This weekend, Nintendo Co. Ltd. (PINK:NTDOY) will be releasing the Wii U video game console for $299 upwards. Though, it is vastly improved compared to the original Wii, many believe it may ultimately be a weak third following the next-generation consoles of Microsoft, Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony, Corp. (NYSE:SNE). But it still may do commendably in its launch quarter, according to new forecasts from IHS.
The market research firm released a report this week, which includes a forecast of 3.5 million units sold for the December ending quarter.
That’s a very solid number, considering the Wii U will only be available for roughly half of the quarter, or about six weeks’ time all in all. That would also make the Wii U a better performer in the sales department than the first-generation Wii. When the original Wii was released, it had sold 3.1 million units from its November 19, 2006 release till the end of the December 2006 ending quarter. In addition to the sales forecasts, IHS warned consumers about the potentially constrained supply of video game consoles in the holiday quarter.
However, it may still be correct in the long run that Sony and Microsoft will do much better than Nintendo in the next-gen console race.
The IHS report also forecasted that the Wii U’s sales in its first four years will only be 70 percent of the first-generation Wii’s 75.9 million units sold from November 2006 to November 2010. It may be crucial for Nintendo to further monetize the Wii by convincing more third-party game developers to create titles for the console, pursuant to avoiding the chance of users opting for the so-called “Xbox 720” or “Playstation 4” once the respective Microsoft and Sony consoles drop.