doing this poorly paints a very gloomy picture for the Wii U, showing that the console simply hasn’t been accepted by the general public, mostly due to it’s paper-thin game library.

Things actually seem to  look a little better on the on the hardware side:

  1. 3DS LL: 38,442
  2. Vita: 31,795
  3. 3DS: 28,538
  4. Wii U: 22,829
  5. PS3: 19,069
  6. PSP: 12,594
  7. Wii: 1,858
  8. Xbox 360: 598

Dragon Quest X pretty much doubled the unit sales of the Wii U thanks to the rich bundle, moving up from last week’s rather negative 11,398 unit sold. Sounds good? Not quite. Again, a Dragon Quest title moving only 11,000 consoles in Japan can easily be seen as an unmitigated disaster. Even the PS Vita outsold the Wii U with 31,795 units moved, and it didn’t have any big hitting game this week besides Oboro Muramasa (which is a very good game, but very far from a killer application).

In comparison when Dragon Quest X launched on the Wii not only it sold 367,148 copies during its first week, but it helped moving 42,155 units of the console compared to 10,170 moved the week before. And we’re talking about the Wii, that was already firmly on its way out back then then, without counting that by last August almost everyone that was interested in having one most probably already had his own.

There is a mitigating factor in this dark picture: as far as I know Media Create doesn’t track digital sales, and those that already got the game on the Wii were encouraged to purchase a digital copy on the Square Enix store with a discount. Unfortunately the fact that the game moved only 11,000 units of the console more than the previous week is a much more defining factor, and makes me seriously doubt that digital sales were that stellar as well.

While I would definitely say that the Wii U is in trouble, this doesn’t nearly mean that the console is dead yet. Nintendo can definitely do much (or at least something) to improve its performance. That said, we’re getting to the point where that “Much” (or something) really needs to be done fast.

Join the Discussion

  • Aiddon

    well, you’re being quite the drama queen

    • Really? tell me more 😀

      • Aiddon

        five months. Seriously, I am SHOCKED that I have to explain why this attitude is silly. People said the exact same thing about the 3DS…and then they tried to backpedal so they wouldn’t have to eat a mass amount of crow when Nintendo proved them wrong. In a year’s time you’re going to be embarrassed you ever wrote this

        • Why would I be embarrassed exactly? I never wrote that the Wii U is doomed, because I don’t think we’re at that point yet. Have you even read the article? It’s about the *present* not the future.

          The 3DS was doing badly, but was mostly a matter of price. Once that factor was corrected, things turned around pretty naturally.

          The Wii U has a much more radical problem. It’s software library is VERY thin. Just to give you an idea, before last week the console went more than a whole month without a single release of a game on the domestic market. That’s a big issue.

          And this kind of issue can’t even be solved as easily as price. Games don’t magically pop in a matter of a few months. It requires a very strong third party support, which the 3DS ultimately received, but things look a lot worse on that angle for the Wii U. I’d love nothing more than being proven wrong on this, but at the moment nothing really shows a change in trends.

          • Aiddon

            and those games are being made…just like the 3DS. Do REALLY think Nintendo is that dumb? Do really think they can’t remedy software, especially considering their brands? Have you NEVER looked back at the recent history history of the medium, and seen that literally EVERY first year from a system was always lukewarm and lacking in product? If you don’t pull this exact same thing when the PS4 and the Nextbox pull in a mediocre first year (and they will, as history has proven) then I am calling b.s.

            And frankly, this is what I have to say about 3rd parties: they can go **** themselves. Yeah, I said it. if they’re not gonna put any actual EFFORT into making games for the system, then they have no right to whine when people don’t buy their products and pass them up for the next Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pikmin, Smash Bros., etc which have a better history of quality and uniqueness about them. If anything, Nintendo needs to tell 3rd parties to get the HELL over themselves and stop being complacent.

            Done with this conversation. I have stuff to do

          • Are they being made? Where? There aren’t many announced at the moment, so I’m not exactly sure on what kind of faith are you going on.

            Lukewarm is one thing, a desert is another, and this is a desert. I don’t remember a single console on the last few years with this little software (and a large percentage of it are ports).

