Nintendo Wii U Will Sell Out, Sell Faster Than Wii
The Nintendo Wii U
Nintendo had a smash hit on its hands when it released the Wii game console back in 2006. Now it’s getting ready to release a long-awaited followup, and analysts say the new hardware will sell even faster.
A research report published Monday by IHS Screen Digest predicts that the new Nintendo Wii U console will sell 3.5 million units worldwide between its November 18th release and the end of December 2012. That’s 12% more than the 3.1 million Wii consoles Nintendo moved during a similar sales period in 2006.
“Pent-up demand from Nintendo evangelists, many of which were introduced to the console market through the success of the Wii, is predicted to drive this explosive start,” according to the report.
IHS says Wii U’s will fly off the shelves so quickly that there will be supply shortages over the holiday shopping season, and many consumers will have to wait until after the new year until they can find the console in stores.
Nintendo investors shouldn’t get too excited, though: IHS forecasts that after the stellar start, Wii U sales will slow, and the new console will only reach around 70% of the Wii’s sales volume in the first four years after release. The Wii moved 75.9 million units during that period, while IHS forecasts Wii U sales around 53.2 million units.
“This time around, Wii U’s pure innovation, coupled with a limited volume of high-quality Nintendo software, will not be enough to drive the ongoing sales momentum we witnessed with the Wii console, especially at a higher price point,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, senior principal analyst and head of games at IHS, in a statement. “Long-term success depends on ongoing consumer engagement delivered through the constant release of high-quality content from both first and third parties, a competitive non-games entertainment proposition and a sound digital and online strategy to go along with such innovation. Nintendo is still some way short of delivering a comprehensive engagement-led value proposition at the launch of the Wii U.”
The Wii U will be released in two configurations: A $299.99 basic set; which contains the console (with 8 GB of memory), cables, and the touch-screen Wii U gamepad, all in white; or a $349.99 deluxe set, all in black, which also comes with a stand for the console, a charging cradle for the game pad, and a copy of the new game NintendoLand.
The family-friendly, motion-sensitive Wii is far and away the leader of the current console generation, with nearly 100 million units sold worldwide –about thirty million more than either of its competitors, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3.
Microsoft and Sony are expected to announce their new video game consoles sometime in 2013. When those devices hit the market, they are likely to take a huge bite out of Wii U sales as well.