Friday 22nd November is a major release day on a number of fronts, including Super Mario 3D World on Wii U (in North America, 29th November in Europe), The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on 3DS, as well as new hardware from Microsoft with the Xbox One; special mentions should also go to Mario Party: Island Tour (in North America) and the well-received Tearaway on PS Vita. That's a lot going on in a single shopping day.
With two new consoles launching — the PS4 hit North America last week and arrives in Europe next week — Nintendo's big name releases were inevitably going to come up against challenging circumstances. And yet that's not necessarily an issue to cause panic, with David Cole — CEO and Founder of strategic market research and consulting firm DFC Intelligence — stating that the difference in target audience ensures that Nintendo's major releases represent a good strategy in this most crowded of release periods.
I think Nintendo is carving out a different audience. I think that being said it is the right strategy. The audience they are going after is not the ones that Sony and Microsoft are going after. Right now they need to go after Nintendo fans first. They should have done that last year but better late than never. So in answer to your question it is the right approach but really Nintendo now is just trying to do as well as the GameCube so they have a base to sell first party software.
Independent analyst Billy Pidgeon shares similar views.
I think it's smart for Nintendo to launch three titles featuring major franchises on the same day. Yes, Xbox One also launches on November 22nd, but major game retail events can energize consumers to buy more games and hardware. There's an audience waiting for these Nintendo titles, and Mario and Zelda have system-selling potential. It's a good move to get these games out before the holiday season kicks in on Black Friday, a tactic that Sony and Microsoft are employing for their eight [sic] generation console launches.
Nintendo is moving 3DS hardware, and 2DS adds value priced hardware to Nintendo's handheld mix. Wii U hardware sales need a boost, and Super Mario 3D World will help. Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. releases in 2014 will also help, as will more value added bundles and hardware price cuts.
Those are all positive comments, though as you no doubt picked up from the first quotation, DFC Intelligence doesn't anticipate significant success (beyond GameCube levels) for the Wii U over its lifetime. In fact, the research company is officially lowering its Wii U hardware lifetime sales projection to around a quarter of the Wii's, which would be around 25 million units.
We are once again lowering our outlook for the Wii U. Right now it is looking to do about what the GameCube did during its lifespan which is mainly be another system for Nintendo first party product.
What do you think of Nintendo's chances of big sales this Holiday season with these high-profile releases, and the DFC Intelligence prediction of roughly 25 million hardware sales over the Wii U's lifetime? Let us know in the comments below.