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Nintendo Wii Businesses Entertainment Games

Nintendo Switch Outsells Wii U In 10 Months (variety.com) 107

In less than a year, the Nintendo Switch has earned the designation of the fastest-selling U.S. console of all time. It has outsold the company's previous flagship Wii U just 10 months after its introduction. "Altogether, Nintendo has sold more than 14.86 million Switch units since its debut in March of 2017," reports Variety. "The company sold around 12.5 million Wii U's between 2012 and 2017." From the report: For Nintendo, this is a remarkable turn-around reminiscent of the introduction of the original Wii back in 2006. In fact, earlier this month, news broke that the Switch had become the fastest-selling game console in the U.S. to date, handily outselling original Wii with 4.8 million vs. 4 million units moved over a ten-month span after each device's introduction to U.S. consumers. Nintendo sold 7.23 million Switch units during the holiday quarter alone. The company adjusted its financial guidance for Q1 in light of continued demand for the device upwards by 33%, and now expects to bring in an operating profit of 160 billion yen ($1.47 billion), as well as revenue of around 1 trillion yen ($9.38 billion).
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Nintendo Switch Outsells Wii U In 10 Months

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  • by vix86 ( 592763 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @08:05PM (#56044605)

    This comes as no surprise to me really. The Switch bridges the gap that has been hurting consoles in more mobile markets, by giving people a system that can be played on the go and put into a console mode when at home. I suspect they wanted to try this with the Wii U but the tech wasn't quite there yet and instead they ended up with a gimmicky screen controller.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was all about the games, Wii U promised so much, but it never had a Zelda or major Mario title.

      The controller was never used much by the games, because the other makers are cross-platform, and work to lowest common denominator. None of the other consoles had the funny controller, so none of the games used it.

      Switch launched with a really major/beautiful Zelda game, and the preview of another major innovative Mario game at launch. So we bought it, played through Zelda the first few months, filled summer w

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      The Wii U is the best console I've ever owned. That controller was indeed gimmicky, and that gimmick turned out to be a really good one.

      I had opposite experiences with the Wii and Wii U:

      Wii: "Man, those controllers look like such a good idea. Every other time I've used motion controls like that they've been annoyingly laggy, but I'm sure that Nintendo wouldn't be doing this if they hadn't solved that problem. I'm so excited for the Wii, this is going to be great."

      Wii U: "Oh my god... Come on Ninten
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The game library for Switch is a fraction of what the Wii and Wii U have. Why would you buy one? It's not even significantly better graphically.

    ZIP

  • I would have bought one myself, if it could play my Wii games. My Wii is mostly defective, so I could certainly justify it if it did. But, alas, it doesn't.

    • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @08:15PM (#56044671)

      I would have bought one myself, if it could play my Wii games.

      How would that all be practical in a handheld console that wasn't massively large?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It does have a docking station, which currently does very little. Eve at home only disc reader would have been a useful feature.

      • >How would that all be practical in a handheld console that wasn't massively large?

        The Switch is not just handheld, it is also dockable. Either way, it doesn't matter because the screen resolution is good enough and it has more than enough resources/power to play Wii games, and the controllers should work on a similar principle.

        The only technical obstacle would have been the lack of an optical disc drive. Of course, Nintendo could either transfer the games to cards or make them downloadable for those w

  • ... it combined the gameboy with the console. Without the mobile element I have doubts it would have been as successful. Nintendo was largely saved by the gameboy it allowed their consoles to weather the storm. But they still have tanked some of their own properties like starfox and F-zero stupidily.

  • by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @09:07PM (#56044973)

    The only conclusion I can come to is Nintendo's unique titles are driving this. The console as a mobile gaming option is cumbersome and battery inefficient, meanwhile Nintendo continues to release amazing content that stands out far more than other consoles content, most of which is available on every other platform.

    I've wanted Nintendo consoles to fail for over a decade now because I want them to become strictly a game developer. Sadly, I don't see that happening any time soon so I'll probably buy a switch in the near future.

