Nintendo has already cut its forecasts for the Wii U after sales failed to meet expectations, and we're now seeing the extent of the console's poor performance in the US. The NPD group has released its report for January video game retail sales and, while it isn't providing specific hardware numbers, a Gamasutra source says that the Wii U sold "well under" 100,000 units. Nintendo previously announced that it sold 460,000 systems in December, suggesting that demand has dropped off considerably among customers who hadn't already decided to buy the console at launch.
Demand has dropped off considerably
According to an NPD representative, the figure represents a 38 percent decrease on sales for the original Wii at the same point in its life, and Gamasutra estimates that the actual number is between 45,000 and 59,000 consoles sold. If accurate, that would mean the Wii U performed worse in January than the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 did in any single month throughout their entire lifespan. Nintendo will be hoping for a sales boost later in the year from recently-announced Super Mario, Zelda, and Mario Kart titles.
Microsoft, meanwhile, announced that the Xbox 360 sold 281,000 units last month. We're yet to see numbers from Sony, but they look to be lower — Microsoft is claiming the crown of best-selling console in the US for its 25th consecutive month. The company reiterated the figure of 76 million consoles sold worldwide; an IDC report from last month cited the same number shipped versus 77 million units for the PlayStation 3. With Sony set to announce its next-generation PlayStation in under a week, it appears that the company is still neck and neck with Microsoft towards the end of the PS3's life.