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Iwata: Wii U sales "not bad" despite lack of premium units

Nintendo president muted on console performance, cites high demand for premium version as an issue

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has claimed that the Wii U is "selling steadily," though he admitted that it hasn't inspired the explosive interest lavished on its predecessor.

Speaking to Reuters, Iwata gave a muted account of the performance of the company's new console hardware. He cited predicting demand for Wii U's basic and premium versions as one of the key issues at this early stage in its life-cycle.

"At the end of the Christmas season, it wasn't as though stores in the US had no Wii U left in stock, as it was when Wii was first sold in that popular boom. But sales are not bad, and I feel it's selling steadily," he said.

"It was the first time Nintendo released two models of the game console at the same time ... and I believe there was a challenge with balancing this. Specifically, inventory levels for the premium, deluxe package was unbalanced as many people wanted that version and couldn't find it."

Nintendo has not released precise sales figures for the Wii U, though data from the Japanese magazine publisher Enterbrain suggests that it sold just over 638,000 units in Japan between December 8 and 30.

However, the opinion among analysts is that Wii U is performing below expectations, which is reflected by the 15 per cent drop in Nintendo's share price since the console first launched.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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