Nintendo's early sales numbers are in for the launch of the Wii U and Black Friday in general. Over 400,000 Wii Us were sold last week, which is less than the Wii's original launch week sales of over 600,000. Another rather surprising number is that in the past week the Wii sold almost 300,000 consoles, or 3/4 of the number of Wii Us sold. Top it off with over 500,000 handheld units sold -- 275,000 DS and 250,000 3DS -- and Nintendo is certainly making a healthy profit off of hardware alone.
As is per usual for console launches, Nintendo is claiming sales were limited by product availability. Reggie Fils-Aime elaborates on this:
"Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock. Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they're selling out immediately."
Still, the claim that the Wii U is selling out, but not managing to meet the Wii's initial sales number is rather surprising -- especially so, because Nintendo says they've learned from the Wii supply problems and have worked on correcting them.
"Wii was a unique phenomenon. You couldn't walk into a retailer and buy a Wii until spring of 2009. We've certainly learned many lessons from that and we are replenishing retailers more quickly this time around. We are looking to have as much product into retail as possible. It's driven by consumer response."
This last week seems remarkable to me, not because of the sales of Wii U and 3DS units, but by the Wii and DS sales. Certainly, last generation hardware is much cheaper than the new one, but with sales continuing to impress it makes you wonder: is Nintendo going to be conflicted over leaving the last generation behind?
In all fairness, neither the DS or Wii have any major scheduled releases going forward. Nintendo appears completely dedicated to their new platforms. Still, that's a large invested population to leave behind, especially if the new platform sales begin underperforming.