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @11:00PM (#56045333)

      I'm also planning to buy a switch in the future, however I'm not sure if I should get a SPDT or DPDT.

    • Wife has been living Mario Odyssey on the big screen and we've both enjoyed Mario kart on the big screen. But I've caught her playing Mario Kart on the handheld while watching tv (damn woman is secretly practicing so she can beat me) and last plane trip she played Mario Odyssey while I played Pokemon Ultra Sun on the 3DS.

      Mobile capability is definitely getting good use. Not a gimmick.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      Well, Nintendo portables has always done great. So there's that ..

      But yeah, battery life is poor where we've seen other consoles fail due to that. I don't really see it as much of a saver for the Switch but I guess the fact that you can play games on it hooked up to the wall to some extent makes up for that by a tiny bit because at-least you're not limited to just playing for three hours and then charging it. I guess another thing which may have changed since the Game gear days is how we use batteries and l

      • battery life seems ok for me. Put it in airplane mode to cut all the uneeded power drain and I get at least 3.5 to 4 hours play time. Now, maybe for my kids that would be too little, but for me, that's about the most I can squeeze into a single sitting.

        • by aliquis ( 678370 )

          One person claim the Game Gear did 1-2 hours with 6 batteries, Atari Lynx wikipedia page says 3-4 hours for it.

          The Atari Lynx wikipedia page says 4-6 hours for Atari Lynx. Lynx II even better.

          Nintendo Game Boy claim here http://nerdlypleasures.blogspo... [blogspot.se] is 15 hours in the manual but others have estimated 35 hours!

          Game Boy Advance SP on brightest 7-10 hours according to this: https://www.nintendo.com/consu... [nintendo.com]

    • by vix86 ( 592763 ) on Thursday February 01, 2018 @02:01AM (#56045797)

      The Switch was a brilliant decision as a mobile system. Will you get 8 hours out of it? No, but I think Nintendo went into this with a few assumptions and target markets. First, I think they assumed that most people wouldn't play the Switch in portable mode for more than 2-3 hours and that if most people were going to do that then they would probably have access to a power source while doing so. In the car? Use a power converter. On an airplane? A lot of [long-haul] planes have plugs now and airports have charging locations now. Their target market for the portability mode was clearly with people that commute via mass transit, particularly countries like Japan, South Korea, and maybe some European countries.

      One of the biggest cruxes they've had in Japan in the gaming market has been the low installment base for home consoles. The market with the most disposable income (working adults) don't buy those systems that much because [at least in Japan] they aren't at home a lot. Handhelds are a different matter though, the installment rate on the DS and PSP (and Vita to a lesser extent) has traditionally been really good. This wouldn't seem like a problem on the surface but it hurts developers quite often because they have to make a decision between making games for the handheld or making games for the consoles. I'm convinced that the Switch will be heralded in the future as impactful as the Gameboy or the NES.

      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        Via mass transit? I'll admit, I live in the burbs and don't have to commute out of them but I don't think trains and buses have outlets for one to plug their consoles into.

        I know a few people with switches and I've never heard of any of them using the mobile option to any significant respect and none of them site that option as to why they bought theirs.

        • by vix86 ( 592763 )

          Average commute time in Japan is about an hour with maybe +/- 30 minute variation for some. I imagine its pretty similar in other mass transit cities as well. On a full charge, you can easily get play time in without needing an outlet. If you don't use it any more during the day, there should still be enough of a charge to use it going home as well and then you charge it at home. If the battery gets a little worse, you should still be able to play going one way and charge at work.

          I'm similar though, living

          • by skam240 ( 789197 )

            None of that changes the fact that I've never met a Switch owner who uses their Switch outside the house. The only time I've heard actual users tout the usefulness of the system's mobility is in the context of the wife wanting to watch TV. That's not a strong demographic.

    • The only conclusion I can come to is Nintendo's unique titles are driving this.

