Wii U Shifts 400K Units in Début Week
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
It's "essentially sold out of retail"
Nintendo's revealed its sales results to incorporate the Wii U launch and the Black Friday festivities, with NoA COO Reggie Fils-Aime weighing in with the company's perspective in an interview with CNET. Nintendo's total hardware sales — according to internal data — hit around 1.2 million units in the U.S., though it's the breakdown of those results that make interesting reading.
For its part, Wii U sold around 400,000 units, with Fils-Aime stating that "Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock". He went on to say that "as soon as product hits retail, they're selling out immediately", which doesn't quite match with our, admittedly narrow-focused, experience. Our man Jon Wahlgren, in his words, strolled into a Target store in the middle of a large city a few days after launch and got one without a pre-order, while we've also seen pictures of multiple Wii U boxes sitting unclaimed well into the Black Friday shopping madness.
Wii, meanwhile, managed to sell 300,000 units in the past week, no doubt bolstered by discounts and deals. There'll naturally be some level of comparison of Wii U to the Wii launch and it's long-term shortages, though Fils-Aime directed the focus to Nintendo's restocking efforts keeping the new system on shelves, rather than a potential lack of comparative demand.
Wii was a unique phenomenon. You couldn't walk into a retailer and buy a Wii until spring of 2009. We've certainly learned many lessons from that and we are replenishing retailers more quickly this time around. We are looking to have as much product into retail as possible. It's driven by consumer response.
At least Wii U wasn't out-sold by its predecessor, which is the fate that's befallen 3DS. In the past week the latest handheld shifted 250,000 units, while DS models sold roughly 275,000 units, with its defeat of its flashy successor put down to "significant" Black Friday deals. It was also pointed out that 3DS is still, at this stage, more than one million units up on the same period's DS sales in the U.S.
In terms of the headline results for Wii U, it's unclear at this early stage whether these are good results and that stock is selling out as soon as it hits stores, or whether it's a solid if unspectacular start. There are numerous sources suggesting that it's been possible, days after release, to walk in and buy systems without a pre-order; we'll have a better idea once the Holiday season passes and we get a broad outline of how supply and demand has weighed up for Nintendo's HD system.
What do you think of these results for Wii U, Wii, 3DS and DS? Share your thoughts in the comments below.