            And sorry, but your argument about Nintendo telling third parties to get the “hell” over themselves is laughable.

            It’s Nintendo’s interest and duty to entice third parties to make games on their system. Third parties don’t have any obligation to do Nintendo’s bidding or interests.

            Telling people to get the hell over themselves isn’t exactly the best way to get them to work for you, you know?

          • chris123

            This is sad. It is really sad to see people act like this. We gamers have no patience. I am a nintendo fan and yes i am frustrated like everybody else for the lack of software on the wii u. But we need to calm down. I thought a lot on the issue, and i am talking a different approach. I will wait for nintendo to announce their plans. I think they can’t let the pressure of the press bother them and deliver “rush” products. I have learned that the best things in life comes for the one who learn to be patience. That is a problem with our society, everybody want all in no time. It is like eat in McDonalds because i can wait for my wife to make some dinner. That is a stupid thing. If Nintendo start to release game after game we will be mad because we can’t afford all of them. I don’t know you but can you play and most important, enjoy more then 3 games a month? I am no talking about finishing a game, i can do that in 2 or 3 days, i am talking about enjoying a game, look for everithing that the game have to offer. That is gaming. That is a problem with people here in the Western, our society impulse us to exist, but not to live

          • Chris. Nintendo is providing a product. We’re customers of that product. That’s all there’s to it.

            At the moment they’re simply not providing enough support for that product, and people are starting to get tired of it. When a company takes people’s money, they’re entitled to “patience” only up to a point. That point is past due.

            Nintendo isn’t a benevolent father laboriously working on games to generously hand down to us. They’re a company vying for our money in this (crowded) industry and nothing else. If other companies provide the same services with more “meat”, many will simply give them their money.

            Your post is lined with a lot of brand loyalty, and brand loyalty is one of the biggest factors that lets companies be entitled to rest on their laurels and not do enough to keep the customer satisfied.

            In this case is the biggest factor that lets Nintendo feel entitled not to create new IPs for decades and to continue regurgitating new sequels of the same stuff, While not really enticing third parties to provide relevant games for their consoles.

            If you think it’s a “problem” in the western world and Japanese gamers are all so happy about a months without a single game for the machine, you may want to check around Japanese discussion environments. You’ll be very surprised.

            Things may change in the future (even if there are no signs of such a change for the moment), but the picture painted now is pretty bleak.

          • Vicente Diaz

            3ds became a success thanks to two factors, a huge price cut unprecedented on such a young machine, and securing a 3rd party system seller like monster hunter. None of these seem to be happening anytime soon on the wiiu .

            The biggest problem though is of concept. The tablet controller is not attracting anyone to the console like motion gaming did on the wii. When your console is designed to take advantage of a concept no one is interested in, then you have a problem.

          • chris123

            I respect your opinion. I’m not saying that is good that Nintendo doesn’t resolve problems faster, all i said is that this articles show our lack of maturity. I’m a sony fan also and when they made mistakes with their console I took the same approach, no because they deserve it, but because i didn’t have the whole picture. I couldn’t talk about it because i didn’t work for sony. Every company have their strategy and their strategy are different because their leaders are different. I read every article and is the same, the company have to do this to became succesful. I don’t know you but i don’t want every person to tell me what i have to do everytime. I can take tips from people, but no with the kind of attitude that most person give them. I ‘m very frustrated at Nintendo like you, but I don’t go to every site writing negative about them. If i love something and i see that is not doing very well, i try to analize the whole situation, not to bash the company. They are people like us. I also think that the press is very harsh with nintendo, but no with sony and microsoft. Every article this days is about nintendo is doom and so on, but what about sony mistakes or xbox mistekes? I want people to look at things from different points of view, no the same thing all over again. I Know that the Wii u is in a big trouble, I am not denying that, but I don’t need an article to Know that. I think people need to start talking about the posibilities of the Wii U. The Ps3 started slow but later became a success.

          • I’m not bashing them. I’m saying that for the moment their strategy is obviously not working, and they don’t have much time before their competitors hit. The PS3 entered the market last, and that determined most of their starting disadvantage.

