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|
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