One of the hot selling products at retailers this Xmas will be the Wii U console which will go on sale at retailers in Australia on November 30th, it is forecast to outperform the sales of its previous hugely successful Wii platform in its opening months on the market, according to iSuppli.
The market research firm is pinning “pent-up demand from Nintendo evangelists,” including many first introduced to console gaming through the Wii as the leading driver of the expected buying surge.
The Wii U will introduce the first dedicated and fully integrated second-screen game experience.
iSuppli executives claim that Nintendo’s recent strategic announcements show a company that has identified its weaknesses and is willing to adapt in order to remain competitive. The Wii U games line-up for the launch window features more third-party developers than Nintendo has had for its consoles in the past. The company has also partnered with 3D game engine provider Unity to encourage new games developers to come on board, and it has additional titles in the pipeline to keep content fresh as the new year progresses. Nintendo is also focusing needed attention on its digital and online strategy with its own upgraded store and community platform.
“Based on expectations of shipped Wii U units and overall consumer activity, IHS believes this will lead to supply shortages over the Xmas shopping season, leaving some shoppers empty-handed and having to wait until the new year to satisfy their need for the next-generation Nintendo product,” the company said in a statement.
“As a result of the tight inventory control Nintendo employs to manage its supply chain and strong consumer demand in these opening weeks of launch, we believe it’s highly likely that retailers will experience some Wii U shortages in the run-up to Christmas,” Piers Harding-Rolls, iSuppli senior principal analyst and head of games, said. “Stock will be replenished in ongoing fashion, but some unlucky shoppers may well miss out.”
But, he continued, translating Wii U launch performance into longer-term success will be a major challenge.
“IHS forecasts that Wii U sales over the first four years of its life are expected to reach around 70 percent of the Wii’s sales volume in the corresponding time frame,” Harding-Rolls added.
iSuppli cautioned that Nintendo “should be laser-focused on consumer engagement in order to remain relevant.”
Since its launch in 2006, the gesture-control-based Wii has revolutionized the console-game playing landscape. The system brought innovation and new social and lifestyle software that triggered word-of-mouth and mainstream successes, iSuppli noted.
Nintendo’s strength of innovation and first-party content has driven consumers to buy 92 million Wii consoles worldwide since its launch.