North American Wii U sales came in between 110,000 and 125,000 units in January, the console's second full month of availability in the territory, analysts have estimated.
Weighing in with sales predictions ahead of the NPD Group's release of official market data this Thursday, both Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and fellow analyst firm EEDAR said Xbox 360 remained the best-selling games platform in North America last month, followed by 3DS, PS3 and Wii U.
Wedbush / EEDAR January 2012 hardware sales estimates (change year-on-year):
- 360 - 180,000 (-33%) / 260,000 (-4%)
- 3DS - 160,000 (-7%) / 120,000 (-30%)
- PS3 - 145,000 (-24%) / 120,000 (-37%)
- Wii U - 125,000 (n/a) / 110,000 (n/a)
- DS - 60,000 (-21%) / 31,000 (-59%)
- Wii - 52,200 (-66%) / 39,000 (-74%)
- Vita - 45,000 (n/a) / 35,000 (n/a)
- PSP - 7,500 (-63%) / (n/a)
- PS2 - 300 (-96%) / (n/a)
- Total - 775,000 (-13%) / 715,000 (-20%)
On the subject of Wii U's performance to date, Pachter said: "Nintendo must improve sell-through of its Wii U if it hopes to maintain significant market share in the next generation.
"The console received a tepid response from consumers, for a variety of reasons: first, we think that the console was misunderstood by many as a peripheral for the Wii; second, the price point for the Wii U is relatively high, and the launch was into a weak economy; and third, firstparty software support was thin, and third-party software was not sufficiently differentiated to convince many that they needed a Wii U as a replacement for their Xbox 360 or PS3.
"If the Wii U is to thrive, we think that Nintendo must market it more effectively, must speed up the pace of first-party development, and must convince third parties that they must support the Wii U or they will lose market share."
Last month Nintendo lowered its annual Wii U sales forecast from 5.5 million units to four million following weaker than expected demand for the console. However, Iwata moved quickly to rule out the possibility of a Wii U price cut.