            The Wii U entered the market first this coming generation, but Nintendo is burning the headstart they had because they probably rushed to the market too early (IE: when they didn’t have enough games completed or near completion) exactly to get that headstart.

            This article is about the present. Not the future, and the present simply isn’t positive. The future will be whatever it will be, but I can’t predict it and you can’t as well.

            Just thinking “they know their job, so they can’t do wrong” doesn’t cut it. To analyze what’s happening in the industry is my job. So I do it. If companies could do no wrong, none of them would ever fail, but they do all the time.

          • chris123
  • Al

    Two words for you….. Smash Brothers. DONE! Lol

  • JuounLeFey

    Wow. Yet another article about how Nintendo is doomed if they don’t conform and start pumping out the endless drivel of the other systems. Listen, champ; Nintendo has one thing the other systems do not- a very long history of pleasing their fans. Crying that the sky is falling because Japan didn’t react the way you thought they should over an old game bundled with a new system tells me you don’t really know simple economics. Ahem; a) ever stop and think that the reason no one bought the damn bundle was because they already owned the same game and it works just fine? I mean, what’s the point of trying to sell a Wii game with a Wii U? It’s a backward compatible machine. And b) Dragon Quest X was a terrible game. It brought nothing new to the table and relied on tired mechanics. Expecting a game to sell because it has a familiar logo only works if you’re one of the many thousands of drooling idiots who think Call of Duty makes for “hardcore gamers.” What this really sounds like is your professional opinion as a fanboy. Nintendo has been around for a little over a century. I don’t think they are shitting their pants because Square-Enix couldn’t deliver a quality game again. That reflects on SE, not Nintendo. SE has had a rough few years. The people who made them rich and famous are all gone and have been replaced with complacent wannabes who are failing to deliver. Nintendo could retire on Pokemon sales alone and not bat an eye if no one ever bought a Wii U again, but they try anyway because they do one thing the others don’t; they make a system for gamers and make games for gamers. Sony and Microsoft makes systems and games for profit, which is why when Nintendo does something revolutionary (motion controls, memory cards, vibration function, rendered graphics, controllers with more than two buttons, touch screens, etc.), the other two swoop in and take it and release crap like Kinect Star Wars or Dance Central, both of which are sad excuses for games that Sony and Microsoft sold to idiots using the most well known brand in the world and Usher, the man who sings “Yeah!” six hundred times per song and gave the US Justin Beiber. All Nintendo has to do is say “New Zelda/Metroid/Mario/Pokemon,” and people will pre-order those on faith alone because a true gamer knows that Nintendo will always value its audience over a profit. Be prepared to copy and paste this entire article in about ten months and change a few names. One thing I can always rely on is Nintendo. I play games on my Nintendo. I watch Netflix on my PS3 and I sold my 360 because its just an inferior machine.

    • First of all this article says nowhere that Nintendo is doomed, just to let strawman argument #1 out of the way.

      Their fans (the ones not wearing a big blindfold) don’t seem too pleased to me at the moment.

      Dragon Quest X is such a terrible game that received only positive reviews in Japan. The reason to bring it to the Wii U is obviously to improve the graphics and use the Wii U’s hardware better. It’s not that hard to get.

      But the most hilarious part of your post is this:
      “Expecting a game to sell because it has a familiar logo only works if you’re one of the many thousands of drooling idiots who think Call of Duty makes for “hardcore gamers.””

      Considering that you just described what Nintendo has been complacently doing for more than a decade, it really makes your comment hard to take seriously.

      And even more hilarious is that you praise exactly the same thing when Nintendo does it no more than five lines below. Thanks for the smile mate.

      • JuounLeFey

        And thank you for showing me that, once again, game reviews by die hard fans pretending to be serious journalists are one of the many reasons no one takes our breed seriously. Also, an article about how poor sales paint a gloomy picture insinuates that you feel the future doesn’t look good for Nintendo; hence, doomed. I even took the liberty of grabbing the Websters definition for you-

        Doomed (past tense of Doom).


        1) Condemn to certain destruction or death.

        2) Cause to have an unfortunate and/or inescapable outcome.

