Now that the Holiday season is passing and the majority of people are already returning to the drudgery of work and normal life, some analysis about festive spending and sales is expected to emerge. Wii U will be a major topic in the gaming industry when looking at sales, as it's a new home console launching into a competitive environment that, as most would surely expect, costs more than its older rivals. The question is, are the general public enthusiastic about the concept and buying the system?
Some early noises aren't positive, though Wii U had strong début weeks in the US, Japan and practically sold out in the UK. A good first week doesn't reflect the long-term success that Nintendo craves, however, and it seems that at one major chain of stores — presumably in this case referring to US branches — the first six weeks of sales haven't been setting the tills alight.
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, writing in an investor note, reinforces evidence of many shopper's eyes by saying that Wii U stock availability in GameStop stores is "abundant". It goes on to say that the Deluxe model is selling better due to its "better value" — which likely refers to the inclusion of Nintendo Land — and that the software attach rate at the stores is "low", reinforcing statements late last year from other analysts. The conclusion is blunt, though could also be worse.
Our conclusion is the Nintendo Wii U launch has been slightly disappointing.
In the absence of formal figures this kind of analysis is the closest we'll come to firm indications of sales figures at this time, so it's not cheering news. It must be acknowledged, however, that references to sales results at one specialist retailer aren't an indication of its success or otherwise as a whole, even if the sight of readily available stock suggests low demand.
Let us know what you think about these comments, and how you think Wii U has performed at retail, below.