      Then you've come to the wrong conclusion. The best selling games on the Switch are either more of the same with minor increments (Zelda, Mario Odysee), exactly the same (Mario Kart, Splatoon), or common (Skyrim, Doom). There are a few unique games that sell well but they haven't even made it out of Japan. They have some innovation in some currently not super popular games which don't seem to be selling quite as much.

      The real conclusion you can draw is that people actually like mobile games and don't like to

      • I think you underestimate the power of Mario as a brand. It is one of the few longstanding brands that is well-received by people from 4 years old to adulthood.

        Plus, there is an awful lot of content in Mario Odyssey. We average an hour a day since release and are not even close to collecting all the moons. Nintendo seems to be releasing more content for the game as time goes on as well. We are already well below the $/hr cost of pretty much any other non-free entertainment, even considering the cost of
        • I think you underestimate the power of Mario as a brand.

          The Switch was the fastest selling console since launch. Critically it's also the first Nintendo console which launched WITHOUT a Mario game available.

      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        No one does the first four you mention like Nintendo.

        As a singular example, there have been a ton of wanna-be Mario Karts. None of them have come close to the title's success despite that title being only available on a platform that has been very much in the minority of the console market for a decade now.

        No one buys a Nintendo for Skyrim, Doom, or its portability. No one would buy an under powered PlayStation that they could use in a mobile context. For the last decade game design is what has kept Nintend

    • Nintendo has tons of cash in the bank. They're not getting out of the hardware business for a long time. There are plenty of people willing to buy Nintendo hardware just to play their 1st party games. The Switch's mobility is not just about playing games when you're out of the house. It fixes one of the biggest flaws with the Wii U... you can use it anywhere in the house. With the Wii U, you could only play games in tablet mode when within about 30 feat of the console. This is a big deal for gamers th
      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        "Nintendo has tons of cash in the bank. They're not getting out of the hardware business for a long time. There are plenty of people willing to buy Nintendo hardware just to play their 1st party games."

        Yeah, that's why I said what I said.

        As for the portability, the people I know who own the system regard the mobile option as a novelty.

    • by snooo53 ( 663796 )
      This! It seems like game sales were a big missed opportunity with the original Wii. When you have an install base of 100M+ for the console, why in the world aren't you creating new versions of your flagship titles for years? Where was Super Mario Bros Wii 2 and 3 (like with the original NES), or Mario Kart 2? The answer of course is that they were trying to use those sequels to push hardware sales of the Wii U, with extremely limited success. There's a lot of hype now around the Switch; it will be inte
      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        I would guess the same.

        On the other hand though, gamers might be looking for some originality. The AAA market for video games seems to be drifting towards AAA movie risk aversion. Likewise, No one does Nintendo's staple's better. For instance, there have been plenty of Mario Kart wanna-be's and none of them have held up.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @09:09PM (#56044987)
    are due to Nintendo fans who sat the Wii U Gen out. It's good for Nintendo that their core customers are back, but I suspect the sales will slow once they've saturated their existing market. e.g. this won't be a repeat of the Wii.
    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @09:29PM (#56045075)

      Our daughter begged us to buy a Wii U... so we did. A year before they basically abandoned it... She actually still plays a few games on it, although I think it's used more for Wii games than anything U-specific. But it's never seen anything like the use the old Wii did.

      We are not buying the Switch, in any case. I think we've somewhat shifted out of that demographic - plus the Wii U abandonment left a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like Nintendo should have done something for the Wii U purchasers other than basically say "yup, you shouldn't have bought that".

      • I feel like Nintendo should have done something for the Wii U purchasers other than basically say "yup, you shouldn't have bought that".

        Nintendo has no understanding of their own customers or gaming culture as a whole, it would never occur to Nintendo for instance that the developers of Freespace 2 (PC) are gods gift to flight/space games and have them make a starfox. Nintendo is seriously out of touch with western gaming audiences and how we game they don't see how global game culture operates from the gamers perspective. AKA people who grew up on the NES also played games like Doom, Civilization, etc, on PC. They don't just game on one

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Or maybe instead what Nintendo is trying to do is lost on you?