        Nintendo relies on a quality product… mate. I wouldn’t say they have been complacently doing anything, really. I mean, if you can find one Nintendo made title that flopped, bring it on. Tell me, how many people do YOU know that have a copy of the first Call of Duty or Halo game that they still play versus people that own an NES and still play 30 year old games on it?

        Dragon Quest X received positive reviews…. in Japan. Japan is not the center of the universe, friend, nor is it the end all, be all of whether a game is successful or not. Maybe 25 years ago, sure, but not today. If we went by your sales knowledge and how a system or company might suffer because of what Japan thinks, then you should take a closer look at the past thirty years of games sales. The highest grossing titles around the world are games Japan considers to be inferior and we cling on to them like ticks thinking that Japan is the proper court of deciding what makes a game worthy because we’ve bred a generation of people who are hypnotized by anime and video games and assume that Japan knows what they are doing. They do, by the way. They know exactly what they are doing. They are making a fortune off of the rest of the world by pumping out mindless garbage and selling it to kids overseas with flashy artwork, fast, repetitive music and a gimmick or dumbed downed, incomplete versions of what their own people receive. And why, one must ask, does Japan get all the fancy toys and lengthier versions and bonus material? Because, mate, we are all a bunch of whiny toolbags who fight over which system is better and completely forget that it doesn’t matter. Its about the games. That’s it. Just the games. And Nintendo, for all of their faults, have done one thing consistently… they have, time and again, made efforts to appease gamers and take care with who they deal with or what they release on their current flagship system. They actually care about the people buying the system and go to great lengths to make sure they have a product that speaks for itself.

        Just because you apparently have some kind of bad taste in your mouth over Nintendo doesn’t mean that its not going well for them. Rule of thumb for journalism of any kind? Make sure you make a complete report, make sure your subject is relavent or newsworthy, and for Gods sake, be biased. You know why we’re all bashing your article, right? You DID proof read before submitting, yes?

        • There’s a whole lot of difference between “the future doesn’t look good” (more the present doesn’t look good, and the future doesn’t as well unless Nintendo does something rather radical to amend the situation, as the ending of the article clearly states) and “Nintendo is doomed”.

          You may want to reread the definitions you posted yourself.

          You wouldn’t say Nintendo is complacently doing anything? I would say relying on the same IPs and basically nothing else for more than a decade is the very definition of “complacent”, and exactly what you hypocritically accuse other companies to be doing.

          Dragon Quest X received positive reviews… in Japan. And guess what? This is an article about the Japanese market.

          I know why you’re “bashing” my article. You’re angry that someone isn’t saying that Nintendo can’t do wrong.

          Well sorry to have to burst a bubble. Nintendo can do wrong. They have done plenty mistakes in the past. And at least at the moment, for what concerns the Wii U, they seem to be doing wrong.

          The console isn’t selling well, and it doesn’t have many games released for it (and won’t for a while). And most of those games aren’t selling well already, discouraging third parties from making more games for the Wii U, of from supporting the console with their engines. That’s a fact. It’s most obviously a fact some people like you really don’t want to hear, but that doesn’t make it less of a fact.

          • chris123

            But what is the point of your article? What can be solve reading your article?

          • At the moment I’m not here to offer a “solution”. The situation is fluid and requires more observation before firm hypotheses about solutions can be made. This is a news reporting/analysis article. Not a “I’m here to teach the Nintendo executive board their jobs ’cause I know so much better” article.

            You know, Informing and analyzing the industry is one of the things game websites are here for. We love to come up with viable solutions when we can, but at the moment I’m not yet so sure of what Nintendo can do about this. Dropping the price might help some, but it would probably be just a band-aid, as there would still be too few games, and it’s not like they can just decide to make games appear magically.

          • chris123

            thanks, now i can understand your point. I think i have learned a lot arguing with you. Forgive me if I offended you.
            I am a video game fan and i’m just really tired of people always talking about the negatives but not the positives.
            Thanks again for take your time to read my post and explain your points to me. I really appreciate that. I will be looking for your articles more often.

          • Thanks a lot for understanding, and don’t worry. I’m not offended at all.