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Xbox 360 tops January U.S. sales as Wii U ‘struggles’

Xbox 360 continued to dominate U.S. hardware sales in January 2013, while Wii U reportedly fell well short of expectations in its third month of availability.

Microsoft’s console was the top-selling gaming platform (home and handheld systems) in North America for the 18th consecutive month, while it led home console sales for a 25th straight month. According to NPD retail data released by Microsoft, Xbox 360 sold 281,000 units in January to command a 44 per cent share of "current-generation console sales".

Nintendo and Sony didn’t publicly release hardware sales data, but the outlook appears gloomy for Wii U. While analysts had forecast between 110,000 and 125,000 sales for the console last month, a Gamasutra source said to have access to NPD data claimed the console sold "well under" 100,000 units. Based on available data, the site estimated that Wii U moved between 45,000 and 59,000 units last month – “lower than any of the three previous-generation home consoles sold in their worst months, with the possible exception of a recent performance by the original Wii”.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was the best-selling game in the States in January, ahead of Far Cry 3 and Just Dance 4, while DMC: Devil May Cry debuted at No.6 and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch made its chart bow at No.11. NPD said that the PS3 exclusive ranked seventh on an individual SKU basis.

Total games industry sales at US retail last month came in at $834.7 million, up nine per cent from January 2012. However, as NPD analyst Liam Callahan explained: “As NPD and most retailers follow the National Retail Federation calendar, the January 2013 reporting period will include the required ‘Leap Week’ and is, therefore, a five week period. Overall retail video game sales (hardware, software, and accessories), would be down 13 per cent, instead of up 9 per cent, if sales were normalized to account for the 5-week January.”

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PS3, 360, Wii U, PC)
  2. Far Cry 3 (PS3, 360, PC)
  3. Just Dance 4 (PS3, 360, Wii, Wii U)
  4. NBA 2K13 (PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii, PC, PSP)
  5. Madden NFL 13 (PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii, Vita)
  6. DMC Devil May Cry (PS3, 360)
  7. Halo 4 (360)
  8. Assassin's Creed 3 (PS3, 360, Wii U, PC)
  9. Skylanders Giants (PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS)
  10. FIFA 13 (PS3, 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, Vita)

17 comments

  • Rub3z - February 16, 2013 midnight

    Those of you saying that there isn't some new or next-gen tech involved with the Wii U haven't been informed. It's not your fault I suppose, but I will redeem all of you right now by telling you this: how in the hell do you think Nintendo managed to make a device that can stream an HD quality picture through THIN AIR to the tablet controller with little to virtually nonexistent lag? Developers like the Ubisoft director working on Rayman Legends even said that the connection has in some cases proved so fast, so smooth, that the input lag for the gamepad is EVEN FASTER than the input lag on the telly... which is, y'know, directly connected to the friggin' console. Think about that for a second. It's tantamount to some kind of witchcraft or technical wizardry. Really, if that isn't "next-gen," I don't know what is.
  • Streety519a - February 16, 2013 1:07 a.m.

    Whilst the gaming streaming is quite impressive, other companies have been streaming things to other devices for a while. And the Wii U gamepad is not HD, its actually 480p unlike the IPad that can have HD content streamed to it through a number of apps. The main thing for me is that the IPad doesn't have Wind Waker.
  • Smash_Bro - February 15, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    Come on Ninty, you guys gotta come out with a game that's actually decent and shows off what Wii U can do. It isn't selling well because the average consumer doesn't know what the console can do that's so different. It truly is something you have to experience first-hand. Also no really good games. Same problem with 3DS right now.
  • Talvari - February 15, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Really would have helped if they had one of their core titles available at launch (not NSMBU) but oh well, this year has a lot of promise for Nintendo, Hopefully Sony and Micro$oft are going to present some interesting new consoles and game lineups that will be able to compete :|
  • ultimatepunchrod - February 15, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    Good to see DmC in the top ten. I think the Wii U will pick up steam when the PS4 and next Xbox come out since it will likely see a big price drop. Also, Nintendo needs to get the word out that the Wii U is a brand new system and not just an add-on to the Wii which is what many people seem to be confusing it for.
  • Letter11 - February 15, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    I can't even recall the last time I saw an advertisement for the system. I remember when the Wii came out there was a marketing blitzkrieg. I wonder if they will start to ratchet it up in the coming months before their competitors take the stage.
  • greg-hakes - February 15, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    Everybody knows what a Wii U is, Nobody wants it because it;s under powered GPU and lack of any good games. THe GPU is so poor they couldn't even produce a smooth looking playable Madden Football on it. Sad, Very Very Sad.......
  • Imgema - February 15, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure most of these XBOX sales come from people who already had purchased the console and it died on them after the warranty. Many XBOX users have bought the console at least twice , that's why its so "successful". Nice trick Microsoft.
  • Streety519a - February 15, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Dammit! I wanted my time machine to take me back to see dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period but its taken me back to 2007!!!!
  • ev1lm0nkey87 - February 15, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    I am personally on my fourth. I was thinking of upgrading, I;m just gonna wait until they release the new Xbox so there might be a price drop. I still own my launch PS3. Never had a problem out of it.
  • lewis-barclay - February 16, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Uh I still have my launch 360. You know THE 20 Gb model with no hdmi cord that they don't make anymore? I'm watching netflix on it right now so your information is flawed.
  • Imgema - February 17, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    You do realize that you are in the minority, or an exception of the rule. That doesn't mean the rule isn't there.
  • projdurango13 - February 17, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    you cant handle the fact xbox 360 is the best console available right now.
  • lewis-barclay - February 15, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    you know a lot of people still have no idea its even out yet.
  • lewis-barclay - February 15, 2013 5:55 a.m.

    I gotta admit. It's not really a suprise about the wii u. maybe people really did realize all nintendo did was take a pad and slap sticks and buttons on it and call it new tech.
  • Hobogonigal - February 15, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    From your comment it is obviously Nintendo's advertising which is at fault as well as Gamesradar's and other gaming sites portrayal of what the wii u can actually do. Sure a touch screen with pads isn't new tech, it is what they are doing with that pad and the system that is where the innovation is.
  • AqueousBoy - February 15, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    Pretty sure GamesRadar is just doing their job by reporting on news and covering the games. I'm not seeing any feature articles where they're holding back on the Wii U's capabilities. I'll agree with you though that Nintendo's marketing is horrible, most certainly starting with their use of "Wii" in the name of this new console.

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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