The Wii U sold pretty well in its debut week in the US, and it was probably because of the fact that it was a Black Friday weekend (other than the fact that it’s a new console, of course). Surprisingly, though, the Xbox 360 managed to outsell the Wii U- heavily. Microsoft’s home console outsold Nintendo’s new home console by all of 350,000 units, selling as much as 750,000 units.
But why is this so? Industry analysts believe it’s because of the fact that the Wii U is unavailable, not in stock in countless stores, and this is proving to be an advantage for the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Which means it’s not necessarily bad news for the Big N.
“If we had to estimate, about 400k units of the 750k Xbox 360 units were from new consumers who did not own an Xbox 360 prior vs. the Wii U where 400k consumers did not have a Wii U prior,” said EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich. “So in terms of who picked up the most new consumers, it’s probably a dead heat. And of course there were about 200k to 300k consumers who couldn’t even purchase a Wii U due to shortages, so I do have to wonder if the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 picked up some users due to the Wii U shortage.”
“It’s a little too early for us to make any declarations on the Wii U’s long-term potential,” Divinch added. “They are off to a fair start and it will probably take another month to gauge where demand may be long-term for the Wii U.”
“I do think the Wii U faces a lot of challenges,” added RW Baird’s Colin Sebastian, “but one week’s worth of data isn’t enough to put the nail in the coffin.”
Inside Network analyst Billy Pidgeon said that the economy is still not in very good shape, and that people are looking for products that offer value for their money, and that the PS3 and Xbox 360 bundles are great deals. “The economy is still a bit weak, and consumers are looking for value,” he said. “PS3 and Xbox 360 bundles are priced for value and are more likely to be gift purchases.”
Wedbush Securities’ outspoken analyst Michael Pachter said: “I think the strong Xbox 360 performance tells us that consumers remain price sensitive, and the recent cuts/bundles for the 360 present a compelling value. Once Wii U supply increases, I expect the console to sell better. That may not happen until next year.”
“Microsoft’s short-term MSRP reduction was and is aimed directly at undercutting Wii U sales out of the gate,” said IDC research manager Lewis Ward. “I never expected Wii U to outsell the Xbox 360 or for that matter the PS3 this holiday season. Nintendo effectively sold out the available Wii U units during the Black Friday week so it remains to be seen how many total units will be available at retail and will sell before the end of the year.
“Look at this another way: In late 2006, PS2 sales exceeded those of the Wii by a healthy margin – does that mean Nintendo should have thrown in the towel on Wii? Of course not. We’ve just seen the launch of brand new platform that will have growing pains and it’s like judging a book by its cover in the extreme to draw long-term conclusions from Black Friday sales alone,”
DFC Intelligence’s David Cole said that the Xbox 360 doing well long-term could hurt the Wii U. “Long-term the Xbox 360 doing well could be a problem because many of those buyers are potential Wii U consumers,” he said.
It’s a bit too early to be judging just how well the Wii U will be doing long-term, though. What do you guys think? Tell us in your comments.