A number of analysts believe that the continuing strong performance of the Xbox 360 from Microsoft when compared to the new Nintendo-made Wii U might be a problem for the new hardware platform in the long term.Michael Pachter, who is watching the video game industry for Wedbush Securities, tells GamesIndustry.biz that, “I think the strong Xbox 360 performance tells us that consumers remain price sensitive, and the recent cuts/bundles for the 360 present a compelling value. Once Wii U supply increases, I expect the console to sell better. That may not happen until next year.”
Lewis Ward, the research manager at IDC, has a more nuanced view and believes that in the short term the solid performance of the Xbox 360 is not a direct threat for the Wii U, especially when taking into account the fact that the Nintendo device is at the moment sold out in North American stores.
During the last generation change in the gaming world, the PlayStation 2 also outperformed the original Wii for a number of months but that did not impact its long-term success.
David Cole, from DFC Intelligence, adds, “Long-term the Xbox 360 doing well could be a problem because many of those buyers are potential Wii U consumers.”
Nintendo seems at the moment to be very upbeat about the prospects of the Wii U, which is set to be launched today in Europe and on December 8 in Japan.
The company expects to generate sales of more than 5.5 million units before the end of the current fiscal year and says that each of the consoles requires just one game sale to generate a profit.
Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to make official announcements about their next generation of devices during the first half of 2013 and to actually launch the platforms before its end.