Wii U Sees a Surge in Player Interest Following E3, New Study Finds

Nintendo's console has a resurgence in purchase intent from players following a strong showing at E3; PlayStation 4 and Xbox One stay steady.

Going into E3, the PlayStation 4 had a commanding lead both in terms of consoles sold and player interest, compared to the Xbox One and Wii U. E3 was, for both Microsoft and Nintendo, an opportunity to cut into the PS4's lead and to rekindle player interest in their platforms. Both companies came out swinging with numerous new game announcements.

And, as it turns out, Nintendo's efforts most succeeded in increasing player interest in the console. According to a survey carried out by GameSpot Trax, GameSpot's internal data collection team, purchase intent for the Wii U rose far more than that of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Before E3, 49 percent of people surveyed by Trax stating that they would "definitely or probably" purchase Sony's newest console. Wii U sat at about a third of the PS4, with 17 percent of players thinking about buying the system. Xbox One was last at 16 percent.

After the conference, the PS4 and Xbox One gained about a percent each of players probably going to buy the systems. Wii U, however, rose greatly. It had a three percent bump in both the "probably will purchase" and "definitely will purchase" groups, as well as an eight percent decrease in players who definitely would not buy a Wii U.

The Wii U also dominated the charts for anticipated first-party games. Of the top twenty first-party games with the most interest, Wii U games occupy eleven of the slots. Wii U exclusives The Legend of Zelda Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, and Star Fox Wii U all are in the top five, as well.

Clearly, Nintendo has managed to rekindle interest in its console. In June in the United States, although the PS4 was the highest-selling console, the Wii U saw a huge increase over last year's sales. Compared to June 2013, Nintendo sold 233 percent more systems in June 2014. The recent release of Mario Kart 8 also caused a spike in Wii U sales in May. Microsoft has also been able to regain some ground, doubling Xbox One sales in June compared to May.

It was exciting to watch at E3 as The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Splatoon, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse were announced for the Wii U. Microsoft showed off Crackdown, Scalebound, Phantom Dust, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Time will tell if these efforts are reflected in increased sales.

Are you thinking about buying a Wii U in the coming months? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

231 comments
tommynj
tommynj

I don't see a reason to buy a Wii U. I'm a mature gamer 35+ years old and I don't see any games worth buying the console for.  No good 3rd party support = no sale.

Sgt_Crow
Sgt_Crow

The Wii U is a great console with a lot of potential. For someone who would buy one right now there are more than enough games to play until the big releases announced at E3 show up. All in all, I'm a happy new Wii U-owner.

wespunk
wespunk

I have a ps4 and a Wii u and when you look at both consoles  together to compare what do I see , and most people will say graphics ,cpu  memory etc.  etc. That maybe so but in a consoles life  it needs  medium to sell their products  without it  it   usually dies a slow painful death. So all of you except some are against the Wii u , I will wait till the games come out in 2015  just like the ps4 and Xbox one has too wait too . Only pc  players have access  to a lot of games as long as their pc  is up to scratch  with the top  guts inside ,so before you all criticize  one  take a look at what else you have as some of us cant  afford  one console little own two or three  we are happy with what we have and can afford.

mousendahouse2
mousendahouse2

I have a wii u and right now I would not recommend it to anyone the system has been out for almost 2 years and still has hardly any games when ps4 hasn't even been out for a year and has a lot more games right now Nintendo will sell you a system that will hardly ever get used because of the lack of games right now ive spent a crap load of money on a Netflix box and Netflix sucks on it because you can only use the owners profile so if your kid is watching Netflix on the wii u it screws up what you like to watch on Netflix this system has a lot of potential but it seems almost like Nintendo just don't care about gaming like they used to we pay more every time a new system comes out for a shady product Nintendo stop floating on your old games and make us some shit worth playing if I want to exceorsize then ill go outside or to the gym atleast make some descent games for the kids

rushiosan
rushiosan

Wii U needs more games. I'm not talking about third-party shit, but it definitely needs more first-party goodies like Metroid, Star Fox, Zelda and F-Zero ASAP, and of course some new IPs. I bought it for Mario Kart 8 and I'm slightly disappointed with that game. I hope things change in the upcoming year.

