Steady Wii sales might hurt Nintendo in the next console generation.
Though the Wii U still has no release date or price, Nintendo may be hoping to sell about four million of its next console by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2013. In its first-quarter financial report, Nintendo predicted that it would ship 10.5 million Wii and Wii U consoles by March, causing analysts to speculate about how many of those sales would be attributed to the Wii U.
According to IHS Screen Digest lead analyst Piers-Harding Rolls, about 6.5 million of Nintendo's projected console sales will be for the Wii. This is based on recent sales numbers, as well as the fact that the Wii traditionally sells best during the holiday season. That leaves about four million sales for the Wii U before the end of fiscal 2012, which would be a great achievement. Though it depends on "launch price and timing," Rolls thinks that Nintendo can pull it off.
Rolls also believes that the Wii U won't be as successful as its predecessor. "In general, my outlook is that Wii U console sales will not replicate the success of the Wii. 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." The analyst also points out that if the Wii continues to sell at a steady pace, it could actually cannibalize Wii U sales.
Considering the Wii's insane popularity, it would be tough for any console to match that kind of achievement. However, if the Wii U does sell four million units worldwide between its launch and next March, Nintendo will have a great start to the next console generation. Of course, for the Wii U to sell units, it has to have a launch date, so how about it, Nintendo?