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Nintendo sells 400,000 Wii U units Thanksgiving week

November 26, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • U.S. consumers bought more than 400,000 Wii U's during the system's launch week.
U.S. consumers bought more than 400,000 Wii U's during the system's… (Anders Krusberg )

Nintendo sold more than 400,000 units of its new Wii U console in the United States last week, its first time on sale.

That essentially sold out the available inventory, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimes told Reuters, as avid fans quickly bought up Wii U's at retail stores and online.

Most new video game systems sell out when first on sale. The real question for Nintendo, which recorded its first net loss in 30 years during the last fiscal year and recently slashed estimates for the current one, is whether mainstream buyers will purchase Wii U's in the coming weeks and months.

The new Wii U did not come out of the gate as fast as the Wii, which also launched on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, in 2006. That console sold 475,000 units in its first week on sale in the United States and went on to be a blockbuster success until sales collapsed in 2010.

The Wii U is more expensive than its predecessor, starting at $299 rather than $249, and has more advanced features, including high-definition graphics and an innovative controller with a touch screen.

Reviews have been mixed, however, and the much touted interactive television and video features were not available at launch.

In good news for the company, Nintendo also reported healthy sales of its older video game devices during Thanksgiving week.

The original Wii, which now features multiple bundles for less than $200 -- with games included -- sold more than 300,000 units.

Nintendo's year-old 3DS hand-held game system sold 250,000 copies in the United States while the heavily discounted original DS, originally offered in 2004, sold 275,000.

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