news\ Jan 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Wii U a flop? GameStop console sales disappoint analyst

Wii U Black Gamepad

Holiday season Wii U sales -- including hardware and software -- from U.S. retail giant GameStop were "slightly disappointing", according to an invenstor note from Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. 

The Wii U launched in North America on November 18, selling 400,000 units during its first week; though, it appears sales have since slowed. Nintendo claims initial sales of the console were hampered by limited supply; however, Bhatia noted an "abundant" supply of Wii U units located at GameStop stores.

Although sales were below expectations, it was revealed that the $350 Wii U Deluxe model is selling at a greater pace than the $300 basic version at GameStop, presumably because of its "better value." The Deluxe model includes a 32GB harddrive and a copy of Nintendo Land, as opposed to the Basic Unit which features just 8GB of storage space.

Also disappointing was the Wii U software attach rate at GameStop which Bhatia called "low". Though he did not provide a specific rate, Nintendo, back in December 2012, claimed an attach rate in excess of 2:1.

"Our conclusion is the Nintendo Wii U launch has been slightly disappointing," Bhatia said. Prior to the console's launch, Nintendo estimated 5.5 million Wii U consoles would be sold by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2013, along with  24 million Wii U titles which figures to be over 4 games per console sold. Another industry analyst, Michael Pachter, referred to these estimates as "disappointing and unrealistic."

With news of GameStop's disappointing Wii U sales, it appears Pachter may have been right. Overseas, the Wii U sold over 300,000 units in Japan while Europe and Australia's numbers have yet to be revealed.

Is it too early to call the Wii U a flop?


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