We're now approaching — or in some places have reached — the end of the madness of the Black Friday shopping weekend, an annual fixture in North America and to a lesser extent elsewhere. Of course, the Holiday shopping gig isn't up, and as we enter December we kick off a vital few weeks for Nintendo and its competitors in the video game market.
If the Black Friday sales have gone well we'd expect Nintendo — and Microsoft and Sony — to do plenty of singing and dancing. There are no real indicators as yet, with the only tangible example doing the rounds online being based on the buying intentions and/or receipts of a sample of shoppers, which reveals a small part of the picture in the grand scheme of things. There's been word of mouth regarding some seeing plenty of shoppers buying Wii U deals, and others suggesting the opposite. What we need are actual numbers, and will have to wait at least day or two to see them.
But still, we'd suggest that it'll be Wii U sales over the whole of December that are as important as those in the Black Friday madness, especially as Nintendo's offers in the period were, for the most part, permanent bundles and prices. It was the 3DS and 2DS that saw greater discounts kicking around, so the portable may see a boost.
Much of the year, which has been typified by poor Wii U sales numbers, has ultimately come down to "the games will come, and Nintendo needs a big Holiday season". That time is now, as Nintendo clearly knows — we've seen a significant increase in marketing efforts and general advertising. The evidence so far, which can still evolve in the next few weeks, is that titles such as Wii Party U and Sonic Lost World haven't blown any houses down; that brings the attention to the critically acclaimed Super Mario 3D World. Mario's début in Japan was modest by the mascot's high standards, but can the buzz around this game — and the expanding Wii U library — drive greatly increased hardware sales in other territories? With a lower price than newcomers PS4 and Xbox One along with some attractive bundles, can all of these factors align to bring the Wii U into the game and give it greater momentum into 2014? To give context on how important this period is for the system, 460,000 Wii U hardware sales were recorded for the first six months of the financial year, recording up to 30th September — Nintendo's financial year target is nine million units.
We look forward to seeing some facts and figures in the coming days and weeks, but for now we want to gauge your opinions and impressions to date. Do you think that sales of the Wii U are on an upward swing, and do you expect a decent Holiday season for the system? Share your views in the polls and comments below.
Do you think the Wii U will have sold well over the Black Friday period? (572 votes)
Based on what I've seen first-hand, absolutely
Based on my time in stores, there was little interest in Wii U
It's hard to tell, really
I didn't go to the shops, but I think it'll perform well
Although I didn't see for myself, I doubt it
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Do you anticipate good sales for the Wii U over the whole Holiday season? (569 votes)
Definitely, there's good buzz and I think it'll sell impressively
I'm not sure, but I'm optimistic at the moment
I'm going to sit on the fence and say "I'm not sure"
I have doubts, and it may not hit the heights Nintendo expects
I don't think so, to be honest
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