Despite selling less consoles in a year than rivals Sony and Microsoft did in 48 hours, Nintendo’s Wii U is predicted to outsell both the Xbox One and PS4, according to online retailer Play.com.
Rakuten, the site’s Japanese owners, say that the Wii U has had a 75 per cent jump in sales on the site during October, and that their analysis of social media suggests that Nintendo’s console and the iPad range are “the most talked about presents for children this Christmas.”
“The marketplace’s social media analysis surprisingly showed that the brand new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles are trailing in second and third place respectively behind the Wii U and iPad,” said the retailer.
“This is despite the fact that both new consoles sold out on Rakuten’s Play.com during Black Friday, which have since been restocked. It appears that those on the hunt for the latest consoles are gamers rather than consumers buying for their loved ones.”
However, Play.com’s claims have been met with scepticism from the gaming community, who cite analysts’ reports of the Wii U’s continuing decline.
Matt Peckham of Time points out that Play.com may have actually only been referring to which console children will want and this would make more sense – Nintendo’s family friendly products have always performed well amongst younger gamers and, more importantly, they also appeal to the “loved ones” (Play.com’s term) that might be shelling out the actual cash at Christmas.
The Wii U’s popularity will certainly receive a boost thanks to the recent release of Super Mario 3D World, which has been well received by critics, but this will probably not be enough to put it ahead of either the Xbox 360 or the PS4 – both of which sold more than 1 million units in 48 hours, with Nintendo currently reporting Wii U sales of around 4 million in 12 months.
However, Peckham notes another point worth remembering – the PS3 was for many years the third placed console of the previous generation, but has since matched the Xbox 360 with 80 million plus sales, beating them in every major market apart from the US.
Can a return of Nintendo's best loved franchises (Pikmin and Zelda are still absent) help the sturggling console? Only time - and sales - will tell.