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Wii U hits Europe today
Having been released in North America on November 18th, 2012, Nintendo’s Wii U has seen great consumer demand in its first few days on sale. In fact, Nintendo of America’s president Reggie Fils-Aime has claimed that the console is effectively sold out at retail, and that 400 thousand Wii U units were sold in its first week on sale. Nintendo will hope to repeat similar volumes of sales in Europe, where the console is being released today.
The situation mirrors that of the launch of the Wii U’s predecessor, the Wii, which saw huge demand upon release in 2006, and suffered from stock shortages throughout the first few years of its availability. In order to ensure that it capitalizes most effectively from the initial success of its latest home console, Nintendo will have to act quickly to replenish retailers’ stock before the end of the lucrative holiday shopping season.
The Wii U marks a reaction to competition from Sony and Microsoft in the casual gaming market, whereby their motion-controlled products, Kinect and PlayStation Move, have eaten into the dominance once held by Nintendo’s Wii within the demographic. The Wii U’s marquee feature, the GamePad (a controller which features a touch screen alongside traditional button inputs) represents further innovation within the home console industry, and is suggestive of a reaction to the increased threat of tablet devices to Nintendo’s operations. Additionally, Nintendo will hope that the console’s ability to provide a HD gaming experience will attract hardcore gamers, a demographic that the company moved away from with its Wii.
Whether the initial momentum of the Wii U can continue into the future remains to be seen. The company faces potential problems in terms of pricing, due to the fact that it is currently selling the console at a loss, and impending future console releases from its competitors Microsoft and Sony may mean that it soon becomes outpaced in terms of graphical power. However, if Nintendo is able to continue to market the Wii U as a console innovative experience, the Wii U could quite possibly see similar success to its predecessor.
Find out more on Nintendo’s past success and potential going forward with our Case Study, Nintendo Co., Ltd: Innovating in a reactive market, available on the MarketLine store here