Nintendo Wii U sales bomb in US; good or bad news for Microsoft?

Nintendo's attempt to get ahead of Sony and Microsoft in the next generation console wars appears to have backfired, at least in the US. While Nintendo bragged that it sold 400,000 units of its Wii U console during its US launch week in November, the first post-holiday shopping month brings much more sobering news on the popularity of the console.

CNet.com reports that the Wii U sold just 57,000 units in the US during January 2013. Their report is based on an unnamed source with access to the full numbers from the research firm NPD Group. The original Wii sold 435,000 units during its first post-holiday month in January 2007. More importantly, consumers seemed to be more interested in Microsoft's seven year old Xbox 360 console, which sold 281,000 units in January 2013.

Keep in mind that NPD added an extra week to January's sales report as a "leap month", which only makes the Wii U sale numbers look even worse in comparison. So far, Nintendo has yet to comment on the NPD Group's numbers.

It's possible that sales in Europe and especially in Nintendo's home country of Japan will help compensate from the lack of interest in the US for the Wii U. However, the fact that this new "next generation" console could not outsell hardware that's over seven years old has to be troubling.

While this report on the Wii U's sales failure might seem to be good news for Microsoft and Sony on the surface, it could also mean that there's not a big market for the next generation consoles, at least not right now. Sony is expected to reveal its successor to the Playstation 3 next week and Microsoft should do the same for its next Xbox console later in 2013. Hopefully the features in these two machines will be more attractive than the ones Nintendo offers with the Wii U.

Source: CNet.com | Image via Nintendo

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