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Wii U in for a tough time soon after its launch, says analyst

By: Muhammad Qasim Hassan

  |   September 3rd, 2012   |  
E3 Nintendo

With Nintendo’s next-generation console Wii U just around the corner, speculations regarding its performance in terms of sales has already begun to circulate.

Set to launch in the final quarter of this year, with November 18 being a supposed release date, Wii U will find itself enveloped in a number of challenges, some which Nintendo would possibly be able to handle and others that would be well beyond their control.

Sharing his opinion about how well the upcoming console would fare in the market with the investors, Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian painted a picture that the people at Nintendo would definitely not be too happy to look at.

According to Sebastian, Wii U is likely to open up with sales figures as the loyalists will rush to get their hands on the latest piece of hardware by the company that has been catering to their entertainment needs for over two decades.

However, the solid sales figures will most likely not last for long as both Sony and Microsoft are expected to announce their future consoles in the first quarter of 2013. A huge faction of the gaming community has been anxiously waiting to get some sort of idea about when the two gaming giants plan on releasing their high-end consoles and upon hearing this news, they may shrink away from the decision of getting their first taste of next-generation consoles through Wii U.

“We remain concerned that Nintendo is missing an opportunity to build greater mindshare ahead of the [supposed’ Wii U launch on November 18,” he said. “While initial strong sales are likely given the Nintendo fanbase, we believe there may be a narrow window of opportunity to generate broad consumer interest before next-gen Microsoft and Sony platforms are announced in [first half of 2013] and launch in Q4 2013.”

Nintendo surely does require some sort of strategy to handle the sales of its next-generation consoles if it finds itself in the aforementioned scenario.

Sebastien also mentioned in his note to the investors that the Japanese-based gaming giant is expected to reveal the price for its upcoming console at its media briefing in New York City in October. Taking several factors into account, the industry watcher estimated the price of Wii U to lie somewhere from $249-$299.

Nintendo’s next-generation console has already been struggling to gain the confidence of industry analysts, who believe that its graphical capability will be far behind that of its competitors and also criticised the Wii U GamePad, a unique touch-screen controller, which is being introduced. With the analysis of a well-reputed financial firm signalling trouble for the new system in terms of its market performance, Nintendo finds itself with a tough task of proving to everyone what its latest piece of hardware is truly capable of.