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Wii U will struggle to outsell the Nintendo Wii – analyst

By: Moses Abaortae

  |   August 16th, 2012   |  
17th Electronic Entertainment Expo - Los Angeles

Nintendo may not reach the high level of sales they managed to achieve with the Wii, at least that’s according to the lead games analyst for IHS Screen Digest, Piers-Harding Rolls.

The first next generation console to hit the market its Nintendo’s Wii U and the manufacturer will be hoping that the console emulates the success of its predecessor the Wii. The previous console was also the first of its generation to be released and went on to become a sensation.

However, according to one analyst, the Wii U will find it difficult to repeat that feat as he believes that the console’s two-screen approach to gaming will confuse gamers, at least, at the start.

Piers-Harding Rolls began, “The big question is the extent of cannibalisation of Wii sales by the Wii U.” before continuing, “In general, my outlook is that Wii U console sales will not replicate the success of the Wii.”

According Rolls, the console faces a bit of an identity crisis as it will compete with not only the traditional line of consoles but also other devices as well, while at the same time it will take time for consumers to warm to the idea of using two screens on a home console.

He said, “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.”

Nintendo has not commented on the predictions and will surely have forecasts of their own and according to the manufacturer, the most important aspect in ensuring that the Wii U sells well is the pricing.

The manufacturer will want to make sure it does not repeat the mistakes it made with the Nintendo 3DS, which got off to a terrible start due to a lack of content and overpricing. Nintendo only recovered the situation when it slashed its prices and reforecast its sales.

On the content front Nintendo does seem to be pushing third party developers to make a number of titles available for the console with the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed 3 and FIFA 13 all confirmed as launch titles.

On the other hand, Ubisoft is also gathering quite a bit of interest from consumers after impressing once again with its upcoming first-person shooter for the Wii U, ZombiU. The game is aimed at a more mature audience and is set in a post zombie-apocalypse with the gameplay leaning more towards horror-survival than action.

Whether or not Nintendo will be shouting ‘wee’ when the console is released remains to be seen but one thing is for sure and that is the fact that Nintendo need to make their early start count if they want to compete in the same core gamer market as Sony and Microsoft.