Wii U allocation tilted to US

Ubisoft CEO says Nintendo appears to be sending more units of hardware to US than other countries

The first country to get the Wii U will also get the most units of the new Nintendo hardware, it seems. Speaking in a post-earnings investor conference call today, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot carefully fielded a question about how he believes Nintendo is allocating its launch hardware between countries.

"The US seems to be having more machines than the other countries, but that's the only thing I can say," Guillemot said.

Regional allocations could be a touchy topic for Nintendo in light of the original Wii launch. That system was an instant sell-out upon its launch in 2006, and remained in short supply for the next year, a situation Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime lamented as a "missed opportunity." Things may be different this time around. For one, Fils-Aime has stressed that the company learned a lot from previous shortages, and that its supply chain is solid.

The Wii U is scheduled to launch in the US November 18, with a UK release trailing on November 30 and the system making its Japanese debut December 8. Nintendo has forecast 10 million unit sales by the end of the year, and a number of retailers have run through their pre-order allocations.

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Latest comments (8)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
The US was by far the biggest market for the Wii. Makes sense to allocate accordingly for Wii U.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 3 years ago
Yep I agree makes sense to allocate for the US. Let's face it , neither the UK not Japan have much interest in the machine.
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Nick Parker Consultant 3 years ago
Nintendo has given guidance of 5.5 million Wii U by end of FY 2013 (March 2013) not the 10 million quoted in the article?
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University3 years ago
Presumably the 10 million is the figure for both Wii and Wii U.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
Hmm. Guess I probably won't be able to get one at launch given I'm living in a third world* country....

*By the console manufacturer's standards
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
That's a little sardonic, James.

If you were to release a new product with a history of product launches, would you equally spread out the allocation or divvy it up based on the historical sales of those products to each territory?
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
I think the Wii U will do quite well here in the US because it has the games coming out to keep people coming back to stores (those who aren't jaded multi-console owners who've already played certain titles previously) and from what I've seen from my poking around at certain retailers, enough day one pre-orders to make Nintendo happy.

The main sticking point I'm finding is that second controller. Sure, no games coming out launch day or in the launch window use a second GamePad, but I'm hearing that some consumers are very curious and a little wary that they can't buy a back up controller in case something goes wrong with the one packed in the box.

I know of enough folks with kids who are still on the fence (and will probably snap up a Wii U next year) because they know their kids aren't as careful as Nintendo thinks they will be, but as always we'll see how that works out in the near future when games start getting released that require 2 pads (and no online connection).
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 3 years ago
@ Jim.

Actually, It's just a probably accurate observation. The country I'm living in doesn't have any official access to any online content on any of the three console makers, nor does it have official launches (most units are imported by retailers from other markets).

I'm not trashing their methods of analysing where the money is made. Just that there will be less to go around in the EU and thus even less in my country too. Maybe you jumped the gun a bit there...
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