It was Nintendo’s weekend across European as the people of Germany, France, the UK, and other countries got their first taste of the Wii U. Early reports from retailers said that gaming enthusiasts were coming out to support the console, but that the Wii’s successor hadn’t built up hype to a fever pitch just yet. With the weekend over, how did Nintendo do? Pretty well, but even with decent game sales, Wii U software didn’t take the continent by storm.
British gaming website MCV’s sources reported on Monday morning that Nintendo sold a total of 40,000 Wii Us within the first 48 hours. That figure isn’t an official quote from Nintendo, but an estimation based on numbers turned in by retailers and software sales estimates for “trade sources.”
Speaking of those software sources, the Wii U had a high attachment rate of more than 2:1, meaning that the average purchaser was picking up two or more games alongside the new console. No Wii U title came close to the leading bestsellers in the country, however. The Associated Press reported on Monday morning that the closest Nintendo came to cracking the UK top ten best sellers was with the number 11 NintendoLand, which trailed the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Far Cry 3, Halo 4, FIFA 13, and others.
Even if the Wii U didn’t sell in numbers that could help its launch games compete with the current bestsellers on competing platforms, the UK sales numbers alone signal an early success for Nintendo. Reports of production problems started emerging last summer and word was that European markets would be the most affected as Nintendo prioritized North American and Japanese Wii U stock. One rumor even hinted that the European launch would be delayed because so little stock would be available. Nintendo themselves lent credibility to those rumors in October. “Wii U stock levels will be tight on day one,” said a Nintendo UK rep, “However we will be providing retailers with regular stock deliveries in the run up to Christmas in order to meet demand as quickly as possible.” One source inside Nintendo’s UK distribution said at the time that there may be as few as 25,000 consoles available for the UK launch. With 40,000 consoles sold, Nintendo certainly beat expectations.