IHS Screen Digest questions Wii U potential as US launch nears

The Wii U arrives in the US this weekend, but one leading analyst has claimed Nintendo will need to up its game if it wants the new console to replicate the success of its predecessor.

IHS Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls does, however, believe that Wii U will have a more immediate impact than Wii achieved, predicting sales of 3.5m Wii U consoles by the end of the year. Wii managed 3.1m sales in the same time period in 2006.

However, Harding-Rolls remains less certain of the console’s long-term potential. In fact, he forecasts that Wii U sales over its first four years will only reach around 70 per cent of the Wii’s.

This time around, Wii U’s pure innovation, coupled with a limited volume of high-quality Nintendo software, will not be enough to drive the on-going sales momentum we witnessed with the Wii console, especially at a higher price point,” Harding-Rolls stated.

Long-term success depends on on-going consumer engagement delivered through the constant release of high-quality content from both first and third parties, a competitive non-games entertainment proposition and a sound digital and online strategy to go along with such innovation.

Nintendo is still some way short of delivering a comprehensive engagement-led value proposition at the launch of the Wii U.

"How the company executes on these new initiatives will have a substantial impact on the Wii U’s ability to maintain its market relevance past the launch phase when competing with the burgeoning choice of connected devices that serve.”

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