The CEO of Nintendo Co. Ltd. has announced that the year-end sales of the Wii U games console are steady, but they are not as strong as when the original Wii was launched. “At the end of the Christmas season, it wasn’t as though stores in the U.S. had no Wii U left in stock, as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom. But sales are not bad, and I feel it’s selling steadily,” stated Nintendo President Satoru Iwata in an interview.
Iwata did not give any sales or forecast details. He said that Nintendo needed to focus on developing software for the 3DS handheld device to bring in new users and increase sales of the Wii U. The Wii U lets users stream content from Netflix and Hulu. The console also has a dedicated social gaming network called Miiverse.
This past October, Nintendo said that they were aiming to sell around 5.5 million Wii U consoles by the end of March. The Wii U went for sale in the U.S. on November 18th. Nintendo said that they sold over 400,000 of the video game consoles in the first week.
Nintendo sold nearly 640,000 Wii U consoles in Japan between December 8 and December 30. Nintendo sold around 100 million of the original Wii console since it launched in 2006. Microsoft sold over 750,000 of the Xbox 360 console on the week of Black Friday.
“It was the first time Nintendo released two models of the game console at the same time … and I believe there was a challenge with balancing this. Specifically, inventory levels for the premium, deluxe package was unbalanced as many people wanted that version and couldn’t find it,” stated President Iwata.
Mr. Iwata acknowledged that producing two Wii U models at the same time was a challenge. Customers wanted the premium version and it sold out quickly in many places while many of the cheaper Wii U model sat on the shelves collecting dust.