Xbox One barely beats Wii U’s first non-holiday month in sales and what that means

The NPD data for January 2014 is out and it does look like the Xbox One took a massive tumble. While the Xbox One was the 2nd best selling next-gen console last month, early estimates peg it at 140k in January. This number was determined by a very clever and good with math NeoGAF user using Microsoft’s own data and Xbox 360 sales data as well.

140k during January isn’t Wii U level bad but its almost there. Remember, the Wii U sold 100k in January 2013 but was reported as 57k after a massive 40k units were returnedto stores due to people who were trying to resell it on the second hand market. This means that the Wii U didn’t tank as bad as people think it did in its first non-holiday month on store shelves, selling a bit over 100k not 57k like was reported by multiple outlets.

So what does this mean? Well it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Xbox One will have as hard a time on the market as the Wii U. It has a big exclusive coming up in March called Titanfall, if you haven’t heard of it already. While it remains to be seen if the multiplayer-only shooter from Respawn can truly drive sales of a $500 console, you’ve got to think the Xbox One will at least cross 200k during March in the US.

I had my doubts as to whether Microsoft could sell a lot of Xbox One units once the holiday hyped died down. The fact remains that its a $500 console that doesn’t have a lot of games aside from a few great launch exclusives like Ryse and Deadrising 3. A lot of people laughed me off when I told them that I didn’t think it was outside the realm of possibility that the Xbox One would put up a similar sales number in January 2014 as the Wii U did in January 2013.

Then again those people are the same individuals who never bothered to check out all the readily available information about how the Wii U really sold 100k last January and instead latched onto the “lol 57k!” bandwagon. This isn’t a great sign for Microsoft’s next-gen console but no cries of “doom!” should be made.

February will be a telling month for all next-gen consoles. Typically console sales are suppose to go up since US consumers are getting fat tax return checks. The Wii U didn’t do much better at all last February and the Xbox One has Titanfall on the horizon so its likely that the Xbox One won’t put up a Wii U like number again next month.

Still, the fact that this sales number is awfully close to the Wii U’s January sales last year is telling. The device is expensive and doesn’t have enough games to convince consumers to jump in yet. Maybe Titanfall will help it but I can’t imagine Xbox One sales will take off too much in the US until the fall when Halo 2 Anniversary, Sunset Overdrive, and Quantum Break are expected to release.