By Jonathan Charles | Jul 30, 2012 01:05 PM EDT
Nintendo hasn't specifically announced when Wii U, the company's next-generation console, will launch, besides the fact that it will launch around the end of 2012. However, the company estimates that the console will sell approximately 4 million units in 2012.
Nintendo actually said it's expecting to sell 10.5 million units across Wii and Wii U, so the question is where the split falls. Traditionally, the Wii has sold better during the end of the year, CVG reported. The console sold 6.6 million units at the end of 2011. In 2012, until June, around 1.6 million Wiis have been sold.
If an additional 1.6 million Wiis sold over the remaining two quarters, it would suggest Nintendo thinks it can sell almost 7 million Wii U consoles.
Therefore, selling 6 or 7 million Wii units in 2012 means 4 or 5 Wii Us will be sold. Nintendo can't realistically expect to approach double figures, even with the holiday rush and chance of a Black Friday launch.
"Our assumptions are that Nintendo will ship 6.5 million Wii systems in the current financial year, and about 4 million Wii U systems into retail," Piers-Harding Rolls - IHS Screen Digital analyst - said to CVG.
Rolls added that he doesn't expect Wii U sales to explode like the Wii's. "Aside from more intense competition from various other connected devices, the Wii U second-screen dynamic is a more complex consumer proposition compared to the Wii and is much harder to market".
It's a big issue for Nintendo: casual players could pick up Wii Sports at launch for Wii, swing a virtual baseball bat, and be playing a video game. It removed the complexity of a controller, but the GamePad - the "second-screen dynamic" Rolls talked about - has analog sticks and buttons.
A source speaking to the gaming website also said that the European release date will be around November/December, likely the former. A reported release date from a GameStop database claimed a mid-November for numerous launch games, including New Super Mario Bros. U. Nintendo has said it will launch with a Mario title.
Ultimately, Nintendo's new controller and improved internal hardware will be for nought if the price isn't competitive. The Wii launched cheaply, but Nintendo felt the heat for pricing a device expensively (the Nintendo 3DS), which impacted the company's fortunes.
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