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Wii U's software preorders double those of the original Wii
Wii U's software preorders double those of the original Wii
November 15, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

November 15, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi
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    22 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



One of the biggest problems with Nintendo's original Wii was its low software tie ratio. Nintendo may have expanded its audience far beyond a typical video game console owner with demographic barrier-destroying games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit, but the problem was, a lot of those customers never bothered to buy more games.

It's too early to tell whether that situation is going to change with the Wii U, but at the very least, things are looking good prior to this Sunday's launch.

GameStop reports that it's currently sitting on 1.2 million preorders for Wii U games on top of the 500,000 consoles it was allocated (all of which were almost immediately reserved when they went up for preorder back in September).

That's a tie ratio of 2.4 games for every console, which the company says is more than double what it saw leading up to the launch of the original Wii.

This is certainly attributable to a much stronger third-party lineup this time around. The company says preorders were led by (in no particular order, we imagine) Ubisoft's Zombie U and Assassin's Creed 3, Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Warner Bros.' Scribblenauts Unlimited, and Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. U.

By comparison, the original Wii's strongest launch title (not including the packed-in Wii Sports) was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Third-party support included titles like Rayman: Raving Rabbids and Red Steel.


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Comments


Eric Geer
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Knowing that there are lots of people that preordered 3-4 WiiUs to sell on the grey market, I would take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Ardney Carter
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I've never seen the need to make use of the so-called grey market so I'm genuinely curious...do they often buy the games to flip as well? I always thought it was just the console.

Joe Zachery
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Well unless they went to several stores to do their pre orders or used the family member train method. I highly doubt the have multiple Wii U reserves at Gamestop. Since this was just talking about Gamestop in general. Once reserves started Gamestop had a one system preorder policy.

Frank Cifaldi
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If that's the case then the attach rate is actually phenomenal.

Carl Chavez
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Hmmmm...

Let's assume that "lots of people" preordered multiple WiiUs to resell. Let's assume 25% of those 500,000 pre-orders (so, 125,000... "lots" after all) are for re-sale. That means 375,000 WiiUs would be going to normal players instead of re-sellers. If we assume that the resellers are not buying software to re-sell (it's not profitable to re-sell full-priced launch titles for profit due to relatively high supply, so one could get stuck with unsold inventory), that makes the launch tie ratio a whopping 3.2, making the WiiU one of the most successful consoles at launch ever!

In other words, your assumption is weird, because if one raises the percentage of people who buy the console for re-sale, the tie ratio to normal players goes up and makes the WiiU look even more successful. But if you reduce the percentage of people who buy the console for re-sale, the tie ratio approaches the original 2.4 given by Gamestop, which is a totally respectable number and indicative of launch success.

Joe Dobson
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True, I was going to do that but couldn't see people paying enough for one to justify the effort.

That would mean that the attach rate is even higher though because nobody would preorder games for that reason.

Carl Chavez
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Hey, Frank: it's "tie ratio" and not "attach rate", right?

Frank Cifaldi
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Yes, thank you for the correction.

Joe Dobson
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how many ties they are wearing per shirt?

Harlan Sumgui
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unless it is in an investor call, we can take 'news' stories like this with a grain of salt.

but if true, NICE!!!!

Frank Cifaldi
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Yes, this was said during an investor call, though GameStop isn't in the habit of lying in its press releases.

Daniel Rossi
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Really good, but I'm confused. I saw this article: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=11795 which claims that Wii's tie ratio was 3.0 at the beginning. Source: Gamestop. What is it that I'm missing?

Frank Cifaldi
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Daniel: That was as of the end of that quarter, and factors in sales after the console had been out a while. The tie ratio in this article is referring only to PREORDERS before the system comes out.

Michael Pianta
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I can say for myself I reserved 3 games and would have reserved more if I weren't so broke. Just from the launch window games we know about there are 6 or 7 titles I'm interested in.

Leon T
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"One of the biggest problems with Nintendo's original Wii was its low software tie ratio. Nintendo may have expanded its audience far beyond a typical video game console owner with demographic barrier-destroying games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit, but the problem was, a lot of those customers never bothered to buy more games."

Wasn't this proven to be false a number of times already? At one point the Wii was selling more software than the 360 and there were multiple millon sellers from the launch lineup. It has lead the PS3 in software sales for a long period of time. Was there really anything about the tie ratio outside of launch day preorders that suggest Wii owners never bothered to buy more than one game?

Petros Malecos
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The press decided the Wii was not selling enough software a few years ago and they are not going to change their opinion now.
Personally I know this to be false because I've visited stores that sell video games in 3 different European countries and the Wii is allocated the same retail space as the other consoles. The way I understand it is that shelf space is too valuable to waste on products that are not selling.

Leon T
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Thanks for the info Christian. It looks pretty clear that most Wii owners did buy more than one game.

Justin LeGrande
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So much for Ian Fisch's argument... "Wii U will fail", huh?

A W
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There is no fiscal cliff. That's just a made up term.

Leon T
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Yeah the fiscal cliff is more like a bump. A bump that will pay down the dept much faster if it is allowed to happen though.

A Anson
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I just wanted to chime in and mention how much I adore Christian. You can always count on him for the facts.

In other news, glad to see Nintendo getting some love. Hoping for a great launch from them.

Mia Oregon
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Nintendo is anticipated that the Wii U will sell really well for the holidays. In fact, it is expected to sell so well that there will likely be a lack of the system available. Finding one might be a massive ordeal this year, specifically if your kid was counting on it.


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