Despite getting off to a strong start, the Wii U, by Nintendo’s own admission, has lost its momentum. This was made undeniably apparent with the revelation that the Wii U only sold in the neighborhood of 55,000 units in the US during the month of January. Despite this historically bad month, one analyst has found a silver lining for Nintendo, taking an interesting stance on the issue.
In a note to GamesIndustry International, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich had this to say about the state of Nintendo:
While the Wii U’s results were discouraging, Nintendo’s platforms as an aggregate outperformed the other console manufacturers. Nintendo’s platforms represented over 40 percent of the consoles sold in January. I have to wonder if the Wii and the Nintendo DS have longer legs than what we’ve all originally expected and whether Nintendo is competing more against itself than other console manufacturers.
Since the Wii U’s initial surge, there have been several weeks where its predecessor, the Wii, has outsold it, giving some credence to Divnich’s assertion. For many consumers, it’s not that they are uninterested in the Wii U, but rather that they still consider the Wii to be the better buy right now to meet their Nintendo needs. I would argue that the 3DS, which sold around one million units this January, presents more competition than the original DS. However, casual gamers are always easily enticed by cheap, popular game systems, so even the DS may have some life left in it.
In order for the Wii U to regain momentum and become a serious seller in the marketplace, Nintendo is going to have to do a better job of making their new product more appealing than their old one.