The release of Nintendo’s Wii in 2006 was a smash hit and if a new research report is to be believed, the company’s upcoming release, the long-awaited Wii U will outperform its predecessor by selling even faster.
According to the research report published by IHS Screen Digest, the new Nintendo Wii U console is expected sell as many as 3.5 million units worldwide between its Nov. 18 release and the end of December 2012, a 12 percent more sales than 3.1 million Wii consoles sold during a similar period of time in 2006.
The report has predicted that Nintendo will sell about 53 million units of Wii U in the device’s first four years in the market. If this estimate turns true, it will put Wii U’s commercial performance close to the NES that sold 62 million units to become Nintendo's best selling console for 20 years, CVG reported.
"Pent-up demand from Nintendo evangelists, many of which were introduced to the console market through the success of the Wii, is predicted to drive an explosive start for the Wii U," said IHS senior principal analyst Piers Harding-Rolls.
"There is no doubt the Wii U underlines Nintendo's credentials as an innovator, introducing the first dedicated and fully integrated second-screen game experience to the market. Yet the fragmented landscape for games consumption and the proliferation of always-on, connected devices, means that product innovation alone is not enough to stay relevant to today's mainstream consumer.”
However, according to Harding-Rolls, the new console will be trailing its predecessor Wii.
"This time around, Wii U's pure innovation, coupled with a limited volume of high-quality Nintendo software, will not be enough to drive the ongoing sales momentum we witnessed with the Wii console, especially at a higher price point," he added.
According to IHS forecasts, after a good start, Wii U sales will slow down and the new console will only reach around 70 percent of the Wii’s sales volume in the first four years after release. The Wii sold 75.9 million units during that period while IHS expects Wii U sales around 53.2 million units.
"Based on expectations of shipped Wii U units and overall consumer activity, IHS believes this will lead to supply shortages over the Xmas shopping season, leaving some shoppers empty-handed and having to wait until the new year to satisfy their need for the next-generation Nintendo product," said the report.
Nintendo has confirmed that it will launch Wii U in the U.S. Nov. 18 and in Europe Nov. 30. The device will cost $299 for the basic model in the U.S. while the price starts at £230 in the UK.