With the holiday shopping rush comes the expectation that console and game sales will enjoy a boost. According to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, however, that wasn’t quite the case for the Wii U. Bhatia said in a note today that sales of the Wii U and its games at GameStop have come in under expectations, which is a bit surprising considering that Wii U sales have seemed generally healthy so far.
Indeed, the Wii U sold 400,000 units in its first week on the shelves in the US, and while we don’t have any numbers for Europe, we do know that the console managed more than 300,000 sales during its first weekend of availability in Japan. Despite that strong start, Bhatia said that there has been an abundance of Wii Us on shelves at GameStop, which suggests slow sales. Bhatia also said that the attach rate for new console sales was “low,” so players aren’t buying many games when they go to pick up their new Wii U.
That may be easily explained – after all, a number of launch titles for the Wii U were simply ports of older Xbox 360 and PS3 games. Perhaps gamers are waiting for more new titles before deciding to splurge on Wii U games? Bhatia points out that the Wii U Deluxe bundles are selling better than basic models, which is hardly surprising considering the Deluxe bundle offers a 32GB hard drive to the basic set’s 8GB of storage.
The Deluxe bundle also bestows a pack-in copy of Nintendo Land upon consumers, so it’s pretty easy to see why customers are opting for that edition over the basic set. If this is true, it’s rather disappointing news, but remember that the Wii U is still very young. 2013 will be a big year for the new console, so we’ll be getting a better idea of how it’s performing as we slowly make our way toward 2014. Stay tuned.