The NPD sales report for December 2012 came out yesterday and within hours of its information being made public gamers across the web began analyzing the Wii U’s launch sales.
Nintendo’s new HD console didn’t sell nearly as many units as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 system last month, being best by the Xbox by almost 1 million units. The Wii U also fell short of the Wii’s second month on the market by over 150k units. (Wii U 460k Dec 2012 – Wii 600k+ Dec 2006)
But before you go screaming from the roof tops that the Wii U has flopped in North America you should really have some perspective. Certain consoles have sold far worse in their second months on the market in the US and those devices have ended up doing much better in the long run than their first December would have indicated.
Take the Xbox 360 for example. It sold 326k in November 2005, then 280k in December 2005. That’s a total of 606k units in two months during the holidays. Yes, the market was smaller then. That shouldn’t diminish the fact that the Wii U has sold 890k units in North America in just November/December.
That’s nearly 300k more units than the Xbox 360 sold in a similar time frame. The PS3 stands up to the Wii U a bit better surprisingly enough. Sony’s $599 console sold a meager 197k in November 2006 but followed that up with a strong 490k in December 2006.
Sony’s PS3 had a grand total of 687k units sold in North America in the same time frame as the Wii U, and Nintendo’s new HD console is outpacing that total by over 200k. Once again the market for video games was smaller back in 2006 but I’d wouldn’t let that diminish how well the Wii U is selling in North America.
Is it sold out? No. Is that a bad thing? No it isn’t. Unless you don’t understand how products are sold I’ll remind you; It is usually a good thing to have a healthy amount of supply on shelves to sell to consumers. Just because the Wii U hasn’t sold out like the Wii did in 2006 doesn’t mean it is doing poorly.
Let’s face it, no console in the future will likely replicate the immediate success of the Wii. Even the PS2 and DS took a while to take off. The Wii U isn’t doing poorly at all in America, quite the opposite. It is actually outpacing the launch sales of the 360/PS3 by a wide margin.