It's fair to say the Wii U's launch has been a success, with the system selling out across the United States and shifting 40,000 units in the UK. Extra shipments are coming in thick and fast to meet the extreme demand that you'd expect for a new Nintendo console at Christmas time. Nobody really doubted that Wii U would be successful at launch, but many people are concerned about what's to come.
When the 3DS launched it enjoyed fantastic sales but then failed to maintain momentum in the months following its release. This was put down to many reasons but games was certainly an issue with big hitters Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 being released quite some time after the console launched.
Nintendo is eager to learn from these mistakes with Wii U, saying it is already focused on the next step: the first quarter of 2013. Speaking to MCV, head of consumer marketing at Nintendo UK James Honeywell said:
We’ve got a very strong line-up, lots of titles and activities aimed at Christmas, but we’ve already got plans for Q1. Lots of new titles like Monster Hunter, but also repromotions and things like that.
Q1 covers everything between 1st January and 31st March and is known as the fabled Wii U launch window. The Wii U launch window is fairly strong in Europe with titles such as Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, SiNG Party, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and Lego City Undercover all being made available before April Fools' Day.
Pikmin 3 sadly won't be available in Q1 as it was confirmed this week to be a Q2 release, but Rayman Legends has recently been given a release date of 1st March in the UK, meaning it has retained its coveted place as a launch window title.
Honeywell went on to reaffirm Nintendo's desire to maintain a balance between core and casual games for the entire lifespan of Wii U, saying:
Nintendo always makes sure it launches games throughout the year. We don’t really focus particularly on Christmas. We’ve got a strong line-up all the way through the year. We always have the marketing to support that. We have plans to take sampling all the way through the year.
For us, it’s not just about launch, it’s about building momentum and maintaining that over a long period of time.
Do you think Nintendo is striking a good balance between core and casual games on Wii U? Can they keep this momentum going? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.