Business outfit Forbes did an interesting piece on the Wii U today. While most media outlets seem to be critical, or at least cautious, about the Wii U, Forbes recognizes that the Wii U is already popular among gamers since it sold out of pre-orders. In fact, they go as far as to say that “Nintendo already has a certified hit on its hands”.
And because it’s already sold out, Forbes, like many others, are wondering whether Nintendo will have enough consoles ready for launch. Analyst Michael Pachter thinks that Nintendo will be manufacturing around 1.2 million Wii U consoles per month, and that they will have around 3.6 million Wii U consoles globally this year. He thinks that the US will receive 1.2 to 1.5 million of those consoles for 2012. about half of that — up to 750,000 units — will be available at launch.
Pachter doesn’t believe that this is manipulation by Nintendo, he thinks it’s simply a “reality of manufacturing”. Some have estimated that Nintendo allocated around 400,000 units for pre-orders, which means at launch in the US, there could be as few as 200,000 units on day one for those who didn’t pre-order.
Nintendo’s Scott Moffitt chipped in on the issue, saying “certainly manufacturing enough units to meet consumer demand is one challenge”, but he added that Nintendo’s job was to make sure that fans and gamers see a value in the Wii U. Nintendo previously assured gamers that the “Wii U supply chain was solid“.
The Wii U launches on November 18, 2012, at $299 and $349 price points. There will be 30 games available on launch day: 23 retail games and 7 indie titles on the Wii U eShop. Over 50 retail games will be released during the launch window, with anther dozen or so indie titles.