IHS Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls is predicting the Wii U to have a much larger launch than the Wii back in 2006, however it will struggle to keep up the momentum of the Wii. He expects the Wii U, which launches on November 18 in North America, sell more than 3.5 million units worldwide by the end of the year. This compares to 3.1 million Wii's sold by the end of 2006.
Harding-Rolls believe that retailers will struggle to keep up with the initial and that there will be stock shortages. As a note most new hardware struggles to keep up with demand at launch. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii were all sold out at launch. However it was just the Wii that struggled to keep up with demand beyond the launch period.
"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 ongoing sales momentum we witnessed with the Wii console, especially at a higher price point," predicted Harding-Rolls.
"Long-term success depends on ongoing 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," continued Harding-Rolls.
"Nintendo is still some way short of delivering a comprehensive engagement-led value proposition at the launch of the Wii U," added Harding-Rolls.