thingta42
thingta42

I sold my 360 with no regrets. With no intent to buy a xbone because of that stunt they pulled with the used games trash talk, i simply I lost my trust in the company and the console after that. PS4 i am gonna be buying, just not yet, Wii-U comes first.

wowwow27
wowwow27

from a consumer perspective, i understand why its important not to allow any one company to have a monopoly, but unfortunately there just aren't enough titles on the wii-u yet.  it should see a revival in the future, but the technology will already be faded.  Nintendo needs to match tech next go round to compete. 3rd party titles help carry the system just as much as first party, and nintendo can't seem to keep up with the demand of the contemporary gamer, and for family's its not important to own every system.

stickybun
stickybun

I'm actually really happy to hear this. It's better for gamers if all 3 major players are doing well.

saintaeturnus
saintaeturnus

I would've bought a Wii U this year if I hadn't have bought one last year. I'm more excited with what's about to come out for the Wii U than I am for the PS4 and Xbox One. The other plus is majority of the games aren't a bunch of first person shooters.

jim_peterson
jim_peterson

I own a Wii U so Im always happy to see any positive news about it, but I dont see what was so good about its E3 showing. None of the old franchises people really wanted to see return except Star Fox (and I have no idea why people are into an on rails shooter in this day and age) and no new IPs that really look like anything special. 

jasspur
jasspur

I just purchased a Wii U. I have a PS4, but I'm tired of the story-less indie games, and lack of backwards compatibility. As further insult to wounds, we will only have the option to rent our games once our PlayStation 3's breakdown. I feel the WIi has superior controls, and  better DRM. You can actually backup your digital games (We still own them). With the high sales in Japan, I think we will be seeing a lot of good JRPGS coming to the system. Lastly, while Miiverse may not have trophies, has anyone ever thought that it is actually more involving? I mean, who really looks at each others trophies? In Miiverse, every game has an entire forum, and is uniquely intertwined with the game. "Mario Kart 8" allows you to challenge developers and contest winners; for instance.

10854
10854

No sure here


tacgamer95
tacgamer95

after E3 i bought a wii u and im liking mario kart 8  it sold me and the new games coming out for it(especially smash bros) make me really excited for whats to come from nintendo

flazzle
flazzle

The sad thing is the Wii U never had to be in this position. I have to think it was preventable if they just released it with desirable software. 

Maybe it's asking to much these days to develop great quality games in a timely manner.

The development curve must be way too much these days for the industry.

cboye18
cboye18

Yeah, it actually has present and upcoming games I want to play instead of repetitive tech demo's the other consoles are offering. Last time I've enjoyed a Sony console was the PS2. 

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

I'd buy a Wii U if the new Zelda game looks good, Metroid comes out and Pokemon U.  I dont care about Mario or Smash or Kart.

BradBurns
BradBurns

Yeah, but a lot of the people being polled are hardcore enthusiasts (people who actually bother posting about games online like you). I'm not sure that it means that the Wii U will have great success on par with the PS4. 

But all I know is that I bought a Wii U for some reason during Christmas, which was very out of character, I would usually buy the "main" console, you know, the one the public and developers have clearly chosen as the winner. Happens every generation. And as I sat there looking at the Wii U bombing afterwards, I was full of regret and shame. 

But a few moths later Nintendo began crappin' out games like a mother, and I am now grateful I made that purchase. The PS4, oddly, seems to be the new standard console this generation (you know, the one sports and COD players embrace) and yet it has no games as of yet. The Wii U, oddly, will be holding me over with all of its games. I never thought I would say that about any modern Nintendo console. Sounds weird just hearing it.  

meharu
meharu

I purchased a Wii U back when almost everyone were hammering Nintendo and the console with negative comments and articles. Arguing about how the system is failing and how it will be Nintendo's end. I didn't regret it, I liked the console and will always support Nintendo as long as they make excellent and unique games as usual.