          Nintendo makes more revenue off hardware than they do off software (and they sell hardware at a profit unlike other companies), and making their own hardware (a) locks in what customers they do have, (b) ensures they don't have to pay royalties on their software, and (c) let's them collect royalties from others.

          Complaining that Nintendo loses customers for their games by having an exclusive console is like complaining that Disney is going to lose

      • The console ran continuously for 6 years. It may not have the life of an Xbox but that's hardly a bad run for a device.

        The Wii U was an oddity. We stopped playing ours as soon as we got a Switch which we're actively fighting over (I'm home today but my wife took it to work !). I think the problem was it was ahead of its time. The Switch is what the Wii U wanted to be. Touchscreen, and untethered. Unfortunately those features that were the Wii U's big selling point, and ended up relegated to base station as

        • My wife plays the Switch the most, my daughter rarely, I've barely touched it.

          For my daughter and I, the Wii U is the main machine for PIkmin 3 Bingo Battle (really fun game actually, although I don't ever see myself playing the base Pikmin game), Hyrule Warriors (we have the 3DS version, but without multiplayer it's not as fun)(Yes, I know they are coming out with a Hyrule Warriors Complete [or something like that] for the Switch, but will it do MP? and I don't want to start grinding from scratch again, we

    • We have two switches around my house, and both are well used. While it's not mobile the way a 3ds is, it's fabulous for long car or airplane rides or situations where a kid is stuck waiting a long time for a parent. It has also been useful for easy, instant Mario Kart competitions.

      I think the mobile nature of it could add a lot of sales to families like mine with more than one kid in the right demographic. Some really fantastic network play has broken out in the backseat of our family car.

    • It's not just the Nintendo core fans. I'm surprised by the number of people I know who bought the Switch and are not the traditional, hard core Nintendo fans (i.e. they're PC/PS4/XB1 gamers). Nintendo knows how to make really fun games that appeal to a wide audience. The Switch is probably the best console I've ever owned.
  • I am glad to hear it. The last Nintendo console I bought new was the Gamecube, I bought a Wii eventually and view it only as a retro/kids toy. I may buy a second or third generation Switch after they fix the warping and other problems the console had at launch so I can check out the first party titles (Zelda, Mario, Metroid).

  • The Wii U main feature is that you can play on the Wii U gamepad screen instead of using the TV screen, but it's not really portable since it still needs the console. It essentially created a feature that has no practically use while other console Nintendo made were better. Why would anyone use the small gamepad screen at home when you could use the large TV screen? If gamers wanted living room TV gaming experience, they get a Wii. If they wanted it to be portable, they get a 3DS. Even the numbers [wikipedia.org] explain i

  • I ended up trading some old computer equipment for a practically new Wii-U that someone got bored with and I love it. I wouldn't want it as my main console (I have a PS4 for that) but I like it for all the exclusive games it had. Towards the end of its life I picked up a ton of exclusives cheap and I've been slowly playing through them all (Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE is my current favorite). I see that some of the better exclusives have been ported to switch (Bayonetta 2 for example) but there are still ton
  • When my Wii crapped out it was about 3 months after the Wii U launch, rather than buy another Wii I decided to invest in the new console with the expectation that I'd be able to keep playing my Wii games and pick from the selection of new games for the Wii U...

    New titles were few and very far between, titles that were expected to drop in or around launch ended up taking far longer to get out the door or were just outright cancelled. There was hardly any 3rd party support and the online experiences it offere

  • I'm surprised nobody has mentioned how unNintendo like it is for them to build a battery into the console. It's relatively easy to replace compared to an iPhone but certainly not without risk. And of course Nintendo sells a battery replacement service. looking at the tear down, it's clear that there's room for a swappable battery but Nintendo opted out to keep the cost down.

    • The non-replacement battery is very much a pain. I've already got a Wii-U battery problem. The Switch is next no doubt. Funny how you can still dust off an SNES and play old games without too much trouble. Current items... the only hope for longevity of some of these games is emulation... and I bet that gets broken sometimes by the weird inputs.

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