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Wii U Off To Good Start, But Xbox 360 Still Reigns Supreme

Posted by: , 13:59 AEDT, Mon December 10, 2012

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The Wii U sales figures are out, with Nintendo pleased, but Microsoft still dominated November, which included the important Black Friday sales week
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The latest NPD US video game sales figures for November 2012 has been released, and apart from covering the important Black Friday sales period, it also, for the first time, includes hardware sales figures for Nintendo's new console, the Wii U.

While the Wii U was only available for 7 days within the November NPD reporting period, it managed to sell 425,000 units. While short of the Wii's 475,000 first week sales figure, the Wii U's debut price is also $50 higher for the most basic model (the Wii only had one model at launch), and as a result, Nintendo were pleased with the result.

More pleasing for Nintendo other than just raw hardware figures was revenue figures for the Wii U launch. The Wii U launch managed to earn 21% more revenue than the Wii launch, not surprising considering the Wii U launch price is, on average (taking into account basic and premium models), 35% higher than the Wii's. Unit sales and revenue would have been even higher had supply issues not been present.

And game sales for the new console was also a positive for Nintendo. The company's flagship game, New Super Mario Bros. U, got off to a relatively good start with 243,000 units sold, meaning 57% of Wii U buyers went out and bought the game too.

And there's still some life in the old dog too, with the 6 year old Wii managing to sell 420,000 units.

But while Nintendo's new console got off to a good start, it was still Microsoft's 7 year old Xbox 360 that won the November sales race. Recording a massive 1.26 million units sold. While this number still represents a 26% decline compared to the same period last year, the age of the console has to be taken into account.

The only console to sell over a million units, the Xbox 360 also comfortably beat every other console, selling almost twice as much as the next most popular console, which is most likely the PS3. It also managed to sell more units than the Wii U and Wii combined.

Overall, the industry's November revenue dropped 11% compared to the same time last year, on declining sales of current (or is that, previous) generation consoles, and lower than expected Wii U sales (mainly due to supply issues). But when put into perspective, and comparing November 2012 with November 2005, the last time a generation transition occurred (when the Xbox 360 was released), revenue is actually up 97%, signifying that the overall health of the video game industry is still strong.


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