VoidSECT
VoidSECT

Yesss great news, i will be picking mine very soon

zeek_fox
zeek_fox

I just bought my Wii U + Mario Kart 8 earlier this month, so I guess I'm a statistic now  :p

kujel
kujel

The wiivulution has begun :)

seven7swords
seven7swords

It's funny. I have made a habit of getting every major console every generation. Out of the all six of them I have been playing my Wii U the most. I remember before having a Wii U I was sitting in a dinner in a desert town having lunch and I guy one table down pulls his Wii U out of his back pack and plugs it into a nearby socket and starts playing. I didn't realize how awesome that was until a year later when I basically did the same thing at a family picnic. Just plugged it into an extension cord outside and playing Wonderfull 101.


Glade to see more people are seeing how great of a console it is. Not the most powerful but Nintendo always tries to innovate in other ways weather it be 3D, (Super Mario 64) motion controls, (Wii) or making console gaming more portable.

divinejester
divinejester

Only one of these consoles has roughly 50 percent will probably or def (PS4). buy it, two of them including the aforementioned Wii U have over 50 percent that say they will probably not buy that respective system. Its a pretty big gap.

zeca04
zeca04

Wish i had a wii u...

expert-gamer
expert-gamer

Please release a Pikmin Trilogy on Wii U.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Problem is, these games are all coming out next year with long wait times in between

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i have wii u and its a great system. if you are thinking of getting one you should do it. i am going to get an xbox one. both systems have great games.

Triton
Triton

Show me the money.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@mousendahouse2

If you think the PS4 has a lot more games right now then clearly you aren't looking. Also some punctuation would help. 

wowwow27
wowwow27

i love my wii-u.  but it doesn't see as much play as it could.  


Coco_pierrot
Coco_pierrot

@jasspur  Amen, I still love my PS3 but even then I haven't found any game that interest me outside of Lightning returns then I bough a 3ds and felt in love with Nintendo once again and I also bought a Wii U not so long after and I'm really happy with it, you actually have stuff to unlock in those games

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@jasspur

Seriously, if the PS4 was backwards compatible, I would probably have a PS4 now instead of a PS3 (since I missed out and purchased one last year). 

kjlafoll
kjlafoll

@flazzle Exactly my thoughts. Midway through 2013, when only 3 games were released that I actually wanted, Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros U, and Nintendo Land (which came with my Wii U), I thought "Well, this sucked." It's good to see Nintendo making progress, but I'll probably be waiting a year or two before I purchase a successor console. Which'll probably hurt their launch sales, but that's what happens when you lose consumer trust. They really need to branch out and spend some of that stockpiled cash on some studio expansions. Retro Studios alone isn't going to cut it anymore, not with these ridiculous development cycles.

snxx
snxx

@chev0948 I don't see that happening unless Sony, somehow, turns out to be in a quite desperate place (like Xbox One and the always online thing).

hystavito
hystavito

@seven7swords The increased portability is cool, but I would rather see more games that cannot be played on the Gamepad alone so that the second screen can be used in more interesting ways.

expert-gamer
expert-gamer

@b74kd3th Yeah, but with so many great games already out on the Wii U, for the people who are just getting a Wii U there will be plenty of games to hold them over til then.

RevLux
RevLux

@hystavito @seven7swords  Zombie U did a great job, imo, utilizing the gamepad in unique and interesting ways. I also wish more games would make better use of it instead of just a map or for 2nd screen play. Not that those two things don't work great.


It just seems like there is so much untapped potential. I feel the same way about the Vita/Ps4 combo, and Microsoft's smart glass. Though, Dead Rising 3 did a great job, imo, of adding,  not only a map and other basic functions, but also extra missions and incredible abilities like aerial bombardments! Hopefully all of these will be further explored as this generation matures.


jecomans
jecomans

@expert-gamer @b74kd3th If you didn't own a Wii then the backwards compatibility is nice, as is Virtual Console. I've been holding off on the Wii U since release, but B2 has tipped me over the edge. I can only really justify a second hand Wii U at the moment, though.

hystavito
hystavito

@RevLux @hystavito @seven7swords ZombiU was probably the best example of that, though overall I didn't care much for the game and ended up barely playing it then trading it in.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@viru_ssj I never thought of using the Wii U on the go 0_0


I know what I'm doing in the next BS class I take in Uni, no more cell phone games for me!

meharu
meharu

@xboxdynasty8 @greword12 Don't listen to them. Let them repeat themselves as much as they want. Their debates severely lack any logic to begin with. Not worthy your time to reply.