Yes, it does.
Of all the criticisms thrown at the Wii U regarding design and cost, the accusation that the system ‘doesn’t have any games’ has perhaps haunted it the most from the off.
Nintendo has now released official data on the number of physical titles released for every console and handheld it has ever produced (excluding the Virtual Boy), so now we can finally answer the question:
Does the Wii U have fewer games than other Nintendo systems?
The answer? Yes, by every measure.
Looking at the number of first party and third party titles released in Japan, America and other (Europe) we can now see that Wii U ranks bottom in every single metric.
For instance, Nintendo has to date published 38 physical games for the console in Japan. That compares to 132 for 3DS, 107 for Game Boy Advance, 76 for Wii, 65 for 3DS and 55 for GameCube.
The pattern is pretty much the same for third party publishers. 108 Wii U games have been published by these companies in Europe. For comparison, there were 1,203 Wii games, 2,022 DS games, 817 Game Boy games and 471 SNES games.
As for the overall number of SKUs published by both Nintendo and its partners worldwide (which includes duplicates of the same title published in different regions)? For Wii U that number is 411. For DS it was 5,721, for Wii 2,991, for Game Boy 3,162 and for SNES 2,661.
The big caveat here is the exclusion of digital games, which of course would bump up the number of Wii U titles. It would also do the same for 3DS, DS and Wii, of course. There is also an element of quality of quantity in some instances, owing to the huge swathes of shovelware pumped out on Wii and DS in particular.